There were 1,400 runners that began the day at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino and by the end of the late registration period, there was a total of 2,065 entries generating a prize pool of $1,858,500, exceeding the 1,867 runners who entered this tournament last year.
After the last chance saloon had closed for business it was Mike Takayama taking down Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty. His victory against Lorenc Puka heads-up would earn the Filipino player a coveted WSOP gold bracelet and a prodigious $198,568 first place cash prize.
The structure of this tournament is one that favors brave players and Takayama was about as courageous as there was in the field. The words "all-in" seemed to fall out of his mouth more frequently than the words fold.
"I'm very happy with how I played and it is everyone's dream to win a bracelet" was Takayama's response when asked about his playing style.
The Philippines native was all in at two points with very few outs but still managed to hit the cards he needed to win.
"Two suck out hands then I kept building and building," Takayama said when asked about the hands in question, before smiling and declaring: "I am now the first Filipino to ever win a bracelet".
Final Table Results
|3||Matthew Smith||United States||$88,938|
|4||Steve Jelinek||United Kingdom||$65,145|
|5||Spencer Baker||United States||$48,196|
|6||Kavish Shabbir||United States||$36,019|
|7||Elizabeth Montizanti||United States||$27,193|
|8||Jack Duong||United States||$20,743|
The day began with many notable pros in the field including Phil Laak, Mike Watson, Greg Raymer, Phil Hellmuth, Kevin Eyster, Scott Davies, Mohsin Charania, and many more. One name especially that stood out was Shaun Deeb, who has been on a heater and is currently occupying the top spot for 2018 player of the year. Deeb made the money but came up short when he got it all in on a flip and went out 172nd place for $1,214.
A total of 310 places were paid at least a min-cash of $1,000, in addition to any bounties acquired. By the time the tournament was nearing the bubble Jacob Snider was the chipleader, but could not go the distance and he would end up going out in 50th place ($3,490).
Among the players to cash the event were Michael Moore (24th - $6,275), Pablo Mariz (32nd - $5,103), Jake Bazeley (33rd - $5,103), Jaspal Brar (48th - $3,490), Jordan Polk (71st - $2,497), Greg Raymer (120th - $1,471), and Taylor Wilson (122nd - $1,471).
The official final table bubble was Jens Thomsen who moved his short stack all in from the button, only to run into a Takayama's bigger hand. Oliver Rusing would be the first official final tablest to hit the rail after Takayama hit an ace against his pocket queens to put him out in ninth.
Jack Duong was just another casualty to Takayama's run-good. Duong got it in as a big favorite to double, but Takayama spiked two pair against him and he exited in eighth place.
Elizabeth Montizanti moved all in preflop and got two callers. Takayama bet the pot to chase the other player out and the two turned over their cards with Takayama's top pair holding on for the elimination of Montizanti.
A round after Kavish Shabbir lost a big all in against Matthew Smith to get short. Shabbir ended up all in preflop against Takayama shortly afterward. Takayama would river a three to send him out in sixth.
Spencer Baker held on as long as he could and then moved all in from the button. Smith called him from the big blind and the board would not run out in Bakers favor as Smith would flop a jack, holding on for the pot.
One of the bigger stacks late in the day was Steve Jelinek who would go toe-to-toe with Takayama and as everyone else did before, would fail and be sent home with Takayama's set of deuces besting his ace high.
Smith shoved from the button and Takayama called his all in. Takayama was in rough shape as Smith turned two pair, but the river completed a straight for Takayama and Smith was sent home in third.
The heads-up play was fast and furious as Takayama applied immense pressure to Puka. It started off well for the Italian, who doubled at the very beginning of heads-up play. But Takayama just kept pushing his stack around and when the final buzzer went, it was Takayama who came out on top. Takayama took down the title, the bracelet, and the $198,568 first place cash prize.
The PokerNews team will be bringing you full coverage of every WSOP event this summer.