Can Jean-Robert Bellande break his duck in one of the biggest tournaments of the year?
1. Boatman just misses out
The $1,500 Extended Play, with 90-minute levels, proved extremely popular with 1,914 players creating a prize pool of $2,583,900 and a first prize of $478,102. It lived up to its name too, taking five days to complete, with the final three taking five hours to untangle.
Finally, Adrian Apmann did what he’d been threatening to do for the entirety of the final table. He’d only lost the chip lead to Barny Boatman for a short time and he deserved his first gold bracelet.
Boatman was after his second bracelet but on hand 192 of the final table he finally succumbed to Apmann, getting his money in with A-Q against A-K.
On Twitter afterwards Boatman said, ‘I’m knackered. Didn’t sleep for three nights. Was sure I was gonna be heads up, but you never know.’
Event #42: $1,500 Extended Play
[table id=149 /]
2. Six of the best for Jean-Robert Bellande
The $50k Poker Players Championship has played down to the final table and, as expected, it’s going to be a tough one. A few big names fell at the last – Jason Mercier bubbled, going out in seventh, with 2013 Matt Ashton dropping in 12th.
David Baker will be the chip leader when play resumes today at 2pm and Mike Gorodinsky is second, but all eyes will be on Jean-Robert Bellande. He hit a rush towards the end of the day and bagged up 2.18m chips, good for third place. With his @BrokeLivingJRB handle, Bellande is possibly the most high profile player never to have got his breakthrough win.
His biggest cash is $210,900 when he finished third in a WSOP Circuit event in 2005 and he hasn’t had a six-figure cash since 2011. His last cash at the WSOP was in 2012. That’s all set to change now, in one of the most prestigious tournaments of all – something his backers will be elated about. Bellande only has to avoid going out first to guarantee his biggest cash of $251,314, but he will be hoping he can finally win a WSOP bracelet and secure his first seven-figure score. There’s $1,270,086 up top, which prompted Andrew Robl to post to Bellande on Twitter: ‘I think it’s about time to get a new Twitter handle!’
You can watch Bellande on the live stream tonight, with a five minute delay (with commentary, but no hole cards).
Event #44: $50k Poker Players Championship final table
[table id=150 /]
3. Dara O’Kearney heads-up for gold
Ex-PokerPlayer columnist Dara O’Kearney is one of two players left in Event #45, $1,500 NLHE. He’s got a 5-1 chip disadvantage but he’ll be hoping a good night’s sleep will help him overcome the stack of Upeshka Desilva.
Both players are looking for their first WSOP bracelet and both have already guaranteed their best payday. O’Kearney’s best previous cash was $70,144 – actually his first ever cash back in 2008 when he won a European Deep Stack Poker Championship. The two will get it back on later today.
4. Hellmuth zeroing in on 15?
Phil Hellmuth is a WSOP machine. He won his 15th bracelet in a Razz event earlier in the series but now he’s back on familiar ground – stalking his 15th bracelet in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em. 41 players remain from 1,244 starters, and Hellmuth is currently seventh in chips, just behind Simon Deadman. Nam Le (8th), Carlos Mortensen (16th), Andy Black (18th) and Stuart Rutter (25th) make up a fairly stacked field. Play resumes at 1pm and the plan is to play to a winner but that’s unlikely to happen. If there’s no winner after ten levels the remaining players will return on Friday.
Event #47: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em
[table id=151 /]
5. Elezra leads final eight in $1,500 Stud
Eli Elezra has a commanding chip lead to take onto the final table of Event #48: $1,500 Seven Card Stud later today. He has 670,000 to second place Kenn Wittock’s 385,000. Look further down the list and you’ll find Allen Cunningham in fourth with 327,000. The final table starts at 2pm.
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