Experience is the right word to describe the recent spate of World Series of Poker wins after Frank Kassela, David Pham, and David Bach all added to their previous hauls, and India won their first two bracelets in the Tag Team event.
Four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet victories to catch up on before we head into the glory of the weekend, and we begin with a first for India.
Coming into the 48th Annual WSOP 1,329 gold bracelets had found new homes, but not one of them had ever ended up on the wrist of someone from India.
Now the second most populous country in the world has two.
Aditya Sushant and Nipun Java have won Event #10: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em, and you will be hard-pressed to find a more emotion riddled final hand.
Desperate for the loo, Java tagged in Sushant who stepped into the groove to face Pablo Mariz and found himself calling an all-in holding A8>KQ. The flop rained down QQ3 leaving the team from India needing runner-runner aces to take the title, and that’s exactly what they got.
“Poker is booming in India,” said Java after their incredible win.
The first Poker Sports League (PSL) recently ended in Goa, India with the likes of Patrick Leonard and Sam Razavi taking part, and the online poker room Adda52.com keeps growing as legislation provides more light for players in that part of the world.
843 teams entered the competition, 20 less than last year when the title went to Doug Polk and Ryan Fee.
Final Table Results
1. Aditya Sushant – Nipun Java – $150,637
2. Pablo Mariz – David Guay – $93,074
3. Kiryl Radzivonau – Mikhail Semin – $65,190
4. Charalampos Lappas – Georgios Zisimopoulos – $46,318
5. Mukul Pahuja – Jonas Wexler – $33,391
6. DJ MacKinnon – Esther Taylor – $24,430
7. Ryan Laplante – Sam Cohen – $18,143
8. Austin Buchanan – Lanie Foster – $13,680
9. Joseph Choueiri – Rafael Lopez – James Gibson – $10,475
David Bach Wins Event #11: $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed
David Bach earned his second gold bracelet in Event #11: $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed. The mixed game expert defeated Kevin Iacofano in heads-up action to take the $119,399 first prize.
Bach won his first bracelet back in 2009 when he won the $50,000 World Championship HORSE for $1.2m, and since then has suffered the heartache of finishing in the Top 3 of bracelet events on three separate occasions.
Bach topped a field of 364 players, another event slightly down on the 2016 numbers when Lawrence Berg defeated 389 players to take the same title.
1. David Bach – $119,399
2. Kevin Iacofano – $73,779
3. Christopher Sensoli – $47,629
4. Scott Milkey – $31,550
5. Anthony Arvidson – $21,460
6. Wook Kim – $14,998
David ‘Dragon’ Pham wins Event #12 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
There is a pattern emerging here.
Another experienced WSOP player wins another title, with the field size once again lower than 2016.
David ‘Dragon’ Pham overcame a titanic 7hr+ final table, including coming back from a 2:1 chip deficit in heads-up action to win his third bracelet, 11 years after his second.
1,739 players entered the event, far fewer than the 2,016 that entered this time last year. Pham got it in behind with K9 squaring off against the A7 of Jordan Young, but the King on the river ended a very long and hard-fought victory.
Pham’s previous bracelet wins came in the $2,100 SHOE event in 2001, and $2,000 NLHE Shootout in 2006.
Final Table Results
1. David Pham – $391,960
2. Jordan Young – $242,160
3. Roman Korenev – $174,559
4. Melissa Gillett – $127,180
5. Kevin Trettin – $93,667
6. Nathan Pfluger – $69,741
7. Billy Rodgers – $52,503
8. Huihan Wu – $39,969
9. Aditya Agarwal – $30,774
Other notables that burrowed deeper than a rabbit were Phil Collins (19th), Mike Sexton (26th), and Mike Leah (27th)
Frank Kassela Wins Event #13: No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
The 2010 WSOP Player of the Year, Frank Kassela, earned his third bracelet in Event #13: No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw and immediately declared himself as one of the best recreational players in the world.
Kassela’s previous two bracelet victories came in that fantastic year of 2010. He defeated Bernard Lee in heads-up action. Lee came to the final table with the chip lead and held it until the bitter end. The World Poker Tour (WPT) Champions Club member Matt Waxman also made the final table finishing fourth.
Final Table Results
1. Frank Kassela – $89,151
2. Bernard Lee – $55,086
3. Tim McGuigan – $37,032
4. Matt Waxman – $25,451
5. Jared Bleznick – $17,890
6. Stuart Rutter – $12,868
Other players to run deep were Benny Glaser (7th), Jeff Lisandro (10th), and Tom Schneider (11th).