WSOP round-up: John Kabbaj finally strikes to win the UK’s first bracelet of 2014

Brit wins his second bracelet in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo and Max Silver heads the $10k Six-Handed event

It hadn’t been a stellar start to the 2014 WSOP for the Brits. Two final tables from the first 20 events, with only 47 cashes in total, makes for sorry reading.

We’ve had slow starts to the WSOP before though. Last year we didn’t win any bracelets for four weeks and 48 events, before Barny Boatman came through to win one of the most popular bracelets for the UK scene of all time.

And the past week has been a much better one for the UK.

Field of Dreams

The WSOP is a field of dreams for every poker player and two Brits almost provided the fairytale moments of 2014. Dave Burt and Liam Alcock won their trips to Vegas in a pub poker league, and both made final tables in their first WSOP events – Dave Burt in Event 21 ($1k No-Limit Hold’em) and Liam Alcock in Event 23 ($1k No-Limit Hold’em Turbo).

Dave Burt went onto his final table as the short stack and couldn’t find a double-up, running into Aces after shoving with Q-J. He flopped a Jack but couldn’t improve, leaving with $24,702 – a big improvement on his only other recorded cash of $194 in an APAT Omaha event.

Liam Alcock started his final table in third place, and quick eliminations saw him ladder up to at least fifth place money when high roller superstar Tony Gregg was railed. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, and Alcock lost a huge flip with Jacks against A-K. The 10-J-3 flop looked great for Alcock but a Queen on the river provide a cruel way to bust. Alcock won $54,088 for his adventure and his first recorded cash.

Chufty close again and Kabbaj strikes gold

Richard Ashby went close to his second bracelet for the second time at the 2014 WSOP in the $10,000 HORSE event. After placing second in the $10k Limit Omaha event, Ashby went onto the table of the HORSE with high hopes but was cut short again, finishing in 4th for $150,625. With two other small cashes, it brings his 2014 haul to $432,533.

Then finally, in Event 25 ($2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo), John Kabbaj struck for the UK.

Kabbaj started the final table 4th in chips, with 8-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel in 6th. Tom Schneider was the first to hit the rail after Erik Seidel rivered a straight in an Omaha hand. Kabbaj then took out Mike Leah in a hand that saw him almost double up. Leah raised UTG with A-A-6-10 and Kabbaj defended with 3-Q-K-J. The 3-3-5 flop was huge for Kabbaj and all the money went in on the Qd turn, and his full house held on the 5s river.

Kabbaj had the chip lead when Seidel was railed in 6th and held onto his lead when he eliminated Terrence Hastoo in 4th. In another Omaha hand the money went in with Hastoo holding A-2-4-5 and Kabbaj A-2-10-9. The J-2-10 flop gave Kabbaj two pair and the board denied Hastoo the low chop to leave Kabbaj in pole position and on 1.6m in chips.

Kabbaj took out Christopher McHugh in 3rd to leave himself heads-up against Thomas Keller with a 2:1 chip lead. He didn’t have to wait long to turn this into a victory, which came in a Stud hand. Kabbaj tabled A-J-9-7-Q-7-6 for a pair of Sevens while Keller could only muster a pair of Threes.

It’s Kabbaj’s second WSOP bracelet win after his triumph in the $10k Pot Limit Hold’em Championship in 2009 and the $267,327 prize money takes his earnings to $2,786,344 in total.

No second for Boatman 

Barny Boatman’s bracelet win was the standout result of last year’s WSOP and he made another final table over the weekend in Event 28, the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em. Boatman started the table as the short stack with 146,000, with Chino Rheem at the other end on 1,366,000 and Todd Brunson 0n 300,000.

Boatman only gave his rail seven hands to savour this time, getting his chips over the line with a gutshot that didn’t hit. Alex Bilokur went on to win his first bracelet and the $398,567 first prize.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Max Silver currently heads up the final 13 in one of the WSOP’s most prestigious events, the $10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship. This is one of the toughest fields of the summer and the remaining players make for exciting reading. With Max Silver on 1.27m, 2009 Main Event winner Joe Cada is in third with 794k, with JC Tran, Scott Clements, George Danzer, Layne Flack and Erick Lindgren still in the running.

Action resumes tonight at 10pm and you can watch the final table – and what promises to be a rowdy rail – at

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