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Every summer the poker fanatics from across the globe pack their bags for Las Vegas, the ‘Mecca’ of poker, for realizing their dreams built over an entire year of planning. And now, as the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is almost halfway through its run, Team India looks as hungry as ever to bring home the gold bracelet. The top ranking, seasoned, young, brazenly confident and the focused top cream from the Indian poker circuit is now in Vegas and breezing through the rungs of the vast player fields in different tournaments!
Three Indian challengers, Paawan Bansal, Nipun Java and Aditya Agarwal have renewed Indian poker fans’ hopes of bringing the country its third bracelet.
Java (498,000) and Bansal (269,000) have marched onto Day 3 in Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold ‘em, an extremely difficult and competitive tournament saturated with poker heavyweights!
For Bansal, it has been quite an eventful summer, and it’s remarkable how he has managed to top difficult and challenging fields to carve a niche for himself. Bansal has now made his second Day 3 at WSOP events this year and after his deep run in the Event #7: The Colossus where he weathered it through the maze of 13,070 participants to finish 13th, his current run in the ongoing $1,000 Double Stack NLHE just goes on to prove how he is fast coming up as one of the most promising players from the Indian terrain.
As for Java who is on the hunt for his third bracelet win, the next two days are crucial. Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack NLHE that began with a huge field of 5,700 entries progressed to Day 3, with 162 players remaining. Three other Indian players, Nishant Sharma (365th for $2,508), Nikita Luther (525th for $2,038), and Akash Malik (664th for $1,717) also made their first scores this series.
Riding along the waves is Team India’s most experienced WSOP combatant, Agarwalwho has progressed to Day 2 in Event #37: $1,500 NLHE! Agarwal who has been the longest-standing icons in the Indian poker industry and a regular at the WSOP for the past 13 years, there is little doubt that he will be coming out with everything to win his first bracelet. Fellow PokerStars Team Pro Muskan Sethi had entered the event as well and busted in 261st place while Agarwal will resume action on Day 2 with 71,800 in chips.
The event saw 236 of the initial 1,330 players moving ahead to Day 2. The money bubble is approaching fast and only 200 places will be paid with a minimum assured $2,249.
In the meantime as Day 5 of Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship quickly approaches, a winner from the remaining six participants will be announced. Michael Mizrachi has maintained an iron hold on the chip lead and may well be on his way to a fourth WSOP bracelet win.
Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha is inching close to picking its winner. Only three players survived Day 3 and China`s Yueqi Zhu is leading in the way with 4,515,000 in chips.
In Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors NLHE, 43 players now remain in competition after its second consecutive day concluded, with the payouts announced and 329 players are now assured to min-cash for $1,500.
With the fourth week of WSOP rolling in, Event #38: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship was started with 76 entrants. Ben Yu topped the survivors at the end of Day 1.
Ploughing on from Day 3, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi managed to maintain his chip lead till the end of the Day 4 and built up a massive stack of 8,865,000. Dan Smith (4,485,000) and Aaron Katz (2,600,000) join him in the top three.
With only six players remaining from the initial round up of 87, it won’t be long now before winner is declared who will take home the WSOP bracelet and the top prize of $1,239,126.
The day began with 12 players and went on to oversee six eliminations which included Greg Mueller (7th for $144,049), Brian Rast (8th for $144,049), Phil Ivey (9th for $111,447), Shaun Deeb (10th for $111,447), Chris Vitch (11th for $88,627) and Jean-Robert Bellande (12th for $88,627).
Bellande was the first elimination for the day, while Mueller was the first to be eliminated from the seven-player final table.
On the final hand of the day, Mueller opened from under-the-gun for 125,000 and was met by a call from Mizrachi. On the flop , both checked and on the turn , Mizrachi check-called 155,000. The river saw Mizrachi betting 600,000 prompting a call from Mueller who knew he was defeated as Mizrachi’s brought him a backdoor straight and resulted in Mueller mucking his pocket jacks face up.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Michael Mizrachi – 8,865,000
2. Dan Smith – 4,485,000
3. Aaron Katz – 2,600,000
4. John Hennigan – 2,400,000
5. Benny Glaser – 2,210,000
6. Mike Leah – 1,220,000
Even as 162 players now remain in $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold ‘em, that kicked off on June 16 with a gigantic 5,700 player field built over two starting flights, Indian players are making their presence felt. Two of the five Indian players who climbed up the field to return to the Day 2 have now progressed to Day 3!
Nipun Java has bagged and tagged his stack of 498,000 and is holding the 30th place in chip counts while Paawan Bansal will enter Day 3 with 269,000 chips that places him at 82nd place on the chip counts!
