It was full house on Day 8 of the 2016 World Series of Poker with seven events on the felt, including three that crowned WSOP bracelet winners.
A massive low buy-in Pot Limit Omaha tournament with unlimited reentries for the first six levels was filled with action, the world's best mixed game players got into the money in the Dealers Choice Championship, and a whole lot more.
Alan Percal Wins the $10K Heads-Up
A south Florida actuary and part-time poker player won the prestigious $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em event for $320,574 in Las Vegas on Thursday.
After receiving a first round bye, Westin, Florida's Alan Percal won seven straight matches, including beating 69-year-old Vietnam Veteran John Smith in the final, to capture his first WSOP bracelet.
Percal, who works full time for Humana, credited a Chess background as the key to heads-up success.
“I tended to get bored playing full ring games, nine-handed, so I started playing heads-up online because it was much more intriguing," he said. "I started out as a Chess player, and I found heads-up play was very similar to chess.”
Percal beatBrian Rast, Jeff Gross, Alan Wehbi, Konstantin Ramazanov, and Benjamin Geisman before pushing past Olivier Busquet in the semifinals Friday. Smith beat Alex Luneau in the other semifinal, but lost a third of his stack early in the championship match after getting two pair counterfeited and trying to bluff. Percal won that hand, calling with king-high and applied a ton of pressure the rest of the way, cruising to the win.
"After the bye, I ended up drawing Brian Rast in the second round and when I saw that, I just started laughing," he said. "There were like 100 players I would have rather drawn than Rast. But after I defeated him, that gave me a lot of confidence, and he even complimented me after, saying I played well. After that, I felt much more comfortable.”
The event attracted 153 players creating a $1,188,200 prize pool. The top 16 cashed.
$10k Heads Up Final Four Results
Eichhardt Wins Long-Awaited First Bracelet in The $1,500
Just four players returned for the final day of Event #8: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, Former WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener was the headliner, while Aussie Michael Addamo was in command holding around 40 percent of the chips.
However, the day proved to be a long and arduous four-handed grind, and Peter Eichhardt emerged to take gold after 157 hands of action. Eichhardt won $438,417 for topping the huge 2,016-player field, his biggest score easily and one he waited a long time to get.
He first arrived in Las Vegas in fall of 1992 after cutting his teeth in card clubs in his native Sweden. Since then, he estimated he's been to Sin City around 40 times, never tasting even the excitement of a WSOP final table.
The impetus for a change in his game and his results came while playing in the Bahamas, where it dawns on Eichhardt that he was the proverbial fish at a table full of sharks.
“I made up my mind,” he said. “I have to stop playing or do something about it. So I did something, I started studying a lot. The last two years have been really, really good for me. So, there's still hope for a 50 year old.”
Official Final Table Results
|1||Peter Eichhardt||Stockholm, Sweden||$438,417|
|2||Davis Aalvik||Long Beach, CA||$270,842|
|4||John Racener||Tampa, FL||$143,563|
|6||Bruno Borges||Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil||$79,241|
|7||Raymond Phu||El Monte, CA||$59,787|
|8||Anthony Zinno||Boston, MA||$45,582|
|9||Richard Dubini||Rio Gallegos||$35,121|
Limit Hold'em Specialist Johns Takes Bracelet No. 2
Ian Johns had a chip and a chair, as they say, and the rest is history, as he came back from having 2,000 chips at the end of Day 1 with limits going to 1,200/2,400 to winning the whole thing for $212,604. He bested a field of 778.
“There's no reason to give up in these things because all you have to do is win three hands in a row and you've moved up to an average stack almost,” said Johns, who claimed his second bracelet after winning the $3,000 Limit Hold'em in 2006 for $291,755.
Johns is a limit hold'em specialist who makes a living grinding cash, reportedly at limits of $80/$160. He said he used to play a $100/$200 mixed game back home in Seattle, and studying for those games prepared him for the rare occasions he plays mixed nowadays.
That's key, because he bested a final table that included plenty of accomplished players, such as Scotty Nguyen, Andrea Akkari, Chris Vitch, and Justin Bonomo, whom Johns defeated heads up. Bonomo and Johns used to butt heads online way back in the day at $15/$30 limits online.
“This final table was ridiculous,” Johns said. “I've known a lot of them for a long time. I'm pretty sure all eight players were pros, and you don't see that very often in a $1,500 event.”
