Phil Ivey Wins Historic 10th Bracelet, Monster Stack Continues Rio Takeover

Dan O'Brien moves on as one of the 577 survivors at the end of Day 2 of the Monster Stack. (Drew Amato photo)

Dan O’Brien moves on as one of the 577 survivors at the end of Day 2 of the Monster Stack. (Drew Amato photo)

The atmosphere at the 2014 World Series of Poker is growing day by day, with the two biggest tournaments of the summer looming in the coming weeks. The ESPN crew was in the building to start setting up for Sunday’s $1 million Big One for One Drop, the $1,500 Monster Stack brought back a massive group of hopefuls looking to take home a similar seven-figure sum in a couple of days and the Ladies Championship kicked off its action too.

Oh, and then there was Phil Ivey. As he tends to do every once in a while, Ivey drew a massive crowd around the secondary featured stage as he played for his 10th career WSOP bracelet and untold sums of money in bracelet bets. When the dust had settled, Ivey made history and joined the likes of poker’s truly elite tournament players, as if he wasn’t there already.

With a $10,000 Championship event playing towards a final table of its own, and the second Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo of the summer kicking off in the early evening the 32nd day of the 2014 WSOP was one to remember, to say the least.

$1,500 8 Game Mix

What was once a trio of players with 10 or more WSOP bracelets is now a quartet. Phil Ivey once again flashed his Mixed Game prowess, winning his second 8 Game Mixed Event bracelet (after taking home his ninth in the same format at WSOP Asia-Pacific) to push his career total to double digits. Ivey joins Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson with 10 career WSOP victories, trailing only Phil Hellmuth and his 13 bracelets. Joining such an elite tier of player means a lot to Ivey, who holds Brunson in such high regard.

“Doyle is one of my poker idols,” said Ivey. “When I first came to Vegas and started playing in the big game, him and Chip were the guys I looked up to playing poker – so of course it’s meaningful tying him. It’s not really too fair of a race because he doesn’t really play too many tournaments anymore, and I’m in there playing a lot of them. But I just got finished playing with Doyle last week. We played a 12-hour session at the Bellagio and he’s still sharp as can be. I think he won pretty big in the game.”

Ivey defeated Bruce Yarmon heads-up to seal the victory, along with a $166,986 payday that pales in comparison to all of the bracelet bets Ivey scooped by taking down this tournament.

$10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship

While most of the attention of the day was given to Ivey’s historic run, or the madness of the Monster Stack or even the Ladies Championship, one of the last $10,000’s of the 2014 WSOP was quietly playing down towards a final table of its own. By the time the bags came out to signal the end of Day 2, just a single table of 10 players was left standing.

Greg Debora takes 749,000 into Day 3 as the chipleader of the unofficial final table, and he’ll have some Limit Hold’em heavyweights to deal with if he wants to take home his first bracelet on Saturday. Bill Chen has a bracelet in Limit Hold’em and his two bracelets are the only ones among the final 10. Jan Sjavik has four career Limit Hold’em final tables at the WSOP, including an appearance at the infamous Limit Hold’em final table broadcast on ESPN in 2004 with Ellix Powers, Jim McManus, John Hennigan and David Chiu, among others. Brian Tate finished fifth in the Limit Hold’em Shootout at the 2010 WSOP, and he’s second in chips going into Day 3.

They didn’t reach the money until late into the night, but Chiu (17th) and recent No Limit Deuce to Seven bracelet winner Steven Wolansky (12th) each managed to make their way into the money before bowing out. The final 10 players will make their way back to the Rio at 2 pm PST to play it out for the bracelet and a top prize of $303,909.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Greg Debora – 749,000
  2. Brian Tate – 670,000
  3. Samuel Golbuff – 459,000
  4. Paul Mannoni – 403,000
  5. Jan Sjavik – 327,000
  6. Bill Chen – 318,000
  7. Mikail Tulchinskiy – 298,000
  8. David Olson – 247,000
  9. Gabe Nassif – 154,000
  10. Robert Como – 39,000

$1,500 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em

With 3,826 players returning for Day 2 of a tournament with the largest live tournament field with a one starting day and no re-entry in history, it seemed unlikely that those still deep-stacked players would number anywhere close to the 792 who’d make the money. After a little less than eight hours, however, with players busting from the Brasilia and Amazon Rooms into the Pavilion Room, the kind of bubble normally only seen for the WSOP Main Event. The Pavilion Room was completely reconfigured, the ropes were moved around, and a table was set up in the middle of the giant room to set a very Main Event-esque field.

