Ben Yu Wins
Ben Yu won his fourth WSOP bracelet after a stunning victory in Event #56

Two more WSOP bracelets were won at the Rio on Sunday night as Ben Yu claimed his fourth gold bracelet of his career with a victory in the $10,000 NLHE Six-Handed for $721,453 and Robert McMillan perservered in Event #52, the Seniors Event, for his first-ever WSOP gold and $561,060 as he closed out a famous victory.

Ben Yu Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet

Ben Yu won his fourth WSOP bracelet as he closed out the six-handed Event #56 in style, beating Nikita Kuznetsov heads-up to win $721,453. At an exciting final table, play kicked off between the final six players with Mike Sowers holding a big lead with 4.8 million chips to Kuznetsov’s 3.8 million. At that stage, Yu was the short stack, but he still had 49 big blinds to play with, and with WSOP victories in 2015, 2017, and 2018 to call on, he proved dogged enough to grab bracelet number four.

The first player of the six to bust was former four-time WSOP bracelet winner Asi Moshe, with the Israeli going down with Jd9d after his top pair on the flop was shot down by Sowers’ flush after his As8s hit a flush on the river to win through and condemn Moshe to sixth and $97,660.

With five players left, Sowers may have risen to chip leader, but Yu was making moves too, albeit in smaller pots. Steve Yea was busted in fifth place for $137,303 when all-in with KhKd against Ariel Mantel’s AsTc, with all the chips going into the middle pre-flop. The board of AdTd8h6s6h sending Yea home and further boosting Sowers’s stack.

Mantel was on a mission too, however, and a double-up through Sowers opened up the whole tournament. Yu grabbed some from Sowers too as sharks circled in the water. Sowers lost more chips either side of the dinner break and suddenly was out of the event, all-in with Ac8s against Yu’s Kd6d and delivered from the felt by a king on the river.

Sowers had banked $198,205 for his deep run and Mantel had it even better when he cashed in third place for $293,578. After some perfectly timed aggression from Kuznetsov weakened Mantel’s stack, the latter was all-in with JdJs. Yu, by far the chip leader at this stage, called with Kh7h and both he and his heads-up opponent watched in delight as the board of KdQd4c7d9h busted the unfortunate Argentinian and send Kuznetsov into raptures.

“My friend,” he exclaimed in the Thunderdome. “Russian people love you!”

Heads-up, Yu had an almost unassailable lead, sitting with 16.8 million playing his Russian frenemy’s 2.8 million. While Kuznetsov had laddered, he could not manage a further ascent, and fell away when his 2s2c was shot down by Yu’s JsJh, who had no little trouble holding through the sweaty AsQh3h4d8d board. Yu’s victory, worth $721,453, gave him his fourth bracelet, with his Russian opponent winning $445,892 for coming second.

WSOP 2021 Event #56 $10,000 Six-Handed NLHE Final Table Results:

  1. Ben Yu – $721,453
  2. Nikita Kuznetsov – $445,892
  3. Ariel Mantel – $293,578
  4. Mike Sowers – $198,205
  5. Steve Yea – $137,303
  6. Asi Moshe – $97,660

McMillan Closes Out Emotional Seniors Victory

When the nine-handed final table began, McMillan was one of the shortest stacks, sat on just 6 million chips, way behind Christopher Cummings, who had started the day as chip leader and continued that trend to the final table, sat behind 24.3 million as the action got underway.

That lead had increased by the time that Daniel Lujano became the first player to bust, crashing out in ninth place for $58,425 when his shove with Ah2s ran into Jonathan Ingalls with Ad8s and couldn’t catch up. Next to go was Todd Hansen, who busted in eighth place for $73,873 when Ingalls again claimed another victim.

This time, Ingalls had TsTc and put his opponent all-in, with Hansen calling with 8s8d on a flop of Kd6c3c, but the turn 2c and river 2d couldn’t save Hansen. Ingalls was on the rise and he wasn’t the only one, with Dennis Jensen also chipping up, specifically at the expense of Louis Cheffy when he busted in seventh for $94,030. Cheffy shoved with AhKs, but would need to hit as Jensen called with QsQc and didn’t on the jack-high board.

Despite those heroics, Jensen spent the next mini session watching the stack he’d worked so hard to accumulate disappear. On a board showing Kc7c3d8d, Jensen led out then called off Robert Davis’ all-in. Jensen was at risk with KhTc for top pair on the flop, but he was behind Davis’ 7s3s and stayed there through the 2s river to bust in sixth for $120,484.

