Day Four of Event #69, the $1,111 Little One for One Drop, concluded with Michael Tureniec scoring the bracelet on Sunday. The Swede outlasted Calvin Anderson in a relatively short heads-up match.
This tournament didn’t receive as much attention as most WSOP events, since it ran during the Main Event. But there were many top pros who competed and cashed nonetheless. That includes Daniel Negreanu, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Max Pescatori, Jeff Madsen, and several others.
None of those poker greats, however, were able to outlast Tureniec. He won his first career gold bracelet and earned $525,520, the biggest score of his poker career. He had nine career cashed at the Series, besides this big win, going all the way back to 2007.
If you’re looking for a household name at the 2016 World Series of Poker final table in October, you may end up disappointed. Only one of the final 27 players, Cliff Josephy, has won a gold bracelet. The man who starts play today in the #3 spot has two previous wins to his name.
It’s not unusual for the eventual bracelet winner to be a first-timer at the World Series of Poker Main Event. But it’s almost unheard of for the tournament to head into its last pre-final table day without a single WSOP event winner to be among the final 27.
Day Seven of the Main Event on Monday won’t be without serious talent, however. Tom Marchese, the man often referred to as the “Big Cheese,” is among Monday’s group of returning players. Although he doesn’t have a WSOP bracelet, Marchese has won over $13 million lifetime in live poker tournaments and likely millions more in cash games and online.
Back in January, when he won a $25,000 buy-in Aria high roller tournament for $315,000. Then he won the same event two months later for $369,410. And then, for good measure, did it again in April.
As impressively as Marchese has performed this year, nothing compares to the run he had in 2014. In June of that year, he finished 3rd in a $100,000 high roller tournament at Aria, winning $1,461,451. He followed that up with a 1st place finish in the same event and a 3rd place finish in a WPT event by the end of the year. Marchese earned a seven-figure payday three times in 2014.
Marchese will begin Day Seven in the WSOP 2016 Main Event in the 10th place spot, with 15,420,000 chips. That puts him at a slightly above-average chip stack and well behind the leader, Vojtech Ruzicka (26,415,000). He’s never won a WSOP bracelet, but Marchese certainly has to be one of the favorites to win it all.
The suits at ESPN may be a tad disappointed thatthe remaining 27 players don’t include a big name pro, other than Marchese. But there is a former Main event final tabler left in the field.
Antoine Saout made the November Nine of the Main Event in 2009. Early on in that tournament’s last day, he had an opportunity to become the overwhelming chip leader.
Joe Cada, the eventual champ, got as lucky on that day as anyone ever has at a poker table. He put his remaining 33.35 million chips in the pot with 2♠2♣. Saout thought briefly and made the call for about half his stack with Q♠Q♥.
If his superior hand had held up, Saout would have been the chip leader and heads-up with Darvin Moon. But the board ran out 7♠9♠2♥3♥6♠, giving Cada a bad-beat victory with a flopped set of deuces.
It won’t be easy for Saout to get back to the final table. He is 24th in chips now, with just 5,525,000. He’ll need to run as well as Joe Cada on Monday to have any chance.