Throughout the summer, Tim Fiorvanti will report on the biggest stories, recap events and recognize all of the gold bracelet winners at the 2018 World Series of Poker in a series of daily dispatches. Bernard Lee also checks in with video interviews from the Rio. From Doyle Brunson's farewell to the WSOP, to Justin Bonomo's year to remember thus far and more, we've got you covered.
The main event is now underway, with the most prolific title in poker decided over the next couple of weeks.
Bubble day is a significant line of demarcation every year in the World Series of Poker main event. Day 3 of the 2018 edition was no exception, and though it took until just after midnight local time in Las Vegas, the field finally reach 1,182 players -- all of whom are guaranteed to walk away with at least $15,000 for their three days of play. There was quite a bit of intrigue during hand-for-hand play, including a few double-ups and a pocket aces vs. pocket aces hand, the bubble burst on one of the feature tables as Matthew Hopkins ran Ac-5h into Ad-Qs and could not improve. As a consolation prize, Hopkins received a seat to next year's main event. Twenty players cracked the 1 million chip mark by the end of play Saturday, including chip leader In Sun Geoum (1.696 million) and two-time bracelet winners Eric Froelich and Ben Yu. A few previous main event winners, including Johnny Chan, Jonathan Duhamel and Joe Cada, are also still in the running to repeat. Pictured: In Sun Geoum. Photo credit: WSOP / Melissa Haereiti
Groundhog Day is finally over. After three Day 1s and two Day 2s, 2,786 of the 7,874 players who signed up for the 2018 World Series of Poker main event are set to return Saturday morning as one combined group. Of the 1,655 who played to the end of Day 1C, no one had a better day than Ignacio Sanchez, who bagged 627,200 to bring the overall chip lead into Day 3. Phil Ivey had a pretty strong day of his own, and he'll take 434,200 (within the top one percent of all stacks) into Saturday's moving day. Previous main event champions Phil Hellmuth, Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Cada and Robert Varkonyi all advanced from Day 2C, while 2014 champion Martin Jacobson saw his 2018 main event run come to an end. Play resumes at 11 a.m. PT, with a strong possibility of the money bubble bursting before Day 3 play has ended. Pictured: Phil Ivey. Photo Credit: WSOP/Danny Maxwell.
Day 2AB of the 2018 World Series of Poker main event is in the books, and on a day where surviving and advancing is the primary goal, the number of players that made it through Day 1A or 1B was cut in half by the time all was said and done on Thursday. Five different players eclipsed the 500,00-chip mark, but it's tight at the top -- 15 players are within 100,000 of current top stack Shawn Daniels. Defending WSOP Player of the Year and 2000 WSOP main event champion Chris Ferguson is still in the mix, as are previous champions Greg Merson, Scotty Nguyen and Johnny Chan. Ryan Riess, Joe Hachem, Dan Harrington and Joe McKeehen were not so lucky. The 1,131 players who made it through will return on Saturday and join those who make it through Day 2C, with the money bubble looming on Day 3. Finally, Galen Hall returned to three-handed action and won the Crazy Eights event for his first career WSOP bracelet and $888,888 -- pushing his career earnings to over $5 million. Pictured: Shawn Daniels. Photo credit: WSOP / Melissa Haereiti
The staggering numbers for the 2018 World Series of Poker main event are in. With 7,874 players -- second-most behind the peak online poker-driven turnout in 2006 -- and 4,571 for the final day, the 2018 WSOP main event generated a total prize pool of just over $74 million. The winner will receive $8.8 million, everyone at the final table is guaranteed at least $1 million and 1,181 total players will cash, for a minimum of $15,000. Here's what the full payout table looks like:
Wednesday was a historic day in the annals of the World Series of Poker main event. The July 4 turnout for Day 1C reached 4,571 players -- the largest single-day turnout in the tournament's history -- and pushed the total number of players to 7,874, the second-largest field ever for the WSOP main event. Within the next two weeks, the eventual champion will win the most famous poker tournament in the world and take home an $8.8 million first place prize. France's Sam Touil bagged the overall Day 1 chip lead with 352,800 -- the top stack among 3,480 players who will return to play Day 2C on Friday. There are plenty of familiar names still in play, including Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Phil Hellmuth. In addition to Hellmuth, previous main event champions Martin Jacobson, Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Cada and Robert Varkonyi made it through Day 1C. Chris Moneymaker won't be making a repeat performance 15 years after he changed poker, though, as his run ended on Day 1 this time around. Daniel Negreanu also hit the rail on the first day, as his pocket jacks were cracked by pocket tens late in the evening. Days 2A and 2B will happen concurrently on Thursday, starting at 11 a.m., with ESPN coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Pictured: Sam Touil. Photo credit: WSOP / Melissa Haereiti.
