The $250,000 buy-in tournament is being held for the third time at the World Series. In 2021, Adrian Mateos won (33 entries, first prize $3.3 million), and a year ago Alex Foxen became the champion (56 entries, $4.6 million). This year the tournament collected 69 entries, the winner became $5.3 million richer.
Every player has a different setup for a tournament. For example, Talal Shakerchi prepped at the play money tables.
– 10 minutes before the start of the tournament for $ 250k, and Talal is grinding at an electronic free table (ed. – the game is played without a dealer, the cards appear on the scoreboard ), Patrick Leonard posted a photo in paparazzi style. Nobody loves the game more than him.
Dustin Bailey finished the first day as a chip leader (4.8 million against a starting 1.5 million). From his outfit, one might have thought that this was some kind of high-stakes regular.
In fact, Dustin is a high roller, but from a completely different field. He runs a large investment company from Texas, High Roller Group, which has nothing to do with poker. Bailey honestly admitted that he had never heard of Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth, and chose the tournament according to the principle “the most expensive plus the most suitable in terms of time” – Father’s Day was celebrated in the United States at the weekend, and Dustin arrived in Las Vegas with his wife and children.
In second place (4.3 million) was Chance Kornuth. He seems to have brought the buy-in money in his pockets:
Artur Martirosyan made two entries, and from the second he spun up to the 5th stack (3.8 million). In one of the last hands of the day, he eliminated the champion Alex Foxen ( > ).
Martin Kabrhel came to Las Vegas especially for this tournament, he also made two entries. He was to become a hero (more precisely, as usual, an anti-hero) on the second day, and the first one turned out to be ordinary for him. At the penultimate level, he 4-bet with kings and busted against Alex Kulev.
Players were only allowed to do one re-entry. Alexey Ponyakov was the only one who busted out twice on the first day.
14 players entered or re-entered at the start of Day 2, including Mikita Bodyakovsky , Daniel Negreanu (previously a Triple Draw Championship player), Bryn Kenny, and others. Everyone got a comfortable stack of 50 blinds.
Jason Koon finished the opening day with 1.7 million chips, but on the second day due to the birth of his second child, he did not show up. The buy-in was returned to him in full, and the stack was removed from the tournament. Representatives of the World Series explained their decision by the fact that Koon's stack was larger than the starting one, and he managed to apply before the late registration closed. Due to the birth of his second son, Jason will also miss the Main Event but promises to root for all his friends.
As soon as registration closed, Jans Arends busted with aces. James Chen with made a club flush against him.
Mikita Bodyakovsky also finished his tournament with Aces. His lost on the board of vs. Phil Ivey with .
Artur Martirosyan eliminated Nick Shulman and became the chip leader with a stack of 6.7 million.
Martin Kabrhel, who quickly built a big stack, spent the entire tournament doing what he loved – pissing off opponents. And when Phil Hellmuth sat next to him, he didn’t even have to try. In one of the hands, Martin made a big bet on the flop and offered the dealer to immediately give him the pot:
“Phil will throw it away anyway, you’ll see."
“Shut up ***,” Helmuth flared up and folded.
From the 3rd level Artur, Henrik Hecklen, Daniel Negreanu, and others moved to the TV table. The tournament was shown with open cards on youtube.
Artur regained the lead after nearly doubling against Hecklen.
The Dane defended the big blind, check-called the flop, the turn was checked, and on the river Henrik bet 575,000 into a pot of 715,000 and called a 2.6 million raise.
Martirosyan spent 1.5 levels at the TV table and left with a stack of 7.5 million, and soon eliminated Chidwick and crossed the 10 million mark.
Kabrhel had about the same amount at that moment. In one hand, he eliminated Sam Soverel, who shoved 15 blinds on the SB with , Martin in the BB called with . And then he sent Phil Hellmuth home (75o>88, on the board ).
Dan Smith started the day the shortest with 13 blinds, but by the middle of the day, he had spun up to 10 million.
At the 50,000/100,000 level, Dan fell victim to Arthur's big bluff. On the board Arthur check-raised and bet big on the turn and river. Dan threw it away and said he had .
Immediately after that, Martirosyan eliminated Day 1 chip leader Bailey (JJ>ATs) and moved up to 17.5m. When the players moved to two tables, he dropped back to 11 million but retained the lead.
After the redraw, Artur and Kabrhel ended up at the TV table. In front of the cameras, Martin put on a show in his own style – pestering rivals with incessant chatter and questionable behavior.
In several big hands, Martin played very ambitious bluffs against Arthur, which worked.
Artur played a raise-call preflop, check-call on the flop, Martin bet the turn and took the pot with an overbet on the river.
After a couple of hands, Arthur opened up, Martin defended the BB.
The flop was check-raised by Kabrhel to 235k-800k, Arthur three-bet to 1.9 million, and folded to another raise.
Video of the hand.
