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2019 50th Annual World Series of Poker The Official WSOP Live Updates

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 to Saturday, July 13, 2019

$1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold'em (Event #81)

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  • Buy-in: $1,500
  • Prizepool: $277,500
  • Entries: 185
  • Remaining: 0

EVENT UPDATES

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Friday, July 12, 2019 8:37 PM Local Time
Shankar Pillai Takes Down $1,500 Bracelet Winners Event for $71,580

Shankar Pillai

Tons of variables influence success in poker tournaments. Playing at one's best and running well are the most cited ones, but a favorable table draw might also be one of the key ingredients. Shankar Pillai proved it today in the 185-entry 2019 World Series of Poker Event #81: $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only Event.

Pillai came out on top in the strong field of WSOP decorated players. He took home $71,580, one of the modest first-place prizes of the summer, but that didn't make his victory any easier.

"It feels good. A little special, because everyone had one already," Pillai said.

Playing against former WSOP champions meant that nobody at the final table would be intimidated by the atmosphere. There was no place for first-timers.

But Pillai still found an advantage over his opponents on the last table. The seat draw was very generous to him. Coming back with the second-biggest stack, Pillai had the optimal position at the table as the chip leader Tommy Nguyen rubbed Pillai's right shoulder.

"I think I had the best seat at the table by far. Tommy had the chip lead and he was the most aggressive by far," Pillai said.

What made his situation even sweeter was the fact that Michael Gagliano, another feared opponent, was the next one to Pillai's right. Having the benefit to act after two of the most dangerous competitors in the majority of the hands, Pillai's gameplan was clear.

"Every time they folded, I tried to play as many pots as I could," Pillai claimed.

While that could work for the first few hours, Pillai would eventually have to challenge both Gagliano and Nguyen. The final day started with several short stacks at the table, and they were leaving the table one by one.

Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (USD)
1Shankar PillaiUnited States$71,580
2Michael GaglianoUnited States$44,232
3Tommy NguyenCanada$31,176
4Brett ApterUnited States$22,349
5Kevin GerhartUnited States$16,299
6Andreas KlattGermany$12,097
7Thom WerthmannUnited States$9,140
8Scott BohlmanUnited States$7,032
9Haixia ZhangUnited States$5,512

Scott Bohlman lasted only two hands and Thom Werthmann followed him to the rail before the first break. Andreas Klatt was able to double every now and then, but it still couldn't prevent him from falling in sixth place. Kevin Gerhart and Brett Apter also gave way to the top three stacks at the final table.

"We just always had a lot of chips, so I figured it was going to be us three," Pillai said about facing off with Nguyen and Gagliano.

The fast-paced tempo left the remaining three players with comfortable stacks, and it seemed that neither player had any higher chance than another. It was anyone's game.

And the chips were flying in all directions. Nguyen had the chip lead until Gagliano took over. Then Nguyen risked his stack on an open-ended straight draw on a turn and Pillai picked him off with aces. The bullets held and Nguyen was dismissed.

Gagliano still held the better stack, but the heads-up match had one particular theme. Gagliano was winning mostly the small pots, adjusting his game in the process. He limped a lot of his buttons while Pillai kept raising his own. Whenever they tangled in more inflated pots, it seemed the chips would always find a way to Pillai's stack.

"I let him win the small ones and the big ones... I went after them," Pillai revealed.

It was a special match, considering the common hand history between Pillai and Gagliano. They meet at the tables on a regular basis, both being located on the East Coast. "We play all the time," Pillai said.

So it was a tricky spot for both of them. They could hardly surprise each other, but Pillai was still able to put Gagliano into some tough spots.

"I was bluffing most of the big ones. Like, I had it one time. That was kind of the gameplan," Pillai said.

He certainly had it when they clashed on the 218th hand on the final table. Pillai raised his button, Gagliano called, and Pillai barreled all streets of the board, jamming the river. Gagliano had turned two pair and he called, but he learned that the turn didn't do him any favor. Pillai hit a straight at the same time, and he even improved to a flush on the river.

