Posts Tagged ‘2014 WSOP’

2014 WSOP “Monster” draws Monster Field

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The World Series of Poker staff is never stagnant, always bringing fresh ideas and events to the table. The 2014 WSOP NLHE Monster is a perfect example of this because the $1,500 buy-in event gives players a much larger-than-normal chip stack to start with. And the idea was a huge success as the Monster drew 7,864 players, making it the second-biggest live poker tournament in history.

Needless to say, WSOP organizers weren’t quite expecting this large of a showing at the Monster. A second flight was added to restart at 5pm, and additional flights were added throughout the first night. Seeing as how everybody who wanted to register still got into the tournament, the WSOP staff definitely deserves some praise here.

The first day saw 3,826 players survive, which is a little less than half of the original field. The second day cut the field down to around 2,150 grinders. Everybody is hopeful that the Monster can conclude after its now-scheduled five days, though it’s hard telling with such big chip stacks and over 2,000 runners left.

Obviously the NLHE Monster is very popular among 2014 WSOP players. However, one pro who questioned the event is 2010 November Niner Jeremy Ausmus. He offered mixed emotions about the tournament, saying that the big stacks do give the best players an advantage. However, he also said that the Monster offers less value than the Main Event and it’s time-consuming for the amount of money involved.

Ausmus admitted that there’s a lot of money at the top, with a $1.3 million first-place prize up for grabs. But for a poker pro who’s trying to maximize his value, a $1.5k deepstacked event that could run five days may not be the greatest use of time. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other happy, albeit tired, players in this field who would love a shot at the $1.3 million top payout.

Robert Mizrachi is a WSOP Champion Once Again

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

When it comes to poker-playing brothers, few duos are more famous than Michael and Robert Mizrachi. Both players have had considerable success in tournaments and lay claim to almost $20 million in combined winnings.

As for the WSOP, Robert was the first one to strike for a gold bracelet as he took down the 2007 $10k Pot-Limit Omaha Championship ($768,889). Since that time, though, it’s been all Michael at the WSOP as he’s gone on to win three gold bracelets, including the prestigious $50k Players Championship twice in 2010 and ’12.

Robert must have been a little jealous of seeing his brother continuing to collect so much jewelry, so he decided to win the 2014 WSOP $1,500 Dealer’s Choice tournament along with $147,092. This is definitely an impressive win too because Mizrachi had to know 16 different poker variations to successfully compete in the dealer’s choice event.

Many players praised the first-ever running of a WSOP dealer’s choice tournament because it made everybody feel like they were at a relaxed home game. Mizrachi probably felt especially at home since Michael was on the rail cheering him on.

“We have played together before on the same final tables,” Robert said in reference to the 2010 Players Championship. “We play hard when we’re at the table, but we also pull for each other when we are not competing. We all grew up together, and that’s the way we have always been.”

Thanks to his latest victory, Mizrachi now has two WSOP gold bracelets and $5,069,193 in tourney winnings. And you can count on him looking for another bracelet when the dealer’s choice event runs next year. “It would be nice if the $50K (Players Championship) was exactly the same way as this, because you can guarantee all the players would still play it, and the skill really shows,” he explained. “I think this would be good for a $10,000 buy-in, or maybe a $25,000 buy-in, but we should still keep this one because you want to introduce players to the game.”

2014 WSOP $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed Final Table
1. Robert Mizrachi – $147,092
2. Aaron Schaff – $90,854
3. Shane Abbott – $58,414
4. Bill Chen – $38,735
5. Daniel Idema – $26,444
6. Frank Kassela – $18,575

Debate over Mike Matusow’s Excessive Celebration intensifies

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

A few days ago, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow was hit with an excessive celebration penalty in a 2014 WSOP $2.5k Omaha-8/Stud-8 event. Since then, many poker pros like Daniel Negreanu have jumped to his defense, saying that big personalities are good for the game and the penalty was uncalled for.

As for The Mouth himself, he innocently describes the situation as him winning a $200k pot, followed by him walking around the room and yelling “Yes!” Okay, so are we to believe this boy scout recollection from one of the brashest poker players in history?

Not according to WSOP bracelet winner Allyn Shulman, who wholeheartedly agreed with the penalty. Shulman was actually at Matusow’s table when the scene went down and wrote about his constant stream of profanities in her CardPlayer blog. The entire post is a good read, but here’s one especially telling excerpt:

After Mike won the pot, he started screaming he was the greatest F***ING player in the world, no one F***ING deserved this like he did, etc. He pounded on the table making the chips shake and then started running around the room whooping, hollering, yelling, jumping and swearing.

A number of players at the table who were obviously fed up with Mike’s shenanigans eventually called the floorman and asked about Mike’s excessive celebration.

IT WAS THE PLAYERS WHO COMPLAINED. Now why would the good folks at the table do that? Clearly Mike had been out of line since the redraw. So after he won the pot and continued his loud, foul-mouthed unruly behavior, some players finally had enough and complained.

When floor man Dave Lamb came over to assess the penalty, after already issuing a warning mind you, Matusow got up in his face and started cussing him out. The Mouth seemed to think that because rules changed to be more lenient about profanity at the table, he could say the F-word as much as he wanted, provided it wasn’t directed at anybody in particular.

However, Shulman points out that Rule 45 of the 2014 WSOP handbook states that the Rio prohibits players from using foul language in public areas of the casino. Moreover, players can be assessed penalties for violating this rule.

It’s highly, highly unlikely that Shulman is making all of this up and just taking a shot at Matusow. The more likely scenario is that a bunch of pros are jumping to Mike’s defense that really didn’t take in the whole scene, nor did they know that Lamb had already given Matusow a warning.