This bluff by @martinkabrhell in the @WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller is INSANE.— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 18, 2023
With king-high on a paired flop, Kabrhel clicks back Artur Martirosyan's three bet to take down a huge pot.
📺 – Watch live here: https://t.co/IUiIy71hxA pic.twitter.com/xeiZTh4BcD
At the end of the level, there was a third confrontation.
Martin raised in the SB and Arthur paid in the BB. The flop was checked, Kabrhel bet 295k on the turn and took the pot with an all-in on the river. Arthur thought for a long time, spent several time-banks, but threw it away.
He had just over 20 blinds left, and there were 14 players in the game at that moment.
– You misunderstood, most likely, this is not so (ed. – suspicions of Martin's foul play ), – Artur clarified in his telegram. – But the fact that there is even a small possibility already causes very conflicting feelings. Three frostbitten bluffs – especially the last two, he is either a cheater or a complete fool, it remains to be seen.
Artur quickly spun up to a comfortable stack, but this was off the TV table.
In 13th place, Martin eliminated Koray Aldemir, who 4-bet shoved for 25 blinds with AQo, Kabrhel called with K7s, and got a king on the river. This hand also added fuel to the cauldron of suspicion.
– Why hasn't Martin Kabrhel been banned from the WSOP yet? – Andrew Robl is surprised . – He makes any tournament no fun for anyone and on top of it I’ve seen him mark cards in every tournament I’ve ever played with him. If I knew he was going to be in any tournament I’d rather not play, imagine how recreational players must feel. And this is not only my opinion, almost everyone has thought so for many years. His participation in the tournament is cringe. If the regular high rollers could vote for his ban, the decision would be unanimous. Despite the fact that usually poker players cannot agree on anything at all.
– Kabrhel did more to entertain the audience yesterday in 15 minutes than many of you in 15 years, Will Jaffe stood up for the Czech. Of course, the marks on the cards are very serious, but do not forget that Jake Schindler and Bryn Kenny also played in this tournament.
Martin was also defended by Patrick Leonard and Paul Newey, both of whom wrote that his behavior was rather amusing. At the same time, they noted that they heard about manipulations with cards for the first time.
Henrik Hecklen busted 12th, he 3-bet shoved 15 blinds with AJo and didn't improve against Dan Smith.
The bubble boy was Phil Ivey. He shoved 20 blinds with A3s on the button, Kabrhel in the BB called with .
Ben Heath (ATs<QJo Smith) finished in 11th place, and millionaire Alfred Decarolis (Q5s<A9o Brewer) was eliminated in 10th.
At the very end of the day, Arthur won a big pot against Dan Smith.
Martirosyan opened with , Dan defended the big blind. On the flop Smith check-called a 25% bet, turn checked, river , Dan bet a third of the pot for 1 million, Arthur raised to 5 million, got called, and won.
On the final day, Martirosyan went with the 3rd stack (61 blinds), the same as Kabrhel, Chance Kornuth was confidently leading (75 big blinds). The shortest were David Peters (16 bbs) and Brandon Steven (11 bbs)
In one of the first hands of the day, Steven Veneziano, who was unknown to a wide audience before the tournament, busted (from the first entry, Artur bluffed most of the stack against him). He called Chance Kornuth's raise and on the board paid two bets on the whole stack with . Kornuth had .
Artur lost two big hands. First on the board Alex Kulev bet 800,000, Artur raised to 4 million and folded to an all-in.
And at the end of the level, Martirosyan doubled Chris Brewer. On the board Arthur's defended the big blind, paid two bets on the flop and turn, and shoved himself on the river. Chris with a sad grin called with .
Brandon Steven busted in 8th. He shoved four blinds from UTG with K6s and got called by Kabrhel with AJo.
After that, the players moved to the TV table.
David Peters finished 7th.
He shoved seven blinds from late and was called by Kornuth on the SB. Leaving the table, the taciturn and good-natured David fist-bumped all his opponents, except for Kabrhel.
A brutal end for @dpeterspoker17 in the @WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller who finishes in 7th place.— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 19, 2023
Peters gets it in good against @ChancesCards but a river heart ends his day and he'll take home $712,953.
📺 – Watch live here: https://t.co/InAL0tkRzV pic.twitter.com/ORcQKf9UDN
In one of the hands, Kabrhel provoked a small incident. He raised and Arthur shoved. Martin got up to look at the opponent's stack and cards.
– "Can he get up?" – Kulev immediately turned to the dealer. – Call the floor. Before the start of the game, we were told that we were not allowed to stand up during the hands.
“I just got up to see his stack,” Martin explained. – And after two seconds I sat down. I don't understand what the problem is.
“You break the rules, that’s the problem,” Alex answered for the floor.
– Nothing happened, I didn’t do anything wrong, or explain what I’m wrong about. I got up for the first time in a day. Alex, are you normal? It's a joke? Do you really want to win like this? Complete nonsense, unbelievable. I don't understand why you guys do this to me.