In fifth place, it was the overnight chip leader Christopher Cummings who fell after the day got away from him and he cashed for $155,401 instead of playing for the title. Cummings moved all-in with JcTc and was called by Daniel Stebbins with AcAd. The queen-high board provided no sweat for Cummings, who was drawing dead by the river.

With four players left, Ingalls met with his exit as Davis claimed another scalp. This time, Davis had KdTh and Ingalls was all-in pre-flop and at risk with the dominated Ks9s. The board of Jc8h7c9d2d saw Ingalls hit his card on the turn only for it to provide his opponent with the winning straight as he crashed out in fourth place for $201,753.

Three-handed, Davis had a big lead, sitting with 73 million chips to McMillan’s 21 million and Stebbins with just 14.2 million. That changed as Stebbins doubled through Davis with jacks holding against queen-ten suited and as play continued, the stacks evened up with each man grabbing the initiative at a different time. Stebbins it was who busted third for $263,640, but when he did so it was to the new chip leader in McMillan.

Stebbins rivered a straight with Th7h on a board of KsJs9c9s8h, but the same card gave McMillan and unassailable full house with the 8s8c in his hand for Stebbins to depart. McMillan, so short earlier in the day, now had a better than 2:1 chip lead.

It took next to no time for the winner to close it out. McMillan raised to a flop of Qh8h2d then saw a turn of Kd, sitting with Qc9c. Davis had come all that way with 4d4s but put McMillan to the ultimate test with a shove on the turn, only for McMillan to find the call and watch the end the tournament play out in his favor when the Ks landed on the river.

WSOP 2021 Event #52 $1,000 Seniors Event Final Table Results:

  1. Robert McMillan – $561,060
  2. Robert Davis – $346,743
  3. Daniel Stebbins – $263,640
  4. Jonathan Ingalls – $201,753
  5. Christopher Cummings – $155,4016
  6. Dennis Jensen – $120,484
  7. Louis Cheffy – $94,030
  8. Todd Hansen – $73,873
  9. Daniel Lujano – $58,425

Less Than 50 Remain In COLOSSUS

In Event #55, the massive Colossus event, which costs just $400 to enter, saw 1,181 players whittled down to just 49 by the close of play, with four former WSOP bracelet winners in Anatolii Zyrin (9,675,000), Vincas Tamasauskas (6,025,000), Brett Apter (3,000,000) and Carlos Chang (1,775,000) all making Day 3.

The Day 2 chip lead is held by Rafael Fernades with 23,300,000 chips, who is followed in the counts by John Trinh (18,850,000) and Elad Kubi (18,675,000), meaning a big lead is in place for Day 3. With others such as Avi Cohen (12,675,000) and Matthew O’Meara (12,400,000) also making the top 10, it’s a stellar field who will return to battle for the bracelet on Day 3.

WSOP 2021 Event #55 $400 Colossus Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Rafael Fernandes – 23,300,000
  2. John Trinh – 18,850,000
  3. Elad Kubi – 18,675,000
  4. Michael Lee – 16,900,000
  5. Avi Cohen – 12,675,000
  6. Matthew O’Meara – 12,400,000
  7. Penh Lo – 12,175,000
  8. Yonatan Basin – 12,000,000
  9. Lucas Kulbe – 11,925,000
  10. Alexandre Malod – 11,900,000

Wong Leads $10K 2-7 Triple Draw Final 8

Event #57 saw 43 Day 2 players play down to just eight as Danny Wong had the kind of dominant day at the Rio that many of us can only dream of. Wong bagged up an incredible 1,755,000 chips by the close of play, with second-placed Brian Yoon (1,170,000), the only other player with over a million chips.

Elsewhere in the final eight, players such as Joao Vieira (290,000) and Brandon Shack-Harris (275,000) will both be attempting to prove that a short-stacked player can win from this position yet again, but others won’t have that chance having busted on Day 2. Those included stars of the felt such as Dan Smith, who finished 9th for $24,910, Nathan Gamble (10th for $20,057), and five-time bracelet winner and POY boss Shaun Deeb, who departed in 13th place for $16,552.

WSOP 2021 Event #57 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Final Table Chipcounts:

  1. Danny Wong – 1,755,000
  2. Brian Yoon – 1,170,000
  3. Wil Wilkinson – 945,000
  4. Don Nguyen – 565,000
  5. Jordan Siegel – 300,000
  6. Joao Vieira – 290,000
  7. Brandon Shack-Harris – 275,000
  8. Mike Thorpe – 110,000

Doyle Brunson Plays The Super Seniors

In the Super Seniors Event #58, there was a magical moment inside the Rio as Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson arrived to play, sitting down in Level 6 of the popular event. Brunson, who wore his trademark cowboy hat, is now 88 years old and looks unlikely to add to his incredible haul of 10 WSOP bracelets. Despite that, he remains a poker legend and while he lasted only an hour, his face ended up on thousands of people’s camera rolls.

