“Angry” John Monnette Captures 3rd WSOP Bracelet, Millionaire Maker Almost Made, Big Scores Taking Shape

Day 14 of the 2017 World Series of Poker crowned yet another three-time bracelet winner. Meanwhile, the Millionaire Maker played down to its final 14, distance runners completed another leg of the Marathon, and the always-exciting and often painful $10K Razz Championship got underway. Just another summer day at the Rio, with millions of dollars on the line.

If anything, it’s starting to become apparent not just who’s having a good tournament, but who’s having a good Series.

John Monnette, winner of Event #22, $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship

Are you looking at me? WSOP trooper John Monnette gives an opponent the steely eye on his way to winning his third WSOP bracelet. (Image: Melissa Haereiti / PokerPhotoArchive.com)

Not so Angry Anymore

“Angry” John Monnette began Day 3 of Event #22, $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, as the chip leader, and from there went wire-to-wire en route to capturing $256,610 in first-place prize money and his third career WSOP gold bracelet.

It marked the 54th WSOP cash for Monnette, and his 15th final table appearance.

His previous bracelets came in 2011 in the $2,500 8-Game Mix in 2011 (for $278,144), and a year later in $5,000 Seven Card Stud (for $190,286).

“I had some good hands,” Monnette told WSOP officials after the win. “Those were some really tough players — Paul [Volpe], who won this event last year. And Darren, on my left, who is excellent at this game.”

Previously known for his temper, Monnette seems to have become more laid back in recent years, letting his cards speak more than his outbursts. Some friends credit his calmer demeanor to getting married, nearly two years ago to poker media fave Diana Cox. And what better way to keep the honeymoon going than by bringing home another gold bracelet?

Final Table Results
1 John Monnette (Palmdale, CA) $256,610
2 Per Hildebrand (Marsta, Sweden) $158,596
3 Darren Elias (Philadelphia, PA) $110,944
4 Xavier Kyablue (Hermosa Beach, CA) $79,016
5 James Chen (Taichung, Taiwan) $57,316
6 Mike Gorodinsky (St. Louis, MO) $42,357
7 Mike Leah (Toronto, Canada) $31,902
8 Paul Volpe (West Chester, PA) $24,498

Milly Maker Down to 14

Event #20, $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em, began with 7,761 entrants. At the start of Day 3, 136 players returned for action with millionaire dreams. By the end of the night, just 14  could sleep well knowing they were still in contention for the $1,221,407 first-place prize that comes with winning this bracelet.

Leading the pack is Ralph Perry with 7.77 million, and he is joined by players like Bryce Yockey (6.32 million), Jonathan Gray (5.16 million), and short-stacked Brian Altman (1.02 million).

That’s a lot of chips, but the pressure will be on when they return with blinds at 60k/120k/20k.

Among those to hit the rail on Day 3 were Farzad Bonyadi (15th for $68,022), last year’s November Niner Kenny Hallaert (17th for $53,962), Minnesota’s Aaron Johnson (24th for $43,123), and MSPT Season 7 Player of the Year Rich Alsup (32nd for $34,718).

The final 14 players will battle down to a winner on Wednesday.

WSOP Marathon Down to 268

Ten-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Maurice Hawkins is the chip leader of Event #23, The Marathon $2,620 No-Limit Hold’em.

This purposely slow long-distance slog began with 1,759 runners and is down to 268.

Hawkins will return with 920,000 chips and his eye on a $690,469 top prize.

Day 2 saw 806 players return from the night before, but because registration was open up until the start of play, 113 more joined them. That brought the total field up to 1,759 players and created a prize pool of $4,147,722. That will be distributed to the top 264 players with a min-cash being worth $3,934.

Though there’s still a long way to go, one particular Marathon runner of note to keep an eye on is Adrian Mateos (599,500), who won his third gold bracelet less than a week ago. Not only is he clearly on his game,  but last year he won the Summer Solstice event, a protracted-levels event similar to The Marathon.

Play resumes at Noon PT on Wednesday.

Nancy Nguyen Leads Limit Hold’em

Event #24, $1,500 Limit Hold’em, is down to its final 15 with Nancy Nguyen (574,000) out in front. She faces a formidable field still nipping at her heels. They include Ray Henson (373,000), Barry Greenstein (316,000), and Christopher Chung (175,000), just to name a few.

All are competing for a $177,985 first-place prize.

Among those to fall in the money on Tuesday were Ian Johns (18th for $5,849), Philip Sternheimer (35th for $4,074), Ronnie Bardah (63rd for $2,765), and John Racener (66th for $2,537), who was just a day removed from winning his first gold bracelet.

PLO Makes the Money

One of two tournaments starting on Tuesday was Event #25, $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, which drew 1,058 players to create a $952,200 prize pool. The top 158 got paid.

Some players to walk away with cash before the evening bag-and-tag were Michael Sanders (158th for $1,501), Aaron Steury (129th for $1,501), and Jesse Mull (103rd for $1,579).

Leading the 102 survivors with 210,800 is HPT champ Casey Carroll. His next closest competitor is Jia Mai with 168,000. Others still alive for the $179,126 top prize are Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (153,800), Tom Midena (95,600), Jason Wheeler (92,000), and 2014 WSOP APAC champ Scott Davies (45,900), who is less than a week removed from finishing fourth in Event #18, $565 Pot-Limit Omaha, for $76,817.

Hellmuth & Negreanu Bust $10K Razz

Event #26, $10,000 Razz Championship, drew 97 players and created a $911,800 prize pool. After 10 levels of play, only 38 remained in contention for a $265,138 first-place prize, including several Razz Championship vets.

Leading the pack with 364,500 is three-time bracelet winner Frank Kassela. The only other player over the 300K mark is Don Zewin (303,000), who finished runner-up to Phil Hellmuth in this event a few years back.

Others who found a bag were Anthony Zinno (254,000), Mike Watson (190,000), and Erik Seidel (67,500). Among the players to fall were Justin Bonomo, Jason Mercier, Phil Hellmuth, and Daniel Negreanu.

Only the top 15 players will get paid, with a min-cash being worth $15,000.

6-Max, Lowball on Deck

Two new events kick off on Wednesday. The first is Event #27, $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, at 11 am PT. The other, which will begin four hours later at 3 pm PT, is Event #28, $1,5000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw.

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