2023 WSOP Day 36: Gafford and Kamel Win Bracelets; Main Event About to Set Records

Two bracelets were awarded on Tuesday with Bradley Gafford and Hassan Kamel earning their maiden bracelets late in the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSO…

Two bracelets were awarded on Tuesday with Bradley Gafford and Hassan Kamel earning their maiden bracelets late in the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

The action was buzzing at the Horseshow Las Vegas and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino for a much different reason as yesterday showcased the second of four opening flights in the biggest poker tournament of the year in the 2023 WSOP Event #76: $10,000 Main Event No-Limit Hold’em World Championship. We broke down some of the numbers and it appears to be a foregone conclusion that this year’s Main Event will go down as the largest tournament in poker’s history.

Read more about what went down on Day 36 of the 2023 WSOP:

Bradley Gafford Wins Event #74: $1,000 Mini Main Event ($549,555)

2023 WSOP Day 36: Gafford and Kamel Win Bracelets; Main Event About to Set Records

While it will be more than a week before we know the winner of the crown-jewel of the WSOP in Event #76: $10,000 Main Event No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, the mini-version of this event in the three-day Event #74: $1,000 Mini Main Event concluded in a glorious fashion when his four-trey of diamonds got there to oust a short-stacked Josh Reichard heads-up to win the coveted bracelet and the $549,555 top prize.

“It has come way earlier than I thought,” Gafford said about winning his first bracelet according to the WSOP. “I haven’t really processed it yet and I am sure there will be a lot of deeper thinking over the next couple of days.”

Gafford began the final day with the shortest stack of the five hopefuls. Jeremy Oleon began the day with the chip lead but it was all Reichard early on as he had more than half the chips after eliminating Jennifer Abad in fourth place and Oliver Berens in fifth place before winning a massive pot against Oleon.

However, Gafford won a massive pot against Reichard and held the chip lead even after the table eliminator Reichard ousted Day 3 chip leader Oleon in third place. Reichard managed to snag back the chip lead but was left with crumbs after his ten-deuce didn’t get there against queen-ten on a ten-high flop. Shortly after, Gafford snagged the rest of Reichard’s stack to win his maiden bracelet.

“Absolutely,” Gafford said about playing the “real” Main Event. “I was planning on playing tomorrow (Day 1c) but we will see what happens tonight and I might jump in the final flight (Day 1d).”

Event #74: $1,000 Mini Main Event Final Table Results

Event #74: $1,000 Mini Main Event attracted 5,257 entries to create a $4,678,730 prize pool with the top 789 players collecting a $1,601 min-cash. Check out the final table results below:

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize
1Bradley GaffordUnited States$549,555
2Josh ReichardUnited States$339,646
3Jeremy OleonFrance$255,215
4Jennifer AbadUnited States$193,103
5Oliver BerensUnited States$147,129
6Marius IftimiaRomania$112,889
7Mason St MartinCanada$87,232
8Egor ProcopMoldova$67,888
9Igor HotUnited States$53,213
10Nicolas KohanUnited States$42,012

Hassan Kamel Dominates Event #75: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship ($598,613)

2023 WSOP Day 36: Gafford and Kamel Win Bracelets; Main Event About to Set Records

Globetrotter Hassan Kamel traveled from the land down under in Australia to explore the wonders and delights of the United States with a road trip and planned to have some fun for a few days at the poker summer camp in Las Vegas. We know he had fun during his winner’s photos according to reports from the WSOP after putting on a dominating display in Event #75: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better Championship to win the event for $598,613.

It is tough not to have fun when two of Australia’s best poker players are cheering you on the rail in WSOP bracelet winners Robert Campbell and James Obst. It also didn’t hurt that Kamel also put on a display for the ages. He entered the final day in third place among the 15 hopefuls and had a dominating chip lead by the time the final table of eight players was reached. Even though Kamel shared he would be happy with finishing in second place, he never relinquished the chip lead which is fun for even the grumpiest of poker players let alone a fun player like Kamel.

“I actually planned on coming second,” Kamel said during his winner’s photos according to the WSOP. I wasn’t greedy and already said I was going to bust the $1,500 three times and come second in the bracelet event. But I only busted the $1,500 only twice and came first in the $10k.”

Although Kamel doesn’t play much poker these days, he used to play mostly cash games in the past and wasn’t a big fan of tournaments. Unlike the $1,000 Mini Main Event bracelet winner Bradley Gafford, we won’t see Kamel in the Main Event if he sticks to his plans nor will we hear about him in other Las Vegas events during the summer. Instead, Kamel plans to celebrate before resuming his road trip across the United States.

“Just in town, get blind drunk tonight and back out the next day,” shared Kamel. “I am still in the middle of my road trip and my car is in Minneapolis right now. I am going to fly back there and continue the trip.”

