Yesterday we saw the third bracelet in as many years awarded to Matt Matros as he overcame an impressivley large field of 1,604 entrants to take home the jewellery and the not inconsiderable $454,835 first place prize money for Event 16, $1500 NLHE Six Max
Matros, who won last years $2,500 Mixed Hold'Em and 2010'2 $2500 Limit Hold'Em Events, completed the set of Hold'Em disciplines by winning his first NL title which also takes him over the $2 million mark for live winnings.
Matros started the day in only 7th out of the remaining players with the likes of Matt Glantz and Mike Matusow sitting with big stacks and with Mark Darner and Robert Muzzati with almost twice as many chips as any other players at the table. Matros quickly made his mark on day 3 as he picked up a million+ chip pot when Jonathan Curle tried a 4 bet shove with KJ only to run into Matros's Aces. Neither Matusow nor Glantz however were able to last to the final table with Matusow losing most of his chips holding QQ vs the AK race of Ramey Shaio and Glantz losing in the exact opposite manner, with Shaio this time holding QQ and when a third Queen hit the flop Glantz's AK was almost drawing dead.
At the final table we saw a prolonged period of cautious play with a few chips exchanging hands but very little in the way of action before Matos really assumed control, taking out two of the final six in consecutive hands (Mark Darner lost with AJ to Matros's AK, then former chip leader Robert Muzzati's AK failed to catch Matros's QQ). An hour later we were down to heads up play with Matros facing off against fellow bracelet winner Mark Radoja, who had since taken out the other two players at the table and as such honours were almost even as play resumed.
The final see sawed a little before Matros took control taking a 2,3 million pot holding 10 5 and a 10, 2, 5, 6, 7 board giving him a more than 2:1 lead. The match was settled soon after as an unlucky Radoja got his last 1.7m chips in good, snap calling a shove from Matros on the turn. Matros had nothing but a heart flush draw with one card remaining to Radoja's turned straight. The 10h on the river however crushed Radoja's dreams and gave Matros his third bracelet.
Two events played out their second days yesterday with Phil Hellmuth easily reaching his 89th WSOP cash in Event 18 ($2500 Seven Card Razz). In fact Hellmuth is in a great position to make a run at his 12th bracelet as he ended the day 3rd in chips out of the remaining 18 players on 287.5k. Leading the way currently is 2 time bracelet winner Brandon Cantu who made an extraordinary comeback after being left with just 4,000 chips at one point before taking pot after pot after pot to assume an amazing chip lead at the close of play. Other notables coming back today include; Barry Greenstein, Jared "Harrington10" Bleznick, Scott Fishman and Scott Clements while not so successful were the days early chip leader Tommy Vedes, Ted Forrest, Andy Bloch, WSOP Main Event Champs Tom McEvoy, Greg Raymer and Berry Johnston and unlucky bubble-girl Xian Liu.
Event 17 ($10k PLH) also played down to the business end of the match with only 17 of the starting 179 players remaining. Once more we have a fistful of famous names coming back this evening when the event will play to a finish. Inside the top ten we have Antonio Esfandiari, Hoyt Corkins and Shaun Deeb with Phil Ivey lurking ominously in 10th with Andy Frankerberger and David Benyamine towards the back of the remaining field. Today the bracelet will be decided and Manuel Bevand will start play as the dominant chip leader with 961k, with no other play yet to hit the 600k mark.
Two new events played out their respective day 1's yesterday as Event 19 ($1500 NLHE) saw a massive 2302 players whittled down to 262 by the end of the day with Ben Vinson, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, Isaac "philivey2694" and Hollywood star James Woods still in contention. Current chip leader is Jessica Betrand Hanna with 149.5k chips. Event 20 ($5k LHE) saw 166 entries start the day but only 109 see it's end. There's still plenty of play in this one with recent $5 Mixed-Max semi finalist Warwick Mirzikinian currently in second place behind Nicholas Derke who has 74.3k chips. Other notables remaining include Matt Glantz who managed a great showing despite his final table appearance earlier in the day at the $1500 Six Max event, Richard "nutsinho" Lyndaker, Huck Seek, Jeff Lisandro, Annie Duke and Jason Mercier to name but a few.
Come back tomorrow when two more bracelet winners will have been decided. Can Hellmuth make number 12 happen this time? We'll have to wait and see.
Find more of the latest news and articles relating to the World Series of Poker in the 2012 WSOP-section.