Viacheslav Zhukov and David Diaz lose their WSOP bracelet virginity

diaz-zhukov-wsop-braceletsViacheslav Zhukov has earned a World Series of Poker bracelet and $465k for taking Event #11, the $10K Omaha Hi-Lo title. It’s the 22-year-old Russian’s first bracelet, and he had to wade through a field of 202 to get it. Viacheslov and runner-up George Lind traded chip advantages for over three hours before Lind’s luck ran out. Lind does take home $287k, so luck is a relative term here.

If there’s a theme to the 2011 WSOP, it’s that losing your virginity rocks. David Diaz has won Event #12, the $1,500 Triple Chance NLHE, to receive his first gold bracelet. From a 1,340-strong field, 10 players took to the final table, where Diaz held the second smallest stack. (Say that three times quickly.) But when heads-up play commenced, Diaz made quick work of Anders Meli to collect the $352k first prize. Meli settled for $218k. So another first-timer pops his cherry, and now that he’s tried it, Diaz has decided he wants to win another bracelet in 2011. Can’t help notice he has the same initials as Dirk Diggler, a man also renowned for his ability to rebound quickly after climaxing…

Speaking of blowing your load, the WSOP has a new premier sponsor in domain name registrar (former home to six domains seized by the DoJ on Blue Monday). GoDaddy’s logo gets the premium spot on the felt, right below the flop. Must have cost a pretty penny. CEO Bob Parsons took the not-at-all cliché route by issuing a “We’re all in, baby!” comment to the media. We fold, Bobby. solicited the opinions of a few pros on The Big One, the $1m buy-in event proposed for the 2012 WSOP. Most of the name pros focused on the event’s promise to kick 10% of the purse to Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s One Drop charity, but Vanessa Selbst called the concept “ridiculous,” because it “destroys the sanctity of the bracelets” by artificially inflating a player’s stats and thus making career comparisons meaningless. Liv Boeree also doesn’t fancy The Big One (cut us some slack — it’s not often we get the chance to use that in a sentence), but because it will restrict play to the über-rich and über-familiar. “It is going to be the same damn players and it is going to be like watching another episode of Poker After Dark.” Oh well, at least Laliberte has Event #4 runner-up Maria Ho in his corner. “I hope to see more things like this, where you can mix some healthy competition with a great cause.”