2013 WSOP: Chen Wins Milly Maker; Waxman, JohnnyBax Earn Gold
Five more bracelets were awarded over the last couple of days at the 2013 World Series of Poker. While the massive turnout for the big “Millionaire Maker” broke records, the fields for other events are showing a decline from 2012.
Event #6 ($1,500 Millionaire Maker NLHE): Chen Is Champ
It took an extra day, but the record-breaking “Millionaire Maker” event finally came to a conclusion after midnight on Monday when Benny Chen became the second Canadian to win a bracelet at this year’s Series, topping a field of 6,343 entries in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em event (with re-entries) to earn a handsome $1,199,104 payday.
According to the WSOP, Chen became the 257th player to cross the $1 million mark in total World Series earnings. He’d had a half-dozen small cashes at the WSOP before, the previous largest having been $11,060. Chen also became the 26th player to earn a $1 million payday in a single non-Main Event tournament in the WSOP’s history.
A total of 648 players made the money in Event #6, more than the total number of entrants in seven of the first 13 events of the WSOP. Chen outlasted a table full of American players, including Dan “djk123” Kelly (who finished fifth) and Chris “BigHuni” Hunichen (who finished sixth).
Event #7 ($1,000 NLHE): Waxman Wins
A nearly seven-hour heads-up battle between Matt Waxman and Eric Baldwin punctuated the finale of Event #7, the first of six $1,000 no-limit hold’em events (non re-entry) on the WSOP schedule this summer. In the end Baldwin was denied his second WSOP bracelet and Waxman earned his first, taking a $305,952 first prize to go with it.
It was an all-American final table, with fourth-place finisher Amit Makhija and ninth-place finisher Jason Koon among those who made it to the final nine. Waxman and Baldwin ultimately played 187 hands versus one another, with numerous lead changes and shorter-stack double-ups along the way.
The close proximity of “Millionaire Maker” no doubt affected the turnout as just 1,837 players took part in Event #7. That total fell well below the average of about 3,277 players who played in the five $1K NLHE events a year ago. The smallest $1K NLHE event in 2012 was 2,795.
Event #8 ($2,500 Eight-Game Mix): Malm’s the Man
In an event for which the turnout may have been affected somewhat by the current GuangDong Ltd. Asia Millions happening this week in Macau, the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix event saw just 388 players enter, down from the 477 who played last year when David “ODB” Baker won.
This year it was Michael Malm who took the bracelet after staging a huge comeback versus the American Steven Wolansky during heads-up play. At one point Wolansky had more than 2.6 million while Malm had less than 300,000 at a time when the big bets for the limit games were 100K. But Malm stormed back to win a third bracelet for Canada, equaling Canada’s bracelet total for the entire 2012 WSOP.
Speaking of Canada, two-time bracelet holder Greg “FBT” Mueller took third after having finished second in this same event to Baker a year ago. Eric “jakz101” Crain, Dario Alioto, Mike Wattel, and Marco Johnson were among those making the final table as well.
Event #9 ($3,000 NLHE Shootout): JohnnyBax Nabs Number Two
The $3K no-limit hold’em shootout completed on Wednesday, with longtime online star and player backer Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy winning his third table in three days to take away his second career bracelet and a $299,486 cash.
Like Event #8, this one also saw a dip in numbers as 477 played, down from 587 a year ago. Others making the ten-handed final table included runner-up Evan Silverstein, Tim West, David “Bakes” Baker, and Chris “SLOPPYKLOD” Klodnicki.
Event #10 ($1,500 LHE): Wheeler Rolls
Finally on Wednesday Brent Wheeler of St. Charles, Illinois took the 10th bracelet of 2013 after topping a field of 645 players in the $1,500 fixed-limit hold’em event. Again, numbers were down from last year in this event as 730 took part one year ago.
Finishing third in the event was Malissia Zapata of Greenville, Texas, the second woman to make a final table at this year’s WSOP after Julie Schneider took eighth in Event #5 ($2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or-Better).
Wheeler beat out Mark Mierkalns of Ontario heads-up, thus moving the Americans’ bracelet lead over Canada to 7-3. Through the first 10 events of the 2013 WSOP, 73 of the 85 players who have made final tables have been from the U.S.