Chance Kornuth tried to explain, but Martin interrupted him:
– I'm in the hand, do not distract me.
Then he turned back to Alex.
"So what's your problem? Explain what I did wrong."
– You're breaking the rules. You were here in front of the final table and heard that you can't stand up, especially during the hand.
The floor didn't say that.
– He did.
Chris, can you explain what's going on?
“Before the start of the game, the floor warned us that we had no right to leave our seat when we had cards,” Brewer answered with the calmness of a boa constrictor.
– He didn't say that.
“That's exactly what he said."
“Anyway, I didn’t leave my seat, I just stood up for two seconds. Are you all crazy?
“Yes, we are all crazy, but you are the only one who is normal,” Kulev agreed.
“The reason you can't get up is simple,” Dan Smith lost his patience. – At this angle, you can see your marks on the cards better.
– Are you kidding?
No, I'm just stating a fact.
“They introduced this rule on purpose to protect us from you,” Kornuth added. – If you have any questions, let me know.
Thank you, you are all great guys. Just nonsense.
Dan Smith doubled up with 15 blinds against Kornuth (AK>77). After that, relative calm reigned for some time, the players played many small and medium-sized pots.
And then there was probably the key hand of the tournament.
Dan Smith opened from UTG, Chris Brewer 3-bet 40% of his stack, Arthur shoved, Dan thought and reshoved.
– "Artur has JJ+ and AK or even QQ+ here. Dan has QQ+ and AKs,” Chris began to think aloud.
Are you interested in my opinion? Kabrhel laughed. Don't count on me, I'm generally an amateur.
Chris threw it away, and Arthur got up and put the bag on his shoulder when he saw Smith's cards. As recently in Cyprus, the trick worked again.
“Arthur is not mistaken at all,” Martin again could not remain silent. Chris, you are just a genius. Folded the set.
Brewer doubled up against Martirosyan (AJo>JTs), Smith stayed short and was eliminated soon after.
Kabrhel opened, Dan shoved.
– What is the probability that he is just slowrolling? Brewer walked over to the fans while Kabrhel thought.
His second card was , and on the flop the first card opened . Dan's outs didn't come.
“I wish good luck to almost everyone…” Dan said goodbye and looked at Martin. – Except you. I really hope you get banned.
– For what?
“I have never played with a more disgusting person in my life."
“I'm sure there are worse."
Dan ignored Martin and said goodbye to the others.
“No one I have ever played with is worse at the table than Martin,” Dan said in an interview after the elimination. “Besides, there’s a lot of talk about him marking cards. It is difficult to say whether this is true or not, but it is very unpleasant to play with him. He is rude, he spends 30 seconds on all decisions. Yesterday we also played at the same table for a long time and I had a feeling that something strange was happening. I can’t say 100%, but it seems to me that he should not be allowed to participate in tournaments."
Chance Kornuth 3-bet 4.4 million with A6s and folded to an all-in by Kabrhel, who held aces.
Arthur shoved 19m on the button with A5s and doubled up against Kulev's 99 on the SB.
Kornut was unable to spin from four blinds and took 5th place.
“Arthur, would you agree to share heads-up with me?” I need an answer right now,” Kabrhel asked insistently, not embarrassed that there were four more people in the game.
“Only if you give me the money for the first place.”
“And the bracelet for me?” Profitable.
Kulev remained the shortest but doubled down against Artur.
Brewer decided to keep up and doubled up against Kabrhel.
Martin enthusiastically celebrated Chris' doubling and invited him to play a team tournament together.
"I'll think about it," Chris replied evasively.
– Do not want? Then I won't double you anymore. Not nice of you.
– I don't want to play that tournament at all. It's not about you.
“Then promise me that if you still decide, you will only play with me.”
– Agreed, but I will not play.
Kabrhel shoved A7s in the SB, Artur called JJ in the BB and doubled up to the chip lead.
After that, in 4th place, Martirosyan eliminated Alex Kulev and further strengthened his lead.
Martin Kabrhel, to everyone's delight, busted 3rd, shoving from the SB.
Despite the big gap, Chris quickly leveled the stacks, but Arthur again took the lead with a 2 to 1 advantage. Everything was decided in two preflop all-ins.
At first, Chris held his own in a coin flip.
And then he won when he had only 2% on the flop to win.
THE RUN BAD FINALLY ENDS FOR CHRIS BREWER!!!!!@Chris_D_Brewer captures the @WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller title and his first gold bracelet in spectacular fashion.— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 19, 2023
Along with that, Brewer earns $5,293,556 for the win! pic.twitter.com/tmHuwMmoPa
After such struggles in the next couple of years, Chris is unlikely to be able to call himself the unluckiest player in the world now.
– A little later I will write a big post, but for now, LET'S FUCKING GO!!, – Chris wrote after the victory.