Meanwhile, after a good show in the stiffly competitive tournament, three Indian pros, Nikita Luther, Akash Malik and Nishant Sharma exited the play on Day 2, though they managed to cash the event. Sharma got eliminated in the 365th place for $2,508 (~₹1.70 Lakhs), Luther in 525th place for $2,038 (~₹1.38 Lakhs) and Malik was busted out in the 664th place for $1,717 (~₹1.17 Lakhs).
It wasn’t an easy journey for the Indian challengers to reach this stage. Though the player field moved from the two starting flights to 1,285 runners returning to compete on Day 2, there were some really big names in the battle.
Java, who created waves in the 2017 WSOP when he took down two bracelet events, tweeted about his progress to Day 3 in the $1,000 Double Stack NLHE.
Onto Day 3. Bagged 498k. 162 rem. 10kbb. Avg 352k.
— Nipun Java (@nipunjava) June 19, 2018
Java was quite active in the field, and kept his Twitter fans updated on his progress. Earlier, when there were 243 players in the fray, Java tweeted about his status.
314k last break of night. Going to 6kbb. 243 left. Avg 235k
— Nipun Java (@nipunjava) June 19, 2018
222k dinner break, coming back to 4kbb 396 rem
— Nipun Java (@nipunjava) June 19, 2018
128k ITM at break. Coming back to 2400bb. 621 rem. Avg 92k
— Nipun Java (@nipunjava) June 18, 2018
For Luther who has turned up to compete in the WSOP felts for the second consecutive year, this is her fourth WSOP cash, and has taken her WSOP earnings to $14,070. In her tweets, Luther talked about the hand when her pocket kings lost to the ace-king of the opponent and she busted out from the tournament, mentioning also that she intended to participate in Event #39: $1,500 NLHE Shootout.
Lost KK<AK in the 1k WSOP. Brutal. We cashed though. Bit more than min cash. Jumped straight into the 1500 and lost AK<AJ on AJ3 where chips went in on the flop. We’ll come back strong for the shootout tomorrow ðŸ’ª
— Nikita Luther (@nikitaluther) June 19, 2018
Earlier, Luther announced her arrival to Vegas and her participation in the event.
— Nikita Luther (@nikitaluther) June 18, 2018
As play continued on Day 2, Brian Yoon (640th for $1,717) who had entered the day as chip leader fell along the way. Daniel Colpoys (1,405,000) has come out at the top of the leaderboard of the remaining 162 players who will now take on the competition back on the felt. Other big stack holders include David Kaiura (1,237,000), Yosuke Sekiya (1,208,000) and Steven Tymms (1,062,000).
The bubble burst early on, when the play reached Level 13, and following this were former WSOP champions Chris Moorman (638th for $1,717),Greg Raymer (731st for $1,598), Steve Sung (406th for $2,508), Jeff Madsen (399th for $2,508), Gaurav Raina (397th for $2,508), David Bach (415th for $2,251) and Andre Akkari (425th for $2,251)who all hit the rails.
Among the notables who bagged for Day 3 are Isaac Baron (942,000), Mike Del Vecchio (888,000), Andrey Zaichenko (819,000), Tony Dunst (571,000), Maria Lampropulos (262,000), Richard Dubini (125,000) and Alex Rocha (87,000).
1. Daniel Colpoys – 1,405,000
2. David Kaiura – 1,237,000
3. Yosuke Sekiya – 1,208,000
4. Osman Ihlamur – 1,067,000
5. Steven Tymms – 1,062,000
6. Tomas Teran Paredes -1,009,000
7. Stevan Chew -998,000
8. Mike Takayama – 963,000
9. DID NOT REPORT 1- 942,000
10. Emerick Wiatrek – 928,000
Attracting participation of 773 entries, Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha has narrowed down to the final three players who will now resume the battle to stake a claim for the title and the priced gold bracelet. It is Yueqi Zhu from China who is leading the top three, with 4,515,000 in chips and is the hot favorite to win the event since he commands 78% of the total chips in play!
On Day 3, Zhu strode towards the top of the leaderboard after winning a good few sizable pots that swung the play decidedly in his direction. Gabriel Ramos (970,000) and Carol Fuchs (310,000) are the other two players who will battle it out on the finale. It is going to be an interesting run, for Zhu who has been consistently playing in WSOP tournaments and making a bid to win his first bracelet for two decades. This is the seventh time he has made it to the final table of a WSOP event, his best cash being in the 2006 WSOP $3,000 Limit Hold ‘em where he finished runner-up for $184,409.
Ramos is bringing his vast experience in the WSOP Circuit tourneys to the felt and Fuchs is a one-time WSOP champ, having won her first bracelet in 2015 WSOP $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event.
On Day 3, Matthew Gregoire (4th for $227,111), Jon Turner (5th for $170,973), Peter Neff (6th for $31,662), Ryan Hughes (7th for $23,182), Nathan Gamble (8th for $17,279) and Chip Jett (9th for $13,114) were amid the last eliminations that came through toward the conclusion of the day’s play.
