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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 3

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Day 3 got under way at high noon with 1,864 players taking their seats as the cards flew through the air.  Excitement usually begun to build on Day 3 in past WSOP Main Events.  It's on this day that the smell of money slowly snakes its way into the cavernous poker rooms at the Rio Resort and levels its magic on the players.  Knowing the money will be reached on Day 4 affects the play because you can't collect a dime if you lose chips before the money is reached.

The day ended with 53 minutes left in Level 15 and 746 players remaining with chips.  Only 53 players separate the field from prize money so expect Day 4 to start off slowly with most players taking a protective attitude towards their chips and lots of marginal hands thrown into the muck.  Once the money bubble breaks there will be an apparent rush to the rail as play once more opens up and players began gunning for a final table seat.

Day 3 saw the first million chip stack reached late in Level 13 when Mehrdad Yousefzadeh had 1,050,000 in play money piled in front of him.  By the close of Day 3 there were two million plus stacks.  Yousefzadeh's first million chip stack had been eclipsed by Day 3 chip leader, Andrew Liporace.  Only 4,000 separated the two top chip stacks.

Day 3 saw the rack of previous WSOP Main Event Champions trimmed down to one, Huck Seed, 1996 Main Event winner.  Also gone late in the day was NBA Superstar Paul Pierce, a ten time all-star selection kept the rail packed with fans during those days he played.  Pierce also bought the same competitive drive and spirit to the poker table and made quite a showing for himself as he outlasted many well known poker pros.

Poker Superstar and ten WSOP bracelet man Phil Ivey began Day 3 as the chip leader.  He maintained a close rein on his chips and played a solid game to finish the Day 3 with 522,500.  Ivey is listed in 72nd place on the chip leader board.  Considering this player's skills and the volatility of no-limit hold'em poker we can expect to see him move up through the ranks of the remaining players.

Day 4 is shaping up to be another fan favorite.  If you're in the Las Vegas area stop by the Rio Resort and watch poker history in the making.  We will get to meet the unluckiest player in all of poker, the WSOP Main Event money bubble player.  Usually the bubbleboy (girl) is sent to the rail with empty pockets but with a buy-in for the next year's WSOP Main Event.  Maybe they're not so unlucky afterall.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 2C

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Phil Ivey leads the pack with 505,500 in play money going into Day 3 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event.  With ten WSOP bracelets including one picked up earlier this year in WSOP Event #50 $1,500 Eight Game Mix, Ivey would pull within 2 bracelets of record holder Phil Hellmuth.  He would also have a win in the world's most prestigious poker tournament, The WSOP Main Event, to bolster the claim of world's greatest poker player.  Word around the Amazon Room at the Rio Resort is saying Ivey is now an even money bet to make the November Nine final table.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 2A/B

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Players that survived Day 1A and Day 1B representing approximately half the remaining field came together on Tuesday for Day 2A/B.  At the stroke of noon the cards flew and the second day of play began for the 1933 players returning from their Day 1 with chips.

The schedule format remains the same with players sitting through 5 two hour levels with a twenty minute break after each level and a ninety minute dinner break after three levels have been completed.  Players from Day 1A played in one of the WSOP poker rooms while players from Day 1B played in separate rooms.  The entire field will not be united as one until Day 3.

Chip leaders from this first of two Day 2s are approaching the half million mark.  Atop the chip leader board is Tim Stansifer whom enjoyed a late rush to push his stacks to 481,500.  He is closely followed by Tom Cannuli with 407,800, Tony Roberto at 402,700, Joe Ruberto with 402,700 and Zhen Cai holding 367,900 in play money rounds out the top five.

Some of the notables sent to the rail on Day 2A/B includes Josh Arieh, Mike Sexton, Tuan Le, Dennis Phillips, Lauren Kling, Vanessa Selbst, Annette Obrestad and David Slansky.  Television star Ray Romano was hanging on to 15,100 in chips for a return to Day 3.

Wednesday will see the players that escaped Day 1C with chips return to the Rio for Five levels of 2 hours each.  In this group will ne poker royalty including Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey.  Ivey is listed as second in chips with 187,025 while the chip leader is Eric Tracy holding 206,175.  

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45th Annual World Series of Poker® & 10th Year at Rio Becomes Biggest Ever, Establishing Several Key Records

Main Event with $10,000,000 First Place Guarantee, Grows in Participation for First Time Since 2010
 
LAS VEGAS (July 8, 2014) – In another remarkable testament to the health and strength of the game of poker globally, the 45th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas established a host of new records as poker enthusiasts from 107 different nations traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the game’s grandest spectacle.  The WSOP remained the industry standard-bearer, with a record-setting 82,360 entries in 65 events and awarding the largest prize pool in WSOP history: $225,584,873.
 
The new all-time high in participants surpassed by 3.6 percent the previous record of 79,471 set last year.
 
The Main Event in 2014 had 6,683 entries, creating the largest prize pool of the 2014 WSOP at $62,820,200.  The winner will receive $10,000,000.
 
