Daily pre-main event recaps from the 2017 World Series of Poker

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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.


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Bernard Lee's halfway update

Doug Polk wins 2017 Big One for One Drop

2017 WSOP preview

There's still one last bracelet event to kick off in a few days, but as far as prelims at the 2017 WSOP go, everything is now in the books. Dieter Dechant won the summer-long $365 Giant event, outlasting afield that drew 10,015 entries, and Australia's Heidi May emerged victorious in the Ladies' championship. The last of the prelims had one of the most contentious finishes, as Mike Wattel outlasted the controversial Chris "Jesus" Ferguson to win the $10,000 seven card stud championship. Heading into the main event, John Monnette has the narrowest of leads over John Racener and Ferguson in the WSOP POY race.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com345d ago

The last few WSOP bracelets are getting snapped up in a hurry, as three more were claimed outside the pomp and circumstance of the main event on Saturday. Chris Klodnicki, who rose to prominence with runner-up finishes in both the $111,111 One Drop High Roller and $50,000 Poker Players Championship (along with a third second-place finish) finally got the monkey off his back by winning Event 66 ($1,500 no limit hold'em). Harrison Gimbel ($3,000 no limit hold'em) and Jason Gola ($1,500 Razz) each made a significant mark of their own with wins just ahead of the main event. The WSOP also announced the 10 finalists for the 2017 WSOP Poker Hall of Fame, headlined by first-time nominee (and first-time eligible) Phil Ivey.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com346d ago

The 2017 World Series of Poker main event is officially underway, but there are still quite a few bracelet events that have yet to be decided in the interim. In recent days, Elior Sion joined the 2017 WSOP millionaire's club by winning the $50,000 Poker Players championship; Daniel Negreanu, who started the final day as chip leader, finished fifth. James Calderaro also broke the seven-figure mark by adding the $25,000 pot limit Omaha high roller bracelet to his growing list of major titles. Finally, Nipun Java became just the second multi-time bracelet winner of 2017 thus far by winning the $1,000 online no limit hold'em event, the third and final online bracelet event of the summer. Emile Schiff and Chris Klodnicki are heads-up in a $1,500 no limit hold'em event; all-told, there are six bracelet events outside of the main event still in action, with a seventh, the $1,111 Little One for One Drop set to start during the later stages of the main event.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com347d ago

The imbalance of Tuesday's zero-winner day at the WSOP was immediately rectified on Wednesday with four new gold bracelet winners. Alexandru Papazian became the first ever Romanian bracelet winner by finishing off his heads-up opponent, Kilian Kramer to earn the Crazy Eights title. Israel's Shai Zurr won a new $1,000 no limit hold'em event on the 2017 schedule, which featured 30-minute levels, and Rulah Divine took down Event 63, a standard format $1K no limit hold'em event. Sebastian Langrock won his first career bracelet in the $1,500 half no limit hold'em, half pot limit Omaha event, though the German-born player earned just over 25 percent of the total haul he brought in by winning the German version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". Only six players remain in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, led by Daniel Negreanu, who seeks both his seventh career bracelet win and a shot at solidifiying his WSOP Player of the Year hopes on Thursday.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com349d ago

No new bracelet winners were crowned Tuesday at the 2017 WSOP, and that may be the last time that happens until we're a few days into the main event. But the stage is set in a number of events, most notably the $888 Crazy Eights and $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The Crazy Eights got down to heads-up play, but Alexandru Papazian appears to be on the precipice of victory with a lead of over 3-to-1 over Kilian Kramer when play resumes on Wednesday. When it comes to the PPC, only 15 players remain, including former champion Matt Ashton, who sits just outside the chip lead. This event could also have major WSOP POY implications, especially for Daniel Negreanu and James Obst (currently 13th and 11th in the standings, respectively). (Photo courtesy of WSOP / PokerNews / Jamie Thomson / Poker Photo Archive)

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com350d ago

Today may be the Fourth of July, the quintessential U.S. holiday, but the WSOP has celebrated three international winners over the last couple days. Andres Korn of Argentina leads the way, after winning a $5,000 no-limit hold'em event to the tune of $618,285. German Jens Lakemeier won the first ever $2,500 Big Bet Mixed event, and Artur Rudziankov, originally from Belarus, took down a $1,500 no-limit hold'em bracelet. Two signature events, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and Crazy 8s, are each deep into their fields, with former PPC champions Michael Mizrachi [2x], Matthew Ashton and David Bach all in the top 10 after Day 2. The ever-evolving WSOP POY race has a new leader once again, as 2010 WSOP main event runner-up John Racener, on the strength of a win in the $10,000 Dealers Choice event and 14 total cashes, has taken over for Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com351d ago

