Day 34 of the 2016 World Series of Poker saw the continued play down of the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, which hit the money bubble just before the end of the night. One bracelet was awarded, and in another event, former WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess is looking to return to glory after bagging a decent stack.
All summer long, PokerNews.com will be bringing you daily coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.
PPC in the Money, Bonomo Leads Final 13
Just 13 players remain in the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship after three grueling days of play, and three past winners remain. Michael Mizrachi (2010 and 2012), Brian Rast (2011), and defending champ Mike Gorodinsky are all in the hunt but currently trail Justin Bonomo (3,127,000).
Here are the remaining chip counts:
Gorodinsky was left short after doubling up Daniel Negreanu in a 2-7 triple draw hand just before the players bagged. Negreanu and “Gordo” both stood pat on the end and Negreanu tabled a seven-six for the win after betting nearly all of his stack.
The first in-the-money elimination occurred just before the end of the night. While one Mizrachi has a solid stack and is looking bag yet another Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, Robert Mizrachi went bust in 14th at the hands of Gorodinsky a bit after Georgios Sotiropoulos bubbled out of the event.
Jason Mercier, Howard Lederer, Todd Brunson, John Monnette, Scott Seiver, and Phil Hellmuth were some of the players falling shy of the money on Day 3.
The prestigious event resumes at 2 p.m. Tuesday with the plan of playing to an official final table of six.
A Great Debut: WSOP Newbie Hung Le Wins Crazy Eights
Amateur player Hung Le won Event #54: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em, a special eight-handed event with a first-place prize of $888,888 at the 2016 World Series of Poker.
Amazingly, it was his first crack at a WSOP tournament, as he's a recreational cash player back home in Dayton, Ohio, where he plays primarily $1/$2 and $2/$5.
Official Final Table Results
|1||Hung Le||Huber Heights, OH||$888,888|
|2||Michael Lech||Alma, AR||$401,888|
|3||Dimitar Danchev||Plovdiv, Bulgaria||$297,888|
|4||Rafael Yaraliyev||Brooklyn, NY||$222,888|
|5||Henry Grunzweig||Berkeley, CA||$167,888|
|6||Loni Harwood||Staten Island, NY||$126,888|
|7||Aurelien Guiglini||Paris, France||$96,888|
|8||Yang Zhang||Dalian, China||$74,888|
Le played four sit-n-goes to prepare, winning one, chopping one, and bricking two others. That was deemed enough by Le and his friend/coach, and Le promptly entered Day 1b of the Crazy Eights and busted out. He gave it another try on Day 1d and managed to advance to Day 2, then bagged in third place with 12 left.
The final table proved a very fast one, going from eight players to just three in a matter of 46 hands. Dimitar Danchev then fell to Michael Lech in a cooler after both flopped flushes on an board, with Lech's besting the Bulgarian's .
That left the father of five heads up against Lech at a sizable deficit, about 25 million to 7 million with blinds and antes at 120,000/240,000/40,000. Out-chipped and vastly less experienced, Le figured his best hope was to push hard and hope variance fell his away.
That's exactly what he did right off the bat, doubling on the third hand of heads-up play after four-bet shoving the and getting called by Lech's . A board of later, Le was back in business.
On the 101st hand of the final table, Le bet-called for stacks with on a board of . Lech held but could not hit one of his many outs on the river.
“What happened for me today is what's good about this game. Anybody can beat anybody. Anybody can have a chance, just like me.”
Riess the Beast? Former Main Event Champ Bags Turbo
In 2013, as chants of “Riess the Beast” echoed throughout the room each time he won a pot, Ryan Riess took down the WSOP Main Event for over $8 million.
The score of a lifetime etched him in history, but he has found the going tough at the WSOP ever since, failing to advance to even one final table.
The return of the chant could be nigh, as Riess is one of just 28 players left in Event #58: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo. Riess advanced to Day 2 with a count of 163,000, putting him in 14th place.
The leader of the bunch is Germany's Enrico Rudelitz, who bagged 904,000, good for a wide lead over Russia's Mikhail Petrov (604,000). Fatima Moreira de Melo (270,000) and 2016 bracelet winner Martin Kozlov (85,000) also advanced.
The tournament drew 1,397 and the fast structure meant the money was reached pretty early on Day 1 with a number of notables making the money, including Kevin Eyster, Jonathan Little, Pierre Neuville, Matt Stout, Javier Zarco, and Juha Helppi.
The player return Tuesday at noon, with the plan to reach a winner who will claim $221,163 and a bracelet.
Affleck Leading With 28 Left in Event #56
Day 2 of Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em played down to 28 runners, and Matt Affleck is the man atop the chip counts with 1,420,000. The successful pro has tallied more than $1.9 million in cashes live but is best-known for a heartbreaking 15th-place finish in the WSOP Main Event in 2010.
The small field has plenty of big names still fighting for the $412,557 first-place prize. David Peters, Ben Zamani, Faraz Jaka, and Ivan Luca all still remain. Peters and Jaka, despite millions in live cashes, are each seeking their first bracelets.
Also still alive but short with 274,000 is DFS pro Assani Fisher, who wasfeatured here on PokerNews on Day 1 of this event.
A majority of the 300 players who made Day 2 did cash as 279 spots were paid. Nam Le, Joe Cada, Jared Jaffee, Aaron Mermelstein, Cord Garcia, Ari Engel, Sam Greenwood, and Mohsin Charania were some of the players who busted in the money.
The tournament resumes at noon Tuesday with blinds of 6,000/12,000/2,000 and is scheduled to see a winner.
Marco Johnson Nearing Third Bracelet
Event #57: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low was cut down to 16 runners on Day 2, and the headliner among them is Marco Johnson, who is looking for bracelet No. 3. It would be his second piece of WSOP gold this year as he has already shipped Event $18: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. for $259,730.
Though Johnson sits in fourth with 447,000, he and all the other players are looking way up at David Nowakowski, who has 1,203,000, nearly double second-place Timothy Vukson's 721,000.
Another notable to reach Day 3 is former WSOP Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko, who is in 11th with 232,000.
Allan Le was the chip leader coming in, a remarkable feat considering he reached that level on the same day he shipped a bracelet, but he went bust in 58th for $3,059. Other players joining Le in the line for payouts included Rainer Kempe, Phil Laak, Cliff Josephy, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, and David “ODB” Baker.
The tournament resumes at 2 p.m. Tuesday and is scheduled to see a winner crowned.
What's On Tap
A day after just one event started up, the WSOP is back to the norm of two. At 11 a.m., a four-day event kicks off, Event #59: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em. That one will surely include plenty of stars of the game. The 3 p.m. event will be Event #60: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low.
As the 2016 WSOP rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.