The Kevmath Report #8
The second week of the 2021 World Series of Poker had its share of interesting developments. Another Phil Hellmuth blowup, a man entering the Ladies event, the chaos of the Flip & Go, and decreasing fields filled the voids of an unusually quiet week in the Rio hallways.
Phil Hellmuth Blows Up (Again) as Zinno Makes a Triple-Triple
Making his third World Series of Poker final table in the first two weeks of the series, Phil Hellmuth was a short stack, but he was fighting with all of his heart to win his 16th bracelet. As a short stack against chip leader Anthony Zinno, Hellmuth was ahead until the end when Zinno made a flush. This development sent the Poker Brat into a tizzy, dropping dozens of F-bombs over the course of the next few minutes, as illustrated below.
Not surprisingly, Poker Twitter wasn’t amused with the antics, wondering why he wasn’t penalized for the outbursts in a way a lesser-known player would have received. Others continued their call to free Sam Panzica, still banned from Caesars properties (and the WSOP) since 2013 for his actions during that year’s November Nine final table. A response from a tournament official overseeing the final table area didn’t sit well with those critical of the incident.
Hellmuth eventually finished in 4th place, moving into 2nd place in the WSOP Player of the Year standings behind Jason Koon. Padding his chip lead, Zinno made quick work of his remaining rivals to capture his 3rd bracelet and $182,872 to become the first player to complete a ‘Triple-Triple’ with 3 WSOP bracelets and 3 World Poker Tour Main Tour wins.
Ladies Championship Joined by Single Guy
The Ladies Championship starts with a $10,000 buy-in, although women who participate get in for the discounted price of $1,000. This year Tom Hammers was the one player who decided to pay the inflated amount, saying he would donate any winnings to women’s charities. Hammers’ exit from the tournament shortly after the close of registration was greeted with a round of applause from the remaining female-only field, which included his wife Sherry, who finished 63rd. Day 3 is now underway with PokerGO covering the final table on Thursday. Follow the action at https://bit.ly/WSOP21Ladies.
Flip & Go Draws Mixed Reaction, Small Field
The debut of the $1,000 Flip & Go presented by GGPoker was an interesting concept where the ‘Flip’ portion of the tournament consisted of one hand, but the winners of each eight-handed table would automatically advance into the money. Although there were two flights on October 10th, players could participate in a 1-table ‘satellite’ anytime between October 1st and 9th and also advance to the Day 1 restart, leading some to take issue with it becoming a WSOP ‘money grab’. None ran until October 8th when Daniel Negreanu participated in the opening satellites.
While it took Negreanu nine attempts to win his way to the money. Some players weren’t as fortunate.
The decision to run the one-table ‘satellites’ between Sunday’s flights brought the total number of players advancing to the Sunday night restart to 155, meaning a combined total of 1,240 entries participated. Day 2 on Monday had a final table that featured David Peters, Jake Schwartz, Fred Goldberg, and WPT Online Championship winner Rok Gostisa but it was Dejuante ‘DJ’ Alexander with all the chips to earn his 1st WSOP bracelet and $180,655.
John Monnette Denies Nate Silver at $10,000 Limit Hold’em Final Table
The $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship drew a field of 92 players with John Racener leading a final table that featured Jason Somerville, Terrence Chan, Kevin Song, John Monnette, and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver. When it finally came down to heads-up play it was Silver facing off against Monnette for the bracelet and $245,680. After a hard-fought battle, it was John Monnette earning his 4th WSOP bracelet as Silver congratulated the winner.
Millionaire Maker Continues Year-Over-Year Decline in Field Sizes
The encouraging numbers of the opening week’s $500 Reunion, where they reached the $5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool, were dampened a bit during the second week. It wasn’t a surprise to see numbers down from 2019’s events but the declines appear to be higher than expected for some events, especially the $1,500 Millionaire Maker that highlighted the 2nd weekend of the series. The final number of 5,326 was down almost 40%. Most events have seen declines in the 20-30% range, which was the expected result among interested people. Five players remain after three days of play with the final table scheduled to air later tonight on PokerGo. Belgium’s Michael Gathy starts the final day 3rd in chips as he looks to join an exclusive club by winning a 5th WSOP bracelet in hold’em. The only other player with at least 5 WSOP No-Limit hold’em bracelets - Phil Hellmuth.
Last Week’s WSOP Winners
Yuval Bronshtein ($1,500 Limit Hold’em) and Rafael Lebron ($1,500 Seven Card Stud) were the latest to collect their second career bracelets. Pete Chen (WSOP.com $400 Ultra Deepstack), Harvey Matthews ($3,000 NL Freezeout), Bradley Jansen ($1,500 NL 6-Max), Dylan Linde ($1,500 Mixed Omaha 8 or Better), and Vladimir Peck ($2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball) all earned their first.
Upcoming WSOP Bracelet Events
The major bracelet event of the weekend is the popular $1,500 Monster Stack, which I hear still has ABSOLUTELY NO RE-ENTRY starting on Friday. HORSE fans get to enjoy a $3,000 edition on Saturday, with an $800 NL Deepstack running Sunday with an $888 PLO Crazy Eights running Sunday evening on WSOP.com. More freezeouts on store Monday and Tuesday with a $500 buy-in Monday and a 1-day $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty on Tuesday.
Those looking for something with a higher buy-in have the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship on Monday, a $50,000 NL High Roller on Tuesday, and the $10,000 HORSE Championship on Wednesday. As always, visit WSOP.com/tournaments for the full bracelet schedule.
Greg Raymer wins Platinum Pass at Westgate HORSE tournament
The conclusion of the Mixed Games Festival at the Westgate, the brainchild of CardPlayerLifestyle’s Robbie Strazynski, featured a $200 HORSE tournament with the top prize boosted by the awarding of a $30,000 Platinum Pass package for the PokerStars Players Championship, time and date TBD. The nationwide Caesars outage that caused problems at the Rio spurred Greg Raymer to play the event, and in the end, collected the Platinum Pass and $4,911.
PokerStars is bringing back their Dare2Stream promotion for Twitch streamers, awarding the winner a 1-year Ambassador contract to the winner.
A pair of six-figure Super High Roller at the Aria over the past weekend was won by Jake Schindler and Nick Petrangelo.
Registration closes Thursday if you’d like to nominate a player for the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
John Gardner picks up a six-figure payday in the Golden Nugget Grand Poker Series $600 Championship.
October 24th at PokerStars Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will each have a $300 buy-in ‘Classic’ with a combined $700,000 across all three states.
Evgeniy Starinkov takes down the EPT Sochi Open for over $224,000 USD.
The next stop for the RunGood Poker Series runs November 11-14 at Horseshoe Council Bluffs.