2022 888poker XL Winter Series

WSOP Day 5: Ben Heath Leads High Roller; John Esposito Leads Omaha Hi-Lo Final Table

Ben Heath

Yesterday's Day 4 of the World Series of Poker featured four events with Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better playing down to a seven-max final table.

John Esposito is in the driver's seat with the chip lead and is looking to add his second WSOP gold bracelet with his first coming two decades ago in 1999. Fans will be able to watch the action via a live stream on CBS All Access in the United States and on PokerGO in the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, Ben Heath is in the hunt for his first bracelet leading the twelve remaining players in Event #5: 50th Annual High Roller - $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em, which boasts a top prize of nearly $1.5 million.

Here's what's on tap today, in the daily What to Watch For on PokerNews, sponsored by 888poker.


Event #3: BIG 50 - $500 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 1c kicked off at 10 a.m. PST followed by Day 2b in the evening. The demand for this event has been off the walls with the flight sold out a day before it began. Approximately 6,000 entrants battled it out on Day 1c adding to the approximately 12,000 entrants that entered on the first two opening flights. That makes for a field of over 18,000 entrants with today's Day 1d to further grow that figure.

California's Leandro Padilla led the way among the 1,504 survivors with a stack of 1,135,000 in a quest for his first WSOP cash after 13 hour-long blind levels. He is followed by a more familiar name in Phuoc Nguyen who is looking to add to his nearly $1.5 million in live tournament cashes by bringing forth a stack of 1,000,000 to Monday's Day 2c.

John Utley
John Utley bags 830,000 on Day 1c.

Also bagging top five chip stacks on Day 1c were Daniel Hirleman (920,000), Kent Miller (900,000), and Gregg Merkow (884,000). They will be joining in Monday's Day 2c by John Utley (830,000), Joshua Suyat (801,000), WSOP bracelet winner Todd Witteles (664,000), Kunal Patni (404,000), WSOP bracelet winner Steve Zolotow (256,000), 2018 WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb (252,000), Aaron Massey (188,000), 2006 Main Event champion Jamie Gold (135,000), and Allen Kessler (112,000).

Notable names not to advance on Day 1c included six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu, Maria Ho, Melanie Weisner, 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, 2004 Main Event champion Greg Raymer, and high roller fixture Dan Shak. They can still give it a try on today's Day 1d.

Meanwhile, Day 2b kicked off shortly after 7 p.m. PST with 1,269 players battling it out. Matthew Keegan entered the day with the chip lead and was still near the top of the chip counts with 1,580,000 in chips when the day closed. This places him in 44th place out of the 321 remaining survivors in the field.

Jerald Williamson
Jerald Williamson bags Day 2b chip lead.

It's all Americans on the top of the leaderboard headlined by Jerald Williamson bagging the Day 2b chip lead with 4,105,000 in chips after seven hour-long blind levels of play. Also in the top five on Day 2b were Daniel Hughes (3,200,000), Azad Arazm (3,030,000), Michael Kamran (2,800,000), and David Towson (2,540,000).

Other players finding a bag to Wednesday's Day 3 included Jason Wheeler, Ludovic Geilich, WSOP bracelet winners Justin Liberto, Scott Davies, Stoyan Obreshkov, Cosmin Joldis, Kyle Julius, Bryan Piccioli, and 2017 WSOP Player of the Year Chris Ferguson.

Viliyan Petleshkov, Jamie Kerstetter, Matt Affleck, Pierre Neuville, Jordan Young, Aaron Duczak, and Jake Schwartz were among those less fortunate and were unable to advance out of the Day 2b field.

Players bagging chips will have a few days off before the action resumes on Wednesday, June 5 at 11 a.m. PST. The 321 Day 2b survivors will join the 316 that survived the Day 2a field and those that will eventually advance from Day 2c and Day 2d to play for three more days before a winner is crowned on Friday, June 7.

Follow PokerNews as our Live Reporting team will be covering the event from start to finish with live updates, beginning with today's Day 1c action at 10 a.m. PST. Live updates can be found here.


Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better

Yesterday witnessed 46 players out of the original 853 entrants compete down to just seven players with John Esposito bagging the chip lead with a stack of 2,330,000.

