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The Indian flag is soaring high at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) on the backs of some extraordinary performances from Paawan Bansal, Nipun Java, Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal, Amit Jain and Aditya Agarwal. With several events yet to come, the daring runs made by these Indian challengers have brought India’s dreams of a WSOP bracelet within reach.
The man of the hour is without a doubt Paawan Bansal. For the third time in this tournament series, Bansal has made it to Day 3 of an event. Having bagged 206,000 in chips, Bansal is placed 30th among 34 survivors in Event #43: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em.He has time and again proved his mettle with spectacular performances in Event #7: COLOSSUS – $565 No-Limit Hold’em (13th for $35,087 – ~₹23.90 Lakhs) and Event #34: $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em (74th for $6,803 – ~₹4.63 Lakhs) and will be looking forward to a long day of play tomorrow.
The two stalwarts of Indian poker Aditya Agarwal and Nipun Java have also been reaping in the scores at the WSOP. Agarwal has been a consistent performer and has cashed in four events this year, while the two-time bracelet winner Java, who is in search of his third win, has picked up three cashes already. Both reached the money in Event #45: Big Blind Antes $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels) but busted on Day 1, Agarwal in 246th place ($1,501 – ~₹1.01 Lakhs) while Java in 150th place ($1,851 – ~₹1.25 Lakhs).
Mumbaikar Amit Jain, who has cashed seven times in the WSOP since 2016, also featured in Event #45. He fought well to reach 117th place and collected $2,019 (~₹1.37 Lakhs) for his efforts. Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal picked up his maiden WSOP score in Event #43 with a 81st place for $5,653 (~₹3.83 Lakhs).
Only six players remain in Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller and the battleground features some big names like Scotty Nguyen who is the overnight chip leader, followed closely by James Calderaro (6,445,000) and Shaun Deeb (6,305,000).
In Event #43 – $2,500 NLHE, Seth Davis (1,305,000) is leading the way for 34 players who remain in the field after conclusion of Day 2.
Meanwhile, Day 2 of Event #44 – $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship got over, and 13 fielders will return to the play with Michael Noori (870,000) starting out in pole position. Steven Wolansky (620,000) topped the stacks at end of Day 1 in Event #45: Big Blind Antes $1,000 NLHE (30 minute levels).
Event #46: $2,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better/ Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 Or Better began with 402 competitors entering the fray and as the inaugural run concluded, only 152 remain with Sergio Ramirez (139,700) on top of the leaderboard.
A plethora of events are still left to unfold, the first of them, Event #48A: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack where many Indian players are going to be seen in action. The felts are all set for the challenging play and Team India is raging to deliver many more power-packed performances!
With a participation field of 230 entries that has surpassed all its previous records, the ongoing Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller has now geared up to its finale, with only six players left in the field towards the conclusion of its third consecutive day of play.
1998 WSOP Main Event champion, Scotty Nguyen is holding the reins in chips among the final six players with a stack of 7,010,000. On Day 3, Nguyen gave stiff competition to many poker biggies and managed to shoot past defending champion, James Calderaro who holds a stack of 6,445,000. Shaun Deeb trails close behind with 6,305,000 and Ben Yu who had entered the day’s play as chip leader is fourth in stacks. With Jason Koon (2905,000) and Ryan Tosoc (1,300,000) the other remaining players, the battle for the gold bracelet and first place finish payday of $1,402,683 out of the huge prize pool of $5,462,500 is going to be one of high-octane action.
The event also saw participation from two Indian challengers. While High-stakes pro Naman Madan finished his run on Day 2 in 118th place and two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java busted out on Day 1.
The action halted on Day 3 after David Benyamine was eliminated in the seventh place for $161,020. Prior to him, Bogdan Capitan (8th for $123,004), Jonathan Depa (9th for $96,214), George Wolff (10th for $96,214), Veselin Karakitukov (11th for $77,107) and Jason Mercier (12th for $77,107) busted out.
Other notables to exit the event include Robert Mizrachi (15th for $53,391), Mike Leah (25th for $41,049), Erik Seidel (26th for $41,049) and Paul Volpe (32nd for $41,049).
