WSOP What to Watch For: Negreanu and Ivey on the Verge; Monster Stack Marches On
Friday is set to see the Rio become a frenzy of flops and folds with six bracelet events being held concurrently, including the typically large Ladies Championship and the massive Monster Stack event.
Of the 696 players who ponied up $5,000 for their shot at a bracelet in Event #49, only 23 survivors will return to the Rio for Friday's penultimate day of play.
And although the field is still littered with top-flight pros, including former November Niner John Dolan (719,000), Jason Koon (616,000), Kevin MacPhee (601,000), Blake Bohn (582,000), Melanie Weisner (301,000), and Josh Arieh (267,000), it is an unlikely amateur who tops the counts.
Margareta Morris of Connecticut leads the way with 805,000, and she will be in pole position when the race for a $719,707 payday continues. The beneficiary of a truly brutal runner-runner beat put on Weisner to crack big slick late on Day 2, Morris is more than a mere amateur in the midst of a heater. With nine career tournament cashes totaling $121,525, Morris obviously knows how to use the chips gifted to her courtesy of the come-from-behind win.
Play resumes at 1 p.m. PDT and 10 levels will be put in the books, so check in with the Event #49 live updates to track all of the action as it happens.
The original field of 485 players, each of whom attempted to display their mastery in eight of poker's disciplines, has been whittled down to the last 14 entering Day 3 action.
As is expected from an event in which superior skill in all the games is a requisite for success, the last two tables will be ringed with a murderer's row of feared pros. Fresh off of winning his second gold bracelet and pocketing a career-high cash of $627,462 Event #17: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship, longtime pro Dan Heimiller holds a slim chip lead with his 226,000 stack.
Nipping at Heimiller's heels is none other than Phil Ivey (225,000), and with his infamous series of bracelet bets still in play late in a thus far fruitless 2014 series, one of poker's most "Polarizing" figures will surely be motivated to make a run at the gold.
Aaron Steury will bring a stack of 220,500 with him when Day 3 kicks off, and his run in this event gives him an impressive seven cashes on the summer. Stephen Chidwick sits with 174,000 in chips, while Daniel Negreanu will be looking to run his 132,500 up while chasing bracelet bets of his own. Negreanu's eighth cash of the series has nearly produced a final table appearance, but the six-time bracelet winner only has one thing on his mind. Amnon Filippi (117,500) and Alex Rocha (70,000) round out the list of Day 3 notables.
Check back with the Event #50 live updates at 2 p.m. PDT to see if Ivey or Negreanu can bag a bracelet to preserve part of their bankrolls.
When the WSOP announced its intention to give players plenty of chips in this year's debut of the Monster Stack event, poker prognosticators typically pegged the over/under at roughly 5,000 players. Indeed, the WSOP itself originally planned for a 4,000-player field, but with the allure of a potential $1 million dollar payday captivating the Rio throughout the last few days, the entrants just kept coming.
Thursday saw the Rio become packed to the rafters in a scene reminiscent of the Main Event itself, with more than 7,000 players filling every available poker table in the casino... literally. The first starting flight forced the Rio to suspend all cash game play, even in the Main Poker Room on the other side of the casino, in order to accommodate the Monster Stack masses.
Eventually a second starting flight was added to the schedule on the fly, after the cap of 4,020 had been reached on what became Day 1a, and by the time chips were finally bagged and tagged in the next go round, one of poker's largest tournaments ever had taken place. A total of 7,862 runners created a stunning total prize pool of $10,613,700 was generated to create a $1,327,083 first place payout, giving credence to the unbridled hope that so many of the players in the field expressed before and during play.
John Monnette built one of biggest stacks in the room with his 152,000, but with thousands of bags to read by day's end, complete chip leader information is still pending.
The entire field will reassemble as one at 3 p.m. PDT, and the Event #51 live updates team will bring you continued coverage from the floor.
Yet another prestigious event at the WSOP continues on Friday with Day 2 of the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship, and 72 players will return from the original 122-runner field.
Kenny Shei led the way after Day 1 with 118,400, while pros David Chiu (109,200), Antonio Esfandiari (99,200), Roland Israelashvili (84,00) and Ronnie Bardah (80,000) also climbed to the top of the counts.
With the bubble set to burst at 18 players Day 2 could very well play into the money, and $309,909 awaits the eventual winner.
Play resumes at 2 p.m. and you can follow along with the Event #52 live updates throughout the day.
*Denotes buy-in for men; women pay $1,000 to enter the Ladies Championship
One of the WSOP's most time honored traditions takes place on Friday when the Ladies Championship returns to the Rio.
Every year hundreds of women take their seats and enjoy the game as it was meant to be played, engaging in conversation with their opponents and making friends, all while taking it to one another on the felt. In the silent and sullen day of the hoodies and headphones, the atmosphere which surrounds the Ladies Championship is refreshing to say the least.
Last year it was Kristin Bicknell who captured the crown and she will most likely be back to defend her title. In addition, a number of pros are shoe-ins to show up, including Vicky Coren, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Cherish Andrews, Jennifer Tilly, Jennifer Shahade, Kara Scott, Susie Isaacs, Cyndy Violette, Liv Boeree, Jackie Glazier, and Danielle “dmoongirl” Andersen.
Cards will be in the air at 12 noon PDT, and the Event #53 live updates will be the place to be if you want to check up on the action.
Event #54: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low
The last tournament to get underway on Friday is the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low event, with Day 1 scheduled for a 6 p.m. start time.
Last year Vladimir Shchmelev emerged as the champion in this event, earning $279,094 along with his first gold bracelet.
The variant typically attracts a pro-heavy field, and with the amateur contingent otherwise occupied with Monster Stack action, the expectation is for a small yet stacked field to assemble in this event.
To follow along with the coverage be sure to check out the Event #54 live updates when tournament begins at 6 p.m. PDT.
Here's a full rundown of the bracelet events being held Friday at the 2014 World Series of Poker (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 5)
- 6:00 p.m. — Event #54: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low (Day 1 of 3)