Femi Fashakin Wins Largest Ever World Series of Poker Event
Nigerian native and Florida resident, Femi Fashakin, has landed the largest event in World Series of Poker history, collecting $1,147,449 when overcoming 28,370 entries (17,970 individual players) over five gruelling days of poker in the special ‘BIG 50’ 500 No-Limit Hold’em Event.
The 37-year-old had previously listed just shy of $60,000 in tournament winnings before this huge payday and this was his third lifetime Las Vegas WSOP cash.
There were an additional five players at the final table which claimed U.S. status, amongst them was Paul Cullen who finished runner-up for $709,183 and Nick Chow who collected $405,132 for fourth.
The highest placed non-American was Israel’s Rafi Elharar, who finished third to net $534,074 in profits.
The second WSOP tournament with a guaranteed 1 million to the winner – the aptly named ‘Millionaire Maker’ which was the 19th event of the 2019 series – attracted 8,809 entries meaning the tournament with its $1,500 buy-in generated a total purse of $11,892,150.
By the start of Day 4 action just 34 players remained in contention with American players accounting for 20 of that number.
European interest included two Bulgarians, a Lithuanian, a German and a remaining lady player, 888Poker sponsored Ana Marquez representing Spain.
American players dominated the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, event 20 of the series. They filled the top-15 spots in 285 entry field with veteran Eli Elezra winning the bracelet and claiming his 64th WSOP cash.
All but one of the final table finishers in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (event 18) claimed American nationality.
Frankie O’Dell took the $443,641 winner’s prize and collected his third career bracelet, all have come in Limit Omaha. Australia’s Robert Campbell fared best amongst the visitors, he finished fifth for an $102,868 cash.
While it was an American player, Brett Apter, who won event 17, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, this final table did have a truly international flavour with Russian Anatolii Zyrin claiming runner-up spot and Canadian Tommy Nguyen finised third.
In fifth was Portugal’s Manuel Afonso Soares Ruivo and Japan’s Shintaro Baba enjoyed his first ever WSOP cash in finishing seventh. Slovenian Marko Maher was the first player to be eliminated from the 10-seater final table.
There were two non-Americans at the final table of event 16, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed which attracted 1,832 entries. The UK’s Richard Hasnip finished fifth, collecting $90,791 and Singapore’s Ong Dingxiang lost out heads-up to California’s Isaac Baron.
They netted $251,937 and $407,739 respectively.
Beat in the Heads-Up
Precisely 112 people stumped-up the $10,000 to play the Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em (event 15) and when just four remained, they were all American.
Sean Swingruber was the fortunate winner. With a narrow chip lead he moved all-in pre-flop on hand No. 134 of his final table battle with Ben Yu.
The latter called with 6-6 and looked dominant against 6h-8h but a runner-runner heart broke his (heart) and he had to make do with second spot collecting $71,182 less than the winner who banked $186,356.
Brazil, Israel and a Lot of Luck
There was an overseas winner of the 751 entry $1,500 HORSE (event 14), it went to Brazilian Murilo Figueredo. He battled American Jason Stockfish heads-up for over six hours before getting his chips in with quads. $207,003 was the winning prize.
Brazil's Murilo Thiago Souza Figueredo emerges from a lengthy heads-up battle that spilled into an extra day to win Event #14 at the 2019 @WSOP, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Figueredo collects $207,003 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. https://t.co/GOsGDSraqV pic.twitter.com/WCuUWK5jIZ— WSOP (@WSOP) June 8, 2019
More glory came for the ‘visitors’ in the $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw (event 13).
In what is traditionally an American dominated discipline Israel’s Yuval Bronshtein victory was eyebrow raising. However, it transpires the 34-year-old moved to the U.S. with his family aged five.
Three More for the Home Nations
Meanwhile, 2,452 entries stumped-up the $1,000 needed to play WSOP event 12, the No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty.
New Yorker Daniel Park won the one-day tournament with an amazing comeback which involved him being all-in with one chip remaining after posting his ante when five players remained.
Just ninety-nine hands were required to decide the destination of event 11, a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
It went to Californian Daniel Strelitz who collected $442,385 of the $1.86 million prize-pool. There was no time to celebrate as Strelitz played the following day’s Millionaire Maker where he finished 146th to bolster his 2019 WSOP cashes by another $8,893.
Scott Clements ended a twelve year wait to add a third bracelet to the two that reside in his display cabinet but in taking event 10 of the 2019 series, a $1,500 Dealers Choice (for a $144,957 prize), he became the 96th player to own at least three World Series of Poker gold bracelets.
Expect more of Warne at the Series
Few former sportsmen, not alone cricketers, have manged to stay in the spotlight like Australian Shane Warne.
But a 15-year International career was followed by an engagement to actress Liz Hurley which kept him in the headlines as did a sponsorship with 888Poker which lasted seven years and saw him Tweet his followers – which now number 3.5 million – updates (and occasional rants) from the World Series of Poker and Aussie Millions.
Warne now boasts a decade of poker playing and his appetite for the game remains undiminished.
In fact, the 49-year-old, who shares his time between the UK and Australia, may become even busier at the poker tables following the appointment as brand ambassador for Dafabet, the predominantly Asia Pacific facing online gambling site which also features an online poker room.
His new deal will run for five years and Warne, a close friend of 2005 World Series Main Event winner Joe Hachem, is expected to take part in the WSOP main event once more in 2019.
The Pokerstars risk assessment department would have sighed in relief on Sunday evening when their showpiece 1 million guaranteed Sunday Million surpassed its guarantee a week after being forced to underwrite a 101,600 shortfall seven days beforehand, as detailed in last week’s poker news round-up.
This week’s competition garnered 11,863 entrants generating a $1,186,300 prize pool and it was a Bulgarian player, using the alias Ifkata, that fared best claiming $109,996 as part of a three-way final-table deal.
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