Dmitry Yurasov needed less time than Norman Chad’s first two marriages lasted to polish off his final table opponents in WSOP Event #42, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed.
Shall we continue our cruel comparisons? Why not: it was also faster than the long-time ESPN poker announcer took to be felted in another tournament on Friday (more on this later).
Yurasov’s victory, good for $775,923 and his first career World Series of Poker bracelet, is currently under investigation for possible Russian hacking. (Okay, maybe that was fake news). But the champion who hails from the land of Vladimir Putin ran so hot that his opponents might have felt the deck was rigged in his favor. The win took his lifetime live tournament earnings past the $2 million mark.
Jokes aside, Yurasov ran like a god, but he also played championship-level poker, which is an unbeatable combination. It took him just 58 hands to dust off the other five players at the final table.
The champion kept hitting dream card after dream card. Those only pay off, of course, if your opponent also hits their dream card, which turns into a nightmare when they call your better hand. For example, against Artem Metalidi, he turned a full house, and the same card gave his opponent a flush.
Metalidi busted in 4th place ($204,128). Jacob Powers was next to go out, after being eliminated by Yurasov on a sweet suck-out.
Powers, after losing a tough beat to eventual runner-up Tommy Chan, went from happy-go-lucky to visibly flustered. Still, it wasn’t a bad day for the Utahan: he won $308,783, which is about $304,000 more than his previous career tournament winnings.
When heads-up play began, Yurasov had a comfortable lead. Ten hands later, he picked up pocket aces against Chan’s flopped top-pair. The players got it all-in on the turn and the best hand held up for Dmitri. When your pocket rockets don’t get cracked, you know it’s your day.
Should Have Stayed in Bed (or the Booth)
Norman Chad would have lasted longer on Day Two in Event #44, $3,000 HORSE had he stayed home and let his stack get blinded off.
The “couch slouch” was “whamboozled” after just one hour and seven minutes on Friday. He’s now cashed in fewer than ten percent of the WSOP events he’s entered in his lifetime. Maybe he should take up a marriage counseling career. Wait, don’t do that. Just stay in the broadcast booth, Norman, unless Nick Schulman decides he wants to take your job.
“You trying to put a darker cloud over me, son?” he asked me, when I jokingly suggested Schulman might soon be after his ESPN gig following his bust out. We love you, Norm, we really do. We just can’t resist sometimes.
Chad was eliminated, but many familiar faces advanced to Day Three, including Mike Matusow. The Mouth will need to run it up on Saturday if he expects to catch up to chip leader Tom Koral, though. Koral has 770,000 chips against Matusow’s 212,000. There are 18 players remaining, with $256,226 up top.
Klein Goes Back-to-Back
PLO/mix games seem to be a strong suit for Loren Klein. The Colorado native, who now lives in Reno, took down Event #41, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha for $231,483. The bracelet was his second in as many years. In 2016, he won a $1,500 mixed hold’em/PLO tournament and was runner-up in a $10,000 PLO event in the same week.
Poker Hall of Famer T.J. Cloutier had a big stack heading into Day Three, but was unable to win his seventh career bracelet. The 77-year-old poker legend finished in 10th place ($12,611). Another six-time WSOP champion, Jeff Lisandro, went out in 16th place ($7,995).
Sanchez Tops $5K Hold’em Field
With 49 players left in Event #45, $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, Diego Sanchez of Mexico holds the chip lead. Others advancing to Day Two include Max Silver, Frank Kassela, and recent bracelet winner Chris Moorman.
This tournament has 30-minute blind levels, so the field thins quickly and plays fast. There were 505 entries and less than ten percent of the field advanced to Saturday’s Day Two. Tony Dunst (58th), Jonathan Duhamel (74th), and Darren Elias (75th) all busted on Friday, but finished in the money.
Jonathan Little is a poker trainer, poker champion, and author. On Saturday, he will try to add another title to his already impressive resume, which includes $6.5 million in live tournament winnings.
Little is one of 12 remaining in Event #43, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout. The winner will receive $257,764.
Monster Weekend Ahead
Day Two of Event #46, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better begins at 2 pm PT on Saturday. There were 830 entries on Friday and the day concluded with 151 remaining. Marcos Fernandez bagged the largest stack. The winner after three days of play will earn $223,339.
Event #47, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack, kicks off at 10 am with the first of two Day One starting flights. Players begin with 15,000 chips, which is double the normal starting stack for a $1,500 buy-in WSOP event. Last year’s tournament drew 6,927 entries, about 2,000 more than the 2016 Main Event pulled in.
Also on Saturday is the start of Event #48, $10,000 Seven Cards Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, at 3 pm. Making it another busy weekend at the Rio in Las Vegas for WSOP 2017.