Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
The laurels of victory—in this case a WSOP bracelet and $335k—in Event #21 went to 23 year old Dominik Nitsche, who becomes the youngest player, to have three bracelets in his trophy case.
The previous record holder was none other than Phil Ivey, who accomplished the feat at the age of 24.
“At this rate, I really think I can catch Hellmuth,” Nitsche said following the victory. Hellmuth currently holds 13 WSOP bracelets.
The day started with 16 players, headed by Bob Bounahra and Thayer “THAY3R” Rasmussen. Both carried chips through to the final table where the chip lead swapped several times.
Neither could last the distance, Rasmussen finished in fifth, and Belizean Bounahra in third. Nitsche bounced Rasmussen out when his T-T held up against A-K.
Nitsche’s heads up opponent, Dave D’Alesandro, performed the coup de grace on Bouhnara in a hand where all three players were dealt pairs, 7-7, T-T and Q-Q. That hand let D’Alesandro enter the heads up phase with the chip lead.
Nitsche was almost out several times during a long heads up battle, but luck was in his corner, and he survived every contested all-in.
Finally, he managed to get the chip lead, and D’Alessandro was unable to recover—Nitsche’s A-9 against 4-4 dealt the knockout blow, giving him an unassailable position. Six hands later it was all over.
Event #22: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.
One event where a first time bracelet winner was not likely was the $10k H.O.R.S.E—in the event, a stellar field was beaten to the prize by professional player and Bluff magazine writer, Christopher Wallace.
“It’s amazing,” said Wallace in an interview by Bluff, “If I was going to pick an event to win, except for the Main Event because of the amount of money involved, but if I could pick an event to win because of how I would be seen, this would be it. It feels great.”
Bertrand Grospellier, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, and David Benyamine all fell before the final table. Bill Chen made it as far as sixth, but was knocked out by Wallace when a flush got there on the river.
Randy Ohel provided fierce competition when the tournament got down to heads up play. It finally ended during a round of Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo where Wallace completed a Full House.
Wallace’s payout was just over $500k, with Ohel taking over $300k. There were 200 entries creating a prize pool of $1.8m.
Event #23: $1,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em
Chip leader going into the final table, and owner of all the chips at the end, Doug “WGCRider” Polk has won his first WSOP bracelet.
An event with 1,473 entries, in a turbo format, with a $1k buy-in, might have been an opportunity for an amateur to get lucky and walk away with the bracelet. Instead it went to one of the top talents in the online poker world.
At this year’s Aussie Millions he finished 4th in the $100,000 High Roller Challenge, winning AU$860k, and now that he has a WSOP bracelet, Polk must be recognized as an equally capable live tournament player.
He waded through his final table opponents, sending four of them to the rail. Chiropractor Andy Philachack, was able to keep pace and finished 2nd after a heads up session which lasted for just 15 hands.
Dr. Philachack may have missed the bracelet, but he walked away with a check for $155k. Polk takes home $251k.
After the event, Polk told reporters that he was “tired of being WCGRider … I want to be Doug Polk.” Congratulations Doug Polk!
Events Still Running
Event #24: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Handed
The $5k buy-in has produced a smaller field than the 810 who entered Event #15, the $3k version of this six handed No Limit Hold’em event. Nevertheless, the 541 players can look forward to a total prize pool of over $2.5m.
Day one has reduced the field to 129, and already some very skilled players are jockeying for position. Bryn Kenney, Freddy Deeb, Kevin Saul, Dani Stern, and Greg Merson are all in the top ten with their current stacks.
Michael Mizrachi, Bertrand Grospellier and Scott Seiver are not far behind.
Event #25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
The unusual game combination hasn’t deterred entries, and 139 of the 470 runners remain in Event #25. Dan Shak, Mike Matusow and Vanessa Selbst all have good stacks at the end of Day 1.