2014 WSOP Day 31: John Hennigan Wins $50K Poker Players' Championship for $1.5 Million

John Hennigan

Last year, John Hennigan finished third in the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship and admitted he didn't appreciate the magnitude of coming so close to winning poker's most prestigious events. He used that experience to his advantage in 2014, reaching back-to-back final tables and coming from behind to capture his first PPC title, his third bracelet and $1.5 million.

Hennigan joined the likes of Michael Mizrachi, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Brian Rast and Matthew Ashton as a winner of the coveted Chip Reese Memorial Trophy on Thursday night. The victory also served as redemption for Hennigan after he finished runner-up in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event earlier this summer.

The other bracelet winner on Thursday was Tyler Patterson, who defeated Omaha master Scott Clements heads-up to win Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low. Meanwhile, the massive Monster Stack event filled the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to capacity, enough to create some logistical problems for WSOP staff.

Here’s a look at the highlights from all six bracelet events in action on Thursday:

Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

One of the most prestigious tournaments of the 2014 World Series of Poker—the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship – came to an end on Thursday. What began with 102 of the world’s best players tested their mettle in an eight-game rotation, and after five days of play it was John Hennigan that emerged as the last man standing to capture the $1,517,767, a WSOP gold bracelet, and etch his name on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.

This marked Hennigan’s third straight cash in the Poker Players’ Championship, and his second consecutive final table after finishing third last year. It was an exciting moment for Hennigan, though after the win all he wanted to do was jump straight into the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, which he promptly did after completing the obligatory winner’s photo and post-game interviews. There’s no rest for the wicked, nor is there for “Johnny World” even after winning his third gold bracelet.

Day 5 saw the final eight players return to action, and it didn’t take long for the first two eliminations to occur, both of which happened in stud hi-low. The first to go was Allen Kessler, who claimed to have missed a flush draw against Abe Mosseri. Kessler was the short stack when play began, and he took home $134,101 for his eighth-place finish.

That meant the official final table of seven was set, and one player that was excited to be there was Melissa Burr, who became the first woman to ever cash in this event and by doing so won a $500 bet at 15-1 against Robert Mizrachi. As an added bonus, she became the first woman to ever final table this event, though her journey came to an end in seventh place when she ran into the quad aces of Hennigan.

Frank Kassela, the 2010 WSOP Player of the Year, was the next to go after he got his short stack all in on third street in stud. Hennigan ended up making a pair of tens on seventh, and that was enough to dispatch Kassela in sixth place for $212,829.

Not long after, Brandon Shack-Harris limped under the gun (he would later admit that he thought he was putting out the big blind), and that inspired three other players to do the same. The {2-Spades}{7-Clubs}{k-Diamonds} flop saw three players checked to Hennigan, and he bet 80,000 from the button. Mosseri called from the small blind, and then online superstar Chun Lei "samorstan" Zhou check-raised to 160,000. Shack-Harris folded, the other two players called, and three players watched the dealer burn and turn the {8-Diamonds}.

Mosseri checked, Zhou bet all in for his last 160,000, and both Hennigan and Mosseri called. The two active players then checked the {6-Spades} river.

Mosseri: {q-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{9-Clubs}
Hennigan: {a-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{10-Spades}
Zhou: {k-Hearts}{9-Spades}{6-Clubs}{2-Spades}.

Zhou's two pair was no good as Mosseri had a flush for the high and Hennigan an 8-7-4-2-A low. The last of Zhou's chips were chopped up and he exited in fifth place for $286,122.

Mosseri, who finished 11th in this event back in 2010 for $129,957, bowed out in fourth place (not before cleaning up in some side bets), and then three-handed play became an extended affair.

Hennigan was on the verge of elimination during this time, but managed a double in pot-limit Omaha. From there he seemed to do nothing but collect chips, and eventually Jesse Martin hit the rail in third place.

Hennigan began heads-up play with a big lead over Shack-Harris, who already had first, second, and third-place finishes at the 2014 WSOP prior to this event. Shack-Harris, who began the day as the chip leader, had high hopes of capturing his second bracelet of the summer, but he would have to settle for second place and a $937,975 consolation prize.

Event #46: $50,000 Poker Player's Championship Results

1John Hennigan$1,517,767
2Brandon Shack-Harris$937,975
3Jesse Martin$594,570
4Abe Mosseri$402,696
5Chun Lei “samrostan” Zhou$286,122
6Frank Kassela$212,829
7Melissa Burr$165,435
8Allen Kessler$134,101

Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low

Entering Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low at the 2014 World Series of Poker, Tyler Patterson boasted nearly $1.2 million in live tournament earnings, 18 WSOP cashes, and three prior WSOP final tables. Despite all of that, Patterson had yet to wrap a bright, shiny gold bracelet around his wrist. Now that the event has been completed, Patterson can officially call himself a champion as he outlasted a field of 991 players to win the $270,992 first-place prize.

Eleven players remained heading into Day 3 of this event, with Patterson right in the middle of the pack. After scooping a big pot early on in which he crippled Dylan Wilkerson, Patterson shot into the chip lead and he didn't stray too far from the top for the rest of the day.

Wilkerson ended up finishing in ninth place, and then J.R. Flournoy fell in eighth. Bracelet winner Derek Raymond hit the rail in seventh, and he was followed out the door by four-time WSOP champion and 2007 Player of the Year Tom Schneider in sixth place. Gary Kosakowski headed out the door in fifth, and then Jeff Madsen, who was searching for his fourth piece of WSOP hardware, was eliminated in fourth.

