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The non-stop excitement has seen 34 days of WSOP whirl by, as if in minutes. Out of its 68-bracelet events portfolio, 56 are now over with winners, new and old. Events 57 to 58 are underway as we speak and 10 more Events remain before its curtains down at poker world’s most magnificent show.
In the frenetic run towards the much-awaited Main Event on July 5, our Indian Challengers are busy in several WSOP and side events, making the most of their Vegas sojourn.
After a great 9th place finish for $39,508 in Event 47 – $2,500 No Limit Hold’em, Raghav Bansal is now again pushing hard for another chance at the gold in Event 57 – $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em. He has made Day 2 with 73,200 chips. Joining him are Amit Ajwani (66,600), Rajesh Goyal (55,000) and Sharathchand Gunupati (16,800).
Other Indians to play Event 57 today were Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal, Adda52 Team Spades pro Kunal Patni & Amit Jain, and Jasven Saigal but they all busted.
Aditya Agarwal and Apoorva Goel also played Event 55 – $1,500 Draftkings 50/50 No-Limit Hold’em with Apoorva cashing $1,000 at 411th place.
The event has Indian origin player Mukul Pahuja second in chip counts with 637,000 chips currently.
In the side events, the Rio Daily DeepStacks were a great favorite and a number of our player participated, with Rajesh Goyal and Kunal Patni making cashes at these.
Apoorva Goel, Aditya Sushant, Raghav Bansal and Amit Jain played the Phamous Goliath Main Event at Planet Hollywood.
After the great suspense, the two top pros who were yet to make an appearance at the series, Phil Ivey and Dan Colman entered like the Prima Donnas they are, in Event 58 – $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP. This is the 2nd edition of this event, with the first being in 2013. At that time,Tony Greg had won it for $4,830,619 beating 166 players.
This WSOP has also seen a greater women participation and for the first time, two events, back to back have been won by ladies and both, self admittedly part-time players. Hollywood writer Carol Fuchs won Event 52 – $1,500 Dealers Choice and 66-year old Jacquelyn Scott took the title in Event 53- $10,000/$1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship.
Today we bring you updates from Events 47 to 56. Again, surprising champions emerge to prove that all a winner needs is an opportunity and presence of mind. Thus, we have pros, such as Kevin MacPhee, who like Byron Kaverman bagged his first bracelet. And then, there are several unexpected victors, like a 52-year old business owner Young Ji and more.
Get all the exciting details below for each event…
Matt O’Donnell Overcomes 5-Hour Heads Up Battle Including Taunting Rail to Win Event 47
27-year old Matt O’Donnell outlasted the 1,244-player field and collected his first bracelet and the winning prize of $551,941 in Event 47. The event saw 144 players cashing from the $2,830,100 prize pool.
O’Donnell fought a 5-hour war with Day 3 chip lead Timur Margolin, relegating him to 2nd place.
“Hopefully, this is the first of many gold bracelets. Winning the gold bracelet is exciting. But, the money is sweet too,” stated the winner after the event.
O’Donnell wore a shirt given by his friend, considering it to be “lucky” and vowed never to wash it again and said that he would wear it for all important tournaments hence.
On the final hand of the tournament, Margolin raised to 600,000 and O’Donnell went all in. Margolin immediately called.
The flop was giving O’Donnell the lead with a queen pair. The turn brought a completing the hand and the tournament for O’Donnell. The river was a meaningless and O’Donnell was the champion. Margolin was relegated to a runner up finish, collecting $341,338.
Raghav Bansal had an impressive run in the event, but ultimately exited at 9th place, collecting $39,508 for his finish.
Event 49 – $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Alaska Winters Help Young Ji Win First Bracelet in Event 49
881 players had lined up for Event 49, creating a prize pool of $1,100,250. After three days of battle, South Korea native, Young Ji claimed his first bracelet and $231,102 in prize money.
The 52-year old winner beat several notables to collect his first WSOP gold and exclaimed after the win, “(There are) no words. I’m really happy, too excited. The way the game was going, I had some faith, I was going to win. I had a really good positive feeling that it was coming my way once we got down to heads up.”
Now a business owner in Alaska, the winner began playing poker 30 years ago and believes that the long winters of his adopted state gave him the opportunity to improve his game.
Ji beat Mark Dube in a thrilling finale, where Dube retired at 2nd place with $142,449.