“There is only one WSOP,” said World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart.  “We’re humbled to have seen this kind of response to our 10th series at the Rio.  More than ever before, we embraced the challenge to have something for everyone who loves the game.  With some of the biggest events ever organized it is clear poker remains strong and its best days are ahead. We can’t wait to start planning for next year.”
 
For the tenth consecutive year, the WSOP generated a total prize pool well in excess of $100 million, and for only the second time in its history, topped the $200 million mark.
 
In the 45-year history of the WSOP, the prestigious tournament has now awarded more than $2 billion in prize money. When added to the previous total -- $1,840,172,006 – this year’s massive prize pool brings the new all-time money awarded tally to $2,065,756,879.  More than $1 billion of this has come in the last 6 years alone ($1,005,789,961).  This year’s total prize pool surpassed last year’s amount by 14.4 percent.
 
Additionally, the WSOP, renowned for its ability to help raise significant amounts for charity, has surpassed the $5 million plateau for the second time in three years.  Through the first 64 events, WSOP players and tournaments have contributed $5,260,700 to the ONE DROP organization (www.onedrop.org).  ONE DROP uses donations to directly implement water access projects, where an average of $100 can transform someone’s life forever. With the Big One for ONE DROP (Event #57), the Little One for ONE DROP (Event #62) and the All In for ONE DROP campaign, where players can donate 1% of their winnings to the cause, the poker community via the World Series of Poker has donated more than $12,000,000 since the partnership began in 2012 – enough to directly impact the lives of over 100,000 people.
 
Legions of amateur players competed alongside legendary poker pros, Hollywood A-listers and international sports figures to establish the new milestones.  Among the notable non-poker playing names competing during this year’s WSOP included: UFC Announcer Bruce Buffer, Movie director Nick Cassavetes (Notebook), actor Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer), Model Triana Iglesias, NBA star Paul Pierce, Spain World Cup/FC Barcelona soccer player and singer Shakira’s boyfriend Gerard Pique, actor and comedian Kevin Pollak,, Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Gavin Polone, professional soccer player John Arne Riise, actor and comedian Ray Romano,  NFL defensive star and Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour, actress Jennifer Tilly, cricket superstar Shane Warne, NASCAR driver Jason White, actor James Woods.
 
The youngest player in this year’s WSOP Main Event was Zachary Zaffos, of Weston, Florida, who played Day 1-C of the Main Event and turned 21 just one day before entering.  The oldest player to participate in this year’s Main Event was 93-year-old William Wachter of Carmel, New York, who played Day 1-B. Wachter, was also the oldest participant last year.  Both players were eliminated on Day One. Jack Ury, at the young age of 95, still holds the WSOP record as oldest participant.  Poker Hall of Famer Henry Orenstein became the oldest person to cash this year, when the 90-year old finished in eighth place in Event #60.
 
The $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship – commonly referred to as the WSOP Main Event, attracted the largest number of players since 2010, becoming the fifth-largest WSOP Main Event in the 45-year history of the event.
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2014 WSOP Main Event Bracelet Designed and Created by Jason of Beverly Hills To Commemorate The Main Event’s Tenth Year at Rio

LAS VEGAS—For the third consecutive year famed jewelry designer Jason Arasheben, “Jason of Beverly Hills,” has been commissioned to create the 2014 World Series of Poker® (WSOP) bracelet.

The coveted 2014 Main Event bracelet contains over 35 carats of white and black diamonds and weighs in at just under 300 grams of 14 karat white and yellow gold. The bracelet has a secret compartment that opens up to reveal a removable 10 million dollar gold gaming chip that represents this year’s historic purse. The masterpiece took over 300 man-hours to create.

These unique characteristics make this bracelet truly priceless in value.

“My goal with each years bracelet it to create a wow factor that eclipses the bracelets of years past. This bracelet is not only immaculate in design, but honors the tenth year running the Main Event at Rio,” said Jason Arasheben, founder of Jason of Beverly Hills. “This is the most expensive piece of championship jewelry in sports history.”

The Main Event bracelet will be unveiled at the Jason of Beverly Hills store on level 2 inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas on July 10th at 6pm.

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The World Series of Poker: It’s our Woodstock!

by Shari Geller

The 2014 WSOP got underway on May 27 with Tournament Director Jack Effel modestly announcing, “This is our Olympics. This is our Woodstock. This is our celebration” as the WSOP literally rained money on the players, shooting $10,000 in dollar bills out of air cannons as participants and spectators alike scrambled to pick up the loot.

WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart promised “a slew of events that will create millionaires this summer,” and already one new millionaire has been crowned.  Event #8 was the return of last year’s “Millionaire Maker” and its popularity brought in a whopping 7,977 runners, making it the second-largest WSOP tournament in history and inflating its top prize to $1.3 million.

More than halfway through the 45th Annual World Series of Poker many familiar names have added to their bracelet list in both inaugural, classic and newer high-profile events. This year the WSOP launched the first ever dealer’s choice event. The $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed event (#41) saw Robert Mizrachi nab his second WSOP title topping a field of 419 who chose from any of 16 different games during the tournament.

