Saturday was a life-changing day for Ap “Lou” Garza at the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Horseshoe Las Vegas and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The flamboyantly dressed poker stud not only went on to win the record-breaking Event #50: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for more than $1.3 million but also proposed to his girlfriend after the victory.
Meanwhile, two other bracelets were awarded including three-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Nick Pupillo getting the monkey off his back after winning his first bracelet in Event #52: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw and Michael Savakinas and Satoshi Tanaka each winning bracelets in Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em.
Read more about what went down on Day 26 of the 2023 WSOP:
Lou Garza Wins Event #50: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship ($1,309,232)
The lights were on and the cameras were rolling for the conclusion of Event #50: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship at PokerGO. The event established new records with 731 entries coming out in full force to generate a $6,798,300 prize pool.
As we already mentioned in the intro, it was a huge day for Lou Garza as not only did he ship this event for his first bracelet and his largest live tournament cash in front of a live-streamed audience and a huge rail but also proposed to his girlfriend shortly after the event concluded.
The final day witnessed five hopefuls, each looking to lock up their first WSOP gold bracelet. The final day chip leader Stanislav Halatenko began the day strong by first sending Peng Phan to the rail in fifth place for $296,154. However, shortly after Garza doubled through Halatenko before narrowing the gap even further by eliminating Travis Pearson in fourth place for $407,915.
The lead bounced around between Halatenko, Garza, and Arthur Morris before Morris doubled through Halatenko to leave him with crumbs in his stack. Garza eventually ousted Halatenko in third place for $570,307 and began the heads-up action inches behind Morris.
It was all Garza from here as he won hand after hand before leaving Morris one player shy of winning his first bracelet and forcing him to settle for the tasty runner-up prize of $809,167.
Event #50: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship Final Table Results
|1||Lou Garza||United States||$1,309,232|
|2||Arthur Morris||United States||$809,167|
|4||Travis Pearson||United States||$407,915|
|6||Sam Soverel||United States||$218,297|
Team Savakinas Wins Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em ($190,662)
Another bracelet and another record were delivered by Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em with the event attracting a banner field of 1,282 teams of two players each to create a $1,140,980 prize pool.
The rules were simple for this event where each player on each team was required to play at least one blind level. Most kept it to that and had one player battling it out most of the way. However, Team Savakinas, featuring Michael Savakinas and Satoshi Tanaka kept switching it up every blind level at the final table. This kept their opponents on their toes en route to shipping the event for $190,662.
“When the final table started, we decided to switch on the levels and I think that gave us an edge because no one else was doing that," Tanaka shared after the win according to WSOP.
Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results
|1||Michael Savakinas - Satoshi Tanaka||United States||$190,662|
|2||Vincent Moscati - Tanner Bibat||United States||$117,872|
|3||Jonah LaBranche - Dustin Wills||United States||$85,040|
|4||Rickey Evans - Roberto Valdez||United States||$62,090|
|5||John Ventre - Kenneth Gallo||United States||$45,884|
|6||Marcus Stein - Amber Donatelli||United States||$34,326|
|7||David Williams - Theo Tran||United States||$26,000|
|8||Carlos Inukai - Emmaniel Avila||United States||$19,942|
|9||Justin Pechie - Ronnie Bardah||United States||$15,492|
|10||Ramon Kropmanns - Jessica Serial||Brazil||$12,190|
Nick Pupillo Wins Event #52: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw ($181,978)
Event #52: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw was another event to draw bigger numbers than previous years with 353 lowball entries creating a $785,425 prize pool. This event put players to the test with the games rotating between deuce-to-seven triple draw, ace-to-five triple draw, and badugi.
Nick Pupillo can cross his name off of the list of the players recognized as among the best to never win a WSOP gold bracelet after shipping the event for $181,978. Pupillo, who has nearly $5 million in live tournament cashes tracked at The Hendon Mob, is no stranger to winning WSOP hardware despite winning his first bracelet as he earned three WSOP Circuit gold rings over the years.
“It’s pretty surreal; it feels good,” the emotional Pupillo shared after the win according to WSOP. “I love the mixed games; it really felt like my tournament. I late regged and ran really well.”
