The calm before the storm hushed over the Rio-All Suite Hotel & Casino on Friday. Day 39 was one of the quietest at the 2014 World Series of Poker, but you could feel the excitement building with the Main Event on the horizon.
Four events were scattered throughout the Rio Convention center and two more first-time bracelet winners emerged. Event #60 extended to a fourth day and Salman Jaddi came away with the title. Several hours later Bryn Kenney collected his first bracelet in Event #63, removing his name from the list of the game's top players without a piece of WSOP hardware.
Here's a look at the highlights from Friday's action at the World Series of Poker:
The final $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em tournament of the 2014 World Series of Poker attracted an impressive turnout of 2,563 players. It concluded on Friday with an epic heads-up match that went nearly five hours in length, with Salman Jaddi emerging with the $614,248 first-place money and his first WSOP bracelet.
The final hand saw Jaddi hit a runner-runner miracle when his bested Brandon Hall's . Hall had a huge lead after a flop of but Jaddi would hit a on the turn to give him a flush draw that would be completed on the river.
"I didn't want to say 'one time' out loud, but that's what I was thinking," Jaddi said, sitting at the table, unable to believe what had just happened. "I feel like I played awesome heads-up. Get lucky along the way sometimes. That's how it goes."
On his way to victory, Jaddi knocked out the first five players at the final table: Kurt Jewell (9th - $45,603), Steve Sung (8th - $59,547), Thomas Dietl (7th - $78,681), David Bravin (6th - $105,185), and Cherish Andrews (5th - $142,346).
Hall then took out the remaining two players, Guillauma Marechal (4th - $194,939) and Zach Gruneberg (3rd - $270,299), to set up what would be a marathon heads-up battle that entended into an extra day of play. Jaddi began to pull away early in the match, getting to a more than 5-to-1 chip advantage at one point, but Hall chipped away and got things nearly back to even when the two decided to call it a night.
The new day then saw Jaddi pull ahead, but Hall doubled up once to stay alive. Jaddi again took control, however, leading up to the final hand that would see him declared the winner.
Jaddi concluded his winner's interview with words that all amateurs could relate to: "I'm a business owner, not a pro. I play for fun. Anyone has a shot to win this thing. I didn't play many hands, but somehow I ended up here. If I can do it, anyone can."
FINAL TABLE RESULTS
A total of 885 players returned to the tables for Day 2 of the $1,111 Little One for One Drop. The money bubble burst early in the day, and after nine levels of play only 102 participants bagged up chips to take into Day 3.
Charbel Azzi (514,000) was the only player to accumulate more than half a million in chips to end atop the leaderboard. In a crucial hand of level 15, Azzi eliminated Ludovic Geilich and increased his stack consistently throughout the rest of the day.
Hot on his heels are Alexander Ziskin (480,000), Julian Parmann (471,500) and Matthew Lapossie (458,000). Other notable names that made it through with an above-average stack include Maxim Panyak (335,500), Sergio Castelluccio (291,500), Salvatore Bonavena (255,000), Joep van den Bijgaart (249,500), Maurice Hawkins (236,000), Jose Carlos Garcia (234,500), Michael Tureniec (219,500) and Brian Pinkus (215,000).
All remaining players have $3,560 guaranteed and the eyes are set on the first-place payout of $637,539. The PokerNews live reporting team will be on hand to bring you all the key action from the tables.
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The final mixed game event of the 2014 World Series of Poker officially came to a close on Friday with none other than Bryn Kenney earning his first gold bracelet as well as $153,220 in prize money.
Kenney dominated Event #63 from the very beginning, bagging up the chip lead on Day 1. From there, Kenney continued to keep his seat at the top of the chip counts, remaining in the top ten chip counts throughout Day 2 and ultimately bagging second place chips to end the day. With just nine players remaining for Day 3, Kenney shot out to a substantial chip lead early and rode that all of the way to his first championship bracelet.
The day began with short-stacked David Blatte being eliminated from play during the first orbit of pot-limit Omaha. Following Blatte out the door was Haresh Thaker, prompting a total re-draw to the unofficial final table of seven. That unofficial final table quickly became official, as Michael Mixer was eliminated on the official final table bubble.
Randy Ohel came into the day looking for his second WSOP bracelet, but ended up falling as the first casualty of the final table. During pot-limit Omaha, Ohel made a full house on the river but ended up shipping all in into Daniel Zack's flopped quads. After Ohel's elimination, five-handed play wore on for quite some time. Ultimately it was Andrey Zaichenko who was next to go after shipping all in into Fabio Coppola's pocket kings in limit hold'em. Zaichenko did not improve and was forced to settle for fifth place.
Zack was eliminated in fourth place when he failed to make a four-card badugi against Jan Suchanek's jack badugi. Soon after, Copolla became the third place finisher after an unfortunate hand of no-limit 2-7 single draw.
This left Kenney heads up with Suchanek for the bracelet with Kenney holding a significant chip lead. Despite Suchanek being able to battle back in a few of the limit games, it was ultimately no-limit hold'em that did him in. On the final hand, Suchanek three-barreled on each street after flopping a pair of deuces against Kenney's turned trip nines. Kenney called the shove on the river and was awarded the bracelet.
FINAL TABLE RESULTS
The $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship always attracts a field bursting with star poker players, but it's a relatively little-known German grinder, Marko Neumann, who heads into Day 3 leading the final 23 players with 1,442,000. Neumann does have more than $1.3 million in cashes, so he's no stranger to big-money poker tournaments, though the $923,379 up top here would be a career-best for him.
In second sits one of the aforementioned stars: Isaac Baron, who boasts millions in cashes both live and online under the moniker "westmenloAA." Baron chipped up in one of the craziest pots of the tournament when he got what the table described as nine bets in on a flop against Don Nguyen, who held top set against Baron's nut flush. Baron held to rocket up to 785,000, more than 250 big blinds at that point. He finished with 1,267,000.
David Williams (698,000), Tom Marchese (677,000), Sam Trickett (468,000), JC Tran (431,000), Matt Stout (425,000), and Matt Marafioti (371,000) also bagged at the end of the night.
Day 3 play will commence at 2 p.m. on Saturday, so be sure to come back to PokerNews and see who will be crowned this year's premier PLO tournament champion and take home more than $900,000.
It has arrived! The Main Event gets underway Saturday afternoon with the first of three starting flights. Meanwhile, one more winner will be crowned in the $10K PLO (Event #64), and a final table is scheduled to be reached in the “Little One for One Drop” (Event #62).
Here’s the full schedule of bracelet events for Saturday, July 5 (all times PDT):
- 12:00 p.m. — Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event (Day 1a of 7)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop (Day 3 of 4)
- 2:00 p.m. — Event #64: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship (Day 3 of 3)
Video of the Day
Final table fixture Bryn Kenney captures his first gold bracelet in Event #63, the $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix as his sister cheers him on.