Four more bracelets won and a busy weekend ahead
There was plenty of pre-weekend action at the World Series of Poker as four more events concluded with big money prizes and bracelet wins.
Texas pro Upeshka De Silva (27) started the ball rolling with his convincing victory in event 45, a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em contest that required an additional day to decide a winner.
Pursuing his first WSOP bracelet, De Silva survived a star-laden field of 1,655 and a hardcore final table that included big names like Jason Koon and John Dolan.
Starting as chip leader, the Texas pro crushed all before him on the final table to face Irish pro Dara O'Kearney in the heads up. There he found the going a lot more difficult, the exchanges lasting 67 hands with still no winner in sight. Officials called for extra time for the duelling duo, and they resumed the battle the following day.
The overnight break seemed to work best for De Silva, who was able to send O'Kearney to the exit and the runner-up prize of $262,502 after just ten more hands and claim the biggest share of the $2.23 million prize pool.
De Silva's haul was an impressive $424,577 and his first WSOP bracelet; it was his tenth WSOP career cash and his second WSOP final table – he managed a deep finish in the first WSOP Millionaire Maker event.
Other final table cashes were:
Dara O'Kearney $262,502
John Dolan $172,752
Patrick Rojek $124,537
Ilkin Savalan Amirov $91,157
Bobby Moore $67,697
Jorden Fox $50,985
Vasily Tsapko $38,920
Jason Koon $30,095
The next competition to conclude was event 46, the $3,000 buy-in Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha clash which was won by Belarus professional player Vasili Firsau (38).
The competition attracted 682 entries, created a prize pool of $1.86 million and saw Firsau emerge as the chip leader on a final table that included three-bracelet WSOP veteran Dan Idema, who was the first to bust.
The final table proved to be a protracted affair, especially at the four handed stage when Firsau, Nipun Java, Andreas Freund and Numit Agrawal slugged it out until the early hours of the following morning and had to return the following day to decide a winner.
Refreshed, the foursome went at it with vigour and it took just 40 hands to set the heads up between Firsau and Nipun Java, with the latter holding a small chip advantage which Firsau quickly attacked and overcame to seize the lead and skillfully deploy into a win and his first bracelet.
The full final table pay-outs were:
1 Vasili Firsau $437,575
2 Nipun Java $270,509
3 Andreas Freund $171,626
4 Numit Agrawal $112,717
5 Vadzim Markushevski $76,373
6 Daniel Idema $53,342
Event 47 saw Floridian ace Matt O'Donnell (27) declared the winner of the $2,500 buy-in NLHE contest after besting an entry field of 1,243 other players which generated a prize pool of $2.83 million and cashes for the 144 players who finished in the money.
O'Donnell's winner's share was worth $551,941 and carried with it his first WSOP bracelet, although he has five previous WSOP cashes and 3 final table performances on his resume.
This proved to be another event in which an extra day had to be called due to a fiercely combative, five-hour heads up in which both players and railbird support were equally aggressive, creating an at times tense atmosphere.
"It was definitely a heated atmosphere when we were heads up. The rail was very aggressive, they were speaking in a foreign language, and we were going back and forth a lot. I was just glad to win.", O'Donnell recounted after his victory.
O'Donnell's heads up opposition was 37-year-old Israeli pro Timur Margolin, who started at a significant chip disadvantage but responded aggressively to catch up and then seize the lead, starting a see-saw of lead changes that kept everyone on the front of their seats at the felt and the rail for five long hours.
In the end an exhausted O'Donnell triumphed, but respect to Margolin, who truly earned the $341,338 runner-up prize – his best win yet.
Final cashes for the rest of the table were:
3 Brandon Wittmeyer $215,964
4 Andy Black $156,759
5 Andrew Dean $115,637
6 Jeff Gross $86,601
7 Rick Alvarado $65,799
8 Andre Akkari $50,658
9 Raghav Bansal $39,508
The $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em Championship (Event 50 on the WSOP schedule) attracted 117 entries, including many previous bracelet winners, and created a prize pool of $1.09 million that enabled 18 survivors to cash.
Las Vegas pro Ben Yu (29), who has been playing WSOP events since 2008, finally claimed his first WSOP bracelet and the winner's prize of $291,456 after recovering from a low stack nightmare at the three handed stage despite facing tough WSOP bracelet owners like Jesse Martin and Justin Bonomo.
The departure of defending title holder Bonomo at third for $130,480 kicked off the heads up between Ben Yu and Jesse Martin, both experienced players with impressive talent and discipline, but it was Yu who emerged the winner, bringing his WSOP cashes to 30 and five final table appearances at poker's most prestigious tournament (altogether he has 47 career live tournament cashes to his credit).
Martin's runner-up prize was $180,114, bringing his total WSOP cashes to 43
Yu said that winning a WSOP bracelet has been an ambition since he was first inspired by online poker pioneers and personal heroes like Chris Moneymaker, who won the main event and millions of dollars back in the mid-millennials.
Other final cashes were:
4 Aleksandr Denisov $96,309
5 Anthony Zinno $72,377
6 Kenny Shei $55,341
7 Gabriel Nassif $43,035
8 Marco Johnson $34,027
9 Terence Chan $27,341
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa