Every WSOP has its special stories about dreams and desires, successes and failures. One of the early stories of this series is Phil Hellmuth, who is getting really close to obtaining bracelet number 14. Hellmuth managed to find his way to the final table of Event #7, $1,500 Seven Card Razz.
Phil made his way through the field of 352 runners who created a prize pool of $475,200 and will be sitting at his 50th WSOP final table later today. He starts second in chips among eight players with a stack of 314,000. The only player with more chips is Greg Pappas with 391,500. Still, he has quite a task ahead of him as he is facing a very tough final table.
Pappas himself is an industry veteran; Ted Forest, who starts fifth in chips, is a holder of two WSOP bracelets, same as Brock Parker. Other names standing between Hellmuth and his 14th bracelet and $121,000 first place prize money are Brandon Cantu, David Bach, Yuebin Guo and Kevin Iacofano.
While the series is probably more about bracelets than it is about money for Hellmuth, many players coming to Vegas this summer are hoping they will be walking away with big money in their pockets. One of the events that’s going to make this dream come true for a couple of players at least is Event #8, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker Event.
With a small buy-in of only $1,500 and a guaranteed cool $1 million for the winner, this event gives an opportunity to those with not so deep pockets to play for huge money. It is thus no surprise that this tournament attracted a great number of players. In fact, with the field of 7,977 players, it has become the second-largest WSOP event, bested only by the 2006 Main Event field of 8,773.
The huge number of players generated a great prize pool of $10,768,950 and the guaranteed million for first place was broken. The winner will thus walk away with $1,319,587 and a total of 819 players will be cashing in.
Although it is still early to give any real predictions, the one looking best to make a shot at first place is Andrew ‘BalugaWhale’ Seidman. Seidman lost his stack during the first flight but used his option to re-enter into the second flight and turned his 4,500 starting stack into the chip lead of 137,700. Other big stacks include that of Taylor van Meer (93,600), Larry Samet (80,000) and Matt Glantz (75,000).
Many notable names made their way through to Day 2, including former Main Even champion Joe Cada, Mohsin Charania, Amit Makhija, Jake Cody and Maria Ho. Some notables who failed to progress include Freddy Deeb, Phil Laak, Dominik Nitsche and Marvin Rettenmaier.
Players will be back in their seats today and between 1,500-1,600 of them are still in with a shot. One of these players will either become a millionaire or will simply add another $1 million+ to already big tournament winnings, depending on how things pan out.