With Six Left Negreanu Leads $50K PPC, Romania Gets First Bracelet, Israel Takes Second of 2017, and Who Wants to Win a German Game Show?

6 min read

Day 36 of the 2017 World Series of Poker was a busy one, as four different events played down to a winner inside the Rio. Meanwhile, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship played down to a final table, which saw perhaps the most famous poker player in the world finish the day in the chip lead.

Daniel Negreanu $50K Poker Players Championship
For Daniel Negreanu, protecting his stack is serious business with the chip lead in the $50k Players Championship and the Chip Reese trophy on the line. (Image: Jayne Furman / PokerPhotoArchive.com)

Poised Negreanu Leads $50K PPC Final Table

Event #62, $50,000 Poker Players Championship, began with 100 players and is down to the final table of six. Out front is none other than Daniel Negreanu, who is in search of his seventh gold bracelet, and maybe enough points to put him near the top of the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard.

Others still battling for the $1,395,767 and Chip Reese Memorial Trophy include two-time bracelet winner Paul Volpe and online poker legend Isaac Haxton.

Among those to fall on Day 4 and claim a portion of the $4.8 million prize pool were Shaun Deeb (7th for $164,286), former champ Matthew Ashton (8th for $164,286), Mike Matusow (12th for $97,328), and POY contender James Obst (15th for $77,320).

The final six players will return at 2 pm PT on Thursday to play down to a winner.

Final Table Counts
1 Daniel Negreanu (Toronto, Canada) 5,930,000
2 Isaac Haxton (Las Vegas, NV) 5,205,000
3 Elior Sion (London, UK) 4,750,000
4 Johannes Becker (Koln, Germany) 4,560,000
5 Ivo Donev (Lochau, Austria) 2,990,000
6 Paul Volpe (West Chester, PA) 1,570,000

Papazian Wins First Bracelet for Romania

An impromptu fourth day in Event #60, $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed, was needed to accommodate the heads-up match between Alexandru Papazian and Kilian Kramer, the final two players in an 8,120-entry field. Papazian returned to the felt with a healthy chip lead, which he maintained to capture his first bracelet and a numerically clever $888,888 top prize.

The 28-year-old pro also became the first player from Romania to capture a WSOP gold bracelet, and by proxy the victory made him the country’s leading all-time money winner.

“I do care about being the first one from my country to win a bracelet,” Papazian told WSOP officials after the win. “I’m super happy for it. I’m hoping it won’t be the last one for Romanians, and that there’s more to come. You’re going to see us around.”

Final Table Results
1 Alexandru Papazian (Romania) $888,888
2 Kilian Kramer (Vienna, Austria) $463,888
3 Harry Lodge (Haywards Heath, UK) $344,888
4 Ioannis Angelou Konstas (Athens, Greece) $257,888
5 James Cappucci (Medford, MA) $193,888
6 Vlad Darie (Satu Mare, Romania) $146,888
7 Michael Tureniec (Solna, Sweden) $112,888
8 Guillaume Diaz (France) $86,888

Semipro Turns $60 Online Qualifier Into Gold

Event #63, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em, began with 1,750 players, and on Wednesday 34-year-old Rulah Divine, who had qualified for the tournament via a $60 satellite on WSOP.com, finished as the last man standing to capture his first bracelet and a $262,501 prize.

“It’s surreal,” Divine said after the win. “I’ve been dreaming of a WSOP bracelet since I was a teenager. I’ve been an off-and-on pro. I haven’t been a [full time] pro. I’ve had twins, since 2014. This was only my second bracelet event, along with the online $333 … It solidifies everything. My family, my wife, they’ve supported me forever.”

Final Table Results
1 Rulah Divine (Las Vegas, NV) $262,501
2 Patrick Truong (Pflugerville, TX) $162,170
3 Michael Amato (Boca Raton, FL) $116,940
4 Yunsheng Sun (Shenyang, China) $85,226
5 Ryan Hughes (Tempe, AZ) $62,785
6 John Monnette (Palmdale, CA) $46,758
7 Fabio Felice Cudia (Sofia, Bulgaria) $35,207
8 Eddy Sabat (Los Angeles, CA) $26,806
9 Jeffrey Silverstein (Delray Beach, FL) $20,640
10 Andy Frankenberger (New York, NY) $16,074

Game Show Winner Close to Peak

Event #64, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Mix, began with 1,058 players, but in the end only Sebastian Langrock remained. The 40-year-old German, who now lives in Austria, took home $268,555 for the win, though that was far from the most money he’s ever won.

