Another Millionaire is Made at the WSOP

June 6, 2014

Lifelong hockey player, aspiring novelist, poker player, and upstate New York native Jonathan Dimmig outlasted 7,976 other poker players vying for the title of millionaire in the third annual Millionaire Maker event of this year’s WSOP in Las Vegas. Dimmig’s win resulted in a $1.3+ million-dollar payday and a gold bracelet. This is his biggest win since he cashed an $11K paycheck at a WSOP Circuit event. This was his first WSOP cash.

“My goal on the first day was just to make it through the day. I’d played the Main Event here all the last three years and never even cashed in that. So coming in, my goal was really to just get the money off my back and just cash—that’s really all I wanted to do,” said Dimmig.

And so he did. At the final table, the chip lead changed seats five times, but Dimmig outbested Jeff Coburn in a not-so-long heads up showdown that wrapped up a 12-hour final table. The day saw Stephen Graner as the chip lead, but he was ousted in 6th place. James Duke then had the chips for a stint, but ultimately bowed out in 3rd place, leaving Dimmig and Coburn to finish it off.

“It’s not my style to sit back and wait and let others bust out so I can move a notch up the pay ladder,” Dimmig said earnestly. “I noticed some of the guys were just trying to get up the money ladder, and I don’t think like that. This is a life-changing event. I don’t want to look back in 30 years and say ‘what if?’ This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you got to go for it.”

Dimmig now has earned the first seven-figure payout of the year and becomes the world’s newest poker-made millionaire.

“I played hockey all my life and, as everyone knows, I’m from Buffalo. The Sabres have never won a championship; the Bills have never won a championship; so I’m proud to bring a little piece of championshipness to the city, because where I’m from is really a great city.”

This was the second-biggest poker tournament in history with almost 8,000 registrants, second only to the 2006 WSOP Main Event that drew in 8,773 players over four days. The MM drew in 8,000 in one day, spanning two flights of starting play. 1,751 players re-entered, making for 6,226 actual participating players, which is still impressive. No other single day in poker has ever attracted that many players to one event.

The prize pool amassed nearly $11 million and included more than $1 million to the first place finisher, as was the case last year. The first year paid Benny Chen $1.1 million for his first-place feat. The top 12 placers each earned six figures, and the top 99 finishers earned at least $10K.

Some recognizable faces in the crowd included Steve Gee, who finished in 754th place; Andy Block, 432nd; Mike Sexton, 357th; Humberto Brenes, 315th; Greg Mueller, 138th; and many others, as you can imagine.

Brock Parker Wins Third WSOP Bracelet

June 5, 2014

We see another heads up match between two previous bracelet winners, this time a two-time bracelet winner wins his third in Event #10 $10K Limit Omaha Hi-Low. Now three-time bracelet winner Brock Parker, known as a Limit Hold ‘em specialist before this event, will now be well-respected as a Limit Omaha player, as well. As an early leader in the 2014 Player of the Year race for the series after a final table finish in the $1,500 Razz event, this win further cements him as a contender.

Parker has made 10 final table finishes in WSOP events in as many years, only one of those a non-Hold ‘em tournament. And now, at a table of O8 specialists, Parker has proven himself once again, this time against fellow WSOP bracelet earner, Richard Ashby. Ashby’s previous one bracelet comes from a Stud event, though he was appearing in his fourth career OHL final table, which also included two female players, Shirley Rosario, who lasted to 4th place, and Melissa Burr, who lasted to 8th place. These ladies are the second and third women to make a final table this year, following Vanessa Selbst, who won her third bracelet this year.

Other notable final tablists in this event include Dan Kelly, also a previous bracelet earner. This is Kelly’s third cash in this event, finishing 12th in 2012 and 20th last year. This year, he finishes in 9th place.

As the second of 13 $10K championship events this year, this event attracted 178 players that amassed a prize pool worth $1.67+ million split between the top 18 finishers, which included a slew of other bracelet winners including 17th-place finisher and five-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro; 18th place-finisher Perry Friedman; 14th-place finisher Andrew Brown; and 10th-place finisher Eli Elezra, who also racked up some POY points.

