The last few tournaments leading up to the Main Event have now wrapped up over an exciting weekend and though we didn’t add to an already impressive bracelet count, we did post some fantastic six figure results…
Vaughn Ontario’s Nghi Van “Henry” Tran was the chip leader going into Day 4 of the $1,111 “Little One For One Drop”, Event #58, though a crucial hand would winding up dealing a hefty blow. Mid-way through the day, an isolated pot found Tran flat calling a raise by an opponent while holding aces, looking to set a trap in a monster pot. It almost work, both players putting all the chips in, however the villains open ended draw would get there, all but ending the game for Henry, who went out shortly after in 5th for $163,340.
Still an excellent result, Tran adds to a very notable track record on the felts; in 2012 he fought through another large $1k WSOP field to place 4th for more than $158,000. He’s also a WSOP Circuit Champion, having won a $10,000 Main Event ring back in 2005 and here on Canadian soil, Henry won the Johnny Chan Poker Classic at River Rock Casino for nearly $300,000…is this guy even real? With now more than $1,150,000 in career WSOP earnings alone, he’s definitely one of our very best.
In Event #60, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, Richmond’s Yongshuo Zheng came an oh-so-close runner up for better than $378,600. Zheng was fighting an uphill battle against a huge chip deficit to Loni Harwood in heads up play, who set her own record for by winning over $609,000 at the RIO and according to WSOP reports this is the largest payday ever to be had by a woman player at a Las Vegas World Series of Poker Event.
These two players were also joined at the final table by Canadian resident Asi Moshe (city undisclosed), who earned $141,124 for his 5th place finish out of more than 2500 runners.
Event #61 was the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship and going into the final 32, we told you to keep an eye on Michael Watson, who was 2nd in chips and Jonathan Duhamel in 7th to start the day. Things didn’t quite go as planed though, and after series of beats in hands you would expect Watson’s to win more often than not, he took an early exit in 29th for a min-cash of $21,000. Duhamel faired a little better, making a few pay jumps to collect $32,691 for 18th.
All in all it’s been a pretty good summer for both however, with Duhamel racking up just shy of $277,000 over 5 cashes, while Michael won about $281,500 over 7 in the money finishes. Duhamel won’t be adding any more to that total, having already been eliminated from the Main Event, but “SirWatts” ended Day 1c with a mountain of chips.
As for the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship itself, the starting numbers are now in; initially Day 1a was showing 983 runners on WSOP.com for Day 1a and 1942 for 1b leaving 3427 on 1c to get the grand total of 6352 entries.
That meant that 1c eclipsed the previous record of 3,418 for a starting heat by…well a full table! The latest reports now have the previous “almost 1000” players of 1a down to 943 and 1c up to 3467, so the official new record looks to be almost 50 players better than those before it.
Looking at the big picture, the field is down nearly 250 players from the 6,598 of 2012, though it won’t change things tremendously. Last year’s top prize was a bit more than $8.5 million and we are still looking at more than $8,350,000 up top here in 2013.
With a total prize-pool of almost $60,000,000 we will see, 643 spots paying compared to 666 spots last year, with $19,106 min-cash only a few hundred dollars less than 2012.
With more than half the field from all 3 starting days advancing to 2a & 2b, we won’t pick any favorites just yet; it’s very likely that you won’t see the money hit until late Day 3 on Thursday.
We’ll take a look at who of our own is sitting on stacks after 2a, so check back soon!