1. Scotty Nguyen – 7,010,000
2. James Calderaro – 6,445,000
3. Shaun Deeb – 6,305,000
4. Ben Yu – 4,775,000
5. Jason Koon – 2,905,000
6. Ryan Tosoc – 1,300,000
With a WSOP bracelet and top prize worth $507,274 up for grabs, Event #43: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em witnessed 297 players return for Day 2 led by Ashwin Sarin (166,200). But 263 hopefuls had to give up on their WSOP dreams as only 34 survived till the end of the day.
Among those who made it to Day 3 was India’s very own Paawan Bansal. This is Bansal’s second Day 3 survival after his 13th place finish in Event #7: COLOSSUS – $565 No-Limit Hold’em banking $35,087 (~₹23.90 Lakhs). He followed that up with a 74th place finish in Event #34: $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em collecting $6,803 (~₹4.63 Lakhs). He is currently in 30th place with a stack of 206,000.
In one of his earlier hands in the day, Bansal eliminated former bracelet winner John Racener with pocket sixes against Racener’s pocket tens. With the board running , Bansal clipped a set on the flop to bust Racener.
He also went up against Michael Marder with the main pot already containing 200,000. The tabled community cards were . After Marder checked, Bansal moved all-in covering Marder’s 136,000. Marder asked Bansal, “Will you show me this time if I fold?” But Bansal did not break his poker face to which Marder stated, “I wasn’t planning on folding”. Yet after tanking for 30 seconds, Marder mucked his cards as Bansal raked in the pot and passed on his cards to the dealer face down.
Another Indian pro who was seen in action was Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal. Agarwal who is a wll-known poker player back home was making his first WSOP appearance and had a phenomenal run which ended in 81st place for $5,653 (~₹3.83 Lakhs). Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal had also started the event well but busted before reaching the money bubble on Day 1.
Several notables were eliminated throughout the day including Alex Bilokur (186th for $3,743), David “Bakes” Baker (154th for $3,743), Ajay Chabra (95th for $4,579), Ashwin Sarin (42nd for $10,266), Yuri Dzivielevski (37th for $10,266), with Anatoly Filatov (35th for $12,345) becoming the last elimination for the day.
With poker masterminds like Jeff Hakim (1,164,000), Javier Fernandez (1,093,000), David Peters (480,000),Chris Ferguson (402,000), Ryan Laplante (292,000) and Andreas Klatt (230,000), still in the hunt, Day 3 is going to be a tough battle of minds.
1. Seth Davies – 1,305,000
2. Jeff Hakim – 1,164,000
3. Javier Fernandez – 1,093,000
4. Chris Edwards – 720,000
5. Edan Sucov – 682,000
6. Jonathan Cohen – 677,000
7. Andrew Brokos – 625,000
8. Daniel Buzgon – 570,000
9. Andre Haneberg – 551,000
10. Samuel Gagnon – 524,000
Beginning with 109 players that came in to register, Event #44: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship has now progressed to its third consecutive day with 13 combatants remaining in the battleground for the coveted gold bracelet.
Overall a prize pool of $1,024,600 has been created in the event and Michael Noori has emerged as the chip lead at end of Day 2, with 870,000. Noori won several key pots after the play narrowed down to the final three tables. Behind him is Canadian pro Christopher Kruk (658,000), Randy Ohel (602,000) and Jason Gray (423,000). Notables like Farzad Bonyadi (392,000) and Calvin Anderson (168,000) are still in the hunt.
Jordan Siegel (17th for $14,864), Todd Brunson (16th), Andrew Kelsall (15th), and Mike Matusow (14th) all were eliminated and pocketed an equal amount of $14,864.
1. Michael Noori – 870,000
2. Christopher Kruk – 658,000
3. Quek Sheng – 645,000
4. Randy Ohel – 602,000
5. Jason Gray – 569,000
6. Hanh Tran – 423,000
7. Farzad Bonyadi- 392,000
8. Nicholas Seiken – 384,000
9. Kristijonas Andrulis – 304,000
10. Matt Glantz – 198,000
Day 1 of Event #45: Big Blind Antes $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels) has been a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. With 1,712 players entering the event, the prize pool accumulated to $1,540,800, but only 41 were left at the end to continue their fight on the next day.
Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Steven Wolansky is commanding the chip lead with 620,000, as DJ MacKinnon (532,000), Michael Wang (355,000), King Lun Alan Lau (350,000) and Michael Hauptman (338,000) secured the top five ranks.
