Three more bracelets. Three more first-time winners. Three pros. Bowker, Dunst, and Kyllonen. The trio were well regarded among their peers and in the poker community, but before this summer began neither of them had a piece of bling. All of that changed after a magical Saturday night in Las Vegas during the final week of preliminary events at the WSOP before the Main Event commenced.
Finland's Jens Kyllonen is one of the top PLO nosebleed players in the world and he waltzed into Vegas to take down the bracelet in Event #62 $25,000 High Roller PLO. It took four days to complete the event, but Jens Kyllonen shipped the PLO High Roller bracelet after picking off Tommy Le in second place.
Kyle Bowker, one of the first notable online poker pros in America, won his first-career bracelet in Event #64 $3,000 PLO 8. Bowker has been grinding online since the first-wave of neophytes hit the virtual waters in wake of the Moneymaker victory in 2003. Bowker has been a regular at the WSOP for over a decade. After nearly 200 attempts, Bowker finally broke through to the winner's circle.
The always well-dressed Tony 'Bond18' Dunst is most known as one of the commentators of the WPT. If you've ever listened to any of the WPT live streams, you will hear Dunst's voice, which is as soothing as a field full of kittens. It's been a banner year for Dunst… he final tabled the Aussie Millions Main Event in late January then shipped his first-ever bracelet when he took down Event #63 $1,000 NL. And yes, Dunst wore a suit and tie in his winner's photo. Classy.
The One Drop field was trimmed down to 13 high rollers and Dan Smith in the lead. Can Fedor Holz win his first bracelet? The young German crushes High Roller events, so this $111,111 One Drop is definitely his jam. Antonio Esfandiari is still alive, albeit as a short stack.
Also, the Main Event is finally underway. The opening flight attracted 764 runners and only 567 survived the first cut.
Event #62 $25,000 PLO HIGH ROLLER - Final Results
This 25K PLO High Roller fiesta needed a fourth day to determine a champ. Three hungry players returned with a bracelet in mind. However, the ringer from Finland shipped the bling. Jens Kyllonen defeated Tommy Le heads-up for the bracelet. Le missed another shot a bracelet...and he now has a runner-up finish along with two other final table appearances this summer. Dan Smith came into the final three as a short stack and he was the first player to hit the rail, setting up the heads-up bout.
First place paid out $1.1M for Jens Kyllonen. That seems like chump change for Kyllonen, who regularly plays PLO nosebleed cash games. Finnish players love their PLO, and Kyllonen is regarded the best of the best. In his post-game interview, Kyllonen emphasized that the live-action High Roller PLO in Vegas was softer than online.
2016 WSOP - Event #62 $25,000 PLO HIGH ROLLER
Prize Pool: $4,370,000
Event #62 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Jens Kyllonen (USA) $1,127,035
2. Tommy Le (USA) $696,558
3. Dan Smith (USA) $487,361
4. Ryan D'Angelo (USA) $347,641
5. Veselin Karakitukov (Bulgaria) $252,909
6. Dmitry Savelyev (USA) $187,724
7. Ludovic Geilich (UK) $142,227
8. Sean Winter (USA) $110,035
Event #63 $1,000 NL - Final Results
Tony Dunst is the newest Donk Slayer! Dunst shipped one of the last low-end running of the donks by fading 2,452 runners. Dunst earned a first-place payday worth $339K. Dunst beat Jason Rivkin heads-up for the win.
Dunst grew up in Wisconsin but migrated to Australia during the online poker boom. Dunst played online under the sassy moniker ‘Bond18' and he was a regular at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. He eventually ran into visa problems and returned to the United States. Dunst landed a sweet gig with the WPT as a commentator. Most recently, Dunst was the runner up at the Aussie Millions Main Event, which was a homecoming of sorts for Dunst. His run good in 2016 continued with his first-ever WSOP victory.
2016 WSOP - Event #63 $1,000 NL
Prize Pool: $2,206,800
Event #63 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Tony Dunst (USA) $339,254
2. Jason Rivkin (USA) $209,596
3. Joshua Field (USA) $153,015
4. Francisco Araujo (Argentina) $112,724
5. Matas Cimbolas (UK) $83,804
6. Sergio Cabrera (Spain) $62,880
7. Levon Torosyan (USA) $47,622
8. Raffaele Castro (Italy) $36,406
9. David Sciacqua (USA) $28,097
Event #64 $3,000 PLO 8 - Final Results
At the start of Day 3, only 21 players were still alive with several notable sharks still in the hunt for the Old-school online grinder Kyle Bowker from upstate New York bested them all. Bowker beat Kate Hoang heads-up for the victory.
