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2014 WSOP Event #62A $1,111 The Little Drop for One Drop

by Joseph Smith Sr.

This is the little brother to The Big Drop for One Drop.  Buy-in is $1,111 of which $111 goes to the One Drop Foundation.  The junior event saw 4,496 players enter the event which pays a large $637,539 to the winner.  And yes, they also receive a WSOP gold bracelet.  The top 468 finishers (that's 52 nine-handed tables) receive at least $1,780 from the $4,046,400 prize pool.

Players have the option of unlimited re-entry into the tournament during the first 4 levels of play if they are eliminated.  The charitable cause gives many an excuse to do just that.  It's also provides the most bang for the buck.  Where else can a poker player find a tournament with a $1,111 buy-in that offers the winner $637 thousand and change?  

And, we all know there only one place and way to get a World Series of Poker gold bracelet.  You have to play in the WSOP and win an event to receive one of the bracelets that's considered by many to be priceless.

Heads-up play between Igor Dubinskyy and Ted Driscoll began with Driscoll holding a small 5-to-4  advantage in chips.  Dubinskyy quickly evened the chip count and began pulling ahead.  In slightly less than a half hour Igor Dubinskyy had all the chips and the win.  He collected the $637,539 winner's share and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Theodore Driscoll received $394,281 for his second place effort.

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2014 WSOP Event #64 $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship

by Joseph Smith Sr.

This is the final event before the Main Event.  The world championship of Pot-Limit Omaha.  A group of 418 players ponied up the $10,000 buy-in for a shot at proving their prowess in the game of Omaha.  It's also the last opportunity to win one of the 2014 WSOP event bracelets.

Prize money goes to the top 45 finishers whom receive a minimum of $18,585.  Among the players earning a payday and another WSOP cash were Alex Kravchenko. Leif Force, David Williams, JC Tran, Steve Billirakis, Ludovic Lacay and Phil Laak.

Offering a $3,929,200 prize pool means the winner receives close to a million dollars in addition to the bracelet.  Heads-up play began a little before midnight between Pat Walsh and Javed Abrahans.  Walsh enjoyed a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Abrahams as one-on-one play began.

A few minutes before 2 AM local time Pat Walsh was pulling all the chips into his stacks and Javed Abraham was on his way to the cashier cage to collect second place money of $570,284.

Pat Walsh receives $923,379 for first place and he also gets the final WSOP gold event bracelet, his first WSOP gold.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 Day 1A $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event

by Joseph Smith Sr.

The most prestigious poker tournament in the world began today when the first day of Day 1 welcomed thousand of players and shortly after high noon 2006 Main Event Champion Joseph Hachem gave the that famous command, “Shuffle up and Deal!”   And just like that the cards were in the air and all those thousands of hopefuls sitting behind identical stacks of 30,000 in play money, all daydreaming of owning the fabled Championship bracelet for 2014.

No-Limit Hold'em is the game for the Main Event.  Due to the overwhelming number of entrants Day 1 has been divided into three flights, A-B-or-C.  Day 2 will also be played as 3 flights, A-B-or-C.  Day 3 (7th day of Main Event play) will combine the field into one group for the remainder of the tournament.  The group will continue play for day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and on Day 7 play will end when the final November Nine is reached.

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2014 WSOP Event #63 $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix

by Joseph Smith Sr.

A $1,500 buy-in tournament with two controlling parameters, six handed tables and a rotation of 10 different poker formats.  The ten different games are no-limit 2-7 single draw, 2-7 triple draw, razz, pot-limit Omaha, Omaha eight-or-better, stud, stud hi-lo eight-or-better, limit hold'em, no-limit hold'em and badugi.

Most poker players will have some knowledge of the 10 listed games or at least 9 of the 10.  How about the last one, badugi?  Can you offer an explanation of how this game is played?  Did you know that it was probably first played in Korea?

Here's our quickie explanation of the game.  It's a variation of triple draw poker with the winning hand values of lowball.  A major difference between badugi and other poker formats is the number of cards to make a hand.  In other poker games the best hand is determined by the best 5 cards.  In badugi the best 4 cards make up the hand.  The best badugi hand would be an A234 of different suits.  The worst hand would be KKKK since Aces are the lowest card.  Badugi is considered to be an excellent pot builder.

