WSOP review: Gorsuch wins Milly-Maker; Boukai & Donabedian also on point

Three brief recollections from the World Series of Poker including a miraculous recovery in the record-breaking Millionaire Maker, and wins in the 8-Game Mix and Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack.

WSOP review: Gorsuch wins Milly-Maker; Boukai & Donabedian also on pointSteven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art, had this to say about the archetypal ‘All Is Lost’ moment.

“The ‘All Is Lost’ moment is that crisis where the hero hits the wall. He has failed in all his efforts to attain his objective; he’s completely stuck. There’s no way out and no way forward.”

This morning, as he looks into the mirror, John Gorsuch sees a hero looking back at him. Here is his most recent ‘All Is Lost’ moment.

We’re at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and Gorsuch has made Day 4 of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Millionaire Maker. Eight players remain, and the blinds are 300k/600k/600k, when Bob Shao opens to 1.2m from under the gun, and Gorsuch three-bets to 3.5m The action folds to Logesh Garg in the big blind who moves all-in for 10.1m holding AdKs, and after Shao folds, Gorsuch calls and loses the race with pocket jacks leaving him with less than three big blinds.

There is only one table.

A bracelet and $1.34m await the winner.

To be reduced to less than three big blinds at this juncture, in a flip – now that’s what I call an ‘All Is Lost’ moment.

Here is Steven Pressfield on ‘Epiphanic’ moments.

“The essence of epiphanies is the stripping away of self-delusion. In that stripping lies power. Because now we know how hard it is, now we know how deep we have to dig. We acknowledge that we are not Spiderman. We don’t possess superhuman powers. We turn this moment into power the same way a recovering alcoholic does. One day at a time. With help, which we are now not too proud to ask for.”

Here is Gorsuch’s ‘epiphanic’ moment, ‘one card at a time’.

In the next hand, Gorsuch doubles through Vincas Tamasaukas when 5c4h outflops 8s7s, and then he triples up through Josh Reichard and Cory Albertson in a hand that sees Reichard leave in ninth place – Gorsuch’s pocket nines beating KhJh andAsKc.

Gorsuch would end the day with 20 big blinds, a fortress from which he would lead a charge culminating in a WSOP bracelet, and enough money to buy one of the best eyebrow plucking franchises in the business.

The 2019 Millionaire Maker attracted 8,809-entrants, making it the largest of its kind since it began. The 42-year-old from Washington D.C picked up $1.79m for his win, and if he were eaten alive by lobsters tonight his tombstone would read:

“John Gorsuch – won one tournament, and the prize was $1.79m.”

First, win, maybe, but it wasn’t his first rodeo, having enjoyed deep runs in the 2014 WSOP Main Event (147/6683), the inaugural Colossus (26/22374), and a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max back in 2017 (5/959).

Gorsuch’s final scene featured a final table housing the multiple World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) and Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) champion, Josh Reichard, and the brilliant German Fabian Gumz.

Here are the final table results:

Final table results

1. John Gorsuch – $1,344,930
2. Kazuki Ikeuchi – $830,783
3. Lokesh Garg – $619,017
4. Vincas Tamasauskas – $464,375
5. Josh Thibodaux – $350,758
6. Cory Albertson – $266,771
7. Bob Shao – $204,306
8. Fabian Gumz – $157,565
9. Josh Reichard – $122,370

Three other five-star generals who bunkered down deep in the war room of this one were the 888Poker Ambassador, Ana Marquez (10th), former World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event winner, Steven van Zadelhoff (11th), and bracelet winner, Keith Lehr (13th).

Rami Boukai wins Event #23: $1,500 8-Game Mix

You don’t need a Steven Pressfield to interrogate Rami Boukai’s script – it’s a simple one.

“I’m here for the money.”

Boukai conquered a field of 612-entrants in Event #23: $1,500 8-Game Mix, two win the second live tournament of his career, and funnily enough, his other win also gave away a bracelet for first prize (in 2009 he beat 453-entrants to win the $244,862 first prize in a $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha/Hold’em event).

Boukai has also finished third, sixth and ninth in WSOP events, and he needed that experience to overcome a final table housing bracelet winner Chris Klodnicki, ‘Chainsaw’ Allen Kessler, and the defending champion, Philip Long.

Here are the final table results:

Final table results

1. Rami Boukai – $177,294
2. John Evans – $109,553
3. Chris Klodnicki – $72,933
4. Philip Long – $49,531
5. Allen Kessler – $34,329
6. Donny Rubinstein – $24,292

Three other stars of the game showing piano wire resolve in this thing were bracelet winners Vladimir Schemelev (7th), Christopher Vitch (8th) and Chris Bjorin (12th)

Andrew Donabedian wins Event #25: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack

There was another impressive turnout in Event #25: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack with 2,577-entrants combining to provide Andrew Donabedian with a $205,605 first prize.

The win was Donabedian’s third live tournament victory, and all three of them have come in Deepstack tournaments, including his last win, which arrived in an $800 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack event in The Venetian, beating 210-entrants for $22,723, his previous personal best score.

Donabedian overcame a final table that included Mihai Niste, who won a competitive looking $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in the Merit Crystal Cove Casino, Kyrenia beating 149-entrants to win $162,621 in January. Florian Fuchs, who finished runner-up to Matouš Skorepa in the 2017 €550 Colossus at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE), and Alexander Condon, who finished 4/791 in the Season XV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $494,889.

Tom Franklin, who is currently trying to sell his one and only WSOP bracelet on eBay for $50,000, nearly had to go through the rigmarole of posting a second sale after finishing seventh.

Final table results

1. Andrew Donabedian – $205,605
2. Todd Dreyer – $126,948
3. Robert Valden – $92,672
4. Corey Wright – $68,258
5. Mihai Niste – $50,732
6. Alexnadru Ivan – $38,051
7. Tom Franklin – $28,803
8. Florian Fuchs – $22,006
9. Alexander Condon – $16,971

Three other stars of the game that sat down so long in this one they developed varicose veins include the bracelet winner, Martin Kozlov (14th), World Poker Tour Champion, Will Failla (25th) and bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva (26th)