WSOP Update: Moneymaker Scoring Big in Main Event; Monnette, Racener Seek Bracelet

November 12, 2021
WSOP Update: Moneymaker Scoring Big in Main Event; Monnette, Racener Seek Bracelet

All the poker world’s attention has shifted to the World Series of Poker Main Event over the last week and a familiar name is among the chip leaders. With about 1,000 players remaining, Chris Moneymaker sits among the topchip stacks.

The action reaches Day 4 on Friday and plenty of big names remain in the field. In other action, several big names are looking to win a bracelet in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better including John Monnette, Esther Taylor, and John Raceneer. Here’s a look at some of the news from the series.

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Event 67: $10,000 Main Event World Championship

Players moving on to Friday’s Day 4 have all reached the money. Those eliminated will at least guarantee themselves a min-cash of $15,000, good news for the 1,000 players remaining.

But the biggest news may be the run of 2003 Main Event winner Moneymaker. After some huge hands on Day 2, Moneymaker continued to build on Thursday.

After the action wrapped up on Day 3, Moneymaker sat 12th in chips with just under 1.4 million. Continuing the deep run will bring plenty of interest and some Main Event deja vu.

Florida’s Jessica Cai leads the field going into Day 4 with 1.8 million. She comes into the Main Event with only $78,454 in live tournament winnings.

“(It’s) surreal,” she told PokerGO’s Jeff Platt. “I’m still in shock, but I’m definitely grateful to be here.”

Other big names advancing to Day 4; winner payouts

Moneymaker isn’t the only Main Event champion still alive in the field. While his stack may be lighter, Martin Jacobson also advanced with a stack of 142,000.

A couple of Main Event final table qualifiers from 2019 are also still in the mix. Canada’s Alex Livingston finished third in 2019 for $4 million and brings 758,000 chips into Day 4.

Garry Gates took fourth that year for $3 million and returns on Friday with 180,000. Other returning to the action include Stephen Chidwick, Nick Petrangelo, Chance Kornuth, and Tim Reilly.

Some of poker’s biggest names won’t be moving on. That includes Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu. The Poker Brat bowed out on Thursday and Negreanu was eliminated earlier in the series. Doyle Brunson also returned to action on Day 2 but was eliminated late in the day.

Overall, this year’s event attracted 6,650 players for a $62 million prize pool. That’s quite a step down from 2019, with 8,569 players. Excluding 2020, which was mostly played online, this is the smallest turnout since 2015’s field of 6,420.

COVID certainly played a part as did vaccine mandates. The economy and inflation played a role in deflating numbers as well. Considering the environment over the last year however, these may be strong numbers. Players have been anxious to get back to the tables and seem to have responded.

Some big payouts await those who make the final table. The champion scores $8 million with the runner-up bagging $4.3 million. The top nine players will all take home at least $1 million. Here’s a look at all the top payouts.

  • 1st – $8 million
  • 2nd – $4.3 million
  • 3rd – $3 million
  • 4th – $2.3 million
  • 5th – $1.8 million
  • 6th – $1.4 million
  • 7th – $1.225 million
  • 8th – $1.1 million
  • 9th – $1 million

Event 68: $1,111 Little One for One Drop

After three starting flights to start this event, the Little One now reaches Day 3 on Friday. Mathew Solitro, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, leads the field after qualifying on GGPoker. Chile’s Oscar Alache sits second in chips with Florida’s David Jackson in third.

Jackson scored a bracelet and $194,178 in the $777 lucky Sevens in  the WSOP Online in September at GGPoker. He’s now looking for his second bracelet with 228 players remaining in the field.

2019 Main Event winner Hossein Ensan is also still alive with a healthy stack. The tournament produced 3,797 entries for a $3.8 million prize pool. The winner takes home the gold bracelet and $396,445 with the runner-up winning $245,068.


John Monnette is looking for his second bracelet of the series in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. (photo courtesy PokerGO)

Event 69: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better

When Day 3 of this event kicks off on Friday, 13 players return with some heavy hitters still in the field. John Racener returns as chip leader and is seeking his second bracelet.

Four-time bracelet winner John Monnette sits second in chips and will be looking for his second bracelet of 2021. In October, he won the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $245,680.

Two women also have a chance to break through with a win in this WSOP as well. So far, all open events have been won by men. However, Esther Taylor sits third and Carol Fuchs returns in sixth, bith with a chance to break that streak.

Taylor has $1.1 million in WSOP winnings, but is looking to win her first bracelet. Fuchs won the $1,500 Dealers Choice event in 2015 for $127,735 and is looking for her second bracelet.

The Stud Hi/Lo action brought in 372 players for a $496,620 prize pool. The winner takes home $113,459.

Event 71: $1,500 Bounty Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed

This event kicked off on Thursday with 860 players jumping in the bounty action and only 84 returning for Day 2. France’s Mourad Amokrane returns as chip leader and the only player to top 1 million chips so far.

Others returning to the action include Calvin Anderson, Team GGPoker’s Felipe Ramos, and Dario Sammartino.

Josh Arieh takes lead in Player of the Year standings

A huge week from Josh Arieh vaulted him to the top of the Player of the Year standings. The Georgia grinder has two bracelets this series and a sixth-place finish in the Poker Players Championship for $161,422.

On Sunday, he also finished fourth in the $3,200 High Roller at WSOP.com for $96,049. It’s been a huge series for Arieh and he now has a shot at the POY title. Here’s a look at the standings as of Friday:

  • 1st – Josh Arieh, 3,110.91 points
  • 2nd – Jake Schwartz, 2,757.37
  • 3rd – Anthony Zinno, 2,731.32
  • 4th – Ryan Leng, 2,684.04
  • 5th – Kevin Gerhart, 2,643.23

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Looking ahead

Several big events approach over the weekend as the Main Event plays out. The $888 Crazy Eights sees the action get underway after the first flight was canceled on Thursday. There’s also plenty of mixed game action over the weekend. Here’s a look at upcoming events:

  • 70: $888 Crazy Eights – Nov. 12
  • 72: $1,500 Mixed NLHE; PLO – Nov. 12
  • 73: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Nov. 13
  • 74: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event – Nov. 14
  • Online Event 8: $7,777 WSOP.com Lucky 7s High Roller – Nov. 14
  • Online Event 9: $777 WSOP.com Lucky 7s – Nov. 14
  • 75: $1,500 Freezeout NLHE – Nov. 15
  • 76: $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty – Nov. 15

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