Brunson would not make Day 2 of the event, leaving the Rio in his ride-on chair to applause from many players and fans at the felt, but another WSOP legend did make the cut. Sammy Farha finished second to Chris Moneymaker in 2003 as the WSOP Main Event of that year precipitated a ‘poker boom’ we are all still enjoying the reverberations from.

Farha totaled 204,100 by the close of play, good for one of the biggest stacks that remain as players such as Jack McClelland, Bill Klei, and Lisa Roberts all joined Doyle on the rail. Now that would be some cash game if they decided to set it up.

Finally, it’s not just fans on the rail whose heads turned when Doyle Brunson zoomed into the room on his motorized cart. The 16-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth couldn’t wait to snap a selfie in the name of positivity.

WSOP 2021 Event #58 $1,000 Super Seniors Event Selected Chipcounts:

  1. Farhad Davoudzadeh – 414,000
  2. Steve Schneider – 433,000
  3. Gary Bain – 235,000
  4. Ron Lemco – 231,600
  5. Arthur Schiavo – 222,800
  6. Randy Vee – 222,000
  7. Hal Marcus – 220,000
  8. Sammy Farha – 204,100
  9. Martin Yates – 175,000
  10. Valerii Lubenets – 175,000

Tag Team Back Again

In Event #59, players joined forces to play in a ‘Tag Team’ event that cost $1,000 to enter and seemed to bring with it Hallowe’en fancy dress as standard. Jeff Platt – who reached fourth place in Event #43, the Double Stack, teamed up with fellow PokerGO broadcaster Brent Hanks to pay tribute to Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu in the… weirdest way possible.

At the felt, Hanks and Platt did very well, making the top 10 with 166,500 chips by close of play. The chip leaders were Mike Ruter and Samy Dighlawi (338,000), while the intriguing and powerful duo of Xuan Liu and Melanie Weisner bagged up 159,000 to put themselves in a very strong position for the win too.

WSOP 2021 Event #59 $1,000 Tag Team Event Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Mike Ruter & Samy Dighlawi – 338,000
  2. Haven Werner & Thomas Taylor – 295,000
  3. Keith Doering & Bill Schaeffer – 235,500
  4. Nikita Luther & Kunal Patni – 195,000
  5. Mike Watson & Sarah Goddard – 169,500
  6. Jeff Platt & Brent Hanks – 166,500
  7. Alexey Mishuk & Alon Eldar – 160,000
  8. Alon Eldar & Unknown – 160,000
  9. Melanie Weisner & Xuan Liu – 159,000
  10. Nellie Park & Joey Weissman – 144,500

Yockey Leads $50K PPC Day 1

Finally, Event #60 took place, with the $50,000 Poker Players Championship one of the highlights of the schedule for many fans, especially those of mixed games. With 43 entries on Day 1, there could well be just as many entries on Day 2, with registration closing after 10 levels and a break.

One player barely got into his seat before he was all-in, but Scott Seiver survived and his opponent ended the night as the short stack.

With 39 players still in the hunt from their initial stack, only Jake Schwartz, Matt Ashton, Michael Noori, and Albert Daher went to the rail and will not be able to re-enter. Daniel Negreanu ended the day on just 77,000 chips.

It was a different story for Bryce Yockey, who led the field with 653,000 chips by the time the bags came around, with 2019 WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino (520,500) and Chris Vitch (504,500) his closest challengers. Others to thrive on Day 1 included Eli Elezra (460,500), Randy Ohel (457,000), Shaun Deeb (448,500), Yuval Bronshtein (440,500) and Brian Rast (437,000), all of whom made the top 10, while the aforementioned Seiver eventually bagged up 366,000 chips.

WSOP 2021 Event #60 $1,000 $50,000 Poker Players Championship Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Bryce Yockey – 653,000
  2. Dario Sammartino – 520,500
  3. Chris Vitch – 504,500
  4. Eli Elezra – 460,500
  5. Randy Ohel – 457,000
  6. Shaun Deeb – 448,500
  7. Yuval Bronshtein – 440,500
  8. Chad Campbell – 439,000
  9. Brian Rast – 437,000
  10. Ryan Leng – 433,000