Friday June 29, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Two more players won their first bracelets at the WSOP in Las Vegas. It required four days of action, but Ryan Leng took down Event #51 $1,500 NL Bounty for a score worth $272,765. Joe Couden shipped Event #53 $1,500 PLO8 and prevented Bruno Fitoussi from winning his first bracelet.

Another day, two more first-time bracelet winner. Ryan Leng needed an additional day to win Event #51 $1,500 NL Bounty. Leng shipped his first bracelet. Leng was a runner-up in an event last summer and he got sweet revenge with a victory this summer. Leng denied Estonia from winning their first-ever WSOP bracelet. Estonia's Ranno Sootla busted in second place.

Star-heavy final table in Event #53 $1,500 PLO8 with Eli Elezra, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, and Bruno Fitoussi making the final nine. Negreanu would have to wait another day to win another bracelet after he bounced in ninth place. Joey Couden picked off Bruno Fitoussi heads-up to win Event #53. Couden survived swimming with sharks to win his first WSOP bracelet.

Event #51 $1,500 NL Bounty - Final Results


Ryan Leng had previously made two WSOP final tables, but he fell short of winning a bracelet. Last summer, Leng had a slightly disappointing second-place finish in a donkament. Two summers ago, he took fourth in this same event.

Oh, and at the end of last summer, Leng went deep in the Main Event with a 41st place. Leng is a true grinder and a regular at WSOP Circuit events in the Midwest and on the East Coast. The former hockey player had no qualms traveling to play cards. And after three tries, he finally scored some bling.

Event #51 NL Bounty had a $1,500 buy-in. A total of 1,983 runners took a shot this year. The prize pool was nearly $2.7 million.

The final nine included Ryan Leng, Ranno Sootla, Jat Ferbet, Christian Nolte, Javy Gomez, Russ Rosenblum, Johnnie Gulino, Mark Mazz, and Mikhail Semin.

Three Europeans made this final table, but Russia's Mikhail Semin was the first player to exit in ninth place. Mazz and Gulino busted next.

Russ Rosenbloom, most known for his Main Event final table appearance back in 2002 (wow, has it been that long since Varkonyi?), final tabled the bounty event but busted in sixth place.

Javy Gomez bowed out in fifth place. Austria's Christian Nolte was dunzo in fourth place. Jay Farber's run ended with a third place finish and a six-figure score worth $121,932.

Ryan Leng and Ranno Sootla were heads-up for the bracelet. Sootla was trying to win the first bracelet for Estonia. However, it was not meant to be. Sootla busted in second place and took home $168,464 for second place. Estonia got so close to a bracelet. So close.

Ryan Leng banked $272,765 for first place and the bracelet.

Quyen Hoang bubbled off the final table in tenth place.

Notables who went deep in the BOUNTY event included... Marvin Rettenmaier, Aaron Massey, Steven can Zadelhoff, Christian Harder, Men the Master, Xiang Tang, James Mackey, Barry Shulman, Justin Young, Jeff Gross, Binny Pahuja, Brittamy Spain, Benjo Ane, Philip Tom, Timo Kamphues, Robert Cheung, Porter Lambert, Maria Konnikova, DJ MacKinnon, Samantha Abernathy, and Phil Hui.

2018 WSOP - Event #51 $1,500 NL Bounty

Entrants: 1,983

Prize Pool: $2,677,050

Payouts: 298


Final Table Results:

1. Ryan Leng (USA) $272,765

2. Ranno Sootla (Estonia) $168,464

3. Jay Farber (USA) $121,932

4. Christian Nolte (Austria) $89,151

5. Javier Gomez (USA) $65,851

6. Russell Rosenblum (USA) $49,146

7. John Gulino (USA) $37,063

8. Mark Mazza (USA) $28,247

9. Mikhail Semin (Russia) $21,759

Event #53 $1,500 PLO8 - Final Results


Sometimes it seems like a player came out of nowhere, when in fact, he's just been lurking in the shadows, or just out of sight.

Florida man, Joey Couden, is one of those grinders who has a bunch of WSOP cashes on his resume. He's approaching 50 total career cashes has had a pretty good summer with 8 cashes. Couden went deep in 3 of them, finishing in the top 18 thrice. He got close a few times this summer, but always fell short of three final tables.

When Couden found himself at the final table of Event #53 $1,500 PLO8, he looked around and saw a bunch of familiar faces. Highly familiar. At a stacked final table, he certainly flew under the radar. Sometimes, that's the best place to be. While all eyes were focused on the gregarious Negreanu, or mesmerized by Bruno Fitoussi's Sideshow Bobesque fro, or trying to tune out Mike the Mouth.

By the time action ended late on Thursday night at the Rio, all of the big names were out and Couden found himself heads-up with the Godfather of French poker, Bruno Fitoussi.

Fitoussi is probably the best old-school European player to have never won a bracelet. The French pro went deep multiple times including a runner-up finish in the 2007 WSOP $50,000 HORSE Championship. When it got down to a showdown between the final two players, Fitoussi trailed Couden in chips. It world require a remarkable comeback if Fitoussi pulled off the victory. Alas, it didn't happen. Fitoussi busted in second place and Couden hoisted a new piece of shiny jewelry over his head.

In total, Event #53 attracted 935 runners who created a prize pool a little more than $1.2 million. Didn't realize there were so many PLO8 enthusiasts out there!

Several blasts from the past were at this PLO8 final table including Bruno Fitoussi, Eli Elezra, Daniel Negreanu, and Mike Matusow.

Daniel Negreanu finally made another final table. Kid Poker has been desperately seeking a bracelet win (and he's been sweating a bunch of bracelet prop bets). However, he could only muster up enough run good to finish in ninth place. Negreanu was the first player to exit the final table.

The token player from Finland, Kim Hallman, busted in sixth place. Mike the Mouth was shutdown in fourth place.

Eli Elezra hit the rail in third place, which set up a heads-up showdown between Bruno Fitoussi and Joe Couden. Both players were seeking their first bracelet.

Sorta shocked that Bruno had not won one before. I know, I know... I looked up his stats and wondered if he had won two or three and was shocked to see he had zero bracelet wins. Bruno suffered a bunch of close calls... and it happened again. Fitoussi was the bridesmaid. Knocked out in second place. He was trying to become the third French player to win bling this summer, but France narrowly missed another.

Fitoussi won $151K for a consolation prize. Not too shabby, eh?

Joey Couden outlasted a tough-as-balls final table to win his first bracelet. Couden banked $244,370.

Nathan Gamble bubbled off the final table in tenth place.

Among the notables who cashed in this PLO8 affair... Bryce Yockey, Quinn Do, Brandon Cantu, Kate Hoang, Raz Alon, Adam Hendrix, Phil Hellmuth, Jameson Painter, Gary Benson, Antoine Labat, Andreas Klatt, Jesus Ferguson, Shirley Rosario, Sue Smith, Ben Tang, Eric Posner, Sloane Martin, Taylor Cox, Todd Wittles, Steven Wolansky, David Hunt, Ben Zamani, and Michael Gross.

2018 WSOP - Event #53 $1,500 PLO8

Entrants: 935

Prize Pool: $1,262,250

Payouts: 141


Final Table Results:

1. Joey Couden (USA) $244,370

2. Bruno Fitoussi (France) $150,990

3. Eli Elezra (USA) $106,183

4. Mike Matusow (USA) $75,708

5. Chris Conrad (USA) $54,637

6. Kim Kallman (Finland) $40,141

7. Dustin Pattinson (USA) $29,862

8. Gregory Jamison (USA) $22,541

9. Daniel Negreanu (USA) $17,268

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