On WSOP Day 11, Howard Lederer made his triumphant return to the Rio in Las Vegas for the first time since 2010. The man known as The Professor has been M.I.A. for what some consider disgracing the game for failing to ensure Full Tilt Poker players received money soon after Black Friday in April 2011.
Lederer late registered for Event #16: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit) and joined a field of 100 players, many of whom are some of the best to ever play. That includes Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Scott Seiver, Anthony Zinno, and Jason Mercier.
After one day of play, 34 remain with Alex Luneau, a talented French pro, sitting atop the leaderboard with 454,000 chips. Mike “The Mouth” Matusow is second with 367,600.
The field is absolutely stacked and we should be in for a must-see final table on Monday regardless of which remaining players get that far. Lederer got off to a good start on Saturday, but then saw his chip stack begin to crumble.
At the end of Day One, The Professor has just 20,300. Only Stuart Rutter has fewer chips (6,900). Negreanu, Hellmuth, Brian Hastings, David Grey, Dan Smith, Scott Seiver, and Rep Porter also remain in the thick of things.
Porter Wins Third Bracelet
Speaking of Rep Porter, moments before registering for Event #16, he took down Event #13: $1,500 Seven Card Razz for $142,624.
It was his third career bracelet and already his fourth cash at the 2016 World Series of Poker. Porter is quietly one of the best players in the game. He defeated Michael Gathy for the bracelet. When heads-up play began, Porter had more than a two-to-one chip advantage.
Daniel Negreanu made another deep run in this event, finishing in 4th. Unfortunately for one of poker’s most popular pros, he’ll have to wait a little bit longer to win his seventh bracelet.
This tournament brought in 461 players and began on Thursday. The top 70 were paid.
Laplante Plants His Name in Poker History
Event #12: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha set a record for most players (2,483) in a live PLO tournament. After three days of play, Ryan Laplante is the last man standing and will take home $190,328 and his first career WSOP gold bracelet.
Laplante, a Midwesterner, had already scored three small cashes prior to Event #12 this summer. But he finally got over the hump and went on the heater of his lifetime.
Milly Maker Day One In the Books
Event #14: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em will probably finish with the third largest field at the 2016 WSOP. Only the Colossus and Main Event have drawn or will draw more.
There were 7,190 entrants over two Day One flights in the Milly Maker with 1,172 coming back for Sunday’s Day Two restart. The prize pool is what entices players to enter this tournament. The top two finishers will take home at least $1 million ($1,065,403 for 1st place).
Shalev Halfa, an Israeli who recently scored his first small WSOP cash in his life, is the chip leader heading into Day Two with 250,700. He has a fairly sizable lead over the man in second place, Kevin Powell from Buckeye, Arizona (191,200).
Jean Gaspard just won Event #11 for $306,621 and has one of the biggest stacks in the Milly Maker (131,100).
Other notable names in the top 200 are Matt Affleck (141,200), Leif Force (128,900), Dietrich Fast (111,700), Matt Waxman (81,400), Martin Jacobson (69,400), Kelly Minkin (69,100),
Play will resume at 11:00 am on Sunday. The final table is set for Tuesday.
Lots of Talent Left in This Field
Event #15: $1,500 Eight Game Mix began on Friday with 491 bracelet hopefuls. For 480 of them, that dream has been shattered. On Sunday, one of 11 remaining players were be crowned champion and given a $149,943 check.
The 11 players are (in order of current chip stack) Paul Volpe, Anthony Lazar, Ron Ware, Jason Stockfish, Benjamin Ludlow, Bart Lybaert, Gavin Smith, Tommy Coker, Chris Klodnicki, Matthew Honig, and Marc Berman.
New Events Today
Starting tournaments on Sunday include the three-day $1K No-Limit Hold’em, Event #17, and the later in the afternoon, Event #18, the $3K H.O.R.S.E championship, which will also run for three days. Those begin at 11 am and 3 pm respectively, Pacific time.