Official Final Table Results
|1||Ian Johns||Newcastle, WA||$212,604|
|2||Justin Bonomo||Glendale, CO||$131,412|
|3||Chris Vitch||La Jolla, CA||$92,374|
|4||Noah Bronstein||Kirkland, WA||$65,866|
|5||Georgios Sotiropoulos||Farrell, Greece||$47,651|
|6||Andre Akkari||Sao Paulo, Brazil||$34,984|
|7||Svetlana Gromenkova||New York, NY||$26,070|
|8||Scotty Nguyen||Las Vegas, NV||$19,724|
$565 PLO Event Draws 2,483
Pot-limit Omaha has been called the game of the future for years. While it still has a ways to go to catch no-limit hold'em, the 2,483-entry turnout for Event #12: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha proves there's a significant market for the game, and WSOP V.P. of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky confirmed to PokerNews they were pleased with the numbers.
“It was a terrific turnout,” he said.
Much like the Colossus, the structure was set up to weed out a large number of players on Day 1, with 30-minute levels and starting stacks of 5,000. That's exactly what happened, as it will be 80 players heading to Friday's Day 2, with Ahmed Alexander in the lead after bagging 517,000 chips for a narrow lead over David “ODB” Baker (482,000).
Other players still in and among the top stacks include Kyle Bowker (372,000),Darryll Fish (321,000), and Nick Jivkov (260,000). The much-maligned Chris Ferguson also bagged, finishing with 87,000.
Meanwhile, among the slew of bustouts were Stephen Chidwick, Chris Moorman, Mike Sexton, Mike Leah, Anthony Zinno, and Aaron Wallace, who won last year's $1,000 PLO event against a field of 1,293.
Day 2 gets underway Friday at noon, with 10 levels on tap, the length of which will double to one hour.
Down to 11 in the Dealers Choice Championship
Day 2 of the 2016 WSOP $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship started with 41 players. By the time ten levels of play were through, the money bubble had burst and just 11 remained.
Phil Hellmuth made a deep run, but ultimately ended 20th, leaving the rest of the field on the stone bubble. Short stacks Brian Hastings and David Chiu staved off elimination several times, doubling up on the bubble, and after more than a level of 19-handed play, the bubble finally burst when William O'Neil busted Jesse Martin making two pair in Big O versus Martin's aces.
Adam Owen, Jennifer Harman, Craig Chait, Eric Wasserson, Brian Hastings, David Chiu, and Kyle Miaso all busted in the money.
Jean Gaspard grabbed the overnight lead with recognizable names likeDan Smith, John Monnette, James Obst and Alexander Kostritsyn among those still in the mix.
Play resumes Friday at 2 p.m. local time with plans to play down to a champion with $306,621 and a WSOP bracelet awaiting the winner.
$1,500 Six-Max Down 21
A field of 183 players at the beginning of Day 2 of Event #10: $1,500 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em was pared down to 21, and the headliner in name, if not chips, is German superstar Fedor Holz. He finished the night with a stack of 157,000 as blinds get set to move to Level 22 (8,000/16,000/2,000).
Holz has already amassed more than $12 million in live cashes and is Germany's all-time money winner despite participating in just his second WSOP.
Another notable runner remaining is start-of-day leader Daniel Strelitz, who has nearly $600,000 in WSOP cashes but is still seeking his first bracelet. He bagged 1.258 million and is a legitimate threat to win. He final tabled this very event in 2014, finishing third for $180,587. The chip leader is Spain's Javier Garcirreynaldos, with 1.44 million.
888poker New Jersey Ambassador and 2015 November Niner Tom Cannuli, Mike Watson, Colossus II champ Ben Keelin, Michael Mizrachi, and Dan Kelly were among the players to go bust on Day 2.
The remaining 21 players make their return to play down to a winner at noon on Friday.
The $1500 Seven Card Razz Draws 461
The 2016 WSOP Event #13: $1500 Seven Card Razz drew 461 entries, creating a $622,350 prize pool that will pay 70 spots. A min-cash is worth $2,238 while $142,624 and a WSOP bracelet awaits the winner.
Barry Greenstein, Huck Seed, Jason Mercier, Todd Brunson, Calvin Anderson, Jeff Lisandro, Jason Somerville and Dzmitry Urbanovich were among those who took a swing and missed early in this one.
After ten levels, Sebastian Pauli bagged the overnight lead on over 100,000. Recognizable names like Daniel Negreanu, Fabrice Soulier, James Woods, Gavin Griffin, Shaun Deeb, Anthony Zinno, Mike Watson and defending champ Max Pescatori are among those still in.
When Day 1 play ended, just The 117 players remained. They will return to play Day 2 at 2 p.m. local time Friday.
What's On Tap?
All that, plus the 2016 WSOP continues with the start of Event #14: $1500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em at 10 a.m. and Event #15: $1500 Eight Game Mix (6-Handed) at 3 p.m. Friday.
Stay tuned to PokerNews for more coverage the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.