Hennigan Wins 50k; Monster Stack Mash; Esfandiari On One Drop Prep

David Chiu moves into Day 3 of the $10,000 Limit Hold'em with a stack worth 102,900. (Photo Credit: Drew Amato).

David Chiu moves into Day 3 of the $10,000 Limit Hold’em with a stack worth 102,900. (Photo Credit: Drew Amato).

Thursday was Day 31 of the 2014 World Series of Poker, and the Rio was jam packed, with almost 8000 players coming out to play the new $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack. The halls were almost impossible to walk through at times, and bad beat stories were buzzing through the air. Other events being played out, include; Day 1 of the $10,000 Limit Hold’em, and Day 2 of both the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em, and $1,500 Eight Game Mix.

$50,000 Player’s Championship

John Hennigan won his third bracelet on Thursday, after playing for five days with some of the best players in the game. Hennigan has been having a great series so far, as he came runner up in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em earlier this month.

On top of having his name engraved on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and taking home $1,517,767 in first place prize money, Hennigan thwarted Brandon Shack-Harris’ attempt at taking over the WSOP Player of the Year title.

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack

This year brought about the advent of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack tournament, which garnered the attention of 7,862 players. The event was a success, bringing in the largest $1,500 event field in history, smashing the old record which was set back in 2008… Event #2 of that summer – bringing in 3,929 entrants. It is now the second largest field of any WSOP event in history, falling second only to the 2008 Main Event, which brought in a whopping 8,773 entries.

On Thursday, the event received so much attention that they had to create six flights: Flight A started at 12 pm and brought in 4,012 entrants. Flight B began at 5 pm, and had 1,672 runners. Flight C at 7:20 pm, with 500. Flight D at 8:20 pm, with 499. Flight E at 9:40 pm, with 470. And Flight F at 10:40 pm, with 709 entries. 

Players came in droves because of the 15,000 starting stack that they would receive instead of the standard three times the buy-in stack that is usually given. The tournament lasted until around 5 am, and when it was over 3,826 players had survived to battle on Day 2.

Flight A top ten chip counts

  1. Pierre Calamusa – 243,000
  2. Arnie Friedman – 164,000
  3. Tim Davie – 143,700
  4. Matthew Weber – 136,300
  5. William Tzotzolis – 130,200
  6. Ross Bybee – 118,600
  7. Richard Santana – 112,800
  8. Jonathan Luckett – 110,800
  9. Justin Gardenhire – 106,800
  10. Trisha Hustus – 104,900

$1,500 Eight Game Mix,

Day 2 of the $1,500 Eight Game mix began today and brought back 106 players. By the end of the day only 14 remained to move onto Day 3. One of those 14 included Dan Heimiller. Heimiller has already won a bracelet this summer in the Senior’s Event, and was back making another significant run on Thursday. He will be moving into Day 3 with the lead, and 227,000 chips.

Phil Ivey also finished Day 2 in the top three chip counts, with 220,500. Ivey has had a rough series so far, but will be looking to change that on Friday, when he goes in with plenty of ammunition to get the job done.

Other familiar faces making Day 3, include; Daniel Negreanu, and Stephen Chidwick.

Top ten chip counts

  1. Dan Heimiller – 227,000
  2. Aaron Steury – 226,000
  3. Phil Ivey – 220,500
  4. Yuebin Guo – 211,500
  5. Christoph Haller – 210,500
  6. Bruce Yamron – 206,500
  7. Devin Looney – 205,000
  8. Stephen Chidwick – 174,000
  9. Daniel Negreanu – 132,500
  10. Amnon Filippi – 117,500

$10,000 Limit Hold’em

It looks like David Chiu is making a second run at a bracelet this series. Chiu is leading the $10,000 Limit Hold’em after playing through 10 levels on Thursday. Chiu just finished in sixth place earlier this week in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em, and already holds five World Series of Poker bracelets.

Antonio Esfandiari also finished the day within the top chip counts, with a stack of 99,200. He spoke a little bit about how his day had been going, and how he felt about the tournament:

“My day was good, limit hold’em is torture poker, but I got through it. Luckily I had this really fun guy, Yakov, at the table. We were playing Loden for big stakes, and he was really entertaining. It’s not everyday that I’m the second most talkative at the table but I can probably say that he was the equivalent of 3.7 Antonios,” said Esfandiari.

Esfandiari described how he felt about defending his One Drop title this year, what he does to prepare for it:

“I feel great. I’ve made plans for Saturday to really get myself ready for One Drop. I’m going to go up into the mountains alone, where I had this really great experience a few months ago. I’ll just daze off and read a book, listen to this audio on clear intention, and these kind of things. And I’ll just really get myself ready. I’ve been working out everyday – I’m really excited. I’ve had a bad series, but I’m saving all my run good for the One Drop,” explained Esfandiari.

Other notables coming back for Day 2, include; Eli Elezra, Nick Schulman, Mike Leah, JC Tran, George Danzer, Dan Shak, Shaun Deeb, and many more.

Day 2 begins on Friday at 2 pm.

Top ten chip counts

  1. Samuel Golbluff – 124,900
  2. Kenny Shei – 118,400
  3. Jeff Thompson – 109,600
  4. David Chiu – 102,900
  5. Roland Israelashvili – 100,700
  6. Antonio Esfandiari – 99,200
  7. Greg Debora – 96,700
  8. Paul Mannoni – 96,500
  9. Jared Talarico – 96,500
  10. Brian Tate – 96,500

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em

The poker world didn’t know much about Margareta Morris before she entered the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em, but they might after tomorrow, because she is moving into Day 3 with the chip lead, and there are only 23 players left.

Morris dealt out a brutal bad beat to Melanie Weisner today after she was holding AQ, and called all in on a flop of AK9, while Weisner had AK. Morris was all in for her tournament life, and managed to not only find the Q on the turn, but the Q on the river as well.

Weisner did survive the day – ending with 301,500.

Other familiar faces making a Day 3 appearance, include; John Dolan, Jason Koon, Kevin MacPhee, Daniel Colman, and Josh Arieh.

Day 3 will begin on Friday at 1 pm.

Top ten chip counts

  1. Margareta Morris – 805,000
  2. John Dolan – 719,000
  3. Timur Margolin – 647,000
  4. Jason Koon – 616,000
  5. Kevin MacPhee – 601,000
  6. Jean Gaspard – 600,000
  7. Jeremy Kottler – 595,000
  8. Blake Bohn – 582,000
  9. Oliver Price – 548,000
  10. Manig Loeser – 493,000
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