2013 WSOP Event Recaps 16-30
June 20, 2013
By Jeremy Olson
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We’re now about halfway through the 2013 World Series of Poker, and as always, there have been some incredible stories. Some of the best stories so far include Tom Schneider chasing his second WSOP Player of the Year award, Ken Lind winning $634,809 in his first WSOP tournament, and Calen McNeil earning a gold bracelet years after being in a coma. Let’s discuss these tales and more in the recaps of 2013 WSOP Events 16-30.
Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em – There were plenty of stars among this tourney’s 162-player field, including Melanie Weisner (15th, $26,237), Davidi Kitai (12th, $26,237), Phil Galfond (9th, $26,237), Phil Hellmuth (5th, $54,024), Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky (4th, $110,485) and Justin Bonomo (3rd, $110,485). But Canada’s Mark Radoja shined brighter than all of these players as he won his second gold bracelet along with the $336,190 top prize.
Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Greek poker pro Athanasios Polychronopoulos navigated through a large field of 2,105 players to win Event #17 along with $518,755. This was the second time that Polychronopoulos won a “small” buy-in Hold’em tournament with over 2,000 players, which is a first in WSOP history.
Event #18: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Famed online poker pro Taylor Paur cruised through the 2,071-player field in this tournament and into a heads-up match with casino manager Roy Weiss. This is where things got hairy since Weiss, realizing he was outmatched, resorted to shoving his chip stack into the middle on every hand. This made things very difficult for Paur and he almost lost to his amateur opponent. However, Paur solved the riddle and won this tourney along with a $340,260 payout; Weiss settled for $211,794.
Event #19: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha – Belgian pro Davidi Kitai won his second career gold bracelet and earned $224,560 after taking down this PLO tourney. Kitai is well known for being one of the few players to win poker’s “triple crown,” which involves winning an EPT, WPT and WSOP event. Other players who fared well in this PLO tournament include Dario Minieri (8th, $26,468), Bertrand Grospellier (7th, $34,341) and Eugene Katchalov (5th, $58,912).
Event #20: $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo – Canadian restaurant owner Calen “Big Wheel” McNeil was happier than any 2013 WSOP winner thus far and weeped tears of joy. He started crying immediately after winning Event #20 along with $277,274. Several years ago, McNeel suffered a malady during routine surgery and went into a coma for five days. After regaining consciousness, he used chess and poker to rehabilitate himself mentally. Now the Victoria, British Columbia native owns several restaurants and a WSOP gold bracelet.
Event #21: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em – Veteran poker pros Martin Finger and Matt Stout battled heads-up for the title in this event. And it was Finger emerging victorious along with a $506,764 prize while Stout collected $313,370 for the runner-up finish. As for Finger, the 22-year-old German has $2,149,327 in live tourney winnings along with both an EPT and WSOP victory.
Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha – Most people would’ve tabbed Noah Schwartz to win this tournament when he held a chip lead going into a heads-up match with little-known Josh Pollock. After all, Schwartz has over $3.4 million in live tournament earnings and plenty of final table experience. However, it was Pollock overcoming the chip disadvantage to win his first WSOP event along with $279,431, while Schwartz collected $172,931.
Event #23: $2,500 Seven Card Stud – After eight years of waiting to win his fifth WSOP gold bracelet, David Chiu finally did so after beating a 246-player field in this tourney. Thanks to his latest $145,520 score, Chiu now has $7,612,754 in winnings to go along with his five bracelets. It’s also worth mentioning that this tournament honored the late Dr. Jerry Buss, who died in February after succumbing to cancer. The L.A. Lakers owner loved playing in the WSOP and finished third in the 1991 WSOP $2.5k Seven Card Stud tourney.
Event #24: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – University of Alabama at Birmingham professor Corey Harrison taught this field of 1,731 players a lesson after winning the $432,411 top prize. Harrison teaches Pathology at UAB and plays poker when he has free time.
Event #25: $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo – Long-time poker pro Danny Fuhs finally got his big break at the WSOP after winning Event #25 along with $277,519. He definitely earned the bracelet too after surviving a final table that included five-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro (7th, $42,242), two-time bracelet winner Viacheslav Zhukov (5th, $72,809), high stakes pro Brian Hastings (4th, $96,268) and Robert Mizrachi (3rd, $128,074).
Event #26: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship – Playing in just his first WSOP tournament ever, Ken Lind battled through a giant 4,407-player field to win the Seniors Championship and $634,809. The grandfather, who taught himself how to play poker, entered this tournament on the advice of his friend. As for the Seniors Championship, this turned out to be one of the biggest tourneys in WSOP history.
Event #27: $3,000 Mixed Max No-Limit Hold’em – On his 26th birthday, Isaac Hagerling got something much better than cake after winning Event #27 and $372,387. Max Steinberg, who played Hagerling heads-up, was seeking his second gold bracelet. But after a few bad beats, he lost to the lesser-known Hagerling and earned $231,501 for second place.
Event #28: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Jason Duval put a cap on the 2013 WSOP’s Canadian invasion after he won a record-seventh gold bracelet for his country. The Quebec native beat a field of 2,115 players to win this tourney along with $521,202. As for Canada, there’s still over 30 tournaments left to add to the country’s record WSOP.
Event #29: $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. – 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider is officially chasing his second POY award. The Arizona native won his second gold bracelet of the 2013 WSOP after taking down Event #29 along with $318,955. He’s now just 20 points behind Daniel Negreanu in the POY race; Negreanu still holds the lead based on the strength of his WSOP APAC Main Event victory.
Event #30: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Former University of South Carolina student Chris Dombrowski beat a large field of 2,108 players to win this event and the $346,332 top prize. Dombrowski used to primarily play online poker for a living, but the events of Black Friday (April 15th, 2011) forced him to start playing more live poker.