On the 22nd day of the 2016 World Series of Poker, a Russian won a bracelet, the popular Summer Solstice tournament got interesting, and Ian Johns had another great day.
Johns has already won a pair of bracelets this summer, for Event #8, the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. and Event #28, the $10,000 Limit Hold’em. Now he’s trying to beat Jason Mercier and Benny Glaser to three 2016 bracelets.
After Day One of Event #38, the $3,000 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em, Ian is third in chips (109,000). Warwick Mirzikinian is the chip leader (136,400). Rep Porter, another 2016 bracelet winner, is second in chips (131,900).
The tournament started with 245 players on Wednesday, but only 64 will be coming back for Day Two on Thursday. We should have a final table and champion by end of play on Friday.
For Johns to win his third bracelet, he’ll need to play well for two more days and hope the cards fall his way. Some of the top limit players in the world remain in the field.
Joe McKeehen, the 2015 Main Event champ and Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 Main Event winner, will each be trying to take down yet another WSOP title. Jeff Lisandro, Ylon Schwartz, Eric Froelich, Jason Somerville, Chris Klodnicki, and John Hennigan also still have chips.
Although Johns would love to be the first to three bracelets this summer, that might not be possible. Jason Mercier is one of 13 remaining players in Event #36, the $2,500 Mixed Omaha-Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better. A champion in that event will be crowned on Thursday, before Johns will have an opportunity to win. However, Mercier is dead last in chips, so it won’t be easy for him. Play resumes today at 2 pm Pacific time.
Event #34, the $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit), concluded on Wednesday. Moscow’s Andrey Zaichenko was the last man standing out of 358 entrants. He’ll be going back to Russia with an extra $117,947 in his bank account.
Zaiechenko is an accomplished poker player. The 38-year old has won $1,160,546 during his impressive World Series of Poker career. This was his first bracelet, and was overdue.
One of the most anticipated events of the summer, Event #33, the inaugural $1,500 Summer Solstice No-Limit Hold’em championship, is four days in, with just one remaining. There were 1,840 players when the tournament started on Sunday. Now, there are only 17 bracelet hopefuls left.
Adrian Mateos, a Spaniard, has a sizeable chip lead over Israel’s Alexey Blyakher. Mateos is best-known for his victory in the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event. That’s his only bracelet to date.
Kathy Liebert is the lone remaining woman in the field. If she hopes to win her second career bracelet (her first was in 2004), she’ll need to go on a pretty sick run on Thursday. Liebert, a long-time poker pro, is last in chips heading into the tournament’s final day.
Daniel Negreanu has gotten off to a good start in numerous tournaments this summer, but hasn’t been able to win a bracelet as of yet. But the all-time live tournament money winner bagged a big stack after Day One in Event #37, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (98,000).
Negreanu is 12th in chips out of 128 remaining players. Dieyar Kakel tops the leaderboard with 151,800 chips. Poker pro Joe Serok is right behind him with 150,800. The tournament still has two days of play before crowning a champion.
Thursday is going to be an action-packed day at the WSOP. At 11 am PT, Event #39, the $10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship, will get underway. Then at 3 pm, Event #40, the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw/Badugi will start up. Both events will last three days.
What most will be watching today is the conclusion of Event #36, $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better. There are 13 players left, including Jason Mercier (gunning for his third bracelet of the summer) and the GPL Paris Aviator’s team manager, Fabrice Soulier.