WSOP Weekly: Why You Can’t Spell WSOP Without Mizrachi And Deeb

Sean Chaffin June 17, 2019 460 Reads

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is already entering its fourth week. So, here is a rundown of what’s happened and what will happen in this week’s WSOP Weekly.

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Longtime pro Michael Mizrachi was once again at a WSOP final table last Thursday. This time, it was the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event. With a big rail cheering him on, the “Grinder” took home $142,801 and his fifth bracelet.

It could be an even bigger summer for Mizrachi with the $50,000 buy-in Players Championship kicking off next Monday. He’s won the event three times (2010, 2012, and 2018), which has helped to propel him to $17.2 million in live tournament winnings.

The $2,620 Marathon lived up to its name. After a long battle on the felt, Russia’s Roman Korenev took his first bracelet and $477,401.

Meanwhile, in the $1,000 NLHE event, poker player Stephen Song won his first bracelet and $341,854. Though he has won two WSOP Circuit rings, had numerous deep runs, and made final table appearances, he can finally celebrate a breakthrough career win.

A big name came from behind in the $10,000 HORSE tournament last week. Though Dario Sammartino brought a 3-to-1 chip lead over his nearest rival to the table, longtime pro Greg Mueller rallied for the win.

The victory gave the Canadian his third bracelet and $425,347. The rally came as quite a surprise, given that Mueller had only three big bets at one point during three-handed play.

In other action, Howard Mash barely qualified for the $1,000 Seniors Championship after turning 50 last month. However, his timing could not have been better. The financial advisor from Coconut Creek, Fla., topped a field of 5,916 to earn a bracelet and a first-place money prize of $662,594.

Finishing up – a look at some big WSOP final tables

Event #35: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Six Handed

With seven cashes already this summer, 2018 Player of the Year Shaun Deeb is at it again. In the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Six Handed, Deeb leads the final table of six and is looking for his fifth bracelet.

It seems Deeb had some extra incentive at a deep run in this one.

Getting the bracelet won’t be easy. Two-time bracelet winner Adam Friedman is second in chips and looking for a repeat performance. He won this event in 2018 for $293,275.

Longtime pro Matt Glantz sits third in chips and hopes to bring home his first bracelet. This player from Lafayette Hill, Penn., is a regular on the tournament scene in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. After making numerous WSOP final tables, he’s now looking to bring home a win.

Event #38: $800 WSOP.com Online NLHE Knockout Bounty

In Sunday’s big online action, Upeshka “gomezhamburg” De Silva took the title in the $800 WSOP.com Online NLHE Knockout Bounty. He took home $98,262 as well 18 $100 bounties for a grand total of $100,262.

The event attracted 1,224 players. The win is the second bracelet for this player from Katy, Texas. Several players from the Lone Star State have been close in recent days, but De Silva is the first Texan to snag a bracelet this summer.

The week ahead at the WSOP

Event 41: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship (June 17)

This event brings out players looking for a bracelet in this classic form of poker. The action kicks off on Monday in an event that has struggled to reach 100 in recent years.

Last year, Yaniv Birman topped an 83-player field for $236,238. In the last few years that total has generally trended downward as more events have been added to the schedule. Here’s a look at the fields over the last four years: 88 (2017), 87 (2016), 91 (2015), and 102 (2014).

The low numbers offer pros a shot at a bracelet in a small field. While he may not be a favorite among poker fans, Chris Ferguson seems to excel at this event. He took runner-up in 2017 and fourth in 2018.

Event 45: $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller (June 19)

No bargain buy-in for this one. The four-day event should bring out plenty of pros.

Shaun Deeb won it last year for $1.4 million and may have an opportunity at back-to-back final tables. He led the final table in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Six Handed on Monday.

After that plays out, Deeb should be looking to defend his title in this event. The tournament attracted 230 entries last year for a $5.5 million prize pool.

