Day 30 of the 2015 World Series of Poker saw the rare four-bracelet day. Of course, all bracelets are prestigious, but one event stood above the rest on Thursday.
Mike Gorodinsky Wins The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship
Mike Gorodinsky won poker's most prestigious title early Friday morning, taking down the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, the "David 'Chip' Reese Memorial Trophy that comes with it and his second WSOP bracelet.
"I feel amazing," he told PokerNews, moments after beating Jean-Robert Bellande heads up to also capture a $1,270,086 first-place prize. "This is literally something I've gone to bed dreaming about and it's just cool to legitimately realize a dream. This was just an amazing day, an amazing five days."
The 10-game mixed event began five days ago with 84 of the world's best players entering by the time registration closed. Thursday, David "ODB" Baker came into the final table of six with the chip lead, but Bellande climbed up close busting Dan Kelly sixth with a ten-badugi over Kelly's queen-badugi.
Bellande also knocked out Chris Klodnicki fifth in Badugi, making a six-badugi to get the better of the one-time $50k PPC runner-ups eight. Bellande held the lead, but Baker struck back sending Ben Sulsky to the rail fourth when his held versus Sulsky's all in preflop in No-Limit Hold'em.
However, Baker could do no better than third after running into Gorodinsky's in the same game and failing to make miracles happen. Heads up began with Gorodinsky holding 7,550,000 to Bellande's 5,050,000 and although it was an epic affair lasting several hours, Gorodinsky grinded out the win against Bellande, eventually getting him to commit all his chips with top two against a set of eights in Pot-Limit Omaha and holding.
$50,000 Poker Players' Championship Final Table Results
|1||Mike Gorodinsky||St. Louis, MO||$1,270,086|
|2||Jean-Robert Bellande||Las Vegas, NV||$784,828|
|3||David "ODB" Baker||Katy, TX||$514,926|
|4||Ben Sulsky||Brewster, MA||$353,928|
|5||Chris Klodnicki||Philadelphia, PA||$251,314|
|6||Dan Kelly||Potomac, MD||$184,222|
Firsau Finishes Off Final Three Opponents in Six-Max PLO
After three days of play, four players remained locked in contention for the gold bracelet and $437,575 in Event #46: $3,000 Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha. They returned Thursday for a 50-hand sprint to the finish, and Belarus' Vasili Firsau made the moment his by capturing his first bracelet.
Numit Agrawal fell early in the day, and three-handed play lasted a few hours before Andreas Freund exited in third as his proved no match for Firsau's as the latter his a gutshot straight on the river.
Firsau entered heads-up play only slightly behind Day 3 chip leader Nipun Java, who was also seeking his first bracelet, but he won a big pot just a few hands in with nines full of fives and never looked back, denying Java his first bracelet.
Daniel Idema also made a final table appearance, busting in sixth.
Final Table Results
|1||Vasili Firsau||Minsk, Belarus||$437,575|
|2||Nipun Java||Northridge, CA||$270,509|
|3||Andreas Freund||Vienna, Austria||$171,626|
|4||Numit Agrawal||West Lafayette, IN||$112,717|
|5||Vadzim Markushevski||Minsk, Belarus||$76,373|
|6||Daniel Idema||Vancouver, Canada||$53,342|
No. 3 For Elezra
Eli Elezra made his third final table of the 2015 World Series of Poker, and this time he finished the job, taking down Event #48: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud for $112,591 against a 237-player field.
“Winning the bracelet in stud, the old-school game nobody plays any more... it means so much to me,” he said. “I feel really good.”
It's Elezra's third bracelet, joining the ones he won in Event #24: $3,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low in 2007 for $198,984 and Event #59: 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball in 2013 for $173,236.
Elezra had to overcome about a 3-1 chip deficit heads up against Benjamin Lazer after Allen Cunningham bowed out of the tournament in third. Elezra needed just about two hours to turn that 10-big bet stack into his third bracelet. He got the last of it when he ran down Lazer's wired queens with /, running a straight with and to leave Lazer's unimproved queens dead before he could even squeeze out seventh street.
Three final tables and a bracelet apparently isn't enough to satisfy Elezra, who predicted he will make one more final table before the series is in the books. He revealed he's been playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, ever since the 25K fantasy draft.
“They got me for only $1 in fantasy,” he said with a wide grin. “I'm going to show them that I'm worth more than that.”
Final Table Results
|1||Eli Elezra||Henderson, NV||$112,591|
|2||Benjamin Lazer||Kingston, NY||$69,532|
|3||Allen Cunningham||Las Vegas, NV||$44,846|
|4||Gylbert Drolet||Saint-Nicholas, Canada||$32,495|
|5||Kenn Wittock||Gilbert, AZ||$23,891|
|6||Byron Ziebell||Hales Corners, WI||$17,821|
|7||Jean Gaspard||Evanston, IL||$13,486|
|8||Matt Grapenthien||Chicago, IL||$10,352|
Hellmuth Busts 16th as $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Plays Down to Five
Phil Hellmuth seemed primed for a run at his record 15th WSOP bracelet in the 2015 WSOP Event #47:$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em, but had to settle for his record 111th WSOP cash finishing 16th.
