The 2014 World Series of Poker is delivering in spades with record turnouts proving that poker is in rude health
Event 2 – $25k Mixed-Max
Vanessa Selbst became only the second woman in history to win three bracelets when she secured the prestigious $25k Mixed-Max bracelet early on Saturday morning. Selbst had to come from behind twice – in her semi-final heads-up match against Alfred Decarolis and in the final against Jason Mo.
Heads-up for the bracelet, Selbst was a 5-1 chip underdog when the two players took a 20-minute break after hand 52. She used the break to watch the delayed live stream and came back to use the information to the max as she clawed herself back into the match on hand 63 when she turned a set of Queens that gave Mo top pair.
Only Barbara Enright has as many bracelets as Selbst now and although Enright is still playing, her last bracelet win was in 1996. It would take a brave person to bet against Selbst moving clear before the end of the WSOP.
Selbst said afterwards, ‘There’s no feeling like having your first gold bracelet. But there’s no feeling like having your third, either. They’re all pretty incredible.’
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Event 7 – $1.5k Seven Card Razz
Phil Hellmuth came close to his 14th bracelet last night, when he got heads-up against old-school pro Ted Forrest for the Seven Card Razz title. Hellmuth began the final table second in chips and with a great chance of adding to his gold. He made it to heads-up with Ted Forrest and the two rivals enjoyed a back and forth heads-up match that saw the chip lead yo-yo before the blinds caught up with them.
In the final few hands Hellmuth was on the wrong end of the cards, with Forrest catching at crucial points. The first major swing came with the hands reading 10-Q-6-8-3-5-J for Hellmuth and 5-5-2-Q-A-6-9 for Forrest. Shortly after Hellmuth was crippled when Forrest caught a Two and a Six on the end to make an A-2-3-5-6 low.
Hellmuth got on the mic afterwards, not to berate his opponent but to congratulate him. Has the Poker Brat mellowed in his old age? Seemingly so – he followed up on Twitter saying, ‘Congrats to my old friend Ted Forrest on winning #WSOPRazz tourn. If I had to lose to someone, I’m glad it was Teddy… 2nd place for me.’
It’s Forrest’s sixth WSOP bracelet and his first since 2004, taking his all-time winnings to $6.2m.
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It’s not just about the names though – numbers at the 2014 WSOP have been fantastic as well. Event 3, the $1k Pot-Limit Omaha tournament won by Brandon Shack-Harris, entered the record books as the biggest non-hold’em tournament ever. 1,128 runners sat down to contest the bracelet with a first prize of $205,634.
Event 8, the $1.5k Millionaire Maker became the second biggest tournament of all time, with 7,977 runners over two Day 1s putting it behind the 2006 Main Event (8,773) and ahead of the 2010 Main Event (7,319). The first Day 1 saw 4,722 players sit down, which is a record for a single sitting at the Rio. Only 178 players are left in the hunt for the bracelet and the incredible $1,319,587 first prize. The UK’s Andrew Teng is stacked with 351,000, with three players sitting at the top with over 600k.
The final table of the Millionaire Maker will be streamed live with hole cards on a 30-minute delay. It will start around 10pm UK time tomorrow night at WSOP.com – don’t miss it!
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