Day 27 of the 2016 World Series of Poker was the second straight day at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino that saw just one bracelet awarded, as George "Tricky Scarfy" Danzer claimed his fourth piece of WSOP gold. Five others hit the felt, with two kicking off. Most notably, the Monster Stack has been whittled down to just a few tables, and some of the names left will be very familiar to old school poker fans.
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Danzer Claims Bracelet No. 4
George Danzer, owner of three bracelets already, added a fourth to his fast-growing collection by winning the $10,000 Stud Hi-Low Championship for $338,646. It was his second time winning the event after he took it down in his historic 2014, when he was crowned WSOP Player of the Year.
This time around, he had to get through a final table that saw several wild pots, and Danzer confirmed it was the craziest he has ever been at.
“When it got short-handed, it got crazy,” he said. “Stud-8 short-handed is a lot of resteals and stuff going on so it's easy to lose the overview.”
Indeed, the stacks fluctuated wildly throughout what proved to be a three-handed deadlock between Danzer, Justin Bonomo, and Randy Ohel. Seemingly every time the stacks were updates in the counts, there was a new order between the three, and each had moments where surged into the lead only to fall back into the pack.
A critical turning point came with Danzer all in early on in a hand that saw Bonomo lose a sizable side pot with kings up to Ohel's trip threes. Danzer held an in the hole and had picked up an on sixth street, so his only hope of survival was another ace. He squeezed out what he said was a no-spot club.
“The dealer actually knew that I was going to hit it because he knew the two and the three were gone because he was paying attention,” Danzer said with a laugh.
Indeed, it was the and Danzer pumped his fist in celebration. Bonomo busted in short order, leaving Danzer heads up with Ohel, a one-time bracelet winner who had already come agonizingly close to winning a second one four times this summer with top-10 finishes.
It would prove to be heartbreak yet again for Ohel, who had to console himself with $209,302.
Danzer said despite his success in recent years, he isn't ready to proclaim himself one of the premier limit players even in a tournament setting.
“There are so many good mixed-game high stakes players that play it every day,” he said. “I don't get the training that the guys who play $400/$800 or $1000/$2000 every day have.”
Official Final Table Results
|1||George Danzer||Salzburg, Austria||$338,646|
|2||Randy Ohel||Las Vegas, NV||$209,302|
|3||Justin Bonomo||Glendale, CO||$148,601|
|4||Esther Taylor-Brady||Vancouver, WA||$107,551|
|5||Todd Brunson||Las Vegas, NV||$79,381|
|6||Eli Elezra||Henderson, NV||$59,773|
|7||Scott Clements||Mount Vernon, WA||$45,935|
|8||David Grey||Henderson, NV||$36,044|
Dragon Breathing Fire in Monster Stack
After three grueling days of play, just 26 runners remain out of 6,927 in the Monster Stack, and the theme of the event seems to be old dogs still having plenty of bite.
A look at the top of the leaderboard shows two-time bracelet winner and old school tournament crusher David “The Dragon” Pham in the lead with 8,895,000 in chips. Two more old-time legends who bagged are TJ Cloutier, who sits eighth with 4.6 million, and Irishman Donnacha O'Dea, who sits 17th with 2.9 million.
Cloutier is looking to add to a tally of six bracelets, while O'Dea is seeking No. 2. Read more about their runs here.
Others still in contention include Andrew Moreno (3,860,000), Matt Affleck (2,230,000), and Michael Rocco (2,005,000).
Another player with an interesting story is Duke Lee, who bagged 1,165,000. The California native was apparently blinding off in the Monster Stack on Day 2 while he was busy booking an 18th-place finish at Hollywood Poker Open Season 4 Championship for $12,998. When that was done, he quickly drove from M Resort to the Rio, where he ran up a stack in the Monster and still has a pulse.
Players who advanced to Day 3 but were eliminated during the course of play included Josh Arieh, Jared Jaffee, Andy Bloch, Chad Holloway, Justin Liberto, Tuan Le, Cate Hall, and Chino Rheem.
The schedule for the tournament calls for a winner on Day 4, which starts at 11 a.m. with blinds of 60,000/120,000/20,000.
