It was another busy day at the 2016 World Series of Poker on Friday with two bracelets won and two more events getting down to just a few players remaining.
Brazilian football star Neymar Jr. even made an appearance, taking part in a $1,000 sit-n-go satellite into the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Plus, two more events kicked off, including the much anticipated Millionaire Maker.
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Mike Cordell Wins the $1,500 6-Max
Little Rock, Arkansas' Mike Cordell won the 2016 WSOP Event #10: $1,500 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em tournament on Friday night.
"I've been playing a long time," he said. "This has always been the dream. This is what we dream about when we start playing poker."
The 46-year-old pro poker player took home a $346,088 first-place prize, and a WSOP bracelet, beating a field of 1,477 players. He returned to the WSOP this year after a six-year absence spent taking are of his elderly mother, who was blind since birth. She passed away a week before the 2016 WSOP kicked off.
Cordell beat 2015 WSOP Main Event seventh-place finisher Pierre Neuville heads up, taking control of the final table after Spain's Javier Garcirreynaldos went from chip leader to out in fifth place.
A short stack all day, Nueville doubled up a couple times heads up, but ultimately found Cordell's massive 15-1 heads-up lead too much to overcome.
Final Table Results
888poker New Jersey Ambassador and former WSOP November Niner Tom Cannuli finished in 26th place for $10,717.
Jean "Prince" Gaspard Becomes $10,000 Dealer's Choice Champ
Jean "Prince" Gaspard took down the Event #11: $10,000 Dealer's Choice Six-Max Championship, winning his first WSOP gold bracelet and $306,621, early Saturday morning.
"I came into this week with a lot of things on my mind," Gaspard said. "This was the first tournament I circled and said I was going to play. I told myself I was going to play my best in this tournament. Then, earlier this week, when Muhammad Ali died, he was one of the people I respect so much. I learned from him that to be great, you have to dig in deep and be yourself. So, coming into this, I was really ready to win it."
The 47-year-old Haitian-born pro, who now lives in Chicago, IL, beat a final table that featured three WSOP bracelet winners. Two-time WSOP bracelet winners Viacheslav Zhukov and John Monnette finished sixth and third, respectively. WSOP bracelet winner Randy Ohel came fourth.
Gaspard led the final 11 players into the event's final day Friday, and eventually cracked Billy O'Neil's [10c10], making two pair out of the in no-limit hold'em, to capture the title.
The tournament's unique format allowed players to choose from 19 different games to play for a single orbit, before the next player on the left would choose. The event drew 118 players, creating a prize pool over $1.1 million.
Final Table Results
$565 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Set
The massive Event #12: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha that drew 2,483 entries on Thursday played down from 80 players remaining to a final table of nine on Friday.
Chris Ferguson made a deep run, but busted just shy of the final table in 13th. Syed Shah will take the chip lead into the final nine while Darryll Fish is likely the most well known player left, with 27 career cashes at the WSOP for $565,074. No matter what happens, this event will crown a first-time WSOP bracelet winner on Saturday.
Final Table Chip Counts
|Richard St. Peter||1,555,000|
Each of the final nine is guaranteed at least $12,323, while a WSOP bracelet and a $190,328 first-place prize awaits the winner. Play resumes at 12 p.m. local time Saturday.
Negreanu Chases His Seventh Bracelet in Razz
Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu is still in with a shot at his seventh WSOP bracelet with Event 13: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz down to just 12 players.
Alexey Makarov grabbed the overnight lead heading into Saturday's chase for the WSOP bracelet and $142,624 first-place prize.
However, alongside Negreanu, WSOP bracelet winners Shaun Deeb, David Benyamine, Rep Porter, Michael Gathy, and Matt Grapenthien are still in the hunt.
Plus, German football star Max Kruse is there as well.
Top Five Counts
The event's third day will get going at 2 p.m. local time with a 3,000 ante, 3,000 bring-in and 12,000/24,000 limits.
The Millionaire Maker Begins
The first of two starting flights for Event 14: $1,500 Millionaire Maker drew 3,088 players to the Rio on Friday. Some 505 were left after 10 levels of play, with Frank Rusnak grabbing the overnight lead on as the only player over the 200,000 mark.
Recognizable players including Max Silver, Upeshka De Silva, Matt Berkey, Tom Marchese and Cate Hall also built up decent stacks.
WSOP Main Event winners Jamie Gold, Joe McKeehen, Joe Hachem, and Ryan Reiss all fired in this one, but failed to advance to Day 2, set for Sunday at 11 a.m. local time.
In the meantime, the Millionaire Maker's second and final starting flight will go off Saturday at 10 a.m. local time.
Cantu Can in 8-Game
Event 15: $1,500 Six-Mac 8-Game event drew 491 entries on Friday, creating a $662,850 prize pool that will pay 74 spots. A min-cash is worth $2,254 and along with a WSOP bracelet, the winner will earn $149,943.
Brandon Cantu ran away with the day, becoming the only one of a little more than 100 survivors athat bagged over 100,000 chips.
Recognizable names pushing through to Saturday's Day 2 included Anthony Zinno, Jason Mercier, and 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Play will resume at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
What's On Tap?
In addition to all the other action, the second starting flight for the $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em will start at 10 a.m. local time and Event #16: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw starts at 3 p.m.
As the 2016 WSOP rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.