It's been a crazy weekend so far at the WSOP, and with less than a week to go until the main event starts, the late scramble for bracelets is heating up. Four winners added their names to the ranks of first-time bracelet winners over the last couple of days. Tommy Le broke through in a big way by winning the $10,000 pot limit Omaha championship, at his fourth WSOP PLO final table in two years. 2015 November Niner Thomas "Floatz" Cannuli won the biggest buy-in online WSOP bracelet event ($3,333) early Saturday morning for $322,814. Tom Koral took home the $1,500 seven card stud title, while Smith Sirisakorn won the $2,500 limit Omaha high-lo/seven card stud hi-lo bracelet. Finally, checking in on the WSOP POY race, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson has taken over the top spot on the back of 13 cashes and one final table (finishing fourth in the $10,000 pot limit Omaha hi-lo championship).

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com353d ago

Mohsin Charania became just the sixth person ever to win poker's Triple Crown Thursday with his win in a $1,500 no limit hold'em event. The triple crown entails winning a WSOP bracelet, a WPT title and an EPT title (though the third qualification will likely shift to a 'major PokerStars-branded title' after the closing of the EPT). Charania previously won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December 2014 and the EPT Grand Final in April 2012. Charania and Max Silver, who won a bracelet of his own in the $3,000 limit hold'em event, each removed themselves from the unofficial and unenviable list of "best players without a WSOP bracelet" in the same night. Finally, Chris Bolekadded a WSOP bracelet to a previously won WSOPC ring in the $1,500 no limit hold'em bounty event.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com355d ago

There are nearly 50 bracelet events in the books thus far at the 2017 WSOP, with seven players walking away with individual prizes of at least $1 million. Brian Yoon is the latest to join the club after winning the Monster Stack, earning his third career bracelet in the process. The other bracelet winner on Wednesday was Bryce Yockey, who took home $511,147 and the bracelet in the first ever $10,000 pot limit Omaha hi-lo 8 or better event. The Player of the Year race is getting tighter as the summer winds down, with Ray Henson regaining the overall lead after making the $10K PLO8 final table and finishing 7th. In a somewhat controversial twist, Chris Ferguson, who finished fourth in that event, now sits second in the WSOP POY standings.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com356d ago

It may seem hard to believe, but we're only 10 days out from the 2017 WSOP main event. In the meantime, however, there are still more than 20 bracelets left to be won. Christopher Vitch continued to the trend of the ever-growing list of multi-time bracelet winners by scoring his second gold WSOP bracelet in as many years, winning the $10,000 seven card stud hi-lo championship. Luis Calvo also entered the winner's circle, claiming the $3,000 six-handed pot limit Omaha title. There's also a new leader in the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race -- Mike Leah, who has 11 cashes and a final table to his credit thus far.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com357d ago

The only bracelet winner on Sunday at the 2017 WSOP was Nathan Gamble, won won the $1,500 pot limit Omaha hi-lo 8 or better event. The potential for history is brewing on Monday, though, as Phil Hellmuth is among the finall 11 players in the $10,000 seven card stud hi-lo 8 or better championship. He's in the middle of the pack, with Andrew Kelsall holding a narrow lead over a three-player lead pack. Checking into the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race, Ray Henson has taken over the lead. With three final tables, and two third place finishes and a seventh among eight cashes, Henson has edged in front of Ryan Hughes and former POY leader James Obst.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com359d ago

Over the last couple of days at the 2017 WSOP, one of the signature events of the summer and a new event on the schedule that could soon similarly rise in prestige were among five bracelets won in Las Vegas. Russian Dmitry Yurasov took down over $775,000 and the $10,000 six-max no limit hold'em championship. In the first ever $5,000 semi-turbo no limit hold'em event, which featured 30-minute levels, Englishman Chris Brammer won over $500,000 in his own right. Ben Maya ($1,500 no limit hold'em shootout), Matthew Schreiber ($3,000 HORSE) and Loren Klein ($1,500 pot limit Omaha) also took home bracelets over the last two days. For Klein, it was his second career WSOP victory.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com360d ago

Ernie Bohn, 68, of Cincinnati, won the $1,500 seven card stud hi-lo event for his first career gold bracelet AND first career WSOP cash. He was the only winner crowned on Thursday, but this weekend promises to be a busy one. Checking in on the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race, James Obst currently holds the lead with a win, a 2nd, a 7th and an 8th place finish to his credit, among six total cashes. To the chagrin of some, two-time 2017 winner David Bach currently resides 37th in the standings.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com362d ago

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).

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com363d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com364d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com365d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com366d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com367d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com369d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com370d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com371d ago

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).

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com372d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com373d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com374d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com375d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com376d ago

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)

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com377d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com377d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com379d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com380d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com381d ago

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)

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com382d ago

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).

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com383d ago

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.

Tim Fiorvanti, ESPN.com384d ago