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Just as the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) gathers steam this summer with more than 21 events already over and their bracelet winners crowned, Team India is storming the show now more than ever! Two important events, $2,620 The Marathon that saw its Day 1 get underway, and the ongoing $1,500 Millionaire Maker that has now moved to its Day 3, saw Indian poker heavyweights competing on the green felts.
Team India’s Raghav Bansal is bearing the torch for the Indian flag in the Millionaire Maker event and after the day’s tough battle; Bansal has made it to Day 3 in the event! He is currently placed 24th in chips among the 155 survivors with a stack of 588,000 and has a big day ahead tomorrow.
Bansal has been active on WSOP felts since 2015 when he final tabled the $2,500 NLHE event. He was also one of the few players who had a good run in the 2016 WSOP Main Event and also performed well in side events the same year. This time, Bansal’s run in the Millionaire Maker will certainly be worth watching!
It’s really impressive how the Team India stars are entering the events with the true spirit of sportsmanship. Kunal Patni and Anil Adiani managed to cross the money line in the Millionaire maker. While, Patni finished 268th for $6,654 (~₹4.49 Lakhs), Adiani finished 821st for $2,808 (~₹1.89 Lakhs), and jumped straight into Event #24: The Marathon- $2,620 NLHE, only to make it through to Day 2. Paawan Bansal (34,400) has also advanced to Day 2 in the event.
Bansal has been in good form as he recently finished 13th in the Colossus $565 NLHE for $35,087 (₹23.51 Lakhs). Kolkata-based Adiani is also known for his disciplined approach and will certainly be looking to get something going early with his short stack.
Meanwhile another Indian origin name blinked on the WSOP radar on Tuesday. Dilip Ravindran from New Jersey, who has earlier participated in WSOP Circuit tournaments is also advancing further in the Marathon event with a stack of 124,500. Ravindran earlier finished in 18th place in Event #17: $1,500 NLHE 6-Handed where he pocketed $19,469.
Wrapping up the action at the other WSOP tournaments, we saw poker icon and 84-year old Doyle Brunson re-appear after a hiatus of five years, in Event #23 – $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. As he entered the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino where he wheeled around with help of his son, Todd, Brunson was flanked by many fans and WSOP regulars who greeted the poker veteran! He has survived the event’s play and is among the top players who have progressed to Day 3.
In the meantime, in Event #23 – $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi Lo 8 Or Better, 190 runners have survived to move on to Day 2.
It’s been quite the center of attraction in Vegas, pulling in a gigantic entry field of 7,361 players creating an incredibly big prize pool of $9,937,350.
And just as the $1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker continued on its second day to eliminate out a majority of contestants with only 155 moving further, Indian players made quite a stir on the felts. While Kunal Patni and Anil Adiani had a good run on Day 2, it was Bansal who came out shining all the way! He shared moments of his journey into the third day and an image of his stack, on his Twitter handle.
— Raghav Bansal (@raghavbansal27) June 11, 2018
Three other Indian challengers, Team PokerStars India pro Aditya Agarwal, Kunal Patni and Adiani also entered the event.
While Agarwal was relegated to the rail earlier on, Patni and Adiani resumed the battle on Day 2. However, here’s where their run ended. Patni finished in the 268th place to pocket $6,654 (~₹4.49 Lakhs) and Adiani finished 821st for $2,808 (~₹1.89 Lakhs).
Meanwhile, US player Aaron Mesmer is leading the way coming into Day 3 with 1,089,000. Fellow American Clyde Shimp holds the baton of the second biggest stack with 978,000. German player, Manig Loeser rounds up the top three stacks with 914,000 in chips.
But it was the sudden build-up to the top for Stanley Lee who deserves a mention in context to chip counts. Lee was nowhere close to the top in chips till the better part of the day until the last hour when he suddenly shot up to grab 866,000 and the fifth position from the top. Lee is a familiar name in the event, where he’s enjoyed deep runs in 2015 and 2016.
Two other former WSOP champions Joe McKeehen (487,000) and Greg Merson (295,000) will be seen along with Joseph Cheong (459,000), JC Tran (387,000), and Elio Fox (348,000) who are all taking notable stacks to Day 3.
Among those who were busted out of the event include Jack Sinclair, Martin Jacobson, Chris Moorman, Taylor Paur, Jared Jaffee, Tuan Le and Daniel Strelitz.
1. Aaron Messmer – 1,089,000
2. Clyde Shimp – 978,000
3. Manig Loeser – 914,000
4. Sean Marshall – 878,000
5. Stanley Lee – 866,000
6. Jason Daly- 865,000
7. Ryan Goindoo -791,000
8. Daniel Vampan – 763,000
9. Christopher Childers – 702,000
10. Thayer Rasmussen – 693,000
The ongoing WSOP tournament series is special this year! After a long absence of five years, iconic poker player and winner of 10 WSOP bracelets, 84-year old Doyle Brunson made a comeback to the WSOP fold, and rather, his favorite event, the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship!
Not just this, Brunson has reached the top of the field after Day 2, with remaining 11 players including his son, Todd Brunson (185,000) having bagged and tagged their chips for the day. Brunson Sr’s position in the leaderboard in context to the chips stands at fifth (470,500) and on Tuesday, when the contestants return to the foreground to vie for the title, the first place finish payday of $259,670 and the elusive gold bracelet, Brunson’s action would be one worth a watch!
“Deuce to seven has always been my favorite game, and today is just an opportunity,” said the WSOP hall of famer, on his return to the event.
