Ben Yu Breaks Through in Limit Hold’em, Young Ji Wins After 25 Years

Day 31 of the 2015 World Series of Poker crowned three new bracelet winners, kicked off two Championship events and had bracelet event spillover in the Pavilion Room.

Ben Yu Wins $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $291,456

Ben Yu took down the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship for his first bracelet.

Ben Yu took down the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for his first bracelet.

The $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship brought 11 players back for Day 3. After a back-and-forth heads up match Ben Yu broke through and won his first bracelet and $291,456 after defeating Jesse Martin.

“This win is really big for me, the World Series of Poker is the important thing in poker to me,” Yu said. “Ever since I was 16 and watching the 2003 World Series on TV, I was like everyone else. I grew up watching it and that’s what brought me here.”

“During the year I don’t work that hard but everyday I chain myself here and trying to win a bracelet,” Yu added. “I think we put too much emphasis on winning because finishing second or making a final table can be a matter of a coin flip. But it feels so good to win at the same time – there’s nothing as good as winning a tournament.”

Justin Bonomo and Gabriel Nassif, third and seventh respectively, are close friends with Yu and stayed to watch the heads up match after they had been eliminated. Martin was close to felted and down to a couple big bets multiple times and rallied on three separate occasions to pull even with Yu.

The final hand saw them go to a A J T flop, Martin put his last bet in holding Q 3 for a Broadway draw and Yu called with A J. The board finished 6 J, Yu made a full house and won the tournament on his 30th career WSOP cash.

Yu gave one of the best post-bracelet winner interviews of the summer and spoke candidly at length about this point in his career.


  1. Ben Yu – $291,456
  2. Jesse Martin – $180,114
  3. Justin Bonomo – $130,480
  4. Aleksandr Denisov – $96,309
  5. Anthony Zinno – $72,377
  6. Kenny Shei – $55,341
  7. Gabriel Nassif – $43,035
  8. Marco Johnson – $34,027
  9. Terrence Chan – $27,341

Matt O’Donnell Wins Marathon $2,500 No Limit Hold’em Event

Matt O'Donnell won his first bracelet and $551,941 after four days of play

Matt O’Donnell won his first bracelet and $551,941 after four days of play

The four day trend in large field events repeated itself when five players returned on Friday after hitting the hard stop deep into the night on Day 3. Close to six  hours into the extra day Matt O’Donnell won a contentious heads up match against Timur Margolin for his first bracelet and $551,941.

“Hopefully this is the first of many bracelets. Winning a gold bracelet is exciting, but the money is pretty sweet too,” O’Donnell said. “It was definitely a heated atmosphere when we were heads-up. The rail was very aggressive, speaking in a foreign language and going back and forth a lot – I was just glad to win.”

The final hand came on hand 167 when short-stacked Margolin pegged his tournament life on pocket sixes and O’Donnell held Q J. The board ran A A Q Q 2, O’Donnell made trips and ended the tournament.

Both players in the final match up had vocal supporters on the rail that got into heated exchanges. Emotions ran high when Margolin kept communicating with his rail in Hebrew and O’Donnell’s rail objected, citing the English Only rule at the tables.


  1. Matt O’Donnell – $551,941
  2. Timur Margolin – $341,338
  3. Brandon Wittmeyer – $215,964
  4. Andy Black – $156,647
  5. Andrew Dean – $115,637

Young Ji Wins $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo After 25 Years in Poker

Young Ji won his first WSOP bracelet after 25 years of playing poker.

Young Ji won his first WSOP bracelet after 25 years of playing poker.

Young Ji prepared for 25 years to make a World Series of Poker final table and his dreams were realized in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event. Ji was one of 21 returning players for the final day and survived a two hour heads-up match against Mark Dube to win $231,102.

“[There are] no words, I’m really happy,” Ji said. “I had faith I was going to win – a really good, positive feeling that it was coming my way when we got heads-up.”

The Alaska resident credited the long winters spent in doors playing mixed games for putting him in the position to win. “I’ve lived there for 25 years and everybody finds indoor entertainment and I put in a lot of hours. In a Alaska we play two or three days at a time,” Ji added.

The Day 3 field was loaded with tough pros – Galen Hall, Connor Drinan, George Danzer and Erik Seidel were in the top ten chip counts while Vanessa Selbst was the second-shortest stack coming back.


  1. Youn Ji – $231,102
  2. Mark Dube – $142,449
  3. Alex Dovzhenko – $92,310
  4. Connor Drinan – $67,555
  5. Bryce Yockey – $50,171
  6. Nick Polydoros – $37,760
  7. Prince of Docness – $28,771
  8. George Danzer – $22,181
  9. Joseph Haddad – $17,284

$3,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max Returns 35 Players to Day 3

The Day 2 field of 285 returning players had to be played in the Pavilion to accommodate the field and ten levels of player left 35 players returning for Day 3. Jason Les bagged the chiplead after just edging out Kiryl Radzivonau.

