WSOP 2017 Update: Huge win for Doug Polk; Boree & Kurganov prevail; Early cash for notable Asians

The Las Vegas desert storm has been the hottest talk of the town, but of course we don’t mean the temperature outside. One week ago, the 48th Annual World Series of Poker 2017 opened its doors at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino and with it came a massive influx of players from all over the world eager to hit the felt and seize the gold. While the traditional opener was slated for all the dedicated and hard working casino employees, the events that followed were anyone’s game.

Here are some of the top stories and latest winners along with the progress of the Asian contingent.

Doug Polk wins the High Roller for One Drop for over US$3.6M

The biggest event of the World Series 2017 kicked its heels on Friday June 2nd with 130 of the world’s elite taking to the front lines of Event #6: US$111,111 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for One Drop. This brewed up a mighty prize pool of US$13,722,150 with 20 players getting paid.

Among the attendees was defending champion Fedor Holz clearly looking to double up his gold strap however the young pro had no success, busting out very early in Day 1. Another pro in the lineup was poker brat Phil Helmuth, the player boasting of the highest number of WSOP bracelets. While Helmuth fared much better than Holz, he too didn’t claim another gold. He finished in a respectable 10th place, one spot shy of the final table.
As for USA’s Doug Polk, this was payday. After eliminating Italy’s Dario Sammartino in 3rd place, he faced the top ranked French pro Bertrand Grospellier for the title. Armed with a specialty in heads up, Polk put the heat on thick, winning almost every hand against Grospellier. The Frenchman couldn’t gain a footing and was eliminated in runner up position. Polk shipped in the enormous US$3,686,865 and his third WSOP bracelet. This is Polk’s largest live tournament score to-date.

Place Player Earnings (USD)
1 Doug Polk $3,686,865
2 Bertrand Grospellier $2,278,657
3 Dario Sammartino $1,608,295
4 Haralabos Voulgaris $1,158,883
5 Chris Moore $852,885
6 Martin Jacobson $641,382
7 Rainer Kempe $493,089
8 Andrew Robl $387,732

Power couple Liv Boree and Igor Kurganov win bracelets

Igor Kourganov and Liv Boree - Photo WSOP
Igor Kurganov and Liv Boree – Photo WSOP

One of the most famous couples in the poker world is without a doubt Igor Kurganov and Liv Boree. While individually, both players are a force to reckon with at the felt, when joined together, what you get is not just a magnetic couple but a highly-charged powerhouse duo of unstoppable force. At Event #2: US$10,000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em Championship, this incredible power couple ploughed through a field of 102 teams to each run away with a coveted WSOP bracelet. They earned a combined total of US$273,964.

Upon their victory, Boree expressed “my mind is blown”, and as for Kurganov, “the money is nice, but for me it’s winning the bracelets together that matters the most when comparing the ratio of people that are happy from the cash to having the hardware.”

Pro Daniel Negreanu and his team got very close to attaining that gold strap but fell short for a 3rd place finish. Nonetheless, this is a very good start for the ambitious pro aiming for several titles including the WSOP Player of the Year.

Place Player Earnings (Per Team)
1 Liv Boeree – Igor Kurganov $273,964
2 Ankush Mandavia – Joe Kuether $169,323
3 Daniel Negreanu – Eric Wasserson – David Benyamine – Mark Gregorich $119,753
4 Anthony Ajlouny – David Fong – Mike McClain $86,237
5 Javier Gomez – Lander Lijo $63,253
6 Martin Jacobson – Mark Radoja $47,271
7 J.C. Tran – Nam Le – Antonio Gutierrez $36,008
8 Connor Drinan – Mike Aron $27,967
9 Dietrich Fast – Moritz Dietrich – Jan Schwippert $22,156

Notables Martin Corpuz, Aditya Agarwal, and Naoya Kihara get on the board for Asia

Although no gold has yet been awarded to any Asian players, there have been a few who have made it pretty deep for a sizable amount of earnings. One Asian who got very close was Filipino-American citizen Martin Corpuz. Several days ago, Corpuz made his way into the final table of Event #4: US$1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo and finished 8th out of 905 entries. He earned US$21,839.

Another player getting an early workout at the WSOP 2017 is India’s Aditya “Intervention” Agarwal. This is one player we will surely be keeping an eye on. Agarwal has been cashing at the WSOP since 2007 with recent records of five cashes in 2016, two in 2015, and six in 2014. Getting on the books early, Agarwal cashed at Event #3: US$3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shooutout, just one shootout victory short of the final table. He earned US$6,407.

There were also two Japanese players getting some dividends at the WSOP 2017. Naoya Kihara and Yosuke Sekiya cashed for under US$5K at Event 7: US$2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw Lowball.

We will continue to update you on the action at the WSOP 2017 as more players from all over the world make their way in to capture one of those coveted gold bracelets. There are a plethora of events lined up for the next month and we will be sharing some of those exciting stories and results here at

Article by Triccia David

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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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