Many poker pros were seen in action including former Main Event champions Joe McKeehen, Martin Jacobson, Greg Raymer, Ryan Riess, 2014 WSOP APAC champion Scott Davies, Heidi May, Michael Gathy, Niall Farrell, Ben Keeline and David “ODB” Baker, but all of them hit the rails before the money bubble.
Some of the noteworthy eliminations that made it to the money included Loni Harwood (74th for $2,843), Brian Yoon (85th for $2,503), Bart Lybaert (110th for $2,019), 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Benjamin Dobson (156th for $1,720), Kristen Bicknell (175th for $1,720), Jesse Capps (177th for $1,720), Chris Moorman (181st for $1,621), Barry Greenstein (209th for $1,549), Tristan Wade (221st for $1,549), Maria Konnikova (227th for $1,549), Steven van Zadelhoff (230th for $1,549) and Kenny Hallaert (251st for $1,501).
Team India’s Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal, Nipun Java, Amit Jain and Muskan Sethi had joined the league of participants at the start of the event with Agarwal tweeting about his participation.
Event 45, 1k turbo with SS 5k at 25-50 with 30min lvls #WSOP2018
— Aditya Agarwal (@AdiAgarwal_int) June 22, 2018
He continued to update his chip count via Twitter throughout the day.
522/1712 remaining with 14k at 300-600(600) #WSOP2018
— Aditya Agarwal (@AdiAgarwal_int) June 22, 2018
H4h with 258 remaining, 12k at 800-1600(1600) #WSOP2018
— Aditya Agarwal (@AdiAgarwal_int) June 23, 2018
Agarwal announced his elimination on the social media platform, whilst also hinting that he will be featuring in the upcoming Event #48A: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em MONSTER STACK. He placed 246th and pocketed $1,501 (~₹1.01 Lakhs).
Sneaked in a min cash, Monster Stack this weekend #WSOP2018
— Aditya Agarwal (@AdiAgarwal_int) June 23, 2018
Java sustained his impressive form but busted out in 150th place and took away $1,851 (~₹1.25 Lakhs). Amit Jain, making his first appearance at the 2018 WSOP, cashed in $2,019 (~₹1.37 Lakhs) by placing 117th. Sethi was sent to rails in 137th place empty-handed.
With a first prize of $258,255 and a WSOP gold bracelet in contention, the remaining 41 runners have a lot to play for.
1. Steven Wolansky – 620,000
2. DJ MacKinnon – 532,000
3. Michael Wang – 355,000
4. King Lun Alan Lau – 350,000
5. Michael Hauptman – 338,000
6. Rick Offley – 320,000
7. Lander Lijo – 290,000
8. Joseph Cheong – 280,000
9. Mario Prats Garcia – 280,000
10. Elliott Peterman – 272,000
A total of 402 runners entered Event #46: $2,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better/ Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 Or Better and after competing on the WSOP felts through the day, 152 players have bagged their chips for Day 2.
Sergio Ramirez is currently the chipleader with a stack of 139,700. Ramirez had a slow start but picked up pace later to bust out some big names including Eli Elezra. The event collected a prize pool of $904,500.
Others who were eliminated on Day 1 include Phil Hellmuth, John Racener, Linda Johnson, Joe McKeehen, Frank Kassela, David Bach, Frankie O’Dell, Eric Buchman, Benny Glaser, Allen Kessler, Michael Gathy, Max Pescatori, Brandon Cantu and Mike Leah.
The big stack-holders still in contention for the title are, Eric Rodawig (123,400), Kate Hoang (76,900), Scott Abrams (74,400), Robert Mizrachi (62,500), Felipe Ramos (52,600), Daniel Negreanu (42,200), Jesse Martin (31,900), Marco Johnson (28,000) and Phil Ivey (8,100).
1. Sergio Ramirez – 137,900
2. Eric Rodawig – 123,400
3. David Prociak – 91,000
4. Magnus Edengren – 87,400
5. Eddie Blumenthal – 83,100
6. Gary Bolden – 78,300
7. Paul Edwards – 76,300
8. Scott Abrams – 74,400
9. Bruce Hoyt – 74,100
10. Kate Hoang -71,700
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com
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