Main Event Looms as Players Battle for Last Bracelets of Summer on 4th of July

Isaac Baron surged into the chiplead in the first four levels of Day 2 in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship. (Tim Fiorvanti photo)

Isaac Baron surged into the chiplead in the first four levels of Day 2 in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship. (Tim Fiorvanti photo)

For the first time since May 27, there were no new tournaments getting underway at the 2014 World Series of Poker. All of the preliminary events are either underway or already completed, with one scheduled final table in action and another that came back to finish out on a Day 4 on the Fourth of July. A strong turnout for the Pot Limit Omaha on Thursday led to a lot of contenders still in the mix midway through Day 2, and those hoping to make a run in the last No Limit Hold’em prelim have some serious work to do in order to fight through a big group remaining in the Little One for One Drop as well.

With the Main Event just one day away the excitement is building quickly at the Rio, but before the attention of the poker world turns to the crown jewel of the year there’s still a lot of poker action to go before we get there.

$10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship

As it has over the last couple of years at the WSOP, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event is serving as a nice warmup to the Main Event. With 418 players in the field this year, a significant increase in turnout, there is still a lot of Omaha to be played before the big money is on the line. Isaac Baron has put himself in position for a run at his first bracelet, scooping a massive pot to move his stack up to over 750,000.

Though the details are somewhat sketchy, Jonas Entin was at the table to observe the hand.

Baron is one of 62 players still in the running for this bracelet, and the money bubble will likely hang around for a couple more hours with only 45 of those players making the money. An $18,585 payday awaits all those who survive the final money bubble before the Main Event begins, but Daniel Negreanu won’t be among that number.

Despite getting a hold of some chips by the end of Day 1, Friday did not turn out so well for Negreanu in his second event since his runner-up Big One for One Drop finish. He’s one of many to fall so far on Day 2, along with Sorel Mizzi, Dan Kelly, Randall Flowers, Jeff Lisandro, Scotty Nguyen, Joseph Cheong, Dan Smith, Justin Bonomo and Ashton Griffin.

Chance Kornuth started the day with the chiplead and continues to hold on strong, with Sam Trickett, Tom Marchese and Alex Kravchenko among the other top stacks in the room.

Players are currently on their second 20-minute break of the day, with a 60 minute dinner break scheduled for about 9 pm PST.

$1,111 Little One for One Drop

It took a couple of levels on Day 2, but the field for the Little One for One Drop is now in the money. The top 468 players got paid, but there were quite a few players to cut through before the field even reached that milestone – more than 400, in fact. Mike Sowers, Ralph Massey and Jennifer Tilly were just a few of those unfortunate souls, but they each got the consolation prize of the chance to get out early and celebrate the fourth of July.

As can be expected from a buy-in and field size like the one featured in the Little One for One Drop, the eliminations came in full force. Dan Heimiller was just the second player to go out in the money, and he was followed to the payout cage by fellow min-cashers Amanda Musumeci (444th), Xuan Liu (433rd), Carlos Mortensen (421st) and Shannon Shorr (419th). Ray Henson (396th), Ravi Raghavan (390th), Yuval Bronshtein (381st) and Justin Zaki (367th) held out for a little longer and earned pay bumps, but they’ll all get one more chance at a bracelet this summer in the next few days in the Main Event.

Humberto Brenes earned his 10th cash of the summer by making it into the money in this event, and while the majority of his results to this point have been small cashes, the Costa Rican poker legend has built up a significant stack so far on Day 2. Other notables remaining in the field include Eric Baldwin, Justin Young, Annette Obrestad, Will Failla, Mukul Pahuja and James Woods.

They’ll be taking a 60 minute dinner break at approximately 7:15 pm PST.

$1,500 10 Game Mixed Event

The lone final table scheduled for the Fourth of July has taken center stage in the Amazon Room – or rather, side stage, as the ‘Thunderdome’ is being prepped for Main Event coverage in the coming days. There were nine players to start the day, but as the players enjoy their second break of the day only three players remain. Bryn Kenney, in search of a long-awaited first WSOP bracelet, holds over 60 percent of the chips in play against Fabio Coppola and Jan Suchanek.

David Blatte, Haresh Thaker, Michael Mixer, Randy Ohel, Andrey Zaichenko and Dan Zack have each fallen by the wayside, and with Ohel’s elimination in sixth a first-time winner was guaranteed. A first place prize of $153,220 and the gold WSOP bracelet awaits the eventual champion.

  1. Bryn Kenney – 1,156,000
  2. Fabio Coppola – 481,000
  3. Jan Suchanek – 346,000

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em

Salman Jaddi and Brandon Hall played over 200 hands of heads-up poker at the end of Day 3, and it still wasn’t quite enough to crown a champion. Jaddi and Hall returned Friday afternoon to duke it out again, and Jaddi took home the final $1,500 No Limit Hold’em title after surviving the marathon heads-up battle. In addition to his first career bracelet, Jaddi received a $614,248 to cap his summer off in a big way.

Satellites Strong on Eve of Main Event

With the Main Event less than 17 hours from getting underway, players are jumping at every opportunity they can get to join the field. Four different multi-table satellites will run every day through Sunday, with a turbo $1,060 tournament capping it all of on the morning of Day 1C. Despite it being a national holiday Friday, the first three satellites have all drawn tremendous numbers.

The 10 am $550 satellite got 305 entries, meaning 14 players will win their way in, but the 1 pm $1,060 saw an even more impressive turnout. With 862 players jumping in by the close of registration, there will be 81 WSOP Main Event seats on the line in this tournament alone. The 4 pm $550 had 821 players registered as of 6:30 pm, good for an additional 39 seats into the Main Event, and an 8 pm $2,080 satellite rounds out Friday’s action in the Pavilion Room.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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