2016 WSOP Day 25: Vitch and Kozlov Get Gold, Shootout Final Table Set

  • Mo NuwwarahMo Nuwwarah
Chris Vitch

Day 25 of the 2016 World Series of Poker was one of the shorter, less extensive ones with just five events running. But that doesn't mean it was uneventful, as a highly-anticipated final table of the $10,000 Six-Max Championship saw Chris Ferguson make his return to the biggest WSOP stage and a hefty, sometimes hostile crowd turned out.

Two bracelets were won on the day, and another final table was set, while two other events just got going.

All summer long, PokerNews.com will be bringing you daily coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.

Kozlov Steals Spotlight from Ferguson, Takes $10K Six-Max

An eventful final table of Event #39: $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em Championship ended with Australia's Martin Kozlov taking first place for $655,709 after beating out a 294-player field.

Also present at the final table, and finishing fourth, was poker pariah Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, who did not respond to an interview request from PokerNews after his elimination.

A deep, boisterous rail was present with all eyes on Ferguson, the five-time bracelet winner and former WSOP Main Event champion who has been vilified as a former member of Full Tilt Poker brass and only this year made his return to the WSOP after a five-year absence. He could do no better than fourth though, falling when he shoved his short stack with {q-Spades}{9-Hearts} and couldn't overcome the {3-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} of Kozlov.

That left Kozlov three-handed with a nice chip lead against a pair of stars in Davidi Kitai and Justin Bonomo. He eliminated them both in a wild double knockout to secure his first bracelet.

It began with Kozlov opening for 250,000 on the button with blinds at 50,000/100,000/10,000. Bonomo shoved in for just over 2.9 million, and Kitai went into the tank before announcing he was all in for 3.85 million. Kozlov held {q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} and called, having both Bonomo ({9-Hearts}{9-Clubs}) and Kitai ({6-Spades}{6-Diamonds}) dominated. The sweat was over quickly as {q-Spades}{q-Hearts}{7-Spades} flopped to give the Aussie unbeatable quads.

Nick Petrangelo (fifth) and Jack Salter (sixth) rounded out the final table. Some others making among the 21 players to make the final day were Vanessa Selbst, Paul Volpe, Steve Gross, Frank Kassela, and Scott Seiver.

Official Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Martin KozlovLysterfield, Australia$665,709
2Davidi KitaiBrussels, Belgium$411,441
3Justin BonomoGlendale, CO$271,856
4Chris FergusonLas Vegas, NV$183,989
5Nick PetrangeloFeeding Hills, MA$127,622
6Jack SalterLondon, U.K.$90,783

Longtime Limit Grinder Vitch Finally Strikes Gold

Chris Vitch has been putting in plenty of work at the WSOP, but despite some deep runs and an accomplished history as a top online limit player, never found himself in the winner's circle.

Maybe all he needed was the right set of games, as the took down Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, a brand new event for the 2016 WSOP that featured a mix of 2-7 triple draw, A-5 triple draw, and badugi. A total of 236 turned out for the inaugural running, and Vitch got $136,854 for the winner's share.

Although triple draw has become a staple of the high stakes community, the 2-7 format had yet to really catch hold when Vitch began grinding out hands and attempting to master the game online. He made his name online as “DeathDonkey”, helping to found the coaching site DeucesCracked, where he's listed as an executive producer and a limit hold'em and triple draw coach.

His expertise carried over to the tournament arena, where he has found success at the WSOP in recent years with three top-three finishes in limit tournaments since 2012.

“I’ve read a lot of things over the years about the best player never to have won a gold bracelet,” Vitch told reporters after the win. “I’m sure there are many players in that category who are deserving. But I always thought I belonged in that conversation.”

He's now removed himself from said conversation and the only question is if he will add more.

Official Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Chris VitchPhoenix, AZ$136,854
2Sigi StockingerLinz, Austria$84,752
3David GeeGilbert, AZ$55,511
4Damjan RadanovMemphis, TN$37,375
5Michael SchiffmanHenderson, NV$25,830
6Gary BensonSylvania Southgate, Australia$18,336

Jaka, Ho, Chidwick Among Survivors of Four-Handed Day 2 in Shootout

Event #42: $3,000 Shootout No-Limit Hold'em returned for Day 2 with 40 players in the money, each having conquered a 10-handed table on Day 1. That left 10 more tables of four-handed play to determine the final table, and these players won their second-round matches to advance to this final table:

SeatPlayer
1Phillip McAllister
2Rhys Jones
3Andreas Freund
4Jesse Yaginuma
5Marcos Antunes
6Maria Ho
7Faraz Jaka
8Kyle Montgomery
9Christopher Kruk
10Stephen Chidwick

Chidwick is nearly universally thought of as one of the strongest players yet to taste WSOP gold, and he'll have his latest chance on Day 3. Standing in his way will be the likes of Faraz Jaka, Maria Ho, and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure third-place finisher Phillip McAllister, among others.

The final table was set before midnight, making it a fairly early day by WSOP standards. Some of the players who made Day 2 but did not advance included Joey Weissman, Andrew Lichtenberger, Tom Marchese, Andy Frankenberger, Michael Mizrachi, Antonio Esfandiari, and 2016 November Niners Ofer Zvi Stern and 888poker Ambassador Tom Cannuli.

The final table gets underway at 2 p.m.

Ohel Looking to Continue Successful Summer

Randy Ohel has already booked four top-10 finishes at the 2016 WSOP, and he's primed for another deep run after bagging the chip lead with 51 of 136 players advancing to Day 2 in the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship.

Ohel put 372,000 in the bag with bets moving to 5,000/10,000 at the beginning of Day 2. George Danzer (338,000), Ali Abduljabbar (252,000), Eli Elezra (244,000), and Ryan Miller (225,000) made up the rest of the top five.

Others making it through included Mike Gorodinsky, Joe Hachem, Mike Watson, Justin Bonomo, and Mike Leah.

Ohel's hot summer has yet to include WSOP gold for the one-time bracelet winner with just shy of $1 million in WSOP earnings. This year, he has finished fourth, 10th, eighth, and third, with the best of those cashes being the latter for $141,187 in the $3,000 Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha.

The tournament is set to pay out 21 places, so it could take a few hours for the money to be reached on Day 2, which begins at 2 p.m.

Monster Stack Draws 6,927

Day 1b of the Monster Stack drew a turnout of 4,507 runners, which pushed the two-day total to 6,927. There were no reentries in the event, and it fell a tad short of last year's lofty total of 7,192 but there is nonetheless an appropriately monstrous prize pool of $9,351,450 with $1,120,196 reserved for the winner.

The player who bagged the scariest stack is Steven Harper, with 279,700. WSOP Player of the Year contender Bart Lybaert also bagged big with 190,500, as did Jake Schindler (182,600), Evan Jarvis (171,400), Matt Giannetti (164,800), and Gaelle Baumann (151,000).

In total, 1,301 runners, made it through, thanks to the super-deep starting stacks of 15,000. They will combine with Day 1a survivors to make a field of 2,001, with just over half of those cashing in 1,040 paid places.

The fields combine at 11 a.m. Sunday for another long day of poker that will see the money reached at some point.

What's On Tap?

As usual, two events will kick off on Day 26 of the WSOP. The 11 a.m. event will be a standard $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event, while at 3 p.m. a new event will get going: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha Mix. Fans of big-bet poker will get a chance to play the two most popular big-bet games in one mix, and both tournaments will see 10 levels played.

Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews.com for continued coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.

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