Event #52: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Final Table Results
|1||Nick Pupillo||United States||$181,978|
|2||Ryan Moriarty||United States||$112,472|
|3||Aaron Mermelstein||United States||$74,545|
|5||Hye Park||United States||$35,212|
|6||Brant Hale||United States||$25,126|
Dan Heimiller & Billy Baxter Hunting for Glory in Event #48: $1,000 Seniors Championship
Dan Heimiller won Event #17: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Seniors Championship nearly a decade ago at the 2014 WSOP for $627,462 for his second bracelet with his first coming more than two decades ago when he shipped Event #31: $2,000 Limit Hold’em & Seven Card Stud for $108,300.
Heimiller is deep in the hunt for his second victory in the $1,000 Seniors Championship and his third overall WSOP bracelet in as many decades but has his work cut out for him as he ended the third of five days in Event #48: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Seniors Championship with a 15 big blind stack of 3,625,000.
Meanwhile, Billy Baxter is also still alive and in better shape than Heimiller with 6,400,000. The Poker Hall of Famer notched up seven bracelets dating back to 1975. However, it has been more than two decades since we have witnessed this popular poker legend find WSOP gold with his last bracelet coming in 2002 when he shipped Event #14: $1,500 Razz for $64,860.
Both players are a far cry behind the more than 60 big blinds that both Day 3 chip leader Gordon Eng (15,975,000) and Lonnie Hallett (15,300,000) will kick off the penultimate day with when the action resumes at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
The record-breaking field of 8,180 entries is down to just 29 hopefuls and the action will be live-streamed at PokerGO when the field is trimmed down to just three tables.
Event #48: $1,000 Seniors Championship Day 3 Top 10 Leaderboard
|1||Gordon Eng||United States||15,975,000||64|
|3||David Stearns||United States||10,575,000||42|
|4||Amin Mostafavi||United States||10,525,000||42|
|6||Ron Fetsch||United States||8,700,000||35|
|7||Billy Baxter||United States||6,400,000||26|
|8||Rudolf Fourie||South Africa||6,000,000||24|
|9||Loren Cloninger||United States||6,000,000||24|
|10||David Thompson||United States||5,675,000||23|
Event #53: $1,500 Millionaire Maker Largest $1,500 Event in Poker History
One might get exhausted about all the records being broken at the 2023 WSOP. However, we believe you can never have too much of a good thing.
The five-day Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Millionaire Maker not only set a new record for the event with 10,430 entries joining the action across two opening flights to create a massive $13,884,000 prize pool but also established the new gold standard as the largest $1,500 buy-in event in the history of poker.
Michael Holtz bagged up the Day 1b chip lead among the 5,851 entries and 1,310 survivors with 420,000 in chips. This won’t come close to leading the 2,322 survivors to start Day 2 on Sunday at 10 a.m. as Yong Yi managed to advance out of the Day 1a field with a massive stack of 750,000 followed by Nicola Bastile (480,000), Peng Li (460,000), and Paul Gunness (430,000).
Event #53: $1,500 Millionaire Maker Top 10 Leaderboard
|Place||Player||Country||Chips||Big Blinds||Opening Flight|
|1||Yong Yi||United States||750,000||300||Day 1a|
|2||Nicola Basile||Canada||480,000||192||Day 1a|
|3||Peng Li||United States||460,000||184||Day 1a|
|4||Paul Gunness||United States||430,000||172||Day 1a|
|5||Michael Holtz||United States||420,000||168||Day 1b|
|6||Ryan Dodd||United States||414,500||166||Day 1a|
|7||Zi Long Zhang||China||407,000||163||Day 1b|
|8||Alex Greenblatt||United States||405,500||162||Day 1a|
|9||Christian Vaca||United States||405,000||162||Day 1b|
|10||Pei Li||Canada||396,500||158||Day 1b|
Can Phil Hellmuth Extend His Bracelet Record in Event #54: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship?
Normally we would headline the chip leader in a big event such as the four-day Event #54: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship. Especially when it is a six-time WSOP bracelet winner like Brian Yoon who leads the final 17 players with 1,465,000 in chips in this record-setting event that originally attracted 185 entries to create a $1,720,500 prize pool.
