Matusow Responds to Controversy; Dan Smith Pushing for First Bracelet

Mike Matusow playing the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event (Photo by Drew Amato)

Mike Matusow playing the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event (Photo by Drew Amato)

Thursday proved to be an action filled day at the 2014 World Series of Poker consisting of five different events, including; Day 3 of the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max, Day 3 of the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, Day 1 of the $1,500 HORSE, and Day 1 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em.

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max 

Three days was not enough to crown a champion in the $5,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em event, so Kevin Eyster and Pierre Neuville will return Friday afternoon to fight it out for a bracelet. When the chips were bagged at the end of the night Eyster held a lead of 5,515,000 to 2,605,000, with all of the momentum seemingly swinging in his favor. Neuville declined to play an extra level Thursday night, to the disappointment of both Eyster and his rail.

There were 17 players when Day 3 of the tournament got underway, and some heavy hitters were sent to the rail before the final table was set. Recent $3,000 Shootout winner Kory Kilpatrick was the first to make his exit, followed soon after by Griffin Benger. 2012 WSOP Main Event Champion and Player of the Year Greg Merson’s pursuit of a third bracelet ended in 13th, and his exit was followed by a wave of notables making their way out the door. Amanda Musumeci (12th), Pratyush Buddiga (11th), Byron Kaverman (10th) and Matt Jarvis (9th) were picked off one by one in the playdown from two tables to one, and Mustapha Kanit narrowly missed out on his second final table of the 2014 WSOP after more than two hours of seven-handed play.

Bryn Kenney (4th) and Andrew Lichtenberger (3rd) each narrowly missed out in the pursuit of their first WSOP bracelets, but earned six-figure paydays as a parting gift. Eyster and Neuville will resume their heads-up match at 1 pm PST.

  1. Kevin Eyster – 5,515,000
  2. Pierre Neuville – 2,605,000
  3. Andrew Lichtenberger – $242,827
  4. Bryn Kenney – $160,927
  5. Jeremy Kottler – $109,844
  6. David Borrat – $77,145

$2,500 Omaha Hi- Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo

The $2,500 Omaha Hi- Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo started on Tuesday and attracted a field of 470 players while generating a prize pool of $1,069, 250.

First place was a prize of $267,327 and by the start of Day 3, on Thursday, only 18 remained. By the end of the day, the field was whittled down to the final table, and soon after we saw John Kabbaj and Thomas Keller heads-up for the title. The battle only lasted a few hands until we saw Kabbaj crowned the victor, taking home his second World Series of Poker bracelet and the $267,327 first prize money.

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em

Day 2 of  the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event began on Thursday and only 178 remained of the original 1,594 that came out to play on Wednesday.

One of the notable big stacks that made it to Day 2 was Nick Schulman. Schulman was in contention for his third World Series of Poker bracelet but came up short after busting in 14th for an $18,162 payday.

Dan Smith was another big name that came into Day 2 with 132,200 chips and by the end of the day amassed a stack worth 887,000 and is currently sitting second in the top chips counts going into Day 3 on Friday.

“Got up to like 900,000, and had over 4x average with around 40 players to go. I hit a rough patch, I lost a couple pots to Will (Failla) I was committed with AJ against his KK, I ran trips into trips and I lost a bit, but it could have gone a lot worse. And then I lost AK versus AT to put me down to like 400,000, but then ended up hitting some cards the last little bit and ended with 887,000.”

Smith has won many different titles all around the world, amassed approximately$5,828,498 in tournament earnings, and is known as one of the best tournament players around – but he is yet to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker.

“A lot of people put a lot of stock in a bracelet – I’d like to win one, but I’m a bit more interested in the $400,000 – it would be another notch in the belt.”

Top ten chips counts

  1. Ryan Welch – 1,524,000
  2. Dan Smith – 887,000
  3. Reed Goodmiller – 862,000
  4. Jonas Wexler – 612,000
  5. Eric Rappaport – 588,000
  6. Christopher Symesko – 491,000
  7. Michael Katz – 439,000
  8. Will Failla – 421,000
  9. Geremy Eiland – 420,000
  10. Andrew Rennhack – 358,000

$10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em

The $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event began at 4 pm on Thursday and attracted a healthy pro-laden field consisting of 160 players, generating a prize pool of  $1,504,000.

Mike Matusow was more than happy to talk how his day was going and to elaborate on the questionable penalty that he received on Wednesday during the $2,500 Omaha Hi- Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi- Lo event.

“I had a hundred, now I have ninety, my tables been terrible but some guy kind of gave me his chips and I coolered two other people… you know, I just had cards and I’ve just kind of been playing snug.” said Matusow.

On Wednesday, Matusow was on the receiving end of a controversial penalty for “excessive celebration” after he shouted and banged the table after winning a substantial pot against his opponent. Most of the pros, and players in general, were against the ruling.

“It was really awful, you know – I don’t make excuses, I kind of blew up afterwards because this happened. First of all, I was given a penalty that doesn’t exist, there’s no such thing as an excessive celebration penalty at the World Series, that was done away with two years ago. So basically this man decided he wants to basically take the tournament from me and give me a penalty that doesn’t exist, and have three security guards threaten to kick me out. All because I sat there with a nub for four and a half hours with three and a half big bets and played my ass off. I got it up to 50,000, and we’re playing 16,000 which is still three big bets and I got it all in for a 185,000 pot, and I said; ‘yes that’s right, I worked so hard for this money, I never gave up… YES… YES (bangs table). And he says, ‘you’ve got a one round penalty for excessive celebration.’ That’s not even a rule… I found that out this morning from Jack Effel.”

“Now this changes everything because I felt that he had given me a penalty that existed and that the ruling was just unjust. But now I find out that it doesn’t even exist,” said Matusow. “There needs to be something done, they need to do something for me because the eight hands I missed was probably worth a minimum of $5,000 in equity. Not to mention I would have hundred percent made the final table with my chip stack if I didn’t blow up – and I did blow up, it was my own fault, don’t get me wrong – but this wouldn’t have happened.”

66 players will come back for Day 2 which continues on Friday at 2 pm.

Top ten chip counts

  1. Anthony Ruberto – 203,300
  2. John Juanda – 171,200
  3. Michel Abecassis 165,100
  4. Benjamin Pollak – 156,800
  5. Alex Bilokur – 156,500
  6. Dan Shak – 144,500
  7. Antonio Esfandiari – 144,300
  8. Michael Rocco – 143,600
  9. Pratyush Buddiga – 130,600
  10. Chino Reem – 122,700

$1,500 HORSE

The $1,500 HORSE event began at noon on Thursday and attracted a field of 743 players while generating a prize pool of $1,003,050.

By the end of the day, 160 players remained to come back for Day 2 on Friday, including a few notable players. Jason Reisenberg is leading the pack with 72,600, with Huck Seed close behind him, bagging up 59,400. Other notables include John Monnette, James Van Alstyne, and Dutch Boyd.

Top ten chip counts

  1. Jason Riesenberg – 72,600
  2. Huck Seed – 59,400
  3. Lonnie Heimowitz – 52,500
  4. Dennis Morrison – 51,300
  5. Bill Eichel – 49,800
  6. Ron Lane – 47,200
  7. James Van Alstyne – 46,300
  8. Kevin Calenzo – 46,100
  9. Jeffrey Wagner – 45,900
  10. John Monnette – 43,900

The action resumes Friday at 1 pm.

Kevmath Recommends… 

WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart offered the following comments regarding the penalty awarded Mike Matusow on June 11.

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