One down, 64 to go. The first bracelet of the 2014 World Series of Poker was claimed Thursday afternoon while four other events were in action. After Roland Reparejo became the summer’s first champion early in the day, the evening saw two other events near their conclusions in which Vanessa Selbst and Steve Billirakis have each positioned themselves potentially to win third career WSOP bracelets on Friday.
Two marathon days of poker in Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em were punctuated by a quick sprint Thursday afternoon as Roland Reparejo managed to collect the last of Corey Emery’s chips in just a half-dozen hands to win the first gold bracelet of 2014.
The two players were all that remained from a starting field of 876 in the event, with Reparejo enjoying a better than 2-to-1 chip advantage against Emery to begin the added third day of play. The final hand saw Reparejo limp from the button with , Emery jam all in with , and Reparejo quickly call. The flop brought an eight but also an ace, and when the turn and river failed to improve Emery’s hand, Reparejo had won.
Originally from the Philippines and now residing in California, the former executive chef and current part-time player Reparejo collects a cool $82,835 for his win.
Event #1 Final Table Results
Just like Event #1, Event #2: $25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold’em played down to just two players yesterday, although the plan to return for heads-up poker on a final day was part of the original design in Event #2.
The “mixed-max” format dictated the 131 players who began the event start with nine-handed play on Tuesday, then the 60 who made it to Wednesday’s Day 2 played six-handed. Yesterday’s 16 returners then played at four-handed until just four remained, at which point the tournament switched again to a heads-up format.
Short-handed play and several short stacks led to many quick knockouts early, and by the time they’d whittled down to four players those who remained were the same four who had started Day 3 atop the chip counts — Al Decarolis, JC Tran, Jason Mo, and Vanessa Selbst.
Seeding for the heads-up portion was dictated by chip stacks, which meant leader Decarolis (3,435,000) would take on the short stack Selbst (525,000) while Tran (3,350,000) went up against Mo (2,510,000).
After narrowing the gap, Mo would cripple Tran in an all-in hand that saw Mo’s outrun Tran’s when a king came among the community cards. Mo would take the last of Tran’s chips a few hands later in another preflop all-in flip, and in just 34 hands their match was done.
Meanwhile Selbst and Decarolis would go at it much longer, with Selbst doubling up early and then chipping away at the restaurant owner’s stack until finally getting the advantage. Finally in Hand #124 between the pair, Decarolis was all in following a flop with against Selbst’s , and when the turn and river blanked it was Selbst claiming the other spot in the finals.
Here’s how the payouts went yesterday, with the top two spots yet to be filled:
Event #2 Results
Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Selbst and Mo will be starting their match at 2 p.m. local time, with coverage continuing on the live reporting blog.
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The record-setting field of 1,128 players in Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha — the biggest ever for a non-hold’em event at the WSOP — had played down to just 106 on Wednesday, and on Day 2 the fast pace continued as they managed to make it all of the way to the final table and then some. Steve Billirakis ended the night as the leader among the final six players, and he’ll be hoping to win a third career WSOP bracelet and the $205,634 first prize when play resumes on Friday.
Patrick Arena was the last knockout of the night in seventh ($24,324). Start-of-day 2 chip leader Loren Klein did manage to make the final table before bowing out in eighth ($18,750). And Nick Guagenti also made the final table before busting in ninth ($14,649). Other notables making deep runs included Stephen Chidwick (10th, $11,593), Peter Charalambous (11th, $11,593), John O’Shea (12th, $11,593), Greg Merson (14th, $9,299), and Jason Somerville (18th, $7,553).
Event #3 Chip Counts After Day 2
See who from these six wins the bracelet in Event #3 today on our live reporting blog.
The start of Event #4: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em — the first big open-field, low-buy-in no-limit hold’em event of the summer — unsurprisingly drew a large turnout yesterday with 2,224 entries building a whopping prize pool of $2,001,600. The top 243 finishers were scheduled to divide those riches, and indeed they made the money late in the day as just 186 remained after 11 one-hour levels.
There were several notables among the big stacks at night’s end, with Brian Bauer, Cy Williams, Alan Clunie, Scott Baumstein, Jamie Kerstetter, and Jeff Gross all bagging above-average chips.
The overnight chip leader is Miguel Proulx who finished the night with 120,500. And not far behind him inside the top five is Mark Radoja with 102,000 who is another player harbouring hopes of landing a third career WSOP bracelet.
Here is what the top of the leader board looks like heading into Friday:
Event #4 Top Ten Chip Counts After Day 1
Coverage of Event #4 continues today starting at 1 p.m. local time on the live reporting blog.
Finally the first $10,000 “Championship” event of the summer, Event #5: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, saw an impressive turnout as well with 120 players taking part including many of poker’s most notable and accomplished pros. By night’s end more than half that field had joined the discard pile, with Mike Peltekci ending the night atop with counts with 171,000, Sergey Rybachenko next with 157,600, and four-time WSOP bracelet winner Tom Schneider not far behind with 155,300.
There are other multiple-bracelet winners lurking in the top 10, too, with Huck Seed, Eli Elezra, and David Chiu all with big stacks, and Barry Greenstein also close in 11th. Meanwhile the counts are filled with other top talent and legends of the game, with Doyle Brunson still among the field, too, albeit with a short stack.
Here’s a look at who’s got what in the lead group to start play on Day 2 of Event #5:
Event #5 Top Ten Chip Counts After Day 1
Be sure to start checking in on this one starting at 2 p.m. over at the live reporting blog.
Friday things get even busier at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino with six events total in action.
As mentioned, two more bracelets will be won on Friday in Events #2 and #3. Meanwhile Events #4 and #5 will press ahead with both tournaments scheduled to play down to around their final tables on their next-to-last days. Finally two new $1,500 buy-in events get underway with Event #6: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout starting at noon and Event #7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz kicking off at 4 p.m.
- 12:00 p.m. — Event #6: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout (Day 1 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (Day 3 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #4: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2 of 3)
- 2:00 p.m. — Event #2: $25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold’em (Day 4 of 4)
- 2:00 p.m. — Event #5: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Day 2 of 3)
- 4:00 p.m. — Event #7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz (Day 1 of 3)
Video of the Day
This year’s first WSOP bracelet winner Roland Reparejo sat down with Sarah Grant after his win to discuss his poker background and plans for his winnings in Event #1. Meet the relieved and grateful Event #1 champion: