WSOP Day 35 Recap: Bonomo Still Leads $50K PPC, Three Series Bracelets Find New Homes

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On WSOP Day 35, it was finally starting to feel like Justin Bonomo wasn’t going to be denied this time.

Bonomo has already made three final tables at this year’s World Series of Poker, but has fallen just short of a win each time (with a 2nd and two 3rd place finishes). On Wednesday, he’ll return as he leads the pack of Event #55, the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship (6 handed), which will play out to its conclusion today beginning at 2 pm Pacific time.

Justin Bonomo PPC WSOP 2016
Evil eye: Looking like he’s putting a hex on someone, $50K PPC leader Justin Bonomo starts play today at the top of Event #55’s leaderboard. (Image:

With 7,750,000 in chips, Bonomo is on top of one of the WSOP’s most prestigious events, with just six players left. But finishing the job won’t be easy.

That’s because right behind him is Michael Mizrachi, a two-time winner of this tournament (2010 and 2012), with 5,535,000 in chips. And another former PPC champ, Brian Rast (2011), will enter the final table fourth overall, with $3,185,000, while in third place is well-known pro Eric Wasserman (3,840,00).

To round out this table of talent will be Lamar Wilkinson (2,045,000) and Ray Dehkharghani, who has a massive hill to climb today with just 395,000 in chips, which is less two big blinds.

Notable busts on the final day of the PPC were Robert Mizrachi (14th, $75, 833), last year’s PPC champ Mike Gorodinsky (13th, $75,833) and Daniel Negreanu (12th, $92,702).

Tommy Hang, who took 7th for $150, 672, just missed the final table.

The tournament, which will pay the winner just under $1.3 million, started with 91 players, and everyone left is guaranteed at least $200,000. The final six have seven bracelets between them and a combined $15 million in WSOP career earnings, so this should be quite a table to watch.

Thompson Nails Gutshot Straight for First Bracelet

Corey Thompson’s rail shouted to the heavens for a 9-ball on the turn to wrap up a WSOP bracelet for their guy in Event #58, the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em, on Tuesday night.

And a 9-ball is what they got.

Corey Thimpson WSOP 2016
Corey Thompson of Florida hit his gutter to take down Event #58, the $1K NLH, for $223,163. (Image:

As a result, the Floridian pocketed $223,163 and his first career gold bracelet, just a few months after he won his premier major live event with the Heartland Poker Tour last fall for $131,720.

But the final hand for Thompson’s latest win is what may have been the most memorable.

Thompson held a nearly 4-to-1 chip lead over second-place finisher Enrico Rudelitz of Germany, who ultimately bagged $136,651 and his best career finish in a live event.

On the first hand after the heads-up break, holding A♠7♦, Rudelitz shoved all in and was called by Thompson with Q♥J♦.

The flop brought 10♠8♦2♠, keeping Rudelitz in the lead for the moment, but not for long. With Thompson’s rail shouting “Draw him dead!” and calling for a nine, the 9♦ fell on the turn and sealed it for Corey.

Rounding out the final table were:

  • William Liang (3rd, $97,811)
  • Darren Terazawa (4th, $70,821)
  • Ankit Ahuja (5th, $51,878)
  • Terry Fan (6th, $38,452)
  • Matthew Chang (7th, $28,842)
  • Ryan Pochedly (8th, $21,897)
  • Benjamin Reinhart (9th, $16,827)

Peters Scoops Event #56

David Peters was clearly sick of being on the “always a bridesmaid” list.

Peters, of Toledo, Ohio, reached his eighth career final table Tuesday night in Event #56, the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em championship. But this time, the self-taught pro would finish on top, as he finally won his first gold bracelet and $412,557.

Had Peters fallen short, he would’ve been that much closer to the unenviable WSOP record of 12 final tables with no win.

“I was definitely surprised it took me as long as it did (to win),” the man with 38 prior World Series cashes told Peters beat out 1,859 other players, and it was no day in the park. “There were a lot of close calls,” he noted.

He beat out Ireland’s Cathal Shine ($254,890) heads up, who bested his previous top career finish in a live event by more than $200,000.

Rounding out the final-table finishers were:

  • Matt Affleck (3rd, $184,456)
  • Muhammad Abdel Rahim (4th, $134,845)
  • Zachary Okin (5th, $99,592)
  • Brendan Sheehan (6th, $74,321)
  • Takuya Suzuki (7th, $56,044)
  • Kilian Kramer (8th, $42,711) 
  • David Patterson (9th, $32,900)

Online Pro Nowakowski Dives Live, Captures Fish

New Jersey’s David Nowakowski has been making waves online for years. On Tuesday night, he made a big splash live, too.

He topped a field of 732 players in Event #57, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better, to bag $203,113 for his largest cash ever at a live event.

“It’s a dream come true,” he told after the win. “It’s still all a bit surreal to me.”

Timothy Vukson ($125,507) and Marco Johnson ($87,192) finished in second and third place, respectively. Also of note was ninth-place finisher Matt Lefkowitz ($13,691), who made his seventh career final table, but was unable to break through with a win.

$5K NLH Sees Helder Out Front

Of the 863 original entrants (more than doubling last year’s field) for Event #59, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, only 359 remain in the running on Thursday for the top prize of $800,000.

Leading the pack early is California’s Jason Helder (228,300 in chips), followed by four fellow Americans in Christopher Park (205,200), Jayakrishnan Nair (201,000), Tai Nguyen (179,000), and Keith Lehr (163,300).

Four WSOP Main Event Champions are also still standing, including Martin Jacobson (73,600), Ryan Riess (48,800), Chris Ferguson (35,100), and Joe Cada (24,300). Ferguson, much to the chagrin of many, continues to prosper, despite remaining mostly to himself this year.

Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better  Down to 124

Of the 521 players who entered Event #60, the$1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, just 124 remain after Day One.

On top at the 2 pm restart time will be Jesse Hampton (87,500 chips), followed by Jimmy Fricke (82,200) and Calvin Anderson (69,200).

Some notables still in the field will be Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, Allen Cunningham, and $10K PLO bracelet winner Brandon Shack-Harris. That’s a lot of playing power.

New Today

At 11 am Pacific time, Event #61, the Tag Team No Limit Hold’em three-day event will kick off at the Rio in Las Vegas. This one will run entrants $1K per team entered for the buyin.

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