Friday was another busy day at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The biggest story from the day was young Spaniard Adrian Mateos winning the $1,500 Summer Solstice event for his second gold bracelet at the ripe age of 21.
Also taking place were the finales of the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha and $3,000 Six-Max Limit Hold'em events. Those were won by Jiaqi Xu and Rafael Lebron, respectively.
All summer long, PokerNews will be bringing you daily coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.
Mateos Wins Summer Solstice
Spanish phenom Adrian Mateos famously won the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event. After that, European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event in 2015. Now, at just 21 years old, Mateos has earned his second gold bracelet after winning the 1,840-entry Summer Solstice event at the 2016 WSOP.
Final Table Results
The Summer Solstice event was this year's rebranded version of 2015's Extended Play affair, which attracted 1,940 entries. Mateos battled through five days of poker, entering the fifth day heads up behind again Koray Aldemir. Aldemir kept the lead through the first part of the heads-up match, but Mateos eventually doubled through to take the lead when he hit a diamond flush.
Once he got the lead, Mateos pulled ahead using his aggressive style of play, and the rest, as they say, was history.
Mateos' prize was worth $409,171, and he felt very good about it.
"It feels very good to win," he told WSOP officials after the win. "It's especially important for me to win one here in Las Vegas. It's like a dream come true to play in this tournament because I have been wanting to do this in Las Vegas for a long time."
Xu Captures Pot-Limit Omaha Title
In Event #37: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, Jiaqi Xu topped a field of 776 entries to win his first gold bracelet and $212,128 prize.
Final Table Results
|7||Jon Ho Christensen||$25,123|
For Xu, it was by far the largest score of his live poker career.
"The cards fell my way at the right time," Xu said in his post-win interview. "I knew that if I could get deep I would have a chance, and things went right for me."
Sixteen players remained heading into the third and final day of play in this one, with Tommy Le on top. He wound up running his chip lead into a fifth-place finish for $46,452 when he was eliminated by Jeffrey Duvall.
Xu then busted Joshua Pham in third before Duvall took care of Pallas Aidinian in third to set up the heads-up match. It didn't take too long, and Xu sealed the deal when his flopped top set coolered the turned two pair for Duvall.
Lebron Wins Six-Max Limit
In the mainstream, LeBron James just won his third NBA championship. In the poker world, Rafael Lebron won his first WSOP gold bracelet in the $3,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em event.
Final Table Results
A couple of days prior, Lebron took second in the $3,000 Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha event for $212,779. Although this score was for less money, it was a victory and Lebron's first career gold bracelet. Amazingly, Lebron has only four WSOP cashes lifetime, but two of them are the first- and second-place finishes from this year.
Petrangelo and Selbst Lead Final 21 in $10,000 Six-Max NL
It one of the most star-studded events of the summer, the $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em Championship, the field of 294 players has been cut down to 21. Nick Petrangelo narrowly edged out Vanessa Selbst for the chip lead, and the two will go neck and neck into Day 3.
Top 5 Chip Counts
Outside of the top five, notables Brandon Steven (675,000), Davidi Kitai (536,000), and Paul Volpe (371,000) still remain. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson also made it to Day 3 and will start 19th out of the 21 remaining with 283,000 in chips.
Some of the familiar faces to make the money on Friday's Day 2 included Max Silver (24th - $24,722), Jeremy Ausmus (29th - $20,767), Rob Tepper (31st - $17,986), and Simon Deadman (39th - $16,078).
The final 21 will resume play on Saturday at 12 p.m. local time with $665,709 awaiting the winner.
Final Table Set in Mixed Triple Draw
David Gee will take the lead into the final table of Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw. Seven players remain with a $136,854 first-place prize and the gold bracelet up for grabs.
Final Table Seat Draw
While Gee has the lead, it will be Christopher Vitch in third place looking for his first WSOP gold bracelet and Gary Benson in fifth place looking for his second.
All remaining players from the field of 236 are guaranteed $13,380, and the cards will be in the air at 2 p.m. local time.
Monster Stack Kicks Off
Event #41: $1,500 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold'em kicked off on Friday with 2,420 players entering Day 1a. That number is a bit lower than the 3,027 that entered Day 1a last year, but there's still Day 1b to come on Saturday.
Gregory Alexander topped the Day 1a pack of 697 survivors with a stack of 253,300. He's trailed by Andrew Moreno, husband of former PokerNews hostess Kristy Arnett, with 239,900.
Day 1a Top 5 Chip Counts
For Alexander, his best and only WSOP finish came in last year's $565 Colossus event when he took 1,496th place for $1,957. His best live score to date was in a 2013 WSOP Circuit side event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for $13,101.
Likewise, Moreno doesn't have many WSOP results, but he does have two WSOP Main Event cashes under his belt. In 2012, he took 177th in the WSOP Main Event for $44,655. Last year, he finished in 28th place for $211,821.
A man who does have plenty of WSOP experience is TJ Cloutier, and he bagged up the fourth largest stack. Cloutier holds six WSOP gold bracelets, but his most recent was more than a decade ago in 2005.
Day 1b of the event will begin at 10 a.m. local time on Saturday.
Mizrachi, Efsandiari, Ho, and Cannuli Advance in Shootout
In Event #42: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, 400 entries were tallied with 40 players winning in the first round. Included in that group was Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Antonio Esfandiari, Maria Ho, and 888poker NJ ambassador Thomas Cannuli.
With the result and making it to the money, Cannuli booked his fifth cash of the summer at the 2016 WSOP. He'll have to battle with Jordan Young, Christopher Kruk, and Joe Kuether on Day 2.
Day 2 will kick off at 2 p.m. local time in Las Vegas with 10 tables of four players in action. The 10 winners from each table will then play the final table on Sunday when a $267,720 first-place prize will be up for grabs.
What's On Tap?
Day 1b of the $1,500 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold'em will start at 10 a.m., and then at 3 p.m. will be the start of the marquee Event #43: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship.
Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.