Ronnie Day Event 4
Ronnie Day won the Tournament of Champions for $200,000 on Day 5 of the 2023 WSOP.

The fifth day of action in the 2023 World Series of Poker saw some of the best players in the world go head-to-head for gold, glory and bragging rights. With action in the $25,000 Heads Up Championship, Dealer’s Choice and Mystery Millions, there were huge days at the felt for stars such as Doug Polk, Chris Brewer and even WSOP commentary legend Lon McEachern.

Doug Polk One of Four into Heads Up Championship Semis

The $25,000-entry Event #2, the Heads Up Championship, took place and sent players through the money places and into the semifinals as Doug Polk stormed his way into the latter stages of the event. With a top prize of over $507,000, Polk made it through to the semis with Chris Brewer, Sean Winter and Chanracy Khun as a dramatic battle for profit took place at the Horseshoe.

In the Round of 16, Eric Wasserson beat Daemon Richardson but then couldn’t get the better of Sean Winter in his quarterfinal after Winter had put the chill on legendary poker coach Kevin Rabichow. Chanracy Khun took care of Gabor Szabo to set up a quarterfinal face-off to play Winter but awaited the result of a heads-up corker.

In one of the most hotly anticipated matches of the Heads Up Championship so far, Landon Tice took on Chance Kornuth and it was the youngster who got the better of the three-time bracelet winner. Up 5:1 in chips, the final hand saw Tice shove pre-flop with Ah3s and Kornuth snap-call with the superior AsTd. The board was a heartbreaker for Kornuth, however, coming Kd9c5c8c3d to river the three-time WSOP bracelet winner and put tice in the money and into the quarters against Khun.

Matt Berkey shed a little light on how Tice prepared for the match and the day in general.

Khun got the better of Tice in a close match, trips and top pair switching the lead early and setting up a couple of crucial pots that never got to showdown. After flopping trips, Khun leapt into a big lead and won after a board of Kh6c5c4hAs gave Tice a rivered top pair with Ad3d, but Khun two pair as he held 6d5d and his progress was confirmed.

In the other half of the draw, Doug Polk was the dominant player, but even he needed to come from behind. After beating Japanese star Reiji Kono in the Round of 16 to make the money, Polk won his quarterfinal in dramatic circumstances when he triumphed against Daniel Negreanu’s conqueror Roberto Perez. All-in with ace-queen, Polk fell behind to Perez when the Spanish player hit a five on the turn. The river completed a wheel straight for Polk, though, and he took off on a lap of the table, high-fiving fans on the rail!

Doug Polk PS
Doug Polk is one of only four players remaining in this year’s Heads Up Championship WSOP event.

Polk will not have it easy in the semifinals, with Chris Brewer to come. The American came through one of the toughest games of the series to date, battling to victory against multiple WSOP and WPT winner Anthony Zinno to book a meeting with Polk in the final four. After the dust settled, however, Polk was bullish about his chances in an interview with PokerNews, stating:

“I feel really good about my chances. I’m probably the favorite tomorrow. The only thing I would say is my short-stack game isn’t particularly great, but as long as the stacks are deep I feel extremely good about my chances. I would imagine I’m the best deep-stacked No-Limit Hold’em player tomorrow. This is my favorite event.”

Ronnie Day Wins Tournament of Champions in Style

As summer poker dreams go, winning a WSOP Circuit Ring and a WSOP bracelet within a few weeks is right up there. Most poker players in American this WSOP season will have had the dream, but for Ronnie Day it turned out to be a vision, as he captured the crown in Event #4. At the seven-handed final table, Barry Schultz busted first when his JsJc were eclipsed by Patrick White’s KcTc when the board came 8s7h4cKs2d to send him home with $26,000.

Out next was the only non-American player at the felt as Canadian Justin Hotte-McKinnon crashed out in sixth for $35,000. He called off his stack pre-flop with Qd5c and was right to do so, with Patrick Day having shoed light holding Tc7h in the small blind one seat to Hotte-McKinnon’s right. Luck was not on the Canadian’s side, however, as it came Qs7d2s8sTd to give the eliminated player a queen on the flop, but his opponent two pair by the river.

