WSOP Hit and Run: Championship Upset, Stacked $1500 Razz Field, Millionaire Maker Underway
Two first-time bracelet winners crowned. $1500 Razz has an unusually stacked lineup as final table approaches. PartTimePoker weighs in on the Dr. Jaclynn Moskow controversy. And more.
Two bracelets were awarded today, both to first-timers. On the surface, that’s unsurprising, as the majority of WSOP bracelets are held by people who hold only the one, but it’s quite unusual that the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship, one of the toughest events on the schedule, was won by not just by a player with no bracelets, but in fact no previous WSOP cashes.
– Event #9, the aforementioned $10k Heads-Up Championship, was won not by semi-finalists Olivier Busquet or Alexandre Luneau as most people would have expected, but rather by Alan Percal, an actuary and amateur poker player from Westin, Florida, who says he played last year’s series but went 0-for-20. Busquet and Luneau were both eliminated in the semi-finals, and the runner-up was another amateur with only a single previous WSOP cash, John Smith (yes, his real name) from La Hambra Heights, California.
What to watch for today
– Event #10, a $1,500 6-Max NLHE event, is down to 11 players as of this writing and rapidly approach its final table. Still in the running is the Belgian Pierre Neuville, who achieved fame last year as the oldest player to become a “November Niner” in the modern World Series of Poker Main Event. Neuville finished 7th, and still lacks a bracelet, but that could change tonight.
– Event #11, the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship is likewise approaching a final table, and may produce another surprise along the lines of the Heads-Up Championship. It’s an event that attracts a lot of strong players, yet the final 10 players remaining as of this writing have only six bracelets between them, so the possibility that we’ll catch a first glimpse of a rising star is strong.
– The field for Event #12, $565 Pot-Limit Omaha, is thinning as well, but it’s unlikely to be the focus of many people’s attention for now. However, disgraced pro Chris Ferguson, whose appearance at this year’s series raised a lot of questions, is among the final 26 with a healthy stack, and his appearance at a final table would certainly by news. Other noteworthy names in the running include Ryan Laplante and Darryl Fish.
– Event #13, $1500 Razz, won’t conclude until tomorrow, but is shaping up to be one to watch, with more prominent names among the chip counts than one would expect for an event of that buy-in. Potential final table players include: Fabrice Soulier, Gavin Griffin, Dutch Boyd, Stephen Chidwick, David Benyamine, Mike Watson, Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb, Allen Kessler, Anthony Zinno, Rep Porter, Valentin Vornicu, Max Pescatiori and Maria Ho. With that many stars and only 31 players left, this event may well produce the most stacked final table of the series.
Live updates of today’s action can be found here.
Two more tournaments are getting underway today:
– Event #14, the $1500 Millionaire Maker, is one of the most anticipated events of the series, at least among recreational players. It features two starting flights and, as the name suggests, a $1 million first prize. Interestingly, Cord Garcia, winner of the inaugural Colossus last year, is currently 2nd in chips in the first of those flights.
– Event #15, $1500 8-Game Mix has just gotten started as of a few minutes ago. Between the mixed-game format and competition with the Millionaire Maker, a small field can be expected for this one. 195 players have registered so far.
WSOP News & Notes
– Although the sophomore Colossus didn’t quite live up to the hype, its spiritual cousin, the above-mentioned $565 Pot-Limit Omaha event, has done quite well for itself, at least according to PokerNews’s Mo Nuwwarah.
– James Guill at PokerUpdate shares five funny WSOP stories that have nothing to do with poker.
– The finale of the Colossus II may be old news by now, but the poker media continues to chuckle about the confusion on the rail in the final hand.
– I’ve been waiting to weigh in on the Jaclynn Moskow/Nolan Dalla controversy because I wanted to get it right. Ultimately, I decided to dedicate an episode of the PartTimePoker Podcast to it, and let a couple of very smart women I know do most of the talking.
– You’ll mostly hear bad news about Atlantic City these days, but things aren’t on a monotonically downward trajectory. The former Revel Hotel & Casino will reopen mid-month under a new name, with fresh aspirations.