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The Kevmath Report - #9
Another seven days of exciting tournament action here in Las Vegas at the 2021 World Series of Poker, and it’s a familiar name that once again headlines this week’s issue.
Sweet 16 for Phil Hellmuth
What a difference a week makes. Less than a week after Phil Hellmuth caused major controversy with his tirade at the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship final table against Anthony Zinno, he was on another deep run. Hellmuth started Day 3 in Event 31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball 2nd of 10 in chips, remaining in that position at the start of the eight-handed final table. Jake Schwartz would soon take over the chip lead and hold it until he and Hellmuth started heads-up play as Schwartz was in pursuit of his first bracelet. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as Hellmuth constantly applied the pressure until he had all the chips and won his 16th bracelet to put him an astonishing six bracelets ahead of his nearest rivals - Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey.
(Photo credit Melissa Haerieti PokerNews/WSOP)
Friedman, Negreanu, Hellmuth, Matusow Highlight Day 3 of $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship
Day 3 of Event 36: $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship starts today at 2:00pm with a stacked field of 10 players returning. Adam Friedman is the two-time defending champion in this event, starting today 2nd in chips. Jake Schwartz is the chip leader with Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Mike Gorodinsky, Matt Glantz, Andrew Kelsall, Carol Fuchs and Joao Vieira rounding out the field. Follow the updates all day here.
Phil Ivey to Appear on Hustler Casino Live Friday and Saturday
One player notable for his absence at this year’s World Series of Poker is Phil Ivey, but his presence will be felt in Gardena, California when he plays on the Hustler Casino Live stream this Friday and Saturday starting at 8pm ET/5pm PT for a $200/$400 NL cash game with a $100,000 minimum buy-in. The HCL hype video below now includes who’ll join Ivey in what surely is a must-watch stream for high-stakes poker fans, Ivey fans, or just poker fans in general.
Change in Travel Guidelines Means Two More WSOP Main Event Flights
On the same day that travel restrictions would be removed from several European countries to the United States on November 8, the World Series of Poker announced the addition of two more flights to the $10,000 Main Event.
The new WSOP Main Event schedule is as follows:
November 4 - Day 1A
November 5 - Day 1B
November 6 - Day 1C
November 7 - Day 1D
November 8 - Day 1E
November 9 (11am) - Day 2 ABD
November 9 (12pm) - Day 1F
November 10 - Day 2 CEF
November 11 - Day 3 (Everyone plays together for the first time)
November 12-15 - Days 4-7 (playing down to the final table)
November 16 - Final Table Part 1
November 17 - Final Table Part 2
Anthony Zinno Becomes a Four-Time WSOP Champion, Wins $1,500 HORSE
Shaking off the Hellmuth onslaught from the previous week, Anthony Zinno hopped into Event 27: $1,500 HORSE and after three days of play, he’d earn his 2nd bracelet in just over a week, his 4th career WSOP title and $160,636. Zinno is now the fourth player to win multiple bracelets on the 2021 WSOP schedule joining Mark Herm and Martin Zamani (two online bracelets), Daniel Lazrus (1 online/1 live bracelet).
Michael Noori Wins WSOP Monster Stack, Beats Ryan Leng Heads-Up
Event 30 on the WSOP schedule was the $1,500 Monster Stack, drawing a field of 3,520 players, in line with unofficial projections but down over 40% from 2019’s total. That fact likely won’t upset Michael Noori as he conquered the field to win his first bracelet and $610,437, defeating Ryan Leng heads-up and denying Leng’s quest at winning his 2nd bracelet of this year’s WSOP.
David ‘Bakes’ Baker Wins 3rd WSOP Bracelet
The trend of players adding another WSOP bracelet to their overall totals continued Tuesday when David ‘Bakes’ Baker earned his 3rd bracelet and breaking his tie with David ‘ODB’ Baker by winning Event 34: $1,500 2-7 Limit Triple Draw Lowball and pocketing $87,837 for his efforts.
Lara Eisenberg Wins Ladies Championship
The final table of the $1,000 Ladies Championship started with Mikiyo Aoki leading the five women seated as Lara Eisenberg started as the short stack. This development didn’t deter the former competive skydiver, showing no fear as worked her way through the final table to earn her 1st WSOP bracelet and $115,694.
