Jim “Pocket Bullets” Paris
The World Series of Poker continues its annual tradition of ever-growing popularity to the overwhelming joy of the winners and the disappointment of the losers. Many come to learn and sharpen their skills for next year, while hoping that they may get really lucky this year and walk away with a pocketful of new found wealth. Others come to add to their existing WSOP earnings, while still others come simply to have fun, rub elbows with the greats and hope they don’t lose too much this time around.
Let’s catch you up with the current results:
Event #33: $1500 Summer Solstice No-Limit Hold’em was taken down by Adrian Mateos, a young 21 -year-old from Madrid, Spain, who bested a field of 1,840 poker lovers. This was a brand new event corresponding with the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – giving players that much more time to reach for the gold. But 1,839 players were denied the title of champion and Mateos walked away with $409,171 and the WSOP gold bracelet.
Event #34: $1500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) Russian poker player, Andrey Zaichenko, had a smile on his face when he realized he was sitting at the final table, a bigger smile when he realized that he reached his goal of getting the gold bracelet, and an even bigger smile when he collected $117,947 for his efforts and patience. Now he can return to his home in Moscow as the 11th Russian gold bracelet winner in history.
Event #35: $5000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em 27-year-old Michael Gathy from Brussels, Belgium, wrapped up his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet and walked away grinning ear to ear knowing he had to make his way to the payout room and collect his well earned victory cash of $560,843, for total poker winnings of $1,463,269 big bucks.
Event #36: $2500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better was taken away by Hani Awad, who is originally from Israel and now calls Las Vegas home. With this win the high stakes recreational poker player reached the gold bracelet club when, at age 65, he put on his first WSOP gold bracelet and received a big fat paycheck of $213,186.
Event #37: $1500 Pot-Limit Omaha Jiaqi Xu from Columbia, MD, was determined to win, and win he did. This amateur poker player outplayed a field of 776 participating players and walked away with his first gold bracelet and a sweet $212,128, his biggest win ever. As Xu said, “The cards fell my way at the right time,” and the cards seemed to favor him all the way to the final table and his eventual championship.
Event #38: $3000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em Rafael Lebron from Puyallup, WA, was all smiles when he defeated a field of 245 to reach the final table, which included the reigning Main Event Champion, Joe McKeehen, and other formidable players. As Lebron accurately stated, “I wasn’t the best player at the final table at all, I might have been the worst. But, I got lucky. This was my day.” Lebron goes home with $169,337 … not bad for the worst player at the final table.
Event #39: $10,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship. It took 293 players to be sent to the rails for Martin Kozlov to finally reach the coveted gold bracelet and a whopping payday of $665,709. This was his fifth time to cash at this year’s WSOP — not bad for this Aussie pro.
Event #40: $2500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) 33-year-old professional poker player, Christopher Vitch, finally captured his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and took home $136,854 after defeating a relatively small field of 236 entrants in this first-time event at the WSOP. The competition included three forms of lowball draw poker, played in rotation. The games were Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, Ace-to-Five Triple Draw and Badugi.
So there it is, another eight WSOP gold bracelets and more than two million dollars paid out just for these eight event champions, let alone all the other players who reached cash status through these events. That’s a lot of greenbacks; was any of that awarded to you? If it was, we’d love to hear your story, so send us your comments.