The 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) resumed on June 11 at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino with a bracelet awarded in both the $565 Pot-Limit Omaha and the $1,500 Seven Card Razz. The $1,500 Eight Game Mix moved on to Day 2 while the $1,500 Millionaire Maker fired up Day 1b. The $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit) also kicked off.
Ryan Laplante Wins Event #12: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha
Colossus II gave hold’em fans a chance at a cheap WSOP event. This year, the ever-growing popularity of pot-limit Omaha earned fans of that game a cheap WSOP event as well. The $565 Pot-Limit Omaha event kicked off on Thursday and received 2,438 entries, creating a prize pool of $1,241,500.
The final nine players returned for a final day on Saturday and Canadian Grant Ellis returned as the short stack with 590,000 chips. Florida’s Syed Shah came to the table as the chip leader and Ryan Laplante and Darryll Fish were the most notable players who also had a seat trying to win the bracelet.
With such a small amount of chips to work with, it was no surprise that the one Canadian hope in Grant Ellis was dashed with a ninth-place elimination early in the day. He collected $15,813 for the finish and earned the distinction of making the deepest Canadian run so far this summer until later in the day when Daniel Negreanu came fourth in the $1,500 razz.
Darryll Fish was the next one out and he earned $20,484 for the final-table appearance. Ryan Laplante remained as the best-known player among the final seven, and he continued his run right to the end, winning his first-ever WSOP bracelet. Laplante pocketed $190,328 for the win.
Rep Porter Wins Event #13: $1,500 Seven Card Razz
At the start of Day 1, 461 people sat down to try their hand at the first razz tournament of the 2016 WSOP. Among the hopefuls were a slew of big names including the runner-up in the recent $10,000 Stud Championship, Matt Grapenthien, 2014 WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer, double bracelet winner (including a razz bracelet) Rep Porter, and Canadian Hall-of-Famer Daniel Negreanu, among many others.
Canada's only hope going into Saturday’s Day 3 was Daniel Negreanu, one of the most celebrated poker players in history, who bagged up the fourth-place stack at the end of Day 2.
For a $1,500 event, the final day of the razz was a very star-studded affair. Joining Negreanu in the final 12 was the runner-up in Event #3: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, Matt Grapenthien, as well as high-stakes and mixed-game regular David Benyamine, and Rep Porter, who already has a bracelet in the lowball stud variant. As well, Belgian Michael Gathy brought two bracelets to the table, while California native Brendan Taylor also brought a bracelet to the table. With the rest of the final 12 showing several WSOP cashes at minimum on their resume, it was a final day full of experience.
The day got off to a bad start for Grapenthien who came into the final day with a middle-of-the-road chip stack. He ran very badly during the first level of the day and, unable to find any spots, was the first player to exit the stage, collecting $7,236 for 12th place before the first hour of play was finished.
Players fell quickly after that with Max Kruse and Usman Siiddique exiting in 11th and 10th, respectively. Kruse also earned $7,236 while Siiddique got the pay jump to $9,225.
The elimination of Siiddique set up a very crowded unofficial final table of nine players.
Play continued for nearly an hour nine-handed until David Benyamine was the ninth-place finisher, earning $9,225 for his three days of work.
Next to go was Shaun Deeb on a hand against Alexey Makarov where he raised third street ace against ace, only to see a jack come to his board and a three to Makarov. Deeb called Makarov's bet for the remainder of his stack, but couldn't improve enough. Makarov took his chips, and Deeb earned a consolation prize of $12,006 for eighth place.
The slow but steady pace of play continued with two more eliminations over the next hour. Daniel Weinman collected the seventh-place prize of $15,945 and, about half an hour later, Valentin Vornicu made his way to the cage to pick up $21,604 for sixth place.
With the conclusion of the $565 pot-limit Omaha event, the razz tournament took centre stage in the Thunder Dome and, in what may be a first for a live stud event, the live video stream went cards up, giving the audience a fascinating look behind the scenes of some of the best razz players in the world.
Brendan Taylor was the next player to hit the rail, falling to Rep Porter in a hand where he raised good on third street, then ran out horribly. With a jack to Porter's queen on fourth, Taylor kept the pressure on, but he was all in on fifth when Porter took over control, betting his nine against Taylor's king. With a ten on sixth to Porter's five, Taylor was finished, collecting $29,846 for fifth place.
Play continued four-handed for over an hour before Daniel Negreanu became the fourth-place finisher. He got his chips in on fifth street in a hand against Rep Porter with a queen-ten board versus Porter's jack-eight. Negreanu was drawing to a three-card eight and bricked the final two streets, but it didn't matter as Porter improved to a six by seventh street, leaving Negreanu drawing dead. While Negreanu fell short of his seventh bracelet, he notched an impressive 84th cash at the WSOP bringing his lifetime WSOP and Circuit earnings over $16.2 million. This was also the deepest Canadian run so far this series.
Alexey Makarov exited in third shortly after Negreanu, collecting $60,309 and setting up a heads-up battle between Rep Porter and Michael Gathy. Both players came to Day 3 with two bracelets to their names, and each was now eager to collect their third as they entered heads-up play.
