Susan Faber The First Female To Win Open Event At WSOP 2019

Susan Faber The First Female To Win Open Event At WSOP 2019

Event #71 of the 2019 WSOP was the ‘Salute to Warriors’ – a $500 No-Limit Hold’em competition which raised $43,000 for the ‘United Service Organizations and other veteran organizations’.

And this competition proved to be very different too with the 2019 World Series of Poker crowning its first female champion.

Susan Faber, 71, collected almost three times more that the USO and veterans, placing $121,161 into her handbag after crushing a final table where she held a decisive chip advantage for much of the way.

Alvarado Has 882,672 Reasons to be Happy

There are a sum total of 89 tournaments amongst the 2019 World Series of Poker so when Event #64, the $888 entry No-Limit Hold’em (8-Handed) competition, got underway last Sunday, we had definitely reached the home stretch.

Buoyed by an influx of new players, all arriving in Vegas to play ‘the big one’ (the first of three Main Event ‘flights’ started last Wednesday), with a guaranteed $888,888 first place, complete with unlimited re-entries it was not surprising this tournament surpassed 10,000 entrants.

As it happened the eventual winner, Rick Alvarado, took no less than seven bullets (re-entries) meaning he had to finish in the top-136 to turn a profit. But eventual victory for the 30-year-old Californian represented a clear $882,672 ROI.

The hard luck story of the final table was Irishman Patrick Clarke who both lost to a three-outer and also saw his Aces beaten by Jacks in a pre-flop all-in car crash. He collected $177,888 for his luckless sixth spot.

While he was downbeat, sponsors 888Poker were undoubtedly happy with how this tournament unfolded especially as Brazilian 888Poker Ambassador, Vivian Saliba, finished fourth.

David ‘ODB’ Baker Gets a Top-Up

Limit Hold’em is a game which has been in gradual decline for the past 15 years but a $1,500 entry fee and the lure of a bracelet saw Event #66, a Limit Hold’em tournament, attract a respectable 541 entries.

It was 46-year-old David ‘ODB’ Baker who took this title claiming his second gold bracelet seven years since receiving his first. But the Arizona native has played plenty and this score represented his 91st lifetime WSOP cash (78 at the Rio, three in Europe and 10 in circuit events) and 19th final table.

While a $161,139 winner’s prize surely put a smile on his face it represented a mere top-up on his 2019 earnings as he had already collected $104,416 for finishing third in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud (Event #41) and he also won just over a million when winning the WPT L.A. Poker Classic in March.

Aussie Success

Australia, more to the point Melbourne’s Robert Campbell, has had a World Series to remember and when the former stand-up comedian landed the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event #67) he was collecting his second bracelet of the 2019 Series.

The bracelet was the same but the $385,763 winner’s prize was more than double the $144,027 he pocketed for landing #Event 33, the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw (Event #33).

Chinese runner-up Yueqi 'Rich' Zhu is yet to win a bracelet but this was his 89th career WSOP cash and second runner-up spot of the 2019 Series which has seen him ‘cash’ eleven times and make a total of three final tables. Impressive stuff.

Another notable finalist in Event #67 was Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow. The former dealer who finished fourth has a well touted chequered past but he remains one of the game’s characters and his WSOP history dates back to 1997 when he registered his first WSOP final table.

Online Victory for New Yorker

1,750 entries (1,187 individual players) at $1,000 a pop and a $303,739 reward for Nicholas ‘Illari’ Baris – that’s the story of Event #68, the $1,000 Online No-Limit Hold’em Championship.

The winner hails from New York but, alas, the anonymity of online poker makes it difficult to say little else about the event.

Possibly this competition’s biggest story was Chris ‘Camdi’ Ferguson (of Full Tilt notoriety) who ultimately finished seventh in this tournament – a great achievement given he was concurrently playing Event #66 (the $1,500 Limit Hold’em within the Rio) which he also final tabled in.

Mini Delights

Seven countries (France, Japan, China, Switzerland, Ireland, Argentina and the US) were represented in Event #69 of the 2019 WSOP, the $1,000 ‘Mini Main’.

A new tournament on the WSOP Vegas roster, it attracted 5,521 entries and gave 27-year-old French poker player Jeremy Saderne his first bracelet (plus a $628,654 prize).

It also made the runner-up, elderly lady player Lula Taylor, a firm favourite with all that witnessed any part of this international final table.

This final table was over relatively quickly with the winner declared after 99 hands. Not for the first time this year Aces were the winning hand and this was the second French bracelet winner during the 2019 Series.

Piece of Cake For Madeira Man

Another Frenchman, Pierre Calamusa, made the final table of the next gold bracelet tournament, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed (Event #70) but he finished fourth as Englishman Jamie O'Connor, 2009 Main Event champion and four-time bracelet winner Joe Cada and Joao Vieira, born on the Portuguese island of Madeira, battled for the $758,011 winner’s prize.

Within 28 hands three became one and it was O’Connor that fell in third and Joe Cada had to settle for second as his AQ came up short against Vieira’s AK in a pre-flop all-in confrontation for the title.

Juha Gets One For Finland

Talking of U.S. domination, the home nation fielded eight of the nine final table finishers in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship (Event #72).

But it was Finland’s veteran Juha Helppi who won the 118-player competition, collecting a $306,622 prize and winning his first bracelet in 16 years of trying.

Finland have had a quiet WSOP in 2019 with very few players making the journey to the Holy Grail of poker. Patrik Antonius would play the the 2019 WSOP Main Event, which was underway when his countryman was collecting his new wrist wear, but he was eliminated on Day 2C after rivering a full-house against an opponent who had turned a bigger house.

It is amazing to think a player with such a high-profile and huge career earnings has only registered two Las Vegas WSOP cashes in the past 11 years.

Online Bonanza

Players, those with deep pockets, headed back online for the next bracelet quest, Event #74, a $3,200 entry No-Limit Hold’em High Roller.

As with all of the online tournaments this one was heavily American weighted and the home nation filled the top five spots.

After 12 hours of play Brandon ‘Dr Octagon’ Adams took the victory ahead of 434 rival entries and the bracelet for which $411,560.70 was transferred to his online account.

Pocket Aces and a three-way all-in coup saw the eventual winner eliminate two players and go three-handed.

Soon afterwards he was heads-up where another pre-flop all-in with the best of it (Q-Q vs 10-10) awarded second to Nabil Mohamed Abdien ‘the brown bear’ Cardoso. He collected $253,643.

The penultimate online tournament of the 2019 WSOP, an $800 WSOP 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em (Event #76), also went to a North American, Canadian Shawn Buchanan.

His haul was $223,119, far in excess of what he had earned from his seven cashes within the Rio this summer – the highest of which was $7,664 for finishing 204th in the Millionaire Maker - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Event #19).

8,569 in the Main

So there are 16 tournaments left to play at the 2019 Word Series of Poker.

Amongst those are the $50,000 Final Fifty High Roller No Limit Hold’em, the $100,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em and, of course, the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event which is well underway and attracted 8,569 players.

In 2019 it comes with a $10 million first prize.