As the weekend approaches, events at the World Series of Poker are heating up. Some poker heavyweights have won WSOP bracelets over the last week including Anthony Zinno, Dylan Linde, and Ryan Leng.
Phil Hellmuth also continues chasing his 16th bracelet. He scored three final table appearances in his first five tournaments, but landed in hot water this week for some of his antics. Here’s a look at the bracelet-hunting action this week.
Event 17: $1,500 Millionaire Maker
After five days of action, New Jersey grinder Daniel Lazrus rose to the top to score $1 million and his second bracelet. The event produced 5,330 entries for a $7.1 million prize pool.
Entering the PokerGO-streamed final table of five, the 31-year-old held a commanding lead with almost half the chips in play. He faced a tough final table group that included four-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy, who finished fourth for $288,715.
However, Lazrus continued his domination at the final table and eliminated two of his four opponents before battling Darryl Ronconi heads-up. Ronconi faced a significant chip disadvantage with Lazrus facing more than a 3-to-1 chip disadvantage.
He grabbed some chips early but was sent to the rail when he moved all in with 10-7 versus Lazrus’s A-J. Ronconi scored $500,125 for runner-up. Lazarus celebrated with a large group of friends on his rail.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Lazrus said after the win with a rail full of friends cheering him on. “I owe it all to some of the guys back there, friends that aren’t here that I’ve been playing poker with and talking hands with for years. It couldn’t be a better scenario.
“This was a great experience. It was amazing. Having one of the best players [Ali Imsirovic] in the world on your rail is always an advantage for sure. I’m very happy.”
In July, Lazarus scored his first bracelet after winning the $3,200 High Roller Championship for $205,347 on WSOP.com. It’s been quite a run for this player who began really working on his game two years ago.
“This makes me happy with the decision I’m making of putting a lot of time into playing poker,” he told PokerGO. “The first was an achievement, but this feels like this was the achievement and I didn’t realize it yet. And this is a much greater feeling.”
Event 18: $2,500 Mixed Limit Triple Draw Lowball
An extra day was needed to settle this event. In the end, Vladimir Peck topped Venkata Tayi heads-up when the two players returned for a fourth day of play.
The lowball action attracted 252 players for a $562,925 prize pool. Peck earned $134,390 for the win with Tayi earning $83,056 for runner-up.
Securing the title wasn’t easy. Peck was below a single big blind at a couple points in the tournament. He also hovered among the bottom of the chip counts at the seven-handed final table. The Illinois native battled back however to earn his first bracelet.
Event 19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship
Some big names returned to this final table including three-time World Poker Tour champion Anthony Zinno, high roller phenomenon Stephen Chidwick, and poker legend Jack McClelland.
Many eyes were on 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth however. Leading the final table when play restarted, he hoped to add yet another WSOP title.
Zinno ultimately scored his third bracelet for $182,872, with Hellmuth taking fourth for $113,024. A key hand between the two became the talk of the poker world this week.
After Zinno rivered a flush to beat Hellmuth’s Queens, the Poker Brat became apoplectic. The hand left Hellmuth crippled and he went into a profanity-laced tirade.
He rose from his seat, referred to Zinno as a “motherfucker,” and at one point said he was going to “burn the place down.”
The episode made for some uncomfortable viewing. Many players felt Hellmuth was way out of line and the WSOP should have penalized him. A day later, Hellmuth took to Twitter to apologize for his actions.
My Mother and Father were embarrassed/mad at me…My friends told me I was out of line. After 44 hrs of ridicule on social media, and realizing my rants set a bad example for poker players everywhere, I think I can reign it in A LOT. I might not be perfect, but I can be better… https://t.co/13JHafpKsJ
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) October 13, 2021
Whether change is possible remains to be seen. For his part, Zinno took the rant in stride and dominated the final table.
Hahah. @phil_hellmuth is the only poker player on earth that could find a way to make a 7-Card Stud final table entertaining for *all*
— Anthony Zinno (@AntZinno) October 12, 2021
The New Yorker has fine-tuned his Stud game in recent years and that’s proven to work out well. In 2019, Zinno also took runner-up to Eli Elezra in the $1,500 Seven Stud event for $57,951.
Event 20: $1,000 Flip & Go NLHE Presented by GGPoker
This is a unique tournament style brought over from WSOP international online partner GGPoker. The structure had players all in on the first hand. Each player received three cards and could then discard one on the flop.
The winner advanced and the others hit the rail after this “Flip” stage. The 154 players advancing to the “Go” stage then played a normal NLHE tournament.
Some players took advantage of numerous opportunities to qualify. That included David WIlliams, who finally went through after 19 buy-ins. The return on investment didn’t turn out well and he finished 117th for $2,155.
In the end, Texan DJ Alexander flipped his way to his first bracelet and $180,665. Another Texan, Jason Buck, finished runner-up for $111,715 and his first series cash.
Event 21: Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Omaha Hi Lo 8 or Better; Big O
It may seem fitting Dylan Linde came out on top in this tournament. His book Mastering Mixed Games came out in 2019 and Linde appears to have done just that.
He took this title for $170,269 and his first bracelet after topping Hernan Salazar heads-up. The event brought in 641 players for a $855,735 prize pool and Salazar took $105,235 for second.
Linde now has $4.9 million in live tournament winnings. The biggest win of his career came in 2018 when he won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1.6 million. His latest win adds another nice bullet point to his poker record.
Won my first bracelet last night. Feels amazing but as good as all the kind words from my friends and family. Much love❤️ Yes, I finally got you your fantasy points you damn vampires 😁
— Dylan Linde (@DylanLinde) October 13, 2021
Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix Six-Handed
Ryan Leng scored his third bracelet in this event after topping Connor Drinan heads-up. After already winning Event 5, Drinan looked to double up in the first two weeks of the series.
However, Leng came out on top in this one for $137,969 with Drinan earning $85,273 for runner-up. Both of Leng’s previous wins were in No Limit Hold’em and he now has a breakthrough win in mixed games as well.
Event #24: $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack (Eight-Handed)
This lower buy-in event produced a big field of 1,572 PLO fans for an $801,720 prize pool. Chicago’s Michael Prendergast took the title for $127,348 and his first bracelet.
Jeffrey Barnes finished runner-up for $78,705. Prendergast entered the final table as a short stack but managed to crawl back into the event.
Beginning heads-up play, Barnes held a 5-to-1 chip advantage. However, Pendergast doubled up a few times and eventually completed the comeback.
Some big events are on tap as play moves into the weekend. The $1,000 Ladies Championship has reached the final table and five women return to battle it out for the title on Wednesday.
PokerGO will stream all the action with Mikiyo Aoki leading the remaining players. Poker Hall of Famer JJ Liu also sits fourth in chips as she seeks her first bracelet.
In the final 31 players in the $5,000 Six-Handed NLHE, some interesting names also return. John Racener returns for Day 3 as chip leader with Jonathan Jaffe and Ben Yu also among those at the top of the standings.
Sunday also brings the fourth online event at WSOP.com, the $888 PLO Crazy 8s. Here’s a look at some other events kicking off in the days ahead.
- $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Eight-Handed (Event 28) – Oct. 14
- $10,000 Short Deck NLHE (Event 29) – Oct. 14
- $1,500 Monster Stack (Event 30) – Oct. 15
- $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw (Event 31) – Oct. 15
- $3,000 HORSE (Event 32) – Oct. 16
- $500 NLHE Freezeout (Event 35) – Oct. 18