As the 2018 World Series of Poker continued onward Thursday, it proved to be another exciting day. As proof, one tournament popped the money bubble on the very last hand of the night and another non-Hold’em game got its moment in the sun with its $10,000 Championship.
Event #42 – $25,000 Eight-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller
Coming back for Day 2, the players weren’t sure of a couple of things. First, the final field would not be determined until after the second level of the day and, second, they had no clue what they would be playing for. The $25,000 buy-in assured the field that the prize pool would be worth several million dollars and, in the end, that became true.
The 192-entry field (each player was allowed one re-entry) started the day with 101 survivors, but the late entry process added a few more contenders. Another 38 entries were received, bringing the final field up to 230 players and building a prize pool of over $5.4 million. It also guaranteed a million-dollar prize for the eventual champion ($1,402,683, to be exact) along with the WSOP bracelet.
Konstantin Beylin led the way at the start of the day, but the news wasn’t so good for others. Daniel Negreanu started the day in third place but never found traction on the day. Going to the final break before the close of late registration, the Poker Hall of Famer got his chips in with an A-K-4-4 against Craig Varnell’s A-Q-9-4 on a 9-4-3-10 flop and turn. Like a thunderbolt, however, Varnell caught magic on the river in a nine that gave him a boat (nines over fours) to defeat Negreanu’s inferior boat (fours over nines). After the stacks were counted, Negreanu was found to have been at risk and went to the rail while Varnell seized the lead.
With only 35 players receiving anything for their efforts, the pace of carnage brought the field to 36 survivors by what would prove to be a dramatic final hand of the night. On that final hand, Jason Koon raised the betting to 58,000 and found action from Erik Seidel, who called. Konstantinos Bouloutsos, sitting on 59,000, decided that coming back on Friday as a short stack wasn’t a viable option and put his chips in the center.
Both Koon and Seidel called off the extra thousand chips and checked to see a Q-9-7-8 double-suited (hearts and diamonds) flop and turn. Seidel bet out at this point, which was enough to get Koon out of the way, and turned up a J-10-8-6 (queen-high straight) while Bouloutsos offered up an A-Q-10-9 (two pair, redraw to queen-high straight) for battle. Once an innocuous four hit the felt, Bouloutsos was out on the bubble and the remaining 35 players were in the money.
|Ben Yu||3.695 million|
|Jason Koon||2.54 million|
|Ryan Tosoc||2.22 million|
|Shaun Deeb||2.12 million|
|Scotty Nguyen||2.01 million|
|Jason Mercier||1.905 million|
|Jonathan Depa||1.18 million|
|Luis Velador||1.045 million|
|David Prociak||1.02 million|
|Robert Mizrachi||1.005 million|
Day 1 chip leader Beylin is still in the mix in 11th place (900,000), while Seidel (725,000), defending champion James Calderaro (705,000) and Mike Leah (660,000) lurk down the leaderboard.
Play resumes in the $25,000 PLO High Roller at 2 p.m. (Pacific time) on Friday and the championship will be determined on Saturday.
Event #44 – $10,000 Limit Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Lowball Championship
Day 1 of the $10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw kicked off on Thursday and, while they might not have a huge number of players, the quality is plainly evident in looking at the leaderboard.
Michael Noori came out of the game fast and racked up a massive amount of chips for a non-Hold’em tournament. Noori would increase his 50,000-starting stack of chips to 335,000 by the end of the day. That was 53,000 chips more than Max Kruse was able to put together, pushing the duo out to the lead over the 100 players that stepped in on Thursday (registration is open until the start of Day 2 on Friday).
The results wouldn’t be as good for some other players. 2018 bracelet winners John Hennigan and Michael Mizrachi couldn’t get anything going on this day, joining Stephen Chidwick, John Monnette and Jean-Robert Bellande on the rail. There will be some contenders down the 41-player leaderboard, such as Farzad Bonyadi, Todd Brunson, Matt Glantz, Cary Katz and the “retired” Vanessa Selbst, and in the overall top 10:
There’s still a chance that the field for the tournament will grow as registration is open in the tournament until the start of Day 2 at 2 p.m. on Friday.