Another First-Time WSOP Bracelet Winner is Made

June 3, 2014

Another first-time bracelet winner was made at the 2014 WSOP. Event #6 $1500 NLH Shootout saw 948 registrants that dwindled down to a final table of all US players, one Belarussian, Alex Bolotin, and one Bulgarian, Dimitar Danchev. But Danchev was no match for Bolotin, who went into showdown together, Bolotin came out the victor, winning just shy of $260K and his first gold bracelet.

Bolotin has been around for about several years and has had quite a bit of success, as well as a long list of cashes, but never had he won a coveted bracelet—until now.

His theory on why his name isn’t as well known as some other NLH players is simple. Bolotin says, “The reason I flew under the radar is because I had a lot of final tables, but I didn’t have a lot of wins. Nothing feels sweeter in tournament poker than winning a tournament.”

This win brings his career WSOP winnings to $1.3+ million, almost half of which came from a second place finish in 2007 in a $5K Six-Handed WSOP event when he took second place to Bill Edler and earned more than $500K. But according to Bolotin, the money pales in comparison to the win.

Smiling, Bolotin explains, “I won double the money for second place and I was throwing my glasses against the wall. It wasn’t a happy day. Finishing second hurts. This feels much, much better. It feels euphoric, actually. So many close calls and that’s what we come here for every summer—to win gold. It is kind of a stamp on a long career; it feels sweet.”

Already number one on the Belarussian all-time money list, this further proves that he is the most progressive player from the European country. He will receive his bracelet with the Belarus anthem playing in the background. Though he lives in New York, he takes pride in his homeland.

He says, “It’s my homeland, so it does matter a lot to me. I’ve been living in the US more than 2/3 of my life, so now I feel more American than Belarussian, but I am happy to be the number one player from Belarus.”

The last 12 players standing included Josh Arieh and Shawn Busse both bracelet winners, finishing 4th and 8th, respectively. Jon Lane finished 3rd, while David Trager finished 7th. In 5th was Steven Loube, and in 9th, Maxx Coleman.

Other notable players included Greg Merson, 99th; Mike Matusow, 77th; Humberto Brenese, 71st; Joseph Cheong, 67th; and Shannon Shorr, 27th.

Bracelet #5 Goes to Tuan Le

June 2, 2014

The first of 13 $10K events in the 2014 WSOP, Event #5 $10K Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball,  has come to an end. In a bracelet-winner-laden event, successful poker pro who lacked a bracelet, Tuan Le was victorious. Up against Justin Bonomo, who is yet to win a bracelet, the showdown was on after the two eliminated a final table full of some of the best Triple Draw players in the game.

Tuan Le has been on the poker seen for quite some time, only about 10 years ago being considered a young gun, who had won many events and been successful in almost every avenue of poker except WSOP. This was the first WSOP final table he has made it to, and it was a tough one that included the likes of Eli Elezra, who finished third, Nick Schulman, fourth, George Danzer, fifth, and the great Phil Galfond, sixth.

“This was my first time playing this particular event,” said Le following his win. “I’ve been playing Deuce-to-Seven for a while, but this was my first to play it here at the World Series. I really have not played that many events here in the past, but this year I decided to just give it a shot and go for it.”

Perhaps 2-7 is the secret to the 36-year-old California-native’s WSOP success, as it just earned him more than $355K.

“This final table was as tough as it could possibly be. I seemed to get on the right side of every hand and got maximum value for it.”

This event was new this year and attracted 120 players who amassed a prize pool worth more than $1 million that paid the top 12 finishers. Seven of those top 12 were bracelet winners, including Elezra, who bested Daniel Negreanu in the $2,500-buy-in version of this same event last year. Both Galfond and Schulman were two-time bracelet winners.

One-time bracelet winners Jason Mercier, ninth place, and David Benyamine, twelfth place, were also part of the stiff competition that Le faced. Although Le has kept a low profile over the past few years, we will likely see more of him in the future.

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