Overnight leader Wissam Gahshan busted in fifth for $46,000 some time later, his Kh7c no good against Day’s AsQs on a dry board, and soon after, play was three-handed. Hunter Mcclelland lost with the dominated hand as his ace-deuce was beaten by Brent Gregory’s ace-six to send Mcclelland to the rail with $63,000.

Patrick White’s heroics ended in a third-place finish for $87,000 when his pocket sixes were beaten by Day’ pocket kings and that hand was enough to vault Day into a decisive chip lead. Holding 15.3 million chips to Gregory’s 6.9 million, it was all over when Gregory shoved on a board showing Ad5s4s5c holding 6s5d only to be called by Day who had Js[5h[]. Out-kicked, Gregory couldn’t find a miracle on the river of a 3d as his tournament ended in second place for $120,000 and Day booked his first-ever bracelet victory to cheers from his family and friends on the rail.

WSOP 2023 Event #4 Tournament of Champions Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Ronnie Day United States $200,000
2nd Brent Gregory United States $120,000
3rd Patrick White United States $87,000
4th Hunter McClelland United States $63,000
5th Wissam Gahshan United States $46,000
6th Justin Hotte-McKinnon Canada $35,000
7th Barry Schultz United States $26,000


All Ukraine Heads Up Sees Shlez Grab Gold

Two non-American players don’t often battle for a WSOP bracelet heads-up. When they do, it’s even rarer for those two players to be rom the same country. Add into the factor that war-torn Ukraine is naturally finding it tougher to send players to compete at this year’s WSOP and it was an amazing final duel in Event #7 of the 54th annual WSOP on Saturday night.

Vadim Shlez and Rostyslav Sabishchenko were the players in question, as the former outlasted the latter and players of even more experience on his way to winning a first-ever bracelet in his 31st WSOP cash. The two Ukrainians were well-matched, with Rostyslav Sabishchenko only having seven fewer cashes than his compatriot coming into the final showdown.

At a final table that saw the three-time WSOP bracelet winner David ‘ODB’ Baker bust eighth for $13,917, overnight leader Jason Duong also crashed out early, cashing for $18,196 just one place higher in seventh.

WSOP 2023 Event #7 $1,500 Limit Hold’em Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Vadim Shlez Ukraine $146,835
2nd Rostyslav Sabishchenko Ukraine $90,753
3rd Kerry Welsh United States $63,577
4th Raul Celaya United States $45,301
5th John Armbrust United States $32,840
6th Chairud Vangchailued United States $24,228
7th Jason Duong Canada $18,196
8th David “ODB” Baker United States $13,917


Hennigan’s World in Dealer’s Choice Championship   

With the first day of action in the bag in Event #9, one of the most prestigious events of the summer saw John Hennigan the chip leader at the close of Day 1. The Dealer’s Choice Championship costs $10,000 to play and will have a prizepool of at least $1,060,000 with registration yet to close. Players can – and will – buy in until the first card leaves the deck on Day 2, and it will be Hennigan they’re all chasing. The Poker Hall of Famer has six WSOP bracelets already and piled up 309,500 chips with which to attack Day 2 of the event.

Elsewhere in the top 10 chipcounts, David Bach (273,000), Patrick Leonard (202,500) and Brian Rast (190,000) will all be massive threats, but there is work to do for Daniel Negreanu (49,500), Erik Seidel (33,000) and Phil Hellmuth. The Poker Brat couldn’t help poke fun at his chances after the opening day of the event.

