Three bracelets were up for grabs on Friday at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Europe is making a run midway through the summer. They won their eight bracelet of the 2016 WSOP when Adrian Mateos took down the Summer Solstice event. Granted, Benny Glasser has two of those eight wins, but still... what looked like an American domination of the series has taken a turn over the last week with five wins.
When the fifth day of action resumed in Event #33 $1,500 Summer Solstice NL, only two players remained: Adrian Mateos and Koray Aldemir. It wasn't Austria's day because the young Spaniard took down the Solstice event...which also marked his second-career title. He proved that his victory at the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event was not a fluke.
Two other bracelets were awarded on Friday night. Jiaqi Xu from Maryland took down the Running of the Omaha Donks when he won Event #37 $1,500 PLO. Also, Rafael Lebron won Event #38 $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold'em and thwarted a fourth bracelet for Brooklyn poker pro and novelist Matt Matros. 2015 WSOP Main Event Champ Joe McKeehen finished in fourth place in that event.
Event #33 $1,500 NL Summer Solstice – Final Results
It took the five full days to determine a winner, but Adrian Mateos from Spain stepped into the winner's circle for the second time. The 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event Champion won his first bracelet when he was still a teenager. He's old enough to play in Vegas now, and he took down the WSOP's occult event. Mateos drew inspiration from his fellow countrymen on the rail -- Cesar Garcia and Carlos Mortensen -- both of whom shipped bracelets for Spain.
On Day 5, Koray Aldemir was heads-up against Mateos for the title. Another European was guaranteed to win a bracelet, but it was Spain who won this one and Austria had to settle for second place.
2016 WSOP - Event #33 $1,500 NL Summer Solstice
Prize Pool: $2,484,000
Event #33 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Adrian Mateos (Spain) $409,171
2. Koray Aldemir (Austria) $252,805
3. Alessandro Borsa (Italy) $182,835
4. Ralph Wong (USA) $133,588
5. Jon Turner (USA) $98,617
6. Jackson White (USA) $73,563
7. Ronald McGinnity (USA) $55,455
8. Stephen Ladowsky (Canada) $42,252
9. David Tovar (UK) $32,540
Event #37 $1,500 PLO - Final Results
Jiaqi Xu from the Washington, D.C. suburbs faded a field of 776 Omaha-donks and shipped his first-ever bracelet and $212,128 in cash. He thwarted another British victory by picking off Jeff Duval in second place. Xu claimed that he got pumped up for the final day of action when he heard Queen's We Are the Champions play on the car radio on the way to the Rio. Inspired by Freddy Mercury, Xu took down the Running of the PLO Donks.
2016 WSOP - Event #37 $1,500 PLO
Prize Pool: $1,047,600
Event #37 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Jiaqi Xu (USA) $212,128
2. Jeffrey Duvall (UK) $131,073
3. Pallas Aidinian (USA) $91,369
4. Josh Pham (Australia) $64,654
5. Tommy Le (USA) $46,452
6. Richard Austin (USA) $33,895
7. Jon Ho Christensen (Norway) $25,123
8. Thibaut Klinghammer (France) $18,922
9. Bruce Eckhart (USA) $14,484
Event #38 $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold'em - Final Results
Matt Matros began Day 3 in the 6-max LIMIT event as the leader with 8 to go and Joe McKeehen hot on his tail. Brooklyn-based poker pro and novelist Matt Matros busted in fifth place. He had the lead going into the final day, but he couldn't hold off the rest of the pack. Meanwhile, 2016 WSOP Main Event Champ Joe McKeehen busted in fourth place, but he just missed winning another piece of bling.
When the dust settled, Rafael Lebron defeated Greece's Georgios Zisimopoulos heads-up for the bracelet. He's got the last name of a champion (a.k.a LeBron James). Lebron finished in second place in an event last week, so he finally got his revenge by winning Event #38.
Loved the quote Rafael Lebron gave in an honest post-game interview: "I wasn't the best player at the final table at all. I might have been the worst. But, I got lucky. This was my day."
2016 WSOP - Event #38 $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold'em
Event #39 $10,000 6-Handed NL Championship - Day 3 and Final Table
Day 1 ended with 123 runners out of 294. By the end of Day 2, only 21 players were still alive. Nick Petrangelo bagged up the most chips at the end of the night and he's seeking another bracelet. Right behind him is Vanessa Selbst in second. Also still alive: Justin Bonomo, Jon Little, Jack Salter, Scott Seiver, Davidi Kitai, France's Gilbert Diaz, Paul Volpe, Jesus Ferguson, Brandon Steven, Steve Gross, Frank Kassela, Daniel Strelitz, and France's Eric Sfez. First place pays out almost $666K in this event. Maybe Jesus will win it?
2016 WSOP - Event #39 $10,000 6-Handed NL Championship
Event #40 $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) - Day 3 and Final Table
We had a Jason Mercier Bracelet Alert in this event, but Mercier busted out in 26th place. He cashed, but it seems like last week's run good has finally powered down.
There's seven players still alive with David Gee as the chip leader. They are on the cusp of the six-handed final table. Also still alive... Anthony Lazar, Gary Benson, Michael Schiffman, Damjan Radanov, David Gee, Christopher Vitch, and Sigi Stockinger.