2021 WSOP: Japanese takeover as Kazuki Ikeuchi strikes gold and Kosei Ichinose runner up; Ryan Hansen and Chad Norton win bracelets

A strong contingent of Japanese players have made the trek to the 52nd annual World Series of Poker and many have run deep at various events. Making the country very proud were two highly distinguished pros, Kazuki Ikeuchi, who snapped a triple runner up streak to capture his first ever bracelet, and Kosei Ichinose, who came close to the gold with a second place finish. At other events, earning the spotlight were Ryan Hansen and Chad Norton, both players locking up their first series bracelets. We’ve got those stories down below. 

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Image courtesy of pokergo.com

For those just tuning in, the series has been underway at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino since September 30 and will run through November 23. To date, over US$ 75 Million has been won across 44 completed bracelet events and 5 online bracelet events. In the leaderboard races, Phil Hellmuth still holds the top spot of the WSOP Player of the Year standings and Daniel Lazrus has overtaken Jason Koon for the lead at the No Limits Velo race. The highest ranked Asian player is Pete Chen in 5th position and 16th at the WSOP POY. More on those figures at the bottom of the page. 

*Information is based on WSOP.com, PokerNews live updates, and The Hendon Mob

Online Event #5: $1,000 NL Hold’em Championship – KAZUKI “hyahhoo3” IKEUCHI – US$ 152,797

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Kazuki Ikeuchi, Photo Credit – WSOP

After three runner up finishes, Japan’s Kazuki “hyahhoo3” Ikeuchi finally beat the hump at Online Event #5: $1,000 NL Hold’em Championship. Ikeuchi survived a field of 854 entries, defeating DennisdwilbsWilber at heads up to capture his first gold bracelet and the US$ 152,797 first prize. This boosted his total WSOP earnings to US$ 1.6 Million. 

Ikeuchi’s bracelet hunt started many years back with his first cash posted in 2007. Since then, he has returned nearly every year hoping to clasp that first gold. It wasn’t until 2018 did he come face to face with the opportunity at the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Tag Team event, however the crew fell short and had to settle for runner up. In 2019, Ikeuchi had another chance at his fingertips. He had his opponents on the ropes at the Millionaire Maker event final table, but like previous, he couldn’t close it out and walked away second best. This past summer, the gold slipped away again with a runner up finish at the WSOP Online [International] The Closer event. He finally clinched it on his 52nd deep run. Ikeuchi became the first Japanese player to win a bracelet at the ongoing series, joining the exclusive group of past years champions Naoya Kihara, Takahiro Nakai, and Ishikawa Shoma

Date: October 25, 2021
Buy in: US$ 1,000
Entries: 854 (555 uniques, 299 re-entries)
Prize pool: US$ 768,000
ITM: 126 places 

Final table payouts 

1st Kazuki “hyahhoo3” Ikeuchi – Japan – US$ 152,797
2nd Dennis “dwilbs” Wilber – USA – US$ 94,460
3rd Qinghai “011pokerdr” Pan – USA – US$ 66,099
4th James “fullmast” Gilbert – USA – US$ 51,787
5th Mike “SammyTwizz” Azzaro – USA – US$ 33,818
6th Artem “Vidomina” Sloitsev – Russia – US$ 24,748
7th Anthony “adversity45” Pagan – USA – US$ 18,369
8th Dan “Albacazapada” Stavila – USA – US$ 13,834
9th Simon “sleevy98” Levy – USA – US$ 10,606

Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em – RYAN HANSEN – US$ 109,692

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Ryan Hansen, Photo Credit – WSOP

Friends and fans of famous Japanese pro Kosei Ichinose were on edge as he battled heads up against Ryan Hansen at Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em. Ichinose had previously done well in this format with a 4th place finish at last year’s WSOP Online [International] Limit Championship event and hoped to finally nail it shut. Ichinose was off to a good start with a 2:1 advantage but Hansen was a formidable opponent leading to a tug of war for the top spot. On Hansen’s second return to command, he made it stick to claim his first ever WSOP title and gold bracelet. Along with the prize, Hansen pocketed the six figure US$ 109,692, which was the highest payout of his career. For Ichinose, the loss still awarded him a worthy US$ 67,796 payout.

