Johnny Chan
The 1989 world champion Johnny Chan is in the Day 2 seat draw after a superb day at the felt on Tuesday.

Four events took place on Day 36 of the 54th annual World Series of Poker, as the Main Event concluded a massive Day 1b, the Mini Main Event was won, and a bracelet was claimed in the PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship too. With the online WSOP High Roller event reaching a final table of six too, it was all action at the Horseshoe and Paris casinos on Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Day 1b of Main Event Surpasses 1,100 Entries, Johnny Chan Crushing

A huge day of action on Day 1b of the $10,000-entry WSOP Main Event saw 1,118 entries, 819 survivors and The Orient Express running over the competition. Yes, the World Championship welcomed some true greats of the game on Day 1b and by and large they survived in style.  After another massive day of drama, the total field in this year’s Main Event has reached 2,158 players, with 1,621 survivors over both Day 1 flights to date.

On top of the Day 1b chipcounts was South African Jean-Pierre van der Spuy (287,000), but he was very closely followed by stars such as French professional Julien Martini (286,000), Finnish poker star Patrik Antonius (263,500) and Russian player Anatoly Filatov (231,000), with both those last two having never won a bracelet in their illustrious careers.

A little further back, modern greats such as Daniel Rezaei (216,200), Chris Brewer (173,000) made the cut, with the 1987 and 1988 world champion Johnny Chan (218,000) ending the day in 16th place. ‘The Orient Express’ has never made the final table since Phi Hellmuth beat him heads-up to deny him three in a row in 1989 but could hardly be better positioned to change all that this year. All eyes will be on Chan on Day 2abc in two days’ time.

WSOP 2023 Event #76 $10,000 Main Event Leaderboard:
Place Player Country Chips
1st Jean-Pierre van der Spuy South Africa 287,000
2nd Julien Martini France 286,000
3rd Yuze Ding United States 284,500
4th Gar Cheung United States 281,500
5th Andrew Graham United States 277,700
6th Scott Numoto United States 268,200
7th Patrik Antonius Finland 263,500
8th Jevon Lam United States 243,000
9th Robert Lofaso United States 233,500
10th Anatoly Filatov Russia 231,000


Gafford Gets Gold in Maiden Bracelet Victory

Surprise winner Bradley Gafford took down the $1,000-entry Mini Main Event for $549,555 Just five players returned to action on the final day, and Oliver Berens was quick to bust in fifth for $147,129 when his AhQd lost to his fellow AmericanJosh Reichard’s TcTd. A ten-high flop was awful news for Berens and he was drawing dead to the river as Reichard sailed home with a full house on 4th street.

Next to go was Jennifer Abad, who became the latest female player to fall just short of winning an open bracelet event, which through 74 event of the 95 to take place has not happened. Abad called off her stack with KhJs and lost to Reichard’s Ac3d after a board of 9c8d3c6c7h fell to send her home in fourth for $193,103.

Three remained, but not for long, as the overnight leader, French pro Jeremy Oleon, busted for $255,215. Short stacked too, his small blind shove with Kd4h was met with a call by Reichard with Ah3h and the best hand held after initially falling behind, the board coming Kh8d6hJhAc to give Reichard an unassailable heart flush on the turn.

Despite eliminating all three opponents to that point on the final day, Reichard was just shy of Gafford’s stack going into the final duel, with Reichard’s 156 million two million short of the chip leader’s impressive chip mountain. Winning a crucial pot thanks to a kicker after both players flopped top pair, Gafford capitalised instantly, shoving in the next hand with 4d3h. Calling with As9c, Reichard couldn’t hold, as a board of JhJc6h3c5s rewarded the chip leader’s aggression on the turn and ended the event in the first-timer winner’s favor.

“I just thought everything would go my way today and it did,” Gafford told PokerNews in the aftermath of his momentous victory. “I haven’t really processed it yet. I was planning on playing [the Main Event] tomorrow [Day 1c] but we will see what happens tonight and I might jump in the final flight [Day 1d].”

WSOP 2023 Event #74 $1,000 Mini Main Event Results:
Place Player Country Prize
1st Bradley Gafford United States $549,555
2nd Josh Reichard United States $339,646
3rd Jeremy Oleon France $255,215
4th Jennifer Abad United States $193,103
5th Oliver Berens United States $147,129


Kamel Rides Home in PLO Hi-Lo Championship

“I actually planned on coming second!”

The $10,000-entry PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Event #75 saw Hassan Kamel of Australia take home the title ad $598,613 top prize after his decision to pause a cross-U.S. road trip to play the event paid off handsomely. Getting the better of Ryan Hoenig heads-up at a final table that saw overnight leader Deutsch skittled in sixth and mixed games crusher Dylan Weisman bust in fifth, Kamel confirmed to PokerNews that he has no intention of taking on the Main Event over the next couple of days.

“I don’t really like playing tournaments,” he laughed. “I found my favorite game, hung out, and have been road-tripping across America.”

Kamel’s refreshing honesty might grate with his opponents, but if it does, it would appear Kamel cares little.

“I actually planned on coming second!” he said in words that will no doubt be music to Hoenig’s ears. “I said I was going to bust the $1,500 three times and come second in the bracelet event but I only busted the $1,500 only twice and came first in the $10k.”

Kamel’s immediate plans aren’t WSOP-related.

“[I’m going to stay] in town, get blind drunk tonight and go back out the next day. I am still in the middle of my road trip and my car is in Minneapolis right now. [I’ll] fly back there and continue the trip.”

Whoever is in that car with Kamel might want to buckle up, because there’s only going to be one subject discussed on the blacktop from Minneapolis to the coast.

WSOP 2023 Event #75 $10,000 PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship:
Place Player Country Prize
1st Hassan Kamel Australia $598,613
2nd Ryan Hoenig United States $369,972
3rd John Holley United States $265,156
4th Anton Smirnov Russia $192,562
5th Dylan Weisman United States $141,727
6th Stephen Deutsch United States $105,737
7th Long Tran United States $79,979
8th Dzmitry Urbanovich Poland $61,346


Soverel Leads Final Six in Online NLHE Championship

Sam Soverel is the chip leader with six remaining in the ‘hybrid’ format WSOP Online High Roller NLHE Championship. Costing $5,300 to play and taking place on Day 1 at the virtual felt, the remaining six will battle it out under the lights at the Horseshoe to determine the bracelet winner. It’s an interesting format and with $393,000 and the latest bracelet up for grabs, everyone will be taking the climax of this event very seriously indeed.

Of the six stars still in with a shout of glory, former bracelet winner, the American Sam Soverel (2.8 million) has the most chips, marginally ahead of two-time WSOP title holder Yuval Bronshtein (2.7m).

A little further back, sharks swim in shallow waters, with Aleks Ponakovs (1.5m), Ethan Yau (1.3m), Lingkun Lu (1.1m), and Gergely Kulcsar (525k) all hoping tomorrow is their day in the sun.

WSOP 2023 Online Event #13 $5,300 NLHE High Roller Championship:
Place Player Country Chips
1st Sam Soverel United States 2,873,636
2nd Yuval Bronshtein Israel 2,741,876
3rd Aleks Ponakovs Latvia 1,593,689
4th Ethan Yau United States 1,311,441
5th Lingkun Lu United States 1,153,794
6th Gergely Kulcsar Hungary 525,564


We’ve all been at the table when ‘that guy’ spills his drink. We thought these drinks were supposed to make you more alert and improve reaction times.

This may sound like a scene from The Godfather, but Steven ‘Cuz’ Buckner has a point. That message is: Wash Your Hands After Going to the Bathroom If You’re Playing Poker. We wholeheartedly endorse this message.

The shocking bombshell that Phil Hellmuth has given away all but his first of 17 WSOP bracelets is bad enough, but the Poker Brat gave out the full list today.

Finally, Bartstool Nate is impressed with Las Vegas’ new addition to the Sin City skyline – a giant sphere. Billed as the largest spherical object in the world, its grand purpose has been revealed… as a skyline ‘screensaver’.

PokerGO is the place to be for live streaming the World Series of Poker 2023. Sign up today and access all the action from Las Vegas, Nevada, the home of the WSOP.