And then the bubble never happened.

Two players were busted on the same hand before the field could even begin hand-for-hand play and the remaining 792 players were sent on a break as the floor staff prepared themselves for a wild wave of eliminations. The players cooperated and exited at a torrid pace, losing almost 24 percent of those finishing money over the final level-plus of play on Day 2 to end with 577.

Bracelet-winner Oleksii Kovalchuk was the one leading the charge to the payout line in 792nd, where he was joined by the likes of Christian Harder (767th), McLean Karr (734th), Men Nguyen (685th), Kenna James (640th), Amir Lehavot (590th) and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel (587th). Humberto Brenes made it just into the money in 784th, but that gives him his ninth cash so far at the 2014 WSOP as he shoots for the all-time record of 12.

Salvatore Bianco is the overall chipleader with 847,000, but the notables make up a fair percentage of the remaining field. Soi Nguyen, Joe Serock, Jeff Madsen, Maria Ho and Marvin Rettenmaier are among the bigger stacks, with Dan O’Brien, Greg Mueller, David Peters and Taylor Paur among the many players still in the hunt.

With the massive turnout and two starting flights, the WSOP officially extended the scheduled playout of this tournament to five days. That makes Saturday the middle day of a five-day marathon, and those fortunate enough to bag chips at the end of the night on Day 2 will return at 3 pm PST to continue their march towards a $1.3 million payday and the bracelet.

Top 10 Notable Chip Counts

  1. Salvatore Bianco – 847,000
  2. Gabriel Paul – 753,000
  3. Dan Hirleman – 745,000
  4. Martins Adeniya – 577,000
  5. Rocco Sofio – 555,000
  6. Jason Duval – 547,000
  7. Soi Nguyen – 495,000
  8. Shawn Fakhimi – 456,000
  9. Niel Mittelman – 434,000
  10. Paul Varano – 425,000

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em

While Event 49 was originall scheduled to go four days, it seemed to have every indication that things would finish in three. Only 23 players bagged up chips at the end of Day 2, and they reached a final table at a torrid pace. Melanie Weisner was one of the first to be eliminated on Day 3, losing a coinflip to go out 21st. Weisner lost a massive pot at the end of the night on Thursday when her A K lost to Margareta Morris’ A Q after they got all in on an A K 9 flop and Morris spiked running Q Q. 2014 EPT Grand Final Super High Roller winner Daniel Colman went out in 19th place, followed by Tony Gargano (16th), Jason Koon and Josh Arieh (12th).

The first few eliminations of the final table came fairly quickly too. Blake Bohn was the first to go, followed out the door by John Dolan, Jean Gaspard, Kevin MacPhee and Oliver Price. Morris, the last woman standing in the field on a day that certainly celebrated female players, took fourth place, and Manig Loeser went out in third.

David Miscikowski and Norbert Szecsi started the final table as the two biggest stacks, were virtually even when heads-up play began and couldn’t play enough poker on Day 3 to crown a champion. They take their battle into another day, the fourth of the tournament, on Saturday with play resuming at 2 pm PST. They’ll go as long as necessary to find a winner.

  • David Miscikowski – 5,525,000
  • Norbert Szecsi – 4,920,000

$1,000 Ladies Championship

The annual WSOP Ladies Championship kicked off at 11 am this morning, filling up most of the Brasilia Room with bracelet hopefuls. The field size clearly felt the effects of falling in the shadow of the Monster Stack event, which saw women form a much larger percentage of the field than they do in the average open event, but the morale was high and the atmosphere lighter than most $1,000 No Limit Hold’em events at the WSOP.