The cooler locked the second bracelet for Pillai, his first since 2007 when he won the $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em event for $527,829. Pillai will play a few more tournaments here at WSOP and fly back to New York after the $5K event.

"I'll be home a lot. I have a 16-month-old son so I don't travel that much anymore. I'll play the tournaments nearby," Pillai said.

Gagliano is surely already planning his revenge, be it in Atlantic City, Florida, or elsewhere.

Friday, July 12, 2019 8:34 PM Local Time
Michael Gagliano Eliminated in 2nd Place ($44,232)

Michael Gagliano

Hand #218: Shankar Pillai raised to 190,000 and Michael Gagliano called from the big blind.

The flop fell     and Gagliano checked to Pillai who bet 225,000. Gagliano called.

The   hit the turn and Gagliano checked again. Pillai threw in a bet of 650,000 and Gagliano called.

The river was the   and Gagliano checked one more time. Pillai paused for a moment and then announced he was all in. Gagliano double-checked his hand and then called.

Pillai turned up    for a turned straight and rivered flush and Gagliano flipped    for two pair.

Gagliano was eliminated in second place for $44,232 while Shankar Pillai took down the 185-strong competition, taking home $71,580 along with his second bracelet.

Shankar Pillai9,250,0002,900,000
Michael Gagliano0-2,900,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 8:31 PM Local Time
Hands #214-217: Gagliano Takes From Pillai

Hand #214: Shankar Pillai raised to 190,000 on the button and Michael Gagliano called from the big blind. The dealer fanned a flop of     that was checked around to the   turn. Gagliano bet 300,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #215: Gagliano opened to 225,000 on the button and Pillai called. The flop fell     and Pillai checked. Gagliano fired 250,000 and Pillai check-called. The turn came the   and Pillai checked again. Gagliano threw in a bet of 525,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #216: Pillai raised to 190,000 on the button and Gagliano called. The flop was     and Gagliano checked. Pillai bet 250,000 and Gagliano check-called. The turn came the   and Gagliano checked again. Pillai fired 700,000 and Gagliano let it go.

Hand #217: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. The flop came     and Pillai checked. Gagliano fired 100,000 and Pillai check-raised to 325,000. Gagliano called. The turn brought the   and pillai checked again. Gagliano threw in a bet of 350,000 that was enough to win the pot.

Shankar Pillai6,350,000-650,000
Michael Gagliano2,900,000650,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 8:20 PM Local Time
Hands #209-213: Gagliano Shows Nines

Hand #209: Michael Gagliano raised to 225,000 and Shankar Pillai called. They checked it all the way to the end with the board reading      . Pillai tabled    for air and Gagliano won the pot with   .

Hand #210: Pillai shoved from the button and Gagliano folded.

Hand #211: Gagliano made it 225,000 and Pillai called. Pillai check-called 250,000 on     and they checked the   turn and   river. Pillai showed    and Gagliano took it down with   .

Hand #212: Pillai raised to 190,000 and won the pot.

Hand #213: Pillai got a walk.

Shankar Pillai7,000,000-500,000
Michael Gagliano2,250,000500,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 8:15 PM Local Time
Hands #203-208: Shoves and Folds

Hand #203: Michael Gagliano moved all in for 1,600,000 from the small blind and Shankar Pillai folded.

Hand #204: Pillai moved all in from the small blind and Gagliano folded.

Hand #205: Pillai got a walk.

Hand #206: Pillai limped and Gagliano checked. The dealer spread a flop of     that was checked through to the   turn. Gagliano fired 175,000 and Pillai called. The   filled the river and Gagliano continued with a bet of 450,000. Pillai let it go.

Hand #207: Pillai got a walk.

Hand #208: Pillai limped from the small blind and Gagliano moved all in from the big blind. Pillai folded.

Shankar Pillai7,500,000-150,000
Michael Gagliano1,750,000150,000
Jostens Fan Collection
Friday, July 12, 2019 8:10 PM Local Time
Hands #198-202: Pillai Extends His Lead

Hands #198: Shankar Pillai raised to 190,000 and won the pot.

