The 47th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) is well into week two with 22 events currently underway or completed. Canada has yet to score WSOP gold, but thanks to Mike Watson, Daniel Negreanu, and a few other Canadian hopefuls, there have been some great sweats.
Canada’s first final tablist of the summer was Grant Ellis of Whitby, Ontario. Ellis navigated a field of 2,482 in Event #12: $565 Pot-Limit Omaha to reach the final nine. Unfortunately that’s as far as he got busting in ninth for $15,813. American Ryan Laplante would go on to win the $190,328 and his first gold bracelet.
Negreanu made his 34th WSOP final table in Event #13: $1500 Seven Card Razz. Hunting for his seventh WSOP bracelet, Negreanu faced the likes of Shaun Deeb, Rep Porter, and Daniel Weinman at the final table. The Canadian superstar will have to wait for lucky number seven as he was eliminated in fourth-place adding $42,030 to his now $15,411,111 in career WSOP earnings.
Event #15: $1500 Eight Game Mix (6-Handed) saw Canadian Gavin Smith make the final table. Smith entered as the short-stack and was unable to build anything resulting in a quick exit in sixth-place for $19,787. Smith earned his 36th career WSOP cash totalling $1,161,201.
As expected Event #14: $1500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em was met with a huge field of 7,190 entries. Canadians accounted for 333 entries. The prize pool closed at $9,706,500 producing a top prize of $1,065,403. There were 1,079 places paid with a number of Canadians making it deep including Min Huang (25th – $37,485), Omid Shahbazian (37th – $26,470), Benny Chen (39th – $26,470), Ryan McGarry (45th – $26,470), Neal Thornton (58th -$17,819), Jeffrey Mahoney (69th – $14,789), Jimmy Lee (89th – $10,428), and Eric Machtinger ($8,860 – 97th).
The event is now down to the final 15 players with Canadian Theodore Timmermans from Edmonton, Alberta still in the mix. Play resumes on Tuesday at 11:00 A.M. local time in Las Vegas where they will play down to a champion.
The biggest sweat so far happened Monday night as Watson, also known as SirWatts, took the chip lead into the final table of Event #16: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship. Widely regarded as one of the top events of the year, 100 of the best players in poker assembled to claim the title. Watson controlled play at the final table which included Jason Mercier, Lamar Wilkinson, David Grey, Benny Glaser, Stephen Chidwick, and Alex Luneau. Mercier would eventually chip up and overtake Watson’s lead. The two heavyweights traded jabs back and forth until Mercier finally got the better of the Canadian and won his fourth WSOP bracelet and $273,335. Watson earned $168,936 for his fourth runner-up finish and 41st cash at the WSOP.
The WSOP is now almost a third of the way through, but there are plenty of opportunities still to come for the first Canadian bracelet. Good luck to all Canadians on their summer adventure in Las Vegas. Stay tuned to Canada Poker for up-to-date WSOP news and events and follow your favorite Canadian poker players throughout the series. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates over the series.