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Even as the 53rd annual World Series Of Poker (WSOP) inches towards completing a month, Team India`s scorecard has been constantly ticking. But before we get to the Indian brigade, let’s take at the sole bracelet winner on Day 28 – Eric Smidinger, who won Event #47: $1,000 Seniors Championship for $694,909 and his career-first bracelet.
Apart from the Seniors Championship, six other bracelet events reached different stages of completion on Monday.
Event #58: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Eight Or Better was not an event we expected to witness Indian participation, but the ‘poster boy of Indian poker,’ Aditya Sushant, was a prominent presence on Day 1. The event registered 1,303 entries, and Sushant was among the 203 runners advancing to Day 2. He bagged the 88th most giant stack of 135,000. Justin Liberto (791,000) secured the overnight chip lead.
Nathan Rao has been a revelation in this year’s series. A few days after his deep run in Event #49: $ 2,000 No-Limit Hold ’em, Rao was back in action in Event #57: $600 Deepstack Championship No-Limit Hold ’em. He bagged an average stack of 270,000 among 560 survivors from a 4,913 starting field. Bradley Miller (1,165,000) emerged as the end-of-Day 1 chip leader.
The WSOP Tag Team event has always been a favorite among Indians, and one particular Indian has cashed the events three times. Yes, we are talking about India’s poker superwoman, Spartan Poker Pro Nikita Luther. The 2018 Tag Team bracelet winner teamed up with Indo-Swiss player Dinesh Alt for this year’s event. The duo had entered Day 2 as one of the shortest stacks but did well to finish in the money. Team Luther placed 124th for $1,611 (~₹1.27 Lakhs). This was Luther’s first score at the 2022 WSOP and her 11th WSOP cash overall. Team Kraemer (Mackenzie Kraemer and Jon Schiller) bagged the most enormous stack of 1,715,000 among the 20 teams advancing to Day 3.
Day 2 of Event #54: $500 Salute to Warriors had three Indians returning to the Bally`s and Paris, Paawan Bansal, Muskan Sethi, and Jaydeep Dawer. Sadly, all three fell out before the end of the day’s play. Dawer, who carried the shortest stack among the trio, was the first of them to exit in 463rd place for $800 (~₹63,200). Sethi was next and placed 202nd for $1,277 (~₹1.01 Lakhs). Paawan Bansal held the 14th biggest stack of 842,000 at the start of play, but he too was eliminated shortly after Sethi, finishing 200th for $1,277 (~₹1.01 Lakhs). James Todd (20,000,000) bagged the end-of-day chip lead among 21 survivors.
Day 3 of Event #51: $400 Colossus saw 68 players return to the felts, and by the time the bags were brought out, only seven remained in the fray. Sam Laskowitz, a player who apparently has never scored in a live tournament, holds an overwhelming chip lead with a massive stack of 206,500,000.
One of the most talked-about events of the series, besides the Main Event, Event #56: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, wrapped up Day 2 with 41 players from a starting field of 112 still in contention. The current All-Time Money List topper and alleged cheat, Bryn Kenney, bagged the day-end chip lead with a stack of 2,064,000.
Event #51: $400 Colossus – Day 3
Event #51: $400 Colossus ran 11 one-hour levels on Monday, with a 68-player starting field on Day 3 getting trimmed down to the final seven.
Sam Laskowitz, who has no reported live scores to his name, has an excellent chance to rake in a massive maiden score. The New Yorker is the runaway chip leader heading into the final day`s play with a massive 206,500,000 stack (52 BBs). The subsequent big stack belongs to Paul Hizer, who has 132,000,000 (33 BBs).
The game-changing moment of the day was when Day 2 chip leader Jordan Pelon clashed with Laskowitz in Level 42. This hand changed the game dynamics as it gave 36 Million chips to Laskowitz, who extended his chip lead heading into the tournament’s final day.
Day 2 chip leader Jordan Pelon (68,000,000), Jeff Loiacono (56,000,000), Luong Quach (38,500,000). Anthony Ruttler (32,000,000) & James Scott (13,500,000) are the other five players in contention – all of them hunting for their maiden gold bracelet.
Three Indians made Day 2 of the event, including Young Gun Siddharth Karia (142nd for $3,180 ~ ₹2,50,504), poker coach Abhishek Goindi (972nd for $890 ~ ₹ 70,109), and Paawan Bansal ($700 ~ ₹55,142), however, they could not find the momentum to reach Day 3.
Right after David Jackson (11th for $32,130) departed for the rail, the 10-player final table was set. Patrick Choueiri (10th for $32,130) was the first final table casualty at the hands of Paul Hizer. Choueiri was soon followed by Sean Shah (9th for $40,710), who suffered a similar fate at the hands of Hizer.
William Gian (8th for $51,930) was the day’s last elimination, following which the bags were brought out.
Day 4 will begin at 4 PM (PDT) on June 28 on the main feature table inside the Bally’s Thunderdome. While each of the seven finalists has already locked in at least $66,670, only one of them will walk away with the $414,490 top prize and the alluring WSOP bracelet.
