WSOP Daily Digest, June 18: Dreams come true in the Monster Stack, Mercier wins third, Deadman second again!

Perry Shiao wins the WSOP Monster Stack for over $1m in only his third live cash ever

1. Monster Stack makes dreams come true

Once Hoyt Corkins was the first player to be eliminated from the final table of the $1,500 Monster Stack, it became a war of attrition. There was a heap of money on the line and, for a lot of players, this was the poker dream made real – life changing money up for grabs on the biggest stage of them all.

Most of the remaining eight players had little live experience. Perry Shiao had two live cashes before the Monster Stack totaling $8.5k, Christian Rodriguez had $40k career earnings, Josh Wallace had $1.5k and Caio Toledo had never cashed in a live event before. With $1,286,942 up top and huge pay jumps it created a fascinating dynamic, with players obviously desperate to ladder and not crash out before the really big money kicked in.

It had everything that makes poker such a great game. When Toldeo crashed out in eighth he went straight to the rail and proposed to his girlfriend, who said yes. It left him as one of the two big winners on the night – the life prize more than making up for missing out on truly life-changing money.

And there was despair. Brazilian Fernando Konishi was the big chip leader when the final table began, and must have thought he was set for third place money minimum – $594,397 – but ended up going out in seventh. It was all too much for Konishi, who was distraught at winning $195,543 – the paradox of poker laid bare for all to see. It was touching to see all the players go up to console him as he sat disconsolate on the floor, but he was beyond help. He eventually stood up before throwing his hat to the floor and walking over to his rail who hugged him before he trudged off to the cash desk.

Josh Wallace was next out and he was happy with his laddering, which netted him $255k. Then Christian Rodriguez saw three players call his short-stack all-in. He didn’t survive. With everyone now guaranteed almost half a million dollars it freed the play up. The very next hand Kevin Kung fell when he called an all-in with pocket Sevens with a 20BB stack. Eric Place had Nines and they held up. Ten hands later Asi Moshe was taken out by Place when he moved all-in with A-K on a 6-5-3 flop only to see Place call and table K-5.

It gave Place a 2-1 chip lead but he couldn’t convert it into his first bracelet. Perry Shiao ground him down, took the chip lead and then got the money in with a flush draw which he hit on the turn. He was mobbed by his rail, who literally swept him off his feet. Talking afterwards he said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with the money. I haven’t even thought about it yet. I dreamed I might win but I didn’t realize the dream would be like this.’

2. Deadman second again!

If the Monster Stack highlighted one end of the WSOP spectrum, the final table of the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed was the other. It ended with PokerStars pro Jason Mercier and Simon Deadman battling heads-up. Simon Deadman has a habit of finishing second – in 2014 he finished second in an incredible six tournaments before breaking his duck at the Hollywood Poker Open. It was groundhog day for Deadman, who adds another second to his résumé.

Mercier had a 2-1 chip lead when the money went in preflop, Deadman calling Mercier’s shove with K♣-Q♣. Mercier had Sixes and the flop of J-4-T gave Deadman the most equity in his hand but he couldn’t hit and had to settle for the $391,446 runner-up money. Mercier is in red hot form at the moment. He won three SCOOP titles before the WSOP and adds his third bracelet and $633,357 to bring his career earnings to $14.5m.

3. First gold for Argentina

Chris Moorman threatened to win his first bracelet in the $1k NLHE, but in the end he failed to make the final table, finishing in a disappointing tenth spot for $20,423. Franco Ivan Luca went on to make history, winning Argentina’s first ever WSOP bracelet and the $353,391 first prize in his first ever WSOP cash.

4. Two for the UK

Benny Glaser won the UK’s second bracelet of the series when he defeated Brock parker heads-up in Event #33, the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw. After not cashing a single time at last year’s WSOP, Glaser made it through a field of 388 to pick up his first bracelet and $136,215.

Meanwhile, Toby Lewis is in a great position to add number three in the $1,500 Split Format Hold’em event. With 32 players left from a field of 873, Lewis is second in chip to Jonas Christensen, with David Vamplew in 19th. Play resumes today with 16 heads-up matches, with the eight winners going on to the final table.

5. UK and Germany dominating the $10k 6-Max

The tournament all the pros want to win is the $10k 6-Max and with 102 players left from 259, the UK and Germany have taken a stranglehold on the top 10. Gabriel Andrade from the States is chip leader, but Max Silver is in second and Jake Cody is fourth. Germany has three players in the top 10 – Timo Pfutzenreuter (5th), Claas Segebrecht (8th) and 2014 WCOOP winner Fedor Holz (9th). Doug Polk, Erik Seidel, Phil Galfond, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Faraz Jaka, Niall Farrell and Jonathan Duhamel all bagged up chips and will be looking to run it up when play resumes at 2pm.

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