WSOP review: Cream rises with bracelets for Chidwick, Schwartz and Engel


Three stars of the game win World Series of Poker bracelets for the first time as Stephen Chidwick, Luke Schwartz and Eri Engel win gold in three different disciplines. 

If you’re Stephen Chidwick, Luke Schwartz and Ari Engel, then the claustrophobic feeling of never having won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet, despite being one of the top names in the biz, has vanished like a morning lap in the pool for a recently diagnosed aquaphobic.

[Image credit: WPT flickr]
We begin with the man whose peers believe is molecule by molecule the best poker player on the planet. Stephen Chidwick has won his first bracelet, and would you Adam and Eve it, the man from Deal did so in a game of Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO).

England’s All-Time Live Tournament Money Earner topped a record field of 278-entrants in Event #45: Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, after overcoming a final table housing the likes of Robert Mizrachi, Alex Epstein and Erik Seidel.

For a man who has cashed 52 times in WSOP events, making 13 final tables without a return, it’s not without a sense of irony that Chidwick wins his first bracelet in the event that’s not his most reliable, and his first WSOP tournament of the summer, after arriving late from a family trip to Paris.

The $1,618,471 haul is Chidwick’s sixth million dollars plus bounty since March 2018.

Final Table Results

1. Stephen Chidwick – $1,618,417
2. James Chen – $1,000,253
3. Matthew Gonzales – $699,364
4. Robert Mizrachi – $497,112
5. Alex Epstein – $359.320
6. Erik Seidel – $264,186
7. Wasim Korkis – $197,637
8. Ka Kwan Lau – $150,483

Three other stars whose armour weakened at a critical moment were the online star Ben Tollerene (11th), three-time bracelet winner, Paul Volpe (15th), and the ARIA high rolling star, Sean Winter (16th).

Luke Schwartz wins Event #49: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship

A decade ago, an appearance at a poker table by Luke Schwartz would have been as uncomfortable to his competitors as a macaque monkey standing over the crib of your newborn baby.

The 35-year-old is a changed beast, preferring a deep breath over a rant, but one thing that’s not changed is his ability to play top-notch poker.

Schwartz won the 100-entrant Event #49: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship after a protracted three-handed affair against George Wolff and Johannes Becker.

The man who eats more pigeons than Ozzie Osbourne had cashed in four WSOP events before winning his bracelet, and his best performance came in 2012 when he finished fourth in the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship for £406,736. If you like a flutter, then you may want to put a bob or two on him finishing four places higher in 2019.

Final Table Results

1. Luke Schwartz – $273,336
2. George Wolff – $167,936
3. Johannes Becker – $116,236
4. Mark Gregorich – $81,635
5. Tueqi Zhu – $58,547
6. Calvin Anderson – $42,898

Ari Engel wins Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Ari Engel has finally leapt from serial World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring winner to gold bracelet winner after taking down the 996-entrant Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em.

Engel conquered a final table that housed the Colossus II winner, Benjamin Keeline, double bracelet winners David “Bakes” Baker and Josh Arieh, and the man who recently finished 4/1832 in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, James Hughes.

When Engel arrived at the final table, he wasn’t in the most confident of moods, telling PokerNews that he spied Pablo Melogno and said to himself, “I’m going to try to get heads up with him and then he’s going to win it.”

He got the first part of that plan down pat.

Engel has now won 28 live tournaments, including the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event, and this is his fifth cash of the summer, and second, live tournament victory of the year after winning a side event at the Aussie Millions.

Final Table Results

1. Ari Engel – $427,399
2. Pablo Melogno – $264,104
3. Wilbern Hoffman – $186,392
4. Ben Keeline – $133,306
5. David “Bakes” Baker – $96,632
6. James Hughes – $71,010
7. Truyen Nguyen – $52,909
8. Ryan Olisar – $39,980
9. Josh Arieh – $30,643

Three other stars who played vodka poker before passing out with the finishing line in sight included Unibet’s Tournament Director Kenny Hallaert (15th), double bracelet winner, Barny Boatman (18th) and the best female poker player on the planet, Kristen Bicknell (20th).