The penultimate day of the $50,000 Poker
Players’ Championship at the 2019 World Series of Poker has arrived. After four
days of play among 74 of the greatest poker players in the world, the final
table will feature longtime pro Josh Arieh and a tightly packed bunch of
competitors. One of those competitors, alas, will not be Phil Ivey, who came up
short after an outstanding run that saw him lead for two of four days of
Money for Everyone
The 12 men who came back on Thursday were
guaranteed a min-cash from the tournament – $72,078, for the record – but nobody
was interested in that pittance. Ivey was in the lead for the second day in a
row with his 4.XXX million stack, pursued by the reigning WSOP Player of the
Year Shaun Deeb (2.45 million) Bryce Yockey (2.386 million) and David Oppenheim
(2.108 million). On the other end of the spectrum, Andrew Brown (210K), Dan
Cates (319K) and Chris Vitch (623K) all had their work cut out for them if they
were to make it deeper in the event.
Brown would stage a mini-rally, but would
be shut down by Dario Sammartino to be the first elimination of the day in 12th
place. Talal Shakerchi was the next man out after getting into a battle with
both Ivey and John Esposito in Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. By the time the cards
were dealt, Ivey missed a low draw, Esposito hit an Ace-high flush and
Shakerchi’s cards went to the muck.
Things didn’t get better for Ivey after
that hand. He was chopped up by Deeb and Cates and, after only a couple of
hours, saw himself in a dogfight with literally his entire table of Deeb (tied
with 2.7 million chips), Cates (2.6 million), and Esposito (2.5 million).
Meanwhile, Arieh was rocketing ahead as, in an Omaha Hold’em Hi/Lo session, he
took chips (along with Vitch) from Yockey (2.9 million).
Arieh Dominates on Way to Final Table
Arieh would stay in command all the way to
the determination of the final table. He knocked off Vitch in 10th
place in Razz, starting with (A-3) 2 and not pairing to Vitch’s Jacks up
(remember, in Razz it is the WORST hand that wins). He then picked off a bluff
from Sammartino to climb over the five million chip mark and put lots of space
between him and the pack.
After Oppenheim knocked off Sammartino in
eighth place in Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, the final eight were looking at a
short day. With only two eliminations to go to set up Friday’s action, the
players locked in for the fight. That fight would take nearly four hours and
featured some outstanding play from the remaining men.
Ivey was the first to go, running his King-eight
into John Esposito’s K-7 that Esposito made on Seventh Street. As he ended his
run for his eleventh bracelet in eighth place, the remaining men convened on
one table to take it to the final six. It would take two hours alone to
determine the seventh-place finisher and, when it came, it was in dramatic
After Oppenheim limped in from the hijack in
Omaha Hi/Lo, Esposito raised the action from the cutoff and Yockey called the
bet, as did Oppenheim. A 3-J-10 flop brought a bet out of Yockey and a raise
from Oppenheim, but Esposito was undaunted. He powered in a third bet and
Yockey called, but Oppenheim wasn’t sitting back either as he pushed out four
bets and got calls. A nine saw the chips flying again, with Oppenheim
eventually all in as the trio prepared for the river.
A five on the river didn’t seem to do
anything, but Esposito and Yockey put in three bets each, which had to make
Oppenheim sick (with so much action, did he have anything to beat them?). After
their squabble ended with a final bet, Yockey tabled a K-Q-10-4 for a turned King-high
straight. Esposito had the same hand, albeit with an A-K-Q-J, and all Oppenheim
could give was an A-Q-J-10 for a flopped two pair and missed straight draw to
exit the tournament in seventh place and set the action for Friday.
1. Josh Arieh, 6.22 million
2. Bryce Yockey, 4.465 million
3. Phillip Hui, 4.135 million
4. John Esposito, 3.63 million
5. Shaun Deeb, 2.485 million
6. Dan Cates, 1.26 million
The final table is shaping up to be a highly entertaining event. Arieh is on top of his game this week, seemingly making zero mistakes as he wended his way to the final table. Yockey and Hui are experienced high stakes players, but the fan favorite seems to Esposito. The poker veteran is looking for his second WSOP bracelet (won in 1999 in Limit Hold’em) and seems to have the backing of the poker community. Both Deeb and Cates can’t be counted out either, but they’re going to have to get busy early to get back in the mix.
The final table will come back together this afternoon in the Rio to crown the latest champion of what is considered the toughest challenge in poker. At stake for the remaining six are the WSOP bracelet, the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and $1,099,311 first place prize.
The post Josh Arieh Leads Final Table of PPC, Phil Ivey Comes Up Short appeared first on Poker News Daily.