Poker is a funny old game.
Take the year that Max Steinberg has been having as an example. He has earned $499,433 in live tournaments, so even if he is dishing 50% of that into other people’s pockets he is still doing fairly well for himself. But he is still heading to bed at night knowing that he could be a three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner. So is Steinberg a happy man, or a distraught man?
Like I said, poker is a funny old game.
After losing out to Jonathan Hilton in the WSOP National Championships in New Orleans, Steinberg must have been desperate for retribution as he faced up to Isaac Hagerling in the final of Event #27: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Mixed-Max event. Both players had shown their ability to mix and match the most popular format of poker in the world, after getting through nine-handed play, six-max play and finally a series of difficult heads-up encounters.
Hagerling doesn’t have the resume of a player you would expect to find in the final of this type of event. But he came into the heads-up phase of the tournament with enough plastic things to make him the number three seed. His first round match against Markus Gonsalves was over within a blink of an eye, but his second round match-up against Nick Binger was the reverse of fortunes as it became the longest tie of the round; ace-king doing the job against the [Qh] [Th] of Binger in the final hand of that heated debate. The battle with the dangerous Ukrainian Yevgeniy turned into another marathon, before Hagerling brushed aside Jeremy Ausmus in the semi-finals to take his seat in the final against Steinberg.
Fortune favored Hagerling as luck reigned supreme in the pivotal hand of the heads-up action. Steinberg – who had Hagerling covered – moved all-in on a [Kh] [7c] [3d] [5h] board holding [Ad] [Kc], Hagerling called with the dominated [Kd] [Tc], but a [Th] on the river fractured Steinberg’s heart and gave Hagerling the chips – and the momentum – to go ahead and finish the job.
Another WSOP Bracelet for Canada
What have those Canadians been putting in their bacon at this year’s series?
Jason Duval has carried the form that saw him finish third at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Canadian Spring Championships into the WSOP with victory in Event #28: $1,500 NLHE for $521,202.
“It feels great to finally win a big tournament and get a bracelet for me and Quebec.” Duval told PokerNews sideline reporter Sarah Grant after his victory.
It was a great performance for Duval, and a run that epitomized the ups and downs of a tournament poker player. The French-Canadian topped the Day One field that brought 2,115 players out of the woodwork, so very nearly busted on Day Two before getting a slice of luck that enabled him to grind his way back to the top of the charts after defeating Majid Yahyaei in heads-up action.
Schneider Eyeing His Second 2013 WSOP Bracelet
You don’t expect to see a donkey in a H.O.R.S.E event, but that’s exactly what we have in Event #29: $5,000 H.O.R.S.E.
All eyes are firmly fixed on Tom ‘Donkey Bomber’ Schneider as he aims to become the first player to win two WSOP bracelets at this year’s series, proving once again how important heaters are in the game of poker.
261-players entered and after four days of action we are scheduled to play until we have a winner. The three players who stand in Schneider’s way are Viatcheslav Ortynskiy, Benjamin Scholl and Greg Mueller. Schneider has a big chip advantage over the other three players, but it isn’t going to be an easy ride. Ortynskiy finished third in the smaller $1.5k H.O.R.S.E event over a week ago, Benjamin Scholl has a WSOP bracelet in his trophy cabinet and Greg Mueller has two.
Chip Counts at the time of writing: Tom Schneider (2.7k), Ortynskiy (525k), Mueller (500k) and Scholl (260k): Play has reached Level 29.
Another Bracelet for Europe?
Event #30: $1,000 NLHE is in the fourth day of action and just nine players remain with a chance of securing WSOP gold. As you would expect, we had another mammoth field, with 2,108 players all contributing to a prize pool that will see $346,332 handed to the winner.
The man who finished at the top of the counts on Day Three is still leading the final nine. The Bulgarian, Dimitar Yosifov, holds 1.155m chips with Carter Myers sitting in second with 1.3m. Jonathan Thompson (Canada) and Matt Seer (UK) are the only two non-American players remaining in the field.
Eric Rodawig Leads Event #31: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-or-Better
Event 31 attracted a big field of 936 players and Eric Rodawig found himself leading at the end of Day One. Rodawig took down the $10k WSOP Stud Hi-Lo Championships in 2011 where he waded through a final table containing John Racener, Ted Forrest, David Benyamine, Joe Tehan and Ali Eslami. Rodawig pipping none other than Phil Hellmuth to the title after heads-up play.
But that was so two years ago…back to the present and Rodawig is joined in the Day Two field with 128 other hopefuls that include Barry Greenstein, David Sands, Jason Mercier and Mike Matusow.