WSOP Seniors Event has another Banner Year

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Last year, we discussed how the 2013 WSOP Seniors Hold’em tournament was a record-smashing event as it drew 4,407 players. Well, it doesn’t look like the popularity of this tourney has leveled off any because the 2014 WSOP $1k Seniors Hold’em event eclipsed last year’s mark by drawing 4,425 entrants.

People often talk about how poker has become a young man’s game, most notably those who have endless hours to spend grinding in online poker. However, back-to-back giant fields in the WSOP Seniors tournament show that the older generation still has a place in the game too.

Moving on, you might be wondering who the big winner in the record-setting 2014 WSOP Seniors Hold’em event was. That honor belonged to Dan Heimiller, who navigated through the massive field to win his second-career gold bracelet along with $627,462.

Unlike 2013’s winner, Ken Lind, Heimiller is a full-time poker pro who’s been in the game for 20 years. And his previous biggest victory included taking down a 2002 WSOP Seven Card Stud event. But Heimiller’s latest bracelet means so much more to him than the one from 12 years ago.

“Back in 2002, it wasn’t for as much cash, so that makes this one a lot more important,” he said. “It was also a smaller field and wasn’t as prestigious back then. It was a great feeling, but this one feels extra spectacular because it was for such a big prize.”

This victory probably tasted even sweeter since Heimiller outlasted 2008 WSOP ME third-place finisher Dennis Phillips at the final table. He also beat retired firefighter Don Maas heads-up to secure the victory. Heimiller, who’s more of a mixed games player, showed that his Hold’em game isn’t too bad either.

“My No-Limit game game seems to be catching up,” he joked. “Up to a couple of years ago, I used to tell people No-Limit was my worst game. There seemed to be a lot of people who had a great grasp of it, so I was an underdog. But now I guess I’m able to hold my own.”

2014 WSOP $1k Seniors Hold’em Championship Final Table
1st: Dan Heimiller – $627,462
2nd: Don Maas – $388,054
3rd: David W. Smith – $279,412
4th: Anthony Wise- $206,492
5th: Dennis Phillips- $153,883
6th: David Tran – $115,651
7th: Barry Schwartz – $87,615
8th: David Vida – $66,945
9th: Jim Custer – $51,573

Poker Ban called for Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Earlier this month, well-known poker journalist Diamond Flush stated that Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Howard Lederer are contemplating a return to the 2014 WSOP. Obviously this is controversial and something that would stir up a lot of emotions in the Rio this summer. So before that happens, one writer thinks a ban should be put on Ferguson and Lederer.

Lee Davy wrote an interesting piece on these two pariahs that suggests barring them from WSOP events, much like David Diaz (drunken behavior last summer) and Chan Pelton (stealing chip in WSOP Circuit event) have been.

One person whom Davy spoke extensively to about all of this is “The Voice of Poker,” Jesse May. Here’s one excerpt of what May told Davy:

On the issue of forgiveness. I am a very forgiving person and will forgive anyone. But Ferguson has said nothing about the Full Tilt issue and Lederer has denied any wrongdoing – so how can you forgive either of them if they don’t admit to doing anything wrong?

Where I come from – my gambling background – honesty and trust is a big thing, and I think personally, because I have been around for a long time, that there was a sort of unspoken agreement about Full Tilt that made it different.

That one of the things about them was they represented a certain ethic, an openness and a certain class of people in poker who stood for something.

I feel very disappointed personally about what happened, and as far as the poker world goes they both fell from grace fairly spectacularly and I don’t have the time of day for either of them.

Despite May’s feelings of distrust towards Lederer and Ferguson, he thinks they should be allowed to play in the 2014 WSOP if they want to. However, Davy concludes his piece by disagreeing, arguing that just the sheer appearance of these two could cause physical violence and a host of other negative emotions.

Maybe Davy is going a little too far in suggesting that somebody is likely to punch Ferguson or Lederer for their roles in Black Friday. But then again, these two did illicit some scumbag behavior while running Full Tilt. And like Davy argues, they basically damaged every brand in poker. So a lifetime ban from the WSOP and beyond certainly isn’t out of line.

2014 WSOP ‘Big One’ could crown Poker’s Biggest Winner

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Announcements regarding the 2014 WSOP schedule have been made, and a couple of very popular tournaments are returning. Both the $1,500 Millionaire Maker and $1 million Big One for One Drop will be back at the Rio for next year’s WSOP.

The Big One is definitely the headliner here because last time it set some very notable records. The first included the largest poker tournament buy-in in history since hopefuls had to fork over $1 million to play. Despite the lofty buy-in, 48 players turned out for this event and competed for a $42,666,672 prize pool.

Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari catapulted himself into poker lore by winning the Big One along with a $18,346,673 payout. This giant fortune remains the biggest prize in poker history and is expected to stand until, oh, at least the summer of 2014. That’s because the 2014 WSOP Big One will be capped at 56 players. This means that the top prize should be worth around $20 million, which would eclipse Esfandiari’s current record payout.

Expanding on the Millionaire Maker, this $1,500 buy-in event debuted at the 2013 WSOP. It featured a guaranteed $1 million first-place prize and the amount actually exceeded this when 6,343 players bought into the tournament. Benny Chen was the big winner here as he topped the large field and collected $1,199,104.

As for the rest of the 2014 WSOP, exact details on the tournaments still have yet to be released. However, word is that over 60 bracelet events will be offered. Tournaments will run for 49 consecutive days, and those who can’t afford buy-ins can participate in satellites that’ll be running at the Rio.

The World Series of Poker is set for another exciting chapter in its soon-to-be 45th year of existence. It’ll certainly be fun to see the new stars and big winners who emerge during the 2014 WSOP.