Sunday threesome. Three more events played down to a champion. We got a little bit of everything. A little Dealers Choice, gambool action with PLO, and short-handed NL. Adam Friedman, the poster boy for WSOP's "agony of defeat" via ESPN's coverage of poker, won his second-career bracelet. Friedman shipped the coveted bracelet from Event #18 $10,000 Dealers Choice (6-max), which included the premier mixed-game players in the world.
Ship it to Bulgaria! Ognyan Dimov won his first bracelet with a victory in 6-max NL hen he won Event #17 $1,500 NL 6-Handed. Craig Varnell, a grinder who rose up through the ranks of casinos and cardrooms in Black Hawk, Colorado, shipped Event #19 $565 PLO. Varnell, a pro based in Las Vegas now, won his first bracelet.
Oh, and in case you were counting, the PLO event marked the fifth time Jesus Ferguson cashed this summer. Another small payout for Jesus who now has three cashes worth less than $927. His biggest cash thus far was $3.7K in Mixed Lowball.
Event #18 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed - Final Results
Dealers Choice. Feels like your home game, except with the best of the best mixed game players in the world. And this is one of those cut-throat events in which your weakness will be exploited by the sharks. So you couldn't slack off at any time and had to be prepared to slug it out during your least favorite game, or the game where you bled the most chips.
Adam Friedman won $292K and his second bracelet by outlasting a tough-as-balls field of 111 players. Friedman previous won his first piece of bling at the 2012 WSOP when he shopped a Stud Hi/Lo bracelet for $269K. Friedman was the master of the mixed games this weekend, mostly because he was confident in playing all 20 with solid skills.
"You need to know how to play 20 games," Friedman told the media during a post-victory interview with WSOP staff. "How many people are at least competent in at least 20 games? Not many. I think this takes as much skill as any other event."
Overall, he's made 8 final tables at the WSOP and now won two of them. Hey, 25% if a decent clip! Friedman cashed 26 times and counting at the WSOP.
Friedman didn't have an easy draw. He rolled up to the final table of Dealers Choice and saw the likes of Stu Rutter, Alexey Makarov, Chris Klodnicki, ODB Baker, and Marco Johnson. I mean... not one easy spot in that bunch. Even if you knew their weakest games and it got called every time, it was still gonna be one intense slog.
Marco Johnson bounced first in sixth place. ODB Baker was next to bust in fifth place. Man, someday... Bakes and ODB will play heads-up for a WSOP bracelet and the internet will explode.
Chris Klodnicki missed a shot a piece of bling when he was knocked out in fourth place. Mark my words... Klodnicki is gonna bink an event before the summer is over. And I'm not just saying that because he's on my fantasy team!
The final three returned for an extra day of action. Friedman held the lead, but coughed it up early on. Russia's Alexey Makarov busted in third place, when he got taken out in Triple Draw by Rutter. With Makarov's elimination, it set up the heads-up bout between British pro Stu Rutter and Friedman.
Baduecy put Friedman back in the lead and Rutter never recovered. For a runner-up's share, Rutter took home $181K. Not too shabby, eh?
Nikolai Yakovenko bubbled off the final table in seventh place.
Bracelet-winner and mixed-game cash-game specialist Jesse Martin nearly missed the final table, but his run ended in tenth place.
Notables who cashed in the $10K Dealers Choice included... Anthony Zinno (8th), Ryan Miller (9th), Jess Martin (10th), Dylan Linde (11th), Joe Couden (12th), Aditya Prasetyo (13th), Bryce Yockey (14th), Mikko Hirvonen (15th), Lawrence Berg (16th), and Timothy Batow (17th).
2018 WSOP - Event #18 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed
Event #19 $565 PLO - Final Results
PLOdonkament alert! The first running of the uber-donks went off without a hitch. One of the lowest buy-ins on the docket also coincided with a PLOdonkament.
Event #19 $565 PLO attracted 2,419 PLO-enthusiasts, thrill seekers, and gamboool-heads.
When it was all settled, Craig Varnell is the Donk Slayer!
Varnell cut his teeth in the mountains of Colorado playing poker in the rustic casinos in Black Hawk, located just outside of Denver. Colorado has a small, regional scene, but their top level of players are top notch. Varnell won a couple local events and his fledgling career took off from there. Varnell eventually moved to Las Vegas and the rest is history.
Canada missed a shot at winner its first bracelet in the PLO affair. Two Canucks were in the mix, but neither could go all the way to the promised land.
Former WSOP Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel went deep and final tabled another event, but he busted in sixth place. Maxine Heroux, also from Canada, was picked off in fourth place.
