In this week’s poker news round-up James Obst leads the World Series of Poker Player of the Year race as we move into the second half of the festival, and 888Poker shake things up with the introduction of shot clocks in all 888Live events.
As we encroach into the second half of the 48th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), James Obst has emerged as the front-runner in the coveted WSOP Player of the Year (POY) race.
The highest ranked Australian in the Global Poker Index (GPI) had a great week winning the $10,000 Razz Championship for $265,138, and bubbling the final table of the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event.
Looking at the Top 10 it seems Obst’s primary challenge will come from Mike Leah, John Racener, and the only man to win the thing twice: Daniel Negreanu.
Here is that Top 10.
1. James Obst (509.01)
2. Mike Leah (469.55)
3. Pablo Mariz (459.41)
4. John Racener (442.28)
5. Daniel Negreanu (435.58)
6. Ryan Hughes (411.52)
7. Ray Henson (395.78)
8. Aditya Agarwal (387.99)
9. Igor Sharaskin (384.11)
10. Alex Foxen (379.54)
Sticking with the mixed game action and David Brubaker won the baby Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw for $109,967, and Ben Yu won his second career bracelet when he took down the Championship event for $232,738.
David Bach became the first player to win two bracelets at this year’s festival when he won the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship for $383,208, a fortnight after winning the $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed for $119,399.
And a special mention must go to Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, who made the final table of three $10,000 Championships, finishing 8th in the Omaha Hi-Lo, 5th in the Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed, and 6th in the Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw.
The Russian Revolution
It’s always interesting to see what country can win the most bracelets, outside of the home nation, and it’s Russia who has taken the early lead with three.
They picked up their first one very early doors when Igor Kurganov teamed up with Liv Boeree to win the $10,000 Tag Team Championship, and two more headed to the land of the Siberian Tiger this week.
Vladimir Shchemelev earned his second gold bracelet when he won the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Li 8-or-Better Mix event for $193,484, and Nada Kakhmazov won his first, and his country’s third when he took down the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $580,338.
A special baseball cap tip should also go to Igor Sharaskin, who has now made three final tables in Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) events finishing 3rd in the $565 PLO, 5th in the $1k PLO, and 4th in the $1.5k Omaha Hi-Lo. Tyler Groth won the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event for $179,126.
We will finish the WSOP round-up with the Hold’em results, and back-to-back wins for James Moore in the $1,000 Super Seniors event winning close to half a million dollars in the span of two crazy years. Frank Maggio won the largest ever $1,000 Seniors event for $617,303 when 5,389 people came out to play.
888Poker Ambassador, Chris Moorman, became a Triple Crown contender when he won a $5k 6-Max event for $498,682, and Joe McKeehen became the latest former WSOP Main Event Champion to win a second bracelet when he took down the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championships for $311,817.
Joseph Di Rosa Rojas won the MARATHON for $690,469; Gaurav Raina won the $2,500 for $456,822, Shane Buchwald won a $1,500 Limit event for $177,985, and Christopher Frank won a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event for $384,833.
Thomas Reynolds admitted he wasn’t aware he was competing against so many pros on his way to a $292,880 $1,000 buy-in win, and Rifat Palevic took down the first-ever $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty for $183,903.
With 37 of the 74 scheduled events in the bag, WSOP officials have told the press that they are on course to break last year’s record of 107,833 entrants with 61,616 already in the books, slightly higher than the 60,677 who participated by this time last year.
The average field size is 1,665; players from 97 different countries have taken part, and $81,480,871 now resides in the bank accounts of the players who cashed with the average prize pool coming in at $2,202,185.
The average age of entrants is 42.99, with 95.22% of those choosing to stand up to pee.
Rounding off the WSOP news corner, and the public nominations for the 2017 Poker Hall of Fame have begun. The usual parade of who deserves a spot articles are making the rounds, and I chimed in with a look at the European Dark Horses.
888Poker Introduce Shot Clocks at 888Live Events
The most exciting news of the week, outside of the WSOP, was the decision by 888Poker to introduce a shot clock in all 888Live events.
The move begins at 888Live London in October with shot clocks featured on every table, and at every level, of the Main Event and High Roller.
With 888Poker being a pioneer in this regard I can’t imagine how the other tours will operate without making the same adjustment which can only be a good thing for poker.
Expect the WSOP to be the last to make the change.
In other 888Poker news, the online poker room finalised the lineup for the 8-Team WSOP promotion by adding former footballers Denilson and Mario Basler as wingmen for Brazil and Germany.
Here are the lineups:
Team UK: Chris Moorman and Will Kassouf
Team Sweden: Sofia Lovgren and Martin Jacobson
Team Canada: Parker Talbot and Griffin Benger
Team Brazil: Bruno Politano and Denilson
Team Germany: Dominik Nitsche and Mario Basler
Five players who qualify for the WSOP Main Event playing on 888Poker will also be aligned to each team in due course.
Time ladies and gentlemen, someone has just called the clock.