The moment has come. Las Vegas becomes poker's equivalent of Mecca during the next seven weeks, as players from all over the globe gather at the Rio Casino to determine the world's best poker players. The 2017 World Series of Poker kicked off on Wednesday May 31 with the Employees Event. Since then, two events awarded bracelets. A poker dealer from Maryland won Event #1 Employees Event and a real-life couple shipped the Event 32 Tag Team – Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov. And it's refreshing to hear that 50% of their winnings will be donated to REG Charity.
A couple events will be playing down to a final table on Saturday, including Event #3 $3,000 NL Shootout. With ten to go, Olivier Busquet is still alive and seeking his first win. Event #4 $1,500 Omaha 8 is closing in on its final table with 29 remaining and Christopher Logue at the top of the leaderboard. First place pays out $238,620. Actor James Woods (Casino) cashed in 70th place.
The $111,111 High Roller for One Drop commenced on Friday, but registration is still open. That high-balla affair attracted 199 runners... thus far. Former WSOP Main Event champ from Sweden, Martin Jacobson , is the current chip leader.
Event #1 $565 Casino Employees NL - Final Results
The opening event of the 2017 World Series of Poker was the "employees" event for anyone who works at a casino.
This first bracelet awarded this summer went to a poker dealer from Upper Marlboro, Maryland named Bryan Hollis. The 33-year old former pool enthusiast turned his eye to poker after he learned how to play Stud in the backroom of the local pool hall. Hollis said that he mainly played LHE and did not enter many tournaments.
Coming into the final table, Chris Solomon was the big stack and led for the majority of the final table... until he ran into Hollis. Hollis seized the lead when he picked off Josh Clanton in third place. Hollis defeated Solomon heads-up to win his first WSOP bracelet.
2017 WSOP - Event #1 $565 Casino Employees NL
Prize Pool: $325,500
Event #1 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Bryan Hollis (USA) $68,817
2. Chris Solomon (USA) $42,508
3. Josh Clanton (USA) $29,372
4. Jermel Stephens (USA) $20,629
5. Alex Cordova (USA) $14,731
6. Adem Arbukle (USA) $10,698
7. Chris Gallagher (USA) $7,903
8. Vincent Russell (U.K.) $5,941
9. Victor Kim (USA) $4,547
Event #2 $10,000 Tag Team NL Championship - Final Results
In this 10K Tag Team event, all members of a team earned the bling. A pair of Team PokerStars Pros and real-life couple binked the 2017 Tag Team event. Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov both won their first-career WSOP bracelet by winning event #2. First place paid out $273,964. The two split that prize for $136,982 apiece. In addition, these two socially-conscious be donating 50% of their winnings to Raising for Effective Giving (REG) Charity.
Boeree/Kurganov defeated the tag-team of Joe Kuether and Ankush Mandavia to win Event #2. On the final hand, Kurganov defeated Ankush Mandavia heads-up for the win. Kurganov played the majority of the final table, with Boeree subbing in whenever he needed a (piss) break. Due to their schedules, Boeree played most of Day 1.
Kurganov, a pro from Russia, had made 4 final tables but never won the big one. Boeree, from the U.K., cashed 20 times previously, but had never won a bracelet... until now.
During a winner's interview, Kurganov said... "This is genuinely an event where I'm happier about the two bracelets that we win from it. People always say that I want to win the bracelet, but here the ratio of bracelet to money is even better than usual." Boeree agreed, "We got max bracelet value."
Third place went to a four-donk team comprised of Daniel Negreanu, Eric Wasserson, David Benyamine, and Mark Gregorich. Kurganov picked off Danny Boy in third place.
2017 WSOP - Event #2 $10,000 Tag Team NL Championship
Prize Pool: $958,800
Payouts: 16 (teams)
Event #2 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Liv Boeree / Igor Kurganov $273,964
2. Joe Kuether / Ankush Mandavia $169,323
3. Mark Gregorich / David Benyamine / Daniel Negreanu / Eric Wasserson $119,753
4. David Fong / Anthony Ajlouny / Mike McClain $86,237
5. Lander Lijo / Javier Gomez Zapatero $63,253
6. Martin Jacobson / Mark Radoja $47,271
7. JC Tran / Nam Le / Antonio Gutierrez $36,008
8. Connor Drinan / Michael Aron $27,967
9. Moritz Dietrich / Dietrich Fast $22,156
Event #3 $3,000 NL SHOOTOUT - Final Table
The 3K Shootout is down to its final table. Among those still alive... Olivier Busquet, Jan Schwippert, Casey Carroll, Upeshka De Silva, Jean Gaspard, Mark McMillin, Louis Helm, Linglin Zeng, Taylor Paur, and John Richards. Event #3 attracted 369 runners and a prize pool fell short of $1 million. First place pays out $229,923 and 10th place locked up $14,675.
Notables who cashed... Dominik Nitsche (13th), Jared Jaffee (16th), Kyle Bowker (21st), Barry Greenstein (22nd), Andre Akkari (25th), Jake Schwartz (28th), Chris Bell (29th), and Jean-Robert Bellande (31st).
Event #4 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo - Day 3
The first O8 event at the 2017 WSOP started on Thursday. The event attracted 905 runners and a prize pool in excess of $1.2M. Only 29 players are still left in the hunt for the bracelet. Chris Logue is the chipleader with a stack nearly 500K. Also still alive... Jim Collopy. Kevin Gerhart, Ben Zamani, Kate Hoang, Aron Dermer, Marco Johnson, Carol Fuchs, and James Van Alstyne. Notables who cashed... Humberto Brenes, Bruno Fitoussi, Paul Tedeschi, Tuan Le, Brett Jungblut, actor James Woods, Shirley Rosario, Benny Glasser, and Dan Heimiller.
Event #6 $111,111 HIGH ROLLER for ONE DROP - Day 2
Only 79 players still alive out of the 119 runners in the $111,111 ONE DROP High Roller. The prize pool topped $12.5M... but registration is still open thru the first two levels on Day 2. Former Main Event champ Martin Jacobson bagged up the most chips at the end of Day 1. Charlie Carrel is second overall, followed by Doug Polk in third, Brian Rast in fourth, and Dan Smith in fifth.