Throughout the summer, Tim Fiorvanti will report on the biggest stories, recap events and recognize all of the gold bracelet winners at the 2018 World Series of Poker in a series of daily dispatches. Bernard Lee also checks in with video interviews from the Rio. From Doyle Brunson's farewell to the WSOP, to Justin Bonomo's year to remember thus far and more, we've got you covered.
Believe it or not, we're already past the halfway point of the 2018 World Series of Poker -- and the action has picked up in a major way over the last couple of days. The biggest winner in that stretch was Bobby Peacock, who took home $644,224 after outlasting a field of 5,700 in the double stack no-limit hold'em event. Eric Baldwin won a $1,500 no-limit hold'em to win his second WSOP gold bracelet nine years after getting his first, while Scott Bohlman won the $2,500 Mixed Big Bet event for his first WSOP win in six final table appearances. Fahrintaj Bonyadi, mother of three-time bracelet-winner Farzad Bonyadi, became the first woman to win a bracelet at the 2018 WSOP with her victory in the Super Seniors championship. Rounding out the list of recent winners, Yaniv Birman won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud championship and Preston Lee found victory in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em shootout.
Michael Mizrachi already had his place in the annals of poker history as a two-time WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner, with victories in 2010 and 2012. Two years after Brian Rast matched that feat, Mizrachi once again distanced himself from the pack on Tuesday -- winning his third Poker Players Championship title, fourth overall WSOP bracelet and another $1.24 million. He defeated John Hennigan heads-up, denying Hennigan his own attempt at a second PPC title -- though Hennigan did push into first place in the 2018 WSOP POY race with the result. Another big winner in recent days was Matthew Davis, who outlasted 5,918 player to win the $1,000 Seniors Championship for $662,676. Yueqi Zhu won the $1,500 Mixed Omaha event for his first bracelet, after a number of previous close calls; he has two seconds, four thirds, a fourth and two sixth-place finishes to his WSOP record. Finally, the super seniors event got down to heads-up play before calling it off for the night, with three-time bracelet-winner Farzad Bonyadi's mother Fahrintaj facing a 4.5-to-1 deficit against Robert Beach when play resumes Wednesday.
It was another busy weekend at the 2018 World Series of Poker, with non-hold'em games taking center stage for the most part. Gal Yifrach won the lone no-limit hold'em bracelet, taking down the $3,000 six-handed event on an unscheduled fourth day to win $461,798. Ryan Bambrick won the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event for his first bracelet and $217,123, with a lot of the headlines focused on the $1,500 Seven Card Stud tournament. Steve Albini, a music industry legend as an artist and sound engineer involved with bands like Nirvana, The Pixies and Foo Fighters among many others, won that event by defeating Jeff Lisandro heads up. Finally, through three days of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, two-time champion Michael Mizrachi has the chip lead with 12 players left. Other notables still in the mix include Phil Ivey, Mike Leah, John Hennigan and Brian Rast.
We're reaching the heart of the 2018 World Series of Poker, with winners crowned in several key signature events on the schedule and other big tournaments right around the corner. Germany's Arne Kern won the Millionaire Maker for his first WSOP gold bracelet and $1,173,223, outlasting a final table that included names like Joe McKeehen, Barny Boatman, Ralph Massey and eventual runner-up Sam Razavi. McKeehen now holds the distinction of making the final tables of three massive-field events -- the main event (which he won), the Millionaire Maker and the Monster Stack. Australia's Michael Addamo won the The Marathon for $653,581, while Johnny "World" Hennigan captured his fifth career WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 HORSE; for Hennigan it was his third deep run and fourth cash of the series so far, after finishing seventh in two previous events -- putting him second in the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year race behind Elio Fox, who has a win and a second place finish. Hanh Tran fought back from a heads-up chip deficit of more than 16-to-1 to win the $1,500 limit 2-7 triple draw lowball event, while Filippos Stavrakis emerged victorious in the $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event.
While Doyle Brunson didn't get the perfect storybook ending to his tournament poker career, in what appears to be his last WSOP event, he made a valiant run to the final table of the $10,000 no-limit 2-7 lowball championship before ultimately falling in sixth place. The 10-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and two-time main event champion plans to fully retire from poker in order to spend more time with his wife of almost 56 years, Lucille, who is "not in very good health." Brian Rast ultimately won the tournament, his fourth career WSOP bracelet and $259,670. Philip Long also entered the winner's circle in the last few days, outlasting a late push by Daniel Negreanu (3rd) in the $1,500 Eight Game Mix to win his first bracelet and $147,348.
