You can always count on drama at the World Series of Poker, and 2016 has been no exception. Prior to the start of this year’s Series, Howard Lederer issued a public apology that was parlayed on Daniel Negreanu’s website. Most thought he did so because he intended to compete in some WSOP events.
That turned out to be accurate. Lederer has played sparingly at the summer series thus far, for the first time since 2010.
Along with Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, he’d been unofficially banned from the poker world, following their mutual roles in the Full Tilt Poker scandal back and subsequent shutdown by the DOJ.
Ferguson, on the other hand, has yet to apologize to anyone for anything. That hasn’t stopped him from competing in numerous events this month, though. He’s been seen quite regularly at the Rio in Las Vegas, but “mum’s the word” seems to be his ongoing credo.
Ferguson refuses to apologize or speak to the media, let alone other players. And his resistance towards accepting responsibility isn’t sitting well with Negreanu, who took to Twitter on Thursday to sound off on the matter.
“Chris Ferguson was politely asked if he planned to apologize to the poker community,” the Negreanu posted on social media. “He responded with ‘what are you talking about?’”
Negreanu wasn’t done, though. He gave some advice to Ferguson’s future opponents at the World Series of Poker.
“If you happen to be seated at Chris Ferguson’s table at the WSOP, help him understand WHY people deserve an apology for trusting him,” the Poker Kid advised.
It’s unlikely an apology from Ferguson will be coming any time soon, if ever. When poker players or media members attempt to speak to him, he turns them down. “I’m just here to play poker,” he told one reporter prior to the start of his first event of the summer earlier this month.
All evidence to the contrary, there are still those curmudgeons who claim women can’t play poker as well as the boys. Kristin Bicknell turned their belief system upside down on Thursday, when she became the first woman of the season to win a WSOP gold bracelet. She took down Event #46, the $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em, beating out more than 2,000 entrants to take home the cash and the jewels.
The title was good for $290,768, the most she has ever won in a poker tournament. But this isn’t her first bracelet. Bicknell, a Canadian part-time poker pro, took down the Ladies event in 2013.
The rest of the final table went as follows: Norbert Szecsi (2nd), John Myung (3rd), Ryan Leng (4th), Will Failla (5th), Sebastien Comel (6th), Steve Gee (7th), Fadi Hamad (8th), and Jason Singleton (9th). The majority of the 2,158 players in this tournament might have been guys, but Bicknell proved once again that women have plenty of game on the felt.
Shaun Deeb, a regular on Poker Night in America, became a two-time bracelet winner on Thursday. The poker pro came out victorious in Event #49, the $1,500 Seven Card Stud. He “only” won $111,101 because there were just 331 players, a relatively small field by WSOP standards.
Last year, Deeb won a bracelet in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. Now he’s won one in back-to-back years, after waiting eight years for his first bracelet.
After his victory on Thursday, Deeb announced his 2016 WSOP is coming to an end sooner than expected so he can be with his wife in Florida. He didn’t elaborate, but his post suggests he won’t be chasing additional bracelets this summer, including the Main Event.
There are 28 players out of 400 left in Event #51, the $10,000 the 8-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha. This tournament will have a winner by the end of Friday’s play. Brandon Shack-Harris and Scott Seiver headline the Day Three returnees. Seiver has been quiet this summer and would love to win his second career bracelet.
Event #52, the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em began on Thursday with a field of 1,125. Day Two will start with 287 players. Erhan Iscan of San Diego is the chip leader. This is a three-day event. We should have a winner by Saturday.
Only one tournament will get underway Friday. That’s Event #54, the $888,000 first-place guarantee Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em. There will be two Day One starting flights on Friday. On Saturday, the tournament will have two more. Then three more days of play will take us to a winner.