Among those also joining the two-time bracelet club so far this year are Brian Yoon, whose first bracelet came in last year’s “Little One for One Drop” and repeated this year in the $5,000 8-Max event (#35), Dan Kelly, winning one of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em events (#43), John Kabbaj, winner of $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-better event (#25), 2009 Main Event Champ Joe Cada, outlasting an impres - sive field in the $10,000 Six-handed No-limit Hold ‘em event (#32), fellow Main Event final tablemate Eric Buchman winning the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event (#34) and German pro George Danzer. Danzer is making a serious run on 2014 WSOP Player of the Year, taking down both the $10,000 Razz (#18) and the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud High-Low Eight-or-Better (#38) events for his first two bracelets after a long, impressive, but bracelet-free career.

Also ending a bracelet drought was 30-year old poker pro Jordan Morgan who took down the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Event (#44) besting 1,914 runners including familiar names such as Men Nguyen, Barry Greenstein, and Yevgeniy Timoshenko. Justin Bonomo has been a familiar name in poker circles for years but he had yet to win a WSOP event. But he finally broke through with his first win topping a field of 1,587 to win the $1,500 No-limit Six Handed event (#11). Two-time WPT Champ Tuan Le grabbed his first WSOP bracelet with a win in the $10,000 Triple Draw Lowball event (#5), just edging out Bonomo heads up. Alex Bolotin, winner of the 2009 Ante Up for Africa non-bracelet charity event, grabbed his first bracelet winning the $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘em Shoot Out (#6). Paul Volpe not only won his first bracelet, but denied Daniel Negreanu his seventh, in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball championship (Event #13). Top ranked online tournament player Calvin Anderson added a bracelet to his impressive resume after winning the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low (#30).

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 1C

by Joseph Smith Sr.

World Series of Poker Main Event Day 1 played the third and final flight today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  Now those players with chips will move on to one of the two Day 2's  scheduled to be played Tuesday and Wednesday.  Current plans call for those players surviving Day 1A and Day 1B to play on Tuesday, Day 2A-B; while those that survived Day 1C will return for their second day, Day 2C to play on Wednesday.

As predicted, today's final Day 1 flight was huge.  The 3768 players that bought a $10,000 seat for Day 1C filled every available seat in the Rio's Convention area and officials had to use overflow tables set up close to the main casino outside Buzio's Restaurant.  

World Series of Poker officials have released numbers for the main event late this evening after the entry period closed.  The number of players in the 2014 Main Event totaled 6,683 with a breakdown as follows:  Day1A—771, Day1B—2144 and Day 1C—3768.  The 2014 Main Event surpasses the 2013 Main Event by 331 players.  2014 is the fifth largest WSOP Main Event in the history of the event.

This year's prize pool is a staggering $62,820,200.  The winner will receive $10,000,000.  Seven of the November Nine at the final table will receive more than a million in prize money.  Each of the final nine will leave for the 4 month break with ninth place money amounting to $730,725.  The top 693 finishers will receive at least $18,406 in prize money.

WSOP record holder with 13 bracelets, Phil Hellmuth, strolled into the big poker show about 8:30 to begin his quest for bracelet #14.  In his usual fashion he showed later than previous years and without the fanfare and dramatics of years past.  Unfortunately, that's a part of this event many of us wait to see.  By Day 1C quitting time Hellmuth had already doubled his 30K starting stack.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Sunday saw the second flight of the World Series of Poker Main Event get under way at high noon.  The most famous words in poker were given to the crowd by non other than TV great, Ray Romano, “Shuffle Up and Deal!”  The cards were in the air and Day 2B was officially underway.

The second group will follow the exact format of play as does all three flights.  Play is defined as five levels of two hours each with a twenty minute break after each.  A ninety minute dinner break comes after the first three levels have completed.

Those players with clips will bag up and return for one of the three Day 2s.  Those lucky players surviving Day 2 will then return for Day 3 which will combine all the remaining players for the first time.

A little news from Saturday's Day 1A.  The number of entrants taking seats for the first day of play in the 2014 WSOP Main Event was 771, down from previous years.  Now that online poker is once again offered to select groups in the US it was assumed that Main Event numbers would be equal to or better than those posted during the boom years, but don't be too disappointed.

Day 1C on Monday is expected to be huge and may well establish a record for a first day of the Main Event.  Even if we don't set a new record or even tie the old old one the 2014 has been a tremendous success and once again reminds the world that anyone of age with a buy-in can sit down at a table and play with the legends of the game.

I say game instead of sport since many don't accept the game of poker into the world of sports.  Most of these people have never sat for 10-12 hours in some of the worlds most uncomfortable chairs while making decisions that involve millions of parameters and dollars.  I believe it does belong in the sports category based simply on the fact it's called a “game.”

Know any other sport that will allow you and any other ordinary player to walk onto the field and compete?  Play poker and you can do exactly that.  Like most other sports you will not be favored to win; but you get an opportunity to play with the best in the game.

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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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