2013 WSOP: Matusow, Schneider Headline Latest Winners
Headlines over the weekend at the 2013 World Series of Poker were highlighted by the victories of Mike “The Mouth” Matusow and Tom “Donkey Bomber” Schneider, with Matusow notching his fourth career WSOP bracelet and Schneider his third. The Canadians continue to collect bracelets at a remarkable clip as well, with a victory by Mark Radoja in the prestigious $10,000 no-limit hold’em event pushing Canada’s bracelet total to five through the first 16 events.
Here’s a quick look at how the last half-dozen WSOP tournaments have played out at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Event #11 ($2,500 NLHE 6-max.): Berger Binks One
Levi Berger became the fourth Canadian player to earn a bracelet this summer — already carrying Canada’s total over the three the country won in 2012 — by winning the $2,500 no-limit hold’em six-handed event. Berger earned $473,019 for his victory in a tournament that saw 924 players participate.
Originally from Ottawa, the L.A.-based Berger had to come back from a significant deficit to Scott Clements while three-handed, knocking out Ben Palmer in third to pull even with Clements to start heads-up play. It only took 17 more hands after that, highlighted by a big pot in which Berger managed to flop a Broadway straight and earn three post-flop streets’ worth of value.
Berger’s win meant Clements finished one spot shy of earning a third WSOP bracelet, his first two having come in Omaha events (an Omaha/8 one in 2006 and a PLO in 2007). Meanwhile Berger was earning just his second career WSOP cash and first bracelet.
Event #12 ($1,500 PLHE): Rofman Denies Cunningham
Event #12, the $1,500 pot-limit hold’em event, also saw a near-miss by a multiple-bracelet winner as Allen Cunningham finished runner-up to Lev Rofman, with Rofman earning his first WSOP cash ever by topping the 535-player field to win a $166,136 first prize.
Cunningham has five career WSOP bracelets, his most recent coming in 2007. He in fact had Rofman all in and at risk before the flop on a couple of occasions during heads-up play, but Rofman managed to survive both encounters before winning.
Event #13 ($5,000 7CS Hi-Low): The Mouth Gobbles Up Fourth Bracelet
Following up on his victory in the newly-reprised NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in January, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow managed to outlast a field of 210 in the $5,000 seven-card stud hi-low event to earn a $266,503 first prize. With the win Matusow became one of 32 players in WSOP history to earn four or more bracelets.
Matusow beat out the U.K.’s Matthew Ashton heads-up after surviving a tough final table that included Mike Leah (who finished third), David “Bakes” Baker (fourth), Yuval Bronshstein (fifth), Tony Cousineau (sixth), Gavin Smith (seventh), and Vladimir Shchmelev (eighth).
Event #14 ($1,500 NLHE): Taylor Takes Title
The first of the eight regular freezeout $1,500 no-limit hold’em events on the 2013 WSOP schedule was won by the American Jonathan Taylor. A total of 1,819 participated in the event, with Taylor earning $454,424 for the win. Like Rofman, this marked Taylor’s first-ever WSOP cash.
Like most of the final tables thus far this summer, this one again was dominated by American players, with Patrick Kubat of Germany (who finished sixth) the only non-U.S. player.
In 2012 there were seven $1,500 NLHE events (with no re-entries) on the schedule. Those events saw an average turnout of just over 2,640 players, with the smallest field being 2,101.
Event #15 ($1,500 H.O.R.S.E.): Schneider Stacks ‘Em to the Top
2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider earned his third career WSOP bracelet last night after winning the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event., beating out a field of 862 and a final table that included fellow bracelet holders Owais Ahmed (runner-up; one bracelet), Rep Porter (fourth; two bracelets), and Frankie O’Dell (fifth; two bracelets) to earn the $258,960 first prize.
Both of Schneider’s previous bracelets came in 2007, one in the $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Low event and the other in the $1,000 Stud Hi-Low. The “Donkey Bomber” now has 29 career WSOP cashes worth almost $1.18 million, including four already this summer.
Both Schneider and his wife, Julie, have gotten off to hot starts at the 2013 WSOP, as she made her second career final table in Event #5, the $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Low event in which she finished eighth.
Event #16 ($10,000 NLHE Heads-Up): Radoja rocks fifth bracelet for Canada
Finally, Mark Radoja notched Canada’s fifth WSOP bracelet this summer by winning the $10,000 no-limit hold’em heads-up event on Sunday. Radoja defeated Don Nguyen heads-up for the victory and $336,190 first prize. Justin Bonomo and Ben Sulsky made it to the semifinals in this one, with Phil Hellmuth and Randy Lew among the quarterfinal casualties.
The field of 162 in Event #16 was the smallest of the summer thus far in this, the first $10K event of 2013. The turnout also represented an increase from the 152 who played in the event last year when Brian Hastings won.