John Esposito
John Esposito enters the final table with the chip lead.

Esposito, who entered the penultimate day with a fourth-place chip stack, is looking to add his second bracelet with his first coming two decades ago in 1999 and to add to his more than $3.1 million in career cashes in a big way with the top prize awarding $228,228.

Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Payouts

PositionPayout
1$228,228
2$141,007
3$98,807
4$70,231
5$50,646
6$37,063
7$27,530
Ben Yu
Ben Yu in the hunt for his fourth bracelet.

The bracelet will belong to the United States regardless of who wins with Americans Jason Berilgen (2,145,000), Derek McMaster (1,775,000), David Halpern (1,270,000), Joseph Aronesty (855,000), three-time WSOP bracelet winner Ben Yu (290,000), and Tom McCormick (85,000) all still in the hunt for WSOP gold.

Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Seat Draw

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountsBig Bets
1Derek McMasterUnited States1,775,00018
2Joseph AronestyUnited States855,0009
3Jason BerilgenUnited States2,145,00021
4John EspositoUnited States2,330,00023
5Ben YuUnited States290,0003
6David HalpernUnited States1,270,00013
7Tom McCormickUnited States85,0001

Among those just missing out on the final day of action were Day 3 chip leader Richard Fuller (tenth - $12,365), Patrick Leonard (ninth - $15,987), and Shannon Shorr (eighth - $20,760).

The final table will be live streamed at CBS All Access in the United States and at PokerGO in the rest of the world starting at 1 p.m. PST.

Follow PokerNews as our Live Reporting team will be covering the final day of action from start to finish beginning at noon PST. Live updates can be found here.


Event #5: 50th Annual High Roller - $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 2 of the 50th Annual High Roller witnessed the field grow from 92 entrants to 110 by the time late registration closed after the conclusion of the fourth blind level of the Day.

After eight hour-long blind levels, just 12 players survived led by United Kingdom's Ben Heath with 5,255,000 in chips. Heath, who has more than $3 million in live tournament earnings, is hungry for his first WSOP gold bracelet but will have his hands full to grab both that and the $1,484,085 top prize with many experienced pros just as eager to win.

Dmitry Yurasov
Dmitry Yurasov bags second place stack of 4,800,000.

The other players in the top five have each found WSOP gold in the past including one-time bracelet winner Dmitry Yurasov (4,800,000), and two-time bracelet winners Elio Fox (4,695,000), Chance Kornuth (4,510,000), and Nick Petrangelo (3,800,000).

Other players advancing to the penultimate day were Cary Katz (2,590,000), Andrew Lichtenberger (2,260,000), Sam Soverel (1,820,000), Sam Grafton (1,480,000), David Einhorn (1,090,000), Manig Loeser (575,000), and Matthew Gonzales (155,000).

Event #5: 50th Annual High Roller - $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Day 3 Seat Draw

TableSeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
4191Sam SoverelUnited States1,820,00036
4192Cary KatzUnited States2,590,00052
4193David EinhornUnited States1,090,00022
4195Manig LoeserGermany575,00012
4197Andrew LichtenbergerUnited States2,260,00045
4198Elio FoxUnited States4,695,00094
      
4271Dmitry YurasovRussia4,800,00096
4273Chance KornuthUnited States4,510,00090
4274Sam GraftonUnited Kingdom1,480,00030
4275Nick PetrangeloUnited States3,800,00076
4277Ben HeathUnited Kingdom5,255,000105
4278Matthew GonzalesUnited States155,0003

Event #5: 50th Annual High Roller - $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Payout

The 12 players advancing to the penultimate day of the tournament are each guaranteed to walk home with a $101,604 payout.

PositionPlayerCountryPayout
1  $1,484,085
2  $917,232
3  $640,924
4  $458,138
5  $335,181
6  $251,128
7  $192,794
8  $151,755
9-10  $122,551
11-12  $101,604
13Elias TalvitieFinland$86,543
14Bryn KenneyUnited States$86,543
15Johannes BeckerGermany$75,789
16Eric WassersonUnited States$75,789
17Markus GonsalvesUnited States$75,789

Other players also made the money after Todd Ivens went out on the bubble in 18th place, including Markus Gonsalves (17th - $75,789), Eric Wasserson (16th - $75,789), Johannes Becker (15th - $75,789), Bryn Kenney (14th - $86,543), and Elias Talvitie (13th - $86,543).

