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Ben Yu defeated a final table that included four bracelet winners to take down the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. Matt O’Donnell survived a grueling heads-up battle with Timur Margolin to win the $2,500 NL Hold’em bracelet and $551,941.

Robert Mizrachi is looking to repeat as champion in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event. He is second in chips with 11 remaining. Over in the $3,000 NL Six-Max, just 35 players remain with Jason Les returning on Saturday as chip leader.

Matt O’Donnell Wins $2,500 NL Hold’em

Five players returned to the Rio on Friday in the $2,500 NL Hold’em Event to play for the bracelet and $551,941 in prize money. Timur Margolin would return as chip leader with Matt O’Donnell right behind. Andy Black was the featured player at the final and started third in chips.

Here are the chip counts at the start of final table action on Friday:

  • Timur Margolin – 5.85 million
  • Matt O’Donnell – 4.36 million
  • Andy Black – 2.01 million
  • Andrew Dean – 1.86 million
  • Brandon Wittmeyer – 1.47 million

Andrew Dean was the first player eliminated from the final table. In the third hand of play, Dean shoved all-in pre-flop with Ac-Qc and Andy Black called with Kh-Qh. Dean had Black covered by just 150,000. The flop fell Ks-10d-7c to give Black the lead. Dean picked up a straight draw but he failed to catch a jack on the turn or river. The very next hand, he was all-in with 10d-6h against the Ah-9c of Timur Margolin. Dean caught a six on the flop but an ace on the turn and nine on the river ended Dean’s day in fifth place.

Andy Black got lucky at the wrong time to get eliminated in fourth place. After a Matt O’Donnell raise to 240,000, both Black and Timur Margolin called to see a flop of Kd-8d-7s. Black checked and O’Donnell bet 350,000. Margolin called and Black check-shoved for around 3 million. O’Donnell tanks a bit and calls while Margolin gets out the way. Black shows Kc-Qh for top pair and O’Donnell shows pocket aces. The turn fell the 7c and river the 4d and Andy Black was out in fourth.

Brandon Wittmeyer was eliminated just four hands later. He shoved pre-flop for around 1 million and Matt O’Donnell made the call. Wittmeyer was ahead with Kc-Jh against the Qh-10c of O’Donnell. His lead was short lived as the flop fell Qs-9s-5d. O’Donnell took the lead but Wittmeyer could win with a king or a ten. The turn fell the 7c and river the 5h to send this event to heads-up.

At the start of heads-up play, Matt O’Donnell held an 11.5 million to 9.3 million chip lead over Timur Margolin. To say this heads-up match was a grind is an understatement. These players battled back and forth for 86 hands and traded the chip lead multiple times. Prior to the start of the final hand, O’Donnell was back in the lead and had extended that lead to around 2:1.

Margolin raised pre-flop to 600,000 and O’Donnell shoved. Margolin snapped called and showed pocket sixes. O’Donnell showed Qs-Jh. The flop fell Ah-Ac-Qh to give O’Donnell the lead and the turn Qd left Margolin drawing dead.

In 2014, O’Donnell finished fifth in a $1,000 NL Event and runner up in the $10,000 PL Hold’em Championship. The third time proved the charm as Matt O’Donnell took the $2,500 NL Hold’em bracelet and $551,941. Congratulations.

Ben Yu Wins $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship

The final day of the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship started with 11 players looking to make the final table of this event. The final table was reached in the very first level of play as Brian Tate fell in 11th and Ian Johns hit the rail as the final table bubble boy. Justin Bonomo was still the chip leader as action headed into the final table. This was a stacked final table with nearly every player either a former bracelet winner or a well-known player.

Below are your final table participants:

Seat 1: Justin Bonomo
Seat 2: Anthony Zinno
Seat 3: Aleksandr Denisov
Seat 4: Kenny Shei
Seat 5: Ben Yu
Seat 6: Gabriel Nassif
Seat 7: Terrence Chan
Seat 8: Marco Johnson
Seat 9: Jesse Martin

Terrence Chan is known as one of the best Limit Hold’em poker players in the world but couldn’t get anything going at this final table. In his final hand, he put the last of his chips in on a flop of 10s-5h-4s and Ben Yu made the call. Chan held pocket kings and Yu flipped over Ac-2c for a gutshot wheel draw and one overcard. The turn blanked both players but the river fell the 3h to give Yu his wheel and eliminate Chan.

Anthony Zinno has been on a remarkable run at the 2015 WSOP. All three of his cashes, including this one, are final table appearances. Unfortunately, he has been unable to capitalize with a bracelet victory. In this event, he fell in fifth place. After a three-way capped pot pre-flop, Zinno put the last of his chips in on a flop of 10d-7h-3d. Justin Bonomo and Jesse Martin continue along in the pot through the turn Ac and to the river 9s. On the river, Martin bet and Bonomo folded. Zinno showed Ah-8h for top pair but Martin held pocket aces and his turned set eliminated Zinno in fifth place.