First place paid out nearly $295K for Bowker. This was his first bracelet and only his second-ever final table. Despite playing in the WSOP for a decade, the win in Event #64 the first piece of bling for Bowker.
In a post-game interview, Bowker explained, "I've been playing professionally for ten years. I've probably played in 200 of these events. Now to finally get a win after all that and towards the end of the series is pretty awesome!"
Scott Clements, one of the greatest-breathing O8 players in history, was the first player to exit the final table. British pro Richard Ashby went deep, but could only muster up a fourth-place finish. Two-time bracelet winner Marco Johnson missed a final table when he busted out in 11th place.
2016 WSOP - Event #64 $3,000 Omaha 8
Prize Pool: $1,291,290
Event #64 - Final Table Payouts:
1. Kyle Bowker (USA) $294,960
2. Kate Hoang (USA) $182,281
3. Jarred Graham (Australia) $124,360
4. Richard Ashby (UK) $86,422
5. Chris Ruby (USA) $61,196
6. Noah Bronstein (USA) $44,171
7. Daniel Lowe (USA) $32,510
8. Scott Clements (USA) $24,409
Event #65 $10,000 Ladies NL Championship - Day 3
We've reached a final table in the Ladies Event and Wendy Freedman leads the final nine with almost 900K. Mandy Baker bagged up the second most chips. Baker is the most notable players still left in the hunt and this marks her second appearance at a WSOP Ladies final table. Also still alive... Natalia Breviglieri, Yaxi Zhu, Nicole Schwartz, Amanda Musumeci, Xui Deng, Shelly Johnson-Ochoa, and Courtney Kennedy. First place pays out $149K.
France's Nadia Ennebati missed the final table but finished in 14th place. Ebony Kenney busted in 16th. Marie-Lizette Acoba finished in 20th. Vanessa Selbst went deep, but she was dunzo in 23rd place.
2016 WSOP - Event #65 $10,000 Ladies NL Championship
Event #67 $111,111 High Roller for One Drop NL - Day 3
The One Drop High Roller. The biggest buy-in event at the WSOP is down to 13 players out of 183 entrants. Dan Smith bagged up the most chips at the end of the day with 22.5M. Brian Green is second with a shade under 15M. Rounding out the top five are JackSalter, Joe McKeehen, and Koray Aldemir.
Fedor Holz is sixth overall. The German wunderkind is seeking his first-ever bracelet. Could the One Drop be the big one that Holz binks? Only 12 other players stand in his way. Also still alive... Niall Farrell, David Steicke, Adrian Mateos, Scott Seiver, Nick Petrangelo, Brandon Steven, and short-stacked Antonio Esfandiari.
Only the top 28 places get a cut of the prize money with nearly $5M set aside for the champion. Notables who cashed late on Day 2 included... Sergio Espina Aido (14th), Jason Les (15th), Charlie Hook (16th), Dario Sammartino (17th), Jeff Gross (18th), Alexandros Kolonias (19th), Igor Kurganov (20th), and Kyle Julius (21st).
2016 WSOP - Event #67 $111,111 NL High Roller for One Drop
Event #68 $10,000 NL MAIN EVENT Championship - Day 1A
The opening flight of the WSOP Main Event was off and running on Friday at the Rio. The first flight of Day 1A attracted only 764 runners (which is an uptick from last summer). At the end of the night, only 567 players remained including poker pro and chess champion Jen Shahade.
Gary Sewell bagged up the most chips at the end of Day 1A. According to the WSOP.com reporting team, the top five in chips are… Gary Sewell (312,500), Alvaro Lopez (306,200), Scott Neuman (226,000), Sean Case (222,500), and bracelet winner Matthew Ashton (212,600).
Other notables who survived the cut on Day 1A...Dan Shak, crime-novelist and bracelet winner Peter Eichhardt, Michael Gathy, Matthieu Lamagnere, Gaelle Baumann, Ronan Monfort, Walter Treccarichi, Matt Matros, Jon Turner, Frank Kassella, Shannon Shorr, Jordan Cristos, Jonathan Little, Raiden Kan, Thor Hansen, Neil Blumenfield, Jen Shahade, Tom Middleton, Harri Sawicki, Michel Abecassis, Aubin Cazals, Eugene Katchalov, Sarah Bilney, Gary Benson, Steve Gagliano, Al Rash, Pete Carini, Dan O'Brien, Owen Crowe, Alex Kravchenko, Vincent Martel, Amit Makhija, Hoyt Corkins, Alex Jacob, Philip Tom, Matt Brady, and shorty Phil Galfond.