“Grumpy” Finds WSOP Redemption, Milly Maker Gets Deeper in the Money, and Poker Pushes on

The thirteenth day of the 2017 World Series of Poker awarded just a single bracelet, but it came after a spirited battle between two well-liked players punching for their day in the victory spotlight. Meanwhile, the Millionaire Maker wrapped up its second day, making this huge-field event with a big payday at the end a more tangible reality for 136 remaining players.

The summer grind is in full gear. No one has succumbed to Legionnaires’ disease, and the WSOP is finding its 2017 class of players who are in it for a hearty score.

Ron Ware, $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed

Las Vegas grinder Ron “Grumpy” Ware didn’t exactly blend in with the background as he wielded chips to victory in the $1,500 6-Handed 8-Game Mix. (Image: Drew Amato / PokerPhotoArchive.com)

Mixed Bag of Success for Ware

Last year, Las Vegas local Ron “Grumpy” Rare finish third in the $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed tournament. Rare has more than $500,000 in career WSOP winnings, but up to that point, it was the closest he had ever gotten to winning a bracelet.

On Monday night, he was back at the final table, and ultimately finished atop a 472-player field to take home the gold hardware and win a $145,577 first-place prize.

Ware, a WSOP Circuit ring winner in 2009, held a significant chip lead at the final table but had to battle Mike Ross, aka “East Coast Rossy,” in heads-up play. Both men had sizeable rails with Ross supported by Midwest players like David Gutfreund, Brandon Shack-Harris, and the Massey Brothers, while Ware was being cheered on by fellow Las Vegas grinders like Tim Duckworth and Kevin Gerhart.

“I had him pretty much out there, three or four times, and he dug his way back each time,” Ware said to WSOP officials in his tournament exit interview. “I just had to stay patient and wait for the big hand that worked out for me.”

The final hand came in no-limit hold’em, with Ross raising to 105,000 holding Q♣10♥ and Ware defending with K♣6♣. The flop came 7♥K♥J♥. Ross bet 175,000. Ware called. The dealer burned and turned the 3♣. Ross checked, and Ware said, “all in.”

Ross called off with his big draw but bricked the river when the J♦ peeled off the deck. Ross took home $89,948 for second place, while Ware enjoyed the taste of previously elusive success.

Final Table Results
1 Ron Ware (Las Vegas) $145,577
2 Mike Ross (Chicago, IL) $89,948
3 Fabrice Soulier (Paris, France) $58,968
4 Sachin Bhargava (San Jose, CA) $39,545
5 Christopher Vitch (Phoenix, AZ) $27,142
6 Ryan Himes (Surprise, AZ) $19,077

WSOP Milly Maker Down to 136

What began with a hefty 7,761 players is now down to the final 136, each guaranteed an $8,054 payday. The man in the lead in a the race for a bracelet and $1,221,407 for the win is Senovio Ramirez, who bagged 1.57 million at the end of the tournament’s second day on Monday.

Others in the six-figure club in Event # 20, 1,500 No-Limit-Hold’em Millionaire Maker, are Lucas Blanco (1.34 million), Daniel Lee (1.20 million), Scott Baumstein (1.19 million), and Michael Falcon Ravn (1.14 million) to round out the top five.

They will be joined by the likes of Mark Dube (951,000), Jeremy Dresch (610,000), 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada (508,000), and mixed game aficionado Brian Rast (357,000) when Day 3 action begins at 11 am on Tuesday.

Among the notables to finish in the money on Day 2 were Humberto Brenes (180th for $6,948), David “The Dragon” Pham (225th for $6,943), and Antonio Esfandiari (736th for $2,861).

Lowball Reaches Final Table

Event #22, $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, began with 92 entries to create an $864,800 prize pool, and is down to the final table of eight. John Monnette holds a sizeable chip lead with 1.05 million, well ahead of Darren Elias, his next closest competitor with 637,500.

Blinds will be at 6,000/12,000/3,000 when play resumes at 3 pm PT on Tuesday.

Others still contending for the $256,610 first-place prize are Mike Leah (618,500), Mike Gorodinsky (591,000), Xavier Kyablue (484,500), Per Hildebrand (474,500), James Chen (428,000), and Paul Volpe (315,000).

Finishing in the money on Day 2 were Dario Sammartino (9th for $19,187), Mike Watson (11th for $19,187), and Robert Mizrachi (14th for $15,333).

First Leg of Marathon Complete

The first day of Event #23, The Marathon $2,620 No-Limit Hold’em, drew 1,647 players. After playing just five of the planned six 100-minute levels, less than half the field (806 to be exact) bagged chips. Leading the way when this intentionally slow-moving event continues will be Igor Yaroshevskyy, with 292,600 chips. He’ll be joined by 10-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Maurice Hawkins (263,000), Matt Stout (98,000), and Charlie Carrel (43,700).

Among those to fall on the first day were Jennifer Tilly, 2006 WSOP Main Event champ Jamie Gold, Kelly Minkin, Ryan Laplante, and 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson.

Day 2 of a scheduled five days of action will start at noon PT on Tuesday.

Reed Leads Limit Hold’em

Once upon a time, limit hold’em was the bread and butter of the poker universe, and generated some of the biggest prize pools at the WSOP. Event #24, $1,500 Limit Hold’em,  carried with it that classic feel, from a day before the game had gotten as big as it stood to be.

What began with 616 players whittled down to 132 after 10 levels of play. Ninety-three will finish in the money, awarded their share of a $831,600 prize pool, with the eventual winner taking home $177,985.

Michael Reed and Jeff Thompson were the only two players to cross the six-figure mark in chips, with 111,600 and 108,700, respectively. Others who found a bag were Ray Henson (56,400), Barry Greenstein (54,400), and Terrence Chan (43,400).

Among those bow out on Day 1 were Joe McKeehen, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and actor and political provocateur James Woods. (Read his exclusive interview with CardsChat here.)

More PLO and Championship Razz

Tuesday marks the kick off of two other tournaments. At 11 am PT, Event #25, $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, will get underway, and then four hours later, at 3 pm PT, the next “Championship” tournament, Event #26, $10,000 Razz, will let the low cards fly.

Of course, we’ll bring you a recap of those events and more tomorrow, so be sure to check back then.

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