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Day 31 of the 53rd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) maintained the tempo from the last few days, with nine bracelet events running and four bracelet winners emerging.
The event that had the entire poker community on tenterhooks was Event #56: $50,000 Poker Players Championship. After five days of intense action and over seven hours of a wild and swingy heads-up battle, Dan Cates, in his Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage persona, created history by successfully defending the Poker Players Championship title and made away with his biggest WSOP score of $1,449,103! Two-time bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski fought hard but had to settle for a runner-up payout worth $895,614.
Event #57: $600 Deep Stack Championship NLHE saw quite a comeback by Hungary’s Tamas Lendvai, who beat Germany`s Frank Reichel (2nd for $185,027) heads-up to win his first WSOP bracelet & $299,464 in prize money. Nathan Rao was the lone Indian to cash the event, placing 216th for $1,902 (~ ₹1.50 Lakhs).
Japan’s Shota Nakanishi rode his final day chip lead to victory in Event #60: $10K Short Deck NLHE, collected his maiden WSOP gold bracelet & $277,212 in prize money. Nakanishi defeated former bracelet winner Ben Lamb (2nd for $171,331) heads-up.
Event #62: $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty Freezeout was another event that played down to a winner on Thursday, with Michigan-native Dash Dudley outrunning a massive 2,569-entry field en route to winning his third WSOP bracelet and $301,396 in prize money. David Sanchez placed runner-up for $186,258. India’s Yudhishter Jaswal cashed the event in 183rd place for $2,063 (~₹1.63 Lakhs), picking up his second cash of the series.
Event #64: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack brought in a packed field of 2,858 hopefuls, and by the time bags were brought out, only 102 players were left standing. Guillaume Soumier emerged as the Day 1 chip leader with a massive stack of 3,055,000. India`s Nishant Sharma is among the top stacks in the field and is ranked 16th in chips with 1,350,000.
Day 1 of Event #65: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em drew 1,359 entrants; however, only 224 survived the day’s onslaught. Onur Unsal (1,244,000) is the only player with more than a million chips. Indians came out in numbers for the event, and four players from the team carried a stack to Day 2, including Young Gun Neel Joshi, ranked 74th with a stack of 266,000, bracelet winner Kartik Ved ranked 120th with 180,000, Young Gun Arsh Grover, ranked 164th with 130,000), and Abhinav Iyer ranked 178th with 116,000.
After three days of action, the 2,669-player starting field of Event #59: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em is down to the final five. Massoud Eskandari dominated much of the day’s action and will be entering the final day with a massive 19 Million stack that gives him 95 big blinds and the chip lead.
Day 2 of Event #61: Ladies No-Limit Hold ’em Championship had 274 returning players, and after nine levels of play, only 42 advanced to Day 3. Cherish Andrews (1,800,000) bagged the runaway chip lead.
One hundred forty players, including 16 late registrants, sounded off the Day 2 action in Event #63: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. And by the day’s end, the starting field whittled down to 20 players. Chino Rheem leads the charge with a massive 2,595,000 stack.
Event #59: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em – Day 3
Age is just a number! We have heard this phrase many times, but seniors aged 60 and above proved it in Event #59: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em.
Scheduled as the second senior’s event this year, the tournament brought in a packed field of 2,688 seniors. After three days of action, only five players remain in contention, eager to battle it out for the prestigious WSOP bracelet and the top prize of $330,000.
Day 3 started with 87 players, and after 12 hours of action, only five of them were left standing. Massoud Eskandari dominated much of the day’s action and will be entering the final day with a massive 19 Million stack that gives him 95 big blinds and the chip lead. Eskandari will be chasing his maiden bracelet and looking to add the WSOP glory to his illustrious resume of over $2.70 Million in live tournament earnings.
Second to Eskandari is Jennifer Gianera, with 16.5 Million in chips. Although Eskandari never really relinquished his chip lead throughout the 12 hours of play, there was a point towards the later stages of the day when Gianera briefly took over the lead from him. However, with the final hand of the day, Eskandari reclaimed the lead.
Some early eliminations of the day included notables like defending champion Jean-Luc Adam (40th place for $8,325), actor James Woods (42nd for $8,325), and two-time bracelet winner Barny Boatman (68th for $4,915).
Peter Kamaras (11th for $23,995) bubbled the final table.
PT Hayes (10th for $23,995) was the first player to be eliminated from the final table. A flurry of eliminations saw Eric Van Der Burg (7th for $50,293), Gary Fisher (8th for $38,964), and Marc Walter (9th for $30,446) falling out.
