2021 WSOP Halftime Highlights: Phil Hellmuth on fire; Three victories for Asia; Two golds for Zinno; Addamo and Lazrus win a million; Friedman makes history

With 27 days of games in the books, the 52nd annual World Series of Poker has reached its halfway point. Before cards went flying on September 30, it was uncertain if the prestigious event would draw a big crowd, especially with mandatory vaccination and travel restrictions imposed on select international travelers. However, that concern was quickly quashed as players poured in daily and fields on a consistent rise. At the time of writing, 47 out of 88 bracelets have been won at festival venue Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino, and another 5 via online platform WSOP.com. In cumulative prize pools, over US$ 75 Million has been awarded. Here’s a look at some of the highlights, stats, and bracelet winners from the first half. 

Phil Hellmuth leads POY race and most final tables

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Phil Hellmuth, Photo Credit – WSOP

Anyone following the series will agree that Phil Hellmuth’s run is considerably the most impressive and most dramatic. The all-time bracelet leader, boasting 15 wins prior to this series, cashed at six events, five of which were final table finishes and one victory at Event #31: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw for his 16th career bracelet. This was Hellmuth’s first ever bracelet win under this variant. Three days later, the hot running Hellmuth had gold #17 at his fingertips but was halted in second place by Adam Friedman at the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship. Hellmuth is currently the 2021 WSOP Player of the Year race leader and also holds the most final table appearances. Listed below are his series achievements:

6th – Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E
18th – Event #7: Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed
5th – Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
4th – Event #19: #10,000 Seven Card Stud
1st – Event #31: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
2nd – Event #36: $10K Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship

Three-peat Adam Friedman makes history

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Adam Friedman, Photo Credit – WSOP

Adam Friedman became the first player in series history to achieve a three-peat in the same event. The 2x reigning champion of the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship event won it in back-to-back years of 2018 and 2019, and set out for his third consecutive. After three days of play, he successfully defended his title. Friedman outlasted a field of 93 entries, defeating Phil Hellmuth at heads up. 

2021 – $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship – 1st of 93 entries
2019 – $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship – 1st of 122 entries
2018 – $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship – 1st of 111 entries

Anthony Zinno wins two events

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Anthony Zinno, Photo Credit – WSOP

Out of the 47 bracelets that have already been claimed, two of those went to Anthony Zinno for his victories at Event #19: $1,500 Seven Card Stud and Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. At this time, Zinno is the only player to have accomplished this difficult task. He defeated Taiwan’s James Chen at heads up of the stud event and Randy Ohel at heads up of the mixed event. These wins were career bracelets #3 and #4 for Zinno. To date, he has cashed at six events in this series amounting to US$ 434K. He is currently second in the WSOP POY race. Other players nearly joining Zinno in this accomplishment were Connor Drinan and Ryan Leng. Both players have one win and one runner up finish. In fact, both faced off at heads up of Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed. 

Anthony Zinno
1st – Event #19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship
1st – Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.

Connor Drinan
1st – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
2nd – Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed

Ryan Leng
1st – Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed
2nd – Event #30: $1,500 MONSTER STACK  No Limit Hold’em

Three victories for Asia

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Carlos Chang, Photo Credit – WSOP

Players from all over Asia have been lighting up the felt with three capturing first time bracelets. Two players from Taiwan were first to lock it up. On the virtual platform WSOP.com, Pete Chen reigned over 1,023 entries at Online #3: $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack, and on the live front, Carlos Chang outlasted 895 players at Event #41: $2,500 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em. Chang also banked a career high score of US$ 364,589. Following these two wins was Japanese player Kazuki “hyahhoo3” Ikeuchi who became the first from his country to bring it home in this series. Ikeuchi overcame 854 entries at Online #5: $1,000 NL Hold’em Championship. There have also been very close calls by James Chen and Kosei Ichinose. Both players fell short by one spot at their respective events. 

Pete Chen – Taiwan – Online Event #3: $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack
Carlos Chang – Taiwan – Event #41: $2,500 Freezeout NL Hold’em
Kazuki “hyahhoo3” Ikeuchi – Japan – Online Event #5: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship

Millionaire men: Michael Addamo and Daniel Lazrus

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Michael Addamo, Photo Credit – WSOP

While bracelets draw players to the series, the money is of course just as highly desired. Within the past four weeks, the largest payouts were claimed by Daniel Lazrus and Australian crusher Michael Addamo. Lazrus emerged victorious at the $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER NL Hold’em event to haul in the US$ 1,000,000 guaranteed first prize. This was Lazrus’ second bracelet win with his first at this year’s WSOP Online [USA] NL Hold’em High Roller Championship. 

Ten days later, Addamo came out swinging at the $50,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed, topping one of the toughest fields of the series. For his victory, he banked US$ 1,132,968, making him the highest event earner. The win comes just one month after he shipped three high roller events at the PokerGO Tour for over US$ 5.2 Million. This was Addamo’s third career bracelet with the first two claimed in 2018 at THE MARATHON $2,620 No Limit Hold’em and WSOP Europe € 25,500 Super High Roller Series. 

