As the spotlight at the World Series of Poker prepares to shift to the megabucks Big One for One Drop event, we’ve got a lot of bracelet action to update. The biggest payday came when Michael ‘Grinder’ Mizrachi became the first player to repeat as winner of Event #45, the $50k Poker Players Championship. In a manic five-hour final table, Mizrachi knocked off five of his seven remaining opponents to earn a whopping $1.45m, his third WSOP bracelet and the undying respect of his poker peers. By repeating his 2010 victory, Mizrachi assumed fourth place on the Hendon Mob’s all-time money list with $14.069m in live career earnings (and he’s only 31 years old). Chris Klodnicki was the last to stand between Mizrachi and destiny, earning $897k for second place. The rest of the final table finished thusly: Andy Bloch ($561k); Luke Schwartz ($406k); Roland Israelashvili ($317k); Stephen Chidwick ($253k); Bill Chen ($205k) and Bruno Fitoussi ($169k).
Atlanta personal injury lawyer Steven Loube did personal injury to 977 other entrants by winning Event #47, the $1,500 PLO Hi-Lo. While Loube plays cash games at home, this was his first ever WSOP tournament, and his previous biggest tournament cash was a $50 bar voucher (‘good for food, not for liquor’). Unlike his court victories, Loube gets to keep 100% of his $267k payday. Timothy Finne earned $165k for finishing second.
Kenny Hsiung earned his first bracelet and $165k by winning Event #48, the $3k Limit Hold’em. From a starting field of 247, Day 3 saw 20 players – including pros Jonathan Duhamel, Chad Brown and Justin Bonomo – do battle over 14 long hours, but it came down to a nearly three-hour heads up tilt between Hsiung and Robert Hwang, who settled for second place and $102k.
Greg Hobson won Event #49, the $1,500 Antes Only NLHE, the WSOP 2012 debut of a format in which there are no blinds and players ante every hand with the option of bringing in for the lowest denomination chip in play. The novel event attracted 939 entrants, of which only 110 survived the first day of play. Hobson, whose online tournament play has won him $3.1m over the years, eventually dispatched runner-up Mike Sowers to earn $256k, leaving Sowers with just under $159k to console himself.
From a starting field of 1,001, three players will return Sunday to complete Event #50, the $5k NLHE. Dan Smith is chip leader with 6.62m, followed by Kyle Julius with 4.435m and Panayote Vilandos with 3.955m. The final table is set for Event #51, the $1k Ladies NLHE Championship. Debbie Pechac is out front with 630k, trailed by Candida Ross-Powers at 548k and Yen Dang at 483k. Day 2 of Event #52, the $2,500 10-Game Mix Six-Handed, has Vanessa Selbst leading the 19 survivors from the original 421 entrants. Day 1 of Event #53, the $1,500 NLHE, saw 3,166 entrants, making it the largest field of its kind this year. Mario Nagel leads the 348 survivors, with Luke Nettles and Michael Ruane in hot pursuit.