The day ended with the elimination of Bruce Olson (6th for $65,468), leaving only five players standing.
Coincidentally there is another female poker player amongst the final five, Sharri Crawford (4,200,000), who will be the shortest stack starting Day 4. With Crawford and Gainera in contention, the series might not have to wait until the conclusion of the Ladies Event for its second female champion of the year. Katie Kopp was the first woman to win a bracelet at the ongoing series in Event #1: $500 Employees Event.
The five finalists will return at 11 AM (PDT) on Friday, July 1, to play down to a winner.
End of Day 3 Chip Counts
Event #61: Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship – Day 2
Day 2 of Event #61: Ladies No-Limit Hold ’em Championship had 274 players returning to the felts. Nine levels of play later, the field was trimmed down to 42 runners, and Cherish Andrews was in the driver’s seat with a chip leading stack of 1,800,000.
Natalie Hof (1,100,000) is hot on Andrews’ heels in second place. Andrews and Hof are the only two players with over a million in chips heading into Day 3.
Day 1 chip leader, Indo-American Gargee Sharma, is still in contention, having bagged the eighth-most enormous stack of 625,000.
India’s Sonam Jain, who had started the day with an above-average 113,500, finished 125th for $1,750 (~₹1.38 Lakhs). This was Jain’s first-ever ITM finish at the WSOP.
The bubble burst during Level 13, when Juliana Vidal and Kelli Storck busted simultaneously to split the min-cash, guaranteeing the 160 remaining players at least $1,600.
Katie Swift (60th for $2,952), Loni Hui (74th for $2,398), Leo Margets (79th for $2,398), and Jamie Kerstetter (80th for $2,398) were some notables who finished in the money.
Several notables found a bag for Day 3, including Charlotte “Sjlot” Van Brabander (380,000), PokerNews host Tiffany Michelle (250,000), member of the GGPoker Twitch squad Squad Pamela “Pamsi” Balzano (165,000), Lexy Gavin (401,000), Amanda Baker (580,000) and Melanie Weisner (560,000).
The 42 survivors will return for Day 3 at noon (PDT) on July 1.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 2
Event #63: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Day 2
One hundred forty players, including 16 late registrants, sounded off the Day 2 action in Event #63: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. After ten levels of play, only 20 carried a stack to Day 3.
The record-breaking 284-player field generated a $2,648,300 prize pool, and the top 43 players are assured a min-cash of $16,171.
The former November Niner Chino Rheem leads the charge with a massive stack of 2,595,000, with Filippos Stavrakis (1,880,000) and Seungjin Lee (1,860,000) rounding out the top three stacks entering Day 3.
Notables still in contention include Robert Cowen (840,000), Poker Hall of Famer Eli Elezra (655,000), defending champion Josh Arieh (370,000), and Joao Vieira (185,000).
Owais Ahmed money-bubbled the event in 44th place.
Several notables finished in the money on Day 2, including Daniel Zack (23rd for $20,214), Yuval Bronshtein (25th for $20,214), Yueqi Zhu (26th for $20,214), Ryan Hughes (30th for $$17,687) and Brian Hastings (38th for $16,171).
The 20 finalists return for Day 3 at 2 PM (PDT) on July 1. All 20 players are assured at least $23,521, with $611,362 and the gold bracelet reserved for the eventual champion.
End of Day 2 Chip Counts
Event #64: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack – Day 1
In line with the bumper fields we have seen at the 2022 WSOP, Event #64: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack pretty much toed the line as a whopping 2,858 hopefuls signed to play. After twenty-two levels of play, only 102 survived the day’s onslaught, each locking in at least $1,703.
Guillaume Soumier (3,055,000) bagged the Day 1 chip lead, with Tommi Lankinen (2,440,000), Glen Keogh (2,385,000), Xiaohui Yu (1,930,000), and Stanislav Halatenko (1,780,000) advancing with the other top stacks.
Nishant Sharma, who holds the record for the deepest run by an Indian in the WSOP Main Event, is the only player from the country advancing to Day 2. The poker pro from Mumbai bagged an above-average 1,350,000, putting him 16th in chips among Day 1 survivors.
Sharma has already made two ITM runs in the ongoing series – 142nd in Event #21: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Monster Stack for $7,584 (~₹ 5,99,144) and 207th in Event #30: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed for $1,754 (~₹ 1,38,568). Even though he is guaranteed a third cash, the Indian rail will be hoping that Nishant finds some momentum on Day 2 for a serious shot at winning the bracelet.