Hands #199: Michael Gagliano limped, Pillai raised to 280,000 and Gagliano folded.

Hands #200: Gagliano got a walk.

Hands #201: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. Both checked to the river of the       board where Pillai fired 200,000. Gagliano folded.

Hands #202: Pillai made it 190,000 and Gagliano called from the big. Gagliano checked the     flop and Pillai bet 150,000. Gagliano cut out a check-raise to 550,000 and Pillai called.

Gagliano checked when the   appeared on the turn and Pillai fired 800,000. Gagliano called and the   completed the board. Gagliano checked and Pillai moved all in. Gagliano immediately released his hand.

Shankar Pillai7,650,0001,675,000
Michael Gagliano1,600,000-1,675,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 8:01 PM Local Time
Hands #192-196: Gagliano Chipping Up

Hand #192: Shankar Pillai opened to 190,000 from the small blind and Michael Gagliano called from the big blind. Players saw a flop of     and it was checked through to the   turn. Gagliano fired 325,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #193: Gagliano limped from the small blind and Pillai checked. The dealer fanned a flop of     that was checked through to the   turn. Pillai fired 100,000 and Gagliano called. The   filled up the river and Pillai threw in another bet of 250,000. Gagliano called. Pillai showed    for sixes and deuces and Gagliano tabled    to win the pot with kings and sixes.

Hand #194: Pillai opened to 190,000 on the button and Gagliano folded.

Hand #195: Gagliano limped from the small blind and Pillai raised to 280,000. Gagliano called. The flop fell     and Pillai bet 400,000. Gagliano folded.

Hand #196: Gagliano got a walk.

Shankar Pillai5,975,000-235,000
Michael Gagliano3,275,000235,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:55 PM Local Time
Hands #187-191: Both Players Shove

Hand #187: Michael Gagliano limped and folded when Shankar Pillai raised to 250,000.

Hand #188: Pillai raised to 200,000, Gagliano three-bet to 725,000, and Pillai folded.

Hand #189: Gagliano limped, Pillai raised to 280,000, and Gagliano placed in a four-bet of what looked like 900,000. Pillai quickly folded.

Hand #190: Pillai raised to 200,000, Gagliano three-bet to 725,000, and Pillai called. Gagliano bet 525,000 on the     flop and Pillai called. Gagliano slowed down on the   turn, checking. Pillai moved all in and Gagliano folded.

Hand #191: Gagliano limped, Pillai checked and he checked again on the     flop. Gagliano bet 100,000, Pillai check-raised to 325,000, and Gagliano called.

Pillai checked the   turn and Gagliano fired 250,000. Pillai called.

The river was the   and Pillai checked to Gagliano who announced an all-in bet. Pillai instantly folded.

Shankar Pillai6,210,000-40,000
Michael Gagliano3,040,00040,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:45 PM Local Time
Hands #182-186: Gagliano's Shove Gets Through Twice

Hand #182: Shankar Pillai raised to 200,000 on the button and Michael Gagliano moved all in. Pillai snap-folded.

Hand #183: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. The flop came     and was checked through to the   turn. Pillai fired 150,000 and Gagliano called. The   filled the river and was checked around. Pillar showed    for trips tens and Gagliano mucked.

Hand #184: Pillai raised to 180,000 on the button and Gagliano moved all in from the big blind. Pillai let it go.

Hand #185: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. A flop of     was dealt and checked through to the   turn. Pillai checked once more and Gagliano fired 125,000. Pillai check-called. The   completed the board and Pillai checked. Gagliano bet 300,000 and Pillai called. Gagliano revealed    for trip queens and Pillai mucked.

Hand #186: Pillai opened to 200,000 on the button and Gagliano called. The dealer fanned a flop of     that was checked to the   turn. Gagliano threw in a bet of 325,000 and Pillai let it go.

