WSOP 2024: Kornuth Takes Chance on Flip & Go for 4th Bracelet

Chance Kornuth with his rail after winning his 4th bracelet in the Flip & Go.
Chance Kornuth with his rail after winning his 4th bracelet in the Flip & Go.

As one of the newer formats on the World Series of Poker (WSOP) schedule recently, the Flip & Go game has generated its fair share of controversy in the three years it has been a part of the live WSOP in Vegas. While some players chirped about the event online, Chance Kornuth flipped his way into the Go stage, and then proceeded to win it all for his 4th bracelet.

Kornuth was just one of many top-name players who were part of the 1,088 Flip entries for this game, but the game had equally high-level detractors as well. Among them is the outspoken host of The Chip Race David Lappin. Two years ago at the inception of this tournament format in 2022, the Unibet ambassador took to his platform on VegasSlotsOnline to have a go at the new format for bracelets.

When the dust settled on the Flip rounds of this game, more than 1,000 entries were whittled down to just 136 players returning in the money for Day 2 and some real poker. Among the players to bag 160k (the stack for winning one table) were some serious names, including Scott Seiver looking for his 4th this series, Patrick “Pads” Leonard, David Williams, Shaun Deeb, six-time bracelet winner Jeremy Ausmus, and Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen looking for his second this series.

Details & Results for Event #85: $1,000 FLIP & GO No-Limit Hold’em Presented by GGPoker

  • Entries: 1,088
  • Prizes: $957,440
  • Winner: Chance Kornuth ($155,446)
1Chance KornuthUnited States$155,446
2Kannapong ThanarattrakulThailand$103,633
3Mike LeahCanada$74,062
4Sean WhelanUnited States$53,662
5Xiaoyao MaUnited States$39,428
6Filipp KhavinUnited States$29,382
7Ian HamiltonUnited Kingdom$22,213
8John ArmbrustUnited States$17,039
9Takashi OguraJapan$13,265
Final table results from Event #85: $1,000 FLIP & GO No-Limit Hold’em Presented by GGPoker

Kornuth Took Fewer Chances than Many

To make it through to Day 2, all players had to do was win one of the Flip stages, a pineapple-format pre-flop game where players are dealt three cards and are all in before the flop. They then choose to discard one card from their hand based on the flop and once the discards are complete, the turn and river are dealt without further player action.

Whatever hand wins the day moves on to Day 2, while the other 7 players head back to the rebuy line, or off to another game. In the event of a chop, another hand will be run between the chopping players to determine a clear winner.

With unlimited rebuys, that means some players may have wracked up to truly eye-watering rebuy totals. In his article, Lappin points to a player in the inaugural year with 27 bullets, and in a recent Circuit event I covered, the eventual winner of the event, Dongwoo “David” Ko, who won his third ring in the Flip & Go this past May in Calgary then followed it up a week later with a big WPT title, was in the Flip stages for 13 bullets before he finally bagged his Day 2 stack in that one.

For his part, Kornuth was only in for three bullets in this one, among the lower totals in the field, and like everyone else coming to Day 2, he had 160k for the win. While players could bag multiple wins for double or triple starting stacks on Day 2, in this case, everyone on Day 2 came in with the default stack of 160k.

Over the course of the day, notable players fell from the action including Galen Hall, Michael Moncjek, and Jared Bleznixk for min cashes, as well as Scott Seiver, Mike Watson, and Chirs Brewer with slightly deeper runs. Among the players to make the final three tables in the game were Shaun Deeb (14th, $8,412) and Brad Owen (21st, $6,855).

Leah Led Final Nine

Mike Leah, pictured in Event #85, led the way to start the final table, but ended his run un 3rd place.
Mike Leah, pictured in Event #85, led the way to start the final table but ended his run in 3rd place.

When the final table was set almost 10 hours after play began, Canadian Circuit king Mike Leah (6 rings at last count) was the man with the chips. He brought more than 10 million to the final table, nearly 5:1 over the next biggest stacks of 2.16 million shared by winner Kornith as well as runner-up Kannapong Thanarattrakul.

Leah would hold onto that lead through much of the first half of FT play and when play got four ways after he sent Xiaoyao Ma home in 5th place when his dominated king got there, he had 11.6 million for a commanding lead over Kornuth with 5.575 million. That’s when the wheels fell off the bus for Leah, however. From that point forward, the chip graphs showed Leah trending down and Kornuth trending upwards.

Fourth-place finisher Sean Whelan first grabbed a double from Leah’s stack when he flopped two pair with a big blind special, then runner-up Thanarattrakul held with ace-queen to cut Leah’s stack in half. Kornuth was in the lead at that point with the Canadian at the bottom of the counts, but he managed to take a big pot off Kornuth to jump back into second.

Whelan was the next to drop running his king-jack into ace-ten for Kornuth. It took about another 45 minutes before they were heads up. Leah found a spot with pocket fours but couldn’t win a race against the ace-queen of Kornuth.

Kannapong Thanarattrakul. runner up in Event #85: $1,000 FLIP & GO No-Limit Hold'em Presented by GGPoker
Kannapong Thanarattrakul. runner up in Event #85: $1,000 FLIP & GO No-Limit Hold’em Presented by GGPoker

That gave the eventual winner a big chip lead of 15 million to 6 million and it didn’t take long to finish. Just a few minutes after Leah packed his things, Kornuth limp-called with connected paint after Thanarattrakul shoved his suited ace-wheel hand.

Kornuth turned a pair of jacks on the hand, sending him to the lead, then rivered a boat when the board tripped sevens. That left Thanarattrakul on just ace-high and looking at a runner-up finish while Kornuth was holding his fourth bracelet.

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