One group of countrymen who are not complaining of the freezing cold in the vast caverns of the Rio are the Canadians, who yesterday took their countries tally to nine gold bracelets. There is simply no country running hotter than the maple leaf right now.
The first of two Canadian bracelets doled out yesterday now lies on the wrist of Justin Oliver after achieving victory in Event #38: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) – Four-Handed. Oliver outlasted a field of 566-players, including a final table that contained David Pham, Jared Jaffee and Nick Schwarmann to take home the first prize of $309,071.
It was a fairytale for Oliver. Not only had he been playing poker for just three-years, but also he had never played four-max before and came into the heads-up encounter with Nick Schwarmann with 6:1 chip deficit.
“My mental game is tough…but it used to be terrible. I used to tilt and go insane. I have to plug Jared Tendler and his great book The Mental Game of Poker. Jared is a good friend of mine and he has coached me on the mental game and I don’t tilt any more. It doesn’t matter what happens to me I just don’t feel upset for any second. It’s not as if I knew I was going to win, I was just willing to accept whatever would happen. Wherever the cards fall they fall.” Oliver told the PokerNews sideline reporter Sarah Grant in his post win interview.
Daniel Idema Takes Gold in the $1.5k Stud
The second Canadian bracelet was issued to Daniel Idema, after his victory in Event #39: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better, an event that also saw fellow Canadian Mike Leah finish in fifth place (his second Stud final table of the series).
Idema secured gold after reaching his second final table of the series. He takes $184,590 after beating Joseph Hertzog in heads-up action. Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson finished ninth.
Idema’s victory now means that 23% of the bracelets at this year’s series have been handed out to Canadians…quite incredible.
Cunningham Chasing Bracelet Number Six
During our chat with Allen Cunningham, last week, he was telling us how finishing second in Event #12: $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em (PLH) was a great success given his recent poor performances in WSOP events. So he should be ecstatic after reaching the unofficial final table in Event #40: $1,500 NLHE.
Cunningham is a man on form, but he does have his work cut out as he enters the final phase of play with one of the smaller stacks at the final table. 2,161 players entered the event and only 10-remain with Peter Hengsakul leading the way with 2.1m chips at the time of writing.
Nicolas Fierro, Matt Berkey and Jared Hamby are also in that final mix. Griffin Benger (14th) and Kara Scott (17th) also had tremendous runs in this event.
Chile’s Alex Manzano Leading the $5k PLO Six-Max
With Nicolas Fierro making his way into the final 10 of Event #40 and Alex Manzano leading the final three tables in Event #41: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) Six-Max, it could be a great day for Chile when the dust settles.
18-players remain from a starting field of 400 and amongst them are Steve Gross, Salman Behbehani, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Ville Mattila, Trevor Pope and Sorel Mizzi.
$488,817 awaits the winner and Pope is the only man remaining looking for his second bracelet of the series.
Matros Flying High in Event #42
Another massive turnout for a $1k event as 2,023 players created a bumper field in Event #42: $1,000 NLHE. 87-players remain at the time of writing and the chip leader is Norbet Szecsi with 185,000 chips. The overnight chip leader Matt Matros is sitting comfortably with 140,000 and Sam Grafton, Tony Dunst, Victor Ramdin and Chris DeMaci are also in the top end of the chip counts.
Schneider Sniffing Around Bracelet Number Three
Tom Schneider has positioned himself nicely after the first day of action in Event #43: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. He finished the day with 115,200 chips putting him in third place on the leader board.
The NLHE experts fill the top two spots: Calvin Anderson (134,700) and Paul Volpe (127,000). Layne Flack, Matthew Ashton, Frank Kassela and John Hennigan just a few of the mixed game specialists looking to stop the runaway train of Schneider as we enter our second day of action.