The battle between the two players lasted for nearly two hours with Gathy making impressive dents in the chip lead Porter brought into heads-up play, but the experience of Porter in stud variants, and especially in razz, showed through as the tournament wore on.
In one telling hand near the end of the night, Porter took down a pot on fifth street, betting his board despite having in the hole. With Gathy showing and a tendency in past hands to give Porter credit for playable down cards, the move worked despite Porter's two pairs.
Porter's experience in situations like that was the real difference, as he went on to take down the bracelet a few hands later. Gathy fought hard for every chip, doubling a few times to save his tournament life, but Porter kept coming, eventually winning the bracelet on a pretty standard razz hand.
Gathy got his money in on third with a against Porter's . Gathy's runout looked good on fourth and fifth, drawing a deuce and an eight against Porter's , but then Gathy's luck turned, pairing his deuce and his five on sixth and seventh. Porter didn't draw that great, but by the time seventh was dealt, Gathy's was edged out by Porter's in a photo finish.
Gathy's runner-up finish added $88,146 to his wallet while the win cemented Porter's status as one of the premier stud players. His third bracelet marked the second time he'd won a razz event, and earned him $142,624.
Event #14: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em Day 1b
The popular Millionaire Maker kicked off on Friday with the first of two starting flights, promising at least a $1 million prize for each of the top two finishers. The dream of seven-figure money for a low buy-in of just $1,500 brought 3,893 entries to the tournament on Friday and a little over 500 survived the day to advance to Sunday’s Day 2.
The second flight closed with a further 4,102 entries on Saturday and 667 players survived the day to merge with the Day 1a qualifiers on Day 2.
With the tournament total at 7,190 entries, the prize pool came in at $9,706,500. The unique format of promising both of the top two finishers a minimum of $1 million resulted in some unusual payouts. First place will earn $1,065,403 while the runner-up will get an even $1 million and third place will get $500,000, which drew some criticism from many players.
Finishing at the top of the counts on Saturday was Israel’s Shalev Halfa with 250,700 chips. The top Canadian had a 26th-place stack of 128,800 and belonged to Ryan Groll. Some of the other notable Canadians to survive the day included Anthony Mar (46,200) and Michael Malm (17,800).
More than 1,170 players will return for Day 2 looking to survive into the money which will be awarded to the top 1,079 players.
Event #15: $1,500 Eight Game Mix (6-Handed) Day 2
The first running of an eight-game format kicked off earlier this week when 491 players signed up for Event #15: $1500 Eight Game Mix (6-Handed). When Day 1 ended, just 107 players remained in contention for the top prize.
Five Canadians bagged chips at the end of Day 1, including Christopher Kruk who came into Day 2 with the second-best chip stack of 86,300. Other Canadians to join Kruk on Day 2 were Mike Watson (18,400), Mike Leah (16,000), Sorel Mizzi (8,600), and Gavin Smith (7,200).
Kruk’s second-place stack was well behind the chip leader coming into Day 2. Double bracelet winner Brandon Cantu was the only player to cross the 100,000 chip barrier, and he did so in commanding fashion, carrying 126,800 into Day 2. Other notable names to bag chips at the end of Day 1 were Chris Klodnicki, Jason Somerville, Tom Schneider, David "ODB" Baker, Tom McCormick, Barry Greenstein, and Eli Elezra.
With only 74 spots paying out, many players starting Day 2 would go home with empty pockets. Many of the Canadians bagged small stacks at the end of Day 1 and were in the danger zone. Christopher Kruk came into the day with one of the biggest stacks but couldn’t hold on to it as Day 2 progressed, finishing the day in 59th for a payday of $2,299. The only other Canadian to make it into the money was Gavin Smith, who had a stellar Day 2, building his tiny start-of-day stack of 7,200 into 247,000 before the end of play.
Joining Smith on the final day of play is chip leader Paul Volpe who bagged a whopping 586,500 chips at the end of Day 2. Close behind Volpe are Anthony Lazar with 558,000 and Ron Ware with 504,000. The final 11 players and chip stack break down as follows:
Action on the final day of play gets underway at 2 p.m. local time with both tables playing stud hi-lo.
Event #16: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit) Day 1
Another Championship event kicked off on Saturday with the highest-priced deuce-to-seven single draw tournament receiving 100 entries made up of the best poker players in the world.
Just 34 players survived to bag chips at the end of the day and Alex Luneau held the chip lead with 454,000. Mike Matusow, George Danzer, and Brian Hastings round out the top four, giving a good indication of just how difficult this field is.
Canadians Mike Watson (184,000) and Daniel Negreanu (172,100) will also be back for another day and both are currently in the top third of the counts, well-positioned for a deep run.
The highly controversial character Howard Lederer also made his first WSOP appearance in many years, taking a seat in this Championship event. He bagged the second-smallest stack and will be back trying to run it up on Day 2.
What to Watch For Tomorrow
A bracelet will be awarded in the $1,500 Eight Game Mix (6-Handed) on Sunday, June 12. The $1,500 Millionaire Maker will move on to Day 2 along with the $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit). Also, a $1,000 hold’em event and the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. will get started.
Check back with PokerNews Canada tomorrow for an update on all of those events. Good luck to the Canadians in the field!
Details courtesy of the WSOP Live Updates.