On a 2018 World Series of Poker weekend packed with massive fields and final tables, Shaun Deeb — now ranked 135th in the US among live tournament poker players for amassing $4.5 million over the past 12 years — collected his third-ever Series gold bracelet on Saturday night in Event #42, the $25,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event.
The victory catapulted Deeb to the top of the Player of the Year (POY) leader board. His prior WSOP wins were in 2016 and 2015.
After collecting $1,402,683 and outlasting a field of 230 and a final table that included Jason Koon, Scotty Nguyen, and second-place finisher Ben Yu, Deeb took little time for a break. After stopping for a quick celebratory drink with friends, he registered for the $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack event. Saturday saw seven different events play out, including four final tables.
“Every tournament can be the one you win. You kind of have to have that mentality,” Deeb told CardsChat. “You also can’t expect to win every tournament. You’ve got to stay balanced … Now I’m going to hop in the Monster Stack, and if I bust that, hop in the PLO.”
When you’re a pro, that’s how it’s done.
Deeb has been putting cash games on hold during this summer’s WSOP, instead turning his focus towards sweeping POY honors. His win Saturday placed him about a hundred points ahead of John Hennigan in that effort.
“I’m just going to keep playing every event,” Deeb said. “And hopefully I’ll keep cashing and make a few more final tables and lock it up, then get my banner with all my friends.”
Earlier in the night, Scotty Nguyen — who has his own POY banner from 1998 — left the Amazon room with friends after being eliminated in third place from the PLO High Roller by Ben Yu.
“I’ve been focused all day,” said Nguyen, a circular “Focus Baby” patch above the left breast pocket of his denim jacket. “But it’s just one of those things. No matter how good you play, when it’s not there, it’s not meant to be. You gotta wait for the next one, baby,” he told us in his legendary conversational style.
Will Failla and Allen Kessler discussed Deeb’s win from a nearby table in the Monster Stack.
“I think he might be player of the year,” Kessler said.
Laplante at Final Table
CardsChat ambassador Ryan Laplante sat in sixth place of the final table as play wrapped up in the $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event, with Chris “Jesus” Ferguson holding the chip lead. Play is slated to resume at noon PT Sunday, as those left in the field of 1,248 chase the $50,24 top prize.
Ferguson appeared to have weathered the heat from fellow players at the tables, securing another final table in Event #43, the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em, while wearing a black T-shirt with “love” emblazoned in white letters.
Whether he was sending it — or hoping to receive it — could be up for debate. Jesus recently caught a lot of flack for his rather flatlined delivery of a seven-years-too-late video apology for his roll in the Full Tilt debacle.
Like Mother, Like Son for Bonyadi
Less than a week after his mother, Farhintaj Bonyadi, won a gold bracelet in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Super Seniors event, Farzad Bonyadi tried to secure his fourth WSOP gold.
“I hope I win it,” he told CardsChat on a break. “That’s the only way I get happy.”
But he fell short on Saturday night, finishing fourth in the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw championship event #44, which Nicholas Seiken took home instead for $287,987.