WSOP Update: Doyle Brunson Advances in Main Event; Gerhart Wins Second Bracelet of Series

November 5, 2021
WSOP Update: Doyle Brunson Advances in Main Event; Gerhart Wins Second Bracelet of Series

After more than a month of tournaments, the $10,000 Main Event got underway on Thursday at the World Series of Poker. The first flight attracted plenty of players including poker legend Doyle Brunson.

Five starting slights remain and several other tournaments remain as well. In other action, Kevin Gerhart won his second bracelet of the series and fourth overall. A French player also rose to the top in the Super Seniors championship. Here’s a look at the latest action in Las Vegas.

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Event 58: $10,000 Main Event

The first flight in the world championship of poker finished up on Thursday. The highlight of the day may have been the return of Doyle Brunson to the event.

The “Godfather Father of Poker” has 10 WSOP bracelets and won the Main Event in 1976 and 1977. Even at age 88, Brunson plays in some of the biggest cash games around.

Not only did he play, Brunson moved on to Day 2 after bagging 151,000 in chips. He told PokerGO that boredom due to the pandemic brought him back to the tables.

One particular hand stood out. Brunson was able to fold his A-K after a big check-raise on the river. With an Ace on the flop and another on the turn, he detected his opponent’s full house.

Another Main Event winner was also in the field on Thursday. Tom McEvoy, who won the event in 1983, also moved on to Day 2. Last year’s Main Event champion, Damian Salas, also played but didn’t survive Day 1.

Player of the Year leader Jake Schwartz also advanced, as did Calvin Anderson and Upeshka De Silva. Day 1B resumes on Friday with four more starting flights running each day through Tuesday. Players can follow the live streaming action on PokerGO.

Event 58: $1,000 Super Seniors NLHE

jean-Luc Adam after his Super Seniors victory. (photo courtesy WSOP)

The seniors events remain popular and draw big fields each year with the “super” version open to those 60 and over. This year’s festivities produced a field of 1,893 and a $1.7 million prize pool.

France’s Jean-Luc Adam came out on top for his first bracelet and a nice $255,623. Adam currently lives in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, where he won a WSOP Circuit ring in 2019. His son Cedric taught him how to play and won a ring in the same circuit series as his father. The Super Seniors victory left Adam in disbelief.

“I’m dreaming,” Adam told WSOP.com. “It’s very strange, a strange sensation. I felt good for all of the tournament and I felt very relaxed. I never think about first place, but only play every hand. It’s a very nice moment. I like to play for pleasure … to have emotion.

“It is a very strange sensation for me because I don’t realize that it’s a world championship. It’s very unbelievable, I don’t understand now. It’s too soon, I just finished the tournament. I can’t realize exactly everything now.”

Event 59: $1,000 Tag Team NLHE

The team dynamics returned to the series with this event. The action usually brings quite a buzz to the Rio with so many players railing their tag team partners.

 In the end, Mike Ruter and Samy Dighlawi raised their hands in victory. Each player snagged $56,683 and their first bracelets.

Both players hail from California and have been friends for over 10 years. This becomes the biggest tournament score for both of them. Israel’s Tomer Wolf and David Landell took runner-up for $35,037 each. The event attracted  641 teams for a $590,490 prize pool.

Event 60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

The final table of this signature event was set to play out on Friday on PokerGO. After four days of play, five players returned vying for a bracelet and a top prize of $954,020.

Elia Elezra led those returning to the action and hoped to score his fifth bracelet. The deep run comes after already making two final table appearances so far.

Also returning are three-time bracelet winners Paul Volpe and Ryan Leng, who’s already scored a win and runner-up finish. Dan Cates also returns to the action seeking his first bracelet. 

Event 61: $600 Deepstack Championship NLHE

After already racking up a runner-up; finish in mid-October, Cole Ferraro has now topped that. It’s been quite a month for the 22-year-old playing in his first WSOP.

On Thursday, he took down this event for $252,491 after also pocketing $123,142 for second-place in a $1,000 NLHE Freezeout.

Originally from North Carolina, Ferraro recently moved to Las Vegas after graduating from college. He found a part-time job and plays poker about five hours a day.

That seems to have been a good move so far. At one point in the tournament, Ferraro was down to only six big blinds before making a rally.

He seems to have had some help along the way. Twitch streamer and bracelet winner Jason Somerville recalled giving Ferraro some lessons in poker and martial arts.

This lower buy-in produced another big field with 3,916 entries and a $4 million prize pool. California’s Sami Rustom took runner-up for $156,056

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Event 62: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Kevin Gerhart continues to roll, snagging his second bracelet of the series in this event. That made for his fourth bracelet overall and he took home $186,789.

The event brought in 725 entries for a $967,875 prize pool. Gerhart’s latest score comes after also winning the $10,000 HORSE Championship for $361,124.

Event 63: $500 Salute to Warriors

This event honors members of the US military and some of the prize pool benefits the USO and other military-related groups. After heading to Las Vegas for vacation, Eric Zhang jumped in the warrior action. That proved a timely move as he grabbed his first bracelet and $102,465.

The recreational player from San Francisco grew up watching the WSOP on television. He was attracted to this particular event, which produced 1,738 entries for a $782,100 prize pool.

“I always loved poker but I only started playing a couple years ago, mainly cash games, not really tournaments,” he told WSOP.com. “But the WSOP is always a very special occasion and I took some time off work because I really wanted to come here. This is the very one event I planned on playing. It’s an affordable event, plus a great cause, and I’m going on vacation to Morocco and Europe right after.”

Online poker pro Eelis Parssinen shows off his bracelet. (photo courtesy PokerGO)

Event 64: $5,000 Mixed NLHE; PLO

Two of poker’s most popular versions were featured in this event. Finnish online crusher Eelis Parssinen found the winner’s circle for his first bracelet and $545,616. The event saw 579 entries for a $2.7 million prize pool.

While he doesn’t play many live tournaments, Parssinen won a bracelet in only his fifth WSOP event. He staged a massive rally to grab the gold. With 40 players left, Parssinen was left with a single big blind and even texted friends that he was out. That certainly wasn’t the case.

Event 65: $1,000 Mini Main Event

Every WSOP player dreams of winning the the Main Event. Georgios Sotiropoulos has now done that – only in the mini version. That’s not a bad title to win however, and this player from Greece now has his second bracelet. 

Sotiropoulos topped a field of 3,821 to win $432,575 in an event with a $3.4 million prize pool. Japan’s Wataru Miyashita took runner-up for $267,328.

Player of the Year update

The Player of the Year race continues with big names filling the top spots. Jake Schwartz currently sits in the No. 1 position. Gerhart slides into No. 2 after winning his second bracelet of the series. Here’s a look at the standings and point totals as of Nov. 5:

  1. Jake Schwartz, 2,711.43
  2. Kevin Gerhart, 2,643.28
  3. Anthony Zinno, 2,627.88
  4. Phil Hellmuth, 2,598.59
  5. Shaun Deeb, 2,518.89

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Looking ahead

Beyond the Main Event, more action remains at the Rio. That includes a high roller tournament and another online bracelet event. Here’s a look at some upcoming events.

  • 67: $10,000 Main Event – starting flights A-F running Nov. 4-9
  • Online Event 7: $3,200 WSOP.com NLHE High Roller Eight-Max – Nov. 7
  • 68: Little One for One Drop – three starting flights running Nov. 8-10

* Lead image courtesy PokerGO

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