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2016 WSOP Day 23: Belgian Gathy Wins Third Bracelet, Awad Grabs Redemption

Michael Gathy

Another day has come and gone at the 2016 World Series of Poker, and more gold bracelets were given out. On Thursday, both Michael Gathy and Hani Awad emerged victorious, with Gathy claiming his third piece of WSOP jewelry.

Elsewhere inside the walls of the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, the $1,500 Summer Solstice event advanced to Day 5 with just two players left, 16 remained in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, and Matt Matros led the final eight in the $3,000 Six-Max Limit Hold'em event.

All summer long, PokerNews will be bringing you daily coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.

Gathy Wins His Third Gold Bracelet

Michael Gathy already had two WSOP gold bracelets to his name when he entered play on Day 3 of the $5,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em event on Thursday, but now he has three after emerging victorious. Gathy topped a field of 541 entries to win his largest live poker tournament prize to date, $560,843.

Final Table Results

1Michael Gathy$560,843
2Adrian Allain$346,632
3Manuel Saavedra Nunez$229,990
4Blake Eastman$155,762
5Scott Margereson$107,723
6Thi Nguyen$76,112

Gathy, a Belgian who now sits third on the country's all-time money list, defeated Frenchman Adrian Allain in heads-up play. According to event coverage from, Allain went down in a blaze of glory, bluffing away his chips in the end in similar fashion to Natasha Barbour in 2015. In both instances, Allain and Barbour could only win the pot by getting their opponents to fold.

On the final hand, it was reported that Allain had the button and raised. Gathy three-bet, and Allain called, bringing about a flop of {a-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{3-Spades}. Gathy bet, Allain called, and the {k-Diamonds} landed on the turn. Gathy slowed down with a check, Allain bet 800,000, and Gathy called. After the {j-Clubs} completed the board on the river, Gathy checked, and Allain moved all in. If the report on is correct, Allain shoved for more than the pot — 4.09 million into 3.87 million. Gathy called with the {k-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} for two pair, and Allain's bluff with the {8-Spades}{6-Spades} was no good.

Awad Redeems Himself

At the 2015 WSOP, Hani Awad finished runner-up in a field of 474 players to Konstantin Maslak. He was back at it in the same event this year and went on to win the thing for $213,186, topping a field of 394 players.

Final Table Results

1Hani Awad$213,186
2Fabrice Soulier$131,762
3Aditya Prasetyo$89,409
4Denny Axel$61,888
5Michael Chow$43,717
6Gleb Kovtunov$31,527
7Per Hildebrand$23,222
8Timothy Burt$17,479

Heading into Day 3, Gleb Kovtunov led the final 13 players. All eyes were once again on Jason Mercier, but his run ended with an 11th-place finish.

When the official final table of eight began, Awad was in the lead. He was involved in the eliminations of Timothy Burt in eighth, Denny Axel in fourth, and Aditya Prasetyo in third before he found himself heads-up with Fabrice Soulier. When the match started, Awad held nearly a 3-1 chip lead and sealed the deal in a little over two hours.

"I promised her I was going to win it for her," Awad told WSOP officials after winning, in regards to his mother who taught him the game. "It was my dream to win this, and it means the world."

Summer Solstice with Two Left

The 1,840-player field of the $1,500 Summer Solstice event — a renamed version of last year's $1,500 Extended Play tournament — got down to the final two players on Thursday. When they return to action on Friday at 12 p.m. local time, Koray Aldemir will take the lead with his 7.515 million in chips into battle against former WSOP Europe Main Event winner Adrian Mateos, who will start with 6.28 million.

Day 4 of the event began with 17 remaining, including 888poker ambassador Chris Moorman. After a few eliminations took place, Moorman was bounced in 13th, earning $19,943. He was all in with the {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} against the {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} for Ralph Wong. The {q-Diamonds}{j-Spades}{3-Spades} flop didn't leave Moorman dead, as he could still hit a Broadway straight to double up, but the {3-Diamonds} that paired the board on the turn did. The river was the {2-Diamonds}, and Moorman was gone.