The player from Texas who first came to Vegas to play in the WSOP in 1972 and has two WSOP Main Event titles on his name is, what can be termed, “an old hand” at playing the No Limit 2-7 Lowball which he won for the first-time way back in 1976, also his career’s first WSOP bracelet. He went on to win the same event again in the two consecutive years, i.e. 1984 and 1985.
Earlier, the much-loved poker champ tweeted his intentions to participate in the event.
Going to the Rio to play in 2-7 lowball tournament. Probably the last one I’ll ever play.
— Doyle Brunson (@TexDolly) June 11, 2018
The event began with 85 players and saw participation from multiple bracelet winners including Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Ben Yu, Erik Seidel, John Hennigan and Eli Elezra.
On Tuesday, 38 players returned to battle and the final three tables were reached quite early with John Monnette exiting empty-handed at 21st place.
15 players made it in the money, with the play came to a halt after Illya Trincher was eliminated in 12th place for $14,691. Prior to this, Robert Mizrachi busted out (13th for $14,691), Paul Volpe (14th for $14,691) and Ben Yu (15th for $14,691) were also eliminated.
There were many moments of tense play and intriguing action. One such hand was played between Brunson, Farzad Bonyadi and John Hennigan where Brunson doubled up over these two and sailed beyond the average chip count right as the money bubble approached.
The 11-player field is strongly laced with former WSOP champions and leading the way is Mike Wattel who has 1,293,000 in chips. Shawn Sheikhan (645,500), Galen Hall (517,000) and Brian Rast (477,000) follow suit.
1. Mike Wattel – 1,293,000
2. Shawn Sheikhan – 645,500
3. Galen Hall – 517,000
4. Brian Rast – 477,000
5. Doyle Brunson – 470,500
6. Farzad Bonyadi – 440,500
7. Dario Sammartino – 394,000
8. Ray Dehkharghani – 195,500
9. Todd Brunson – 185,000
10. John Hennigan – 87,000
Yet another popular WSOP event, the Marathon- $2,620 NLHE kicked off in the Brasilia and Pavilion poker rooms on Monday and saw 1,479 players registering to play. With such a massive field, the prize pool has swollen to $3,487,482 and is expected to grow larger, after late registration period gets over. The event’s payouts are yet to be announced and after the day’s battle over six 100-minute levels, 706 players have now moved forward to Day 2.
India’s Anil Adiani and Paawan Bansal are the sole survivors from our camp. Adiani will return for Day 2 with 47,400 in chips while Bansal will resume with a stack of 34,400.
Joshua Smith bagged the most chips with 234, 800, and Pablo Fernandez Campo holds the next biggest bag with 230,900. Others on the top of chip counts are Sanjay Dulabh (230,200), Walter Rodriguez (224,300) and Justin Hoffman (211,000).
The event saw a huge number of poker regulars like Simon Deadman, Marcel Yonk and Samantha Cohen converge on the poker tables. Prominent and upcoming author turned poker pro Maria Konnikova was spotted playing as well. She bagged 81,100 for Day 2.
Other notables who have advanced further in the event include, Daniel Smith (185,000), Olivier Busquets (148,000), Ben Heath (142,500), Scotty Nguyen (133,000), Gaelle Baumann (131,600), Faraz Jaka (119,000), Andre Akkari (68,500), Martin Jacobson (63,200), Jesse Sylvia (53,700), Kristen Bicknell (51,400), Cate Hall (47,900), Dzmitry Urbanovich (47,100) and Cliff Josephy (42,600).
Many couldn’t make it, though. Three-time bracelet winner Dutch Boyd, Kenny Hallaert, Jennifer Tilly, Thomas Muehloecker and Maurice Hawkins were all eliminated during the day.
1. Joshua Smith – 234,800
2. Pablo Fernandez Campo – 230,900
3. Sanjay Dulabh – 230,200
4. Walter Rodriguez – 224,300
5. Justin Hoffman – 211,000
6. Chris Vickrey – 192,500
7. Slaven Popov -190,000
8. John Corr – 180,300
9. Zackary Estes – 178,800
10. Benjamin Chalot – 177,500
Making a run for the bracelet on the very first day of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi Lo 8 Or Better is Eli Elezra who was seen among the top stacks as the event opened with a field of 596 entries and progressed on Monday.
With 71,500 in chips, Elezra is third on the leaderboard and has an excellent chance to win the bracelet. Already a three-time bracelet winner, Elezra narrowly missed his fourth in this year’s WSOP $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship where he finished runner-up. Interestingly, his wife, Hila Elezra is also going to be seen on the second day of the event, with a stack of 7,300!
190 runners have survived for Day 2, with Trent Gundrum, who has bagged a stack of 72,000, in the chip lead. Max Hoffman (78,700), Nick Kost (49,600), Matt Savage (46,700), John Holley (38,900), Brian Hastings (37,400) and Frankie O’Dell (37,000) are some of the other notables who got a chance to bag chips.
Again, there were a few prominent names who hit the rails early, including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Vitch, Chris Ferguson, Justin Bonomo and Benny Glaser.
1. Trent Gundrum – 72,000
2. Ryan Himes – 71,600
3. Eli Elezra – 71,500
4. Max Hoffman – 70,700
5. Tom McCormick – 67,400
6. Nicholas Derke – 66,400
7. Walter Twardus – 63,200
8. PJ Cha – 62,000
9. Alan Myerson – 59,000
10. Benjamin Dobson – 57,200
Content & image courtesy WSOP.com.
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