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And it has begun! 49th World Series of Poker (WSOP) finally got underway at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on May 29 and has already crowned its first two WSOP bracelet winners.
The first ever $10,000 NLHE Super Turbo Bounty concluded first, with Elio Fox emerging as the winner and collected $393,693, while the $565 Casino Employees event culminated on June 1 with the bracelet going to Jordon Hufty who banked $61,909 for his finish.
Meanwhile, the $3,000 NLHE Shoot Out event began with a 363-player field and has entered Day 2 of play with 50 players and poker brat Phil Hellmuth is currently the clear chip leader. The $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better also kicked off yesterday and witnessed participation from 911 players that created a $1,229,850 prize pool. Day 1 of the event has got over.
The opening event at WSOP 2018, the $565 Casino Employees Event that began on May 30 witnessed a massive turnout of 566 entries. After a battle that ensued for two days, Jordon Hufty shipped the event and his career’s very first WSOP bracelet along with $61,909 in prize money.
With the win, Hufty who is currently employed as a poker dealer in ARIA, Las Vegas and has mostly been active in online poker just brought an exponential jump to his career’s live tournament earnings that earlier stood at a modest $1,900.
While Hufty dominated the felts right from the start, he had to sweat it out over four long hours in the heads-up with Jodie Sanders to bag the event title. Sanders was always in threatening range of Hufty through different moments on Day 2 but eventually had to settle for a runners-up finish for $38,246.
A teary-eyed Hufty said, “I’ve thought about this every day for the last 15 years and for it to actually happen is just unbelievable. I have a passion for poker, it’s just something you can’t explain. It’s nice that this happened so early in the series so I will probably fire a few more events here and there.”
The event saw participation from familiar names including former gold bracelet winner, Mike Majerus, Jon Friedberg and Chad Holloway, Simkha Blank, Kevin Mathers and Bryan Hollis.
Action on the Day 1 started gathering pace with Jason Bardol and Ryan Side exiting out in the same hand as the money bubble burst. They split the min-cash of $837 leaving 84 players in the money. Soon, the game moved to a furious round of rapid eliminations. Some of the notables who made the money include Dieter Dechant (17th for $2,018), Johnny Gagelonia (33rd for $1,418), Isaac Hanson (38th place for $1,227), and Ty Stewart (52nd for $1,085).
Thirteen players survived for the final day and Hufty maintained a strong chip lead following several noteworthy hands.
“I felt confident and I knew I just needed to avoid making mistakes and capitalize on my opponent’s mistakes. When you are 70 big blinds deep heads-up, it can be a grind, but I never lost focus.”
Within half-an-hour the field shrunk to ten players, the play moved to the unofficial final table with Sanders in the chip lead and Hufty at his tailcoats.
Final Table Recap
On the nine-handed final table, Hufty took a massive chip lead, crossing the million-chip mark within the first few hands. Jason Pepper busted first in ninth place and then rapid eliminations followed with Skyler Yeaton in eighth place, Thomas Yenowine in seventh place, Thomas Booker in sixth place, Won Kim at fifth place and Zachary Seymour in fourth place.
The three-handed play lasted for more than 90 minutes until Katie Kopp who was short stacked moved all-in from the button with on which Hufty immediately called tabling . The flop brought Kopp two pairs but Hufty was still ahead with better two pairs. The turn and the river didn’t help Kopp and he bounced off in third place to set up the long and grueling heads-up match between Hufty and Sanders.
Hufty starting in lead with near 2-million chips and in the final hand of the event, he opened for 80,000 and Sanders moved all in and Hufty called. Hufty held and Sanders tabled . The board ran and with that, Hufty got his hands on the shining WSOP bracelet.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Jordon Hufty – $61,909
2. Jodie Sanders – $38,246
3. Kate Kopp – $26,250
4. Zachary Seymour – $18,332
5. Won Kim – $13,031
6. Thomas Booker – $9,432
7. Thomas Yenowine – $9,432
8. Skyler Yeaton – $5,222
9. Jason Pepper – $3,998
Before Event 1 concluded, the first bracelet of of the series was awarded to American pro Elio Fox who outlasted a 243-strong player field to pocket $393,693.
The $10,000 NLHE Super Turbo bounty tournament is a brand new tournament introduced in WSOP for the first time this year. It featured 20-minute levels with bounties valued at $3,000 each and a one-day event structure.
The entry field grew beyond expectations with a mix of pros and recreational players and nine players reached the final table.