Event 50 – $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
Ben Yu Denies Jesse Martin 2nd Gold & Takes Down Event 50
Ben Yu first played at the WSOP eight years ago at the age of 21. This season, he finally got what he was coming for – his first gold bracelet in Event 51 for $291,546, after beating 117 entries that had formed a prize pool of $1,099,800.
The Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate overcame a chip deficit at a final three-handed table that sported two WSOP winners, Justin Bonomo and Jesse Martin, beating the latter in a heads up play to take the title.
“It’s really big to win this for me,” Yu stated after the tournament. “The most important thing to me since I was 16 was to come here and win a WSOP event. Back in 2003 and 2004, like so many people I saw (Chris) Moneymaker and decided to get into the game. That’s when I started dreaming about playing and winning an event at the WSOP.”
Yu took home $291,456 for his first bracelet win, while Martin was denied his second bracelet and took home $180,114 from his runner up finish.
Event 51 – $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed
Justin Liberto Will Celebrate Win in Event 51 With Wedding on July 25
Justin Liberto was the winner of Event 51, a feat he achieved by overcoming a massive chip disadvantage in heads up play and outlasting a field of 1,043 players.
The 26-year old Liberto claimed his first bracelet and the top prize of $640,711 from a prize pool of $2,847,390. Two years ago, the player made a deep run at the series, with a 4th place finish in the Millionaire Maker event collecting a huge payout of $400,000.
He also has two WSOP Circuit gold rings and a series of other impressive scores. Liberto will have a double celebration, when he gets married on July 25 later the coming month.
At the time of heads up play, Liberto had 5,925,000 against Dublin’s Seamus Coleman’s 9,730,000.
In the final hand, Liberto moved all in and Seamus Cahill called all in.
The board came to give Liberto a pair of queens. Cahill was runner-up and took home $395,986.
Nipun Java had made Day 2, but busted before the money. Aditya Agarwal was eliminated earlier.
Event 52 – $1,500 Dealers Choice
Hollywood Writer Scripts Carol Fuchs Scripts Win in Event 52
Successful Hollywood screen writer and producer, Carol Fuchs was the winner in Event 52, bagging her first WSOP bracelet and $127,735 for her win.
Fuchs outlasted 357 entries that created a prize pool of $481,950.
In the finale she beat Ilya Krupin, who was runner up for $78,933.
Admitting her non-pro status, Fuchs said, “It’s encouraging when someone like me who is an amateur and a woman, and – let’s just say someone ‘older than 30’ – wins something big like this. I respect what the pros do, but for a non-pro to come out here and win, is encouraging for all players and especially for amateurs and women.”
Event 53 – $10,000/$1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship
66-Year old Realtor Jacquelyn Scott Wins First Bracelet in Event 53
Jacquelyn Scott won Event 53, from the 795 entries, which had created a $715,500 prize pool. The 66-year old Florida Real Estate professional is a part-time player and unbelievably, this is her first WSOP attendance.
Of the 81 players who cashed, Scott gets the lion’s share of $153,876. Post the win, she stated, “I’m so thankful to win. Not only was this a great tournament, it was also a great atmosphere. I was so proud to win this.
Heads up play saw Scott begin with a 4 to 1 chip advantage. She used it to beat Hope Williams, who took home $95,039 for a 2nd place finish. Scott tabled , with Williams turning over the .
The board ran out and Scott was the champion.
Event 54 – $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship
Jason Mercier Denied 2nd Bracelet at WSOP 2015 By Winner Alexander Peterson
Danish online poker specialist Alexander Peterson was the champion of Event 54, collecting his first WSOP bracelet after a tough task of overcoming 387 entries and noted pro Jason Mercier in heads up play.
The finale was a thrilling one, where Peterson had a 3 to 1 chip deficit and reversed it all to beat Mercier, denying him his third bracelet.
Peterson has been to WSOP before, but more to have fun in Vegas than seriously play. He declared later, “Coming to Las Vegas was always a break for me, away from playing. This is first event I played here where I really took it seriously and it paid off.”
The 31-year old Peterson collected the lion`s share of $927,655 from the prize pool of $36,37,800 and Mercier pocketed $572,989 for his 2nd place finish.
Event 55 – $1,500 Draftkings 50/50 No-Limit Hold’em
Apoorva Goel Cashes $1,000 in 411th Place, Mukul Pahuja 2nd In Chip Counts for Day 3
While the majority of the Indian contingent was busy at different side events at Planet Hollywood, the Rio Daily DeepStacks and the Venetian tournaments, Aditya Agarwal and Apoorva Goel played Event 55.
Apoorva Goel cashed for $1,000 at 411th place.