The game was first offered at the WSOP in 2011.  Today's event attracted 445 entrants and built a prize pool of $600,750 paid to the top 48 finishers.  The winner receives $153,220 plus a WSOP gold bracelet.  Among the notables making the money were Allen Cunningham, Marcel Luske, Brandon Shack-Harris, Mel Judah and Phil Laak.

Heads-up found Bryn Kenney of New York facing Jan Suchanek from Nelson, New Zealand.  Kenney enjoyed a 3-to-1 chip lead and needed less than 10 minutes to claim the WSOP gold and cash.

Jan Suchanek will head south with an extra $94,618 in his pocket.

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2014 WSOP Event #61 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship

by Joseph Smith Sr.

They're playing stud poker over at the WSOP going on now at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  They're playing the world's Championship of Seven Card Stud poker.  The Championship event began with 102 players laying $10,000 each for a seat in this classic format poker event.

A prize pool of $958,800 scheduled for prorated distribution to the top 16 finishers and one World Series of Poker gold bracelet awaited the conclusion of the contest.  Although the field was small by WSOP standards the final table included some of tournament poker's brightest stars headed up by thirteen bracelet holder Phil Hellmuth plus Todd Brunson, the son of poker's most celebrated statesmen.

A further scan of the list of the sixteen players in the money revealed even more well known pros including John Cernuto (14th), Barry Greenstein (13th) and Nikolay Losev (12th).

Heads-up play between Todd Brunson and Matt Grapenthien began with Brunsoin holding a 2-to-1 chip advantage.  Following the first break Grapenthien cruised into a slight lead which was short lived as Brunson came right back and evened the chip count.  After 2 hours of heads-up play the chip stacks were close to even.   Matt Grapenthien began to steadily move Brunson's chips across the table and then all of the chips were in the pot and Brunson was against the wall.

Grapenthien showed the bigger pair and Brunson left in second place taking $165,891 for second place.   Matt Grapenthien joins the WSOP gold bracelet club and also takes away $268,473 in cash plus the title of World's best Seven Card Stud player.

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A Sad Day for Poker - Well known Poker Player Chad Brown Passes

by Joseph Smith Sr.

A sad day for the world of poker.  Well known poker player Chad Brown lost his battle with cancer on July 2, 2014 and moved on to the big game.  He was a multitalented individual that had an ability to master most anything he attempted.

He was known throughout the entertainment world and he also made a name for himself in sports.  Poker became his primary pursuit during his final years.  He won a big event during the 2006 World Championship of Online Poker and finished second in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship invitational event.  In 2014 he was awarded a WSOP gold bracelet for his contributions to poker.

Over the years I have photographed Chad in numerous poker events and circumstances.  He always exhibited class and was a true gentleman without regard to the moment.  He always had time to meet and greet fans.

Chad Brown was truly a class act and will be sorely missed.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

2014 WSOP Event #59 $3,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better

by Joseph Smith Sr.

One more Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event finished early Thursday morning.  This one had a $3,000 buy-in and gathered 457 entrants to do battle for some cash and most especially a piece of WSOP gold. A $1,247,610 prize pool awaited the top 54 finishers with the winner schedule to receive $286,976 in cash and a year's worth of bragging rights.

Among the notables was a familiar poker pro and the 2004 Main Event runner-up, David Williams, cashing out in 6th place.  Additional poker pros making the cash out line was Brandon Shack-Harris, James van Alstyne, Chino Rheem and Justin Bonomo.

Event #59 finally came to a conclusion a few minutes after 2 AM  when Zack Milchman had all his remaining chips in the pot and couldn't beat Phillip Hui's pair of Tens.  Milchman of Delray Beach, Florida collected $177,609 for second place.

Phillip Hui received $286,076 in cash is now the owner of a 2014 WSOP champions gold bracelet which he will proudly show to all his family and friends back home in San Antonio, Texas.

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2014 WSOP Event #58 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed Max

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Those wondering about the format of this tournament have faith, it's easily explained.  The event is a No-Limit Hold'em and the part that makes it unique from all other No-Limit Hold'em tournament is the maximum number of players at each table.

