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WSOP & Taxes - The Taxman Cometh and Right Soon

by M.G. Smith

If you're lucky enough to win some serious money at the WSOP (or any other tournament) and you're wondering what you need check out a great article by tax expert Russ Fox explaining how to pay your taxes when you cash in at the WSOP.  This helps answer some big questions regarding this subject.

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2014 WSOP Event #50 $1,500 Eight Game Mix

by Joseph Smith Sr.

A $1,500 buy-in WSOP event probably attracts a group of unknowns and hometown heroes, right?  Wrong, unless names such as Dan Heimiller with a 2014 gold bracelet,  one of poker's most popular pros Daniel Negreanu and the poker superstar himself, Phil Ivey, were all at this Eight Game Mix tournament.  They were all at the eight-handed final table except Dan Negreanu whom bubbled the final table and finished in 9th place.

Need more names to convince you that a trip to the WSOP during any day of play will provide plenty of well known poker professionals plying their trade.  How about Italy's own two bracelet Max Pescatori, or maybe John Cernuto, Bill Chen and even a former WSOP Main Event winner, 2004 Champion Greg Raymer?  And this is just those names that made the top 49 finishers winning some of the prize money.

Entries totaled 485 and created a prize pool of $654,750 with $166,986 destined for the winner.  The main attraction and the major reason all the poker greats were here was the magnetic allure of WSOP gold.  And how did that work out?

It was a storybook ending with poker superstar Phil Ivey mowing down the table and claiming his tenth  World series of Poker gold bracelet.  Bruce Yamron had the honor of finishing second to the poker great.

I wonder if Phil Hellmuth is looking over his shoulder?  I wonder if he can hear the freight train rapidly approaching?  Will Hellmuth do a typical Poker Brat move and take down a bracelet or two to pad his collection of WSOP gold?

Stay tuned folks because this show is just getting started.  Better yet, head for the Rio in Las Vegas and see poker history being made daily.

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2014 WSOP Event #46 $50,000 The Poker Players Championship

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Anyone with an extra $50,000 burning a hole in their pocket  can immediately put out the flames and take a seat in The Poker Players Championship because that's the price of entry to this elite tournament.  One hundred two entrants paid the fee and took their seats with an eye on the winner's share of $1,517,767 from the $4,896,000 prize pool.  There's also the matter of the winner's championship WSOP bracelet.

This event was won in 2013 by Matthew Ashton whom was eliminated during play on the 2nd day of the event when his Kings up came second to John Monnette's Aces up and Ashton headed for the rail.  Early in Day 2 he had lost the majority of his chips to Phil Ivey.

Heads-up play in The Poker Players Championship is often some of the best poker of the series.  Who can forget the two way play between the late Chip Reese and Andy Bloch in 2006?  One for the record books as the two played on and on, far into the night. Until finally, Chip Reese had Andy Bloch all in and the great god of poker decides to hang onto Bloch's first WSOP gold bracelet until some other time in the future.

The 2014 edition of the heads-up Players Championship has Brandon Shack-Harris grinding against “Johnny World” Hennigan whom is holding a substantial chip lead.  Shack-Harris turns the momentum around and gains a stack of chips, then Hennigan comes roaring back and takes away two stacks.

Finally after a series of chip trades which always favored Hennigan, Shack-Harris was down to his last three hundred thousand and change and probably had decided to go all-in with the first hole paint.  The game was No-Limit Hold'em and Shack-Harris held a King-7o.  Yep, Henningan was holding an Ace-10o.  The board ran out offering no help to either player and Hennigan is the 2014 WSOP The Poker Player Championship champion.

Johnny Hennigan collects a special WSOP gold bracelet, $1,517,767 in real money and gets his name permanently inscribed on the Chip Reese Trophy.  Brandon Shack-Harris received $937,975 for second place. 

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2014 WSOP Event #48 $1.5K Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Nine short of one thousand entrants paid their $1,500 buy-in for a seat in World Series of Poker Event #48, Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better.  A study of the pay-out sheet revealed a former Main Event Champion, Joseph Hachem (43rd), a poker superstar, Phil Ivey (30th), plus Vitaly Lunkin (98th) and John Cerunto (42nd) among the 117 top finishers receiving some prize money from the $1,337,850.

The final table also included additional poker royalty.  Two former WSOP Players of the Year were present.  Jeff Madsen took the award in 2006 and Tom Schneider received the honor in 2007.

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2014 WSOP Event #47 $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold'em

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Jesse McEuenAnother variation of the WSOP's player favorite poker format, No-Limit Hold'em.  This game removes the blinds and places an ante on each player to get the pot started.  Many of us that grew up watching after school westerns on TV knew what an ante was because all they played was draw poker with an ante.

But of course, the 2014 WSOP isn't your average old b&w TV poker game so the “ante only” version is now a novelty that attracted 714 perspective winners with the $1,500 cash to buy a seat.  Once the arithmetic was done the prize pool amounted to $963,900 and will become prorated payments to the top 72 in-the-money finishers.

Heads-up play between Jonas Lauck and Jesse McEuen was a good show and a crowd pleaser after the two started play almost even in chips.  The cards seemed to favor McEuen and he moved Lauck's chips into his growing stacks right up to the first break in heads-up play.  Following a twenty minute break the players returned to play only one hand.  McEuen's pocket Aces trumped Lauck's A-10 and it was all over.

Jesse McEuen claimed the WSOP gold bracelet and $212,093 in cash.  Runner-up Jonas Lauck settled for $130,955.

