One of poker's most prestigious annual events came to a close early Friday morning at the 2013 World Series of Poker. British poker pro Matthew Ashton took down Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship after outlasting a tough final table that included John Hennigan, David Benyamine, George Danzer, Jonathan Duhamel, and eventual runner-up Don Nguyen. It was Ashton's fourth final table of the WSOP this year and vaulted him into the top spot of the WSOP Player of the Year race past Daniel Negreanu.
Four other events were scattered around the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Thursday. A winner was determined in Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em, while Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #59: $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball played down to final tables. The second Day 1 starting flight of Event #58: $1,111 Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em took saw 2,523 hit the felt, creating a total field of 4,746 between the two Day 1s.
Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship
Matthew Ashton wasn't a household name when he landed in Las Vegas for the 2013 World Series of Poker. But after winning poker's most coveted trophy on Friday, that's about to change.
At this fourth final table of the summer, Ashton finally captured the elusive gold bracelet, and it came in one of the most marquee tournaments of the year, the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship. Not only does Ashton earn the gold and nearly $1.8 million, but his name will now be etched on the trophy next to legends like Chip Reese, Freddy Deeb, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Michael Mizrachi, and Brian Rast.
The fifth and final day of this event started with an official final table of eight, and on the fourth hand, Jonathan Duhamel exited in a hand of pot-limit Omaha. The 2010 Main Event champ was all in and at risk with kings and an open-ended straight draw against George Danzer’s two pair, but was unable to improve.
Mike Wattel was the next to exit in a hand of no-limit hold’em, and Minh Ly followed him out the door in sixth place. Ly, who was making a return trip to the Players’ Championship final table, made two pair, but David Benyamine bested him with an ace-high flush.
After a quick turn of events, Danzer was eliminated in fifth place. He and Don Nguyen engaged in a ferocious raising war in pot-limit Omaha on an flop, and eventually the money went in. Both players held trips, Danzer was ahead holding an ace, but Nguyen paired one of his other cards on the river to make a winning full house. Not only did Nguyen record a knockout on this hand, he also surged into the chip lead.
Including the 60-minute dinner break, four-handed play lasted a little over three hours. During this time, John Hennigan climbed into the chip lead, and Benyamine got shorter and shorter. Finally, during Level 24, Benyamine busted in a hand of stud. Nguyen made a full house against the Frenchman, and reassumed the chip lead.
Ashton started to pull away when action went three-handed. By the 192nd hand he had more than half of the chips in play, and despite dipping a bit at the end of Level 25, the Brit never relinquished the lead. He eliminated Hennigan in Hand #257, flopping two pair in pot-limit Omaha, and heads-up play lasted only seven hands.
On the final hand, Nguyen and Ashton made top pair, but Ashton out-kicked Nguyen and was crowned champion.
Final table results
Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em
After agreeing to add an extra day to the schedule in Event #57 on Wednesday, Nikolaus Teichert and Vincent Maglio returned to the Rio on Thursday afternoon to play out their heads-up match for a bracelet. In less than an hour, Teichert was able to secure the victory and a massive payday worth $730,756.
Final table payouts
The final two began heads-up play Wednesday night, but were unable to conclude the tournament before play was suspended. Teichert, who had taken momentum and a chip lead late Wednesday night, continued his surge from the start of Day 4 and never let Maglio gain any momentum.
On the final hand of the tournament, Maglio raised to 240,000. Teichert moved all in, and Maglio instantly called for around 2 million.
The flop came , leaving Maglio well ahead but opening up some potential chop outs. A turn changed nothing, but the dealer burned and turned a river, and Teichert's two pair won him the hand and the tournament.
Teichert had a modest $211,772 in live cashes coming into the tournament, and he more than tripled that with his $730,756 win on Thursday. Of course, he also claimed his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet.
Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em
Thirty-one players began the day at the start of Day 3 in Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em, and only five and a half hours later there were nine left standing. British poker pro Matt Perrins leads a stacked group at the final table with a chance to claim his second WSOP bracelet and the top prize of $792,275
Final table seat draw
Thirteen players were lost in the first two hours of Day 3, leaving just two tables in the Amazon Room. The first to go from the final two tables was Christian Rudolph, whose small pair was no match for Antonio Buonanno's tens. The next to go was former spelling bee champion Pratyush Buddiga, who shoved his into Thomas Muehloecker's and never caught up. Carter Swidler exited in 16th place when his straight ran into a flush.
Dan Martin, Jeff Papola and Ravi Raghaven were the next to fall, and they were followed by Olivier Busquet in 12th. Busquet got his money behind with nines against Muehloecker's tens and never improved.