The final three players had locked up over six figures, and then it was Cody Crawford to fall first during three-handed play. This set up the heads-up battle between Patterson and two-time WSOP champion Scott Clements, but in the end, Clements just couldn't overcome the powerful Patterson. Despite fighting hard at the end, Clements fell after approximately six and a half hours of play at the final table.

2014 WSOP Day 31: John Hennigan Wins K Poker Players' Championship for .5 Million 101

Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Results

1Tyler Patterson$270,992
2Scott Clements$167,686
3Cody Crawford$104,914
4Jeff Madsen$76,150
5Gary Kosakowski$56,216
6Tom Schneider$42,142
7Derek Raymond$32,054
8J.R. Flournoy$24,710
9Dylan Wilkerson$19,305

Event #49: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 2 of Event 49: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em began with 204 players, many of them grizzled veterans with piles upon piles of poker winnings in their lifetimes. However, the day ended with a chip leader that few would have expected to top the final 23: Margareta Morris, a Connecticut native with just nine recorded tournament cashes for $121,525.

Morris spent much of her day mixing it up with some of poker's finest, accumulating chips from confrontations with players like JC Tran and Jason Koon. It was a pot against Melanie Weisner with mere minutes remaining in the night that really vaulted Morris to the top.

Former November Niner John Dolan checked in with the second-best stack with 719,000, and Koon (616,000), Kevin MacPhee (601,000), Blake Bohn (582,000), Weisner (301,000), and Josh Arieh (267,000) are all in contention as well.

Phil Hellmuth was among the many notables who exited during the day, but the "Poker Brat" was able to secure another WSOP cash. Hellmuth had a particularly painful exit, as he was down to four big blinds before a massive comeback saw him return to contention. Then, he got three-outed and delivered some choice words.

Play resumes at 1 p.m. on Friday, and the plan is to play down to a nine-handed final table. Be sure to tune back in to PokerNews for the Day 3 of this prestigious tournament.

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Event #50: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix

A total of 106 players returned for Day 2 of Event #50 with the hopes of moving through the money bubble and beyond. At the end of the day, just 14 players bagged up with none other than Event #17: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship champion Dan Heimiller leading the field. Heimiller will bring a stack of 226,000 into Day 3.

While Heimiller holds the lead, others are hot on his heels heading into the third and final day. WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Steury is looking for his second piece of gold and is in a solid position to earn it, bagging up just one chip less than Heimiller with 225,000. Rounding out the top three is nine-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Ivey with 220,500. This is Ivey's third cash of the series and he is poised to earn a seat at his first final table of the summer. A final table appearance would put Ivey in contention to win his 10th bracelet, which would tie him with the likes of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan.

Outside of the top three, the field remains stacked with notable names returning for the third day. Stephen Chidwick bagged up in the middle of the pack and will return with 174,000 in chips. Right behind Chidwick is six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu who bagged 132,500. This marks Negreanu's eighth cash of the summer and he'll be looking for his second final table appearance. Amnon Filippi (117,500) and Alex Rocha (70,000) are also returning for Day 3.

Play resumes at 2 p.m. in the Amazon room where the field will be whittle down until a champion is crowned. As always, PokerNews will be on hand to provide all of the latest from the tournament felt.

Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack

The halls and the poker rooms of the Rio were packed on Friday as players turned out in droves for Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack.

The numbers were so big that a second flight was introduced with flight A capped at 4,020 entrants. As the first flight finished play for the day at the end of nine one-hour levels many flight B players were still waiting to take their seats with the tournament screen showing 7,734 registrations.

Some of the ‘Day 1b first wave’ registrants had to wait nearly three hours before they were seated for play as the entire Rio Convention Center was at capacity. Four more “waves” for seating players were planned, but ultimately the large majority seemed to have to wait until the start of level six to be able to play some poker.

When registration finally closed the event’s total number of entrants was set at 7,862. A whopping prize pool of $10,613,700 was created, with six-figure paydays set for all who make the official final table and $1,327,083 going to the eventual winner.

More than half the entrants (3,826 to be exact) will return for Day 2 as the two flights will combine into one field. The event is scheduled for five days and survivors will start Day 2 on Friday at 3 p.m. Tune in then as PokerNews continues coverage of this historic event.

Event #52: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship

The biggest Limit Hold'em tournament of the year kicked off today and 122 players signed up for what will be a true test of skill, patience and a bit of luck. After Day 1 it is Kenny Shei who leads with 118,400 while David Chiu (109,200) and Antonio Esfandiari (99,200) also bagged up big stacks.

Eli Elezra, Paul Volpe and $50K PPC champion John Hennigan all entered late and survived the day.

Players will attempt to maneuver themselves into the money and ultimately the final table on Day 2. In total 18 places will get paid, the min cash being $16,273. The winner of this event will ultimately walk away with $309,909, but that won't be on the minds of players when the action resumes on Friday.

Play will begin at 2:00 p.m. local time and we will be right there with you to bring all your live coverage of the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship.

On Tap

Here’s the full schedule of bracelet events for Friday (all times PDT):

  • 12:00 p.m. — Event #53: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship (Day 1 of 3)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #49: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 3 of 4)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Event #50: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix (Day 3 of 3)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Event #52: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship (Day 2 of 3)
  • 3:00 p.m. — Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack (Day 2 of 4)
  • 6:00 p.m. — Event #54: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low (Day 1 of 3)

Video of the Day

John Hennigan captured every poker player's dream, and like a true poker player, he is immediately going after his next bracelet.

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