2020 WSOP Main Event - WSOP.com
Dia 3 Começado
2020 WSOP Main Event - WSOP.com
Dia 3 Começado
Earlier this month, the 2020 World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 Main Event on WSOP.com attracted 705 players who played down to a final table of nine. Today, those players return to action, minus three-time bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva, who was deemed ineligible to proceed with participation after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19 (published rules stated that any player who tested positive would be disqualified and receive ninth-place money of $98,813).
The other eights players are at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino ready to battle it out for a $1,553,256 top prize, which also provides them the opportunity to compete for an additional $1 million and the gold bracelet in a heads-up showdown against the winner of the GGPoker international portion of the WSOP. The runner-up will also become a poker millionaire as $1,002,340 is set aside for second place.
Leading the pack with more than twice his nearest opponent is Joseph "kolebear" Hebert, who hails from Metairie, Louisiana. Hebert has 41 career WSOP cashes totaling $344,297, the majority of which has come on the WSOP Circuit.
Hebert came on strong from two tables onwards when he eliminated every player but one from the last 15 down to the final table. That included dispatching accomplished poker pros Clayton "NevarLucky" Maguire (13th - $62,266), Martin “Bathroomline” Zamani (12th - $62,266), and Dan “pepperprince” Zack (11th - $77,832).
Action is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m. PST at the 75,000/150,000/150,000 blind level with 60 minutes on the clock. Levels will be one hour in length. Players will draw for seats prior to the start of play. The dealer will draw for button position.
There is no live stream for the event (it's being filmed for future release on ESPN), but PokerNews will offer live updates until a winner is crowned.
The shortest stack remaining in the tournament, just 11 big blinds, belongs to 26-year-old recreational player Harrison Dobin.
Like most everyone, Dobin was heavily affected by COVID-19. For him, a recently started business had to be put on ice, and he soon found himself with a lot of free time and little to do with it.
A small-stakes live player with zero online experience, he tried his hand at the virtual felt and found some success during the summer bracelet series on WSOP.com with eight cashes for about $45K according to HendonMob.
The improbable final table run during the WSOP Main Event that's followed gave Dobin and his buddies hope they'd get a chance to gather at the Rio together for an epic rail experience honoring Dobin's recently deceased best friend Marty. Unfortunately, that won't be happening thanks to the pandemic, but Dobin remains excited for the "surreal" opportunity and said there's no pressure on him as the shortest stack.
“I'm ready to sling it in at any moment when I find my spot," he said.
Ron Jenkins has one of the more impressive ledgers of live tournament cashes when it comes to the group of nine to make the WSOP Main Event final table.
Among his $388K according to The Hendon Mob are a slew of five-figure scores, topped by $70,012 in a small L.A. tournament, a local event for the Southern California resident.
Jenkins has been very active at the WSOP in recent years, with eight cashes in bracelet events since 2015 before this monster score that will set a new personal best. While he seems to frequently make deep runs in the seniors events, the closest he came to a bracelet was actually 23rd place in the 2017 Colossus out of a field of 18,054.
Note: PokerNews was unable to reach Jenkins in time to produce a more robust player profile.
If neutral observers are looking for someone to root on for the 2020 WSOP Main Event final table, they have an easy option in Gershon Distenfeld. Thats because the 44-year-old has pledged to donate 100% of winnings (minus any taxes) to charities of his family's choice.
A professional in the finance space, Distenfeld said he simply plays poker for the challenge and competition. He has not yet had any big scores to use for his donations, with only about $10K in live winnings according to HendobMob, but the WSOP Main Event final table brings a tremendous opportunity since he's already guaranteed almost six figures.
“The charities I have chosen thus far encompass many of my and my wife Aviva’s personal areas of interest which include organizations with proven track records in helping those less fortunate and more vulnerable improve their lives," he said.
Here's a partial list of the charities Distenfeld will be benefiting:
“Each of the above will receive 1/8 of the total amount I win," he said. "This would range from approximately $10K for each charity listed above if I am eliminated in ninth to as much as $285K each if I win the bracelet.”
One of the more out-of-nowhere stories at the WSOP final table was that of Ye Yuan, a student in Wisconsin originally hailing from China. The 25-year-old had just $6K in live cashes heading into the 2020 WSOP Main Event according to HendonMob, but he does have a strong background in math considering he's studying for his doctorate in probability.
Combine that with his love for the game stemming from his teenage years when he just played for fun, and he's got the ability to perhaps follow in the footsteps of his poker hero, bracelet winner and high roller superstar Fedor Holz.
He enters this final table with a middling stack, but 32 blinds still gives him plenty of room to maneuver.
Furthermore, despite his limited live poker ledger, he said he's entering his realm of greater comfort as the tournament transitions from the online portion.
