2021 WSOP: Gold bracelets for Connor Drinan, Tyler Cornell, Martin Zamani, Mark Herm; Asian pros Mike Takayama, Kosei Ichinose, Alex Lee, Naoya Kihara hit the felt

Players continue to pour into the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino for the 52nd World Series of Poker festival. Its fifty-four day run got underway on September 30 and will play through November 23. Grabbing the spotlight were the two newest bracelet winners Connor Drinan and Tyler Cornell. For Drinan, it was his career second bracelet, and for Cornell, it was a dream come true maiden victory along with a fat purse. The series also awarded two other winners, Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani and Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm, both players locking up their second career bracelets at online platform

wsop covid update
Photo Credit – WSOP

Another event running simultaneously was Event #4: $500 The Reunion which drew a massive 12,975 entries to smash the $5M guarantee. Philippine player/ WSOP bracelet winner Mike Takayama bagged the chip lead on Day 1C and cashed out on Day 2. Among the other Asian players seen at the felt were Kosei Ichinose, Alex Lee, and Naoya Kihara. Ichinose cashed out in 19th place at Event #7: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed while Naoya Kihara is among the remaining 11 players. We will have those stories for you once the events complete. 

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2021 WSOP Tally

Event #1 – #7 prize pool: US$ 12,209,350
Online Event #1 – #2 prize pool: US$ 1,260,150
Entries: 14,787
Online entries: 898
Largest prize pool: Event #7: $500 The Reunion $5M GTD – US$ 5,449,500
Largest payout: Tyler Cornell – US$ 833,289
First time bracelet winners: 3 (live)

Second career bracelet won

Jeremy Ausmus – Event #3: $1K Covid-19 Charity Relief
Connor Drinan – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – Online #1: $5,300 NLH Freezeout
Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm – Online #2: $500 NL Hold’em BIG 500

*Information collected from, PokerNews live updates, and The Hendon Mob.  

Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-lo 8 or Better – CONNOR DRINAN –  US$ 163,252

Connor Drinan, Photo Credit – WSOP

The three day Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-lo 8 or Better attracted 607 hopefuls for a prize pool of US$ 910,500. The top 92 places got paid. Among them were several bracelet winners which included Connor Drinan who outshined for his second gold bracelet and US$ 163,252. Last year, Drinan won the WSOP Online [International] $10K Super MILLION$ for his first ever gold bracelet and a score of over US$ 1.4 Million. It was the second seven figure payout of his career. With his recent win, Drinan now has nearly US$ 2.9 Million in total WSOP winnings. 

Aside from his impressive series runs, Drinan also has over US$ 10 Million in live tournament cashes collected from around the world. Among his biggest scores was ~US$ 957,643 for winning the 2016 EPT Barcelona High Roller 8-Handed. The year prior, he shipped a massive career high US$ 3,225,000 – his first ever seven figure payout – at the $500K Super High Roller Bowl for 3rd place. 

Looking back at Drinan’s latest accomplishment, he entered the final day as chip leader and held the same spot at the final table kick off. Leading up to three handed, he eliminated Yehuda Buchalter (10th), Curtis Phelps (8th), and Sandy Sanchez (4th), he also split a pot with Travis Pearson that eliminated Micah Brooks (5th). Quadruple bracelet winner Robert Mizrachi fell to Drinan in 3rd place to bring about heads up against Pearson. It was a hard fought battle for the title with Pearson bridging the gap and overtaking Drinan, but once Drinan recovered, he went on to win it for his first ever WSOP live event title. Among the Asia Pacific players cashing in were Japan’s Itsuko Yoroi (43rd) and Australia’s Gary Benson (85th).

Date: October 1 to 3
Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 607
Prize pool: US$ 910,500
ITM: 92 places

Final table payouts

1st Connor Drinan – USA – US$ 163,252
2nd Travis Pearson – USA – US$ 100,901
3rd Robert Mizrachi – USA – US$ 71,602
4th Sandy Sanchez – USA – US$ 51,590
5th Micah Brooks – USA – US$ 37,750
6th Carl Lijewski – USA – US$ 28,059
7th Kris Kwiatkowski – USA – US$ 21,192
8th Curtis Phelps – USA – US$ 16,266
9th Michael Moed – USA – US$ 12,693
10th Yehuda Buchalter – USA – US$ 10,072

Event #6: $25,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed – TYLER CORNELL – US$ 833,289

Tyler Cornell, Photo Credit – WSOP

Dream come true for Tyler Cornell who finally landed his first gold bracelet at Event #6: $25,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed. Along with the coveted merchandise, Cornell pocketed a mighty payout of US$ 833,289. Based on his THM stats, this was his first ever live tournament win and his largest career score. His total earnings jumped over US$ 2 Million. Interviewed by PokerNews, Cornell expressed, 

“It feels amazing, I’ve been trying to do this for a long time and finally got a win.”

Once again the big buy in event pulled in a hardcore lineup of 135 studs for a hefty prize pool of US$ 3,189,375. Among those contributing to the pot but walking away empty handed were WSOP decorated players Erik Seidel, Shaun Deeb, Elio Fox, Ben Yu, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Joe McKeehen, James Chen, Nick Petrangelo, and Chance Kornuth who was bumped hard on the bubble by triple bracelet winner Adrian Mateos

Once the money flowed, bust outs included WPT multi champion Darren Elias in 12th place and Jason Koon in 9th place. Koon was on his series second final table (the first was at Online Event #1). Cornell eliminated Adam Hendrix (8th), Paul Newey (7th), and Mohammad Abedi-Arani (6th) to close out  Day 2 as chip leader. 

