Duhamel Gets His Gold Bracelet Back

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Jonathan Duhamel has been on one heck of a ride since the home invasion and robbery that occurred back in December of 2011, but one of his most prized possessions that was missing has now been returned to its rightful owner.  This is none other than the World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet that he took down back in 2010.  He was bent on trying to get this bracelet back, as it was one of the things that meant the most to him out of what was taken.  It was gone for around two months, but this past Wednesday it was found, but not quite in the same condition that he lost it in.

It was found by a street sweeper named Denis Theriault, who cleaning up the Ville-Marie tunnel, when he found the bracelet while emptying the sweeper out.  It was completely beaten up, and looked as though someone had just taken a hammer to it.  It was worse than that though, as it had actually been run over by a car unfortunately.  The bracelet has (had) a diamond mix in it as well, and no one is positive about how it ended up in this tunnel, but there are a few assumptions.  One of the most popular ones is that whoever had  the bracelet at the time decided that there was no way they could sell the bracelet without being caught, so they simply threw it into the tunnel.

The bracelet essentially has lost everything except for it’s main plate, but fortunately Seth Palansky, who is the Media Director of the World Series of Poker, told tournament director Mitch Garber to let Duhamel know that they would work with him to replace the bracelet.  The current bracelet has Duhamel’s last name scratched off, but his first name, the date of the event, and the name of the tournament are all engraved, so there was no way that someone would not be able to realize that this bracelet belonged to Duhamel.

Duhamel has been one of the hottest players to start 2012, and it looks like he’s rebounded well from the home invasion as well.  Keep an eye on him throughout the year as he could be in for another huge year.

2011 WSOP Event 16 Recap

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WSOPEvent 16 of this year’s WSOP has turned into the big story so far. While not much was expected out of the 10k 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No Limit) in the way of stories, this tournament changed those expectations incredibly.

Only 126 players were signed up to play this event, creating a $1.2 million prize pool. However, this tournament is not about overcoming a large field to win a bracelet, but who you have to overcome. Frequently, these tournaments are referred to as a pro’s opportunity to buy a bracelet, but after the field that turned out to play this tournament, that may be a hasty argument.

The final table: Phil Hellmuth, Richard Ashby, John Juanda, Steve Sung, Nick Schulman, David ‘Bakes’ Baker, and Hasan Habib (Joe Cassidy and Greg Raymer busted in 8th and 9th respectively). If you were going to try to “buy a bracelet” in this event, you would have to overcome these men to do so. All of the men at the final table each had a WSOP bracelet.

All the stars seemed to be aligning for Phil Hellmuth, who entered the final table as the chip leader. Hellmuth, who was going for his record 12th World Series of Poker bracelet, was trying to earn his first non-Hold’em bracelet. He kept this momentum up, getting heads-up versus John Juanda with a nearly 3-1 chip lead.

Juanda exactly isn’t a slouch, though. Having 4 WSOP bracelets and finishing 4th in this very event in the past two years, Juanda has been called the best 2-7 Lowball player in the world. He lived up to this title against Hellmuth. In a heads-up match that lasted over 4 hours, Juanda slowly picked at Hellmuth’s stack, quietly and methodically, until he sent the 11-time champion to the rail. Hellmuth, while more than disappointed to not have earned the bracelet, still took home $226k. Juanda earned his 5th bracelet and $367,170 for his win, along with the joy of denying the Poker Brat number 12.


2011 WSOP Event 10 Recap

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WSOPIf you were looking to bet on someone to win Event 10: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em – Six Handed, you should have been checking to make sure Jeffrey Papola was in the field. Last year, Papola went heads-up for the bracelet not once in a 6-max event, but twice. While he took the consolation prize home in his first attempt, he walked out of the Rio after his second with a new piece of jewelry.

This event brought out 1,920 entries (including Papola) creating a prize pool of almost $2.6 million. This was a 3 day event, and players who made it just a bit into day two almost doubled their money. Only 15 players returned on the final day, all having locked up $20k and playing for the championship.

Who was surprised when, late in day 2, Papola began to make his presence known in the tourney? Not this guy. When chips were bagged for the night, Papola had more than anyone else in the room, one of two players over 1 million in chips.

Papola made a valiant run, but exited the Rio after busting out in third place. Eddie Blumenthal was left to battle Geffrey Klein. Blumenthal had the advantage of having 10x the chips of his opponent but could not put him away. In an Epic comeback Klein battled his way back to capture his first bracelet and $544,388.

2011 WSOP Event 7 Recap

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WSOPWe have our first of the 10k championships in Event 7: $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em. Being one of the championships (that isn’t the Main Event), this event brought out only the really good or really rich. Only 249 players registered to play this event, down a hair from last year’s number of 268. This created a prize pool of almost $2.4 million to be split among the top 27 finishers.

As could be expected, most those who finished in the money have their share of past WSOP success, including Nenad Medic, Jen Tilly, Mike ‘the Mouth’ Matusow, and Chris Moorman. Simply making the cash doubled your buyin, with a min-cash being right at $20k.

One player who just missed out on turning a profit from this tournament was Daniel Negreanu. Having once called PLHE one of the hardest games in poker, Negreanu showed just how hard it is by busting out on the bubble in 28th place.

The final table was not as jam-packed with big names as one may have expected for a 10k Championship, with Eric Cloutier and Sam Stein about the most well-known there. However, that in no way reflects the quality of play of the table, as the battle for the bracelet was hotly contested. Prevailing in this battle was Amir Lehavot. Along with the bracelet, Lehavot took home $573,456 in prize money. Not a bad return on a $10k investment, eh?

2011 WSOP Event 6 Recap

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WSOPEvent 6 of this year’s World Series of Poker, $1,500 Limit Hold’em, is our first LHE event this year. Limit events rarely bring out large fields, but with it still being a Hold’em tournament, 675 players registered to play.

A very interesting story developed in what would have otherwise been an event that flew under the radar. On the final day of play, defending champion Matt Matros was still in the field when the final 15 players came back. If winning a WSOP bracelet is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people, what would winning the same one twice in a row be?

Sadly, though, he was not able to successfully do so. Exiting in 11th place, Matros, a published poker author, went to the cage, picked up his $12k, and went to find another game to play. There’s always next year, right?

With a prize pool set at just above $900,000, almost $3,000 went to anyone who finished among the final 63. With it being a limit event, many of those who turned a profit are unknown to the mainstream poker media. However, many popular pros still represented, including Dutch Boyd, JJ Liu, and a man with a shot at winning his 3rd WSOP bracelet, Scott Clements.

None of them had enough, however, to overtake eventual champion Harrison Wilder. Taking home the bracelet and $205,065, Wilder made sure not to be one of those unknown names any longer. With many limit events still on the schedule this year, I would not be surprised to be writing about him again over the next couple months.

2011 WSOP Event #3 Info

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WSOPThe first non-Hold’em event of this year’s WSOP, a $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better tournament, kicked off 2 days ago, with 925 players forking over the cash for their shot at a WSOP bracelet.

This year, despite all predictions to the contrary, has broken all previous attendance records, with 925 players registered and playing, over 100 more than last year, and barely breaking the 2009 record of 918. Still, an impressive turnout in light of the recent online developments.

Just over 200 players returned yesterday for a day 2 to battle for their share of the $1.2 million prize pool created in this event. The winner of the event will get a lion’s share of the profits, at $262,283, as well as the coveted bracelet, with anyone making the top three taking home six figures.

Some big names in the poker world still remain in contention, including Sorel Mizzi, Barry Greenstein, and Humberto Brenes. However, leading the way is Francesco Barbaro, trying to seal his chances at the cash and bracelet.