Shankar Pillai6,250,000-750,000
Michael Gagliano3,000,000750,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:37 PM Local Time
Level 26 started
Level: 26
Blinds: 40,000/80,000
Ante: 80,000
Jostens Fan Collection
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:37 PM Local Time
Hands #179-181: Pillai Check-Raises

Hand #179: Michael Gagliano moved all in, thinking that the blinds had gone up. Pillai folded.

Hand #180: Shankar Pillai raised to 155,000, Gagliano called and both checked the     flop. The turn came   and Gagliano led out 225,000. Pillai called. Gagliano bet 75,000 on the   river and Pillai folded.

Hand #181: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. Pillai let Gagliano fire 100,000 on     and then check-raised to 325,000. Gagliano called. Pillai bet 750,000 on the   turn and Gagliano gave up.

Shankar Pillai7,000,000-150,000
Michael Gagliano2,250,000150,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:31 PM Local Time
Hands #174-178: Gagliano Folds to Pillai's Shove

Hand #174: Shankar Pillai limped from the small blind and Michael Gagliano checke.d The flop came     and was checked around to the   turn. Gagliano bet 150,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #175: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. A flop of     was dealt and Pillai checked. Gagliano fired 100,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #176: Pillai raised to 155,000 from the small blind and Gagliano folded.

Hand #177: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. The dealer fanned a flop of     and Pillai check-called a bet of 100,000 from Ggaliano. The turn came the   and Pillai checked once more. Gagliano continued with another bet of 350,000, that was enough to win the pot.

Hand #178: Pillai opened to 175,000 from the small blind and Gagliano three-bet to 575,000 from the big blind. Pillai tank-called. The flop was     and Gagliano fired 450,000. Pillai called. The dealer burned and turned the   and Gagliano threw in another bet of 700,000. Pillai responded by moving all in and Gagliano took a minute of reflection then folded.

Shankar Pillai7,150,0001,500,000
Michael Gagliano2,100,000-1,500,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:23 PM Local Time
Hands #169-173: Gagliano Limps His Buttons

Hand #169: Michael Gagliano limped and folded when Shankar Pillai raised to 250,000.

Hand #170: Pillai raised to 155,000 and Gagliano called. The flop fell     and Gagliano check-called 175,000. The   turn was checked and the   saw Gagliano bet 75,000. Pillai called and Gagliano showed the best hand with   .

Hand #171: Gagliano limped, Pillai raised to 250,000, Gagliano called and they checked the     flop. The   landed on the turn and Pillai won with a 200,000-bet.

Hand #172: Pillai raised to 155,000 and won the pot.

Hand #173: Gagliano limped, Pillai checked and Pillai check-called 125,000 on    . Both checked the   turn and Pillai check-folded to a bet of 275,000 on the   river.

Shankar Pillai5,650,000-200,000
Michael Gagliano3,600,000200,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:15 PM Local Time
Hands #164-168: Gagliano Adds to his Stack

Hand #164: Shankar Pillai limped on the button and Michael Gagliano checked. The flop came     and was checked around to the   turn. Gagliano bet 150,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #165: Gagliano limped and Pillai checked. A flop reading     was dealt. Pillai fired 75,000 and Gagliano raised to 250,000. Pillai added the remainder to call. The turn was the   and was checked through to the   river. Pillai checked and Gagliano bet 450,000. Pillai let it go.

Hand #166: Gagliano got a walk.

Hand #167: Gagliano limped from the small blind and Pillai raised to 250,000. Gagliano let it go.

Hand #168: Pillai raised to 155,000 on the button and Gagliano called. A flop of     was dealt and Gagliano checked, Pillai fired 150,000 and Gagliano check-called. The dealer burned and turned the   that was checked through to the   river. Gagliano fired 425,000 and Pillai folded.

Shankar Pillai5,850,000-700,000
Michael Gagliano3,400,000700,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 7:08 PM Local Time
Hands #157-163: Pillai Fires Big Check-Raise

Hand #157: Michael Gagliano raised to 175,000, Shankar Pillai called and Pillai check-folded to a bet of 200,000 on    .