When registration closed at the end of the dinner break, the board read 793 ladies registered, with no men taking advantage of the ability to pay $10,000 to enter for the second consecutive year. The ‘Monster Stack’ effect led to a 17 percent drop in field size for this year’s Ladies’ Championship, but with $153,470 awaiting the champion there’s still quite a bit to play for.

Just 105 players advanced to day two, with Patty Landis leading the way after bagging 71,200. Landis is Daniel Negreanu’s long time assistant, making it a truly momentous day for Negreanu after his summer bracelet bets were paid off with Ivey’s historic 10th WSOP victory. Xuan Liu ended the night in fifth place, and she talked to BLUFF earlier in the day about the quality of the field and the effects the Monster Stack had on the overall turnout for the Ladies’ Championship.

Melanie Weisner quickly brushed off a tough exit in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event and finished Day 1 in 14th place among 105 players advancing to Day 2. Cherish Andrews, Dee Dozier and Christina Lindley also advanced to Day 2. The bubble will be a factor early, as 81 of the 105 remaining players will make it into the money. Action resumes at 1 pm PST Saturday afternoon, and they’ll play down to a final table or as close as they can get by the end of Day 2.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Patty Landis – 71,200
  2. Gwendoline Laurent – 59,300
  3. Janis Numan – 58,500
  4. Randy Rusnell – 55,600
  5. Xuan Liu – 55,500
  6. Kendra Wray – 53,000
  7. Aoki Mikiyo – 50,100
  8. Heidi Rhodes – 49,000
  9. Elizabeth Montizanti – 46,100
  10. Stacey Sullivan – 45,600

$3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

As players cleared out of the Amazon in droves from the Monster Stack, it left room for the second and final Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event of the summer. The $3,000 version brought out a big crowd of pot splitters, reaching 474 players by the close of registration just before 1 am PST, an increase of 40 from 2013. Defending champion Vladimir Shchemelev will not be going back-to-back, as he wasn’t one of 152 players to advance.

Brett Shaffer is fresh off his second career WSOP bracelet, and he’s coming for more after bagging up the Day 1 chiplead at 97,900. He’s followed by Florian Langmann, Richard Gryko, two-time 2014 bracelet-winner George Danzer (75,400) and Andy Bloch (72,600) to round out the top five.

They’re all playing for the coveted WSOP gold bracelet and a first place payday of $297,650. The top three players will get six-figures, with those making the final table guaranteed at least $23,641. A total of 54 players will cash in this tournament, so the bubble should linger well into the night on Day 2 before it gets burst. Play resumes at 2 pm PST Saturday, and they’ll come back to play it out on the third and final day Sunday.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Brett Shaffer – 97,900
  2. Florian Langmann – 94,000
  3. Richard Gryko – 75,800
  4. George Danzer – 75,400
  5. Andy Bloch – 72,600
  6. Ruben Vera – 62,500
  7. Lenny Talerico – 60,300
  8. Robert Mizrachi – 60,100
  9. Benjamin Miner – 60,000
  10. Iddo Feinberg – 58,100

Kevmath Recommends…

Danielle Andersen offers some sage advice.

Coming to the end of Day 2 of the Monster Stack, Jonathan Taylor discussed a way to end the tournament two days early.

The $100,000 Bellagio Super High Roller is planning to play down to a winner, whenever that takes place. Jason Somerville is in for the long haul.

Looking Ahead…

Just one new bracelet event begins on Saturday afternoon, as Event 55, $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, gets underway at 12 pm PST… The $25,300 satellite to the Big One for One Drop starts at 6 pm PST Saturday, with one seat awarded for every 40 players in the field for Sunday’s $1 million buy-in tournament… Only four new non-Hold’em events remain on the 2014 WSOP schedule – $3,000 Omaha Hi-Lo (June 30), $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship (July 1), $1,500 10 Game Mix (July 2) and $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha (July 3). The 2014 WSOP Main Event begins one week from Saturday.

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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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