Justin Bonomo finished this event in third. He played well for most of the final table but as the started to slide three-handed and by his final hand; he only had about five big bets left. In his last hand, Bonomo went to war with As-10s against Ben Yu. By the turn, the board read Jd-7c-6h-Kd and Bonomo put the last of his chips into the middle. Yu called and turned over Jh-8h for a pair of jacks. The river fell the 10c and this event was heads-up.

Ben Yu faced Jesse Martin heads-up for the bracelet. Yu held the chip lead and 2.2 million versus the 1.29 million of Martin. Heads-up play lasted 81 hands but the match was never close. Every time Martin got super short, he’d mount a bit of a comeback but never got more than his initial starting stack.


Finally, Yu had Martin down to fewer than two big bets before the final hand. Martin makes it two-bets from the button and Yu put in a third bet. Martin just flat called with only 10,000 behind. Those chips went into the pot when the flop fell Ah-Js-10d. Martin turned over Qs-3d for a gutshot draw while Yu showed Ad-Jd for top two pair. The turn 6c missed both players but the river Jh gave Yu a full house and his first bracelet victory.

Ben Yu has been a regular at the World Series of Poker since 2008 and finished runner-up in the 2010 $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout. Now he has finally broken through for his first bracelet victory after defeating a stacked final table that included four WSOP bracelet champions. In addition to the bracelet, Yu earned $291,456 for the largest cash in his professional career. Congratulations.

Jason Les Leads Final 35 in $3,000 NL Six-Max – Robert Mizrachi Looking to Repeat in $1,500 Dealer’s Choice

Day 2 of the $3,000 NL Hold’em Six-Max started with 285 players looking to cash in this event and start the march to the final table. The money bubble burst with 108 players left and notables that cashed in this event were Eugene Katchalov, Sylvain Loosli, Antonio Esfandiari, Brent Roberts, Alex Bolotin, Joe Hachem, Joseph Cheong, Jeff Madsen, Griffin Benger, Leo Wolpert and Tom Marchese.

Just 32 players remain after Day 2 with Jason Les leading. Notable players still in the field are Stephen Chidwick, Taylor Paur and Rep Porter. This event will resume at 1 p.m. PDT and continue until the bracelet has been awarded.

There are just 11 players remaining in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice and Saturday’s final should prove an interesting one. While Matt Szymaszek will head into the final day as chip leader, all eyes will be on Robert Mizrachi. Mizrachi is the defending champion in this event and will return second in chips on Saturday. Mizrachi won a bracelet earlier this series and is looking to become the third multi-bracelet winner of 2015.

Other players looking to make the final table are Scott Clements, Yuval Bronshtein and Chris Klodnicki. Carol Fuchs looks to become the latest female to make an open-field event final table. She finished 27th in last year’s 10-Game for her first WSOP cash. She is now looking to make her first WSOP final table.

Irinia Batorevich Leads Ladies Event – George Medrano Leads $10k PLO Championship

Two new events kicked off on Friday and the Noon event was the annual $1,000 Ladies World Championship. A field of 795 took to the field on Friday, just inching past last year’s total. Once again, requiring that men pay $10,000 to play in this event drove away the so-called “protesters,” and left the field open to those that should be playing.

After 11 levels of play, just 121 players remain with Irina Batorevich leading with 117,400. Some of the notable women returning on Saturday are Jennifer Shahade, Jessica Dawley, Lisa Hamilton and Svetlana Gromenkova. This event will resume at 1 p.m. PDT and play 10 levels.

The evening event was the $10,000 PL Omaha Championship. This years PLO Championship fell just shy of 2014 total as a field of 387 of the game’s top players took to the felt. PLO is a high action game and after ten levels, only 134 players advanced to Day 2.

George Medrano takes the chip lead into Day 2 with 320,800. Notable players advancing include Ben Tollerene, Noah Schwartz, Shaun Deep, Dan Smith, JC Tran, John Gale, Mike Leah, David Benyamine, Sorel Mizzi and Jeff Lisandro.

The Money Will Flow Saturday

Saturday should be another crazy at the Rio. The first ever $1,500 DraftKings 50/50 NL Hold’em will kick off at Noon. This event will be the first ever WSOP event to pay 50% of the field. It will be interesting to see what type of crowd will turn out for the event and how the bubble plays out.

The evening event is a $5,000 Turbo NL Hold’em event. This will likely be a smaller field due to the $5,000 price tag but the quick pace of play could entice the big names to give it a shot. Can they reach the final table in a single day? If not, they will probably get awful close.

Have your registered for PokerUpdate’s $10 Satellite to WSOP Event #64 on The satellite takes place Sunday at 6 p.m. on NV. If not, there’s still time to register by clicking the banner below:


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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.