Day 1 chip leader Ali Imsirovic wasn't able to get much going and fell way short of the money when the last of his chips got in on a flip with his sevens proving to be no good against Kornuth's big slick.

Today's Day 3 action will see the field reduced in half to six players with the final day of action scheduled to be live streamed on PokerGO on Monday, June 4.

Follow PokerNews as our Live Reporting team will be covering the event from start to finish with live updates beginning with today's Day 3 action at 2 p.m. PST. Live updates can be found here.


Event #6: $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw

Lowball fans were out in full force for this event that featured three different triple-draw lowball variants in A-5, 2-7, and Badugi with 296 entrants generating a devilish $666,000 prize pool. While this was down from the 320 entrants this event attracted last year when Johannes Becker brought home the bacon for $180,455, the turnout was still amazing considering the many other options to choose from included the massive BIG 50 event.

Jake Schwartz
Jake Schwartz bags the chip lead.

Jake Schwartz, who was one of the players not to advance in the Day 2b field of the BIG 50, had better success later in the day by bagging a chip leading stack of 117,600 in this event after 10 hour-long blind levels of play.

Julien Martini is in the hunt for his second WSOP bracelet after bagging 200 chips less than Schwartz with a stack of 117,400. Others in the top five include Jordan Siegel (95,000), 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener (83,100), and Jason Daly (81,300).

There were many bracelet winners to be among the 120 players to advance to the penultimate day of the tournament. Those in that group near the top of the chip counts were Andrey Zhigalov (77,500), Layne Flack (66,200), David "ODB" Baker (65,900), and Benny Glaser (64,100).

Today's action will feature 10 hour-long blind levels starting at 2 p.m. PST. Surviving players will come back to compete until a champion is declared on Monday, June 3.

Follow PokerNews as our Live Reporting team will be covering the event from start to finish with live updates beginning with today's Day 2 action at 2 p.m. PST. Live updates can be found here.


Event #7: $400 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em

Today will witness many players getting into the WSOP action from their hotel room or homes in Nevada and New Jersey as the first of the nine online bracelet events kick off at 3:30 p.m. PST. This is a sizeable increase from the five online bracelet events to take place last year.

The one-day event is a deep-stacked affair with players starting off with 15,000 in chips and blinds at just 25/50. Players will have plenty of chances to build a monster stack with 15-minute blind levels and up to three reentries permitted until late registration closes at 7:15 p.m. PST.

Players that won tournament tickets online can only use them for the initial entry and not for reentry. In addition, players that plan to reenter need to have funds online before they do so. Players will only have 30 seconds to reenter if they lose all of their chips.

Of course, the winner will walk away with a coveted WSOP bracelet along with a huge prize. Those that cash will also be treated to 100-times multiplier for WSOP.com Player of the Year points.

Follow PokerNews as our Live Reporting team will be covering the one-day event from start to finish with live updates beginning at 3:30 p.m. PST. Live updates can be found here.

Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em

Besides the online event getting underway, there's another event slated to start on June 2nd: Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em.

Scheduled for 6 p.m., players signing up for this new event get 60,000 in chips (30,000 + a 30,000 add-on) with the event playing 6-handed. Ten levels of an hour each are on the schedule, with Day 1 playing 8 levels. A 15-minute break is to occur every two levels.

The object of Short Deck is to make a better five-card poker hand, using any combination of hole cards and community cards, than your opponents to win the pot. The deck consists of thirty-six (36) cards. The {2-}’s, {3-}’s, {4-}’s, and {5-}’s are removed. An {a-} is still both the highest and lowest card in rank. Therefore, the holding of {9-}{8-}{7-}{6-}{a-} is a straight.

The rank of hands is as follows:

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Flush
  5. Full House
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a Kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High Card
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  • Four events resume while an Online Bracelet event and the $10K Short Deck kick off on Day 5 of the 2019 WSOP.

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