Event #20: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Even though yesterday started with only 35 players out of the starting field of 1,844, the decision on who will win the bracelet won’t be made until today. Five players will start the day, each gunning for their first bracelet.
Ben Zamani is the chip leader, at his first WSOP final table, followed by Natasha Barbour. Paul Ephremsen is in third, and Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee is in 4th.
The short stack is poker pro Wenlong Jin, who has less than a quarter of Zamani’s stack, but still enough chips to be in with a fighting chance of the first place prize money of $460,640.
Event #21: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
At the incredibly young age of 30, Daniel Alaei has won a fifth WSOP bracelet taking $391,097 for first place, the second time he has won the Championship Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event.
Phil Hellmuth has just astounded the poker world with his record breaking 14th bracelet, but it took him until he was 31 to win his fifth victory. Alaei is on track to match or even beat Phil’s record. One thing working against him is his reluctance to enter No Limit Hold’em tournaments.
“I don’t play any of the No-Limit events. I might play the Main Event or the $10K Six-Max,” Alaei told WSOP. “But I just feel the players are so advanced. I feel like they are much better than me.”
At one point during heads up play against Kyle Maiso, Alaei was a six to one underdog, but incredibly he managed to fight back and secure the win.
Event #22: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
The $1,000 buy-in events are assured of a good turnout with almost 2,000 players entering event #22. Day 3 sees exactly 22 of them remaining, led by Jay Dragland with 946,000 chips.
Lisa Hamilton who won the ladies event in 2009 is well positioned in 7th place, and in mid-field, online tournament specialist Sam Greenwood sits in 16th.
The event is scheduled to end tomorrow, but the 90 minutes it took to burst the money bubble suggests that that plan may be optimistic.
Event #23: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball
A tiny table is all that will be required to see event #23 through to the end, as only three players have chips. Christian Pham leads Daniel Ospina by a whisker, with Matthew “SamENole” Smith far behind in third.
Robert Mizrachi bubbled the final table, but former WSOP Main Event winner Huck Seed stayed the course until busting out in 5th. Mike “GoLeafsGo!” Leah continued his good run with a seventh place finish, his third cash of the series.
Event #24: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
The HORSE events bring out the all-rounders and 772 paid the buy-in to try their luck at winning a bracelet in event #24. The prize pool just made it over the million dollar mark and the winner will pick up $239,750.
Chris Boedeker has the chip lead going into Day 2, but there are plenty of pros still in the tournament and chasing hard.
Daniel Negreanu is eager for his first bracelet of the series, and Phil Hellmuth is alive and ready to challenge for an almost unimaginable 15th bracelet.
Event #25: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed
The $5,000 buy-in kept the field in event #25 to a respectable, but manageable 493 players. Dan Smith is the chip leader with 190 players left.
Shaun Deeb is not far behind in 6th place, running well after his first bracelet win in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship. Slightly ahead of him is another player whose name is becoming a familiar sight on the leaderboards, Valentin Vornicu.
Vornicu has cashed three times already this year, but none so far has brought him more than $10,000. His ability to build an early chip stack has not carried through to any final tables, even though he has plenty of experience at them in WSOP Circuit events. Vornicu has six of the WSOP rings awarded for winning on the Circuit.