Hand #158: Pillai raised to 155,000, Gagliano called and Pillai won with a 150,000 chip continuation bet on    .

Hand #159: Gagliano raised to 175,000 and won the pot.

Hand #160: Pillai raised to 155,000 and won the pot.

Hand #161: Gagliano raised to 175,000, Pillai three-bet to 575,000 and Gagliano four-bet shoved. Pillai folded.

Hand #162: Gagliano got a walk.

Hand #163: Gagliano raised to 175,000 and Pillai called. They checked to the river of the       board and Pillai checked one more time. Gagliano bet 200,000 and Pillai cut out a huge check-raise, making it 1,500,000. Gagliano spent several minutes in the tank and then called. Pillai turned up    for a flopped set and Gagliano mucked.

Shankar Pillai6,550,000700,000
Michael Gagliano2,700,000-700,000
Jostens Fan Collection
Friday, July 12, 2019 6:57 PM Local Time
Hands #153-156: Full House for Gagliano

Hand #153: Shankar Pillai got a walk.

Hand #154: Pillai raised to 155,000 on the button and Michael Gagliano called from the big blind. The flop fell     and Gagliano check-called a bet of 125,000 from Pillai. The turn was the   and Gagliano check-called another bet of 350,000 from Pillai. The   completed the board and both players checked. Gagliano tabled    for threes full of sevens and Pillai mucked.

Hand #155: Gagliano raised to 175,000 on the button and Pillai three-bet to 575,000 from the big blind. Gagliano stuck around with a call. The flop came     and Pillai bet 500,000. Gagliano folded.

Hand #156: Pillai limped from the small blind and Gagliano checked. The flop was     and Gagliano check-called a bet of 75,000 from Pillai. The dealer burned and turned the   and Gagliano checked once more. Pillai fired 350,000 and Gagliano let it go.

Shankar Pillai5,850,000300,000
Michael Gagliano3,400,000-300,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 6:49 PM Local Time
Hands #148-152: Trading Pots

Hand #148: Shankar Pillai raised to 150,000, Michael Gagliano three-bet from the big blind, and Pillai folded.

Hand #149: Gagliano raised to 175,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #150: Pillai made it 155,000 and Gagliano defended with a call. The     flop saw Gagliano check and Pillai fired 125,000. Gagliano check-raised to 450,000 and Pillai folded.

Hand #151: Gagliano raised to 175,000 and Pillai countered with a three-bet, making it 575,000. Gagliano let it go.

Hand #152: Pillai raised to 155,000, Gagliano called, and they checked the remaining streets as the board rolled out      . Gagliano showed    and Pillai tabled    to win the pot.

Shankar Pillai5,550,000-200,000
Michael Gagliano3,700,000200,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 6:44 PM Local Time
Hands #144-147: Gagliano Folds to Pillai

Hand #144: Shankar Pillai opened to 150,000 on the button and Michael Gagliano called from the big blind. The dealer spread a flop of     and Gagliano checked. Pillai bet 150,000 and Gagliano folded.

Hand #145: Gagliano raised to 175,000 on the button and Pillai folded.

Hand #146: Pillai raised to 150,000 on the button and Gagliano called. The flop was     and was checked through to the   turn. Gagliano fired 250,000 and Pillai called. The   filled up the board and Gagliano continued with another bet of 600,000 that was enough to win the pot.

Hand #147: Gagliano raised to 175,000 on the button and Pillai three-bet to 560,000 from the big blind. Gagliano stuck around with a call. A flop of     was dealt and Pillai bet 650,000. Gagliano called. The turn brought the   and Pillai fired 1,000,000. Gagliano tank-folded.

Shankar Pillai5,750,0001,150,000
Michael Gagliano3,500,000-1,150,000
Friday, July 12, 2019 6:35 PM Local Time
Latest News from the 2019 World Series of Poker: July 12
Friday, July 12, 2019 6:30 PM Local Time
Level 25 started
Level: 25
Blinds: 30,000/60,000
Ante: 60,000
Jostens Fan Collection