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WSOP Recap: Four More Bracelets and USA & Canada Continue to Dominate

TAGs: Allen Cunningham, Justin Bonomo, kristy arnett, Lee Davy, Phil Hellmuth, Tom Schneider, world series of poker, WSOP, wsop 2013, wsop circuit

WSOP Recap: Four More Bracelets and USA & Canada Continue to DominateA local cash game player who hardly ever plays in tournaments has denied Allen Cunningham a sixth World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. In fact, the $166,136 that Lev Rofman received for winning Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em (PLH) was his first-ever live tournament cash.

“I like to play cash games and I live in Vegas. My brother came into town and as I’ve seen this thing pass by a number of times so I thought I would give it a go.” Rofman told PokerNews sideline reporter Kristy Arnett.

Rofman defeated 535-players including one of the WSOP legends of the felt in Allen Cunningham, who Rofman said was ‘extremely intimidating’ to play against. Cunningham started the heads-up encounter with the chip lead, but Rofman had a game plan – make the pots big and get it in bad.

“I didn’t want to get involved in flops with Cunningham. I know he’s better than me.” Said Rofman.

The strategy paid off and Rofman now has a gold WSOP bracelet wrapped around his wrist.

Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow is a player from the Allen Cunningham era and not only did he succeed where the latter failed, he also pushed his 2013 earnings above the seven figure mark for the first-time since 2008 after winning Event #13.

The Mouth followed up with his NBC Heads-Up Championship title with victory in Event #13: $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo where he took $266,503 and his fourth WSOP bracelet. It was a tough final table for Matusow to wade through with Mike Leah (3rd), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (4th) and Gavin Smith (7th) all capable of producing a few thorns, but it was the British mixed-game hotshot Matthew Ashton who would push Matusow the hardest finishing in second place; his second top three finish in the past six days after finishing third in Event #5: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo.

When the heads-up action started Ashton had a 3:1 chip lead over Matusow, but the experienced pro fought back and got the luck he needed to over turn that deficit and turn it into a shiny new gold WSOP bracelet.

“I’m speechless,” said Matusow…who now needs a new nickname.

Jonathan Taylor has added a WSOP bracelet to the WSOP Circuit (WSOPC) ring that he won in Black Hawk a few months ago, after taking down Event #14: $1,500 NLHE for $454,424.

“The run I have been on has been unreal. I am playing confidently, never miss much and I definitely felt the momentum coming from the Colorado stop for sure.” Taylor told PokerNews sideline reporter Kristy Arnett after his win.

Taylor defeated 1,819 players to lock up his first WSOP bracelet and he did so in the usual WSOP $1.5k way.

“I coolered a few people, bad beat a few people and got lucky…standard stuff.”

Tom Schneider made it WSOP bracelet number three, and another bracelet for America. The ‘Donkey Bomber’ took $258,960 after topping a field of 862-players in Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. You have to go back four-years since Schneider last won a live tournament and the relief was etched all over his face as he spoke to PokerNews after his win.

“This might rank as the number one {WSOP bracelet}. I haven’t done anything big for a while. I have been cashing but not winning so it’s nice to get a win.”

Another multiple WSOP bracelet winner, Mark Radoja, has just picked up one of the toughest WSOP bracelets of the summer in Event #16: $10,000 NLHE Heads-Up (HU). Radoja won his first bracelet back in 2011 and came mightily close to adding a second to his resume with a runner-up spot in a $1.5k event last year, so it’s three impressive series on the spin for the Canadian.

Radoja defeated Don Nguyen in the final heads-up encounter after Nguyen made quick work of the online phenom Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky in the semi-finals. Sulsky found his way to the semi-finals after defeating another online legend Phil Galfond in an earlier round. It was the first time to the two online sparring partners had competed heads-up in a live event. Radoja defeated Justin Bonomo in the other semi-final; Phil Hellmuth picked up a fifth place finish.

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