Jake Schwartz with ten cashes and two near victories

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Jake Schwartz, Photo Credit – WSOP

One other player worthy of our list is Jake Schwartz who is on Phil Hellmuth’s tail with four final tables reached. Schwartz has cashed in 10 events, which includes one runner up finish that had he won, would have given him his maiden gold bracelet. 

3rd – Event #20: $1,000 Flip & Go NL Hold’em
2nd – Event #31: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
3rd – Event #36: $10K Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship
7th – Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship

Bracelet breakdown

USA – 41
Canada, Israel, Taiwan – 2
Lithuania,  Czech Republic, Australia, Japan, France – 1

Current Leaderboard standings

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2021 WSOP stats

Event #1 – #47 prize pool: US$ 72,636,887
Online Event #1 – #5 prize pool: US$ 2,934,270
Entries: 57,627
Online entries: 3,070
Largest prize pool: Event #17: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER – US$ 7,110,210
Largest field: Event #4: $500 THE REUNION – 12,973 entries
Smallest field: $25K Heads up NLH Championship – 57 entries
First time bracelet winners: 27 (live) / 3 (online)
Multiple final tables: 30 players
Most final tables: Phil Hellmuth – 5

2021 WSOP Winners

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Image courtesy of pokerGO.com

Event #1: James Barnett – USA – Casino Employees – US$ 39,013
Event #2: Jesse Klein – USA – $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. – US$ 552,182
Event #3: Jeremy Ausmus – USA – $1,000 Covid-19 Charity Relief – US$ 48,687
Event #4: Long Ma – USA – $500 The Reunion 5M GTD – US$ 514,604
Event #5: Connor Drinan – USA – $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – US$ 163,252
Event #6: Tyler Cornell – USA – $25,000 HR NL Hold’em 8-Handed – US$ 833,289
Event #7: Jaswinder “Jesse” Lally – Canada – $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed – US$ 97,915
Event #8: Zhi Wu – USA – $600 NL Hold’em Deepstack – US$ 281,406
Event #9: Ari Engel – Canada – $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – US$ 317,076
Event #10: Michael Perrone – USA – $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty NLH Freezeout – US$ 152,173
Event #11: Jason Koon – USA – $25,000 Heads-Up NL Hold’em Championship – US$ 243,981
Event #12: Yuval Bronshtein – Israel – $1,500 Limit Hold’em – US$ 124,374
Event #13: Harvey Mathews – USA – $3,000 Freezeout NL Hold’em – US$ 371,914
Event #14: Rafael Lebron – USA – $1,500 Seven Card Stud – US$ 82,262
Event #15: Bradley Jansen – USA – $1,500 6-Handed NL Hold’em – US$ 313,403
Event #16: John Monnette – USA – $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship – US$ 245,680
Event #17: Daniel Larzrus – USA – $1,500 Millionaire Maker NL Hold’em – US$ 1,000,000
Event #18: Vladimir Peck – USA – $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball – US$ 134,390
Event #19: Anthony Zinno – USA – US$ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship – US$ 182,872
Event #20: Dejuante Alexander – USA – $1,000 Flip & Go NL Hold’em – US$ 180,665
Event #21: Dylan Linde – USA – $1,500 Mixed PLO / Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Big O – US$
170,269
Event #22: Lara Eisenberg – USA – $1,000 Ladies NLH Championship – US$ 115,694
Event #23: Ryan Leng – USA – $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed – US$ 137,969
Event #24: Michael Prendergast – USA – $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack 8-Handed – US$ 127,348
Event #25: Scott Ball – USA – $5,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em – US$ 562,667
Event #26: Dalibor Dula – Czech Republic – $1,000 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em – US$ 199,227
Event #27: Anthony Zinno – USA – $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. – US$ 160,636
Event #28: Dylan Weisman – USA – $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha – US$ 166,461
Event #29: Chance Kornuth – USA – $10,000 Short Deck NL Hold’em – US$ 194,670
Event #30: Michael Noori – USA – $1,500 MONSTER STACK  No Limit Hold’em – US$ 610,347
Event #31: Phil Hellmuth – USA – $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw – US$ 84,951
Event #32: Jim Collopy – USA – $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. – US$ 173,823
Event #33: Ran Koller – Israel – $800 8-Handed NL Hold’em Deepstack – US$ 269,478
Event #34: David “Bakes” Baker – USA – $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw – US$ 87,837
Event #35: Anthony Koutsos – USA – $500 Freezeout NL Hold’em – US$ 167,272
Event #36: Adam Friedman – USA – $10K Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship
Event #37: Karolis Sereika – Lithuania – $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty NL Hold’em – US$ 195,310
Event #38: Michael Addamo – Australia – $50,000 High Roller NLH 8-Handed – US$ 1,132,968
Event #39: Josh Arieh – USA – $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed – US$ 204,766
Event #40: Kevin Gerhart – USA – $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship – US$ 361,124
Event #41: Carlos Chang – Taiwan – $2,500 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em – US$ 364,589
Event #42: Bradley Ruben – USA – $1,500 Razz – US$ 99,188
Event #43: Anthony Denove – USA – $1,000 DOUBLE STACK  NL Hold’em – US$ 446,983
Event #44: Ryan Hansen – USA – $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em – US$ 109,692
Event #45: Tommy Le – USA – $10,000 PLO 8-Handed Championship – US$ 746,477
Event #46: Chad Norton – USA – $800 NL Hold’em Deepstack – US$ 214,830
Event #47: Alexandre Reard – France – $5,000 Freezeout NL Hold’em 8-Handed – US$ 428,694

