2013 WSOP: Five Bracelets in Five Days, “Millionaire Maker” Highlight Series Start
The first five days of the 2013 World Series of Poker have already seen much drama and numerous stories of interest emerge, with five bracelets awarded thus far and the weekend highlighted by the much-ballyhooed “Millionaire Maker” event for which a seven-figure first prize awaits the winner.
Event #1 ($500 Employees NLHE): Blogger wins bracelet
As has become tradition at the WSOP, the $500 No-Limit Hold’em Casino Employees Event kicked off the Series as Event #1, a two-day tournament that has managed to attract big fields though tends not to earn much media coverage. The event grabbed extra attention this year, however, as PokerNews reporter and live blogger Chad Holloway managed to best a field of 898 to win the bracelet and $84,915 first prize.
Both Holloway and his colleague, PokerNews live blogger Josh Cahlik, were among the 55 who survived the first day of play, with Cahlik eventually making it all of the way to 12th place for a $5,010 cash. Among those making the final table was Sean Small who made four previous final tables during the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit. Small ultimately finished sixth for $13,868.
But it was Holloway who ultimately triumphed to win the bracelet and top prize, earning numerous congratulatory tweets from his reporter colleagues and from players he has covered. The kudos continued into yesterday, as Holloway tweeted “Just had Greg @Fossilman Raymer & @philivey congratulate me on bracelet. First time the latter has ever spoke to me. That was pretty cool.”
Event #2 ($5K NLHE 8-max.): Pope infallible
Meanwhile the first bracelet won in an open event was claimed on Saturday by Trevor Pope in Event #2, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Handed event. Pope earned a $553,906 first prize for topping a field of 481.
That field included an especially tough final table comprised of David Vamplew, Darryll Fish, Jared Hamby, Jamie Armstrong, Dan Kelly, Brandon Meyers, and David Peters. Tom Marchese, Brian Rast, Griffin Benger, and Joe Serock were among those coming one table shy of the final nine.
Despite the preponderance of skilled competitors among the final eight, Pope had a relatively easy time of things after carrying a huge chip lead to the final table with more than 3.4 million when no one else had 700,000. Pope would maintain that lead throughout, knocking out six of the seven opponents to claim all of the chips and his first WSOP bracelet.
Event #3 ($1K NLHE re-entry): One for Chuck and the Canucks
Event #3, a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry tournament, saw the first non-American win a bracelet at this year’s Series and indeed only the second non-U.S. player to make a final table (after the U.K.’s Vamplew took runner-up in Event #2) as Canada’s Charles Sylvestre grabbed the title on Saturday and $491,360 first prize.
The victory represented the first live score of note for Sylvestre aside from a $27,519 cash at the 2010 WSOP Main Event where he finished 465th. However, Sylvestre has numerous significant online scores, including a SCOOP title on PokerStars where he plays as “Chilax Chuck.”
The event saw a turnout of 3,164 total entries, the format mimicking that often used on the WSOP Circuit whereby two “Day 1” flights are staged on a single day (one starting at 12 noon and the other at 5 p.m.), thus helping create the first long lines to register at this year’s Series on Thursday.
Event #4 ($1,500 NLHE 6-max.): Beauprez presides
John Beauprez then claimed the gold yesterday in Event #4, a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed tournament that saw 1,069 enter and a $324,764 first prize for the Colorado resident. Beauprez followed up a relatively deep run in last year’s WSOP Main Event where he finished 58th for a $129,384 cash.
Creator of a popular pot-limit Omaha training site PLO Quick Pro, Beauprez outlasted the German Manig Loeser heads-up to win, with 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada taking fourth and bracelet-holder Keven Stammen finishing sixth.
As Jessica Welman noted in her report on the event for the WSOP, Cada came close yet again to becoming the first Main Event champion to win a bracelet after winning the ME since 2001 champ Carlos Mortensen won a second bracelet in a $5K limit hold’em event in 2003. Cada finished runner-up last summer to Carter Phillips in a $1,500 NLHE bracelet event.
Event #5 ($2,500 Omaha/Stud): Gordo gets one
Finally, the first non-hold’em bracelet was awarded on Sunday as well as Mike “gordo16” Gorodinsky beat out group of 374 to win Event #6, the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event. The fourth American bracelet winner this Series, Gorodinsky took away $216,988 for winning his first career WSOP title.
Also making the final table were Owais Ahmed (who took fourth), George Danzer (sixth), and the first woman to make a final table at this year’s Series, Julie Schneider (eighth).
This marked Schneider’s second career WSOP final table after taking third in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better in 2009. Interestingly, her husband Tom Schneider won the first of his two WSOP bracelets in 2007 in the very same $2,500 Omaha/Stud event.
Huge field for “Millionaire Maker”
As noted, Event #6, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry event that sported a special $1 million guarantee for first prize, attracted an enormous field for its two “Day 1” flights on Saturday. By the time both “Day 1” flights played out, the total of 6,343 entries broke WSOP records while also testing the limits of what staff could handle at the Rio.
As WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla reports, the total of 6,343 entries represents the largest non-Main Event turnout in history. That figure additionally represents the most entries ever handled on a single day at the WSOP (as the larger Main Event fields have been spread over three or four days). The $1,199,104 first prize also represents the largest ever prize for a $1,500 buy-in tourney.
The huge turnout forced the cancellation of one of the popular “Daily Deepstack” tournaments Saturday afternoon, with players again facing lengthy waits to register and play in Event #6. Some testily tweeted about the long lines, and a few such as Neil Channing also drily noted how the significant juice earned in the event suggested an alternate meaning for the tournament’s “Millionaire Maker” name.
“Millionaire Maker didn’t quite live up to its name as total rake was only $856,305,” tweeted Channing. “Hopefully Harrah’s can make another million soon.”
Originally scheduled to finish today, the event will be extended an extra day (at least) as 133 players return for Monday’s Day 3.