Tuesday has the potential to be a special day in the world of poker. Forty-two years after he won his first two (of 10) WSOP bracelets and main event title in 1976, Doyle Brunson is playing in what he says will be his last WSOP event. With just 11 players left in the $10,000 no-limit 2-7 lowball championship, both Doyle and his son Todd are still in the mix. Doyle last won at the WSOP back in 2005. Mike Wattel, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner in his own right, holds a sizable lead. The feature table that includes Todd and Doyle will stream with hole cards up on PokerGo starting at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday evening. (Photo credit: Drew Amato/Poker Central)
Running down the list of WSOP gold bracelet winners from the last few days, we see as wide a spectrum of champions as we do games and formats. Justin Bonomo won his second career WSOP title and continued his monumental 2018 tournament campaign by winning the $10,000 heads-up championship. Adam Friedman also won his second career WSOP bracelet, taking down the $10,000 Dealers Choice event to the tune of $293,275. First-time winners included Jeremy Wien ($5,000 no-limit hold'em with big blind antes), who took home $537,710, Ognyan Dimov ($1,500 Six-handed no-limit hold'em), Benjamin Moon ($1,500 no-limit hold'em with big blind antes), Andrey Zhigalov ($1,500 HORSE), Craig Varnell ($565 pot-limit Omaha) and Philip Long ($1,500 Eight Game Mix).
A Colossus champion was crowned Thursday at the 2018 World Series of Poker, as Brazilian Roberly Felicio walked away with the gold bracelet and $1 million. Daniel Ospina, who finished second in the $1,500 no-limit 2-7 single draw lowball event in 2015, came back in 2018 and won that event, taking home $87,678 and the bracelet. The $10,000 no-limit hold'em heads up championship is down to its final four, headlined by Justin Bonomo, who kicked off the summer by winning $5 million in the Super High Roller Bowl.
Wednesday was a busy day at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Paul Volpe won his third career WSOP gold bracelet and $417,921 in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo championship, while Jeremy Harkin outlasted a stacked final 15 players that included actor James Woods to triumph in the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event; it was Harkin's first career gold bracelet, and he took home $129,882 for the effort. The Colossus is down to a final table, with one-time bracelet winner and 2010 WSOP main event runner up John Racener among the final nine. Lastly, Shaun Deeb managed a likely unprecedented feat by making two simultaneous Day 3s; he's among the final three in the $1,500 no-limit 2-7 single draw lowball event, and the last 30 players in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em big blind ante event.
There were no winners crowned Tuesday at the 2018 WSOP, but three key events got close. The final six in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo championship features Eli Elezra and Paul Volpe, while the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event is down to 15 players including Mike Leah, John Hennigan, Jeff Lisandro and actor James Woods. Finally, the Colossus is down to just 32 players, who will play to a final table of nine on Wednesday.
Bernard Lee checks in with reigning WSOP main event champion Scott Blumstein. They get into what he's been up to over the last tear, his plans for this summer and more.
The first three seven-figure prizes of the 2018 World Series of Poker were awarded in the $100,000 high roller, with Nick Petrangelo walking away with the victory and his second career WSOP gold bracelet. He won $2.9 million, denying runner-up Elio Fox his second bracelet in a week in the process; Fox walked away with $1.8 million for his troubles. Elsewhere, Johannes Becker of Germany won the $2,500 mixed triple draw lowball event for $180,455. Finally, Colossus IV drew 13,070 total entries, for a prize pool of $6.535 million, with 539 players making it to Day 2.
Three bracelets were won over the course of the first weekend of the 2018 World Series of Poker. 2009 WSOP main event champion Joe Cada won his third career WSOP bracelet in the $3,000 no-limit hold'em shootout, winning $226,218 at a final table that also included 2015 main event winner Joe McKeehen, who finished third. Julien Martini of France won the $1,500 limit Omaha hi-lo event, besting a field of 911 to win $239,771. Just a few hours later another French-born player, William "twooopair" Reymond, won the $365 no-limit hold'em online event -- the last one standing among 2,972 entries -- to win $154,996 and the bracelet in his first ever WSOP cash. The $100,000 high roller is down to its final six players, with Elio Fox trying to capture his second bracelet in less than a week. The top three spots will pay out over $1.2 million, with $2.91 million awaiting the eventual champion. Monday also marks the final starting day for Colossus, with the fifth and sixth opening session adding to a field that drew 7,014 entries through its first two days.
Jordan Hufty, a poker dealer and floorperson at the Aria, became the second WSOP gold bracelet winner of the summer by winning the Casino Employees event; he earned $61,909. Elsewhere, the first round of the $3,000 no-limit hold'em shootout, which drew 363 players, saw main event winners Phil Hellmuth, Joe McKeehen and Joe Cada among the 50 players to advance to the second round. The $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event drew 911 players. Friday afternoon will mark the start of the $100,000 no-limit hold'em high roller.
Wednesday was an eventful day in the world of poker, to say the least. The first World Series of Poker gold bracelet of the summer was won by Elio Fox, who outlasted a field of 243 in the one-day $10,000 super turbo bounty event to win a first place prize of $393,693 (plus a number of $3,000 bounties along the way). It was the second career WSOP bracelet for the 2011 WSOP Europe main event champion. Meanwhile, Justin Bonomo defeated Daniel Negreanu heads up to win the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria; Bonomo won $5 million, while Negreanu walked away with $3 million.