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WSOP 2021: Tyler Cornell Wins First Gold Bracelet, Long Ma Leads Reunion Final Five

WSOP 25K Winner Photo
Tyler Cornell was crowned a WSOP winner as he took down a decorated table to win over $833,000.

Tyler Cornell conquered the $25,000-entry NLHE High Roller Event #6 to win his maiden WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas as he took down a final table featuring Adrian Mateos and Mustapha Kanit among others. The five-handed final day of High Roller action aside, four other events moved closer to a conclusion with plenty of drama along the way.

Cornell Captures First Career Bracelet

Cornell’s victory in the $25,000-entry High Roller saw the American claim his first WSOP bracelet. The action began with Adrian Mateos at the bottom of the chip counts, but he was not the first player to bust. Italian pro Mustapha Kanit moved all-in with AsKh on a flop of QdJh6s and was well behind Jonathan Jaffe’s QcTc. The turn or river needed to hit Kanit’s cards or find one of the three remaining tens in the deck, but the 9c turn and 4h river doomed him to a fifth-place finish worth $216,842.

With four players left, the lead changed hands a number of times, with Adrian Mateos doubling back into contention and holding the chip lead himself, a stunning turnaround from his position going into play. Jaffe had failed with an ambitious bluff in the previous hand when he got his last big blind into the middle preflop with Kh5h, only to be called then eliminated by Michael Liang’s AcKc on a board that played out Jc9s[4s9s6h. Jaffe’s finish was worth $286,202.

Three-handed play lasted a long time, even after Cornell’s flopped trips left Mateos short. Despite two double up, it was soon adiós to the only WSOP bracelet winner who remained when Mateos moved all-in pre-flop with Ah9c and was called by Cornell with 9s9d. The eight-high board sent Mateos out in third place for $381,870.

Heads-up saw Cornell go into battle with an overwhelming lead of 9:1 in chips. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Michael Liang’s fearless approach earned him not one but two double-ups to suggest he might be back in with a shot at glory and his own first WSOP bracelet. Cornell, however, was not to be denied his moment and eventually got it in good with Ac2c against Liang’s Ks2d pre-flop.

The ace-high flop of Ad6h3d put Cornell into a terrific position to seal the victory and although the Td offered Liang hope of a miraculous runner-runner flush, the 2h river denied him and gave Cornell the hand and the WSOP bracelet with it.

Liang’s runner-up finish was worth $515,014 but it was Tyler Cornell who went wire-to-wire to win the biggest prize of the 2021 World Series of Poker so far, $833,289, and of course the fabled WSOP gold bracelet.

Event #6 $25,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table Results:

  1. Tyler Cornell – $833,289
  2. Michael Liang – $515,014
  3. Adrian Mateos – $381,870
  4. Jonathan Jaffe – $286,202
  5. Mustapha Kanit – $216,842
  6. Mohammad Arani – $166,102
  7. Paul Newey – $128,654
  8. Adam Hendrix – $100,773

Five Left To Fight For $500,000 in the Reunion

The Reunion has already made waves at the WSOP on its return to the Rio and from 12,973 official entries, just five hopefuls remain in the hunt for the WSOP bracelet and $513,604 top prize. Across a grueling 17 hours of play, 678 players lost their tournament lives, and with just five players left, it is Long Ma who leads the final table with 260 million chips.

Ma is followed in the chip counts by Guiliano Lentini (133.9 million), Alex Vazquez (114. million), and Max Tavepholjalern (114.3 million), with Michael Eddy bringing up the rear, short-stacked with 27.6 million.

Plenty of big names lost their stacks along the way, with legends of the felt such as Ryan Leng (248th for $2,940), Barry Greenstein (201st for $3,350) and Ronnie Bardah (75th for $6,081) Ryan Laplante led the field late on but plummeted to bust in 19th place for $18,117. Adrian Buckley was the final WSOP bracelet winner to bust in 9th place for $53,625, meaning whoever wins will be a first-time champion.

The tournament overall has been nothing but a huge success, attracting plenty of amateurs and recreational players, along with former WSOP world champions such as Greg Raymer.