Flack, Elky, and Grinder Highlight 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Top 10 Nominees
The World Series of Poker announced the ten individuals who received the most votes during the nomination process for this year’s Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Layne Flack, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, and Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi are the three new candidates with Grospellier and Mizrachi becoming PHoF eligible after turning 40 years old earlier this year. Layne Flack’s passing in July likely jogged some memories to get his name on the nomination list for the first time. They join Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow, tournament director Matt Savage and PokerStars co-founder Isai Scheinberg on the list. Patrik Antonius, Lon McEachern and Norman Chad were nominees in 2020 not considered this year. The surviving Poker Hall of Fame members will vote in the coming weeks with one of the above 10 individuals becoming the Class of 2021 inductee on November 17.
More WSOP Bracelet Winners
Jim Collopy earned his 2nd WSOP bracelet, riding away with the title in Event 32: $3,000 HORSE.
Scott Ball defeated a tough final table to win his first WSOP bracelet and over $562,000 in Event 25: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed.
Ryan Stoker won this week’s WSOP.com Online Bracelet Event - $888 PLO Crazy Eights to earn his first WSOP bracelet plus put over $95,000 in his online account.
Dylan Weisman earned his 1st bracelet in Event 28: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed for over $166,000.
Ran Koller ran the best in Event 33: $800 NL Deepstack 8-Handed for his first bracelet and earning $269,478.
Anthony Koutsos iced the competition to win Event 35: $500 NL Freezeout for $167,272 and his first WSOP bracelet.
This Week’s WSOP Highlights
Making our way past the halfway mark of the 2021 schedule, the big weekend event is the $1,000 Double Stack on Friday and Saturday, giving players 40,000 chips at their disposal. Today starts the $10,000 HORSE Championship. Other Championship events this week are on Saturday - $10,000 PLO 8-Handed and Monday - $10,000 NL 2-7 Single Draw Lowball. Two No-Limit Freezeout events take place this week: Thursday the buy-in is $2,500 and on Sunday the buy-in goes to $5,000 and is played 8-handed. The only No-Limit Shootout takes place on Monday for $1,500. Sunday’s WSOP.com Online Bracelet Event starts at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT - $1,000 No-Limit Bracelet Championship. Visit WSOP.com/tournaments for the full schedule of bracelet events.
The PokerGo Tour announced their Q1 2022 tournament schedule with High Roller events at the Venetian, Aria, and Super High Roller Bowl Russia. What looks like an interesting series takes place in January at the Aria with the ‘Stairway to Millions’ offering buy-ins starting at $1,000, escalating to a $100,000 final.
Ethan “RampagePoker’ Yau won MSPT Venetian $1,100 NL for over $230,000.
Dan Bilzerian claims to be playing billionaire Alec Gores in a heads-up match in Las Vegas with each putting up $50,000,000.
Prime Social Texas Tournament Director Justin Hammer wanted to remind me that they have a huge series coming later in October, the image below signifies how big a deal it is to him.
I Played a WSOP Bracelet Event for 125 Minutes
To close out this week’s edition of The Kevmath Report: It’s been a while since I played an open WSOP bracelet event, making Day 2 of the 2015 Main Event. Since working for the WSOP as the ‘Twitter Czar’ since 2016, I was unable to play any bracelet event except the Casino Employees event. That was until finding out that I COULD play in a bracelet event this year. Taking a look at the schedule, I found the perfect event - Tuesday’s $1,500 No-Limit Super Turbo Bounty. Now all I needed to do was sell action and be on my way to a bracelet! Unfortunately, it was suggested that I couldn’t do this publicly as it could cause a series of integrity issues. Option 2: Go through PocketFives new Staking program, but I couldn’t participate in the promotion. The discussion continued with WSOP executives until a surprising Option 3 came into play.
Poker Hall of Fame member Mori Eskandani had just busted from the $3,000 HORSE short of the money and commiserated with the WSOP executives about his misfortune about bubbling. During the talk, there was a mention of me wanting to play Tuesday’s bracelet event. After giving it some thought, Mori went into his pocket and tossed me a $1,000 Rio chip.
Problem solved! Unfortunately, this would be the highlight of my WSOP tournament playing experience. In my 120+ minutes of playing a WSOP bracelet event on Tuesday, I managed to sit at the wrong table, turn over my hand prematurely, and WINNING that same hand when I make the nuts on the river and only call. Fortunately, no one called the floor as I should have received a penalty for those amateur mistakes. At my first table, I went from a starting stack of 25,000 to 8,100 to 28,000 before our table broke. I managed to make it to the first break with 20,000 chips but after the triple bracelet ceremony in Brasilia I lasted two more hands as I shoved with QQ in the small blind and was against AK. Another A came on the turn and I exited the tournament area when the board didn’t improve. Congrats to Karolis Sereika, winning in just over 14 hours for his first bracelet and $195,310.