The 2017 World Series of Poker is underway, and ESPN's resident poker writer Tim Fiorvanti offers daily dispatches recapping the action that's going on at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino from late May through mid-July.
While smaller fields in the earliest days of the WSOP certainly played a factor in early main event champions being far more likely multi-time bracelet winners, the fact of the matter is that repeat successes at the WSOP including a main event title have become increasingly rare. Coming into Wednesday's action at the WSOP, 22 of the 41 players who have won a WSOP main event had won at least one other WSOP bracelet, with only three of the last 15 champions (dating back to Robert Varkonyi in 2002) falling into that category. Joe McKeehen made it 23 and four, respectively, by coming out on top Wednesday night in the $10,000 limit hold'em championship. Two other winners held gold bracelets aloft by the end of the night -- Raleigh, North Carolina's Thomas Reynolds ($1,000 no limit hold'em) and Russia's Nadar Kakhmazov ($5,000 six-handed no limit hold'em).
It's rare to win two WSOP bracelets in a career, and exceedingly so to win the same event more than once. But to win the same event in back-to-back years, as James Moore did with his win in the Super Seniors (65+) event, takes things to an entirely different level. Moore, who is the 200th poker player to become a multiple bracelet winner in WSOP history, only just made the age cutoff last year. The other gold bracelet winner on Tuesday was Rifat Palevic, who won the one-day $1,000 super turbo bounty event.
Monday's action at the 2017 WSOP saw three winners crowned, including a record-setting moment for Frank Maggio. He emerged from the largest field in the history of the Seniors Event, 5,389, to win $617,303 and the gold bracelet. Ben Yu won his second career bracelet in the $10,000 limit 2-7 Triple Draw lowball championship, and 22-year-old Chris Frank added his name to an ever-growing list of German whiz kids with big poker successes as he won Event 33, a $1,500 no limit hold'em event.
The 2017 WSOP is rapidly nearing its midway point, and by the time all is said and done on Monday, more than 30 bracelet events will be in the books. Sunday saw just one champion crowned, but as has been the case so often this summer, we got another return winner in the $1,500 Mixed Omaha hi-lo 8 or better event as Vladimir Shchemelev won his 2nd gold bracelet. Three events are set to wrap on Monday - the $10,000 limit 2-7 triple draw lowball championship, a $1,500 no limit hold'em event and the seniors championship. With nine players left in said seniors event, 2014 champion Dan Heimiller looks to make it an unlikely repeat in a field well clear of 5,000.
It's been a crazy couple of days at the WSOP. As the third week of action rolls along, four winners have been crowned over the last two days. Chris Moorman, long considered one of the best tournament players never to win a WSOP bracelet, broke through with his first career win in the $3,000 six-max no limit hold'em event. David Bach became the first two-time winner of the summer by outlasting a tough final table on his way to winning the $10,000 HORSE championship. Joseph Di Rosa Rojas was the last man standing in 'The Marathon', and Brian Brubaker won the $1,500 2-7 triple draw lowball event.
Two more winners on Day 16 of the WSOP, including Australian James Obst getting his long-awaited first gold bracelet in the $10,000 Razz championship. Tyler Groth also earned his first bracelet by taking down the $1,000 pot limit Omaha event. Other things to keep an eye on for Friday: former German soccer star Max Kruse is in the mix with six players left in the $1,500 limit 2-7 triple draw lowball event, and the long, winding road of "The Marathon" may finally come to a close, with just 13 players remaining.
Fresh faces have been a bit hard to come by so far at the 2017 WSOP, but two more reached the brass ring (or gold bracelet, if you prefer) on Day 15. Pablo Moriz won Canada's first WSOP bracelet of the summer in the Millionaire Maker, taking home $1.22 million in the process. Shane Buchwald, on the other hand, won the $1,500 limit hold'em event. Looking forward, the $1,000 pot limit Omaha and $10,000 Razz championship should each wrap up action on Thursday, while the Marathon event should slowly roll forward and crown its champion on Friday.
14 days into the 2014 WSOP, and the list of return winners keeps on growing, as John Monnette won his third career WSOP gold bracelet Tuesday in the $10,000 no limit 2-7 single draw lowball championship. The Millionaire Maker has reached its final day, with 14 left to start the day and just 12 remaining in the hunt for over $1.2 million and the bracelet. Nancy Nguyen has the chip lead going into the final day of the $1,500 limit hold'em event, with 15 players coming back for Day 3. The Marathon no limit hold'em event is on to its third day, and the field is just now reaching the money bubble.
We're just 13 days into the 2017 WSOP, and more than 25 percent of the bracelets that will be won this summer have been awarded. Ron Ware is the latest to add his name to the list, after winning the $1,500 8-Game Mix event on Monday. Winner No. 20 will be crowned Tuesday in the $10,000 no limit 2-7 single draw lowball championship; two-time bracelet winner John Monnette has the chip lead. The Millionaire Maker is at a critical point, with 136 players starting play on Day 3, while the deliberately slow-structured Marathon began its second day with just around half of the field that started (1,647 players).
After 12 days of WSOP action, Sunday was a moment for everyone to catch their collective breath. The only bracelet awarded on the day belongs to Tyler Smith, who outlasted a 3,186-entry field to win the $565 Pot limit Omaha event. The Millionaire Maker drew 7,761 entries with a first place prize of over $1.2 million awaiting the champion. Monday looks to have only one winner on the horizon as well -- in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event, which has just 10 players remaining.
Day 11 of bracelet event action at the 2017 WSOP didn't have any repeat winners, but in the case of the $10,000 Dealers Choice championship, the winner's name is a familiar one. 2010 WSOP main event runner-up John Racener finally broke throw that for his first career gold bracelet, after coming agonizingly close on quite a few occasions. To put it into perspective, Racener had finished in every possible position from 2nd through 8th in WSOP events (some spots multiple times) before his breakthrough on Saturday. Anthony Marquez also scored his first career WSOP gold bracelet, in the $1,500 Six-max no limit hold'em event.
Day 10 of the 2017 WSOP saw some history as well as the continuation of a fairly stunning trend. 22-year-old Adrian Mateos became the youngest player to win his third WSOP bracelet after triumphing in the $10,000 heads-up championship. He won his first bracelet at age 19 in the WSOP Europe main event. 70-year-old John Smith finished second in the heads-up championship for the second straight year. Mateos' win, coupled with David Singer's victory in the $1,500 HORSE event, makes it 10 repeat winners in 15 events so far at the 2017 WSOP, with the Casino Employees, Colossus, the two tag-team events and the $333 online events the only exceptions.
Through nine days of bracelet event action at the WSOP, the theme has been return winners. There were two more added to the list Thursday, as Frank Kassela ($1,500 no limit 2-7 lowball draw) and David Pham ($1,500 no limit hold'em) each won their third career WSOP bracelets. The $10,000 heads-up no limit hold'em championship is down to the final four. On one side of the bracket it's 2013 main event champion Ryan Riess vs. 2016 heads-up runner up John Smith. On the other side, it's 2013 WSOPE main event champ Adrian Mateos vs. Charlie Carrel. The last three matches will all be broadcast on PokerGo.
Day 8 will likely be the most lucrative day of the entire 2017 WSOP, with 5 players receiving gold bracelets as 4 events came to a close. Abe Mosseri denied Daniel Negreanu his 7th career WSOP win and instead earned a second career WSOP gold bracelet of his own in the $10,000 Omaha hi-lo 8 or better championship. Mosseri was joined in the winner's circle by Thomas Pomponio, who won Colossus for $1 million, and David Bach, who won his second career WSOP bracelet in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event. Nipun Java and Aditya Sushant made history in the $1,000 tag team event, becoming the first ever Indian-born WSOP bracelet winners. One last item to keep an eye on -- ESPN's own Bernard Lee has the chip lead with only six players remaining in the $1,500 no limit 2-7 lowball draw event. (Photo c/o @WSOP)
Day 7 of the 2017 WSOP is the calm before the storm. Daniel Negreanu is seeking his 7th career bracelet, but it could be slipping no through his figures. After holding a sizable lead three-handed, Negreanu goes into an unscheduled fourth day in the $10,000 Omaha hi-lo 8 or better championship trailing Abe Mosseri. That heads-up battle should determine one of four champions on Wednesday, with The Colossus, $1,500 Dealer's Choice and $1,000 tag team event all set to play down to a winner.
Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP was far and away the busiest day of action in the series' opening week. Doug Polk won almost $3.7 million and his third career WSOP bracelet in the One Drop High Roller, defeating Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier heads up. Prolific sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris finished fourth. 43 players remain in the Colossus, which will play down to a final table on Tuesday. Jesse Martin makes it four return winners in the first week of the WSOP, as he won his second career bracelet in the $2,500 Mixed triple draw lowball event. Abe Mosseri leads the final 17 players in the $10K limit Omaha hi-lo 8 or better championship.
There were no new bracelet winners on Day 5 of the 2017 World Series of Poker, but two of its signature events reached critical points. The $111,111 High Roller for One Drop has reached its final table of nine, with Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier holding a considerable chip lead. Phil Hellmuth bubbled the final table, finishing 10th. First place is $3.69 million. The Colossus drew a grand total of 18,053 entries, but only 634 made it through one of the six starting sessions. Prize pool info will be released Monday. The $2,500 mixed triple draw lowball event is down to 7 players, while the $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-better championship drew 155 players.
On Day 4 of the 2017 World Series of Poker, the pace really started to pick up with three newly crowned gold bracelet winners. Both Upeshka De Silva ($3k no limit hold'em shootout) and Ben Zamani ($1,500 limit Omaha hi-lo) won their second career WSOP bracelets on Saturday, while Joseph Mitchell one the first of three online WSOP bracelet events on the schedule ($333 'Little Grind'). The $111,111 High Roller for One Drop drew 130 entries by the close of registration, building a prize pool of over $13.7 million. Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier has the chip lead with 23 players left. The Colossus has eclipsed 10,000 entries, with the final two starting sessions set for Sunday.
Day 3 of the 2017 World Series of Poker was highlighted by the team of Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov winning the first open-event gold WSOP bracelet of the summer in the $10,000 tag team event. They've pledged half of their $273,964 first place prize to charity. The first 2 (of 6) starting sessions of the $565 Colossus drew a combined 4,738 entries. 119 players have entered the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. The $3,000 no limit hold'em shootout has reached its final table, with Olivier Busquet holding a razor-thin lead. 29 players remain in the $1,500 limit Omaha hi-lo eight or better event. (Photo courtesy of WSOP/Joe Giron)
Day two of the 2017 World Series of Poker is in the books, and the action continues to pick up as we head into a crazy weekend. Only six teams remain in the $10,000 tag-team no limit hold'em event, and Team Daniel Negreanu (which also features David Benyamine, Eric Wasserson and Mark Gregorich) has the lead. Teams helmed by Liv Boeree and Martin Jacobson are also still in the running. The $3,000 no limit hold'em shootout drew 369 players, with 50 table winners advancing to Day 2. The $1,500 limit Omaha hi-lo event also kicked off Thursday. The biggest winner of the day, though, was the first gold WSOP bracelet of 2017, Bryan Hollis (see below).
Day 1 of the 2017 WSOP is in the books. The first open event of the series, $10,000 tag-team no-limit hold'em, drew 102 teams, with 51 teams making it through Day 1. Team Doug Polk, who won the inaugural $1,000 version of this tournament in 2016, ended with the chip lead. A team comprised of prolific Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Antonio Esfandiari, Brian Rast and Jeff Gross did not make it through. First place prize is $273,964.
The Casino Employees event drew 651 players, with 11 players making it through to Day 2. Chris Gallagher has the chip lead with 519,000, and this event will crown the first gold bracelet winner of the summer on Thursday.