Before the summer even began, there was quite a bit of fanfare surrounding the ten-year anniversary of Chris Moneymaker's stunning victory over Sammy Farha in the 2003 WSOP Main Event. The talk of Cinderella stories and tales of amateurs upsetting the pros is only going to grow louder if the 2013 WSOP keeps going the way it is going though.
For the second night in a row, an unknown player made their first WSOP cash count by upsetting an established pro to take home the coveted gold bracelet. Yesterday, Levi Berger played David to two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements' Goliath. Today, it was Lev Rofman throwing the stones at poker giant and five-time bracelet winner Allen Cunningham.
The Moscow born Rofman defeated Cunningham heads-up at the final table of the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em Event 12 to earn the bracelet in addition to $166,136. After coming into the final table in the middle of the chip counts, Rofman managed to chip up, survive, and get it down to heads-up play against one of the most accomplished players in the game.
Even though Cunningham had experience on his side, Rofman managed to throw enough punches to win the bout and the event, while Cunningham settled for second place and $102,189. This was Cunningham's best WSOP showing since he won his fifth bracelet in 2007 and his first WSOP final table appearance since 2008.
The $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em event drew 535 players, generating a prize pool of $722,250. The top 54 players earned a payday of at least $2,795. Martin Staszko (48th), bracelet winner Nick Jivkov (43rd), Matt Stout (42nd), and Jason Mercier (27th) were some of the notables who made the money, but came up short of the final table.
The final table featured two gold bracelet winners in Cunningham and Anthony Harb, who won a bracelet in a $2,000 No Limit Hold'em event back in 2009.
For the second time this summer, Eric Crain came into the final table of an event as the chip leader but came up short of the bracelet. Crain previously came into the $2,500 Eight-Game mix with the chip lead at the final table only to exit in fourth place. He suffered a similar fate here, taking fifth.
Crain now joins Dan Kelly as the only two players to make multiple final tables this summer. Kelly final tabled the $5,000 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em as well as the Millionaire Maker.
Pot Limit Hold’em is an increasingly rare form of tournament poker, but has been a staple of the WSOP schedule every year. The second event, which is a $5,000 buy-in event, begins on Sunday.
1st: Lev Rofman - $166,136
2nd: Allen Cunningham - $102,819
3rd: Jaspal Brar - $68,332
4th: Kenneth Shelton - $50,709
5th: Anthony Harb - $38,055
6th: Eric Crain - $28,839
7th: Nicolas Halvorson - $22,050
8th: Timothy Reilly - $16,994
9th: Jean-Nicolas Fortin - $13,195