Former poker dealer turned pro Lawrence Berg has won the Dealers Choice WSOP tournament. It was a six max event and featured 19 variants of poker. No limit holdem, H.O.R.S.E. and other poker games like Baduecey and Badugi were featured. The game played was the dealers choice or player on the button. It requires a lot of adaptability and flexibility of thinking to play this tournament well. For his win, he pockets $125,466. It’s the largest prize of his poker career for the 38 year old. He worked at the Bellagio before turning pro as a dealer.
Berg finished first among 389 players that included two previous gold bracelet winners Andrew Brown and Paul Volpe who finished third and fourth respectively. Chinese player, Yueqi Zhu, finished in second place for the $77,526 prize. Zhu has made 47 WSOP cashes to date. He learned how to play poker via the internet.
Some of the top finishers and their cashes were:
Lawrence Berg $125,466
Yueqi Zhu $77,466
Andrew Brown $50,250
Paul Volpe $33,393
Joey Couden $22,765
John Templeton $ 15,932
Daniel Habi $11,454
One of the exciting stories from the WSOP 2016 is the Colossus II. This is the second year of this event, a massive 21000+ entry event with the winner guaranteed $1,000,000. Benjamin Keeline took home the top prize. And his story illustrates how tough poker can be.
Several years ago, he’d won a WSOP Circuit ring and has pocketed over $400,000 in earnings over the years. That is good if you are part time poker player with a full time career elsewhere but for a professional poker player, it’s not much at all. Transportation and entertainment costs take a big bite out of the bottom line and can make small occasional wins look like little to show for results. Keeline left the world of poker for a while and took up being an Uber driver.
Poker earnings have to include costs of the tournaments and that may be travel related like hotel, transportation costs, entertainment costs as well as tournaments that might not have paid off costs as well. Making a clean profit in poker can be a very challenging. Keeline’s first entry was a washout, and had to enter a second time. And in more drama, he was down to a single $500 chip with antes at $500 and blinds $1500-$3000. So he came back from a very low point to overtake the competition and win the event for a massive payday of $1,000,000. The Colossus is one of the largest poker tournaments in history with over 21000 entries. The buy-in for the event is $565.
The final hand of the Colossus was no different for Benjamin Keeline. He had a pocket pair of jacks. His opponent, Jiri Horak from Czecholslavakia had Ace Nine unsuited. As the flop rolled out, an Ace and Nine appeared and victory looked likely for Horak but four of the five cards were spades giving Keeline a spade flush victory.
The top nine finishers were:
Benjamin Keeline $1,000,000
Jiri Horak $618,000
Farhad Davoudzadeh $462,749
Richard Carr $348,462
Marek Ohnisko $263,962
Christopher Renaudette $201,151
Alex Benjamin $154,208
Jonathan Borenstein $118,937
Xiu Deng $92,291
Winning his fourth WSOP bracelet, Robert Mizrachi has won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event at the 2016 WSOP. In 2014 he won the Dealer’s Coice event and 2015 he won the Omaha Eight or Better event. For his win, he picks up a prize of $242,662 and gold bracelet.
He started the final day as chip leader and had quite few competitors. It’s not every day that a chip leader can hold that lead to first place but somehow he managed. Among his competitors were Ted Forrest and three time bracelet winner George Danzier.
The head to head tournament was comprised of Mizrachi and Matt Grapenthien, who previously won this event in 2014. Even though he lead going into the showdown, it took three hours of card playing till the final hand came.
The final hand was won by Mizrachi who had pocket aces against Grapenthien’s unsuited four and three. For second place Grapenthien picks up $149,976.
Kyle Julius wins his first bracelet and the $142,972 first place cash. He won over Belgium’s Bart Lybaert in the WSOP Top Up Turbo No Limit Holdem Event. He triumped over a field of 667 players. This is the first bracelet of his professional poker career and at 29 is looking at the road ahead for his poker career.
The Top Up Turbo No Limit Holdem structure was unusual in that players could double their chip stacks from sit n go tourneys at the Rio and online. They could also purchase additional chips for $1000. About half of the players elected for additional chips bringing the total pool to $681,000. Innovation has been key with use of online tournaments and entries. Most of the tournaments have online registration as well.
Ben Yu was knocked out for third place by Julius and this set the final heads up match between Julius and Belgium’s Bart Lybaert. It was a brief round though with Julius going all-in with a 4 pair against Lybaerts King of clubs, nine of hearts. Though the flop revealed a king, it also revealed a four of clubs, giving Julius a three of a kind and a victory. Lybaert won $88,328 for his runner up position.
The WSOP is off to an exciting start. The Colossus is set to resume today June 7 for the final matches.
The top place finishers were:
From May 31st to July 19th marks the 2016 WSOP. It’s the largest in history and there are games for all levels from one dollar buy-ins and up to the One Drop for Water $111,111 buy-in and there is the first leg of the famous Main Event.
The first event was the $565 Casino Employees event. It was won by Christopher Sand who took home over $75,000. There were a total of 731 entries with 110 winners. The Colossus one of the larger prize pool tournament is in full swing with a prize pool of $7,000,000. $1,000,000 is guaranteed to the winner of this tournament. It’s a five day event.
Stay tuned in for more updates from the WSOP 2016.