1,123 players registered for Event 55, to form a prize pool of $1,516,050. Only the top 562 players will cash and the winner can expect to collect $200,618.
At the end of Day 2, only 28 players remain and Ping Liu leads the field with 894,000 chips. Mukul Pahuja is second in chip counts with 637,000.
Event 56 – $5,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em
First Bracelet for Pro Kevin MacPhee In Event 56
34-year old Kevin MacPhee won his career’s first WSOP bracelet, with the winning purse of $490,800. MacPhee has 26 WSOP cashes and four final table finishes to his credit.
The event saw him overcome 454 players, who had led to a prize pool of $2,133,800.
MacPhee fought at a raucous and noisy final table, with fans and players making a racket.
Undeterred by either the noise or the turbo format of the game, he said later, “I am pretty used to the format. I play a lot of turbos online.” About the racket he stated, “Its all in good fun and it doesn’t rattle me at all. I know everyone is just trying to have a good time.”
In the final hand, Igor Yaroshevskyy opened from the button for 500,000 and MacPhee announced “all-in” from the big blind. Yaroshevskyy rechecked his cards and then called, putting himself at risk with . MacPhee tabled and needed a high card advantage to hold, to take down the title. MacPhee did not get that high card, but the board gave him the pair to win with and he was champion of the event.
Event 57 – $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Raghav Bansal, Amit Ajwani and Rajesh Goyal Make Day 2
The event attracted 2,412 entries and only 278 players remain after the opening day
From Team India, Aditya Agarwal, Amit Ajwani, Kunal Patni, Jasven Saigal, Raghav Bansal, Rajesh Goyal and Amit Jain all played the event
Aditya Agarwal busted with pocket Queens against Ace-King.
Kunal Patni’s nemesis Ace-King continued to haunt him in this event too, and he lost three big pots with the big slick. He busted and hopped on to the $235 tournament at Rio Daily DeepStack where he finished in the money at 89th place for $419.
Raghav Bansal will be leading the Indian charge today with 73,200 chips that places him at 51st place on the chip counts.
Amit Ajwani with 66,600, Rajesh Goyal with 55,000 and Sharathchand Gunupati with 16,800 chips are the other Indian players who will join Raghav for Day 2 action in a few hours.
278 players are left for Day 3 with Richard Bruning in the lead with 191,500 chips.
Event 58 – $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP
Dan Colman Leads Final 46 Towards Finale
Practically the entire lot of poker notables turned up for Event 58. The event will donate 5% of the buy in to the Charity One Drop.
135 players paid up the unique price of $111,111 for the High Roller, leading to a smashing prize pool of $14,249,925.
At the end of Day 1, just 46 remain and leading them is Dan Coleman with 1,955,000 chips.
Phil Ivey came, saw, but did not conquer. He was eliminated on Day 1 by Chris Klodnicki, as were several others.
The survivor line-up includes some of the biggest names in poker, including Phil Hellmuth, Paul Volpe, Jason Somerville, Erik Seidal, Justin Bonomo, Brian Hastings, Sorrel Mizzi and Byron Kaverman.
Rio DeepStack Extravaganza
$235 Friday, June 26
Rajesh Goyal finished 49th in the $235 tournament for $532 on Friday, June 26.
$235 Saturday, June 27th
The $235 event on Saturday was a bad one for all of the Team India players participating.
Muskan Sethi faced a truly a bad beat that cut her tournament life short. She had one of the bigger stacks in the event, but got out when her opponent hit a three-of-a-kind on the river. Muskan was dominating with pocket Queens with her opponent tabling a weak Six-Eight and the chips went in on the flop Three-Seven-King. Muskan was way ahead, but the turn was a Six and so was the river, and she was out of the tournament.
Kunal Patni made a decent start and was up to 17K but lost two pots back to back. First with pocket eights to King-Nine to double up a short stack and then set over set to another short stack, to come down to 8K in chips. Patni eventually busted 30 places away from the money with his Ace-King going down to pocket Queens.
Sahil Agarwal was another who busted before the money bubble.
$185 Saturday, June 27th
Kunal Patni joined the $185 event, after busting the $235 tournament and made a deep run. He eventually finished in 16th place with King-Four going down to Ace-Four and pocketed $445 from the finish.
$235 Sunday June 28
Kunal Patni played the $235 event making an 89th place finish for $419.
WSOP has now moved to a higher gear with the momentum hurtling towards the dramatic finale. Be sure not to miss a single detail, as we bring it all for you the coming days.