135 players ante up $111,111 apiece to compete with the best
Major names in international poker took their seats Sunday to compete in the second-ever edition of the World Series of Poker High Roller for One Drop.
Designed to complement the charity-oriented Big One for One Drop which is held every second year, the High Roller is not for the faint-hearted with a buy-in of $111,111 and the prospect of the world's best players among the opposition.
This year the entry list was, at 135, smaller than the last run in 2013, when 166 players registered.
Nevertherless, the field includes names like David Einhorn, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Erik Seidel, Phil Galfond, Sam Trickett, Jonathan Duhamel and Jason Somerville, promising plenty of action.
Prominent among the entrants is Phil Ivey, who only arrived in Las Vegas Saturday after some torrid cash game action elsewhere in the world and on the internet. Ivey will be hoping to close the 4-bracelet gap between his 10 pieces of WSOP jewellery and record holder Phil Hellmuth's 14.
Last time out, this High Roller derby was won by Tony Gregg, who earned his first WSOP bracelet in spectacular style with a $4.83 million first prize.
With the lower entry list and hence smaller prize pool this year's winner is unlikely to reach that figure, but the reward will still be substantial from a prize pool worth $14.25 million… and there's the satisfaction that the 5 percent cut for a charitable cause will help those not as fortunate somewhere in the world.
In related news, three World Series of Poker events concluded Sunday, awarding first-time winner's bracelets.
In event 51 26-year-old Baltimore poker pro Justin Liberto turned in a strong performance to win the $3,000 buy-in NLHE Six Max contest against a field of 1,043 that created a prize pool of $2.84 million and enabled 108 survivors to cash.
Liberto's reward was his first WSOP bracelet and a first prize worth an impressive $640,711, a very nice sequel to his fourth placing Millionaire Maker run in 2013, where he cashed for $400,000 for his fifth WSOP take-home. With tournament career earnings now well above $1.5 million, this is a player we'll be seeing a lot more of – probably in the current series.
This was another WSOP event that ran over the allotted time and had to be pushed out for a further day to allow for the heads up between Liberto and Irish player Seamus Cahill, who started the heads up with a 2 to 1 advantage, but fell dramatically in a massive almost 7.5 million chip exchange around the nineteenth hand, which Liberto won.
That placed the Baltimore pro in an almost unassailable position, which he leveraged to good effect in the next hand to send the Irishman home with a hard-earned second placing prize of $395,986.
Other final table pay-outs included:
Kiryl Radzivonau $251,168
Alexander Debus $164,863
Cornel Cimpan $111,475
Benjamin Heath $77,591
In Event 53 a Florida realtor who has been playing tournaments for the last 40 years, Jacqueline Scott (66), claimed her first winner's bracelet after vanquishing a field of 795 entrants from 40 nations in the $1,000 buy-in NLHE Ladies Championship.
After three competitive days, her share of the $715,500 prize pool was $153,876 when she crushed the final table and mowed down final heads up opponent Hope Williams in short order by leveraging a 4 to 1 chip advantage, dispatching her to the cashier and a runner up reward of $95,039.
"I think the Ladies event is really special," Scott commented after the event. "I'm used to playing mostly with men back at home, but decided to come out for the first time and play in this. I was so impressed by the way everyone behaves and the kindness you see at the table. We talk among ourselves and really enjoy the atmosphere. Many women make this their one Las Vegas tournament of the year."
Cashes for the other finalists were:
Amanda Sizemore $61,268
Fu Li $44,883
Parm Mehmi $33,363
Lika Gerasimova $25,135
Stacie Boehm $19,168
Stephanie Ampelikiotis $14,789
Sandie Morse $11,533
In event 56 – the $5,000 buy-in Turbo NLHE – 454 entrants battled for longer than anticipated in this fast-action competition, although at hand 83 it could have produced a winner.
At that point the game was three-handed, with Pascal Theodosiadis butting heads with Idaho pro Kevin MacPhee (34) and Ukrainian pro Igor Yaroshevsky.
The unfortunate Theodosiadis had a winning hand but made the wrong decision, subsequently being eliminated at third for $201,878 by the eventual winner, MacPhee, who claimed his first WSOP bracelet and the $490,800 main prize.
Aside from the fast-action poker, this event was notable for the strong support at the rail, where noise levels reached jumbo jet proportions as the heads up between MacPhee and Yaroshevsky progressed.
In the end it was MacPhee's vast experience in online turbo tournament playing that prevailed, and despite a valiant effort by the Ukrainian he was eliminated at second for $303,767.
It was MacPhee's fifth cash in this year's series and his 26th WSOP cash overall, bringing his WSOP earnings to over a million dollars.
Other final table cashes looked like this:
4 Eric Sfez $149,814
5 Scott Venner $112,429
6 Tristan Wade $85,202
7 Hung Tran $65,208
8 Joshua Field $50,208
9 Martin Kozlov $38,984
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa