Wednesday, June 22, 2016 5:27 PM Local Time
One of the most anticipated final tables of the 2016 World Series of Poker, thus far, was played out at the Rio in Las Vegas.
While the grand finale was stacked with poker greatness in just about every chair, much of the poker world’s attention was focused on the player positioned in Seat 5. That seat was occupied by Jason Mercier.
To say Mercier has enjoyed an epic WSOP, particularly over the last ten days, would be an understatement. The South Florida poker pro has set the world afire with his blazing tournament heater, winning two gold bracelets and then coming in second-place in another tournament that was stocked with many of the world’s best players.
On the crest of all the recent tournament success and adulation, Mercier found himself at yet another final table in this event, this time playing for gold bracelet win number three this year, and number six overall. Hoping to join the exalted ranks of those who have won three titles within a single year, Mercier instead found himself stuck in first gear during his relatively short stay at this final table. He was short-stacked for the full 90 minutes and unlike previous deep runs, wasn’t able to push his opponents around in the high-low split game. Mercier ended up exiting in eighth place, which resulted in another temporary sigh of relief in some quarters – financially speaking.
[SIDE NOTE: However, storm clouds remain on the horizon: Mercier still has about half of the 2016 WSOP schedule remaining to accomplish his feat. According to reports, there’s much more than just poker history on the line. Mercier stands to win a substantial side bet, close to $2 million by some accounts, should he do the unthinkable and win three gold amulets.]
Meanwhile, Benny Glaser, a poker pro from Southampton, UK managed to overshadow all the Mercier fanfare, particularly since this was his second victory at this year’s series. Remarkably, he became the third player with two wins already in 2016, joining Mercier and Ian Johns in the duel bracelet club.
This time around, Glaser won the $10,000 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split tournament, which was played over four days and three nights and just concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas. Glaser collected $407,194 in prize money.
As expected, once again there were few soft spots in the tournament and especially among those who cashed. Defending champion Daniel Alaei, seeking his sixth career win, was eliminated in 12th place. Eli Elezra, looking for this fourth win, busted out in 10th place, which set up the official finale table. From there, things didn’t get any easier.
Glaser won his victory by coming out on top at a final table loaded with just as much talent and experience. Todd Brunson, seeking his first WSOP win in ten years, led the pack as chip leader. However, he wasn’t able to maintain his position and ended up busting out in the middle of Day Three in seventh place.
Six hours of play whittled the field down to the final three, who were forced to return for an unscheduled fourth day of play. Benny Glaser had a slight chip lead over Doug “Skippy” Lorgeree, while Matt Glantz stubbornly held on in third place. It took nearly two more hours to determine the winner.
Glantz busted out in third place, doing more with less chips than anyone at any final table, so far. He never was in good chip position, but still managed to hold on much longer than anyone expected. Glantz still remains, at least for the time being, as one of the undisputed best players in poker history without a WSOP victory.
The ultimate moment of triumph came when Glaser scooped the final pot of the tournament against Lorgeree, who finished as the runner up. This Chicago poker player’s consolation prize amounted to a quarter of a million dollars – but not gold bracelet.
Glaser’s victory now gives him two wins for the series in Omaha High-Low Split. He previously won the $1,500 buy-in event, which concluded a week earlier. Glaser joined Tom Schneider (HORSE) and Greg Mueller (Limit Hold’em).
“It’s surprising that I would win two gold bracelets, at all,” Glaser confided. “But if I was going to win, it would have been in this game since this is my best game and the one I have played the most online.”
When asked about what makes Omaha his best game, Glaser replied: “I think it’s the one game that plays closest to a cash game as a tournament. Definitely, some adjustments need to be made. But these limit games are more like I am used to in day to day.”
As for Mercier’s influence on the final table, Glaser stated he gave some consideration to the fact that his opponent was more likely to be playing for first place, which meant he might take more chances at the final table in order to accumulate chips. Still, Glaser dismissed that as having much influence on his game.
“The stack sizes and situations pretty much played themselves, regardless,” Glaser said.
Incredibly, although Glaser has cashed just six times in WSOP events, all since the start of 2015 -- four of the six in-the-money finishes resulted in final table appearances. And, three of the six ended as victories. That’s as high a ratio as anyone with so few cashes and so many wins.
This tourney attracted 163 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $1,532,200. The top 25 finishers collected prize money.
Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:
Second Place: Doug “Skippy” Lorgeree, a poker pro from Buffalo Grove, IL finished as the runner up. He was well-positioned to overtake the eventual winner Glaser a few times, but couldn’t catch the right cards nor scoop enough pots to put a dent in his opponent’s stack. Nonetheless, Lorgeree ended up with this biggest payout of his career, by far -- $251,194. This was his third time to cash in a WSOP event, including an 11th-place finish earlier this year in $10K HORSE.
Third Place: Matt Glantz, the amiable poker pro and host from the Philadelphia area, made another deep run, cashing for the 42nd time at the series, dating back to 2000. Glantz, who received $175,754, made his tenth final table appearance. He has more than $2.7 million in WSOP earnings and has accumulated more than $6 million if overall lifetime winnings.
Fourth Place: Grzegorz Trelski, from Middletown, CT was the last played eliminated on Day Three. He collected $125,125. This was Trellski’s fourth time to cash at the series and highest finish.
Fifth Place: Robert Campbell, a former standup comedian did draw many laughs while he had chips and posed a serious danger. However, Campbell ran out of material late and was bounced off the stage in fifth place, which paid $102,120. The poker player from Warragul, Australia has now posted four top-25 finishes at this year’s series, including two final table appearances.
Sixth Place: Per Hildebrand, from Marsta, Sweden cashed for the eighth time and made his third final table showing at the WSOP. Hildebrand pocketed $75,164 in prize money.
Seventh Place: Todd Brunson, from Las Vegas, won the $2,500 buy-in version of this event back in 2005. He’s come close several times to winning a second gold bracelet, but once again fell short of the prize. Brunson suffered a cruel run of cards in his final hour of play. He went from chip leader to the felt and had to settle for a payout totaling $56,073. This marked Brunson’s 49th time to cash at the series. He made at least one final table at the WSOP in each of the last five years.
Eighth Place: Jason Mercier, from Hollywood, FL wasn’t able to generate any momentum at the final table and remained short-stacked during his 90-minute stay under the bright lights. Nonetheless, Mercier comes off his fourth final table at this year’s series and is clearly in command of the “Player of the Year” points race at the moment. As for now, he remains stuck on five gold bracelets. His payout amounted to $42,405.
Ninth Place: Felipe Ramos, from Sao Paulo, Brazil was the first player eliminated from the finale. He came in short stacked and was cut loose by chip leader Todd Brunson. Ramos, who also made a deep run in the $10K Seven-Card Stud Championship, collected $32,514 for another fine performance.
This was the 32nd official event on this year’s schedule. This leaves 37 gold bracelet events still to go in what promises to be the biggest and most exciting WSOP ever.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:57 PM Local Time
Benny Glaser wins the $10,000 Hi-Lo Championship
Benny Glaser raises on the button. Doug Lorgeree makes it three bets for his last 400,000 and Glaser calls. The players table their hands.
The flop comes . Lorgeree flops a pair of fives and a low draw but Glaser has flopped an open-ended straight draw, a flush draw and a superior low draw.
The turn is the , which gives Glaser a flush and a low, Lorgeree needs to hit a five or an eight on the river to claim the high, while a six would give him a quarter as they would chop the low.
Instead. the river is the , Lorgeree is eliminated, and Benny Glaser wins this year's $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship.
Benny Glaser - Winner for $407,194 and a gold bracelet
Doug Lorgeree - Finishes 2nd for $251,665
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:42 PM Local Time
Doug Lorgeree raises from the small blind and Benny Glaser defends the big blind.
The flop is and Glaser checks. Lorgeree bets, only for Glaser to check-raise. Lorgeree just calls.
The turn is the and Glaser bets. Lorgeree has 500,000 behind and moves all in. Glaser calls.
Lorgeree is ahead and Glaser needs a seven or a diamond for the high, or a deuce to counterfeit Lorgeree's better low. The river is the , meaning the players chop it up, Glaser taking the high with a flush, and Lorgeree with A-2 in his hand for the nut low.
Doug Lorgeree - 1,200,000 (4 BB)
Benny Glaser - 6,950,000 (23 BB)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:35 PM Local Time
Benny Glaser raises the button and Doug Lorgeree makes it three bets from the big blind. Glaser calls and the flop rolls out ,
Lorgeree bets and Glaser calls. The turn is the . Lorgeree bets, Glaser raises and Lorgeree calls. The river is the and Lorgeree checks to Glaser. Glaser bets and Lorgeree folds after a little hesitation.
Benny Glaser - 6,800,000 (22 BB)
Doug Lorgeree - 1,350,000 (4 BB)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:21 PM Local Time
Matt Glantz - Eliminated in 3rd Place
Doug Lorgeree folds on the button, Matt Glantz limps from the small blind, and Benny Glaser checks in the big blind.
The flop is and Glantz bets. Glaser calls.
The turn is the and Glantz moves all in for 85,000. Glaser calls.
Glaser has turned a straight and has a better low, meaning Glantz needs a four to chop the pot, and he cannot scoop. The river is the and Glantz is eliminated in third place, taking home $175,754.
Benny Glaser - 6,850,000 (23 BB)
Matt Glantz - Eliminated
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:04 PM Local Time
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:04 PM Local Time
Matt Glantz raises from the button and Benny Glaser three-bets the small blind. Doug Lorgeree folds in the big blind and Glantz four-bets all in, with Glaser calling.
The board runs out and the players chop the pot, Glantz has the high with a straight and Glaser has a 7-4-3-2-A low.
Matt Glantz - 340,000 (2 BB)
Benny Glaser - 6,300,000 (27 BB)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 3:03 PM Local Time
Benny Glaser raises from the button and Matt Glantz calls in the big blind. The flop is and Glantz checks to Glaser, who bets. Glantz calls and the turn is the .
Glantz bets and Glaser raises, Glantz calls and the river is the . Glantz checks and Glaser bets again. Glantz calls quickly and Glaser tables his hand.
Glaser has the nut low and a full house, threes full of fives, and Glantz looks at hiscards before mucking.
"That's how you win back-to-back Omaha bracelets," comments Doug Lorgeree. "Flop two pair, turn the nut low and river a house."
Benny Glaser now sits with roughly three-quarters of the chips in play.
Benny Glaser - 6,100,000
Matt Glantz - 685,000
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:50 PM Local Time
Doug Lorgeree raises the button and Benny Glaser calls from the big blind. The flop is and Glaser checks. Lorgeree bets, only to see Glaser make it two bets. Lorgeree thinks for about thirty seconds before calling.
The turn is the , Glaser bets, and Lorgeree calls. The river is the and Glaser thinks before betting. Lorgeree tanks for 90 seconds tank before calling, and Glaser shows , for trip nines with a queen for the high and a 8-7-5-3-2 for the low, enough to scoop the pot and seize control of the final table.
Benny Glaser - 5,525,000 (23 BB)
Doug Lorgeree - 1,725,000 (7 BB)
Matt Glantz - 900,000 (4 BB)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:41 PM Local Time
Matt Glantz raises the button and is called by Benny Glaser and Doug Lorgeree. The flop is . Glaser and Lorgeree check and Glantz bets. Glaser then check-raises and Lorgeree folds. Glantz calls and the turn is the . Glaser bets and Glantz folds
Benny Glaser - 1,800,000
Matt Glantz - 2,100,000
Benny Glaser raises the button and Matt Glantz defends from the big blind. The flop is . Glantz checks, Glaser bets and Glantz calls.
The turn is the and Glantz checks again. Glaser bets for a second time and Glantz calls. The river is the and Glantz checks a third time. Glaser deliberates for a few seconds before betting, and Glantz folds.
Benny Glaser - 2,600,000
Matt Glantz - 1,300,000
Doug Lorgeree raises from the button and Matt Glantz and Benny Glaser call from the blinds. The flop is and all three players check. The turn is the and Glantz checks to Glaser, who bets. Lorgeree gets out of the way and Glantz calls.
The river is the and Glantz checks to Glaser, who again bets. Glantz immediately throws a chip in to indicate a call and Glaser announces, "Full house." He tables , good for eights full of fours, and Glantz mucks his hand.
Glaser moves from shortest stack to the chip leader in just three consecutive hands.
Benny Glaser - 3,900,000 (24 BB)
Doug Lorgeree - 3,400,000 (21 BB)
Matt Glantz - 700,000 (4 BB)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:26 PM Local Time
Benny Glaser opens for a raise from the button and Matt Glantz defends his big blind. The flop is and Glantz checks. Glaser checks behind.
The turn is the and Glantz checks again. Glaser elects to bet this time and Glantz calls. The river is the and Glantz leads bets, and Glaser throws his hand away.
In the next hand, Glantz raises from the small blind and it is Glaser defending the big blind. The flop is and Glantz immediately leads out, enough for Glazer to give it up again. This takes Glantz to second in chips without showing a hand.
Matt Glantz - 2,675,000
Benny Glaser - 1,750,000
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:20 PM Local Time
Action has been fast and aggressive in the opening 10 minutes of the day. The two bigger stacks going in to the start of the day, Benny Glaser and Doug Lorgeree have already been playing pots against each other.
Doug Lorgeree raises the button and Benny Glaser calls from the big blind. The flop is . Glaser checks, Lorgeree bets and Glaser calls.
The turn is the and Glaser checks a second time. Lorgeree puts in a big bet and Glaser folds, giving Lorgeree the pot.
Doug Lorgeree - 4,000,000
Benny Glaser -2,000,000
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:00 PM Local Time
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 11:27 AM Local Time
Benny Glaser Leads Final Three
The final day of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo gets cards in the air this afternoon at 2:30 p.m., with three players returning to the Amazon Room to determine the winner.
Benny Glaser leads the way with 3,225,000 in chips and is looking to win his second Omaha Hi-Lo bracelet of the summer, after winning the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event earlier. Joining him at the final table are Matt Glantz and Doug Lorgeree, who are both searching for a first career bracelet.
Check back with WSOP.com for complete coverage of the day's action. Play commences at 2.30 p.m. local time.