WSOP Day 4: Selbst, Selbst, Selbst

6 min read

Vanessa Selbst WSOP 2014
Vanessa Selbst happy with making history. (Image: WSOP)

History was made on Day 4 of the 2014 World Series of Poker.

This history didn’t involve the largest field in a particular poker variation, however. It involved women’s poker, and one woman stole the show. Vanessa Selbst came back from a 5-to-1 chip deficit at one point in her heads-up match against Jason Mo, and she won her third WSOP bracelet. She became the first woman to win three open event bracelets in the history of the Series, and her winner photo with her wife and two dogs was a first for the game as well.

Selbst now sits with more than $10.5 million in live tournament earnings, extending her lead as the winningest woman in poker and moving into territory never before inhabited by a woman.

Brandon Shack-Harris won his first WSOP bracelet yesterday as well, beating a very big field and tough final table to grab gold.

Other tournaments finished the night with big names like Phil Galfond and Kyle Cartwright with chip leads. Rails around tournaments have been impressive, as has been the poker action at the Rio.

Event 2: $25K Mixed Max NLHE (Day 4 of 4)

Any tournament with a $25K buy-in is going to feature well-known players, but one respected player topped them all. Event 2 actually started with these figures:

Entries: 131
Prize pool: $3,111,250
Places paid: 16

Day 4 brought the final two players back for heads-up poker, with Jason Mo holding 5.86 million chips to the 3.96 million of Selbst. The two had some history together, as Mo had not been kind to Selbst on Twitter and elsewhere. Selbst also identified Mo as one of the men who played the WSOP Ladies Championship two years prior, which upset Selbst. It was not a friendly match.

Mo came out of the gate strong and chipped up to hold a 5-to-1 chip advantage over Selbst at one point. But Selbst doubled and quickly got back into the game. At some point, she got Mo’s number and soared, straight into the historic winner’s circle.

1st place: Vanessa Selbst ($871,148)
2nd place: Jason Mo ($538,308)

Event 3: $1K PLO (Day 3 of 3)

The largest non-Hold’em tournament in poker history had only six final tablists still in contention when Day 3 began. When it began, these were the numbers:

Entries: 1,128
Prize pool: $1,015,200
Places paid: 117

Steve Billirakis had a solid chip lead going into the action, with Brandon Shack-Harris in second on the leaderboard. Billirakis started strong by busting short-stacked Paddock in sixth place, but he suffered some setbacks as Shack-Harris soared. Ultimately, Billirakis exited in fourth, Iori Yogo took third, and Shack-Harris took the lead into heads-up play. After about an hour, Shack-Harris took gold.

1st place: Brandon Shack-Harris ($205,634)
2nd place: Morgan Popham ($127,245)
3rd place: Iori Yogo ($79,611)
4th place: Steve Billirakis ($57,785)
5th place: Matthew Ryan ($42,658)
6th place: Robert Paddock ($31,978)
7th place: Patrick Arena ($24,324)
8th place: Loren Klein ($18,750)
9th place: Nick Guagenti ($14,649)

Event 4: $1K NLHE (Day 2 of 3)

The first of many $1K NLHE tournaments of the series, Event 4 began with these stats:

Entries: 2,224
Prize pool: $2,001,600
Places paid: 243
First place prize: $360,435

Day 2 had a long way to go, starting with 186 players. They were all in the money, though, and chip leader Alan Clunie fell and cashed out early. Players like Olivier Busquet and Andrew Lichtenberger exited throughout the day as well, and the late-night bustouts included Jamie Kerstetter and Jeff Gross.

The goal of finding the final table was not met, as 12 players bagged chips at the end of the night. WSOP Circuit superstar Kyle Cartwright led the pack. The top five chip counts were:

1. Kyle Cartwright (973,000)
2. Daniel Dizenzo (912,000)
3. Ylon Schwartz (832,000)
4. Jeremy Dresch (672,000)
5. Blake Barousse (634,000)

Event 5: $10K Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Day 2 of 3)

Another attempt at finding a final table fell short in Event 5. The play was intense with a lot of money and a championship bracelet on the line, so play went slower than anticipated. Let’s remember where it started:

Entries: 120
Prize pool: $1,128,000
Places paid: 12
First place prize: $355,324

Day 2 started with 54 players and did shrink the field. Late into the night, players like Matthew Ashton and John Hennigan departed, and the money bubble took some time. In the end, it was Jason Mercier who eliminated Tom Schneider in 13th place to open the money door and end play for the night.

The top five stacks going into the final day will be:

1. Phil Galfond (604,000)
2. Jason Mercier (561,000)
3. Alexandre Luneau (386,000)
4. Tuan Le (377,000)
5. Nick Schulman (304,000)

Event 6: $1,500 NLHE Shootout (Day 1 of 3)

The tournament began with a glitch. It seemed that quite a few tables were short-handed with numerous dead stacks in play. Tournament Director Jack Effel quickly admitted it, stopped the clock, and rectified it before play continued. And when the field was set, the numbers were:

Entries: 948
Prize pool: $1,179,800
Places paid: 120
First place prize: $259,211

2013 entries: 1,194
2013 prize pool: $1,611,900

One of the first players to advance was Shannon Shorr, and others who followed throughout the day included Josh Arieh, David Benefield, and Mike Matusow. Finally, just after midnight, David Israelite became the winner of the last table going, and the night stopped. Most stacks are fairly similar for Round 2 on Day 2, but there are a few who will head in with more chips than others:

1. Scott Vener (37,025)
2. Jonathan Clancy (36,875)
3. Ben Reason (36,500)
4. Isaac Baron (36,100)
5. Tied: Eugene Katchalov, Jesse Wilke, Josh Pollock (36,050 each)

Event 7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz (Day 1 of 3)

Some claim that Razz attracts the most miserable crowd at the WSOP. Others find it to be an entertaining game. All of them put together brought these numbers for Event 7:

Entries: 352
Prize pool: $475,200
Places paid: 40
First place prize: $121,196

No corresponding 2013 event.

Action featured players like Phil Hellmuth and actor James Woods, among numerous other familiar faces in the crowd. The chip counts reported at the end of the night for the 75 remaining players were not exactly final, but they were:

1. Fabio de Francesco (66,700)
2. Jordan Siegel (61,100)
3. Matt Waxman (42,300)
4. Jared Koppel (41,700)
5. Phil Hellmuth (39,700)

On Tap for May 31

Events 4 and 5 will play to the final table and for the win.

Events 6 and 7 will try to reach their final tables.

Event 8 ($1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker) offers two flights – noon and 5pm – with reentries allowed in the latter flight.


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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