Tuesday will be a big day for the 2018 World Series of Poker. Two tournaments will crown champions, including arguably the most prestigious title in poker, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.
Event #33 - $50,000 Poker Players Championship
It only took three levels of action to go from 12 players to six in Event #33, but there was one constant. Two-time Poker Players Championship victor Michael Mizrachi was in the lead at the start of the day’s action and only expanded his lead as the day wore on.
Mizrachi started Day 3 play with 4.232 million in chips, good for a million-chip lead over Mike Leah and nearly a two million chip edge over Aaron Katz. The remainder of the dozen men arranged for battle featured one of the most feared players in the game, Phil Ivey (lurking right behind Katz), and John Hennigan, fresh off a previous 2018 WSOP bracelet win. There was even another multiple Sportsbook of the tournament (and a 2018 bracelet Sportsbook) still alive, as Brian Rast hung on with a short stack of 1.164 million chips.
The eight-game rotation – Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Better, No-Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball Triple Draw – was a test for the survivors of the 87 runners who started the event. Everyone was ensured of receiving at least $88,627 for their work on Monday, but the eyes of all were on the bounty that awaited. The WSOP bracelet, $1,239,126 in prize money and the honor of having their name etched on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy – those were the awards that each of the dozen men wanted to receive.
Alas, for a half-dozen of them, the dream would end on Monday. Jean-Robert Bellande was the first to go, pushing his stack to the center in No-Limit Hold’em with pocket sevens only to see Katz wake up with pocket queens. Ivey then got into the action, dropping Chris Vitch in 11th place in Razz by making a nine-low against Vitch’s queen-low. Once Leah eliminated Shaun Deeb in 10th place in Triple Draw, it was appearing as though it would be a quick day for those on this particular patch of felt.
The key hand for Day 3 came and it was only natural that it came between the two multiple Sportsbooks of this event. In Stud, Mizrachi and Rast squared off, with Mizrachi showing a pair of jacks in his up cards and Rast with a blocking jack among his motley selection of Q-J-6-4, when both took their seventh card. Immediately upon receiving that card, Mizrachi blind bet without even looking at it, which sent Rast into the tank. After a great deal of thought, Rast pushed his cards to the muck and sent a 700,000 pot to Mizrachi.
This only seemed to light the fires under “The Grinder.” He continued to rake the chips in, indiscriminate of who was giving them to him, as his chip stack rose skyward. He took down Rast in eighth and ended the day by knocking out Greg Mueller in seventh, rivering a backdoor straight to eclipse Mueller’s flopped set of jacks to end the day and rocket Mizrachi to nearly nine million chips.
|Michael Mizrachi||8.865 million|
|Dan Smith||4.485 million|
|Aaron Katz||2.6 million|
|John Hennigan||2.4 million|
|Benny Glaser||2.21 million|
|Mike Leah||1.22 million|
Event #35 - $1,500 Mixed Omaha (Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better, Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better, Big O)
The Mixed Omaha event will head to overtime on Tuesday, with three players battling it out for the WSOP bracelet.
Yueqi Zhu, who has journeyed to Las Vegas for two decades in the hunt for a WSOP bracelet, is arguably in his best position ever in Event #35. He will come back to the felt on Tuesday with a monstrous 4.515 million chip stack, dwarfing his two remaining opponents. Gabriel Ramos comes to the day’s fray with 970,000 in chips, while former WSOP Dealer’s Choice champion Carol Fuchs will have her work cut out for her with only 310,000 in chips.
The trio will return to the Rio’s Amazon Room at 2 p.m. Vegas time on Tuesday, looking to finish off the tournament. The eventual champion will earn the WSOP bracelet for this event and a $211,781 payday. A full report on Event #35 will be presented on Wednesday upon the completion of the tournament.