Others busting out on Day 4 included Kathy Liebert (17th - $15,874), Jason Wheeler (14th - $19,943), Martin Kozlov (11th ($25,335), and Jon Turner (5th - $98,617).

16 Left in $1,500 PLO

A field of 776 entries were tallied in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the 2016 WSOP. Heading into Day 3, just 16 of them remain, with Tommy Le leading the way with 1.04 million in chips. Not only is Le the only play to bag up seven figures, but he finished with quite the lead. Norway's Jon Ho Christensen was second to end Day 2 with 699,000.

Top 5 Chip Counts

1Tommy Le1,040,000
2Jon Ho Christensen699,000
3Henri Koivisto597,000
4Arundel Robinson590,000
5Thibaut Klinghammer446,000

The final 16 players are guaranteed $7,179 with a pay jump to $8,919 coming after one elimination. Notables to bust out deep in the money on Day 2 were Matt Brady (18th - $7,179), Joe Serock (28th - $4,901), and Daniel Negreanu (34th - $4,901).

Day 3 is scheduled for 12 p.m. local time on Friday.

Matros Tries Harder Than McKeehen in Six-Max Limit Hold'em

Three-time gold bracelet winner Matt Matros bagged the chip lead over Joe McKeehen in the $3,000 Six-Max Limit Hold'em tournament with eight players left.

Final 8 Chip Counts

1Matt Matros978,000
2Joe McKeehen825,000
3Georgios Zisimopoulos788,000
4Mikhail Semin302,000
5Alex Queen243,000
6Andrey Zhigalov195,000
7Brad Libson178,000
8Rafael Lebron167,000

Matros is a hold'em specialist, winning gold bracelets in back-to-back-to-back years at the WSOP in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He first won the $1,500 Limit Hold'em in 2010 for $189,870. He then won the $2,500 Mixed Hold'em in 2011 for $303,501. Finally, he won the $1,500 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em in 2012 for $454,835.

The pack will return to action on Friday at 2 p.m. local time.

Big Buy-In, Big Numbers, and Big Names in 10K Six-Max

The $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em Championship attracted 294 players. That's good enough for 35 more than last year and helped generate a juicy $2.764 million prize pool. At the end of Day 1, 123 players remained with Gabriel Andrade bagging up the most at 443,000.

Top 5 Chip Counts

1Gabriel Andrade443,000
2Brandon Steven397,700
3Daniel Strelitz324,200
4Eric Sfez296,600
5Rahul Byrraju252,000

Others to bag up big stacks included Robert Mizrachi (250,100), Timothy Adams (192,500), Max Silver (161,200), and Bryn Kenney (158,900).

Of course, not everyone was able to advance to Day 2, and that included 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche, who is a three-told WSOP gold bracelet winner. He busted in the final level of the night to Justin Bonomo. Nitsche called all in on a flop of {a-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{4-Spades} with the {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}. Bonomo had the {a-Clubs}{10-Hearts} for two pair and held. Bonomo went on to bag 241,500.

The top 45 places are set to be paid, and the surviving players will return at 12 p.m. local time.

Mercier Bags Big in Mixed Triple Draw

A new event on the schedule this year was Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, which included the three games of ace-to-five lowball, 2-7 triple draw lowball, and badugi.

A field of 236 entries was generated to tally up a prize pool of $536,900. At the end of Day 1, 61 remained with Anthony Lazar in the lead with 161,300. But as has been the case for much of the 2016 WSOP, all eyes are going to be on Jason Mercier once again, as he bagged a stack in the top five with 93,100 in chips.

Top 5 Chip Counts

1Anthony Lazar161,300
2Christopher Vitch152,200
3Martin Staszko97,900
4Brandon Delnano93,600
5Jason Mercier93,100

The players are scheduled to return at 2 p.m. local time with the top 36 reaching the money. The winner is set to receive $136,854.

What's Up Next?

Two more events start up on Friday, with the $1,500 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold'em starting at 11 a.m. and having two starting flights. In this event, players will begin with a deeper-than-normal stack of 15,000 in chips.

At 3 p.m., the $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout will kick off.

Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.

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  • On Day 23 of the 2016 World Series of Poker, Michael Gathy and Hani Awad won gold bracelets.

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