The 2018 World Series of Poker is now in full throttle with more than half the schedule in the books. On Wednesday, Yaniv Birman battled through four former WSOP bracelet winners to capture his first title, while some of the deeper-pocketed pros stepped up to battle it out in the latest High Roller event.
Event #38 - $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship
The final day of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship event saw a stellar final table come together to determine a victor. Birman (958,000) had a slim lead over two-time WSOP bracelet winner Jesse Martin (916,000), with the gap back to the field a wide one. In that pack, however, were two-time bracelet winner Ben Yu, Matt Grapenthien and Australia’s James Obst, one of the top stud players in the world.
From the start, Birman went on the attack. He would put the short-stacked Obst in worse shape in one of the first hands, then cracked the million mark in pushing Yu off a hand on Fifth Street. As Birman cruised, the scramble began under him as Lars Gronning, Joseph Capello and Obst were knocked off the boat in eighth through sixth places, respectively. Even after that flurry, Birman still held the edge, pushing his stack over two million when he chopped over 400,000 in chips out of Martin’s stack.
The Birman steamroller continued to flatten the final table as he took down Yu in third place, hitting a perfect wheel – (4-3) 2-5-A in his first five cards – to crush Yu’s (10-6) 9-K-6-J (10) and take a million-chip lead to heads-up against Martin. Birman’s constant aggression – and excellent cards – would wear Martin down; in less than an hour, all Martin’s chips would be in front of Birman, with Birman’s final hand of (5-2) Q-7-A-9 (9) eking out the edge over Martin’s (J-3) 10-7-Q-A (3) with Martin all-in with the ante.
Event #42 - $25,000 Eight-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller
One of the events circled on the 2018 WSOP calendar by those with some money to spend had to be Event #42, the $25,000 Eight-Handed PLO High Roller tournament. It seemed that the players never stopped coming to the felt on Wednesday for Day 1 action, with some of the luminaries of the game taking their chances in the game. In fact, some took more than one chance, as the tournament featured a single re-entry, of which many in the field took advantage.
With 10 levels in the books from Wednesday, such players as Poker Players Championship winner Michael Mizrachi, Ben Lamb, Bryn Kenney, Jesper Hougaard and Anthony Zinno were sent to the rails. Of those who were knocked out, 24 players re-entered the tournament but, with late registration open for two more levels on Thursday, there still could be additions to the 192 entries already received. Players like Mizrachi and others who might be looking for their first taste of the PLO wars are expected to come back on Thursday for a fresh start.
They will come back to a 101-player field that has Konstantin Beylin at the helm of the ship. Beylin, however, will have to fend off the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Chance Kornuth, Robert Mizrachi, Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen and former world champion Scotty Nguyen, who will all be in the top 25 and chasing Beylin on Day 2. The action will begin at 2 p.m. (Pacific time), with the prize pool and the payouts being determined by dinnertime in the tournament on Thursday.
|David Len Ashby||498,500|
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