At the time of writing 64 events have either passed or are in motion at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and the $10,000 Main Event is peeking over the horizon. So, let’s bring you up to speed in the week’s biggest news stories.
Brian Rast became the second player to win the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship twice after beating Justin Bonomo in a titanic tussle that lasted over three hours.
Rast added a 2016 victory to the one he won in 2011. Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi is the other player to win two PPC titles either side of Rast’s 2011 success. The Grinder also featured in the business end of this one finishing in fourth place.
The victory for Rast sees him move into the Top 10 All Time Live Tournament Money List, grabbing 10th spot from Jonathan Duhamel, although he was quick to play down the significance of his tournament scores saying,
“Tournament results have a lot of luck involved. I was blessed to run really good in events that were so big. There are plenty of other great players who weren’t as fortunate.”
One of those players is Justin Bonomo, who finished runner-up for the 5th time in his career. His disappointment will be cushioned somewhat due to his $800k+ prize and the knowledge that it looks like a head to head between him and Jason Mercier for the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year (POY) race.
Rast wasn’t the only big name to win a bracelet this week – they were all at it. Before the series began the mugshots of David Peters and Andrew Lichtenberger were on the wall of the most proficient professionals never to win a bracelet.
They can be taken down now.
Peters defeated 1,860 entrants in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event for $412,557, and Lichtenberger beat 1,125 entrants to take the first prize of $569,158 in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.
Brandon Shack-Harris was another big name who took down a bracelet this week. The bracelet winner added another one to his collection while prevented someone doing the same thing. Shack-Harris beating the impressive Loren Klein in heads-up action to take the first prize of $894,300 in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship.
Safiya Umerova became the second female to win a bracelet this year when she beat 1,050 entrants in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event in her debut year at the WSOP. After her win, Umerova told the press that she wanted to become the ‘greatest player in the world.’
Those weren’t the thoughts of David Nowakowski after he won Event #57: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hi-lo Split-8 or Better. Nowakowski was returning to the WSOP after a two-year hiatus where he travelled to Panama to grind online.
“I don’t even like poker,” said Nowakowski after his win.
Nowakowski is moving back to New Jersey to be the best accountant in the world.
And Hung Le pulled off another huge shock at the 47th WSOP when he defeated close to 7,000 players in the $888 buy-in Crazy Eights event. The nail salon owner told WSOP officials after his win that he played a crazy style because it was the only way he could beat his opponent’s as ‘they were all too good for him.” Le picked up $888,888 for his win.
And we leave the WSOP on a sad note this week after it was revealed that 26-year-old poker pro-Matthew Hauge was found unresponsive in his hotel room at the Rio where he was staying throughout the series. He later died in hospital. The cause of death is unknown at the time of writing. He cashed in the Crazy Eight event just before his death.
The Best of the Rest
In other news, the WSOP released the schedule for their 13th Season of the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC). The main news story to poke its head out of that one is the increase in international events. Six events are planned for Italy, Paris, Berlin, Uruguay, St Maarten, and Rozvadov. They are in negotiations to add another eight international tour stops to the schedule.
PokerStars pulled out of Slovenia on Monday but vowed to return when the company had sorted out its online gambling legislation. The news came less than a week after they also pulled out of the Israeli market. PokerStars representatives said they had no further plans to add to their exodus.
PokerStars lovers from Slovenia shouldn’t get their hopes up that the Red Spade will return anytime soon. The largest online poker room in the world have been waiting to re-enter the Portuguese market for almost a year, and this week they were told they would have to wait another five months after the legislative process slowed to a snails pace.
Finally, Tony G has thrown his hat into the ring to become the new leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) after Nigel Farage resigned this week.
Tony G has complete empathy with the UK residents who are concerned about income losses to Eastern Europeans because he has lost so much of his income to Romanian Daniel Negreanu.
Time, ladies and gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.