WSOP Day 17: John Kabbaj Wins Second Gold

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John Kabbaj, WSOP 2014, World Series of Poker
John Kabbaj claimed a second piece of WSOP gold. (Image: WSOP)

UK poker fans celebrated as John Kabbaj collected his second WSOP gold bracelet, this time in Event 25 for his Omaha/Stud prowess.

Event 24 tried to give away its gold as well, but World Series of Poker Circuit star Kevin Eyster and European Poker Tour satellite expert Pierre Neuville were both set on taking it. That left two remaining late into the night, and they will return to play for the win today.

Off the felt, players continued to debate the penalty given to Mike Matusow in Event 25, which cost him one round of play and led to his elimination soon after on Day 2 of the tournament. The tournament staff was left standing alone in its decision, as even some WSOP officials were not thrilled with the ruling for excessive celebration. This debate will likely continue.

So will the tournaments. Keep your eyes here for the latest!

Event 24: $5K NLHE Six-Handed (Day 3 of 4)

The $5K NLHE Six-Handed event was supposed to be a three-day event but will now run into a fourth day. It all started with these numbers:

Entries: 541
Prize pool: $2,542,700
Places paid: 60
First place prize: $622,998

Day 2 reduced the field from 129 players to just 17. Day 3 then started with the 17th place elimination of Kory Kilpatrick, who was denied a second 2014 WSOP bracelet but took home $24,613 anyway. Griffin Benger followed, as did Mark Darner, Jay Dragland, Greg Merson, Amanda Musumeci, Pratyush Buddiga, Byron Kaverman, and former chip leader Matt Jarvis. Fabrice Touil then took eighth place for $55,710, and Mustapha Kanit bubbled the official final table in seventh place.

Kevin Eyster took the lead over Bryn Kenney to that last table with Pierre Neuville as the shortest stack. But the latter chipped up as David Borrat, Jeremy Kottler, Bryn Kenney, and Andrew Lichtenberger exited. Neuville started heads-up play with 4.72 million chips to the 3.4 million of Eyster, and the two battled back and forth until play finally stopped.

The two finalists will return on June 13 to play for the title.

1. Kevin Eyster (5,515,000)
2. Pierre Neuville (2,605,000)

Event 25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Low Split-8 (Day 3 of 3)

This popular tournament began with these stats:

Entries: 470
Prize pool: $1,069,250
Places paid: 48

Day 2 reduced the field to just 18 players, all of whom were playing for at least $7,784 in prize money but going for the top prize.

Day 3 started with Matt Glantz taking 18th place, followed by Michael Roeseler, Konstantin Puchkov, Owais Ahmed, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, Robert Mizrachi, Chris Reslock, Andrey Zhigalov, and then Fu Wong.

John Kabbaj led the unofficial final table of nine players, and Tyson Marks then exited in ninth place for $18,519. Joe Tehan then took the lead into action, and names like Tom Schneider, Mike Leah, and Erik Seidel departed. Tehan busted in fifth place, and Terrence Hastoo and Chris McHugh followed. Kabbaj then took the lead into heads-up play and rather quickly beat Thomas Keller for the win.

1st place: John Kabbaj ($267,327)
2nd place: Thomas Keller ($165,177)
3rd place: Christopher McHugh ($105,000)
4th place: Terrence Hastoo ($75,713)
5th place: Joe Tehan ($55,451)
6th place: Erik Seidel ($41,230)
7th place: Mike Leah ($31,115)
8th place: Tom Schneider ($23,833)

Event 26: $1,500 NLHE (Day 2 of 3)

Another $1,500 NLHE started with a predictably strong field:

Entries: 1,594
Prize pool: $2,151,900
Places paid: 171
First place prize: $408,953

Day 2 brought back 178 players and quickly jumped into the money portion of the tournament. As the day and night wore on, players like Mike McDonald, Scott Clements, Theo Tran, Joe Serock, and Phil Hellmuth busted. Nick Schulman took 14th place, and the 13th place elimination of Anthony Spinella for $18,162 ended the night.

The top five chip counts for the final day of play were:

1. Ryan Welch (1,524,000)
2. Dan Smith (887,000)
3. Reed Goodmiller (862,000)
4. Jonas Wexler (612,000)
5. Eric Rappaport (588,000)

Event 27: $1,500 HORSE (Day 1 of 3)

The $1,500 HORSE tournament in 2013 had an impressive turnout, but this year’s event drew more than 100 fewer players. The final registration numbers were:

Entries: 743
Prize pool: $1,003,050
Places paid: 80
First place prize: $230,744

2013 entries: 862
2013 prize pool: $1,163,700

Day 2 brought the field down to just 160 players, only half of whom were set to make the money. The leaderboard showed these as the top five chip stacks:

1. Jason Riesenberg (72,600)
2. Huck Seed (59,400)
3. Lonnie Heimowitz (52,500)
4. Ronald Lane (47,200)
5. Jeff Wagner (45,900)

Event 28: $10K PLHE (Day 1 of 3)

In an effort to offer players more $10K championship opportunities, Pot Limit Hold’em was put on that schedule this year. The number of interested players was small, as shown here:

Entries: 160
Prize pool: $1,504,000
Places paid: 18
First place prize: $398,567

No corresponding 2013 event.

Quite a few players exited the tournament early in the evening and later in the night on Day 1, leaving only 66 when play ended. The top five were listed as:

1. Tony Ruberto (203,300)
2. John Juanda (171,200)
3. Michael Abecassis (165,100)
4. Benjamin Pollak (156,800)
5. Alex Bilokur (156,500)

On Tap for June 13

Event 24 will continue its heads-up match to determine a winner.

Event 26 will play to and through its final table.

Events 27 and 28 will move closer to their final tables.

Event 29 ($2,500 NLHE) will begin at noon, and Event 30 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low) will launch into action at 4pm.


Editor’s Note: reporter Jennifer Newell is on site in Las Vegas, and will be offering daily news recaps throughout World Series of Poker 2014. Check back here daily for a detailed accounting of events, exclusive interviews, and anything of interest regarding WSOP.

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