Fox, who is the 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event title holder, had to pit his poker skills against heavyweights like former Main Event winner Joe Cada and two-time bracelet winner Paul Volpe. “Bounty turbo formats appear a lot online, so I’ve definitely played it a lot, but I think it’s a great addition to the WSOP schedule”, said Fox, after his win.
Before the first level ended, poker superstar Phil Hellmuth joined the field and soon, the WSOP 2017 Player of the Year, Chris Ferguson, former Main Event winners, Ryan Reiss, Joe McKeehen and Jonathan Duhamel also jumped in. Other big names in action were Adrian Mateos, Brian Yoon, Dominik Nitsche and Kristen Bicknell.
From India, PokerStars India pro and seasoned WSOP player Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal was seen in thick of action at the tournament but the soft-spoken Kolkata pro couldn’t reach the money line. Agarwal was eliminated when Cate Hall shoved from the button with a stack of 45,000, he shoved from small blind with king-ten and a player from the big blind went all in with 78,000 with ace- seven.
Thirty-seven players cashed the event with the min-cash at $10,192 and notables who managed to make it in the money included John Racener (16th for $14,300), Kenny Hallaert (19th for $11,950), Daniel Strelitz (20th for $11,950), Marc Macdonnell (22nd for $11,950), Antoine Saout (23rd for $11,950), Albert Daher (29th for $10,192), Ben Heath (33rd for $10,192).
Final Table Recap
There were a few quick eliminations on the final table starting with Joe Cada, who exited in ninth place followed by Taylor Black in eighth place. Soon after, David Eldridge also hit the rail in seventh place.
Next up, Alex Foxen was eliminated in sixth position and by this point Fox’s stack had grown, and his winning streak took off, when with , he opened to 320,000 from the cut-off and Danny Wong with 3-bet jammed from small blind. Charles Johanin moved all-in too from the big blind with . Fox called and won on the board eliminating Johanin in fifth position and Wong in fourth place.
With six players gone, the three handed play saw Paul Volpe shoving from the button with and Fox calling in the small blind with . The board ran out bringing two-pairs for Volpe but Fox rivered the full house and sent Volpe packing in third position.
The heads-up between Adam Adler and Fox saw the latter with a huge chip advantage but the former managed to bridge the gap when he raised to 600,000, and Fox defended. On the flop, both Adler with and Fox with checked. On the turn, Fox bet and Adler called. The river opened and Fox shoved all in, on which Adler snap-called for 2,090,000, getting a double-up.
Within minutes, however, Fox regained his chip lead and in the very next hand, sealed the title for himself. In the final hand, Adler raised to 600,000 on the button with and directly called off Fox’s three-bet shove holding . The board fanned out crowning Fox the champion!
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Elio Fox – $393,693
2. Adam Adler – $253,343
3. Paul Volpe – $169, 195
4. Danny Wong – $119,659
5. Charles Johanin – $86,096
6. Alex Foxen – $63,042
7. David Eldridge – $46,993
8. Taylor Black – $35,671
9. Joe Cada – $27,582
The third event of WSOP, $3,000 No Limit Hold ‘em (NLHE) SHOOTOUT began on May 31 has now moved to its Day 2 of play with Phil Hellmuth chasing his 15th bracelet. 363 players entered the tournament with 50 players advancing to Day 2.
Hellmuth who has an impressive WSOP earning record with 131 cashes earning him $14,046,072 in WSOP events survived a tough table draw on Day 1 but sailed into Day 2 after busting out Tony Dunst and Brandon Cantu.
Players who have reached Day 2 include Joe McKeehen, Chris Moorman, Adam Owen, Alexander Lynskey and Jan-Eric Schwippert.
Some of the notables who busted out on Day 1 are Upeshka De Silva, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Niall Farrell, Maurice Hawkins, Shaun Deeb, Danny Wong, Rainer Kempe and Kristen Bicknell.
All players reaching the Day 2 will cash a minimum $6,302 with the eventual champion to walk away with $226,218.
The fourth event at the ongoing WSOP and the first non-Hold’em event i.e. $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better kicked off on May 31. 911 players registered in the event, creating a $1,229,850 prize pool. 137 players will cash for a minimum $2,252. The bracelet winner will bank $239,771.
A total of 10 levels were played on Day 1 and players began with a starting stack of 7,500 chips.
Notables who survived through to reach level 10 included Frank Kassela, Layne Flack, Mike Leah, Matt Vengrin, Matt Glantz and Mikhail Semin.
Keep following the latest updates from WSOP 2018 right here on PokerGuru!
Content and image courtesy: WSOP.com.