WSOP Roundup: Chris Moneymaker Runs Deep in Main Event, French Player Leads Bounty PLO

Poker Hall of Famer Chris Moneymaker returns for Day 4 as one of the chip leaders in the World Series of Poker Main Event. The 2003 champion scored some huge hands on Day 2 and that big run continued on Day 3.

Some international players also return among the chip leaders as well. In other action, a French player leads the pack in the Pot Limit Omaha Bounty event. The Little One for One Drop also returns to action on Friday. Here’s a look at some of the headlines from Las Vegas.

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Event 67: $10,000 Main Event

The Main Event is heating up as players move on to Day 4 on Friday. The bubble burst on Thursday and all players have now reached the money with 1,000 left in the field.

Those now hitting the rail will at least earn a min-cash of $15,000. The event brought in 6,650 players for a $62 million prize pool, bringing a winner payout of  $8 million. The runner-up takes $4.3 million with ninth-place even earning $1 million.

The series is seeing a bit of deja vu so far, with 2003 Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker among the top chip stacks returning to the Rio. Moneymaker took his seat at the ‘03 Main Event via an $86 PokerStars qualifier.

His win was captured on ESPN and helped kickstart the poker boom. Another big score would make for big news.

Florida’s Jessica Cai leads the field going into Day 4 with 1.8 million. She comes into the Main Event with only $78,454 in live tournament winnings.

“(It’s) surreal,” she told PokerGO’s Jeff Platt of her run so far. “I’m still in shock, but I’m definitely grateful to be here.”

International players running deep in Main Event

Those aren’t the only players making nice runs. Thailand’s Phachara Wongwichit finished second in chips with just under 1.8 million. A regular in Asian events, he has $1.5 million in live tournament winnings and is looking for his first bracelet.

Ehsan Amiri, of Australia, bagged 1.6 million for the fourth-place spot. He’s seeking his first bracelet and the best finish of his career.

Another player to watch is Italy’s Gianluca Speranza, who finished the day with 1.3 million. In 2017, he took runner-up in the WSOP Europe Main Event for €689,246.

Event 68: $1,111 Little One for One Drop

This event heads to the third day of action on Friday after three Days 1s to get things started. The tournament produced 3,797 entries for a $3.8 million prize pool with a winner’s haul of $396,445.

GGPoker qualifier Mathew Solitro, of Massachusetts, returns as chip leader with 228 players remaining. Chile’s Oscar Alache sits second in chips with a few other international players among the chip leaders as well.

Germany’s Jan Wagner checks in at fourth with France’s Idris Ambraisse sitting in fifth. Japan’s Masaki Nakamura returns ninth in chips.

Event 71: $1,500 Bounty Pot-Limit Omaha

This tournament began on Thursday with France’s Mourad Amokrane returning as chip leader.

He’s the only player to top 1 million chips so far and this could be a career-defining tournament for the Frenchman. Amokrane currently has only $21,244 in live tournament winnings.

Bulgaria’s Nikolay Yosifov is third in chips with Greece’s Miltiadis Kyriakides in fifth. Canada’s Kirk Dillon and Spain’s Paulo Villena are in sixth and seventh as well.

The tournament attracted 860 players with only 84 returning for Day 2. Others advancing to Day 2 include Calvin Anderson, Team GGPoker’s Felipe Ramos, and Dario Sammartino.

Josh Ariah moved to the top of the Player of the Year standings. (Photo courtesy WSOP))

Player of the Year update

Josh Arieh has been the player of the series so far and moves into the No. 1 slot in the Player of the Year standings. The American rounder has already won two events and scored two other final table appearances. Here’s a look at the standings as of Friday:

  • 1st – Josh Arieh, 3,110.91 points
  • 2 – Jake Schwartz, 2,757.37
  • 3 – Anthony Zinno, 2,731.32
  • 4 – Ryan Leng, 2,684.04
  • 5 – Kevin Gerhart, 2,643.23

Upcoming events

Plenty of events remain in the series including some interesting tournaments over the weekend. That includes plenty of mixed games and two online events set for Sunday. Here’s a look at the action over the next few days:

  • 70: $888 Crazy Eights – Nov. 12
  • 72: $1,500 Mixed NLHE; PLO – Nov. 12
  • 73: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Nov. 13
  • 74: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event – Nov. 14
  • Online Event 8: $7,777 WSOP.com Lucky 7s High Roller – Nov. 14
  • Online Event 9: $777 WSOP.com Lucky 7s – Nov. 14
  • 75: $1,500 Freezeout NLHE – Nov. 15
  • 76: $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty – Nov. 15

* Lead image courtesy PokerGO

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