Phil Hellmuth Heads Toward #14 as Millionaire Maker Bursts Bubble

Phil Hellmuth is the center of attention on the ESPN main stage Sunday as he goes after his 14th bracelet. (Drew Amato Photo)

Saturday was a crazy day at the Rio for the 2014 World Series of Poker, however Sunday brought just as crazy of a schedule, with the record-breaking Millionaire Maker returning, along with Phil Hellmuth fighting for his 14th WSOP bracelet at the $1,500 Razz Final Table. The first shootout of the summer has reached the final twelve players, and the second $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Events was the first event on the boards. By late afternoon, the final starting event will begin, with the second $10,000 buy-in event of the series, Omaha Hi-Lo.

On the first break of the day, two more bracelets were given out. The first bracelet was awarded to Brandon Shack-Harris from Chicago, Illinois, and the second bracelet to Kyle Cartwright from Memphis, Tennessee. Shack-Harris, a former music composer, set a record as he won the largest field in a non-Hold’em tournament, glad to walk away with his first bracelet. Cartwright also accepted his first bracelet, after having accumulated five circuit rings, his win represents a huge accomplishment for circuit grinders everywhere. When talking to the crowd of players in the Brasilia Room who were on break from the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event, Shack-Harris explained that the game was “zero misery, and tons of jokes” after he accepted his bracelet and took the microphone from Jack Effel, WSOP tournament director.

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout

The Shootout returned on Sunday at 1 pm with only twelve players remaining out of the starting field of 948. The first hour of the day went pretty slow for the players with little to no action on the table. As soon at the first break of the day hit, and the Millionaire Maker returned for Day 2, the Shootout started to heat up, dropping down to eight players in second hour of play. Dimitar Danchev had the chip lead with a little over 800,000 chips; Josh Arieh was in second for chips with 750,000.

As Trager and Busse busted out, Arieh took an even-more commanding chip leading, increasing his stack to over 1,200,000 chips. Unfortunately for Arieh, Danchev continued to fight his way to the top, and the chip lead would continue to sway between himself and Danchev as the afternoon progressed. By the time Loube was eliminated in 5th place, Alex Bolotin had overtaken all of Loube’s chips and continued to chip up; he managed to take over the chip lead a short time later and has remained with 1,888,000 chips. Once Bolotin took over the lead, he was able to take down the former chip leader, Arieh, giving himself over two million chips and sending Arieh to the rails for 4th place.

Here is a breakdown of the payouts:

  • 4th Josh Arieh – $72, 846
  • 5th Steven Loube – $53,777
  • 6th Douglas Foster – $40,314
  • 7th David Trager – $30,664
  • 8th Shawn Busse – $23,638
  • 9th Maxx Coleman – $18,468
  • 10th Colin York – $14,615
  • 11th Steve Geralis – $14,615
  • 12th Jared Jaffee – $14,615

$1,500 Razz

Razz came back to it’s final table on the ESPN main stage on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm. Phil Hellmuth came into the day with the second most chips, looking for his 14th WSOP bracelet at his 50th career final table.  Hellmuth was seated directly next to Brandon Cantu, who missed the first hand of the day as he showed up a few minutes late.  Hellmuth and Cantu exchanged a smile as the youngster approached, presumably prepared to play against each other again; Hellmuth and Cantu sat at the same table during last year’s $2,500 Razz event. This final table is loaded with bracelet winners, a total of 23 among the eight players, with 13 of them belonging to Hellmuth himself. Two other familiar faces at the table were David “The Gunslinger” Bach, who Bryan Campanello defeated heads-up last year in the $2,500 Razz event, and Brock Parker, a two-time bracelet winner.

When Razz players took their first break of the day, seven players still remained, leaving Yuebin Guo and Cantu with extremely short stacks. Cantu had been very active at the table, having played many hands against Hellmuth, who had taken over the chip lead with 560,000 chips. Directly behind Hellmuth, Greg Pappas stacked up 415,000 chips, and Bach rounded out the top three with 219,000 chips in front. With only one elimination of the day after two hours of play, the tournament appears to be off to a slow start as Hellmuth and his table-mates strive for that gold bracelet.

