Charania Completes Poker’s Triple Crown, Silver Wins First Gold, and Bolek Is Ultimate Bounty Hunter

On the penultimate day of June, Day 30 of the 2017 World Series of Poker, three players won bracelets. Mohsin Charania’s victory proved extra special, as it capped off one of poker’s most difficult feats.

Mohsin Charania winning WSOP Event #52

Chicago’s Mohsin Charania (center) sweats a hand from the rail in a thrilling heads-up duel against Carey Katz that lasted into the WSOP wee hours. (Image: Jamie Thomson / PokerPhotoArchive.com)

Three Crowns for Charania

Coming into the 2017 WSOP, Chicago’s Mohsin Charania had more than $5.2 million in lifetime earnings. But he was still on the list of “Best Without a Bracelet.” That all changed Thursday night when he came out on top of Event #52, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, beating a 1,580-player field to win $364,438 and his first piece of WSOP-branded hardware.

By doing so, Charania completed poker’s famed Triple Crown, which means winning EPT, WPT, and WSOP titles. In 2012, Charania won the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo for $1,782,343, and in December 2014 he took down the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1,177,890.

Charania became only the sixth person in history to achieve such a feat, joining Gavin Griffin, Roland De Wolfe, Jake Cody, Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospelier, and David Kitai.

“This is pretty damn awesome,” said Charania. “It was kind of just a smooth sailing final table, and that happens when you are getting good cards and running good.”

Final Table Results
1 Mohsin Charania (Chicago, IL) $364,438
2 Cary Katz (Las Vegas, NV) $225,181
3 Brandon Ageloff (Delray Beach, FL) $161,844
4 Andy Frankenberger (New York, NY) $117,611
5 Mikhail Rudoy (Russia) $86,424
6 Samuel Phillips (Powell, OH) $64,226
7 Ian Steinman (Moutain View, CA) $48,276
8 Yanki Koppel (Sunnyvale, CA) $36,708
9 Milan Simko (Chrudim, Czech Republic) $28,239

Silver’s Breakthrough Win

Another longtime poker pro to ship his first bracelet on Thursday was Britain’s Max Silver, the creator of the popular SnapShove app. Silver bested 255 other players to win Event #53, $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, for $172,645. It was his first limit hold’em cash, and brought his lifetime earnings up over $1.3 million.

Silver began the final table as the chip leader and maintained it for nine hours. In the final hand of the tournament, which was hand #235 of the final table, Guowei Zhang limped the button holding the 8♥3♥ and then called a raise from Silver, who held the K♠10♦. On the 5♣8♣J♥ flop, Silver bet, Zhang raised, and Silver called to see the 4♣ turn.

Silver checked and then called when Zhang pretty much snap-shoved. Zhang got it in ahead, but the K♣ on the river paired Silver and gave him the title.

“Amazing,” Silver told WSOP officials after the win. “I’ve had several nice scores, but this, this is just amazing.”

Final Tables Results
1 Max Silver (London, UK) $172,645
2 Guowei Zhang (San Francisco, CA) $106,694
3 Mickey Craft (Elizabeth, WV) $69,789
4 Ayman Qutami (Redwood City, CA) $46,871
5 Lena Wang (Foster City, CA) $32,345
6 Georgios Kapalas (Athens, Greece) $22,952

Bolek Survives in Battle of Bounty Hunters

An impromptu Day 4 was needed to finish Event #50, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty, which originally began with 1,927 players. In the end, 28-year-old Florida poker pro Chris Bolek emerged victorious to capture a $266,646 first-place prize and his first gold bracelet.

“It feels really surreal,” Bolek told WSOP officials. “I came in pretty short to the final table, so I just wanted to give myself a shot to win. People talk about visualizing stuff a lot, so I tried to do that this morning just to get myself in the right mindset and then just hope I ran good. And it all kind of came together, perfectly”

Final Table Results
1 Chris Bolek (Boca Raton, FL) $266,646
2 Bryan Emory (Plantation, FL) $164,735
3 James Gilbert (Bensalem, PA) $119,479
4 Tobias Peters (Alkmaar, Netherlands) $87,516
5 Zhaoxing Wang (East Lansing, MI) $64,746
6 Govert Metaal (The Hague, Netherlands) $48,386
7 Thomas Lutz (Las Vegas, NV) $36,530
8 Richard Dubini (Rio Gallegos, Argentina) $27,865
9 Dan Sindelar (Las Vegas, NV) $21,477

Clements Leads PLO Championship

Event #54, $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship, began with a record 428 players and created a $4,023,200 prize pool, is down to the final 39 players with Scott Clements and his stack of $1.7 million leading the way.

Others in contention for the $938,732 top prize include Ben Lamb (1.09 million) and 2017 bracelt winners John Racener (987,000) and John Monnette (246,000). Among those to cash on Day 2 were Brandon Shack-Harris (45th for $17,420), Jeff Madsen (49th for $15,934), and Ola Amundsgard (57th for $14,930).

Seven Studs Remain in Event 55

Event #55, $1,500 Seven Card Stud, began with 298 runners and is down to the final seven. Chip leader Tsong Lin (791,000) is the favorite to capture the $96,907 first-place prize, but he faces some stiff competition from the likes of Yueqi Zhu (512,000), Cheryl Denzik (304,000), Alexander Freund (206,000), Daniel Mogavero (163,000), Tom Koral (147,000), and Todd Bui (113,000).

Some notable players to cash the event were Chris Tryba (8th for $8,726), Marcel Luske (20th for $3,142), and Dan Heimiller (29th for $2,745).

The final seven players will return at 2 pm PT on Friday to play down to a winner.

$5K NLH Kicks Off

One of two events to start on Thursday was Event #56, $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, which drew 623 players battling for their share of a $2,896,950 prize pool. The top 94 players will win a piece of it, with $618,285 reserved for the winner.

After ten levels of play, the field was whittled down to 248 players, with Jose “Nacho” Barbero topping the chip counts with 230,300. Others to find a bag were Juha Helppi (193,200), Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (148,900), and Jason Mercier (131,900).

Of course, not everyone was fortunate enough to survive the day. Shaun Deeb, Chris Ferguson, and 2009 WSOP champ Joe Cada were among those to bust on Day 1.

Tull Leads Hi-Lo Mix

The other tournament to begin on Thursday was Event #57, $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix, which drew 405 players and created a $911,250 prize pool. Of those, 61 will get paid with the winner taking home $215,902.

At the end of the day, 126 players remained with Larry Tull and his stack of 152,500 leading the way. Others who made it through were Josh Arieh (84,200), David Bach (64,000), and Matt Glantz (49,500). Those who fell on Day 1 were Ray Henson, Greg Raymer, and Max Pescatori.

June’s Last Two WSOP Events

On Friday, the last two events of the month will get underway. The first is Event #58, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, at 11 am PT.

Four hours later, at 3 pm PT, it’s Event #59, $2,500 Big Bet Mix. That three-day tournament features an eclectic mix of seven action games: no-limit hold’em, Big O, no-limit 2-7 lowball draw, pot-limit Omaha hi-lo 8 or better, PLO, no-limit five-card draw, and 2-7 pot-limit lowball triple draw.

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