Online #1: Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – USA – $5,300 NLH Freezeout – US$ 210,600
Online #2: Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm – USA – $500 NL Hold’em BIG 500 – US$ 89,356
Online #3: Pete Chen – Taiwan – $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack – US$ 82,560
Online #4: Ryan “Santasbzack2” Stoker – USA – $888 PLO Crazy 8’s 8-Handed – US$ 95,338
Online #5: Kazuki “hyahhoo3” Ikeuchi – Japan – $1,000 NL Hold’em Championship – US$ 152,797

Sixteenth career bracelet won

Phil Hellmuth – Event #31: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw

Fourth career bracelet won

John Monnette – Event #16: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
Anthony Zinno – Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
Adam Friedman – Event #36: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship

Third career bracelet won

Anthony Zinno – Event #19: $10K Seven Card Stud Championship
Ryan Leng – Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed
Chance Kornuth – Event #29: $10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em
David “Bakes” Baker – Event 34: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Lowball Draw
Michael Addamo –  Event #38: $50,000 High Roller NLH 8-Handed
Josh Arieh – Event #39: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed
Kevin Gerhart – Event #40 $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
Bradley Ruben – Event #42: $1,500 Razz  

Second career bracelet won

Jeremy Ausmus – Event #3: $1,000 Covid-19 Charity Relief
Connor Drinan – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Ari Engel – Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
Yuval Bronshtein – Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold’em
Rafael Lebron – Event #14: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
Daniel Lazrus – Event #17: $1,500 Millionaire Maker NL Hold’em
Jim Collopy – Event #32: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
Tommy Le – Event #45: $10,000 PLO 8-Handed Championship
Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – Online #1: $5,300 NLH Freezeout
Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm – Online #2: $500 NL Hold’em BIG 500

Other multiple final tables

Andrew Kelsall 
2nd – Event #7: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed
6th – Online Event #4: $888 Pot Limit Omaha Crazy 8’s
6th – Event #36: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship

Jason Koon
9th – Event #6: $10,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed
6th – Online Event #1: $5,300 NLH Freezeout
1st – Event #11: $10,000 Heads Up NL Hold’em Championship

Christopher Vitch
10th – Event #9: Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
3rd – Event #31: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
6th – Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship

Kevin Gerhart 
8th – Event #31: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
1st – Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship

Kevin Erickson
2nd – Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold’em
3rd – Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em

Pierre Calamusa
2nd – Event #10: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty NL Hold’em Freezeout
4th – Event #37: $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty NL Hold’em Freezeout

Gabriel Andrade 
2nd – Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em
5th – Event 339: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed

Benny Glaser 
2nd – Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.
9th – Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship

Michael Gathy
3rd – Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em
4th – Event #17: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER No Limit Hold’em

Jonathan Jaffe
4th – Event #6: $25K HR NL Hold’em 8-Handed
3rd – Event $25: $5,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em

Joao Vieira
3rd – Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit)
5th – Event #29: $10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em

Robert Mizrachi
3rd – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
7th – Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship

David Benyamine 
3rd – Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E
8th – Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship

Quang Ngo 
3rd – Online Event #3: $888 Pot Limit Omaha Crazy 8’s
8th – Event #41: $2,500 Freezeout No Limit Hold’em 

Eddie Blumenthal
4th – Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
3rd – Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship

Jose Paz-Gutierrez 
3rd – Event #19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship
9th – Event #42: $1,500 Razz

John Bunch
4th – Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold’em
8th – Event #24: $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack 8-Handed

Bin Weng 
5th – Event #25: $5,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em
6th – Event #38: $50,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed

Mustapha Kanit 
span style=”font-weight: 400;”>5th – Event #6: $25,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed
8th – Event #38: $50,000 High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed

John Racener
6th – Event #16: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
6th – Event $25: $5,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em

Jesse Yaginuma
6th – Online Event #2: $500 WSOP.com NLHold’em BIG 500
6th – Event 15: $1,500 6-Handed NL Hold’em

Craig Mason
7th – Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout NL Hold’em
7th – Event #25: $5,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em

Hal Rotholz
8th – Event #14: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
6th – Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit)

Curtis Phelps
8th – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
7th – Event #27: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.

Matt Glantz 
9th – Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.
7th – Event #36: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship

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

triccia

Triccia David

Triccia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits. She spent a year working part time with Poker Portal Asia and later became the editor and 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 blogger for several other major events in the Philippines. Currently, she is in charge of events reporting for Somuchpoker.

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