The $600-entry Event #8 saw an amazing 4,527 entries across Day 1, creating a prizepool of over $2.3 million. It was Krisd Gabrialian who prevailed as chip leader by the end of the day, with his stack of 3,230,000 dwarfing even his nearest challengers, Shahriar Assareh (2,300,000) and Brandon Hatter (1,875,000).

As this video shows, attendances at the Rio are clearly not affected in a negative way by the pandemic protocols that need to be followed.

$600 Deepstack Brings Out The Crowds

With so many players arriving to take part in a $600 competition, many have questioned the prestige of a WSOP bracelet with the buy-in being this low. Popular poker pro Matt Berkey advocates the change in direction, however, in a refreshing Twitter post.

With Day 1 also a good day for players such as former WSOP bracelet winners Joey Weisman (1,375,000), Craig Varnell (1,245,000), Eric Baldwin (965,000), and Seth Fischer (955,000), just 216 players from that mammoth field remain to play down to a winner on Day 2 and a top prize of $281,604.

Event #8 $600 NLHE Deepstack Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Krisd Gabrialian – 3,230,000
  2. Shahriar Assareh – 2,300,000
  3. Brandon Hatter – 1,875,000
  4. Brad Albrinck – 1,760,000
  5. Roland Rokita – 1,705,000
  6. Noam Muallem – 1,540,000
  7. Nathan Manuel – 1,500,000
  8. Ari Mezrich – 1,490,000
  9. Stephen Seffense – 1,455,000
  10. Michael Ung – 1,405,000

Henson Leads Dealer’s Choice, Another Deep Run For Hellmuth

Event #7, the $1,500-entry Dealer’s Choice already looks like being remembered as one of the most enjoyable events of the series, especially for those who played in it. With just 11 players surviving to the final day, it is Ray Henson (1,365,000) who will go into the final day as the chip leader. Henson is just a three-bet clear of two highly talented players in Ian O’Hara (1,310,000) and Christopher Lindner (1,260,000), so everything is to play for.

Of the other survivors on a day where 88 players were cut down to less than a dozen, there are still four former WSOP bracelet winners with chips, as Andrew Kelsall (835,000), Overnight chip leader Nathan Gamble (480,000), Naoya Kihara (400,000) and Adam Friedman (330,000) all go into the final day with genuine hope of repeating the feeling of winning gold yet again.

Finishing inside the money but outside the top dozen players were Eli Elezra (20th for $3,593) and Phil Hellmuth, who departed in 18th place for $4,429 before updating his fans on his first two events and cashes so far this series.

Event #7 $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Final 11 Chipcounts:

  1. Ray Henson – 1,365,000
  2. Ian O’Hara – 1,310,000
  3. Christopher Lindner – 1,260,000
  4. Jaswinder Lally – 880,000
  5. Andrew Kelsall – 835,000
  6. Nathan Gamble – 480,000
  7. Jeremy Heartberg – 405,000
  8. Naoya Kihara – 400,000
  9. Adam Friedman – 330,000
  10. Craig Chait – 235,000
  11. Adam Kipnis – 175,000

$10K Omaha Gets Underway

The final event of the day to bag up chips and call it a night was the $10,000-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event, one of many mixed game events that take place early on the schedule.

It was Michael Noori who managed to bag the biggest stack with an impressive 345,000 chips. He’s closely followed by the very familiar name of Jerry Wong, however, who reached the final table of the WSOP Main Event just five years ago.

With poker legends David Benyamine (198,000) and George Wolff (172,000) both in the top 10, there is all to play for with players of real quality on every table.

Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Michael Noori – 345,000
  2. Jerry Wong – 279,000
  3. Chad Eveslage – 278,000
  4. Andrew Yeh – 255,000
  5. Christopher Vitch – 210,000
  6. David Benyamine – 198,000
  7. Aditya Prasetyo – 181,000
  8. Todd Rodenborn – 173,000
  9. George Wolff – 172,000
  10. Erik Sagstrom – 172,000

Finally, if the Rio diet or armchair diet are overwhelming you with a dangerous combination of carbohydrates or couch potato chips, you’ll want to see GGPoker’s attempt to make us all feel like we need to hit the treadmill to turn back time. Welcome, Jason Koon. Just take a seat in a high roller and stop making us look bad!

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