Michael Mizrachi (1,015,000), Allan Le (880,000), Alan Sternberg (835,000), and Robert Nehorayan (740,000) are other top regs advancing to Day 2.
The $600 buy-in event created a $1,457,580 prize pool and assured the top 429 places at least $961. The eventual champion will take home $199,466 and the alluring WSOP gold bracelet.
Several notables, including Phil Hellmuth, Jeremy Ausmus, Veronica Brill, Brandon Shack-Harris, and Sasha Liu, fell out before the money bubble burst.
Barry Greenstein (115th for $1,703), Brad Ruben (132nd for $1,703), Rami Boukai (172nd for $1,502), Joe Cada (213th for $1,337), Lok Chan (344th for $1,051) and Maxx Coleman (368th for $961) did relatively better by making it across the money line.
The action will intensify on Friday when the 102 survivors return to the Bally’s at noon (PDT) for Day 2.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1
Event #65: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em – Day 1
Event #65: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold ’em was another crowd puller that brought in 1,359 entrants. After 15 levels of play, only 224 survived the day’s onslaught.
The strong contingent of Indian players stormed into the event, and four among them will be returning on Day 2. Young Gun Neel Joshi will lead the Indian brigade on Friday, with a stack of 266,000 that puts him 74th in chips among the 224 survivors. Bracelet winner Kartik Ved is ranked 120th in chips with 180,000. Young Gun`s Arsh Grover (164th in chips with 130,000) and Abhinav Iyer (178th in chips with 116,000) round out the four players from Team India who survived through to Day 2.
The 2021 WSOP Event #86: $ 1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Super Turbo finalist Neel Joshi has already cashed two events in the series – 58th in Event #49: $ 2,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $9,910 (~ ₹ 7.83 Lakhs) and 494th in Event #37: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold ’em – Millionaire Maker for $4,172 (~₹ 3.30 Lakhs). Having made Day 2, Joshi has almost assured himself his third ITM finish at the 2022 WSOP.
WSOP Online 2020 Event #64: $840 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em champion Kartik Ved has been one of the most consistent winners in the ongoing series, having already cashed four times – 103rd in Event #46: $ 5,000 No-Limit Hold’em – 6-Handed for $8,807 (~ ₹6.96 Lakhks), 592nd in Event #37: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Millionaire Maker for $3,795 (~ ₹3 Lakhs), 123rd in Event #18: $ 1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Freezeout for $2,773 (~ ₹2.19 Lakhs) and 263rd in Event #34: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Freezeout for $2,407 (~₹1.90 Lakhs).
The #2 ranked player on the annual leaderboard, Arsh Grover, was a late arrival at the series, but he has made quite the start. Grover has eight WSOP cashes under his belt (WSOP – 7 & WSOPE – 1), but he is yet to open his scorecard at the 2022 WSOP. Having carried a workable stack to Day 2, he will be on the hunt for the first cash of the season.
The 2019 WSOP Event #84: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – The Closer champion Abhinav Iyer has been running hot in the series, having already cashed four times – 7th in Event #25: $ 800 No-Limit Hold’em – Deep Stack for $56,388 (~ ₹44,54,708), 156th in Event #49: $ 2,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $4,355 (~ ₹3,44,049), 134th in Event #34: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Freezeout for $3,217 (~ ₹2,54,146) and 870th in Event #21: $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Monster Stack for $2,400 (~₹1,89,602). Iyer will not only be looking to make his fifth cash of the series but would also want to make a strong bid for a second career bracelet.
Onur Unsal (1,244,000) bagged the overnight chip lead, with Joel Micka (829,000), Krasimir Yankov (784,000), Niko Koop (741,000), and Blake Bohn (738,000) rounding out the top five stacks of the day.
Phil Hellmuth (349,000), Mike Matusow (322,000), Michael Rocco (390,000), Julien Martini (266,000), and Alex Foxen (68,000) are among the notables who bagged a stack for Day 2.
Notables who fell out on Day 1 include David Peters, Daniel Negreanu, Maria Ho, Justin Bonomo, Main Event champion Ryan Reiss and Tony Dunst.
The $3000 buy-in event created a $3,628,530 prize pool, and the top 204 places are assured a min-cash of $4,818. The eventual champion will take home $598,173 and the coveted WSOP gold bracelet.
With the money bubble looming, the action will intensify on Day 2 when the 224 survivors return to the Bally’s Silver Section at 2 PM (PDT) on July 1.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1
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