Stephen Chidwick, Cornel Cimpan and Timothy Adams bagged up top ten stacks while Taylor Paur, Mohsin Charania and Amir Lehavot return with less.

Leo Wolpert, Bryn Kenney, Tyler Patterson, Jeff Madsen and Shannon Shorr were among the players that cashed but did not survive the day.

Chip Counts

  1. Jason Les – 854,000
  2. Kiryl Radzivonau – 851,000
  3. Alexander Debus – 832,000
  4. Stephen Chidwick – 773,000
  5. Justin Liberto – 730,000
  6. Cornel Cimpan – 728,000
  7. Benjamin Vinson – 702,000
  8. David Merfield – 654,000
  9. Timothy Adams – 611,000
  10. Andrei Konopelko – 579,000

Robert Mizrachi Hunts for 2nd Bracelet of Summer in $1,500 Dealers Choice

The $1,500 Dealers Choice event had 75 players return for Day 2 and only half of them would get paid as 36 made the money. Matt Szymaszek leads the final 11 players with a 50,000 chip lead over the field.

Robert Mizrachi sits second in chips and looks for his second bracelet of the summer, Chris Klodnicki made another Day 2 and Scott Clements returns short on chips.

Randy Ohel, Kevin MacPhee, Steve Albini, Mike Leah, Jeff Lisandro and Jeremy Ausmus cashed in the event but did not survive the day.

Chip Counts

  1. Matt Szymaszek – 446,500
  2. Robert Mizrachi – 391,000
  3. Carol Fuchs – 391,500
  4. Chris Klodnicki – 308,000
  5. Viktor Celikovsky – 266,000
  6. Ilya Krupin – 212,000
  7. Yuval Bronshtein – 178,500
  8. Scott Clements – 170,000
  9. Konstantin Maslak – 167,500
  10. Jens Lakemeier – 115,000
  11. Anton Smirnov – 80,500

Ladies Championship Draws Nearly 800 Entrants

The Ladies Championship kicked off at noon and drew a field of 795 players and 121 advance to Day 2. Irina Batorevich leads the field with 117,400 and just two other players crossed the 100,000-chip mark – Stephanie Ampelikiotis (108,200) and Kataneh Hamidi (106,400).

Patti Landis, Jessica Dawley, Jennifer Shahade, Ebony Kenney, Pamela Maldonado and Lacey Jones all return for Day 2.

Kristy Arnett, Danielle Moon-Andersen, Lauren Billings, Barbara Enright, Jamie Kerstetter and Loni Harwood played the event but did not survive the day.

The field combined for $715,500 prizepool to pay out the top 81 finishers. A min-cash is worth $1,781, a trip the final table guarantees $11,533 and the winner earns $153,876.

Chip Counts

  1. Irina Batorevich – 117,400
  2. Stephanie Ampelikiotis – 108,200
  3. Kataneh Hamidi – 106,400
  4. Mojgan Stringham – 97,100
  5. Patora Mortensen – 85,500
  6. Mayumi Kanno – 80,200
  7. Lorraine Mcgarry – 78,400
  8. Darin Ann Parker – 76,400
  9. Tanya Stendzis – 69,500
  10. Milagros Vallespeterson – 64,600

George Medrano Leads $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship

The Pot Limit Omaha Championship draws one of the toughest field every year and this year didn’t disappoint with 387 entrants. The big action game left 134 surviving players for Day 2 with George Medrano bagging up the lead.

Noah Schwartz, Davidi Kitai and Shaun Deeb return with six-figure stacks, while Mike Leah, Sorel Mizzi and Brian Rast hold more modest stacks.

Ben Yu and Justin Bonomo celebrated Yu’s win, late regged the event and both move on to Day 2.

The field juiced the prizepool to $3,637,800 for the top 40 players. A min-cash rings in at $19,716, eighth place locks up $85,306 and the winner’s bankroll get padded by $927,655.

Chip Counts

  1. George Medrano – 320,800
  2. Yuri Dzivielevski – 256,600
  3. Warwick Mirizikinian – 246,800
  4. Alexander Petersen – 228,900
  5. Ben Tollerene – 212,800
  6. Steven Saris – 209,900
  7. Juan Ramirez – 197,600
  8. Simon Trumper – 196,100
  9. Vadzim Markushevkski – 184,,900
  10. Ioannis Kontonatsios – 184,800

Looking Ahead

Two new events are slated for Saturday; at noon the $1,500 DraftKings 50/50 event starts and the late event is the $5,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em event. Two events roll into Day 3 – the $1,500 Dealers Choice and the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max, but it’s highly likely the Six Max won’t finish with 35 players returning.

The following two tabs change content below.

Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
Comments News Contributors

Related News Stories