World Series Highlights
The finish line of the 49th Annual World Series of Poker is in sight, but there are plenty of bracelets still up for grabs with seventeen of the record total of 78 events yet to crown a champion.
The week just gone was a dramatic one, with all the usual excitement we’ve come to expect from the big dance at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
One of the biggest stories of the week was Jean-Robert Bellande finally winning his first bracelet in Event 58: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed for $616,302. Bellande, a poker veteran, had previously finished runner-up in two WSOP events but made it third time lucky by defeating the UK’s Dean Lyall heads-up.
Other highlights have included Phil Galfond winning his third bracelet in Event #60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $567,778 after outlasting the 237-strong field, and Scott Seiver earning his second bracelet by winning Event #52: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship for $296,222, adding to his $23M in live tournament earnings. Chance Kornuth won the Online High Roller bracelet event.
But here at My partypoker LIVE we might be slightly biased. What do you mean, I hear you cry? Well, to steal a line from football fans all over the country, we’re supporting Team partypoker, which is, I’m sure everyone would agree, by far the greatest poker team the world has ever seen. So, how has our stable of superstars been getting on out in Vegas?
Well, there have been no bracelets yet, but in the last week the team went agonisingly close, with one Team partypoker player finishing as a runner-up.
The action this week
The player in question was Dzmitry Urbanovich, who was defeated by Jay Kwon heads-up in Event 50: $1,500 Razz. Urbanovich took home $77,526 for second, and is clearly enjoying the noble art of Razz at the moment, as he backed it up by finishing eighth in the $10,000 Razz Championship event for $31,992. In total, the brilliant Pole now has four cashes at this WSOP, and 11 overall. He sits comfortably at the top of the Poland All Time Money List with over $5.4M in live tournament earnings, and with his proficiency at mixed games, winning a bracelet is surely only a matter of time for the Team partypoker star.
Jason Koon continued his red-hot run of form with an 18th place finish in the Event #63: $3,200 No Limit Hold’em – Online High Roller. It’s the fourth year that the WSOP has given out bracelets on the virtual felt, and Koon added another deep run to his fifth place finish in Event 42: $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha - High Roller for $295,606.
Koon now has a two final tables and an 18th at this summer’s WSOP (including a seventh in Event #5 $100,000 High Roller for $372,894), and he recently spoke to our man Paul Seatonabout his recent run of success. Just before the series he was victorious in the Aria $100K High Roller for over $1M, and had a stunning win in the Triton Super High Roller Series for $3.6M.
Kristen Bicknell also went close to tasting WSOP glory, finishing 11th in Event #54 $3,000 No Limit Hold'em for $29,284. It’s been an excellent series for Bicknell, with no less than five WSOP cashes, with the 11th place her best result of the series so far. Away from the WSOP, she also finished second to boyfriend Alex Foxen in a $5,000 event at the Deepstack Championship Series in Vegas for $200,000, as well as min-cashing another event.
Bicknell was also excited by the recent announcement by partypoker LIVE that a World Series of Poker Circuit Event will be held at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal from the 23rd August to the 3rd September, tweeting: “This is so exciting!!! For the first time ever, the @WSOPC is heading to @PlaygroundPoker! Featuring a main event with a $2m gtd prize pool! I can't wait for this, hope to see everyone there!”
Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier signed for Team partypoker in April and the French superstar earned his second cash of the WSOP in Event #54: $3,000 No Limit Hold’em. He exited in 65th, adding $6,712 to his remarkable total of $13.5M in live tournament earnings. He had previously finished 11th in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event.
Richard Dubini scored his second and third cashes of the WSOP so far, first with a min-cash in a $1,500 Bounty event, and then by battling all the way through a monstrous field of 8,920 players in Event #6: $365 No Limit Hold’em – Giant before eventually falling in 134thfor $2,119. He also cashed in The Wynn Summer Classic.
Monika Zukowicz of Team partypoker Online got her first two cashes of the WSOP this week. First, the entertaining Polish Twitch streamer finished 61st from a mammoth field of 6,120 players in the $1,500 Monster Stack event for $15,785, and then she earned a second cash in the $1,000 buy-in Ladies Championship for a further $1,553.
