It’s been an eventful week at the World Series of Poker with players like Phil Hellmuth and Jason Koon making big waves. Some non-American players have also scored bracelets and made deep runs as well.
Travel issues may have limited the number of players from outside the US, but that hasn’t kept some from scoring in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at some of the events making news over the last week.
Koon grabs first bracelet in heads-up event, Hungarian takes runner-up
In the $25,000 Heads-up Championship, Jason Koon (pictured in lead image) took the title for $243,981 only days after signing as an ambassador with GGPoker. This marked the first bracelet of his career and he was pleased to finally accomplish the feat.
“It’s one of those things when you’re on an airplane and a person is like, ‘Do you have a bracelet?’ I’m just like, ‘Nope,’” he told WSOP.com afterward. “At least I can finally say yes to that. I love coming here. I think I’ll play poker forever, and when it’s all said and done I think it’s inevitable I’ll have several of them.”
A few international players also finished well. Hungary’s Gabor Szabo took runner-up for $150,790. Henri Puustinen, of Finland, took third for $89,787 and Belarus’s Mikita Badziakouski finished fifth for $36,280.
Bronshtein wins after almost skipping event
In Event 12: $1,500 Limit Hold’em, Israel’s Yuval Bronshtein scored the title for his second bracelet and $124,374. The tournament attracted 422 entries for a $563,370 prize pool.
Bronshtein now has $1.8 million in live tournament winnings. His last bracelet came in 2019 in the $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw for $96,278. His latest win almost didn’t happen however.
“I nearly didn’t play this tournament,” Bronshtein told PoerGO News. “I don’t really enjoy Limit Hold’em when I play mix. It’s kind of the game we don’t want to pick. I just played it by default. I’m super happy it worked out, and I’m just as happy as can be right now.”
Zinno wins third bracelet after Hellmuth goes off
The $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship produced some big headlines over the last couple days. Three-time World Poker Tour champion Anthony Zinno added his third bracelet as well for $182,872.
Phil Hellmuth, looking for his 16th bracelet, led in the chip counts going into the final table. However, he exited in fourth for $54,730 after reaching his third final table of the series.
The Poker Brat’s profanity-laced tirade after losing a crucial hand to Zinno, however, overshadowed much of the action. Hellmuth referred to Zinno numerous times as a “motherfucker” and continued the verbal onslaught as the final table continued.
Many players recognize Hellmuth’s passion, but felt his actions were out of line. He took to Twitter on Tuesday to apologize. Poker legend Jennifer Harmon offered her own interesting Hellmuth story this week.
Funny story about @phil_hellmuth @wsop. Back at Binions, he got knocked out of a tournament early. He didn't think he should of been knocked out that soon. So he pulled up a chair to the table and stayed there for 5 hours until he thought it was time for him to leave. #crazy
— Jennifer Harman (@REALJenHarman) October 13, 2021
For his part, Zinno seemed to take the tirade in stride and dominated the final table. Stud has been a game he’s been working on in recent months and that certainly paid off.
Hahah. @phil_hellmuth is the only poker player on earth that could find a way to make a 7-Card Stud final table entertaining for *all*
— Anthony Zinno (@AntZinno) October 12, 2021
Taiwan’s James Chen finished runner-up for $113,024 and Bolivia’s Jose Paz-Gutierrez took third for $77,227.
A look at some other players running deep
A few more players from outside the US also saw some success over the last week. Belgium’s Michael Gathy took third in Event 13: $1,500 NLHE Freezeout for $164,083.
No stranger to WSOP success, Gathy has four previous WSOP bracelets. That included winning the $500 Closer in the 2020 WSOP Online at GGPoker in 2020 for $260,505.
In Event 15: $1,500 Six-Handed NLHE, France’s Jeremey Malod came close to a bracelet. The runner-up finish for $193,711 became his first-ever WSOP cash as well.
Portuguese player Joao Vieira finished third in Event 18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball for $57,558. Already with $1.3 million in WSOP earnings, Vieira was seeking his second bracelet.
Millionaire Maker set to come to a close
After four days of play, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker is set to wrap up on Wednesday. The event produced 5,326 entries for a $7.1 million prize pool. The winner scores a $1 million payday.
Fresh off a third-place finish, Michael Gathy also sits third in chips in this event with five players remaining. He’s again hoping to land his fifth bracelet.
Another non-US player is also making a run at the title with Mexico’s Ignacio Moron sitting second in chips. The event remains one of the biggest events in the series, attracting players from around the world.
A look at the week ahead
Plenty of action remains in Las Vegas and players have several events to check out over the next week. Thursday’s $10,000 Short Deck event should bring out plenty of pros. The game brings plenty of action and big hands, with all 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s removed from the deck.
On Friday, the $1,500 Monster Stack kicks off and should bring in plenty of weekend warriors. The fourth online event also hits WSOP.com on Sunday, the $888 Crazy 8s, and is expected to produce a nice prize pool. Here’s a look at some other events to watch in the coming days.
- $1,500 HORSE (Event 27) – Oct. 13
- $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw (Event 31) – Oct. 15
- $3,000 HORSE (Event 32) – Oct. 16
- $500 NLHE Freezeout (Event 35) – Oct. 18
- $10,000 Dealers Choice Six-Handed Championship (Event 36) – Oct. 18
- $50,0000 High Roller NLHE Eight-Handed (Event 38) – Oct. 19