WSOP Daily Digest, June 26: Mike Gorodinsky wins the $50k Poker Players Championship

Gorodinksy wins the $50k PPC and vaults ahead of Paul Volpe to lead the Player of the Year race

1. Super size me

It was a busy day at the WSOP yesterday, as the VP of Corporate Communications for Caesars, Seth Palansky, confirmed on Twitter:

‘So the 1976 @WSOP had 8 events total…today at the WSOP, there are 9 events being played. #timesareachangin’

Thanks to the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event, there were also 19 different variants of the game being played.

We take the WSOP for granted now – it’s just a part of the fabric of the game. But it’s easy to forget its roots and where it came from. It’s now an incredible spectacle and the living proof of how big the game has become. And we’ve still got the Main Event to come!

2. Jean-Robert Bellande runner-up in the Poker Players Championship

Love him or hate him, Jean-Robert Bellande is the sort of character the poker world is in desperate need of. In his 15th year of cashing in live events without a major title, Bellande almost won one of the biggest of them all. Capturing the bracelet in the tournament the pros rate as one of the toughest would have got him the recognition he probably thought he’d never get. And he came agonizingly close, holding the chip lead at points while heads-up against Mike Gorodinsky, before losing out finally in a hand of PLO.

Bellande opened the pot with A♣-Q♠-T♠-9♣ and Gorodinsky called with T♣-8♣-8-3. Gorodinsky made a set on the Q-9-8♠ flop and checked to Bellande who bet the pot. Gorodinsky raised pot and all the money went in. Bellande needed a Queen, Jack or Nine but the dealer put out two Kings to fill Gorodinsky up and give him his second career bracelet.

In a strange coincidence, Gorodinsky’s fist major title came in an 8-game event in 2010 ands the runner up then was… Jean-Robert Bellande. This was Gorodinsky’s biggest cash and the fifth of what’s proving to be a very successful WSOP. After losing to Phil Hellmuth in the $10k Razz event, it looked like he might just be a footnote at the series, but as well as capturing one of the biggest prizes, he’s now also vaulted ahead of Paul Volpe at the top of the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard. He almost didn’t play the $50k PPC too ­– he was sick on Day 1 but late-regged on Day 2.

It was Bellande’s biggest cash too, and hopefully that’s a big consolation to the polarising player. Bellande played brilliantly and took his defeat with class, returning to pose for a photograph with the winner.

Event #44: $50k Poker Players Championship

Position Name Result
1 Mike Gorodinsky $1,270,086
2 Jean-Robert Bellande $784,828
3 David Baker $514,926
4 Ben Sulsky $353,928
5 Chris Klodnicki $251,314
6 Dan Kelly $184,222

3. Upeshka De Silva dominates the $1,500

When 24 players returned for Day 3 of Event #45: $1,500 NLHE, Upeshka De Silva was sixth, with two big names at the top of the pile in Jason Koon and Barry Hutter. Koon made the final table but became the first victim of the De Silva demolition job when he was eliminated in ninth. De Silva went on to knock out all but one of his opponents, in a completely dominating performance that was worthy of the gold.

He couldn’t get the heads-up against Dara O’Kearney finished on Day 3, but he made short work of it on Day 4. It took just nine hands for the money to go in on a flip. O’Kearney was hoping his Twos would hold up and he was still in the lead on the 6-T-6 flop, but another Ten on the turn counterfeited him, and left his rail as disappointed as him.

Talking afterwards De Silva said, ‘This is surreal, that’s the best way to describe how I feel right now. I waited my whole life for this. When you imagine how the last hand will be played out, that’s what I experienced. It was like a dream coming true.’

Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Position Name Result
1 Upeshka De Silva $424,577
2 Dara O’Kearney $262,502
3 John Dolan $172,752
4 Patrick Rojek $124,537
5 Ilkin Amirov $91,157
6 Bobby Moore $67,697
7 Jorden Fox $50,985
8 Vasily Tsapko $38,920
9 Jason Koon $30,095

4. Old school star wins his third

Eli Elezra won the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud (Event #48), $112,591 and his third bracelet last night, saying, ‘This one was really special to me. It’s the game many of us grew up on and it’s played by the most experienced players.’ Allen Cunningham was third and collected $44,846.

Meanwhile, in Event #47: $2,500 NLHE, Phil Hellmuth fell in 16th spot, which means his quest for bracelet number 15 continues. Action was halted with five players left. Timur Margolin is the chip leader with Ireland’s Andy Black sitting with a mid-stack in third. Action resumes at 1pm with the live stream kicking in 30 minutes later with hole cards.

5. Big names alive in Events #49 and #50

There are 21 players left in the $1,500 PLO 8 event, with Galen Hall at the top of the pile with 776,000. Behind him are a whole host of names including Connor Drinan (2nd), George Danzer (3rd), Erik Seidel (7th) and Vanessa Selbst (20th). Play starts again at 1pm for the final scheduled day.

Only 11 are left from a small field of 117 in the $10k Limit Championship. Justin Bonomo has a big chip lead and WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno is back in fourth. They’re back to play to the champion at 2pm.


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