1. Yueqi Zhu – 4,515,000
2. Gabriel Ramos – 970,000
3. Carol Fuchs -310,000
Another popular 2018 WSOP event for seniors, Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold ‘em that had its inaugural run with 347 players coming onto the field has now moved to Day 3 of play, with Jerry Weber on the top of the leaderboard amid 43 survivors.
Weber’s bag has 884,000 chips, and the other big stacks moving further into the event include Paul W Lee (573,000), John Borzio (523,000), Linda Iwaniak (521,000), James Brown (513,000) and John Erickson (502,000).
The money was reached toward the end of Level 11 on Day 2 and Edward Brodsky ended up as the bubble boy after he was eliminated in a hand against David Blickenstaff. The remaining 329 players were guaranteed minimum cash of $1,500 and the payouts were also announced. Each final table player will take home a minimum $25,633 while the winner is set to take home $311,451 out of the $1,971,900 prize pool.
Many of the former bracelet winners who had entered the event have been eliminated, including Michael Moore (125th for $2,209), Konstantin Puchkov (180th for $1,972), Gary Benson (230th for $1,780), and Swedish poker pro Chris Bjorin (263rd for $1,625).
Day 3 will now have the players return to the felt in Level 21 with blinds at 5,000/10,000 and a running ante of 1,000.
1. Jerry Weber – 884,000
2. Paul W Lee – 573,000
3. John Borzio – 523,000
4. Linda Iwaniak – 521,000
5. James Brown – 513,000
6. John Erickson – 502,000
7. Charles Thompson -485,000
8. Larry Ross – 436,000
9. Bruce Hugon – 401,000
10. William Fogel – 383,000
Event #37: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em brought in 1,330 players on Day 1 but only 236 were able to make it to Day 2. With only 200 paid places and a min-cash of $2,249, the money bubble is fast approaching. Leading the survivors of Day 1 into Day 2 will be Kirk Banks with 179,100. Accompanying him in the top five chip counts are Michael Rocco (160,000), Duy Ho (158,500), Joe Couden (155,900), Anatoly Filatov (129,000) and Stephen Song (124,600).
Representing Team India were PokerStars Pros Aditya Agarwal and Muskan Sethi. Making her third WSOP appearance, Sethi was going strong but busted before reaching Day 2. She had previously appeared in Event #55: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em in 2014 where she placed 55th for $7,827 and Event #58: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em in 2017 where she finished 39th for $8,286.
Agarwal announced his participation in the event via Twitter.
Event 37, 1500 Nlh, currently with ss 7500 going to level 2, 50-100 #WSOP2018
— Aditya Agarwal (@AdiAgarwal_int) June 18, 2018
His consistent performance in the WSOP continued as he made it to the second day with a stack of 71,800 and is currently placed 35th in the chip counts.
Having participated in six WSOP events this year, Agarwal has already cashed in two events including Event #13: Big Blind Antes $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $3,517 (77th) and Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for $2,615 (133rd).
There were several notables who did not survive the day including Greg Merson, Michael Gathy, Chris Moorman, Jessica Dawley, Ankush Mandavia, and Dutch Boyd.
1. Kirk Banks – 179,100
2. Michael Rocco – 160,000
3. Duy Ho – 158,500
4. Joseph Couden – 155,900
5. Anatoly Filtatov – 129,000
6. Baitai Li – 125,800
7. Stephen Song – 124,600
8. Ken Norton – 113,400
9. Gene Harrill – 113,300
10. DID NOT REPORT 1 – 111,000
Day 1 of Event #38: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship came to an end with Ben Yu claiming the overall lead with 280,000 in chips. Following him are Daniel Negreanu (212,000), Al Barbieri (208,000), Scott Seiver (202,500) and Jordan Siegel (174,500) to make up the top five. Culminating into a prize pool of $714,400, 76 entrants begun the day with hopes of winning a gold bracelet and a still undeclared top prize.
Noteworthy exclusions for the day included Anthony Zinno, Jason Mercier, Nick Schulman, David Benyamine, Andre Akkari, Shaun Deeb, Ray Dehkharghani, Jeff Lisandro, Eli Elezra and Adam Friedman.
With the blind 3000/6000 and ante 1000 remaining the same, play will resume on Day 2 with the 27 survivors of today.
1. Ben Yu – 280,000
2. Daniel Negreanu – 212,000
3. Al Barbieri – 208,000
4. Scott Seiver – 202,500
5. Jordan Siegel – 174,500
6. Eric Kurtzman – 173,500
7. Yaniv Birman – 169,500
8. Michael Mckenna – 168,000
9. Michael Sigel – 166,500
10. Paul Mangine – 162,000
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com.
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