Lee Davy starts his Monday morning by delivering news of eight bracelet winners, over an action packed weekend, including Mike Gorodinsky winning the $50k Poker Players Championships, Eli Elezra winning his third bracelet, and Carol Fuchs causing an upset in the Dealers Choice event.
Everyone wants to win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. I’m sure even the most stoic of professional poker players has had that dream. But when those eyes close, it’s a vision of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship (PPC) that invades most people’s REM sleep.
Everyone knows it’s the most prestigious event to win, outside of the big one, and the winner is often referred to as the best ‘pound for pound’ poker player in the business. It’s also an event that has 84 runners, not 6,683. I think that helps.
The latest winner is Mike Gorodinsky. He topped a field of 84 players – the smallest ever $50k field – including a very familiar face in a tough and tense heads-up battle.
In 2010, Gorodinsky beat Jean-Robert Bellande in the final of the $5,250 8 Game Championships at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) for $105,540. It was his first major score. Five years later and he repeated that feat. His major score having been ratcheted up a couple of notches.
“It feels amazing,” Gorodinsky told the WSOP after his win, “This is literally something that I’ve gone to bed dreaming about, and it’s cool to legitimately realize a dream.”
It was Gorodinsky’s 12th WSOP cash, 5th final table and 2nd gold bracelet. His win also promotes him to the position of top dog in the 2015 WSOP Player of the Year (POY) race. Paul Volpe leaving the top spot for the first time in over a fortnight.
Bellande must have been disappointed, but the word ‘bitter’ doesn’t seem to fit. He walked away with close to $800,000, easily his biggest score to date, and more than enough money to buy a new toy or two.
It was Gorodinsky’s third final table of the series.
Final Table Results
1st. Mike Gorodinsky – $1,270,086
2nd. Jean-Robert Bellande – $784,828
3rd. David “ODB” Baker – $513,926
4th. Ben Sulsky – $353,928
5th. Chris Klodnicki – $251,314
6th. Dan Kelly – $184,222
Carol Fuchs Wins Event #52: $1,500 Dealers Choice
If my body wasn’t melting under this heat, I’m sure I would think of some clever way of sneaking the word ‘Fuchs’ into a sentence with enough gusto to get the ribs tickling.
Maybe another time?
The name of the first female bracelet winner of 2015 is Carol Fuchs. The Hollywood screenwriter and producer, responsible for such gems as the Catherine Zeta-Jones movie ‘No Reservations’, has taken the bracelet in the $1,5000 Dealers Choice event.
357 players entered, a 17% drop in field size the year Robert Mizrachi won it, and the three-time WSOP bracelet winner, nearly pulled off a Tuan Le by winning back-to-back events, after finishing in third place.
But it was Fuchs, and not Mizrachi who got hold of this piece of gold. But what’s tougher? Winning a bracelet or making a movie?
“I’m not sure which is tougher,” Fuchs told the WSOP, “I think they’re both pretty challenging.”
1st. Carol Fuchs – $127,735
2nd. Ilya Krupin – $78,933
3rd. Robert Mizrachi – $51,236
4th. Christopher Klodnicki – $34,252
5th. Yuval Bronshtein – $23,528
6th. Viktor Celikovsky – $16,588
7th. Matt Szymaszek – $12,000
8th. Scott Clements – $12,000
9th. Konstantin Maslak – $8,896
Other notables to cash include Randy Ohel (13th), Kevin MacPhee (18th) and Tom Schneider (21st).
Eli Elezra Wins Event #48: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
The Israeli’s have had a great series this year.
Idan Raviv won Event #12: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed, and then final tabled Event #34: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Mix Max, and Eli Elezra has won his third bracelet, after coming out on top of his third final table of the summer.
Elezra defeated a field of 237 entrants in Event #48: $1,500 Seven Card Stud. It was the 54-year olds 41st WSOP cash and 12th final table.
“This one was really special to me,” Elezra told the WSOP after his win, “It’s the game many of us grew up playing, and it’s played by the most experienced players.”
Allen Cunningham was denied his sixth bracelet, finishing in third place.
1st. Eli Elezra – $112,591
2nd. Benjamin Lazer – $69,532
3rd. Allen Cunningham – $44,846
4th. Gylbert Drolet – $32,495
5th. Kenn Wittock – $23,891
6th. Byron Ziebell – $17,821
7th. Jean Gaspard – $13,486
8th. Matt Grapenthien – $10,352
Upeshka De Silva Wins Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Nolan Dalla called Upeshka De Silva’s final table performance, in Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em: ‘absolute domination.’
De Silva eliminated seven of the eight final tablists, including the Irishman Dara O’Kearney in heads-up action, to win his first gold bracelet, after cashing 10 times and making two final tables. The disappointment of finishing seventh in last year’s Millionaire Maker erased from memory.