The turnout for Day 1B of the 2018 WSOP main event was significantly more than double the number that came out for Day 1A. With the 2,378 players who came out to play the main event on Tuesday, the stage is set for Day 1C -- historically the day with the biggest turnout -- to bring the total field for 2018 to dizzying heights. The 1,794 players who made it through Day 1B didn't quite reach the levels of the Day 1A survivors, three players -- France's Smain Mamouni, Spain's Samuel Bernabeu and Barbara Rogers of Lock Haven, PA -- each eclipsed the 300,000-chip mark by the end of the night. Past WSOP main event champions Johnny Chan, Chris Ferguson, Ryan Riess, Greg Merson and Dan Harrington made it through, while Jamie Gold and Greg Raymer didn't fare so well. Day 1C, the final starting session of the main event, kicks off at 11 a.m. PT. Pictured: Day 1B chip leader Smain Mamouni. Photo credit: WSOP / Jamie Thomson
All but one of the pre-WSOP main event bracelet events are now in the books. Three tournaments lingered, waiting for a winner, heading into Tuesday, and two gold bracelet winners were crowned. Dan Matsuzuki outlasted a 141-player field to win the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or better championship -- denying Scott Bohlman the chance to be the first two-time 2018 WSOP winner heads up. Tim Andrew won the $365 pot-limit Omaha Giant event, which had starting sessions throughout the summer, and took down a $116,015 prize for outlasting a field of 3,250 entries. Finally the $888 Crazy Eights event got down to three players -- Galen Hall, Niels Herregodts and Eduards Kudrjavcevs -- who will return on Thursday once all three get a chance to play Day 1C of the main event. There will also be 12 more bracelet events, starting on Thursday, culminating in the returnof the $1 million Big One for One Drop.
The 2018 World Series of Poker main event is officially one day in, with 925 players turning out for Day 1A. One thing we already know for sure is that Scott Blumstein won't be carrying on a defense of his 2017 WSOP title, as he was one of the 264 players eliminated from the tournament on Monday. 2016 main event champion Qui Nguyen and 2007 winner Jerry Yang met similar fates, while Joe Hachem, Scotty Nguyen and Joe McKeehen fared far better on Day 1A. Timothy Lau (338,700) of Vancouver, Washington earned the distinction of becoming the first chip leader of the 2018 WSOP main event, narrowly edging out Truyen Nguyen (324,800, pictured) for that distinction. Day 1B kicks off at 11 a.m. PT at the Rio, with coverage on ESPN2 starting at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET. (Photo credit: Jamie Thomson/WSOP)
The last few days of action leading up to the 2018 World Series of Poker main event were a whirlwind of return bracelet-winners and intriguing first-timers. After coming close on a number of different occasions, Jean-Robert Bellande won his first gold bracelet in the $5,000 6-handed no-limit hold'em event, as well as a first place prize of $616,302. Chance Kornuth walked away with his second career gold bracelet in the $3,200 online high roller event, along with $341,598 for that win. Ryan Toosic also made waves online, winning the 1,635-entry $1,000 online no-limit hold'em championship for his first bracelet and $238,778. Phil Galfond scored his third career WSOP win in Event 60, the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha hi-lo championship, while Calvin Anderson broke through for his second career WSOP win in the $10,000 razz championship.
