If you were giving out WSOP bracelets based on pure effort then Marco Johnson would have been put out of his misery a very long time ago. He has made six final tables since he started pounding on the doorway back in 2007; and of those six final tables he has had to watch in agony, on three separate occasions, as the bracelet was slung over the wrist of his opponent after losing a heads-up encounter. In fact, it was only nine days ago that Johnson had to suffer the same agony whilst losing out to Jarred Graham in Event #31: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) Hi-Lo.
But this morning, when Johnson looks into the mirror, he can finally say that he has done it after defeating 343 entrants in Event #48: $2,500 Limit Hold’em – Six Handed, and boy did he have to do it the hard way.
It was a cracking final table with the Finnish star Juha Helppi and the mouth watering Maria Ho both in the mix. Mike Watson (8th) and David ‘Bakes’ Baker (10th) also running Johnson pretty close.
When the final table started it was Ho who had the chip lead, but she lost her footing and just couldn’t catch a single break. Ho going from number one to become the first player eliminated in what must have been very disappointing circumstances for her.
Johnson reached the heads-up action for the second consecutive year; this time facing Jeff Thompson, and he walked away with the bracelet courtesy of a pair of fives, after his [Ad] [5s] hit the [8s] [5h] [3c] [7d] board, and the [As] [6c] of Thompson just couldn’t find the river carded he needed to survive.
“I had a lot of chips from Day One. It’s one of my better games and I was texting people from Day One saying I was going to win this event. I am just so happy to win…and not take second.” Johnson told the PokerNews sideline reporter, Sarah Grant, after his victory.
Robin Ylitalo Going Strong in Event #49
After Martin Jacobson’s great run in the One Drop High Roller, it’s time for Robin Ylitalo to show the poker world what the Swedes can do, as he finishes Day Two with more chips than the remaining 21-players.
Ylitalo is a feared online tournament player, but his presence on the live felt is ever growing with final table performances at EPT Campione (2012) and WPT Copenhagen (2012). He is one of two players who has over a million in chips, the other being Paul Dasilva.
At the time of writing there are 13-players left with Ylitalo holding second place behind Brian O’Donoghue. The British still have a say in the matter with the Hendon Mobster Barny Boatman remaining in the field, but Kevin MacPhee has disappeared finishing in 21st place.
Scott Abrams: The All-Rounder
Scott Abrams enjoyed some ESPN airtime last year during a magnificent run in the Main Event that saw him finish in 12th place for $590,442, and he is once again trying to hog the limelight, this time as the leader in Event #50: $2,500 10-Game Mix (Six-Handed).
The action has flown into Day Three and just 18 of the original 372 players remain. Greg Raymer, Bruno Fitoussi and Konstantin Puchkov are still in the field.
The Men Steer Clear of the Ladies
It’s not often that the men steer clear of the ladies in Las Vegas, but that’s exactly what happened in the $10,000 Ladies NLHE Championships. The WSOP got it spot on by making the event a $10k, and giving all females a 90% discount, to try and ward off the dicks.
954-players entered the event, included most of the top ranked females in the world. At the time of writing the event has motored into the second day of action and there are 74-players left in the field.
Christine Priday, who finished fourth in this event back in 2008, held the overnight chip lead, but has since been surpassed by the WSOP Circuit ring holder Amanda Baker. Former EPT Champion, Liv Boeree, sits ominously in third place.
Max Lehmanski Leads the $25k Six-Max
The Germans have pulled another one off the conveyor belt of talent as Max Lehmanski leads the final 94-players in Event #52: $25,000 NLHE Six-Max. 175-players have created a winners check of over $1 million.
Incredibly, Tony Gregg has decided to celebrate his amazing win in the One Drop by playing in this event.
“What a grinder.” Shouted Tobias Reinkemeier as Gregg took his seat not long after disposing of Chris Klodnicki in the biggest event the WSOP has seen held this year.
Meanwhile the $25k has been drawing more eyeballs over raised voices rather than the actual play. The main protagonist seems to be Luke Vrabel who, after getting involved in a few clock-calling incidents with Erick Lindgren, had to be pulled to one side and given a warning. Vrabel continued to tease Lindgren about his debt issues and this incurred the wrath of Daniel Negreanu who jumped to Lindgren’s defense by calling Vrabel ‘Catfish’, a nickname that Vrabel apparently earned after pretending to be a female online poker player in an attempt to receive backing.
At one point Vrabel stormed over to Negreanu’s table and started shouting at the Canadian.
“You don’t know me. Don’t say shit about me.”
“I can say whatever I want. It’s a free country.” Replied Negreanu.
Vrabel was accompanied back to his table by security whilst Negreanu cackled away in the background.
Back to the poker and the other top quality names hiding in the top ten include Phil Galfond, Marvin Rettenmaier, Ben Sulsky and Brian Rast.