"I think my live play is better than my online play," he said. "I can read people.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Cannon has taken a very unusual route to the final table of the WSOP Main Event, one reminiscent of 2016 seventh-place finisher Griffin Benger.
Like Benger, Cannon transitioned to poker after a successful career as a progamer. There, he won numerous titles in the Gears of War series before making the switch to poker a little before Black Friday. However, his timing proved poor, and his poker skills stagnated when he was unable to keep playing high volume online.
After a few years without any life momentum, he righted the ship when he connected with fellow 2020 Main Event final table participant Ryan Hagerty, who helped Cannon improve and resharpen his skills.
Now, he says he's "on the border" of calling himself a pro again (he has $184,584 in lifetime earnings according to HendonMob). A $1.5 million win here at the final table would certainly go a long way to solidifying that, but he's got work to do coming in fifth in chips. Still, things are fairly tight below the top spot, so at the very least, Cannon will have some chances to ladder.
"Win or lose, I am just trying to enjoy the time and not overthink things," he said.
While most poker players were likely disappointed in having to play the 2020 WSOP Main Event online, that fell right into the wheelhouse of Ryan Hagerty, who has been one of the most successful players on the regulated U.S. sites over the past few years. There, he has racked up almost $2 million in cashes while climbing the PocketFives rankings into the national top 15, where he currently sits.
However, the 28-year-old only hopped into this tournament on a late whim thanks to what he called "late FOMO." Managing to sell 50% of his action, he made a run to the final table with the third-place chip stack, putting him in pretty strong position with pay jumps coming up that are bigger than his biggest live cash of $70K according to HendonMob.
Once at the final table, the confident Hagerty will get the pleasure of sharing the experience with Michael Cannon, one of his good friends in the industry who happens to be fifth in chips. The two have roomed together for live tournaments in the past and now compete against each other in the hunt for $1.5 million.
"We were kind of like, ‘Is this going to happen? Is this really going to happen?’" Hagerty said. "I couldn’t believe it. It’s pretty amazing to share this experience with somebody I’m pretty close with.”
As one of the few full-time pros in the final nine, with a solid chip stack, Hagerty said one of the keys will be ignoring the money jumps and simply playing poker.
"Even on Day 2, I wasn’t worried about busting the tournament," he said. "I can’t be thinking about that; about how big the moment is. I just have to play my game, focus, and I kept that approach until I got to the final table.”
Shawn Stroke, a 31-year-old recreational player from Long Island, New York, has put together a pretty strong run of cashes in the online bracelet events, a unique opportunity for those on the East Coast which he's taken advantage of over the years.
Stroke had a near miss on a bracelet in 2017, when he got second to William Reymond in the $365 online bracelet event for a score of $94K. He then cashed three more online bracelet events in 2019 for a total of more than $10K. While this summer's series wasn't as lucrative as he had just two small cashes, Stroke has certainly shown his comfort in the big online WSOP events.
As the second stack coming into this 2020 final table, he's already locked up his biggest score ever, one that dwarfs even his total live cashes of $68K according to HendonMob.
The mechanic has come a long way since losing his brother's bankroll as an underage player back in the day, and he's soaking it all in ahead of the biggest final table of his life.
“Feels nothing less than amazing, taking it all in each day,” he said of making it to poker’s biggest stage. “I wake up and remind myself that this is real and envision myself hoisting that WSOP bracelet.”
One of the more accomplished players at the final table with $667K in documented live cashes according to the The Hendon Mob, Hebert has positioned himself fantastically thanks to a monstrous chip lead that sees him enter play with more than double the chips of his two nearest competitors.
Hebert, 38, has been active in the live scene for more than a decade mostly in the South, where he has been a regular at WSOPC events in Biloxi, Choctaw, New Orleans and Tunica, all close to his native Metairie, Louisiana. Despite more than $250K in Circuit cashes, a ring win has eluded him.
As if the chance for ultimate WSOP gold and $1.5 million in first-place prize money wasn't motivation enough, Hebert will be playing to make good on some of the last words he exchanged with his mother before her death earlier this year.
I texted her, ‘Man, one day I hope I can win a bracelet. It’s something I always dreamed of and I just don’t know how many more chances I’m going to have to do that.’ She texted me back and said, ‘I keep hoping and praying that what will be, will be. Things will work out.’ That was our last text, she passed away three days later.”
Linda had been assisting others involved in a nearby accident and had called in an ambulance, but she wound up in it instead when a pulmonary embolism occurred. Unable to recover in the hospital, she died days later.
“This is all for her, it’s #ForLinda, that’s my mom’s name,” an emotional Hebert revealed. “I just want everybody to know that."