Seth Zimmerman earned $112K for a runner-up finish.
Varnell banked $181,790 for first place, but he was super stoked about winning his first bracelet.
"Poker leveled out my life," Varnell told the media and WSOP staff moments after his victory.
Notables who went deep in the PLO affair... Ryan Laplante, Nick Jivkov, Loni Harwood, Rick Fuller, Zhou Zhou, John Racener, and Andreas Krause.
Other familiar faces who cashed included... Martin Staszko, Josh Reichard, Ben Yu, Dutch Boyd, JC Tran, Ken Po, Dan Hood, Mike Dentale, Tony Cousineau, Greg Raymer, Adam Geyer, Joe Serock, The Grinder, Loren Klein, Rainer Kempe, Will the Thrill, Bakes, Barry Greenstein, Oskar Silow, Lief Force, Chris Bell, Jeff Gross, Porter Lambert, Anton Wigg, Rocco Smeriglio, and James Obst.
And yes, Jesus Ferguson cashed in the Running of the PLO Donks for his fifth cash this summer. Another baby cash for Jesus with his third cash this year worth less than four figures. Yes, Jesus now has the triple trio! Or the dreaded three-digit payout.
2018 WSOP - Event #19 $565 PLO
Prize Pool: $1,209,500
Final Table Results:
1. Craig Varnell (USA) $181,790
2. Seth Zimmerman (USA) $112,347
3. Omar Mehmood (USA) $81,852
4. Maxine Heroux (Canada) $60,190
5. Christopher Trang (USA) $44,677
6. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) $33,477
7. Shaome Yang (USA) $25,325
8. Jason Lipiner (USA) $19,344
9. Ilian Li (USA) $14,920
Event #17 $1,500 NL 6-Handed - Final Results
Three cheers for Bulgaria! It's gonna be a raging party in the streets of Veliko Tarnovo tonight! Their native son, Ognyan Dimov, went to Vegas, survived swimming with sharks, and a stacked 6-handed final table at that included 4 bracelet winners (in the other 5 seats). Dimov, who made waves with a nice score on the EPT, will return home with a stack of cash and a newly-polished WSOP bracelet.
Ognyan Dimov outlasted 1,663 runners to win the short-handed donkament. The prize pool topped $2.2 million and Dimov banked a sensational payout worth $379K. That's an impressive score any way you cut it, especially considering how many sharks he outlasted deep in this event. Dimov earned every cent.
It took nine tries, but Ognyan Dimov finally won his first bracelet. The Bulgarian caught the poker fever a while back and he's hell bent on winning more bling! Gotta love his enthusiasm.
Ognyan Dimov outlasted a final table that had a couple of dangerous players in Nick Schulman and Ryan D'Angelo. I wouldn't want to see either of those two at my short-handed table... let alone both of them. The rest of the final table were no slouches either, featuring Yue Du, Joey Weissman, and Tony Barbato. Both Du and Weissman had won bracelets before, in addition to D'Angelo and Schulman. Yeah, four bracelet winners among the final six.
Du was the first to exit, followed by Weissman. Golfa was dunzo in fourth, which set up a three-handed brawl between Nick Schulman, Tony Barbato, and Ognyan Dimov. With three to go, Schulman was the odds on favorite to win as the only bracelet winner left in the mix. Schulman had legit end-game experience, but he couldn't sheild himself from Dimov's heater. Schulman got it all in with Ace-ten but got murked by Dimov's Ace-eight with the proverbial eight on the river.
A heads-up battle was set between the two Europeans... Italy's Tony Barbato and Dimov. Barbato missed a chance to win a first bracelet for Italy this summer when he busted in second place. Barbato earned $234K for a consolation prize. Not bad, eh?
Dimov got to fondle a stack of greenbacks worth nearly $379K. Oh, and he got to slap on his new bracelet. I have a feeling the young Bulgarian will be back. A lot.
Notables who went deep in the 6-max event included... Bart Lybaert, Pierre Calmusa, Jared Hamby, Adrian Mateos, Tristan Wade and Adrian Buckely.
Familiar names who cashed in Event #17 included... Martin Jacobson, Brent Roberts, Bill Berry, Vinny Pahuja, Dan Larson, Jordan Young, Kevin Eyster, Matt Silva, Sebastian Pauli, Tom Marchese, Gregg Merkow, Amnon Filippi, Barry Greenstein, Chance Kornuth, Gaelle Baumann, Brent Hanks, Hugo Perez, Jordan Hufty, Shannon Shorr, Jeff Madsen, Jon Jaffe, Safiya Umerova, and Tom Lutz.