On the final day, Jaffe cleaned out Italian online pro Mustapha Kanit in 5th place to jump out in front. However, it didn’t last. Cornell, Mateos, and Michael Liang were in hot pursuit and got the best of him. Jaffe lost a series of pots that sent his stack plunging out in 4th place. Down to three, Mateos and Liang see-sawed between 2nd and 3rd rank while Cornell gobbled up chips. Mateos fell to Cornell in 3rd place with Ah9c losing to 9s9d. At  heads up, Cornell had a commanding 15:1 advantage which Liang could not overcome. 

Date: October 2 to 4
Buy in: US$ 25,000
Entries: 135
Prize pool: US$ 3,189,375
ITM: 21 places

Final table payouts

1st Tyler Cornell – USA – US$ 833,289
2nd Michael Liang – USA – US$ 515,014
3rd Adrian Mateos – Spain – US$ 381,870
4th Jonathan Jaffe – USA – US$ 286,202
5th Mustapha Kanit – Italy – US$ 216,842
6th Mohammad Abedi-Arani – USA – US$ 166,102
7th Paul Newey – UK – US$ 128,654
8th Adam Hendrix – USA – US$ 100,773
9th Jason Koon – USA – US$ 79,834 Online Bracelet winners

Screen Shot 2021 10 06 at 4.38.06 AM
Photo Credit – WSOP

In addition to the 88 bracelet schedule, another 11 bracelets can be won via online platform Players geolocated in Nevada and New Jersey have access to ten of the events and one event is exclusively for players in Pennsylvania. Two online bracelets have already been claimed by Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani and Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm. 

Online #1: $5,300 NL Hold’em Freezeout – MARTIN “BathroomLine” ZAMANI – US$ 210,600

Martin Zamani, Photo Credit – WSOP

This past summer, Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani won the WSOP Online [Domestic] PLO Crazy Eights event for his first ever gold bracelet. Fast forward a couple of months, Zamani was once again the last man standing, this time at Online Event #1: $5,300 NL Hold’em Freezeout, to lock up his second gold bracelet in the same year. Zamani outlasted a field of 156 players, defeating bracelet winner Ankush “Rickrosstheb” Mandavia at heads up. For his victory, he pocketed US$ 210,600 to inch closer to a million dollars in WSOP total winnings. 

Also at the final table were decorated pros Jason “EddieVedder” Koon and Alex “OrcinusOrca” Foxen, and double bracelet winner Calvin “projector52” Anderson who finished 4th. 

Date: October 4
Buy in: US$ 5,300
Players: 156
Prize pool: US$ 780,000
ITM: 30 places

Final table payouts 

1st Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – USA – US$ 210,600
2nd Ankush “Rickrosstheb” Mandavia – USA – US$ 122,850
3rd Brian “JackBogle” Altman – USA – US$ 70,200
4th Calvin “projector52” Anderson – USA – US$ 54,600
5th Daniel “spicoli24” Sepiol – USA – US$ 46,800
6th Jason “EddieVedder” Koon – USA – US$ 39,000
7th Joe “swansong79” Kuether – USA – US$ 29,640
8th Alex “OrcinusOrca” Foxen – USA – US$ 18,720

Online #2: $500 No Limit Hold’em BIG 500 – MARK “NJ_AcesmarkA”  HERM – US$ 89,356

Screen Shot 2021 10 15 at 3.50.34 PM
Mark Herm, Photo Credit: / Joe Giron

At Online #2: $500 No Limit Hold’em BIG 500, Mark Herm outlasted the 1,067 entry field to lock up his second career bracelet within the past two months. Playing under username “NJ_AcesmarkA”, Herm earned his first gold bracelet this summer at the inaugural WSOP Online 2021 Pennsylvania Online Bracelet Series after winning the NLH Keystone Kickoff event for US$ 48,420. He was the first player to be awarded a bracelet in that state. Herm’s latest bracelet win was for a much larger US$ 89,536, boosting his total WSOP earnings to over US$ 968K. His largest series score was for US$ 224,805 for placing 3rd at the 2016 $3,000 NLH 6-Handed. 

Date: October 4
Buy in: US$ 500
Entries: 1,067
Prize pool: US$ 480,150
ITM: 167 places

Final table payouts

1st Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm – USA – US$ 89,356
2nd Steven “Skullkid” Rivero – USA – US$ 55,217
3rd Matthew “DrDonkitoff” Zazain – USA – US$ 39,084
4th Karina “SwaggyK” Jett – USA – US$ 28,041
5th Jeremy “Thekid101” Pekarek – USA – US$ 20,358
6th Jesse “Patient0” Yaginuma – USA – US$ 14,981
7th Melissa “LuckMgmt” Bryne – USA – US$ 11,187
8th Giovanni “John7012” Balistreri – USA – US$ 8,451
9th Stephanie “BDub0927” Baker – USA – US$ 6,482

2021 WSOP Winners

Event #1: James Barnett – USA -Casino Employees – US$ 39,013
Event #2: Jesse Klein – USA – $25K H.O.R.S.E. US$ 552,182
Event #3: Jeremy Ausmus – USA -$1K Covid-19 Charity Relief – US$ 48,687
Event #5: Connor Drinan – USA -$1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – US$ 163,252
Event #6: Tyler Cornell – USA -$25K HR NL Hold’em 8-Handed – US$ 833,289

Online #1`: Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – USA – $5,300 NLH Freezeout – US$ 210,600
Online #2: Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA”  Herm – USA – $500 NLH BIG 500 – US$ 89,356

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you updates and recaps throughout the series. 

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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