If last year’s final table is any example, this could be interesting viewing on PokerGO on June 22. Last year’s final table also included Ben Yu (runner-up), Scotty Nguyen (third), James Calderaro (fourth), Jason Koon (fifth), Ryan Tosoc (sixth), and David Benyamine (seventh).

Event 52: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship (June 22)

This is a biggie for Omaha players. It’s a coveted title and attracted 476 runners in 2018. Nevada’s Loren Klein won his third bracelet and just a bit over $1 million last summer in this event.

It’s already been a nice start this summer for Klein. He finished fourth in the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty for $100,775. Rep Porter took runner-up and Brandon Shack-Harris finished third. This year should produce an interesting final table as well.

WSOP Online Events

Pulling double duty has been a regular at the tables over the last week. Many players not only battle for a bracelet at the table, but also online at the same time. Here’s a look at this week’s online action:

  • Event 46: $500 WSOP.com NLHE Turbo Deepstack (June 19) – Players start with 40,000 chips and can re-enter three times. Players in New Jersey can also jump in the action for a shot at a bracelet.
  • Event 55: $1,000 WSOP.com NLHE Double Stack (June 23) – The big Sunday online action continues with this bigger buy-in event. Players start with 30,000 chips and are allowed three re-entries.

Bargain buy-ins

While there may not be as many small buy-in events on the docket this week, there are a few to check out.

  • Event #39 – $1,000 Super Seniors (June 17) – With the seniors event in the books, players over 60 can now jump into this one. In 2018, there were 2,191 entries, and Farhintaj Bonyadi came out on top for $311,451. Poker runs in the family for the Bonyadis. Her son is three-time bracelet winner Farzad Bonyadi.
  • Event #40 – $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (June 17) – This lower price point offering should attract a nice field of Omaha players. The event produced 799 entries last year, with New Jersey’s Ryan Bambrick taking the title and $217,123.
  • Event #42 – $600 Mixed NLHE/PLO Deepstack Eight-Handed (June 18) – This new two-day event offers a chance for a big payday at a bargain buy-in. It features a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool, with 30-minute levels on Day 1 and 40 minutes on Day 2.
  • Event #47 – $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em (June 20) – The Rio gets a different poker vibe each year during this fun event. Jessica Dawley, a former member of the U.S. Air Force, took this one down last year for $130,230.
  • Event #50 – $1,500 Monster Stack – The big-stack action continues with players starting with 50,000 chips. The five-day event features two starting flights and produced a $1 million payday for winner Tommy Nguyen in 2018.
  • Event #53 – $800 NLHE Deepstack Eight-Handed (June 23) –The small buy-in, big guarantee action continues in this event. This event is new to the schedule and features a $750,000 guarantee.

New Jersey player cashes in his first WSOP

The hashtag #MyFirstWSOP signifies a very special event in the life of a poker player. For John Forlenza, of Matawan, N.J., that first came this year – and ended with a Millionaire Maker cash.

A first WSOP cash is a momentous boost to anyone’s poker career. However, this 28-year-old won’t be found traveling the country playing poker for a living anytime soon.

He works as a civil engineer on bridges and highways in the New York City area. His responsibilities include managing subcontractors, project costs, scheduling, and materials.

However, Forlenza’s first WSOP was not his first time at the table.When not donning a hard hat at a construction site, Forlenza is a regular on the poker felt – live and online. His experience with poker stretches all the way back to his college days.

“I loved the idea of it being a strategy game you can play against people for money,” he said. “Playing in these games gave me some pocket money as I didn’t work in college.

Poker has become such a passion that he streams online poker sessions on Twitch under the name GameofEdges. He credits his wife Jennifer for his success on the felt.

When it comes to cashing in his first-ever WSOP tournament, Forlenza keeps things in perspective. Poker remains a recreational pursuit, but he loves every minute at the tables.

“I felt very comfortable,” he said. “It was a fun field, and I was just happy to be able to participate.”

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