Every year the WSOP is full of huge stories, and this time around has certainly been no different. From Phil Hellmuth grabbing a record-extending 12th gold bracelet to Allyn Shulman ending a win drought for the ladies that’s lasted since 2008, the 2012 WSOP has been packed with intriguing headlines. Let’s take an in-depth look at these two stories along with what else transpired in events 16-30.
Event #16: $1,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em – The big news here was that Matt Matros became only the sixth player in WSOP history to win a gold bracelet in three consecutive years. He did so by topping a field of 1,604 players and winning a heads-up match with Canadian Mark Radoja. For the victory, Matros earned a $454,835 top prize while Radoja received $281,502.
Event #17: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em – All eyes were on Phil Ivey as he adeptly navigated through a 179-player field and on towards what seemed like his ninth WSOP gold bracelet. But despite having a chip lead, Ivey couldn’t overcome Andy Frankenberger heads-up as he settled for second place and $275,559. As for the champion Frankenberger, the former Wall Street trader won his second bracelet along with $445,899.
Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz – Phil Hellmuth extended his own record by topping 309 players and winning his 12th bracelet – two more than Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan (10 bracelets). What’s funny is that Hellmuth didn’t even realize he’d also won $182,793 after saying, “This is the first tournament in my life I have no idea what the prize money is….but it’s all about the bracelet. It’s unbelievable. I’ve been waiting for this since ‘07. I’ve been knocking, knocking, knocking on the door.”
Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Former Israeli army soldier Clifford Goldkind earned both his first career WSOP cash and gold bracelet after winning this NLHE tournament. Goldkind beat out a large 2,302-player field to win the $559,514 first place prize. Allyn Shulman’s husband and CardPlayer Magazine publisher Barry Shulman took eighth place in this tournament ($53,669).
Event #20: $5,000 Limit Hold’em – Philadelphia equity trader Ben Scholl won this tournament along with $206,760. Despite his big win, the 26-year-old has no plans to pursue poker full-time since he thoroughly enjoys his current job. On a side note, the Shulman’s were seriously starting to make the 2012 WSOP a family affair since Barry and Allyn’s son, Jeff, took third place ($92,562).
Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Before this year, David Kitai was the only Belgian to have captured a WSOP bracelet (2008). However, Michael Gathy joined him after winning Event #21 along with $440,829. What’s interesting is that Gathy was on the ropes during the early portion of the final table; but he managed to make a comeback after slowly rebuilding his chip stack.
Event #22: $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball – Las Vegas-based poker pro Randy Ohel won this event after beating out a pool of 228 players. He collected $145,247 for the victory and earned his first gold bracelet as well.
Event #23: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em – Event #23 was an international affair as evidenced by the final table, which included players from the US, Ukraine, Spain, France and Canada. The latter produced the champion in Toronto’s Simon Charette, who earned $567,624 for the win. Noted French poker pro Bertrand Grospellier finished in sixth place and collected $68,738.
Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better – The final table of this tourney was filled with stars as Mike Matusow (8th), Meng La (4th), Phil Ivey (3rd) and Scotty Nguyen (2nd) all made strong runs at winning the title here. But in the end, it was little known grinder Joe Cassidy stopping Scotty Nguyen just short of bracelet #5. For the victory, Cassidy received $294,777 while Nguyen collected $182,213.
Event #25: $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout – Brian Meinders beat out a 366-player field to win Event #25 along with $116,118. Interestingly enough, Meinders also teaches Latin and coaches chess on the side of his poker career.
Event #26: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha – Sporting various Oklahoma Thunder gear during his tournament run, Austin “Gabe” Scott won $361,797 after outlasting 589 players. Unfortunately for Scott, his beloved Thunder lost the first game of the NBA Finals on the same day.
Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. – Four years after taking fourth in the 2008 WSOP Main Event ($3,774,974), Ylon Schwartz won his first gold bracelet and $267,081. In the process, he beat out 889 other players and denied runner-up David Chiu ($164,960) his fifth bracelet. Schwartz is a fascinating story because he’s hustled chess games in the parks of New York City, made money playing darts and backgammon, and was homeless for a short period of time.
Event #28: $2,500 Four-Handed No-Limit Hold’em – Tim Adams became the third Canadian to win a 2012 WSOP bracelet after taking down this event along with $392,476. He defeated Australian Brendon Rubie ($242,458) heads-up and 750 players total to capture his first bracelet.
Event #29: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship – The aforementioned Allyn Shulman beat out a massive 4,128-player field to win this tournament and $603,713. She now joins Barry (husband) and Jeff (son) as the first family trio to make three WSOP final tables in the same year. Additionally, Allyn became the first female to top an open WSOP tournament since Vanessa Selbst did it in 2008.
Event #30: $1,500 2-7 Draw Lowball – Retired trucking company owner Larry Wright survived a star-studded final table to win Event #30 and $101,975. Some of his notable opponents included Bryan Devonshire (9th), John Phan (8th), Rep Porter (6th), Erick Lindgren (5th), Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (4th), Andrew Lichtenberger (3rd) and Brandon Cantu (2nd).