End of Day 3 Chip Counts
Event #54: $500 Salute to Warriors – Day 2
Day 2 of Event #54: $500 Salute to Warriors had 498 players returning for a shot at the title, and by the end of the day’s play, only 21 players were left in contention
The event attracted 3,209 entrants, creating a $1,315,690 prize pool. The 21 survivors are assured at least $6,839, but they will all be chasing the $161,256 top prize and the most sought-after WSOP gold bracelet when they take their seats for the final day`s play on Tuesday.
The day-end chip lead went to James Todd, who carries a stack of 20,000,000 that make up for 50 BBs, putting him in a slightly better position than the other top stacks in the field, Rigoberto Rodriguez (14,950,000), and Todd Saffron (11,900,000).
Nicholas Sena-Hopkins (10,305,000), Zyad Qasem (10,000,000), Patrick Pilko (9,900,000), Brett Coltman (9,300,000), Elias Neto (9,200,000), poker vlogger Matthew Vaughan (7,750,000), and Richard Strainis (6,650,000) round out the top 10 stacks of the day.
Other notables who survived the day`s play were Richard Alati (5,225,000), Marco Petrusch (4,925,000), and Scott Shafman (2,625,000).
With the top 482 places getting paid, 16 players left empty-handed on Day 2.
Three Indians made it in the money, namely Paawan Bansal (200th for $1,277 ~₹1.01 Lakhs), Muskan Sethi (202nd for $1,277 ~₹1.01 Lakhs), and Jaydeep Dawer (463rd for $800 ~₹63,200).
The 2018 WSOP Event #75: The Closer runner-up Paawan Bansal registered his 18th WSOP score (third of the series), boosting his WSOP tally to $521,398. His other two scores in the series came in Event #37: $1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker for (359th for $5,165) and Event #51: $400 NLHE Colossus (1,374th for $700).
Muskan Sethi booked her 13th WSOP cash (fourth of the series), pushing her lifetime WSOP earnings to $41,990. Her previous three scores at the series came in Event #21: $1,500 NLHE Monster Stack (676th for $2,625), Event #37: $1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker (1083rd for $2,400) and Event #5: $500 NLHE The Housewarming (2,748th for $800).
For Jaydeep Dawer, his 463rd place finish in Event #54: $500 Salute to Warriors fetched him his maiden score at the annual series.
Few of the notables to score in the event included Gerome Touchard (28th for $5,593), Chad Layne (37th for $4,607), Jacqueline Ray (42nd for $4,607), Paul Sokoloff (75th for $2,283), Kenny Nguyen (113th for $1,460), Jessica Weldon (152nd for $1,460), and Christina Gollins (170th for $1,277).
The 21 survivors will return for Day 3 at noon (PDT) on June 28.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 2
Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team – Day 2
Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team had started with 913 teams that narrowed down to 183 teams progressing to Day 2. The field whittled down even further after ten levels of play on Monday, with only 20 teams currently remaining.
Team Kraemer (Mackenzie Kraemer and Jon Schiller) secured the end-of-day chip lead with a stack of 1,715,000. They are followed by Team Russell (Adam Russell and Ryan O’Grady), with 1,575,000, and Team Barnum (Justin Barnum and DJ Buckley), with 1,505,000.
Team Luther, comprising Spartan Poker Pro Nikita Luther and Indo-Swiss player Dinesh Alt had entered the day as the fourth shortest stack of 20,500. With the top 137 teams assured payouts, Team Luther did well to cross the money line and placed 124th for $1,611 (~₹1.27 Lakhs). This was Luther’s third time cashing in the WSOP Tag Team Event. In 2018, she shipped the event with Guiseppe Pantaleo. In 2021, she teamed up with Kunal Patni, and the duo made a deep run, placing 15th for $4,576 (~₹3.42 Lakhs).
Team Yunis (1,350,000), Team Spitale (1,270,000), Team Knight (1,205,000), Team Leonard (1,060,000) and Team Rugna (1,020,000) are the only teams with over a million in chips.
All 20 teams will return for Day 3 at 3 PM (PDT) on June 28. The event is expected to play down to a winning team who will take home $74,033 and a WSOP bracelet each.
End of Day 2 Chip Counts
Event #56: $50,000 Poker Players Championship – Day 2
Things just got real as the second most popular event at the 2022 WSOP after Main Event, Event #56: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, kick-started its Day 2 action. With the who’s who of the poker fraternity in attendance, the event was the center of attraction, and the stage was set to witness an eventful day of poker action.
As expected, the field grew from its original 91 players to 112 entries, with late entrants allowed for the first four levels on Day 2. Stephen Chidwick, Ap Garza, Brian Yoon, John Monnette, Craig Chait, and Dylan Linde were among the players who joined today.
