Busy weekend at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Several bracelets were up for grabs at the 2018 WSOP. All eyes were on Shaun Deeb as he won the $25,000 PLO High Roller. But a couple other bracelets were awarded over the last 48 hours. We witnessed players step into the winner circle for the first time including a Texan, a LA grinder, and a pro from Spain. Nicholas Seiken, Mario Prats Garcia, and Rob 'Rec Rob' Nehorayan etched their names in the history books.
On Saturday, Nicholas Seiken outlasted 109 players to win Event #44 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship. Sieken won the first-ever Triple Draw tournament he played and battled against a pro-heavy final table. Mario Prats Garcia flipped on Terminator mode and took out most of the final table of this 30-min level event in a 13-hand span. Garcia binked Event #45 Big Blind Antes $1,000 NL for his first win. On Friday night, Rob 'Rec Rob' Nehorayan took down Event #41 $1,500 Limit Hold'em for his first bracelet win.
And last but not least, Matthew 'mendey' Mendez binked Event #47 $565 WSOP.com ONLINE PLO (6-Handed) for a nifty score worth $135K. Mendez took advantage of the shared liquidity between Nevada and New Jersey, and won this event from his home in the Garden State. Mendez made history in the process.
Event #41 $1,500 Limit Hold'em - Final Results
Ship it to Rec Rob!
Two local L.A. players got heads-up for a bracelet. Kevin Song had previously won one but he was seeking his second. Alas, Rob Nehorayan had other plans. Rob Nehorayan picked off Song heads-up to prevent Song from winning bracelet #2. In the process, Rec Rob won his first bling.
Song banked $107K for a runner-up finish. Rec Rob is $173,568 richer.
Nehorayan and Song found themselves at a Limit final table that also included David Gee, Terri Gutierrez, Michael Jex, Brad Albrinck, Oleg Chebotarev, Matt Russell, and Matt Woodward.
Rec Rob told the WSOP staff how he got his moniker.
"That's my nickname at home. A kid Adam gave it to me one night. We were playing no-limit. I think we were playing $20/$40/$80 at Commerce and I called a big bet on the river with just an ace. The kid like flipped out 'How do you call with just an ace?' and this kid Adam just goes 'That's rec Rob, man. He's a recreational player. He can't fold an ace.'"
Ship it to Rec Rob!
Jeffrey Scheibner bubbled off the final table in tenth place.
Matt Grapenthien was lurking late in the event, but he would have to wait another day to win another bracelet. Grapenthien busted in 11th place.
Notables who went deep in Event #41 included... Svetlana Gromenkova, Mike Falk, Jesse Hampton, Jin Kim, John Pires, Ben Lazer, Happy Shulman, Philip Tom, Kevin Gross, John Galbraith, Chip Jett, Warren Colman, and Phil Goatz.
2018 WSOP - Event #41 $1,500 Limit Hold'em
Prize Pool: $804,600
Final Table Results:
1. Robert Nehorayan (USA) $173,568
2. Kevin Song (USA) $107,272
3. David Gee (USA) $73,860
4. Terri Gutierrez (USA) $51,733
5. Michael Jex (USA) $36,860
6. Brad Albrinck (USA) $26,725
7. Oleg Chebotarev (Russia) $19,723
8. Matt Russell (USA) $14,820
9. Matthew Woodward (USA) $11,343
Event #44 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship - Final Results
Beginner's luck, eh?
Lowball is not something that noobs can bing like no limit hold'em. Nicholas Seiken had some skills despite the fact he had never played in a Triple Draw tournament before. I'm sure the pros at his final table are thinking otherwise, but the young Texan survived a shark-infested final six to win his first bracelet.
Event #44 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship attracted 109 players. They were all seeking the coveted title. There were a few bracelet hunters in this event as well, along with the top Lowball players in the world.
This Lowball Championship final table included Randy Ohel, Kristijonas Andrulis, Farzad Bonyadi, Matt Glantz, and Jason Gray. The amateur held the chip lead going into the final table, but he sensed he was the dog despite sitting atop the big stack.
British pro Jason Gray was the first player to exit the final table.
Matt Glantz, who is not shy to share his opinions on Twitter about poker and life, went deep but narrowly missed a bracelet. Glantz was knocked out in fifth place.
Freddy Bonyadi, fresh off his mother's victory in the Super Seniors earlier in the week, was trying to add to the Bonyadi clan bracelet count. Alas, Freddy's run ended when he was knocked out in fourth place.
Lithuanian pro Kristijonas Andrulis bounced in third place, which set up a heads-up battle between pro Randy Ohel and Nicky Seiken.
The online whiz and legendary Cal Anderson embarked on a deep run, but he fell short of the final table, when he busted in 12th place.
Bracelet winner Hanh Tran bubbled the final table in seventh place.