Philipp Gruissem was eliminated in 11th when he shoved all in from the small blind over a limp from Matt Berkey, but Matt Perrins woke up with a monster in the big blind to send Gruissem to the rail. Matt Schultethen landed on the final table bubble when he shoved all in after a bet from Antonio Buonanno, but Buonanno had two pair and he quickly snapped off Schulte who just had middle pair.
The final nine players will return at 12:45 p.m. local time on Friday. Keep your browsers locked to PokerNews for the exciting conclusion to this event.
Event #58: $1,111 Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em
After eight full levels on Day 1b of Event #58: $1,111 Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em, a field of of2,523 was whittled all the way down to just 588 survivors. As was the case on Day 1a, the re-entry format allowed players to fire multiple bullets, accounting somewhat for the staggering turnout.
Also like Wednesday's Day 1a, a star-studded cast of professionals turned out, with Phil Ivey, David Williams, Jonathan Little, Jennifer Tilly, Pius Heinz, Joe Cada, and Carlos Mortensen just a few of the notable names to take a shot at the second flight. Unfortunately for this group, the end of the line came early, but many familiar faces will be returning when the fields combine Friday afternoon.
Humberto Brenes (67,775), Bryn Kenney (58,000), Antonio Esfandiari (53,800), Henry Van Tran (56,250), Cliff Josephy (29,050), Victor Ramdin (23,900), Aaron Massey (19,575), and Kenny Nguyen (18,500) all survived to bag and tag chips by the end of the night, but they will have work to do if they hope to catch the Day 1b chip leader.
Suraj Dutt took down a massive three-way all-in pot to emerge as the chip leader, and his stack of 90,125 puts him well ahead of the majority of the field. Belgian pro Philip Meulyzer nearly caught Dutt with his stack of 86,950, and he will return on Day 2 to try and take over the chip lead.
All told there were 4,746 entries to this unique event, and the amazing turnout generated $526,806 in donations to the One Drop's assortment of water relief causes. On Friday, the 1,016 players will reconvene at 1 p.m. local time to play Day 2. Check back with PokerNews then to follow all of the action live from the floor of the Rio, as one of the last events of the WSOP marches on.
Event #59: $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
Day 2 of Event #59: $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball began with 88 players, and after a full day of action the field was trimmed all the way down to 10. The remaining 10 includes a who's-who of superstars, led by last year's third-place finisher in this same event, David "ODB" Baker.
End-of-day Chip Counts
|1||David "ODB" Baker||458,000|
The afternoon saw several familiar faces hitting the rail shy of the top 30 and the cash, with Jason Mercier, Joe Tehan, Steve Zolotow, Shane Schleger, Daniel Idema, David Bach, Scott Clements, Gavin Smith, and Tom Schneider among them.
Just before the dinner break Timothy Finne became the unfortunate 31st-place finisher to bubble the event, after which the march to the payout desk began with Ryan Tepen (30th) and Jon Turner (29th) simultaneously busting on the first post-bubble hand.
A couple of former bracelet winners soon followed in Naoya Kihara (28th) and Dario Alioto (27th), with a couple more — Marco Johnson (16th) and Konstantin Puchkov (14th) — among those lasting until the latter portion of the evening, as did start-of-day-2 chip leader Juijen Chang who ended his run in 13th.
Meanwhile it was three-time bracelet winner Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi emerging as the big stack during the early evening, and for a time it looked as though he'd likely end the night bagging the most of anyone. But David Chiu overtook him late, and then David "ODB" Baker passed them both to carry the lead to tomorrow's Day 3.
It's quite a line-up returning on Friday, including no less than six WSOP bracelet holders in Baker (1), Chiu (5), Mizrachi (3), Scott Seiver (1), Eli Elezra (1), and 2013 WSOP Player of the Year contender Daniel Negreanu (5).
Action resumes at 2 p.m. on Friday. Be sure to return then to PokerNews to see who among this top group of players emerges to claim the Event #59 WSOP bracelet.
The Little One for One Drop returns for Day 2 as the survivors from the first two starting flights combine. Players in two other events will come back to play down to a winner: Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #59: $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. Meanwhile, the last two events before the $10,000 Main Event will get underway: Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em (noon) and Event #61:$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (5 p.m.).
Video of the Day
Matt Perrins is the chip leader heading into the final table of the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. Perrins won his first bracelet in a 2-7 lowball event, so Sarah Grant decided to put him up to the 2-7 challenge.