The record-breaking field generated a prize pool of $5,362,000, and the top 17 finishers will be awarded a payday of at least $83,738. The winner can look forward to posing for the winner pictures with the shiny WSOP gold bracelet and adding a hefty $1,449,103 in prize money.
The day started with 81 returning players; by the end of six levels, only half of them, 41, survived, with Bryn Kenny bagging the most enormous stack of 2,064,000. Kenny paved his way to the top right from when the tournament was in the mid-way stages and never relinquished his lead till the day ended.
Michael Moncek (1,702,000) and 2021 WSOP Main Event champion Koray Aldemir (1,427,000) carry the other top stacks to Day 3.
One of the notable hands on Day 2 was Phil Hellmuth’s elimination. Hellmuth found himself short after two hands of seven-card stud, and just 90 minutes later, he was eliminated in a three-way Omaha Hi-Lo hand that involved Benny Glaser and Dave Rogers.
The 16-time WSOP bracelet holder was obviously upset about his elimination, and he was further irked when Adam Friedman from one table over passed some nasty comments. Apparently, both had a discussion about the mark-up charged by Hellmuth for this very event in which he entered during the last level of the registration period. Hellmuth remarked, “Why would you try to tilt me in the $50k, you motherf*****” to Friedman.
It continued, and a few minutes later, Hellmuth said, “Don’t ever come up to me in a tournament again. Even the guys at my table are saying you’re out of line. Just know you’ll never win as much as me, so there’s probably some jealousy going on.”
“Come on bud,” Matthew Gonzales said to Hellmuth in an attempt to defuse the situation.
Among the other notables in contention for the honorable title is Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, defending champion Dan Cates, Daniel Negreanu, and three-time PPC bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi among others.
The tournament resumes at 2 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, June 28, for six more 100-minute levels.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 2
Event #57: $600 Deepstack Championship No-Limit Hold ’em – Day 1
Event #57: $600 Deepstack Championship No-Limit Hold ’em drew 4,913 players, and after 17 levels of play, 560 survived the opening day`s onslaught.
Bradley Miller (1,165,000) bagged the overnight chip lead, with Mark Olivo (1,052,000), John Ypma (1,000,000), Christopher Grim (980,000), and Yota Mitsui (918,000) rounding out the top five stacks of the day.
India`s Nathan Rao made it to Day 2 with an average stack of 270,000 and ranked 220th in chips among the survivors. Since all the remaining players are already in the money for at least $1,051, Rao has assured himself his second WSOP score after his 20th place finish in Event #49: $ 2,000 No-Limit Hold ’em a few days ago for $18,930 (~ ₹14.93 Lakhs). However, the Indian rail will be hoping that Rao finds momentum on Day 2 and improves his career-best score, which he set a few days back.
Kevin Song (265,000), the 2021 WSOP Main Event finalist Jack Oliver (240,000), and WSOP Event #43 runner-up finishers Chris Moorman (182,000) are among the notables in contention.
The $600 buy-in event created a $2,505,630 prize pool, and the top 737 places were assured a payday with a min-cash worth $961. The eventual champion will take home $299,464 and the gold bracelet.
The money bubble burst on Jason Turlo at the end of Level 16 when Chu Yong Hui cracked his pocket aces.
Some top pros who fell out after reaching money include Ronnie Bardah (581st for $1,051) and Euan McNicholas (689th for $961).
Day 2 will resume on Tuesday, June 28 at noon (PDT) in the orange section of Bally’s. The 560 players returning on Day 2 are assured of collecting at least $1,051; however, their primary focus will be making it to Day 3.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1
Event #58: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Eight Or Better – Day 1
There was yet another event joining the list of this year’s statistics of high turnouts in mixed game events, i.e., Event #58: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Eight Or Better. The event witnessed a record-breaking field, nearly double last year’s number (725), with 1,303 players signing up. Of those, only 203 runners bagged and tagged at the end of the day’s play.
With the top 196 players assured a share of the $1,739,505 prize pool, Day 2 will set out with a tough fight to be amongst the money finishers. The eventual champion is assured a $289,610 cash prize and the WSOP gold bracelet.
India`s first WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant is in the running for his second bracelet and didn`t do too bad, bagging the 88th biggest stack of 135,000 among the 203 survivors. Sushant has picked up four cashes at the series already and presently has $352,421 (~₹2.78 Crores) in WSOP winnings. Having carried a middling stack to Day 2, Sushant looks on track to collect his 38th WSOP score.
Former bracelet winner Justin Liberto emerged as the overnight chip leader with 791,000. He had won Event #51: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed at the 2015 WSOP, and on Day 2, he will be looking to take another step towards adding another piece of gold hardware to his collection.
Other notables to end the night with big stacks were Richard Crooks (675,000), Jacob Ferro (639,000), Peter Neff (568,000), Rodney Spriggs (495,000), and Event #50: $250K Super High Roller champion Alex Foxen (343,000).
Day 2 will begin its proceedings at 2 PM (PDT) on June 28.
Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1
Content & Images Courtesy: PokerGO, PokerNews & WSOP
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