In a dramatic final day of the race to become WSOP Player of the Year, Josh Arieh finally saw off the dogged challenge of Phil Hellmuth as Arieh, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner in 2021 and four-time bracelet holder in his career, earned the coveted title of 2021 WSOP Player of the Year.
Addamo Adds Up Chip Lead Once Again
The final two events of the 2021 World Series of Poker are racing towards the line as Michael Addamo and Ben Yu have put themselves in pole position to win big as they take leads int o the last two final tables of the WSOP in Las Vegas.
The $100,000-entry Event #87 is a High Roller event saw players able to late register up until the start of Day 2, and stars such as Brian Rast, Ole Schemion, Elio Fox, Stephen Chidwick, Dominik Nitsche, Mark Herm, Jason Koon, David Szep, Sean Perry, Jeremy Ausmus and Rok Gostisa all got involved before the first deal, with the field confirmed at 64 players in total, with just 39 remaining at the start of play.
That number was reduced almost immediately, with Shaun Deeb crashing out to David Coleman and Brian Rast almost on the rail in his first hand as he shoved for 600,000 chips at blinds of 20,000/40,000 with , a hand called by Cary Katz with which held to double up and leave Rast on fumes.
Rast, a five-time WSOP bracelet winner after his win earlier this series, would later rally, but still missed out on the money places, as did Phil Hellmuth, who quickly realized that he needed to win or come second in Event #88 to win the Player of the Year race. Hellmuth wasn’t the only one on the rail without money as David Peters, David Coleman, Jason Koon and the aforementioned Cary Katz all missed the money, along with Mark Herm, who was busted on the bubble in 11th place. Arieh wisely chose to give late-regging for $100,000 a miss.
Fedor Holz was the first player to make money as he was eliminated in 10th place for $167,869 when his ace-high shove couldn’t hold against Sorel Mizzi’s king-queen, a queen on the river winning the Canadian the pot and sending the German to the rail.
Addamo had the lead as the nine-handed final table kicked off, with 9.5 million chips to Sam Sovrel’s closest stack of just over 6 million. Bill Klein was the first player to depart the final nine as he busted with to Addamo’s . The money all went in on the flop, but neither the turn or river could save him and he cashed for $186,909 in ninth place.
He won his first-ever WSOP bracelet earlier in the week, but he busted in eighth place for $217,274 when his shove with ran into Addamo’s to bust on a board of .
Sam Grafton was the next player to lose his stack as he busted in seventh place for $263,227. Calling a raise from Henrik Hecklen, Grafton went to a flop of and both players checked it. Grafton checked the turn too, but Hecklen didn’t, firing a bet that the British player called. On the river, Grafton check-called Hecklen’s shove after using several time extension chips, but the Brit’s time was up as he called, showed for a pair of nines and was shown Hecklen’s for a rivered straight.
After an extended period of play where Addamo used his stack to chip up even more, Mizzi was the player to miss out on the final day as he shoved with and was called by Addamo with . The board ran out as the unfortunate Mizzi saw his dominating hand overtaken on the turn to end play for the night and give Addamo a big lead heading into the final day, holding as many chips on his own as his four opponents do combined.
WSOP 2021 Event #87 $100,000 High Roller Final Table Chipcounts:
- Michael Addamo – 19,620,000
- Henrik Hecklen – 5,445,000
- Sam Soverel – 5,165,000
- Kevin Rabichow – 4,250,000
- Sean Perry – 3,920,000
Ben Yu Leads Final Day in $5,000 8-Handed Event #88
The drama was palpable in the $5,000-entry NLHE 8-Handed Event #88, the final live event on this year’s WSOP schedule in Las Vegas. Phil Hellmuth, who could not reach the latter stages of the $50,000 or $100,000 events of the past couple of days, needed a deep run in the event. In fact, once Arieh crashed out, Hellmuth quickly established what he needed to do.
About 100 left in$5,000 No Limit Hold’em, 80 get paid: I’m above ave chips w 308,000. Next blinds 4,000-8,000. All the other “WSOP Player of the Year” contenders are out. Two contenders for the title: if I finish first or second, then I win POY, otherwise wins
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth)
Arieh was still in the building and as the tension built, the leader of the POY race busted, giving him a chance to join the anti-rail.
Welp….that’s a wrap! What a series! Time to anti-sweat my buddies.& need to win or needs 2nd or I’m POY please!
— Joshua Arieh (@golferjosh)
Sadly for Hellmuth and his many fans, the Poker Brat fell short as he called all-in with on a board of against Jason Brazeau’s for a pair of eights. Hellmuth’s elimination saw the 16-time record WSOP bracelet winner concede defeat and congratulate Arieh on his victory.
Congratson winning “Player of the Year,” you won two bracelets, made several final tables and CRUSHED it. If I had to finish second in POY, I’m happy that it was to a class guy, a nice guy, and a great player
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth)
Arieh replied, “You’re always gonna be the goat [Greatest of All Time] buddy! I appreciate you more than you know.”, tweeting a picture of the title celebrations.
Man! What a day
— Joshua Arieh (@golferjosh)
After Hellmuth’s departure, many big names fell, as players such as Faraz Jaka, Romain Lewis, Joao Simao, Andrew Kelsall, Dominik Nitsche, Justin Lapka, Justin Saliba and Brandon Sheils all missed out on the final day.
With just 30 players bagging up Day 2 chips from the 531 entries in total, Ben Yu (2,515,000) leads the final day field. Uri Reichenstein (2,070,000) is his closest challenger, while there are top 10 stacks for some of the best players to have sat down at the felt this World Series in Shaun Deeb (1,680,000), Ramon Colillas (1,500,000) and Alexandre Reard (1,048,000), who will shoot for his second 2021 bracelet tomorrow afternoon.
WSOP 2021 Event #88 $5,000 8-Handed NLHE Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Ben Yu – 2,515,000
- Uri Reichenstein – 2,070,000
- George Wolff – 1,770,000
- Shaun Deeb – 1,680,000
- Matyas Kende – 1,635,000
- Ramon Colillas – 1,500,000
- Danny Wong – 1,330,000
- Justin Liberto – 1,285,000
- Clayton Maguire – 1,100,000
- Alexandre Reard – 1,048,000
Daniel Negreanu’s World Series of Poker came to a close and ‘Kid Poker’ was happy to post his scores from his final rollercoaster ride at the Rio.
7 top 10 finishes
18 cashes in 55 events
$1 million in buy ins
$1.4 million in cashes
3rd in Player of the Year.
See you next year.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker)
Owais Ahmed commented that “It’s sick, almost unfathomable, how many final tables and top 3 appearances [Negreanu] has at the Rio, but never won a bracelet in the building. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see a location change.” in a comment liked by Negreanu himself. Bring on Bally’s?
Everyone has made the ‘walk of shame’ from the famous poker venue for the last 17 years, but for Martin Jacobson, the Swedish WSOP Main Event winner whose best result of his career came inside the Rio, it was emotional.
The very last walk of shame
— Martin Jacobson (@Martin_Jacobson)
Finally, not everyone is going to be sad to see trips to the Rio go down and the temperature go up from May next year at Bally’s and Paris.
Thank god, next year no moreat RIO
Can’t wait to leave this freeze cold place
— kitty kuo (@kittykuopoker)