In the meantime, the event played down to a final table and beyond, getting down to just five players remaining by the time ten levels of play were through. Israel's Timur Margolin holds the chip lead, but 2005 WSOP Main Event final table participant Andy Black is close in the hunt for his first WSOP bracelet.
Play will resume at 1 p.m. local time Friday with a first-place prize of $551,941 hanging in the balance. Here's how the top 5 stack up:
$3,000 Six-Max Draws Over 1,000
The 2015 WSOP Event #51: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed drew 1,043 entries Thursday, creating a $2,847,390 prize pool that will pay 108 spots. A min-cash is worth $5,666 while the first-place prize includes $640,711 and a WSOP bracelet.
Just 285 players survived the day with German Ismael Bojang bagging the biggest stack. However a host of heroes threaten that lead including 2015 WSOP bracelet winners John Gale and Jeff Madsen in the top 15. Phil Hellmuth also busted the $2,500 No-Limit 16th and hopped right in, bagging over 60,000 in by night's end in his bid for a 15th bracelet.
Play will resume tomorrow Friday at 1 p.m. local time.
De Silva Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em on Extra Day
Upeshka De Silva took down his first WSOP bracelet Thursday, winning the 2015 WSOP Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $424,577.
The 27-year-old Sri Lankan born Texas-based pro beat Irishman Dara O'Kearney heads-up on a fourth day added to the event with just the two players remaining. Ultimately, De Silva came out on top of a field of 1,655 to book the win and best a final table that also included high-stakes pro Jason Koon and former November Niner John Dolan, knocking out seven of the other eight players there.
De Silva now has 10 WSOP cashes lifetime, including a final table appearance in the first WSOP Millionaire Maker event.
$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results
|1||Upeshka De Silva||Katy, TX||$424,577|
|2||Dara O'Kearney||Dublin, Ireland||$262,502|
|3||John Dolan||Bonita Springs, FL||$172,752|
|4||Patrick Rojek||Avon, OH||$124,537|
|5||Ilkin Amirov||Baku, Azerbaijan||$91,157|
|6||Bobby Moore||Bowie, MD||$67,697|
|7||Jorden Fox||Los Angeles, CA||$50,985|
|8||Vasily Tsapko||Moscow, Russia||$38,920|
|9||Jason Koon||Las Vegas, NV||$30,095|
Danzer Makes Day 3 of PLO8; Selbst Bags Short
Last year's World Series of Poker Player of the Year, German star George Danzer, has had a less-than-stellar summer with just two cashes – though they were both in 10K events – and zero final tables.
He's looking to turn that around in a hurry and grab his fourth career bracelet in Event #49: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low, where he bagged 612,000, good for third place behind Galen Hall (776,000) and Connor Drinan (635,000).
In total, 21 players advanced to Day 3, including Alex Dovzhenko (400,000), Erik Seidel (338,000), and Vanessa Selbst (88,000).
Seidel found a late double when he limped and called a raise from Shiva Dudani then got it in on a flop with against . Seidel turned the nut flush.
The tournament hit the money on Day 2, with Eric Baldwin (27th), “Miami” John Cernuto (29th), Chris Bjorin (37th), and John Monnette (44th) among the players busting in the top 90 and getting paid.
Play resumes at Level 21 (6,000/12,000) at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Top Five Chip Counts
Bonomo Leads as 11 Remain in Limit Championship
Justin Bonomo has raced out ahead of the field to take a sizable chip lead with 11 players remaining inEvent #50: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship. Bonomo's 910,000 is well ahead of second-place Aleksandr Denisov's 626,000. Bonomo claimed his first bracelet last summer and is looking for No. 2.
The rest of the contenders for $291,456: Jesse Martin (378,000), Anthony Zinno (311,000), Kenny Shei (293,000), Marco Johnson (279,000), Terrence Chan (241,000), Ben Yu (196,000), Gabriel Nassif (184,000), Brian Tate (70,000), and Ian Johns (21,000).
With a small field of just 117, just 18 players cashed. The most notable of those were Juha Helppi (14th place), Sorel Mizzi (16th), and Brock Parker (17th).
Day 3 kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday at limits of 12,000/24,000.
Clements Seeking Third Final Table of Summer
Scott Clements has already made two finals tables at the 2015 WSOP. He finished fourth in Event #21: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Championship and then had a near-miss coming second to Brian Hastings in Event #27: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship.
Now, he's looking in good position to contend for another as he bagged 66,000 to rank fifth on the leaderboard after Day 1 of Event #52: $1,500 Dealer's Choice. The event drew 357 runners, down a bit from the 419 who played last year, when Robert Mizrachi won.
Scott Blackman has the biggest stack with 97,000, while Randy Ohel (85,575), Greg Mueller (54,775), Mizrachi (46,025), and Jeff Lisandro (44,825) also bagged in solid amounts.
Day 2 kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday for another 19-game grind, and with 36 places paid, the money should be reached relatively early on.
Top 5 Chip Counts