Two more bracelets were handed out on Day 14 of the 2013 World Series of Poker, and both were earned by highly regarded poker pros. Davidi Kitai claimed victory in Event #19: $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em to pick up his second career bracelet while online poker superstar Taylor Paur won Event #18: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Paur eliminated Phil Ivey on the final day of action, denying Ivey his 10th bracelet while propelling Paur to his first.
After navigating a field of 2,017 players over three days, Taylor Paur was crowned the champion of Event#18: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em late Tuesday night in the Amazon Room. Paur defeated Roy Weiss in a very unusual heads-up match to claim $340,260 and his first WSOP bracelet.
Day 3 began with 14 players looking to plot a course to victory, and Phil Ivey's trip didn't last long. Within minutes of sitting down to play, Ivey was crippled by Adam Sanders, and then eliminated on the next hand by Paur, who extended his chip lead.
It took less than an hour to reach the unofficial final table, and then James Epner was eliminated in 10th place, setting up the official nine-handed final. Paur started with the chip lead and put those chips to work early. It only took 13 hands to see the first eliminations as Ryan Austin and Kyle Cartwright found themselves all in against Paur on the same hand. Austin started the hand with more chips and as such was eliminated in eighth, while Cartwright finished in ninth.
The next person to go was Daniel Idema, in seventh place, just 10 hands later by DJ MacKinnon. Phillip Hui finished in sixth place after attempting to make a move when action folded to him on the button, but Alex Barlow woke up with queens in the big blind.
DJ MacKinnon was the next casualty. After having his kings cracked by eights in a massive three-way pot, the Buffalo native left in fifth place after finding himself all in with kings again — this time against Paur's aces. Following MacKinnon was Alex Barlow in fourth place.
Paur (5,000,000 in chips) began three-handed play with a significant lead over his opponents, Roy Weiss (745,000) and Tai Nguyen (475,000). Paur continued to dominate play at the final table, raising or reraising almost every hand. The only play Weiss and Nguyen had was to move all in.Nguyen did that one time too many, leaving the tournament in third place.
Paur entered heads-up play with a 4-to-1 chip lead over Weiss and remained in control of the match until Weiss caught some lucky cards to take the chip lead for a short time. However, when the players went to dinner, Paur was back on top with 4,250,000 of the 6,000,000 chips in play. Weiss changed his strategy at dinner time, and instead of calling most of Paur's prelfop bets, he began moving all in on every hand. At one point, Weiss took over the lead and had Paur all in for his tournament. Luckily for Paur, he won that hand and five hands later claimed victory over Roy Weiss, who collected $211,794 for second place.
Belgian poker pro Davidi Kitai outlasted a small but stacked field of 195 entrants to take down his second bracelet in Event #19: $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em, along with about a quarter of a million dollars. His other bracelet came also came in a PLHE event, a $2,000 buy-in in 2008, when he won $244,583.
Sixteen players returned for Day 3, and Jesse Martin was the chip leader entering the day. He was unable to get much going, however, and busted in 10th place. Online legend Dan "djk123" Kelly was also an early casualty when his fourth Day 3 of this WSOP was cut short when he busted 12th.
The final table lasted a mere 90 hands, and Kitai was the chip leader almost from start to finish, despite facing a formidable row of opponents that included bracelet winners Dario Minieri (8th), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (7th) and Eugene Katchalov (5th). Kitai grabbed the chip lead shortly after the unofficial 10-handed final table began when he made a big calldown against Minieri. He then turned up the aggression, opening pots liberally, and went into heads-up play against Cary Katz with a big lead after busting two players when his nines held up in a three-way all in against the of Vincent Bartello (third place) and the of Dimitar Danchev (fourth).
Katz battled fiercely in the heads up, and even took over the lead at one point in the match. In the end, he got it all in with kings against Kitai's jacks when Kitai had him covered, and Kitai was fortunate enough to spike a jack on the flop to seal the tournament.
Kitai, one of only a handful of poker's Triple Crown winners, added a second bracelet to a collection of championships that also includes World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour titles.
Day 2 of Event #20: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low 8-or-Better saw 219 players whittled down to just 22 when players bagged and tagged the chips at the end of the night. Dale Beaudoin will enter Day 3 looking down on everyone else with 465,000 chips. The only player within 100,000 of him is Jason Rivkin, who bagged up 418,000.
Of the 219 players who returned on Tuesday, only 117 made the money, meaning nearly half the players walked away empty-handed. Among the players who ended up on that unfortunate list were Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, Nick Grippo, Eric Crain, Max Pescatori, Allen Kessler, Mike Sexton and recent bracelet winner Mike Matusow.
A handful of notables made the money but fell short of making Day 3, including Barry Greenstein, Tom and Julie Schneider, Andy Frankenberger, Men Nguyen, Brian Hastings, Max Steinberg, and David Chiu and John Racener, both of whom busted in the last half hour of the night.
Despite losing those players, a few familiar players will come back to vie for the title on Wednesday, including Can Kim Hua (327,000), Todd Brunson (315,000), John Monnette (188,000), Maria Ho (96,000) and Jennifer Harman (80,000).
The 22 remaining hopefuls will return to the Rio at 1 p.m. PST to decide who the next gold bracelet winner will be. Be sure to follow PokerNews.com all the live updates until the conclusion.
Day 1 of Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’Em (Six-Handed) is in the books. The chip leader after 10 levels of play is Jesse Wilke with 187,700 in chips. He leads the 129 players who remain from the starting field of 807.
Following Wilke at the top of the leaderboard are Victor Ramdin (184,000), Ryan Olisar (154,500), Danny Doucet (140,000), Scott Seiver (132,000), and Maurice Hawkins (100,500). Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth both survived late into the day, but both were knocked out and will have to wait until another day to add to their bracelet counts.
Only 90 players will be paid, so the 39 who return for Day 2 will walk away empty-handed, but all players still in the tournament surely hope to win the $506,764 first-place prize and the coveted WSOP gold bracelet.
Play resumes at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Rio. PokerNews.com will be at the Rio all day to bring you live updates as Event #21 continues.
Day 15 of the 2013 World Series of Poker will feature four events on Wednesday. Event #20: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low 8-or-Better will begin with 22 players and is scheduled to play down to a winner, and Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) is expected to reach a final table. Kicking off on Wednesday will be Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (12 p.m. PST) and Event #23: $2,500 Seven-Card Stud (5 p.m. PST).
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Despite owning a commanding chip lead at the start of the final table, Taylor Paur's road to victory in Event #18 certainly wasn't easy. He discussed his win with PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin afterward.