The first hand after break, play finally heated up as Gou got the last of his chips in against Brock Parker and busted, leaving the table with only six remaining players and walked from the table as the second elimination of the day. Shortly after Gou hit the rails, Cantu was forced to put his chips all in, and gave his chips and the chip lead to Greg Pappas. However, just a few hands later, Brock Parker went all-in and lost; , in the process, he gave all of his chips to Phil Hellmuth, who regained the chip lead  and his hopes at another bracelet.

Here is a breakdown of the payouts:

  • 5th Brock Parker – $25,717
  • 6th Brandon Cantu – $19,183
  • 7th Yuebin Guo – $14,517
  • 8th Kevin Iacofano – $11,143

$1,500 Millionaire Maker

Day 2 of the Millionaire Maker began with 1,466 players remaining out of the record field of 7,977, creating a prize pool of $10,768,950. Play began at 2 pm, and by the time the players hit their first break of the day, the field had dropped over 500 players, hovering just under 875 players remaining, and quickly approaching the money bubble at 819 players. The min-cash for the tournament will earn the players $2,692, a step in the right direction toward the $1,319,587 first place cash.

J.C. Tran busted the Millionaire Maker earlier in the day, along with Mike Schneider, Steven Watts, and Amanda Baker. There are still some famous faces left in the crowd, such as Allen Kessler, Andrew Lichtenberger, Matt Salsberg, Sorel Mizzi, Jonathon Duhamel, and Tuan Le.

At approximately 5:30 pm, game play had been put on hold as the dealers began hand-f0r-hand play as the money bubble had been reached and the players have weaved their way down to 820 remaining. No more than five minutes later, two players busted and the bubble had been popped. A hand in the Amazon Room showed pocket kings being busted by pocket fives on the bubble. As all the dealers stood up behind the tables and waited for further instructions, supervisors came around and announced that the players had “made the money for the second largest tournament in history”.

$1,000 No Limit Hold’em

Second $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament of the summer began at noon Sunday afternoon, and brought in a total of 1,863 entrants so far. The prize pool has totaled $1, 675, 800 as the players entered level five and late registration continued to remain open. The first No Limit Hold’em was won by Kyle Cartwright, who was present at the bracelet ceremony this afternoon and awarded his first WSOP bracelet. That event brought in 2,223 entrants, a bit higher than today’s number of entries. After the second break of the day, registration had stopped, topping the entrants out at 1,881. By 5:30 pm, only 820 of the players remain with another four levels left to play out.

Joe Serock, Alex Phahurat, James Woods, and DJ MacKinnon are all doing decent in the tournament this afternoon, hanging on for a chance to continue on to Day 2. Phil Laak, who showed up Sunday wearing some very snazzy ski goggles at his table, left the tournament busted early in the afternoon along with Amanda Baker, Jonathon Taylor, and AJ Thompson.

$10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 

The latest starting event for the day, Omaha Hi-Lo began at 4 pm and has totaled 120 entries headed into 6 pm. Some big names have showed up to play the tournament including Rob Mizrachi, Vanessa Selbst, Phil Laak, Eli Elezra, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Jeremy Ausmus, and John Monnette.

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Brock Parker finished 5th in the $1,500 Razz, and was disappointed he didn’t face Phil Hellmuth heads-up.

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More to come…

By tonight, the winner of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout and $1,500 Razz should be completed, with the possibility of Phil Hellmuth winning his 14th WSOP bracelet. The Millionaire Maker will continue to play down the remaining 6 levels of the day, leaving the remaining players to return on Monday for a chance to win one million dollars. The $1,000 No Limit Hold’em and the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo will complete their levels for the day before returning for Day 2 on Monday.

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