That’s because in 2013, Langrock won the German version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for $1 million.

To claim the gold bracelet, Langrock had to defeat friend of CardsChat Ryan Laplante, who last year captured a PLO bracelet of his own.

“This is my fifth year here in Vegas,” Langrock told WSOP officials. “I’ve been here five consecutive years. And the first time was pretty tough. I could not adapt at all and my game was bad. I specialized in PLO the last two years. In these years, you get to know many poker players, better players and I finally got to know some very good players. They helped me a lot and I improved my game a lot. Every year I think ‘How bad was I 12 months ago?’ And this time it’s like I feel I’m close to the peak now.”

Final Table Results
1 Sebastian Langrock (Austria) $268,555
2 Ryan Laplante (Brainerd, MN) $165,983
3 Victor Choupeaux (Saint Brieve, France) $118,190
4 Esther Taylor-Brady (Portland, OR) $85,225
5 Shannon Shorr (Las Vegas, NV) $62,242
6 Zahir Gilani (Markham, ON) $46,048
7 Jeremiah Callahan (Oyster Bay, NY) $34,515
8 Fernando Brito (Lauro De Freitas, Brazil) $26,216
9 Jagdeep Singh (India) $20,181

Another Bracelet for Israel

On Wednesday, Shai Zurr, a 34-year-old poker academy teacher, became the second player from Isreal to win a WSOP gold bracelet this summer. Zurr, who is married and has an eight-month-old child, bested a field of 1,413 players to win Event #65, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30-minute levels), for $223,241.

“I am so happy to join the bracelet-winner family and also the Israeli bracelet-winner family,” said Zurr.

He defeated Ognjen Sekularac in heads-up play. By doing so, he stopped Sekularac from becoming the first-ever player from Serbia to win a bracelet.

Final Table Results
1 Shai Zurr (Petach Tikva, Israel) $223,241
2 Ognjen Sekularac (Belgrade, Serbia) $137,909
3 Alex Foxen (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) $98,761
4 Jonathan McCann (Cumbria, UK) $71,540
5 Erick But (Brooklyn, NY) $52,424
6 Phong Than Nguyen (Bristow, VA) $38,869
7 Aaron Hirst (Valencia, CA) $29,162
8 John Brown (Gloucester, VA) $22,143
9 Joseph Liberta (Berlin, NJ) $17,019

Tran Leads Latest $1,500 NL

Event #66, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, began with 1,956 players, but after ten levels just 308 players bagged Day 1. Of those, 294 will earn a portion of the $2,640,600 prize pool with the eventual winner taking home $428,423.

Among those who’ll return for Day 2 are chip leader Tommy Tran (1871,00), Mustapha Kanit (116,500), MSPT Poker Bowl champ Jordan Young (93,800), Jackie Glazier (74,700), and Jonathan Little (55,700).

Parvizi Leads $25K PLO

The largest pot-limit Omaha buy-in tournament of the summer, Event #67, $25,000 PLO 8-Handed High Roller, attracted 187 runners and created a $4,441,250 prize pool. That set a new record for the three-year-old event, which drew 175 and 184 players in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

After ten levels of play, Iraj Parvizi bagged the biggest stack of 850,000, well ahead of his closest competitor, Michael Kamran, who finished with 550,000. Others who’ll return for Day 2 include Max Silver (402,500), Brian Rast (259,000), and Sam Trickett (203,000).

Among those to fall on Day 1 were Brandon Shack-Harris, Mohsin Charania, and Shaun Deeb.

What’s on Deck?

Two new events will kick off on Thursday.

The first is Event #68, $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em, which will get underway at 11 am PT.

Four hours later, at 3 pm PT, Event #69, $1,500 Razz will offer players one of their final chances to play a non-hold’em bracelet tournament this summer.

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