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2014 WSOP Event #45 $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Day 3 of Event #45 began with 11 players returning to the WSOP's final table stage located within the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  This group of WSOP gold hopefuls are in a rare group not often seen at the big poker show,  a woman atop the chip leader board.  Angela Prada-Moed starts Day 3 with the chip lead and almost $1 million in play money.   

Those poker pros that we all know and fear gained another WSOP cash for their personal WSOP records and includes Hoyt Corkins, Max Pescatori and Tony Ma among the top 198 finishers collecting prize money from the $1,656,900 prize pool.

When the field of 1,841 entrants was finally down to two players going heads-up one was our lady from Miami, Angela Prada-Moed.  The only obstacle between her and WSOP gold was Will Givens, one tough poker professional from Denver, Colorado.

When the dealing was finally done it was Will Givens counting all the chips, admiring his first WSOP gold bracelet and making plans for his $306,654 in cash... and his name forever a part of the history of poker.

Angela Prada-Moed  returns to Florida with the $189,632 consolation for first runner-up.

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2014 WSOP Event #44 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Make it No-Limit Hold'em tournament and they will come by the thousands.  2014 WSOP's Event #44 was a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em affair scheduled for three days of play.  And come they did, in fact, just 86 players shy of two thousand bought one of the $1,500 seats.

The money tally from the 1,914 entrants created a prize pool of $2,583,900 to be distributed among the  top 198 finishers.  The winner of the event receiving $478,102 in cash and a WSOP gold event champion's bracelet.  Among the names of those getting paid was well known pros James Wood, Jeff Madsen, Ylon Schwartz, Men Nguyen, Barry Greenstein and more.

The official nine-handed final table was reached a few minutes after 4PM when the day's chip leader, Brandon Ageloff, bubbled out of the final table and collected $27,337 for 10th place.

Heads-up play between winner Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff  began with Morgan holding a 4 to 1 chip advantage.  After 37 hands the two players took an approximate one hour dinner break with Morgan now holding a 5 to 1 chip advantage.

Finally, after adding an extra Day 4 to the 3 day scheduled event we have a winner.  It took 56 hands into the additional day of heads-up play to deliver a Hold'em staple finish, Big Slick vs small pair.  Morgan push with his pair of sixes and McNiff called with A-K.  The board offered no help to McNiff and Jordan Morgan claimed all the chips and his first WSOP gold bracelet.  He also picked up $478,102 in cash.

Evan McNiff headed to the cashier cage to claim his #295,727 second place money.

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2014 WSOP Event #43 $1,500 Limit Hold'em

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Players lined up to pay the $1,500 buy-in for a seat in Limit Hold'em and an opportunity to own one of the elusive WSOP gold bracelets.  By game time the list of entrants counted 657 players with a shot at the gold, the cash and a permanent mention in the WSOP's Big Book-O-Poker History.

The winner will get the gold bracelet and $195,167 in cash.  The top 72 finishers will receive a share of the  $886,950 prize pool.  Some well known poker celebrities appear on the pay sheet including Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Shulman, David Plastik and Berry Johnston.

When we were left with one player holding all the chips it was Dan Kelly.  The 25-year-old poker pro from Potomac, Maryland had won his 2nd WSOP gold bracelet and almost $200 thousand in cash.  In the 2010 WSOP he won the $25K buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event and his first WSOP gold plus he also walked with $1,315,518 in cash.  He was 21-year-olds.

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2014 WSOP Event #42 $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Handed

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Pot-Limit Omaha with a $5,000 buy-in usually pulls in enough players to create a large prize pool, $2,124,400, and a field loaded with poker royalty.  Among the 48 top finishers to receive money from the event purse was the holder of two WSOP bracelets, JC Tran, and the winner of the 1998 Main Event with five WSOP bracelets, Scotty Nguyen.

Thirteen players from the field of 452 entrants survived to play on Day 3 and the chip leader was the field's one and only former hoodie salesman, Phil Laak.  The thirteen returning players were finally cut  down to the six making the official final table a few minutes before 6PM.  A few minutes after 7PM The Unabomber was eliminated in 6th place and collected $66,918 on his way out.

Heads-up play between Darius Studdard and Michael Drummond began with Drummond enjoying an almost 3 to 1 chip advantage.  A dozen hands into the heads-up and Darius Studdard was headed for the cashier's cage to collect his $334,593 for second place.

Michael Drummond claimed his first WSOP gold bracelet and added $541,747 to his bank. 

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2014 WSOP Event #41 $1,500 Dealer's Choice Six-Handed

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Players choose their poker game of choice to play for one circuit of the deck.  Most attempt to choose a variation that they believe gives them an advantage over the other table players.  Sometimes this strategy works well when you're with players that have a history.  Other timed you're sitting at a table in the WSOP and most of the other players are great at all games.

When one of the players is a Mizrachi from the Florida Mizrachi poker dynasty that includes Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi you know there is probably not any game you can choose that would favor you.

The Grinder's older brother, Robert Mizrachi, is one of those players and he was at this final table.  Heads-up with Aaron Schaff, Mizrachi called for A-5 triple draw.  Cards were dealt and he soon had Schaff all-in and drawing dead, after tabling a 6-5-3-2-A to Schaff's 7 high, it was lights out,game over.

Robert Mizrachi had his second WSOP gold bracelet and another $147,092 to add to his play bank.   Aaron Schaff heads home to East Brunswick, New Jersey with $90,854 for second place.  The event signed up 419 entrants and created a prize pool of $565,650.  The top 42 finishers collected prize money.

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