Only the top 14 places paid out in Event #44. Among those who cashed... Hang Tran (7th), Chris Kruk (8th), Nike Noori (9th), Steve Tabb (10th), Quek Sechariah Sheng (11th), Cal Anderson (12th), Tyler Messervy (13th), Mike Matusow (14th), Andrew Kelsall (15th), Todd Brunson (16th), and Jordan Siegel (17th).
2018 WSOP - Event #44 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship
Event #45 Big Blind Antes $1,000 NL - Final Results
Ship it to Mario Garcia!
Spain vs. Great Britain heads-up for the bracelet. This wasn't a World Cup match, it was just another Saturday night at the Rio Casino. Europe would actually finish 1-2-3 in this event with a German locking up third place.
In total, 5 Europeans made this 9-handed final table. Four Yanks vs. 5 Euros. November Niner Martin Staszko represented the Czech Republic at the final table. Two players from Spain made the final table... and one would go on to win.
Lande Lijo from Spain was the first player to exit the final table when he busted in ninth place. Staszko bounced in eighth place. American pro DJ MacKinnon hit the rail in seventh place.
Mike Wang was the highest placing American with a fourth-place finish. Sebastian Dornbracht from Germany, busted in third place, which set up the heads-up battle between Spain and the U.K.
Alas, Matthew Hunt could not stop Garcia, who knocked out the final five players in only 13 hands! I don't think anyone could the way he was running so hot. Hunt banked $159,532 for a runner-up finish.
Garcia walked away with $258,255 and his first-ever bracelet.
John Tamayo bubbled the final table in tenth place, while Athanasios Polychronopoulos missed another bracelet by a few spots. The Greek-American pro from New York busted in 11th place.
Only the top 257 places paid out in the Big Blind Antes event.
Notables who went deep and finished in the Top 33 in the Big Blind Antes event included... Steven Wolansky, Kathy Liebert, Joe Cheong, Esther Taylor-Brady, Kelly Minkin, Conor Beresford, and Manig Loeser.
Other familiar names who cashed in Event #45 included... Pierre Nueville, Max Sung, Vuong Do, Taylor Black, Dylan Wilkerson, Loni Harwood, Justin Pechie, Brian Yoon, Michael Tureniec, Bart Lybaert, Darryll Fish, Ashton Griffin, Alexandre Reard, Sebastian Pauli, Mario Lopez, Kristen Bicknell, Bob Meyers, Marty Finger, Dewey Raines, Barry Greenstein, Porter Lambert, Maria Konnikova, Maxime Heroux, Aditya Agarwal, Kenny Hallaert, Brett Murray and Russ Cooper.
2018 WSOP - Event #45 Big Blind Antes $1,000 NL
Prize Pool: $1,540,800
Final Table Results:
1. Mario Prats Garcia (Spain) $258,255
2. Matthew Hunt (U.K.) $159,532
3. Sebastian Dornbracht (Germany) $114,909
4. Michael Wang (USA) $83,663
5. Mark Schluter (USA) $61,580
6. Gregory Walker (USA) $45,828
7. DJ MacKinnon (USA) $34,486
8. Martin Staszko (Czech Republic) $26,245
9. Lander Lijo (Spain) $20,2020
Event #47 $565 WSOP.com ONLINE PLO 6-Handed - Final Results
Matthew 'mendey' Mendez took down Event #47 $565 WSOP.com ONLINE PLO 6-Handed for $135,077. He defeated GS.GURU heads-up for the bling. Anthony 'heheh' Zinno went deep, but busted in third place.
Matthew 'mendey' Mendez played this event from New Jersey, utilizing the shared liquidity pact with New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. Yeah, if you don't know... you can win a bracelet online without even going to Las Vegas! If you live in Delaware or NJ, then you have a shot at competing in one of the two final online events.
A total of 1,223 players took a shot in this event. Only the top 99 places paid out. Notable names who cashed in this event included... Gordon Vayo, Qi Ha, Phil Galfond, Ryan D'Angelo, Phil Laak, Jeremy Ausmus, Dan Strelitz, Tim West, Noah Bronstein, SirWatts, Ari Engel, Tony Cousineau, Lee Watkinson, Layne Flack, Jonas Wexler, Ryan Riess, and Ben Zamani.
2018 WSOP - Event #47 $565 WSOP.com ONLINE PLO 6-Handed
Prize Pool: $635,960
Final Table Results:
1. Matthew 'mendey' Mendez (USA) $135,077
2. Marton 'GS.GURU' Czuczor (Hungary) $82,865
3. Anthony 'heheh' Zinno (USA) $57,299
4. Alex '3shotwonder' Smith (USA) $40,256
5. Ankush 'rickrosstheb' Mandavia (USA) $28,745
6. Ao 'Maimai1990' Chen (USA) $20,859