Rounding out the list of pre-main event winners (for the time being) are the victors in a number of the 2018 World Series of Poker's signature events. After a summer full of Friday starting sessions, the field of "The Giant" all combined together with North Carolina's Jeremy Perrin walking away with the victory and a $250,000 first-place prize. Jessica Dawley won the annual ladies' no-limit hold'em championship and $130,000, while Giuseppe Pantaleo and Nikita Luther combined to win the $1,000 tag team championship and a $175,805 total prize. Joey Couden outlasted a final table in the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha hi-lo event that featured Daniel Negreanu, Eli Elezra and Bruno Fitoussi to capture his first gold bracelet. Portugal's Diogo Veiga won big in the $3,000 no-limit hold'em (with big blind antes) event, to the tune of $522,715, while Mike Takayama topped a field of over 2,000 players in the $1,000 no-limit hold'em super turbo bounty. Finally, as the main event gets underway, John Hennigan has retaken the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year lead with a few more cashes, including a final table appearance in the $10,000 razz championship.
The 2018 World Series of Poker awarded a pair of $1 million-plus prizes over the last few days. Canada's Tommy Nguyen outlasted a field of 6,260 players to win the Monster Stack even, while Loren Klein took down the last in a series of big pot-limit Omaha events with a million-dollar win in the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha championship. Scott Seiver won his second career WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 limit hold'em championship, while Jay Kwon won his first bracelet in the $1,500 Razz event. To date, there hasn't been a single repeat 2018 WSOP winner through more than 50 events. Sean Deeb holds the narrowest of leads in the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year race over John Hennigan.
We are a mere six days away from the start of the 2018 World Series of Poker main event, though it doesn't entirely feel that way with more than 30 gold bracelets still up for grabs. That number shrinks by the day, though, as seven more players put their names on the board in recent days. Sean Deeb took home one of the richest WSOP prizes of the summer, winning $1.4 million and his third WSOP bracelet in the $25,000 pot-limit Omaha Championship -- taking the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year lead in the process. Coincidentally, Deeb defeated Ben Yu heads up, after Yu defeated Deeb heads-up to win his own second WSOP bracelet at the 2017 WSOP. Six first-time bracelet-winners round out the group including Matthew Mendez, who became the first online bracelet winner to take advantage of player pooling with New Jersey as he took down the 6-handed online pot-limit Omaha event. Robert Nehorayan ($1,500 limit hold'em), Nicholas Seiken ($10,000 2-7 lowball triple draw championship), Mario Prats Garcia ($1,000 no-limit hold'em [30-minute levels/big blind antes]) and David Brookshire ($2,500 limit Omaha hi-lo/stud hi-lo) each walked away with similar sums along with their bracelet wins, while Timur Margolin won over $500,000 for his victory in the $2,500 no-limit hold'em event.
Believe it or not, we're already past the halfway point of the 2018 World Series of Poker -- and the action has picked up in a major way over the last couple of days. The biggest winner in that stretch was Bobby Peacock, who took home $644,224 after outlasting a field of 5,700 in the double stack no-limit hold'em event. Eric Baldwin won a $1,500 no-limit hold'em to win his second WSOP gold bracelet nine years after getting his first, while Scott Bohlman won the $2,500 Mixed Big Bet event for his first WSOP win in six final table appearances. Fahrintaj Bonyadi, mother of three-time bracelet-winner Farzad Bonyadi, became the first woman to win a bracelet at the 2018 WSOP with her victory in the Super Seniors championship. Rounding out the list of recent winners, Yaniv Birman won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud championship and Preston Lee found victory in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em shootout.
Michael Mizrachi already had his place in the annals of poker history as a two-time WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner, with victories in 2010 and 2012. Two years after Brian Rast matched that feat, Mizrachi once again distanced himself from the pack on Tuesday -- winning his third Poker Players Championship title, fourth overall WSOP bracelet and another $1.24 million. He defeated John Hennigan heads-up, denying Hennigan his own attempt at a second PPC title -- though Hennigan did push into first place in the 2018 WSOP POY race with the result. Another big winner in recent days was Matthew Davis, who outlasted 5,918 player to win the $1,000 Seniors Championship for $662,676. Yueqi Zhu won the $1,500 Mixed Omaha event for his first bracelet, after a number of previous close calls; he has two seconds, four thirds, a fourth and two sixth-place finishes to his WSOP record. Finally, the super seniors event got down to heads-up play before calling it off for the night, with three-time bracelet-winner Farzad Bonyadi's mother Fahrintaj facing a 4.5-to-1 deficit against Robert Beach when play resumes Wednesday.
