It was another exciting day at the 2014 World Series of Poker, highlighted by the thrilling Event #11: $1,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em final table at which Justin Bonomo triumphed over Mike Sowers heads-up to claim his first WSOP bracelet after having coming close several times before without finishing on top.
It was a drama-packed final table and heads-up match in Event #11, one of four events playing out at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Wednesday.
Just 10 players returned yesterday to complete Event #11, with the race down to heads-up play between Bonomo and Sowers swift.
It took less than 10 minutes for the first four knockouts to come, with Frank Debus (10th) and Todd Anderson (9th) each earning $29,351, then Viet Vo (8th) and Sebastian Pauli (7th) taking away $39,635 apiece. Then after a pause for the final six to reassemble around the final feature table, four more would fall before they’d reach the day’s first two-hour break.
Taylor Paur was the first to leave the final table in sixth after taking pocket queens up against the of Daniel Strelitz, surviving through the turn, then watching a king fall on the river.
Then Niel Mittelman was eliminated in fifth in even more gut-wrenching fashion in a hand that also saw pocket queens fail the all-in player. All in following a flop with versus Sowers’s , the turn brought the giving Mittelman the heart flush draw to go along with his best pair. But the river brought the one-outer — the — to end Mittelman’s tourney.
Sowers then dispatched Lance Harris in fourth and Strelitz in third — the latter hand seeing yet another player go down with pocket queens versus Sowers’s — giving Sowers a big lead to start heads-up play with 5,532,000 to Bonomo’s 1,611,000.
We’d highlighted Sowers and Bonomo in yesterday’s What to Watch For both as the start-of-day chip leaders in Event #11 and as seekers of first WSOP gold after past near-misses. That theme emerged for Bonomo in particular during the afternoon as he himself had drawn attention to his frequent status as someone who’d come close many times before, including a third career runner-up finish in last week’s Event #5: $10,000 2-7 Limit Triple Draw Lowball Championship.
“Always a bride’s maid, never a bride,” Bonomo had tweeted last week after losing heads-up to Tuan Le, and again yesterday he already seemed as though he might be preparing for similar disappointment:
I can't wait to see how happy my buddy @sowerss will be when I give him his first bracelet!Follow @JustinBonomo
Sowers maintained his big lead during the early going, then Bonomo chipped back and after 60 hands between them had grabbed the advantage.
Then came a decisive hand in which Sowers flopped two pair but Bonomo managed to fill a gutshot straight draw on the river with all the chips going in after fifth street.
Suddenly Bonomo was up to 7 million to Sowers’s 100,000. But Sowers managed to survive no less than eight all-ins thereafter, doubling up six times and chopping the pot twice, and again it appeared possible Bonomo might be destined for “bride’s maid” status once more.
But finally the end arrived after Sowers committed his stack again following a flop with and saw Bonomo turn over . Sowers could still draw a better flush, but no hearts thereafter gave the hand and bracelet to Bonomo.
Event #11: $1,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results
From a starting field of 557 there were 69 left to begin yesterday’s Day 2 of Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em. The money bubble burst early in the day, with Tony Cousineau amid the first eliminated thereafter (54th, $2,872) to secure his 59th WSOP cash.
Others getting a little deeper but coming up short of the final table would include Keven Stammen (37th, $3,421), 2013 WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Riess (36th, $4,120), David Peters (33rd, $4,120), Darryll Fish (32nd, $4,120), Jesse Yaginuma (28th, $4,120), and Phil Ivey (22nd, $5,030).
They’d get down to the final nine before concluding last night, with former November Niner Phil Collins then falling in ninth for $12,610 after running pocket queens into Gregory Kolo’s pocket kings.
That hand helped position Kolo as first among the final eight players heading into today’s last day of play. Start-of-Day-2 chip leader David Martirosyan also remains in the hunt as all eight of the remaining players are seeking to follow Bonomo’s path and secure a first WSOP bracelet.
Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em Chip Counts After Day 2
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The stacked Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship field predictably produced a final table full of top talent to return for today’s third and final day of play. Yesterday there were 36 survivors from a starting field of 87, with more than half of them — 19 to be exact — having already won WSOP bracelets in the past.
From that group just seven made it through to Day 3, six of whom are part of that WSOP bracelet group — Daniel Negreanu (with six bracelets); Jason Mercier, Brian Rast, and John Monnette (each with two); and Larry Wright and Abe Mosseri (each with one).
However leading those six to start the day is the one remaining player without a bracelet, Paul Volpe who enjoys a sizable lead after having been very short-stacked when the money bubble burst at 14 players. Those cashing yesterday included Jon Turner (14th), Mike Watson (13th), and Greg Mueller (12th), each earning $16,601; Joe Cassidy (11th), Ashton Griffin (10th), and Darren Elias (9th), who made $19,283 apiece; and Rep Porter (8th, $22,399), eliminated near the end of play last night by Volpe.
Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship Chip Counts After Day 2
Finally Event #14: $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low also got going yesterday with a big field of 1,036 showing up to take part, a few more than the 1,014 who played in this event a year ago. That group built a total prize pool of $1,398,600, with $283,275 of that reserved for the winner.
Just 220 remained at night’s end, of whom only the top 117 will make the cash. Kalpesh Raichura finished with the chip lead overnight, just ahead of Konstantin Puchkov who set a record in 2012 for most cashes in a single WSOP with 11.
Also returning to healthy chip stacks today are Alexander Kuzmin, Chris Viox, Eric Baldwin, George Danzer, Robert Mizrachi, and Phil Ivey. Last year’s champion in this event, Calen McNeil, also will return on Day 2 albeit short on chips.
Event #14: $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Top 10 Chip Counts After Day 2
Five different bracelet events will be in action on Thursday, including two new ones getting started. As mentioned, Events #12 ($1,500 PLH) and #13 ($10,000 NL 2-7 Draw) will be playing down to a conclusion tonight, with Event #14 ($1,500 Omaha H/L) continuing into its second day. Meanwhile both Event #15: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em and Event #16: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball will get underway.
Here’s the full schedule for Thursday:
- 12:00 p.m. — Event #15: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (Day 1 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em (Day 3 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #14: $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low (2 of 3)
- 2:00 p.m. — Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (3 of 3)
- 4:00 p.m. — Event #16: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (1 of 3)
Video of the Day
Bonomo’s spoke with our Caitlyn Howe yesterday following his victory, his relief evident as he describes overcoming a tough heads-up opponent in Sowers and his own negative thoughts to win his first WSOP bracelet. Take a look: