The 2016 World Series of Poker may be winding down, but the action at the Rio in Las Vegas is heating up. It’s the most wonderful time of the summer.
After 38 exciting days, the Main Event is merely one day away. This tournament, as you probably know, is considered the biggest poker event of the year. The winner will get life-changing millons and forever be a WSOP champion (unless you’re the blackballed Russ Hamilton, of course).
Joe McKeehen is the 2015 defending champ. He’s been pretty quiet most of this summer. Well, quiet at the tables, anyway, since he hasn’t won anything.
But in typical McKeehen fashion, he is quite vocal on Twitter. The champ, ever since he won the title in November, has been less than totally gracious to many poker players and media members who disagree with his opinions.
McKeehen will be joined by more than 6,000 fellow poker players in this $10,000 buy-in tournament. The first Day One flight takes place on Saturday.
Day One will conclude on Monday. On July 18, the Main Event will play down to the October Nine, the name used for this year’s final table due to the November first Tuesday presidential election.
A pair of high roller events take place on Friday to get poker fans ready for the Main Event. Event #67, the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, gets underway at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.
This is a three-day tournament, but will conclude a day before Main Event Flight C. So those still competing on Day Three will be able to register for the Main Event the following day.
Another major tournament, Event #62, the $25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha, is down to 20 players after two days. Play will resume on Friday at 2 pm Pacific. The final table will take place on Saturday.
The UK’s Ludovic Geilich sits atop the leaderboard. Right behind him are the Mizrachi brothers, Michael (2nd) and Robert (3rd). Among other top pros, Paul Volpe (6th) and Dan Smith (11th) are still chasing the bracelet. The winner in this tournament will receive $1,127,035.
David Prociak was the lone gold bracelet winner on Thursday. He earned that title in Event #60, the $1,500 Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better.
The Florida native had never won a WSOP event prior to this tournament. And he had to earn it by defeating a couple of talented pros at the final table. Brandon Shack-Harris (who took 2nd) and John Monnette (3rd) gave him quite a challenge, but the less accomplished player came out ahead this time.
Prociak earned just the third cash of his career at the World Series of Poker. But the $156,546 he won wasn’t the biggest score of his career. In 2015, he won $330,912 for 2nd place in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida.
Outside these two large wins, Prociak only has one other big tournament score during his poker career. But he earned his victory on Thursday, besting two of the top players in the world.
Yue Du has 11,730,000 chips with six remaining players in Event #59, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em. That’s more than 8 million more than Dominik Nitsche’s 2nd place chip stack. Due will try to win his first career bracelet on Friday.
On top of the High Roller for One Drop, the final two pre-Main Event tournaments will begin. At 11 am, Event #65, the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em, kicks off. In hopes of scaring away men from entering the tournament, the entrance fee is $10,000 for those of the male gender.
Then Event #66, the $1,000 WSOP.com No-Limit Hold’em, begins at 1 pm. This tournament takes place online today at Nevada’s only major licensed online poker site, WSOP.com. It will play down to six today, with unlimited rebuys for entrants. On Monday, those six will converge on the Rio in Sin City to play down to a winner.