It was another busy weekend at the 2018 World Series of Poker, with non-hold'em games taking center stage for the most part. Gal Yifrach won the lone no-limit hold'em bracelet, taking down the $3,000 six-handed event on an unscheduled fourth day to win $461,798. Ryan Bambrick won the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event for his first bracelet and $217,123, with a lot of the headlines focused on the $1,500 Seven Card Stud tournament. Steve Albini, a music industry legend as an artist and sound engineer involved with bands like Nirvana, The Pixies and Foo Fighters among many others, won that event by defeating Jeff Lisandro heads up. Finally, through three days of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, two-time champion Michael Mizrachi has the chip lead with 12 players left. Other notables still in the mix include Phil Ivey, Mike Leah, John Hennigan and Brian Rast.
We're reaching the heart of the 2018 World Series of Poker, with winners crowned in several key signature events on the schedule and other big tournaments right around the corner. Germany's Arne Kern won the Millionaire Maker for his first WSOP gold bracelet and $1,173,223, outlasting a final table that included names like Joe McKeehen, Barny Boatman, Ralph Massey and eventual runner-up Sam Razavi. McKeehen now holds the distinction of making the final tables of three massive-field events -- the main event (which he won), the Millionaire Maker and the Monster Stack. Australia's Michael Addamo won the The Marathon for $653,581, while Johnny "World" Hennigan captured his fifth career WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 HORSE; for Hennigan it was his third deep run and fourth cash of the series so far, after finishing seventh in two previous events -- putting him second in the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year race behind Elio Fox, who has a win and a second place finish. Hanh Tran fought back from a heads-up chip deficit of more than 16-to-1 to win the $1,500 limit 2-7 triple draw lowball event, while Filippos Stavrakis emerged victorious in the $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event.
While Doyle Brunson didn't get the perfect storybook ending to his tournament poker career, in what appears to be his last WSOP event, he made a valiant run to the final table of the $10,000 no-limit 2-7 lowball championship before ultimately falling in sixth place. The 10-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and two-time main event champion plans to fully retire from poker in order to spend more time with his wife of almost 56 years, Lucille, who is "not in very good health." Brian Rast ultimately won the tournament, his fourth career WSOP bracelet and $259,670. Philip Long also entered the winner's circle in the last few days, outlasting a late push by Daniel Negreanu (3rd) in the $1,500 Eight Game Mix to win his first bracelet and $147,348.
Tuesday has the potential to be a special day in the world of poker. Forty-two years after he won his first two (of 10) WSOP bracelets and main event title in 1976, Doyle Brunson is playing in what he says will be his last WSOP event. With just 11 players left in the $10,000 no-limit 2-7 lowball championship, both Doyle and his son Todd are still in the mix. Doyle last won at the WSOP back in 2005. Mike Wattel, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner in his own right, holds a sizable lead. The feature table that includes Todd and Doyle will stream with hole cards up on PokerGo starting at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday evening. (Photo credit: Drew Amato/Poker Central)
Running down the list of WSOP gold bracelet winners from the last few days, we see as wide a spectrum of champions as we do games and formats. Justin Bonomo won his second career WSOP title and continued his monumental 2018 tournament campaign by winning the $10,000 heads-up championship. Adam Friedman also won his second career WSOP bracelet, taking down the $10,000 Dealers Choice event to the tune of $293,275. First-time winners included Jeremy Wien ($5,000 no-limit hold'em with big blind antes), who took home $537,710, Ognyan Dimov ($1,500 Six-handed no-limit hold'em), Benjamin Moon ($1,500 no-limit hold'em with big blind antes), Andrey Zhigalov ($1,500 HORSE), Craig Varnell ($565 pot-limit Omaha) and Philip Long ($1,500 Eight Game Mix).
