After 14 days at the 2016 World Series of Poker, we finally have a $1 million winner. Two of them, actually, both in the same event.
On Tuesday, Event #14, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, paid its biggest winner, Jason Dewitt, $1,065,403. But the 2nd place finisher, Garrett Greer took home an even $1 million. Not a bad consolation prize. Both of them beat out an initial tournament field that started with 7,190 players.
Lisa Meredith, a kindergarten teacher, can afford to bring back some treats for her students. She finished in 3rd place, scoring $500,000. This was her first career WSOP cash and only her second-ever poker tournament cash, period.
The Millionaire Maker has been one of the most intriguing tournaments of the summer the past few years. Play began June 10 with two Day One sessions. Re-entry was allowed. Prior to the start of the event, the WSOP guaranteed two players would walk away with at least $1 million, and now a few players’ biggest headaches will be finding a good poker tax accountant. First World problems, indeed.
On Wednesday, Jason Mercier will attempt to be the summer’s first multiple bracelet winner. Already having won Event #16, the $10K 2-7 Draw Lowball, the four-time WSOP champ is potentially less than 24 hours away from scoring #5.
Event #20, the $10,000 Seven Card Razz, has eight players left. Mercier will have far more chips than anyone else (1,595,000) when play resumes at 2 pm Pacific time today. This is poker, where anything can happen, but he will start Day Three with over 400,000 more chips than John Racener, who is in second place.
The intimidating Vanessa Selbst will be sweating this one out from the rail. Reportedly, during a night of heavy drinking, the poker star bet Mercier he wouldn’t win three bracelets this summer and gave him 180-to-1 odds for a $10,000 wager. So if Jason pulls off the hat-trick, he’ll pocket $1.8 million from Selbst. No pressure at all.
Mercier has a commanding chip lead in Event #20 on the final day and is one lucky day away from having already accomplished two-thirds of the bet.
That isn’t the only story line at the Razz final table, either. Racener is one of the top players in poker who has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. He’s finished second twice, including in 2010 when he lost heads-up to Jonathan Duhamel in the Main Event. Maybe today will be his day.
Marco Johnson (Event #18, the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.) and Chase Bianchi (Event #17, the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em) were both awarded a shiny gold bracelet on Tuesday. And both deserved it after defeating some great players and large fields.
For Bianchi, this is the first time he’ll get to wear some Series jewelry. The equity analyst and ROI consultant hadn’t even cashed at a summer WSOP event before. Now he’s a winner just one day before his two-week Las Vegas vacation ended. Bianchi won $316,920. That should cover a few packs of peanuts on the plane ride home.
For Johnson, this isn’t the first time he’s been crowned a World Series champion. The California resident has an impressive resume, which includes a 2013 $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em title. His dossier also includes 33 WSOP cashes and nearly $1.8 million won during his career in this summer poker series.
All eyes will be on Mercier chasing his fifth career bracelet and second of the summer. But those at the Rio in Las Vegas might want to find some time to step away from that event to check out these two new ones that will get going on Wednesday: Event #23, the $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em, which already has cards in the air, and Event #24, the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E., which kicks off at 3 pm local time.