Other notable finishers were Kevin Erickson (3rd) who was on his second final table having reached 2nd place at Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold’em, 4x bracelet winner Mike Matusow in 16th place, 3x bracelet winners Nick Schulman (21st) and Joe McKeehen (23rd), and Taiwanese player JJ Liu (24th).  

Date: October 22 to 25
Buy in: US$ 3,000
Entries: 162
Prize pool: US$ 432,540
ITM: 25 places 

Final table payouts 

1st Ryan Hansen – USA – US$ 109,692
2nd Kosei Ichinose – Japan – US$ 67,796
3rd Kevin Erickson – USA – US$ 46,669
4th Ken Deng – USA – US$ 32,864
5th Kenny Hsiung – USA – US$ 23,688
6th Steve Chanthabouasy – USA – US$ 17,486
7th John Hoang – USA – US$ 13,226

Event #46: $800 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack – CHAD NORTON – US$ 214,830

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Chad Norton, Photo Credit – WSOP

A crowd of 2,053 filled the tables of Event #46: $800 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack for a prize pool of US$ 1,445,312. This was one event where Asians came out in droves with No Limit Hold’em a favorite in the region. However, after two days of fast action, Asian players were absent from the final table. The dream gold bracelet was eventually strapped by series newcomer Chad Norton and with it the large pile of cash worth US$ 214,830

Recapping Norton’s strong finish. He was a beast at the final table, eliminating the first two players to amass a towering lead. He then knocked out another two, Kevin Wang (6th) and Narimaan Ahmadi (4th) to face Steve Lemma at heads up leading 3:1 in chips. In the end it was no contest, Norton easily disposed of Lemma with As8d over Qc9s

Among the notable players in the money were Koray Aldemir (11th), David “Bakes” Baker (137th), Ryan Riess (202nd), and Asian players Akira Hashimoto (67th), Arsh Grover (103rd), Yongbeom Lee (110th), bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer (164th), JJ Liu (236th), Seongsu Kong (248th), Reiji Kono (253rd), and Seoyoung Kong (276th).

Date: October 24 to 25
Buy in: US$ 800
Entries: 2,053
Prize pool: US$ 1,445,312
ITM: 308 places 

Final table payouts 

1st Chad Norton – USA – US$ 214,830
2nd Steve Lemma USA – US$ 132,802
3rd Andrews Jeckeln – Argentina – US$ 98,269
4th Narimaan Ahmadi – USA – US$ 73,271
5th Ivan Uzunov – Bulgaria – USA – US$ 55,279
6th Kevin Wang – USA – US$ 42,031
7th Jordyn Miller – USA – US$ 32,254
8th William Blais – Canada – US$ 24,982
9th Joshua Herman – Canada – US$ 19,533

Current Leaderboard standings

Apart from bracelets are two leaderboards to fight for with only the top three players per board winning a piece of the US$ 50,000 cash prize. At the WSOP Player of the Year race, 16x bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth maintains his lead, two time series winner Anthony Zinno ranks second, Jake Schwartz in third position, and Dylan Linde moved up two notches into fourth rank. At the No Limits Velo race, Jason Koon lost the top spot to Daniel Lazrus, and Pete Chen dropped down to 5th rank. 

Breakdown of prizes is the same per board. 

1st US$ 15,000
2nd US$ 7,500
3rd US$ 2,500

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2021 WSOP Tally

Listed below are select series numbers, player achievements, bracelet winners, and players that have reached multiple final tables.

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
First time bracelet winners: 25 (live) / 3 (online)
Multiple final tables: 30 players
Most final tables: Phil Hellmuth – 5

Asia bracelet winners

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

Millionaire winners

Michael Addamo – US$ 1,132,968 – Event #38: $50,000 High Roller NLH 8-Handed
Daniel Lazrus – US$ 1,000,000 – Event #17: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER

Two series wins

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

Most Final Tables

Phil Hellmuth
6th – Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E
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

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.
Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – Online #1: $5,300 NLH Freezeout
Mark “NJ_AcesmarkA” Herm – Online #2: $500 NL Hold’em BIG 500

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 #44: Ryan Hansen – USA – $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em – US$ 109,692
Event #46: Chad Norton – USA – $800 NL Hold’em Deepstack – US$ 214,830

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

Other Multiple final tables

Jake Schwartz
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

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

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

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 
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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