WSOP: Rare Title Defense in Super Seniors, Quickie Bracelet Score in Super Turbo, Jaka and Madsen Leading, Limited Negreanu

6 min read

Day 21 of the 2017 World Series of Poker saw two players capture bracelets, one of whom did it last year in the same event, and the other claiming gold after just 15 hours of play. Find out how they did the unthinkable, in our daily WSOP recap below:

James Moore, two-time WSOP Super Seniors champion
James Moore successfully cut through a field of 1,720 to win back-to-back bracelets in the WSOP Super Seniors event. (Image: Jayne Furman /

Youngster Dominates Super Seniors

If James Moore were born a year earlier, he could be a three-time champion. But the Super Seniors event is only open to players 65 and older, and last year was his first year of eligibility. Moore won the 2016 tournament, besting a field of 1,476 for his first bracelet and a $230,626 payday.

Naturally, he would come back in 2017 for more. And incredibly, facing off against 1,719 other players this time, the 66-year-old physician from New Hope, Pennsylvania, would do it again, successfully defending his title, for $259,230 and Super Seniors bracelet #2.

“I’ll tell you, starting out heads-up I tried to stay positive, but it was very tough and I had so few chips,” Moore told WSOP officials after the win. “That was a lucky, lucky run.”

Indeed, Moore began heads-up play at a significant chip disadvantage against Kerry Goldberg. However, he refused to give up during their three-hour battle and eventually took the chip lead. In the final hand, Goldberg flopped middle pair and went with it. Unfortunately for him, Moore had flopped top pair. Goldberg failed to catch a lucky turn or river, and instead had to settle for finishing second to a man who rightfully can claim he owns this event.

This tournament marked the third time the Super Seniors has been held since being introduced in 2015.

Final Table Results
1 James Moore (New Hope, PA) $259,230
2 Kerry Goldberg (Jacksonville, FL) $160,120
3 John Isler (Winter Park, FL) $115,357
4 Veronica Daly (Carlsbad, CA) $84,005
5 Ken Aldridge (Pleasant Garden, NC) $61,842
6 Darrell Ticehurst (Hillsborough, CA) $46,029
7 David Smith (Avon Park, FL) $34,641
8 Daniel Favreau (Montrose, MN) $26,365
9 Terry Stuhldreher (St. Charles, MO) $20,296

Palevic Makes $12,260 Per Hour

The one-day Event #39, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty, drew 1,868 runners, and 15 hours later just one remained in Sweden’s Rifat Palevic. The 37-year-old poker pro captured the bracelet and a $183,903 first-place prize, meaning he earned $12,260/hour for the win.

“I actually wasn’t even planning on playing this,” Palevic said in his tournament exit interview. “But I met a guy from Houston, Texas, and we played heads up for a long session in London and he told me the cash games [were] not good. And he said ‘Let’s play this. It’s a good tournament.’ So, my friends also told me it was a good tournament. I went into it and everything was good. I’m very happy to get a bracelet.”

Palevic’s win came after a six-year hiatus from the WSOP. But upon his return to Las Vegas in the summer, he decided to play the Super Turbo Bounty, which featured 20-minute levels and a $300 bounty for each player knocked out.

“It was a perfect mix,” Palevic said. “It couldn’t be better. It was born for me. I like turbo tournaments. I also like normal tournaments, but I really liked this tournament. It was nice with the bounties. Everything was nice. I like to play tournaments over here in the US.”

Others who cashed the event were Caufman Talley (11th for $11,435), Rex Clinkscales (35th for $4,692), TJ Cloutier (41st for $3,862), and Bruno Politano (51st for $3,215).

Final Table Results
1 Rifat Palevic (Loddckopinge, Sweden) $183,903
2 Ryan Olisar (Naperville, IL) $113,581
3 Dean Blatt (Caufield North, Australia) $82,227
4 Robert Heioorn (London, Germany) $60,132
5 Rick Hollman (Encino, CA) $44,424
6 Joseph Monahan (Yardville, NJ) $33,160
7 Gavin O’Rourke (Portlaoise, Ireland) $25,010
8 George Dolofan (Miami Beach, FL) $19,063
9 Victor Kim (Lawrence, KS) $14,685

Jaka Leads $5K 6-Max Final Table

Event #36, $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, began with 574 players to create a $2,669,100 prize pool. After Tuesday’s Day 2, just six remain in contention for the $580,338 first-place prize.

Leading the final table is Faraz Jaka with 3.15 million in chips. He faces some tough competition, though, if he wants to hold on to that lead, from the likes of Kenny Hallaert (2.96 million), Sam Soverel (2.2 million), Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen (1.86 million), and Christian Rudolph (1.31 million). Also at the final table is Russia’s Nadar Kakhmazov (2.93 million), who earlier this month won the record-breaking MSPT Venetian.

Among those to exit in the money on Day 2 were James Obst (7th for $57,550), Mike Leah (17th for $24,799), and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (31st for $13,159).

The final six players will return to action at noon PT on Wednesday to play down to a winner.

Tran & Negreanu Still in Limit Championship

Event #38, $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, began with 120 players and a $1,128,000 prize pool. The tournament is down to its final 15.

Out in front is the only player with a seven-figure stack, JC Tran, who bagged 1.15 million.

Others still contending for the $311,817 top prize include Terrence Chan (831,000), Sorel Mizzi (641,000), recent bracelet winner Ben Yu (446,000), and Daniel Negreanu (425,000).

Just four players busted in the money on Tuesday: Michael O’Grady (15th for $17,894), Phil Hellmuth (16th for $15,385), Robert Mizrachi (17th for $15,385), and Martin Kabrhel (18th for $15,385).

Final 20 in Latest $1K NLH

After Day 2 of Event #37, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em, only 20 of the 2,020 starting players remain. The chip leader fighting for the $292,880 top prize is Chris Johnson, with a stack of 1.24 million. That’s significantly ahead of his next closest competitor, Vlad Darie, who bagged 902,000.

Others who’ll return for Day 3 at noon PT on Wednesday are Michael Gathy (672,000), Katie Swift (425,000), Allan Bieler (240,000), and the short-stacked Ryan Smith (107,000). Among those to fall on Day 2 were Craig Varnell (21st for $9,209), Mark “Pegasus” Smith (33rd for $7,492), and bracelet winner Ryan Laplante (52nd for $5,131).

Madsen Leads Record Hi-Lo Stud Field

Event #40, $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, drew 595 players for a $803,250 prize pool, which made it the biggest turnout for the tournament in five years.

After ten levels of play, 176 players survived Day 1. The chip leader is 2006 WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Madsen (79,900). He’s trailed by Adam Friedman (51,400), who won the $5k version of this event in 2012, 2005 Main Event champion Joe Hachem (40,000), six-time bracelet winner Ted Forrest (35,100), and Frank Kassela (33,200), who won his third gold bracelet earlier in the 2017 series.

Among those to fall on the first day were Andre Akkari, Cliff Josephy, Matt Savage, Dan Shak, and legendary WSOP commentator Norman Chad.

The eventual winner of the tournament will walk away with $173,228 and a gold bracelet that will likely add to somebody’s collection.

Coming Up: $1,500 PLO & $10K 6-Max Championship

Wednesday will see two new tournaments kick off.

First up is Event #41, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, at 11 am PT. That tournament will start players with 7,500 in chips and play 10 levels. Late registration will remain open for six levels (until approximately 7:10 pm).

The other is Event #42, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship, at 3 pm PT. Players in this event start with 50,000 in chips and play 10 levels on Day 1. Late registration will remain open through eight levels (until approximately 12:20 am).

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