Archive for June 2012

Naoya Kihara

First-time bracelet winners continue to dominate the 43rd Annual WSOP; even as Phil Ivey continues to reach, but not win final tables, five so far. But it’s not all bad news for him; he cashed for over half a million.

Max Steinberg defeated 2,778 players in Event #33: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em. He walks away with $440,238 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. Steinberg hails from Fairfield, Iowa where he learned poker by playing with his identical twin brother, Danny. He now has career earnings of $1,044,269.

Naoya Kihara conquered every opponent of Event #34: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha – Six-Handed, making history as the first Japanese player to win a bracelet in the 43 years of the WSOP. He takes home $512,029 or 41,000,000 YEN.

Chris Tryba snatched his first WSOP gold bracelet away from 392 players when he won Event #35: $2,500 Mixed Hold’em. He pocketed a sweet $210,107, but it was the bracelet that had him grinning from ear to ear.

Now we are in day 26 of the 2012 WSOP . . . 26 bracelets awarded, 35 more to go. You still have a chance! Book your flights now, pick up a good texas holdem poker book to read on the plane and let us know how it went for you.

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It is hard to believe that the 2012 WSOP has already reached its halfway mark. So far there have been a total of 30 gold bracelets awarded with 23 of them going to Americans. The weekend smashed all previous attendance records with almost 10,000 players, and that’s not counting lookie-loos, general audience and fans. You should have been there. But don’t worry;  it’s not too late, it’s only halfway point and there are still 31 more bracelets to give out. Here is how the last events ended up:

She’s smart, she’s an attorney and she’s a professional poker player. Allyn Jaffrey Shulman did it. She won Event #29: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship.  She defeated a record breaking field of 4,128 players and in so doing, she finally broke the Female Non-Winning Streak of 248 events without a bracelet. She gladly and proudly takes home the prize of $603,713 and her first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

Larry Wright defeated a field of 284 players and a star-studded final table that included Michael Mizrachi and Erick Lindgren. Wright won Event #30: $1,500 2-7 Draw Low-ball, a big fat check for $101,975   and captured his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

Early this Tuesday morning Carter Phillips championed Event #31: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. He took the coveted gold bracelet from a field of 2,811 entrants and walked off with $664, 130. Phillip, a professional poker player from Charlotte, North Carolina who is now the proud winner of his second gold bracelet, winning his first in the 2010 World Series of Poker $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed event . Congratulations Mr. Phillips.

And our congratulations also go out  to David “Bakes” Baker for holding strong, toppling John Monnete heads up, and defeating a final eight that included Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth. Baker is no stranger to the WSOP. He has  made it to three final tables and cashed regularly at the WSOP since 2008. He is now the winner of Event #32: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. and the sweet sum of $451,779 plus his second gold bracelet.

We’re half way to the Main Event – the Final Nine! For my money, or all my poker chips, I could not have asked for a more exciting WSOP to this point… and we still have a second half. Are you ready for it?

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OK! So it’s Sunday and it’s Fathers Day and my family wants me to spend some time with them. I, therefore, will make it quick, and simply note that this has been one of the biggest weekends in poker history at the Rio Las Vegas 2012 WSOP.

In Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Ylon Schwartz Wins His First Bracelet!. The former chess master and professional poker player (originally from New York City and now residing in Austin, Texas) won today by beating out a field of 889 H.O.R.S.E. riders. Yes, he managed to knock them off their saddles to take the 2012 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Title and the gold bracelet and, of course, the prize money of  $267,081. Bringing his total lifetime live poker tournament winnings to over $4,600,000. Congrats Ylon.

Our sincere congratulations go  to Timothy Adams, not the “Sunset Beach” actor but the Timothy Adams who was named the winner of Event #28, $2,500 NLH Four-Handed. Adams walked away with  $392,476 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. The 26-year-old professional poker player from Burlington, Ontario took the match from a field of 750 to become the third Canadian Gold Bracelet Winner in 2012.

And that’s the news for today . . . now it’s time to step away from the poker tables for me; it’s all about having some barbecued ribs and wishing y’all a Happy Father’s Day!

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We left off at Event #22 on Wednesday with the crazed comebacks of  Randy Ohel that led him to win the $2,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Triple-Draw Lowball and his first WSOP bracelet. Ohel became the 18th first-time bracelet winner of 2012 on Wednesday. By far, the first-timers were dominating the individual event championships, with only four other bracelets being awarded to previous winners. And now it’s Friday and so far the trend is continuing and we have four more bracelet first-time winners.

Simon Charette,  a poker pro from Toronto won Event #23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold ’em Six-Handed and took home a nice little prize of $567,624 and his first very own gold bracelet to show off back home. Maybe he should rent out the XS Nightclub for the night and throw the biggest party in celebration of achieving his goal:  the WSOP Championship Title and bracelet, not to mention that he now has more than $2.2 million in earnings over 88 career cashes.

Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better  belonged to Joe Cassidy, another young pro with lots of career cashes totaling more than $1.8 million, but up to now, has never won a title bout. He captured a World Series of Poker Championship Title and his first sweet, shiny gold bracelet along with  $294,777 after beating Scotty Nguyen in an epic heads up battle. Cassidy was up against some formidable and, I’m sure, intimidating players with impressive poker credentials, not just Nguyen but also Mike Matusow and Phil Ivey. Way to go, Joe.

Brian Meinders, a quiet professional poker player from New Jersey who’s had a modestly successful career with a total of seven cashes finally broke through and captured Event #25: $1,500 Limit Hold ’em Shootout.  He persevered through a field of 365 that included some notables like Phil Hellmuth, Barry Shulman and lots more. He takes home the WSOP Championship title, a tidy little sum of $116,118  and finally, his first gold bracelet.

Austin Scott wins Event #26: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha , not the Congressman Austin Scott, not the football player Austin Scott, but the pro poker player from Oklahoma, Austin “Gabe” Scott, who last year came in eighth in this same event . What a difference a year makes.  This time around Scott wrestled a field of 589 focused, dedicated players who were not going to let him take the title easily. He pockets $361,797 plus his first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

So far there have been 26 bracelets awarded and there are 35 more left to award. Are you at the Rio Las Vegas waiting for your chance? Or are you watching every poker DVD you can get your hands on in hopes of learning enough to be there next year?

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