If there was any doubt that Steve Sung had the skills to mix it up at the higher echelons of power, then he blew them away with a magnificent display of poker to capture Event #52: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Six-Max).
When you are investing $25,000 to play in a tournament you can bet your bottom dollar it is going to be top heavy with some of the games greatest players. Fabian Quoss (17th), Marvin Rettenmaier (16th), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (15th), David Benyamine (14th), Igor Kurganov (11th) and Shannon Shorr (7th) just a sprinkling of the top talent that didn’t make the final table.
Phil Galfond was the chip leader as we entered the final table consisting of Sung, Dani Stern, Stephen Chidwick, Max Lehmanski and Richard Lyndaker. Only Sung and Galfond had been there, seen it, done it and now held the proverbial gold bracelet, and it was the two of them were left to duel heads-up for the chance to win their second World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet.
“He is one of the best players in the world, but I knew if I could pull him down and get him short I could gamble a bit, which is what I did,” Steve Sung told PokerNews sideline reporter, Kristy Arnett, when referring to his heads-up opponent.
The critical moment came when Sung opened to 250k and Galfond called. The flop was [Qc] [Th] [8s], Galfond checked, Sung bet 300k, Galfond check-raised to 1,075,000 and Sung called. The turn was the [9d] and Galfond bet 1,250,000 and Sung raised to 2,500,000. Back to Galfond and he tanked for a very long time before folding. Sung showed [Kd] [Ts] and Galfond said he was considering moving all-in with just four-high; Sung said he would have called. The event was over just a few hands later when Sung’s slightly weaker jack-ten out flopped the king-queen of Galfond. The Run It Once founder picking up $744,841 for his runner-up performance and Sung took $1,205,324 and his second WSOP gold bracelet.
“I feel a lot of gratitude. I have been through a lot in the past four or five years so this is like a dream come true. It hasn’t really hit me yet. Three days ago I’m trying to figure out a way of getting into this tournament and here I am now…the winner…it all went very fast.” Saud Sung.
Kristen Bicknell is the Ladies Champion
Kristen Bicknell has proved that it’s not just the Canadian men that can play poker, after her victory in Event: #51: $1,000 NLHE Ladies Championship.
Her victory means the record keeps extending as the tenth Canadian WSOP bracelet is the largest haul ever made by a country outside of the United States.
“This was just going to be a fun little trip. It feels surreal…crazy,” Bicknell told the PokerNews sideline reporter, Lynn Gilmartin, after her victory, “The tournament had been really fun and friendly, but the final table was the moment that it got really serious. There was no more photos, no more laughter, or talking…it was game face time.”
Bicknell picked up a specially crafted white gold bracelet and her purse of $173,922 after defeating 954-players including Leanne Haas in heads-up action.
Watson Has a Stranglehold on Event #53
The Global Poker Index (GPI) has Mike Watson ranked as the sixth best player in the world, and he is showing everyone why as he continues to power through the huge field that has made up Event #53: $1,500 NLHE.
2,816 players entered the event and at the time of writing there are just 16-players left with Watson holding the chip lead. If Watson was to go all of the way, it would be the 11th WSOP gold bracelet for Canadian players at this series.
One man who will be desperate to stop him making it bracelet number 11 is David Vamplew. The former European Poker Tour (EPT) London champion is sitting in fourth place. Vamplew had the taste of gold when he finished runner-up to Trevor Pope in Event #2: $5,000 NLHE – 8-Handed, and he will be desperate to go one better this time around.
Musumeci Riding High in Event #54
Event #54: $1,000 NLHE has reached the break at the end of the 13th Level and Amanda Musumeci is well primed for a deep run. 2,200 players entered the event and 135-remain with Musumeci sitting in third place.
Musumeci came so close to grabbing an WSOP bracelet, last year, when she finished second to Ashkan Razavi in a $1,500 re-entry event. She managed to duck and dive her way through a field of 3,404 entrants back then so this is chicken feed for Musumeci.
Jim Collopy, Rocco Palumbo, Jesse Sylvia, JC Tran, Matt Salsberg and Sam Grafton all have chips as we get deep and dirty on the second day of action.
Duhamel Leads The Players Championship
Jonathan Duhamel has the lead in one of the premier events of the series: Event #55: $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship.
132-players entered and we only lost 10-during the first day of action. The GPI World Number One, Jason Mercier, sits pretty in third with a whole host of stars looking north as we enter Day Two.