The final table was full of talent as one would expect in a five-figure buy-in with Ryan Hoenig and John Holley finishing on the podium and Anton Smirnov, WSOP bracelet winner Dylan Weisman, Day 2 chip leader Stephen Deutsch, Long Tran, and Poland’s arguably top tournament player Dzmitry Urbanovich all at the final table.

Event #75: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Final Table Results

Event #75: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better attracted 277 entries from some of the top poker players in the world for a $2,576,100 prize pool. The top 42 players earned at least a min-cash of $16,175. Check out the final table results below.

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize
1Hassan KamelAustralia$598,613
2Ryan HoenigUnited States$369,972
3John HolleyUnited States$265,156
4Anton SmirnovRussia$192,562
5Dylan WeismanUnited States$141,727
6Stephen DeutschUnited States$105,737
7Long TranUnited States$79,979
8Dzmitry UrbanovichPoland$61,346

Event #76: $10,000 Main Event World Championship Set to Smash Records

The moment we have all been waiting for is here with the first two of four opening flights in the 2023 World Series of Poker Event #76: $10,000 Main Event No-Limit Hold’em World Championship is in the books.

The event was kicked off by Jamie Gold, who won the record-setting 2006 WSOP $10,000 Main Event for $12,000,000. With records broken left and right at the WSOP, it would actually have been surprising even before the action began that we wouldn’t be witnessing a new Main Event record established this year.

Last year’s WSOP Main Event came close with Espen Jorstad defeating a banner field of 8,663 entries to win the $10 million top prize and his second bracelet of the summer. This was a hair behind the 8,773 entries in the field when Gold won a lion’s share of the $82,512,162 prize pool, the largest in poker’s history.

A total of 2,158 entries have already come out to battle in the Main Event including 1,040 on Monday’s Day 1a and 1,118 entries on Day 1b for more than a 21 percent increase over the pace set last year when the new record was nearly established. This means not only is it likely that a new record will be established but we should also keep our eyes on whether the field reaches more than 10,000 players which is a strong possibility at this point as well.

Flight20232022IncreaseIncrease %
Day 1a1,04090014015.6%
Day 1b1,11888023827.0%
Day 1c?1800??
Day 1d?4,481??
Day 2s?222??
Total?8,663??

Most of the field survived the opening flight with 1,621 players finding bags during the first two opening flights. This is par for the course as the Main Event is a marathon, not a sprint with a whopping 11 days of action for any opening flight player who battles to victory. Additionally, players might be more cautious than usual as this event is a freezeout affair with late registration remaining open during the first two 120-minute blind levels of Day 2.

The biggest stacks came from the Day 1a flight headlined by the flight’s chip leader in Israel’s Yehuda Dayan catapulting to the top of the leaderboard with a 487 big blind stack of 389,900. Shota Nakanishi is looking to add his second bracelet this summer after previously shipping Event #60: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold’em for $277,212 is just behind Dayan with 360,100 with China’s Hai-Chi Ho (297,400) rounding out the top three.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Jean-Pierre van der Spuy bagged the Day 1b chip lead with 287,000 and poker personality and Upswing Founder Doug Polk will likely also keep things interesting for poker fans as he advanced with 281,900 on Monday.

Also bagging big thus far were four-time bracelet winner Julien Martini (286,000), Finnish poker legend Patrik Antonius (263,500), and GGPoker Ambassador Anatoly Filatov (231,000).

The action resumes with Day 1c at 12 p.m. on Wednesday with a fresh batch of new players starting off with 60,000 in chips and playing five blind levels of two hours each. This will be followed by Day 1d on Thursday at the same time and same structure before the tournament moves past its opening flights.

Event #76: $10,000 Main Event World Championship Top 10 Leaderboard

Here is a look at the top 10 chip counts after two of the four opening flights were completed in Event #76: $10,000 Main Event No-Limit Hold’em World Championship:

PlacePlayerCountryChipsBig Blinds
1Yehuda DayanIsrael389,900487
2Shota NakanishiJapan360,100450
3Hai-Chi HoChina297,400372
4Jean-Pierre van der SpuySouth Africa287,000359
5Julien MartiniFrance286,000358
6Yuze DingUnited States284,500356
7Doug PolkUnited States281,900352
8Gar CheungUnited States281,500352
9Andrew GrahamUnited States277,700347
10Neville CostaBrazil275,000344

July 5 WSOP Schedule

There are no new events scheduled for Wednesday, July 5, 2023. That being said, it will be far from a quiet day at the WSOP with a massive turnout expected for Day 1c of the 2023 WSOP $10,000 Main Event kicking off at 12 p.m.

Head to the PokerPro opening WSOP article to check out the full schedule of the 2023 World Series of Poker.

Images and hand details courtesy of WSOP/PokerNews.

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