Instead, the headline news is that Phil Hellmuth, who has already won a record 16 bracelets over the years at the WSOP, is strong in the hunt in his quest to extend his record as he will kick off the penultimate day in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship with 700,000 in chips. Hellmuth had several deep runs over the past couple of years, most notably his second-place finish in Event #65: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout for $369,698, but has come up empty on winning another bracelet since his victory in Event #21: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw for $84,951.
The field is absolutely littered with WSOP champions when the action resumes at 2 p.m. on Sunday with Connor Drinan (1,200,000), four-time champion Scott Seiver (965,000), Carol Fuchs (865,000), Roman Verenko (855,000), four-time champion Brad Rubin (775,000), two-time champion Mike Gorodinsky (635,000), three-time champion David “Bakes” Baker (620,000), Alex Livingston (370,000), Nick Guagenti (155,000), and 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener (130,000) all hunting for more WSOP hardware.
Event #54: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship Day 2 Top 10 Leaderboard
|1||Brian Yoon||United States||1,465,000|
|2||Connor Drinan||United States||1,200,000|
|3||Christopher Claassen||United States||1,070,000|
|4||Scott Seiver||United States||965,000|
|5||Carol Fuchs||United States||865,000|
|7||Brad Ruben||United States||775,000|
|8||Phil Hellmuth||United States||700,000|
|9||Mike Gorodinsky||United States||635,000|
|10||David "Bakes" Baker||United States||620,000|
Eric Roadawig Bags Day 1 Chip Lead in Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
The three-day Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better attracted 566 entries on its opening day to create a $755,610 prize pool. The action will resume on Day 2 on Sunday at 1 p.m. with 183 players battling it out into the money and beyond with the top 85 players guaranteed at least a $2,421 min-cash with Monday’s winner taking home a juicy top prize of $155,275.
Eric Roadawig leads the way with 234,500 followed by Kevin Cote (187,000) and Constantine Zdanowich (186,500). Roadwig still has miles to go on his journey but is no stranger to WSOP success in this poker variant as more than a decade ago he denied Phil Hellmuth a bracelet en route to winning one of his own in Event #33: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $442,183.
Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Day 1 Top 10 Leaderboard
|1||Eric Rodawig||United States||234,500|
|2||Kevin Cote||United States||187,000|
|3||Constantine Zdanowich||United States||186,500|
|4||Qibang Cheung||United Kingdom||175,000|
|5||Michael Estes||United States||173,000|
|6||William Buckley||United States||164,500|
|7||John Esposito||United States||163,500|
|8||Ivan Schertzer||United States||161,000|
|9||Rafael Concepcion||United States||155,500|
|10||Kao Saechao||United States||155,000|
June 25, 2023 WSOP Schedule
Just one bracelet is scheduled to be awarded on June 25, 2023 and it won’t be one from an ongoing event. Instead, it will be awarded in the wee hours of the morning to the “Sunday Funday” online grinders at WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey in Online Event #10: $400 No-Limit Ultra Deepstack.
Four other events continue to get one step closer to awarding their coveted gold bracelets while three new events debut their action including many big names expected to play for a massive prize pool in Event #57: $25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha. Event #56: $500 Salute to Warriors is expected to draw thousands of new players thanks to its relatively low $500 buy-in, while Event #58: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em will showcase some old-school poker.
Below is a look at today’s schedule while head to the PokerPro opening WSOP article to check out the full schedule of the 2023 World Series of Poker.
|10 a.m.||Event #53: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold'em||Day 2 of 5|
|10 a.m.||Event #56: $500 SALUTE to Warriors - No-Limit Hold'em||Day 1 of 3|
|12 p.m.||Event #48: $1,000 SENIORS No-Limit Hold'em Championship||Day 4 of 5|
|12 p.m.||Event #57: $25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha||Day 1 of 4|
|1 p.m.||Event #55: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better||Day 2 of 3|
|2 p.m.||Event #54: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship||Day 3 of 4|
|2 p.m.||Event #58: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold'em||Day 1 of 3|
|3:30 p.m.||Online Event #10: $400 No-Limit Ultra Deepstack||Day 1 of 1|
Images and hand details courtesy of WSOP/PokerNews.
Article by Jason Glatzer
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