Josip Simunic, the consistent Austrian, also scored his first cash of the series this week with a decent run in Event #58: $5,000 No Limit Hold'em - 6 Handed. The level-headed Team partypoker Online player eventually fell in 53rd, earning himself just over $9,000 in what was the ninth WSOP cash of his impressive career.
Anatoly Filatov may not have cashed this week but he is still having a good World Series, with three cashes so far, including an 11th in Event #28: $3,000 No Limit Hold’em – Six Handed for $27,284.
German wunderkind Fedor Holz, who was recently named in the Forbes 30 under 30 in Germany, hasn’t yet added to his ninth place finish in the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event from early in the series, which earned him a sizeable $240,000.
Team partypoker Online star Renato Nomura is also a dab hand at the real felt, and earlier in the series picked up a cash in Event 37: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, finishing 53rd in the 1,330-strong field to earn $5,462.
Marcel Luske has not yet added to his solitary cash in the series which came in Event 46: $2,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo. Luske finished 58th, adding yet another WSOP cash and a further $3,736 to his hugely impressive tournament resume. To follow the Flying Dutchman’s fortunes out in Vegas, check out his entertaining Twitter account.
Natalia Breviglieri still has just the one WSOP cash, after she also made the money in the Colossus event in the first tournament she played at the series. She’s found more success in the DeepStack Poker Championship Series, however, with two cashes in No Limit Hold’em event.
Elsewhere in Vegas
With the Main Event just around the corner, increasing numbers of Team partypoker players are heading over to Vegas, and Joni Jouhkimainen is no different. The ice-cool Finn took fourth in a DeepStack Championship Poker Series event for just over $220,000.
Joao Simao has had no cashes at the WSOP just yet, though has picked up a trio of cashes elsewhere in Vegas. They include a sixth in a $10,500 buy-in PLO event at the Aria for $50,400.
Likewise, Isaac Haxton hasn’t cashed at the WSOP, but did enjoy a third-place finish at the Aria 8 Game-01 in Vegas for $120,000.
Louise Butler picked up a small cash in a Rio Daily Deepstack.
Romanello and Trickett choose to stay at home
Sam Trickett and Roberto Romanello are two of the UK’s very best, and can normally be found terrorising their tables each and every summer over in Vegas. So, why have they chosen to stay at home this year? We’ll give you a hint- one reason involves the World Cup, and the other involves babies (no, not Neymar). Listen to Trickett and Romanello speak to James Dempsey and Paul Seaton respectively in two brilliantly entertaining partypoker LIVE podcasts.
We all know how exciting the World Series of Poker Main Event is, and this year My partypoker LIVE will bring you the WSOP Diary of Mathijs Jonkers, a Dutch player who came third in the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2017. He will be playing in his very first WSOP Main Event, and every few days he’ll be sharing the highs, the lows, the player parties, the elation and the heartbreak of a poker player living his dream.
Legend Sexton takes well-deserved holiday
Meanwhile, Team partypoker Chairman Mike Sexton has enjoyed a much-needed break from the World Series, joining his brother and his children at Myrtle Beach for a family vacation. He’s now back in Vegas, and will be hoping for a big finish to the series. Earlier in the summer, he got a record-extending min-cash in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice tournament, which continued his extraordinary feat of cashing at every World Series since 1988.
The legendary American Poker Hall of Fame member has had two cashes in total so far, with a 48th in Event 37: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em for $5,462 and 37th in the Dealer’s Choice.
Overall, despite not winning a bracelet, the WSOP has been a pretty successful one for Team partypoker. With a second and an eighth contributed by Urbanovich, a fifth and seventh from Koon, a ninth from Holz, and 11th places from Bicknell, Filatov and Elky, the team continues to get close to the holy grail- a WSOP bracelet.
There are still seventeen events remaining, including the Main Event and the Big One for One Drop, so there’s everything to play for. We’ll keep you updated throughout the rest of the series on their progress.
Good luck team!
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- Rob Godmon