The 2012 WSOP has reached its climax and we are now down the home stretch. The Main Event began on Saturday and will end sometime next week. We’ve had some amazing moments thus far and by far the pinnacle has to be the Big One Event. In this week’s On Poker, we’ll get you up to speed with the latest news surrounding the WSOP.
Event#50: $5,000 Hold 'Em
Pete Vilandos, of Houston, Texas, is the lucky winner of more than $950,000. He outlasted a field of 1,001 to win his 3rd bracelet. His total WSOP earnings now top $2.3 million. Pete's first bracelet came all the way back in 1995.
Event #51: Ladies Event
A room filled with 936 women all entered to compete for title of world's best female player. First time is a charm for Yen Dang, who won her first bracelet in her first event. Her win makes her $170,000 richer and the 2012's Ladies Champion. Surprisingly, none of the big name women in poker, such as Vanessa Selbst or Jennifer Harman, were anywhere near the money. The way Selbst has been playing she was sure to be the favorite, but her focus may be on the other events, especially the main event.
Photo of V. Selbst from espn.com
Event #52: 10 Game Mixed / Six Handed
- Vanessa Selbst $244,259
- Michael Saltzburg $150,849
- Tam Hang $97,884
- Chris Bjorin $64,649
- Thomas Chambers $43,099
Event #53: $2,500 No Limit Hold 'Em
Former ESPN production assistant, Jim Willerson, captured his first bracelet and more than $730,000 to go along with it. This is Jim's 2nd cash of the 2012 WSOP and 6th overall.
Event #54: $1,000 No Limit Hold 'Em
The hold 'em events have been dominating the late part of the WSOP, it seems, with lower buy in events that are drawing large fields. This event had a huge field of 3,221 players. Playing in his first WSOP, Will Jaffe is making a name for himself with 3 cashes and now a bracelet. His win earned $500,075, and of course, honor among his peers.
Event #55: The Big One for One Drop
This was by far the most awaited in event in poker over the last few years. With a $1 million buy in and $18 million going to first, this would be the largest poker tournament the world has seen. Only 48 players were reserved spots in this historic event. The list of names in this event looked like the poker hall of fame mixed with some of the richest men in the world.
Photo of Esfandiari is from pokernews.com
The final table was one for the books. Mike Sexton, Richard Young, Bobby Baldwin, Brian Rast, Guy Laliberte, Phil Hellmuth, David Einhorn, Sam Trickett and Antonio Esfandiaria all competed to become pokers richest man.
Esfandiari played the best poker of his life and went on to beat Sam Trickett heads up and forever etch his name in sports history. This wasn't just the largest payout in poker; it was the largest in a sporting event.
The real winners are the millions who will receive fresh drinking water thanks to the more than $6 million raised due to this tournament. The One Drop Foundation provides drinking water to people across the globe.
Event #56: $1,500 No Limit Hold 'Em
Peter Esstgate was under the spotlight at this final table and put on a good show. He couldn't overcome the play from Tomas Junek of the Czech Republic, however. This was the young Czech's first ever cash at the WSOP and boy was it sweet. Cashing in on more than $661,000, Junek is sure to be a hit when he gets home.
Event #57: $10,000 No Limit Hold 'Em / Six Handed
I am proud to say that my home state has put on a solid showing this year at the WSOP. Maryland is most well-known for its crab cakes and crack dealers, not for producing poker gods. The last few years have seen 2 Main Event runner-ups and countless WSOP cashes. This year alone 2 MD residents have won bracelets. Adding to that total is Gregory Mason. His first bracelet earns him more than $1.1 million.
Event #58 $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
- Viacheslav Zhukov $330,277
- Roch Cousineau $204,426
- Chris Bell $135,858
- David Baker $100,820
- Randy Ohel $75,662
Event #59: $1,000 No Limit Hold 'Em
The last hold ‘em event before the Main Event was won by Germany's Dominick Nitsche. This is his first ever cash at the WSOP and is worth more than $650,000.
Event #60: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball
- Nick Schulman $294,321
- Mike Wattel $181,886
- George Danzer $115,295
- Benjamin Parker $78,088
- Ashton Griffin $55,488
Event #61: $10,000 WSOP National Championship
This event is only open to WSOP Circuit qualifiers and those who meet other specific requirements. This event is down to the final 8 and will resume play until a winner is reached.
Event #62: $10,000 Main Event
Photo of 2012 WSOP bracelet from espn.com
Day 1 started on Saturday with 1,066 players. As of now, Austria's William John stands at the top. The first casualty of the Main event was Randal Flowers. Also knocked out early was past champion Joe Hachem, along with Kathy Liebert, Ray Romano, and none other than Phil Hellmuth.
The event will begin airing on ESPN in the following days. Stay tuned to Color Up Poker Blog as we keep you up to date with results and news from the Main Event.