$1K online event: Sparrow Cheung Goes Deep, Simeon Naydenov claims the title
In perhaps the most curious schedule twist in WSOP history, an online event was added to the mix last year, with only the final table phase of the event being played live. The field size this time around was a little low for a $1,000 buy in event, but the 1,247 players who did buy in helped the prize pol to reach $1,184,650. The field got all the way down to just 6 players over the course of day 1, such is the pace at which online poker is played.
As the real identities behind the usernames were discovered, it emerged that the big chip leader was none other than Bulgarian pro, Simeon Naydenov. He already owns a WSOP bracelet, and carried a lead of around two and a half to one over his nearest challenger on the chip counts, going into the final table. Beginning the final table with just over 1.1 million chips to Naydenov’s 6.2 million, Park Yu “Sparrow” Cheung always had a mountain to climb if he was to take the bracelet in this event, and the Asian poker world watched on expectantly as he set himself to the task. Sadly for Sparrow and his watching fans, his stay at the final table was short-lived (6th place), as he got his chips in as a huge favourite preflop, only to see his opponent spike a two outer on the river.
Having started the final table with a comfortable lead, Naydenov went on to win the event, taking home $210,279 for his efforts.
The $10,000 Ladies event: Ladies of Asia flying high
With the recent bracelet won by Chinese player Yue Du, it is clear that the men have been doing a great job of representing Asia at the WSOP, but as the $10K Ladies event has shown us this week, the female players are just as strong. Asia has a rich history of producing top female players, with Celina Lin, Kitty Kuo, Vivian Im and Sixiao “Juicy” Li all being excellent examples of that fact.
The $10,000 Ladies event, which was discounted to $1,000 for all female players so as to prevent male entries, saw 819 players take part, generating a prize pool of $745,200. Widely regarded as the best female player in the world, it was no surprise to see Vanessa Selbst making a deep run in this one, although she did eventually fall in 23rd place. Japan’s Nayoung Kim hit the rail in 31st place, while her compatriot Yukiko Sumida fared even better, eventually falling in 11th. Once again, it was China outshining other Asian nations, as Yaxi Zhu finished in a very respectable 9th place. Courtney Kennedy from the USA went on to win the event for $149,108.
$1,000 NLH Event: Tony Dunst wins his first bracelet
WPT commentator and long-time WSOP participant Tony Dunst has had a special week here in Las Vegas, as he was finally able to win his first ever WSOP bracelet after ten years of playing the World Series. Dunst outlasted a field of 2,452 in the $1,000 NLH event, taking home $339,254 in prize money.