July 6, 2017 (Las Vegas, NV) - With the Main Event starting in just a couple of days, the Poker Players Championship winding down, and the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller event wrapping up in a couple days, the 2017 World Series of Poker is coming down the home stretch.
Outside of the Main Event, all but one of the $10,000 buy-in Championship events have concluded and there were several players that added another bracelet to their names, while some pros made their mark on the World Series by earning their first in these prestigious events. The Seven Card Stud Championship kicks off tomorrow and will crown a winner on Sunday.
The series kicked off with a new $10,000 buy-in event. The tag team format was re-introduced to the WSOP in 2016 and was met with such a popular turnout, a $10,000 buy-in was added to the 2017 schedule.
The tag team Championship was a success by all standards, drawing 102 teams between two and four players. As with most of the Championship events, the final table was populated by many of the world’s best players including Daniel Negreanu, Martin Jacobson and JC Tran, but it was one of poker’s power couples that reigned supreme.
Igor Kugranov and Liv Boeree bested the final table as they earned their first bracelet as a team and each took home $136,982. They also donated a portion of their winnings to REG Charity.
Negreanu’s team finished in third of the tag team event, but when he went off on his own, he continued his success on his own. In the very next $10,000 event, the Omaha hi-lo, he made another final table.
The event took an extra day, but in just a few hands, Abe Mosseri finished off Negreanu to win his second bracelet. Mosseri earned $388,795 for his win and defeated a field of 154 players.
Adrian Mateos made history in the third Championship event of the summer. He took down the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, defeating 129 players to earn his third career bracelet. At just 22-years-old, the Spanish pro became the youngest player to reach the three-bracelet plateau.
Mateos first bracelet came in the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event and last year, he won the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Summer Solstice event for his first two.
History was made by Mateos, but the fans were won over by the player who finished runner-up. John Smith, a 70-year-old Army veteran from the Los Angeles area came in second in this event for the second consecutive year.
Last year, Smith finished second to Alan Percal in the final round and was one win away from a bracelet in the same event this summer. Despite most of the crowd cheering for Smith, he came up short to Mateos after a long battle.
One of the most heart-warming stories of the summer came in the Dealers Choice Championship event. John Racener, who was most well-known for his runner-up finish to Jonathan Duhamel in the 2010 Main Event, won his first bracelet in that event.
When he removed his sweatshirt that he was wearing for the whole tournament, he revealed a plain white t-shirt that read “For Mom” in a black sharpie marker. Racener, who now has over $8.5 million in WSOP earnings alone, dedicated his first bracelet win to his late mother, who passed away a few years earlier.
The Tampa area pro defeated Viacheslav Zhukov heads-up and defeated 102 players to win $273,962.
John Monnette added a third bracelet and $256,610 to his resume in the No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship before James Obst notched his first bracelet and $265,138 in the Razz Championship.
The HORSE Championship was next up on the schedule and it brought the only double bracelet winner of the summer up to this point. David Bach won his third bracelet in the event, defeating a field of 150 players and adding $383,208 to his career earnings.
Bach won the $1,500 Dealers Choice earlier in the series to win his second career bracelet, but after winning his third bracelet on Father’s Day, he expressed the gratitude he has towards his newly formed family and discussed the trials and tribulations of being away from his wife and son while he’s in Vegas trying to make a living every summer.
Bach’s first bracelet came in the 2009 $50,000 HORSE Championship. Over the course of his career, he’s proven to be world-class at most of poker’s different variants.
Ben Yu picked up his second career bracelet in the 2-7 Triple Draw Championship and then Joe McKeehen proved he was more than just a no-limit hold’em specialist.
McKeehen won the 2015 Main Event and is a regular in no-limit tournaments across the country, but showed some depth in his poker game by winning the Limit Hold’em Championship. He defeated Jared Talarico heads-up to win $311,817 and add a second bracelet to his trophy case.
Dmitry Yurasov is a regular in the European high roller events, but made his mark on America by netting $775,923 for his win in the No-Limit Hold’em Six-max Championship and that was followed by long-time grinder Chris Vitch earning his second bracelet in the Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship.
Bryce Yockey called his shot in the Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. After racking up as many side bets as he could on winning the event, he took it down for $511,147.
Tommy Le’s win in the Pot-Limit Omaha Championship wrapped up the Championship schedule with a bang. Le showed that his 2016 WSOP performance was no fluke. In 2016, in about a week’s time, he made three Pot-Limit Omaha final tables. He earned a second in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, a third in the $10,000 Championship event and a fifth in the $1,500 buy-in.
This year, he came back to the Rio just for some Omaha tournaments and won the Championship event for just shy of $1 million and his first bracelet. His brother Allan won a bracelet last year, while his other brother Nam has racked up over $7.3 million playing live tournaments.
Tommy, however, doesn’t consider himself a professional. He owns several businesses and according to him, he plays poker recreationally in private games.
2017 WSOP Championship Event Winners:
$10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em: Igor Kurganov and Live Boereee - $273,964
$10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo: Abe Mosseri - $388,795
$10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em: Adrian Mateos - $324,470
$10,000 Dealers Choice: John Racener - $273,962
$10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw: John Monnette - $256,610
$10,000 Razz: James Obst - $265,138
$10,000 HORSE: David Bach - $383,208
$10,000 2-7 Triple Draw: Ben Yu - $232,738
$10,000 Limit Hold’em: Joe McKeehen - $311,817
$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max: Dmitry Yurasov - $775,923
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo: Chris Vitch - $320,193
$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo: Bryce Yockey - $511,147
$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-Max: Tommy Le - $938,732