Mosseri, Volpe Atop Triple Draw Championship
Just two $10,000 championship-level events remain on the WSOP schedule for the summer after Event #47: $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Championship kicked off Monday at 3 p.m., and 125 runners turned up with 38 advancing to Tuesday's Day 2.
The prize pool for the event ended up at $1,175,000 with the winner set to be paid $320,103.
At the top of the chip counts is virtual tie, with just one chip separating Abe Mosseri (334,000) and Paul Volpe (333,5000). Neither player is any stranger to the big WSOP stage as Mosseri has one bracelet while Volpe picked up his second earlier this summer in the $1,500 8-Game event.
JC Tran, Stephen Chidwick, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Phil Galfond, Daniel Negreanu, and Greg Raymer also find themselves in the hunt with Day 2 looming. It's Galfond's first appearance of the summer at the WSOP. Find out why here.
The tournament resumes Tuesday at 2 p.m. with limits at 5,000/10,000.
Klein Looking to Go Wire-to-Wire in Event #45
When Day 1 of Event #45: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha wrapped up on Sunday, it was Loren Klein in the lead. After Day 2, he's at the top of the counts once more with 1,079,000, only this time the bracelet is in much clearer focus with just 15 players left rather than 138.
Klein has piled up north of $400,000 across 22 cashes at the WSOP but has not yet captured a gold bracelet.
Craig Varnell (689,000), Rick Alvarado (394,000), and Kyle Bowker (324,000) bagged up to head to Day 3, which is scheduled to be the tournament's last.
Everyone who made Day 2 was in the money, and Ashton Griffin, Jason DeWitt, Shannon Shorr, Antonio Esfandiari, Barry Greenstein, Fabrice Soulier, Daniel Idema, Taylor Paur, Justin Schwartz, and the red-hot Benny Glaser, owner of two bracelets in the 2016 WSOP, were among those making their ways to payouts.
Day 3 gets going at 2 p.m., and someone will be crowned the first-ever winner of this event.
19 Remain in Event #44
A field of 2,076 that had 225 Day 2 qualifiers has been reduced to just 19, with Young Sik Eum leading the way at 1.4 million in chips in Event #44: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Other notables who remain in contention include Steven Wolansky (708,000), Justin Zaki (345,000), and Denis Gnidash (174,000).
Phil Laak was a late casualty in the event, falling to Eum just before the end of the night. With blinds and antes at 6,000/12,000/2,000, Laak shoved in 150,000 from the small blind over a button open while holding . Big blind Eum woke up with jacks and flopped “The Unabomber” essentially dead as hit the felt.
Some of the players heading to payouts on the day – everyone who made Day 2 was already in the money – included Kevin Eyster, Brent Roberts, Asher Conniff, Cord Garcia, Chris Ferguson, and David “ODB” Baker.
Ferguson's return to the WSOP, though perhaps less than stellar in terms of community reception, has proven to be a decent windfall as he has tallied seven cashes now for north of $200,000.
Day 3 gets underway at noon with the schedule calling for a winner to emerge.
Former Milly Maker Winner Dimmig Seeking Another Big Score
The early start Monday was Event #46: $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold'em, which drew 2,158 for a $1,834,300 prize pool – $500 of each entry goes to the players' bounties – and a first-place prize of $290,768.
The leader after Day 1 is Jonathan Dimmig, who has proven he knows how to conquer big fields as he won the Millionaire Maker in 2014 for $1,319,587 in a field of 7,977. He bagged 270,800.
Tom “Butters” Kearney, who finished 15th in last year's WSOP Main Event and is best known for his exploits on WSOP.com, sits in a distant second with 188,000. Others to bag in the top 50 with 308 players remaining included Alex Lynskey (136,600), Georgios Sotiropoulos (118,000), former Main Event champ Martin Jacobson (110,100), and Jason Les (93,300).
The money bubble burst near the very end of the night, so all of the remaining players are guaranteed at least $1,417. They'll reconvene at noon on Tuesday at 600/1,200/200 blinds.
What's On Tap?
Fans of faster structures will be in for a treat on Day 28 of the 2016 WSOP, as there's a $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event on tap with 30-minute levels that's set to end in two days. That kicks off at 11 a.m., with the 3 p.m. event offering a very different appeal. It's the $1,500 Stud event, the only small buy-in event of the series that's strictly seven-card stud high.