The 2014 World Series of Poker is playing out as poker should. There have been a number of new faces at final tables, and even a few in the winner circles, but many of the bracelet winners this year are familiar faces. It reinforces the argument that poker is a game of skill with the numbers and stats to back it up.
Dutch Boyd captured his third bracelet by working through a $1K NLHE field, and Eric Buchman showed his Stud prowess by taking down his second bracelet in that tournament. Both had been there before, in front of cameras and holding that WSOP gold, but each time is a new experience and, in some ways, better than the last.
Meanwhile, Humberto Brenes has been showing his tenacity at this year’s Series by cashing in eight tournaments thus far. A deep run may be in the Costa Rican’s future.
Event 33: $1K NLHE (Day 3 of 3)
It wasn’t one of the biggest $1K NLHE events of the year, but it was a solid field nonetheless:
Prize pool: $1,519,200
Places paid: 170
Day 2 thinned the field from 115 players to just 10. They returned on Day 3, and the tenth place elimination of David Olmsted for $16,088 set the official final table.
Play was quite tough, especially as the night grew late. The only woman at the table, Pok Kim, exited in fifth, and former chip leader Will Givens took fourth. Dutch Boyd took the lead into heads-up play and captured the win in less than 20 hands.
1st place: Dutch Boyd ($288,744)
2nd place: Steven Norden ($178,490)
3rd place: Paul Cogliano ($117,464)
4th place: Will Givens ($84,680)
5th place: Pok Kim ($61,983)
6th place: Christopher Sensoli ($46,031)
7th place: Vinny Pahuja ($34,668)
8th place: Gabriel Nassif ($26,464)
9th place: Chad Dixon ($20,463)
Event 34: $1,500 Seven Card Stud (Day 3 of 3)
Several hundred players came out for the low buy-in Stud event, which started with these figures:
Prize pool: $465,750
Places paid: 40
The field had only 60 players at the start of Day 2 and played all the way to the final table and down to six.
Day 3 started with the quick elimination of Nabih Helmi in sixth and then Bryn Kenney in fifth. Play slowed a bit from there, but Eric Buchman was determined, taking a lead into heads-up play against the formidable Alex Kravchenko but defeating him in a relatively short period of time to claim his second WSOP bracelet.
1st place: Eric Buchman ($118,785)
2nd place: Alex Kravchenko ($73,360)
3rd place: Aleksandr Denisov ($47,315)
4th place: William Thompson ($34,283)
5th place: Bryn Kenney ($25,206)
6th place: Nabih Helmi ($18,802)
7th place: Mallory Smith ($14,228)
8th place: David Prager ($10,921)
Event 35: $5K NLHE Eight-Handed (Day 2 of 3)
The field was impressive in this $5K tournament, as quite a few more players show up this year than last:
Prize pool: $2,585,000
Places paid: 56
First place prize: $633,341
Day 2 brought 170 of those players back to action, and the money bubble burst just after the dinner break, courtesy of Jeff Madsen eliminating an opponent in 57th place. Some of the players who cashed after that were Brandon Meyers, Michael Mizrachi, Steven Silverman, Brock Parker, Jonathan Duhamel, Dan O’Brien, and Nick Schulman. The 24th place bustout of Ludovic Riehl ended play for the night.
Of the 23 remaining players, Madsen led the group. The top five on the leaderboard were:
1. Jeff Madsen (661,000)
2. Jay Conley (592,000)
3. Brian Yoon (587,000)
4. Josh Bergman (553,000)
5. Matt Davenport (543,000)
Event 36: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball (Day 2 of 3)
There was a solid level of interest in this low buy-in lowball tournament when it began:
Prize pool: $325,350
Places paid: 28
First place prize: $89,483
Day 2 started with just 38 players and made it into the money in a relatively short period of time. Bryce Yockey was then the first to cash for $2,837, and others who followed included Max Pescatori, Mike Leah, Eli Elezra, Phil Hellmuth, Brian Rast, and Ali Eslami.
The final table then started and saw Adam Crawford and Scott Bohlman hit the rail before play stopped. The six players remaining will start Day 3 with these chip counts:
1. Steven Wolansky (257,000)
2. Samuel Touil (233,000)
3. Joseph Cheong (221,500)
4. Christopher Mecklin (145,000)
5. Max Kruse (131,000)
6. Orjan Skommo (109,000)
Event 37: $1,500 PLO (Day 1 of 3)
Pot Limit Omaha is quite the popular game now, and this low buy-in offering attracted a big field, though not as large as the year before:
Prize pool: $1,305,450
Places paid: 117
First place prize: $264,400
2013 entries: 1,022
2013 prize pool: $1,378,350
The first day of play reduced the field to just 113 players, as the money bubble burst right at the end of the night to guarantee all remaining players at least $2,480. Robert Williamson III and Jeremy Ausmus were among the four who cashed, and play stopped quickly thereafter. The leaderboard showed these five players with the top chip counts:
1. Brandon Paster (135,300)
2. Fabrice Soulier (129,300)
3. Mike Wang (113,900)
4. Erick Lindgren (100,000)
5. Norm Silverman (86,800)
Event 38: $10K Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 (Day 1 of 3)
The latest in the series of championship tournaments offered this $10K buy-in event:
Prize pool: $1,259,600
Places paid: 16
First place prize: $352,696
No 2013 corresponding event.
The first day of play reduced the field to 75 players, quite a distance away from the money and setting up for an exciting second day of play. Going into that Day 2 with an advantage are these chip leaders:
1. George Danzer (237,800)
2. Richard Sklar (164,300)
3. Roland Israelashvili (110,700)
4. Brian Hastings (103,200)
5. Todd Dakake (101,800)
On Tap for June 18
Events 35 and 36 will find their champions.
Events 37 and 38 will play down to their final tables, or as close to them as possible.
Event 39 ($3K NLHE) is the only starting tournament of the day and brings players to the tables at noon.
Editor’s Note: Cardschat.com 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.