Day 1 began with nine players at each table then on Day 2 the tables go to six players and on the final Day 3 the tables are four-handed until down to the last four at which point the match becomes a heads-up event.  This is the same format as an earlier $25,000 buy-in Event #2 won by Vanessa Selbst  The Mix Max format was introduced during the 2013 WSOP.

The final heads-up match occurred between Jared Jaffee and Mike Watson.  Watson had to battle his way from behind when he played the semi-final match against Mark Herm and prevailed after coming desperately close to elimination.  But, this second match with Jared Jaffee sitting across the felt didn't include another miracle come-from-behind save.  

The two traded the chip lead back and forth but eventually Jaffee pulled ahead.  The final hand saw Watson with pocket Jacks to Jaffee's  Ace - 6 of clubs.  The board gave Jaffee the winning 8 high straight to trump Watson's Jacks and he alone stood atop the field of 1,475 starters.  Winner Jared Jaffee  collected $405,428 from the $1,991,250 prize pool and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

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2014 WSOP Event #56 $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em

by Joseph Smith Sr.

We have pointed out the popularity of No-Limit Hold'em poker many times while covering the 2014 World Series of Poker.  If you offer the “Cadillac” of tournament poker games it doesn't matter a great deal how much or little the buy-in they will come and stand in line with their seat money in their hands.  Having just witnessed a $1 million buy-in event that pulled in 42 players we now move to a $1 thousand buy-in that sold 2,525 seats.

These lower buy-in tournaments typically break the money bubble on Day 1 and event #56 was no exception having reached the 270 players scheduled to be paid from the $2,272,500 prize pool in the day's final level.

The additive allure of WSOP gold bracelets seeds the list of entrants with well known pros players seeking the gold.  With the large fields even the lowest rung of buy-ins creates huge prize pools and again, event #56 was no exception offering the winner $403,482 in cash.  It may not be the $15 million up for grabs in The Big One for One Drop but it will certainly help to pay the bills and pad the play bank.

Today's poker player to cash in the $1,000 poker jackpot and walk away with a WSOP gold bracelet and $403,483 in cash was Mike Kachan of Edina, MN.  He defeated Jeff Blenkarn heads-up in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.  Blenkarn will be sitting on $250,815 as he makes his way back home to Rockford, MI.

Come on down to the Rio in Las Vegas, we're keeping your WSOP seat warm for you.

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2014 WSOP Event #57 $1,000,000 The Big One for One Drop

by Joseph C. Smith Sr.

A poker tournament with a prize pool totaling $37,333,338.  And that's after $111,111 from each of the 42 entrants $1 million buy-in which totals $4,666,662 is set aside for the One Drop Foundation.  Arithmetically inclined readers will be quick to note when you add the prize pool and the One Drop donation you get exactly $42 million.  So how much goes to the house?  None!  Harrah's WSOP is not taking any of the money.

This 3 Day event offered plenty of exciting and often humorous moments.  Amazing how at this level of poker  the players can be so casual about anything considering the amount of money at stake.  The top eight finishers received at least $1,306,667 in cash.  Even after deducting the original $1 million buy-in some serious money remains.

Day 3 saw the field of 42 cut to just 2 players with chips.  A 23-year-old Daniel Colman from Holden, MA  faced 5 WSOP bracelet veteran Daniel Negreanu.  Going into the heads-up play Colman held the chip lead with 68 and a half million to Negreanu's 57 and a half million.  Five hands later Negreanu had the chip lead with 73 and a half million to Colman's 52 and a half million.  Nrgreanu continued to stretch his lead and was holding a 2 to 1 advantage then the momentum reversed and quickly colman was ahead.

Negreanu pulled ahead one more time then Colman pulled ahead and continue to pad his lead.  He never looked back after that and finally Negreanu shoved his remaining chips into the pot holding Ace-4o and was called and covered by Colman tableing a K-Qo.  The flop showed J-A-4 giving Negreanu two pair and the lead and Colman needing a 10 for a straight.  The turn was a 10 giving Colman the lead and a straight and leaving Negreanu in desperate need of an Ace or 4.  The river was a 7 and Colman was the owner of a very special WSOP bracelet and $15,306.668 in cash.  He's also in the poker history book as the winner of the second largest cash prize in a poker tournament.

Daniel Negreanu received $8,288,001 for second.   

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