Latest from the World Series of Poker

wsopsignage2013The 45th Annual World Series of Poker kicked off in the home of poker, Las Vegas, 26 days ago with many of the top professionals, full time grinders, full time degens and part time dream chasers all trying to get their hands on a bucketload of cash as they try to etch their names in poker history by winning a bracelet event at the WSOP.

At the time of writing this article, 38 WSOP sponsored events have been completed with Event #39 ($3k No Limit Holdem) currently 3 handed, and the Event #40 ($10k Heads-Up) down to 2 players. It’s the first final table of WSOP 2014 for the 5 remaining players in the 2 events, so we will have our 39th different bracelet winner from 40 events. That means that we have our first double bracelet winner of 2014, and that honour goes to Pokerstars sponsored pro, George Danzer.

Danzer won Event #38 (7 Card Stud hi/lo Split 8 or Better) beating a star studded Final Table that included Jeff Lisandro 5th , Brian Hastings 4th , Online beast Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson 3rd, and former WSOP Main Event Runner Up John Racener 2nd. He added $353k to the $295 for winning Event #18 (7 Card Razz) just 11 days earlier. This sits him comfortably at the top of the Player of the Year table ahead of Justin Bonomo in 2nd.

There’s still another 25 WSOP events to play for, so I wouldn’t count out someone else doing the double and picking up their 2nd bracelet of the series. One player that came close to bracelet glory, was German Max Kruse who finished 3rd in Event #36 (2-7 Lowball). While many of you might not know who Max is, he was expected to be in Brazil as part of the German squad at the World Cup, but he was omitted by German coach Joachim Low.

The Borussia Mönchengladbach striker bagged 11 goals last season, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a place in the 23 man squad, so he turned his attention to Vegas instead. As if being snubbed by Germany wasn’t enough, the WSOP listed him as a ‘former soccer pro’ which no doubt stung a little!

Max was one of 43,235 players that have participated in the WSOP series this year. A total prize fund of $73,107,605 has been paid out so far and this will soar over the coming 24 days. Last year’s One Drop ($111,111 entry) was won by Anthony Gregg and created a prizepool of $18m, but this year the buyin returns to $1,000,000 which it was in 2012 where Antonio Esfandiari won over $18m alone in winning the title. This year’s One Drop is expected to emulate the $42.6m that was played for in 2012.

Everyone’s eye though, will be on the WSOP Main Event where the winner this year will pick up at least $10m for first place. The $10k entry tournament will boast all of the game’s top names, aswel as a lot of recreational players due to the large volume of satellites available across the globe. Sometimes the cream rises to the top, while other times a Jerry Yang or a Jamie Gold will prevail. Will winning the Main Event set you up for life? Well, in recent years TJ Cloutier made $4,006, Peter Eastgate made $147,500, Jamie Gold made $65,725 and others have also made money. Made money from what? Well, they all sold their WSOP Main Event bracelets either on Ebay or through auctions. So shipping the Main Event won’t always set you up, but at least you’ll have a little something to fall back on if it all goes tits up!