WSOP 2023 Event #10 $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship Leaderboard:

Place Player Country Chips
1st John Hennigan United States 309,500
2nd Marco Johnson United States 297,500
3rd David Bach United States 273,000
4th Anatolii Zyrin Russia 255,000
5th Larry Tull United States 208,500
6th Ray Henson United States 203,000
7th Patrick Leonard United Kingdom 202,500
8th Zachary Freeman United States 202,000
9th David ‘Bakes’ Baker United States 190,000
10th Brian Rast United States 190,000


Kessler is Ton Up, Monnette Leading Final Table in Seven Card Stud

“I’m proud to join an exclusive list of those players who’ve cashed in 100 or more bracelet events.” – Allen Kessler

The $1,500-entry Event #9 Seven Card Stud event was notable for reaching the final table on Day 5 of the WSOP, but it was also a monumental moment for Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler. In cashing during the event, Kessler bagged his 100th World Series of Poker score, a record with which he is rightly satisfied.

“I’m proud to join an exclusive list of those players who’ve cashed in 100 or more bracelet events,” he told us after the conclusion of the day’s action. “[I’m] honored to be included with them.”

With only nine players remaining from the 361 entries, it is John Monnette who leads the field into the final day. His chip stack of over 1.9 million dwarfs most, but Nick Schulman (1.3m) will have high hopes he can prevent Monnette from winning a fifth bracelet by claiming a fourth of his own.

Shorter-stacked players such as DJ Buckley (880,000) and Shaun Deeb (675,000) will have no doubts about their ability to come back from their positions to claim victory, meaning a thrilling conclusion is on the cards tomorrow as the bracelet will be won on Day 6.

WSOP 2023 Event #9 $1,500 Seven Card Stud Leaderboard:

Place Player Country Chips
1st John Monnette United States 1,975,000
2nd Nick Schulman United States 1,375,000
3rd Hojeong Lee United States 1,140,000
4th Tab Thiptinnakon United States 1,135,000
5th DJ Buckley United States 880,000
6th Andrew Hasdal United States 770,000
7th Shaun Deeb United States 675,000
8th Bruce Levitt United States 665,000
9th Tim Frazin United States 440,000


Mystery Millions Lining Up Two Millionaires

There could be not one but two million-dollar bounties to be won on Day 2 of the Mystery Millions after a phenomenal level of attendance on the final Day 1 flight, Day 1D. The total field stands at 18,188, with 1,005 players returning to the felt tomorrow. Irish player Ronan Nally (2,820,000) was tops after Day 1d with good showings by Calvin Anderson (2,390,000) and Zachary Wilson (2,350,000) in the top three. With others such as Matt Affleck (1,880,000) and Tyler Cornell (1,540,000) bagging up at the close of play, tomorrow’s first day of bounty action is almost guaranteed to award a millionaire life-changing money for a $1,000 buy-in.

It’s what the World Series if all about; just ask Matt Glantz, who is still in the hunt to win the top bounty prize in consecutive years.

WSOP 2023 Event #3 $1,000 Mystery Millions Day 1d Leaderboard:

Place Player Country Chips
1st Ronan Nally Ireland 2,820,000
2nd Calvin Anderson United States 2,390,000
3rd Zachary Wilson United States 2,350,000
4th Stanley Lee United States 2,280,000
5th Kevin Eyster United States 2,180,000
6th Rtamaswamy Pyloore United States 2,055,000
7th Jonathan Ounjian United States 2,040,000
8th Vahid Jalali United States 2,010,000
9th Phong Chau United States 1,965,000
10th Edward Pak United States 1,935,000


Spare a thought for Matt Affleck. The poker professional and all-round good guy may have long moved on from his devastating 2010 WSOP Main Event exit, but clearly the TV screens in the Horseshoe haven’t.

Vanessa Kade wanted to take a moment to let everyone know how she’s been enjoying her Sunday Millions winning after (perhaps) watching The Cable Guy a few too many times.

It was Lon McEachern’s birthday and the legendary WSOP commentator proved he loves playing just as much as talking about poker, being at the felt on his special day.

Finally, keep this player in mind when you’re joining the queue for the next WSOP Event’s registration… or whatever it might be you’re queueing for.

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