“This is surreal, that’s the best way to describe how I feel right now,” De Silva told the WSOP after his win. “I waited my whole life for this. When you imagine how the last hand will be played out, that’s what I experienced. It was like a dream coming true.”
It was the biggest score of De Silva’s career.
Final Table Results
1st. Upeshka De Silva – $424,577
2nd. Dara O’Kearney – $242,502
3rd. John Dolan – $172,752
4th. Patrick Rojek – $124,537
5th. Ilkin Amirov – $91,157
6th. Bobby Moore – $67,697
7th. Jorden Fox – $50,985
8th. Vasily Tsapko – $38,920
9th. Jason Koon – $30,095
Vasili Firsau Wins Event #46: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
Vasili Firsau is not a name that will register in too many people’s minds, but it’s one that I will always recollect. Being a live reporter I am fortunate to be stood at the table when the chips go in for the final time. On two occasions I have stood there as Vasili Firsau has seen dominating chip leads, in World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event finals, slip through his fingers. I have seen that pain, and now I have seen that pleasure.
Firsau defeated 682 entrants to win Event #46: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Handed. He is the second Belarusian to win a bracelet, and remarkably there were two at this final table (Vadzim Markushevski finished in 5th place).
It was Firsau’s third WSOP cash, and his first final table. Daniel Idema came close to winning his second bracelet of the series with a sixth place finish.
Final Table Results
1st. Vasili Firsau – $437,575
2nd. Nipun Java – $270,509
3rd. Andreas Freund – $171,626
4th. Numit Agrawal – $112,717
5th. Vadzim Markushevski – $76,373
6th. Daniel Idema – $53,342
Matt O’Donnell Wins Event #47: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Matt O’Donnell hasn’t been playing at the WSOP for long, but he is making some impact.
His first cash came in 2014 when he made two final tables: finishing fifth in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event, and runner up to Alex Bilokur in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship. He has now won one himself after victory in Event #47: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
O’Donnell defeated a field of 1,244 entrants to capture his first gold bracelet. The heads-up encounter with Timur Margolin was a bit tasty. The verbal’s flew, both at the table, and in the stands, as Margolin tried everything in his power to become the third Israeli to win a bracelet this summer, but O’Donnell managed to maintain his composure long enough to come out on top of a tense five hour heads-up battle.
Simon Deadman bubbled the final table; Phil Hellmuth came 16th and Barry Shulman 19th.
1st. Matt O’Donnell – $551,941
2nd. Timur Margolin – $341,338
3rd. Brandon Wittmeyer – $215,964
4th. Andy Black – $156,759
5th. Andrew Dean – $115,637
6th. Jeff Gross – $86,601
7th. Rick Alvarado – $65,799
8th. Andre Akkari – $50,658
9th. Raghav Bansal – $39,508
Young Ji Wins Event #49: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Players from 28 different nationalities entered Event #49: Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, and is was South Korea that came out on top. Korean born Young Ji, who has spent the past 25-years living in Alaska, beat a field of 815 players (18% down year-on-year), to take the biggest score of his life.
Ji put his win down to the Alaskan weather.
“We have long winters, so everyone has to find indoor entertainment.” Ji told the WSOP after his win.
It was his 7th WSOP cash, and his first final table. Reigning WSOP POY George Danzer made the final table, finishing eighth, and Galen Hall (13th), Erik Seidel (14th) and Vanessa Selbst (17th) were the other impressive names to run deep.
1st. Young Ji – $231,102
2nd. Mark Dube – $142,449
3rd. Alex Dovzhenko – $92,310
4th. Connor Drinan – $67,555
5th. Bryce Yockey – $50,171
6th. Nick Polydoros – $37,760
7th. Prince of Docness – $28,771
8th. George Danzer – $22,181
9th. Joseph Haddad – $17,284
Ben Yu Wins Event #50: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championships
Ben Yu has won his first gold bracelet, after beating a stellar field in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championships. 117 players entered (4% drop on last year), and Yu navigated his way around the likes of Jesse Martin, Justin Bonomo, Anthony Zinno, Gabriel Nassif, and many more top names.
“It’s really big to win this for me,” Yu told the WSOP after his win. “The most important thing to me since I was 16 was to come here and win a WSOP event. Back in 2003 and 2004, like so many people I saw (Chris) Moneymaker and decided to get into the game. That’s when I started dreaming about playing and winning an event at the WSOP.”
The 29-year old was making his 30th cash, and fourth final table.
1st. Ben Yu – $291,456
2nd. Jesse Martin – $180,114
3rd. Justin Bonomo – $130,480
4th. Aleksandr Denisov – $96,309
5th. Anthony Zinno – $72,377
6th. Kenny Shei – $55,341
7th. Gabriel Nassif – $43,035
8th. Marco Johnson – $34,027
9th. Terrence Chan – $27,341
Other notables that cashed include Juha Helppi (14th), Sorel Mizzi (16th) and Brock Parker (17th).