A Colossus champion was crowned Thursday at the 2018 World Series of Poker, as Brazilian Roberly Felicio walked away with the gold bracelet and $1 million. Daniel Ospina, who finished second in the $1,500 no-limit 2-7 single draw lowball event in 2015, came back in 2018 and won that event, taking home $87,678 and the bracelet. The $10,000 no-limit hold'em heads up championship is down to its final four, headlined by Justin Bonomo, who kicked off the summer by winning $5 million in the Super High Roller Bowl.
Wednesday was a busy day at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Paul Volpe won his third career WSOP gold bracelet and $417,921 in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo championship, while Jeremy Harkin outlasted a stacked final 15 players that included actor James Woods to triumph in the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event; it was Harkin's first career gold bracelet, and he took home $129,882 for the effort. The Colossus is down to a final table, with one-time bracelet winner and 2010 WSOP main event runner up John Racener among the final nine. Lastly, Shaun Deeb managed a likely unprecedented feat by making two simultaneous Day 3s; he's among the final three in the $1,500 no-limit 2-7 single draw lowball event, and the last 30 players in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em big blind ante event.
There were no winners crowned Tuesday at the 2018 WSOP, but three key events got close. The final six in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo championship features Eli Elezra and Paul Volpe, while the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event is down to 15 players including Mike Leah, John Hennigan, Jeff Lisandro and actor James Woods. Finally, the Colossus is down to just 32 players, who will play to a final table of nine on Wednesday.
Bernard Lee checks in with reigning WSOP main event champion Scott Blumstein. They get into what he's been up to over the last tear, his plans for this summer and more.
The first three seven-figure prizes of the 2018 World Series of Poker were awarded in the $100,000 high roller, with Nick Petrangelo walking away with the victory and his second career WSOP gold bracelet. He won $2.9 million, denying runner-up Elio Fox his second bracelet in a week in the process; Fox walked away with $1.8 million for his troubles. Elsewhere, Johannes Becker of Germany won the $2,500 mixed triple draw lowball event for $180,455. Finally, Colossus IV drew 13,070 total entries, for a prize pool of $6.535 million, with 539 players making it to Day 2.
Three bracelets were won over the course of the first weekend of the 2018 World Series of Poker. 2009 WSOP main event champion Joe Cada won his third career WSOP bracelet in the $3,000 no-limit hold'em shootout, winning $226,218 at a final table that also included 2015 main event winner Joe McKeehen, who finished third. Julien Martini of France won the $1,500 limit Omaha hi-lo event, besting a field of 911 to win $239,771. Just a few hours later another French-born player, William "twooopair" Reymond, won the $365 no-limit hold'em online event -- the last one standing among 2,972 entries -- to win $154,996 and the bracelet in his first ever WSOP cash. The $100,000 high roller is down to its final six players, with Elio Fox trying to capture his second bracelet in less than a week. The top three spots will pay out over $1.2 million, with $2.91 million awaiting the eventual champion. Monday also marks the final starting day for Colossus, with the fifth and sixth opening session adding to a field that drew 7,014 entries through its first two days.
Jordan Hufty, a poker dealer and floorperson at the Aria, became the second WSOP gold bracelet winner of the summer by winning the Casino Employees event; he earned $61,909. Elsewhere, the first round of the $3,000 no-limit hold'em shootout, which drew 363 players, saw main event winners Phil Hellmuth, Joe McKeehen and Joe Cada among the 50 players to advance to the second round. The $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event drew 911 players. Friday afternoon will mark the start of the $100,000 no-limit hold'em high roller.
Wednesday was an eventful day in the world of poker, to say the least. The first World Series of Poker gold bracelet of the summer was won by Elio Fox, who outlasted a field of 243 in the one-day $10,000 super turbo bounty event to win a first place prize of $393,693 (plus a number of $3,000 bounties along the way). It was the second career WSOP bracelet for the 2011 WSOP Europe main event champion. Meanwhile, Justin Bonomo defeated Daniel Negreanu heads up to win the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria; Bonomo won $5 million, while Negreanu walked away with $3 million.