WSOP Event #20: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER (Live Updates)

5 years ago
WSOP Event #20: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER (Live Updates)
09 Jun


Day 4

Millionaire Maker Makes Pablo Mariz A Millionaire

23:01 PST, 14th June 2017

After 161 hands at the final table, with blinds at 500,000-1,000,000 with a 150,000 ante Dejueante Alexander moved all in from the button with his last 14,050,000 and was called.

Alexander showed an A-3 vs Mariz’s Q-J, leaving him in good shape to double up. The flop came out 5-4-3 strengthening Alexander’s hand further. The ten on the turn left only the queens and jacks to give Mariz the hand, all the chip and the bracelet.

The last card was the Qs and Pablo Mariz was this year’s Millionaire Maker millionaire champion.

Dejuante Alexander quietly collected $754,499 and slipped away as the media moved into watch Mariz get his WSOP bling at the top of cash mountain – elevation: $1,221,407.

"We come here every year, grinding small events hoping to hit something big,” he said, adding, “and we finally did!"

Elsewhere Kelly Minkin talked to the cameras about winning the GPI Female Player and things were getting exciting in the $10k Razz event.

Final Table Results

1Pablo Mariz
2Dejuante Alexander
3Alexander Farahi
4Marc MacDonnell
5Bryce Yockey
6Yuriy Boyko
7Jonathan Gray
8Thiago Grigoletti
9Hector Martin

Down to Heads Up

21:44 PST, 14th June 2017

Hand # 8: Hector Martin out in 9th for $110,476 when he got it all in pre with Qc-8c against Pablo Mariz’s Kc-Jd and lost on an A-7-2-K-J board pushing Mariz further into the lead with 21,700,000 in chips.

Hand #15: Thiago Grigoletti busted in 8th place for $142,323 when he called Farahi’s 650,000 bet with his 300,000 stack. With two calls behind him from Mariz and Marc MacDonnell Grigoletti’s Kh-7h was not in great shape. 

The board came down J-T-2-2-F and Farahi won it with pocket sevens.

Hand #35:Jonathan Gray was next to the rail in 7th. Marc MacDonnell shoved in the small blind for 1,450,000 effective and Gray called with K-8 vd MacDonnell’s T-9.

The flop made for a sweat coming out T-9-7, giving MacDonnell the lead and Gray some outs. But Gray’s outs never came with a 5 and a K next off the deck.

Gray took $184,663 for his 7th place finish.

Hand #42: With the blinds now up to 200,000-400,000 with a 50,000 ante Yuriy Boyko whose stack had been crippled the previous hand down to just 1,400,000 pushed his stack in from the button and was called by Mariz.

Once again Mariz did the dirty job of crushing souls and sending them home and he rolled over J-T against Boyko’s A-6 and then rivered a ten to send Boyko out.

The world’s smallest violin could be heard playing as Boyko collected a cool $241,303 for coming 6th.

Hand #47: The final five in chip order are: Pablo Miraz (23,200,000), Marc MacDonnell (10,300,000), Alexander Farahi (7,500,000), Dejuante Alexander (6,500,000) and Bryce Yockey  (3,700,000) who is no doubt chuckling at Boyko’s demise – turns out they really were on a different level.


Hand #62: Though not that different a level. Yockey went out in 5th place for $317,644 after shoving 4,900,000 on the button into the 200,000-400,000 blinds.

Mariz, as per usual, called from the big blind and showed pocket threes to race against Tockey’s Kh-Th. The board was a blank 6-5-2-7-8 and Yockey rode off into the West for some responsibly consumed alcohol.

Hand #94: With the blinds now up to 250,000-500,000 with a 50,000 ante the pressure was mounting on the smaller stacks like Marc MacDonnell who finding pocket jacks breathed a sigh of relief and got his stack in against Farahi’s K-9.

A K-x-x-K-x board sealed MacDonnell’s fate and he bought the farm for a $420,805, leaving a bitter tang of almost-bracelet on his tongue.

Hand #137: It wasn’t until the 400,000-800,000 with a 100,000 ante level that we reached heads up play.

Dejuente Alexander raise the button to 1,800,000 pre-flop and was raised all-in by Alexander Farahi for a little over 10,000,000. After thinking long and hard, Alexander slid his chips over the line and tabled the Ah-9s, dominating Farahi’s As-2s.

The flop of 4-3-3 gave Farahi some hope but the hope wasn’t fulfilled by the blanks on the turn and river. Farahi collects $561,530 for third and Pablo Miraz and Dejuante Alexander are left in the running for the 1.2million up top and the bracelet.

Final Table Reached

15:11 PST, 14th June 2017

After Altman busted, it took just over two hours to get down to the final nine.

WSOP neophyte Chen Yu Hung was next to go to the rail in 13th ($68,022) when his pocket jacks couldn’t catch against Alexander Farahi’s pocket kings. That ended something of a miracle run for Hung.

Mariz took another scalp when he sent Ralph Perry to the rail in 12th to grab a $86,375 cheque. He was followed by Daniel Chan for 11th and the same in cash. Which brought the field down to the unofficial final table of ten.

Bryce Yockey and Yuriy Boyko got into a sass-down after Boyko chased his queen-high and hit a runner runner flush against a flopped straight. But it was Mariz who brought the live stream online.

By far the chip leader Mariz called from the small blind when Senovio Ramirez III’s shoved from the highjack for 2,050,000 with just the Th-3h. Mariz showed pocket tens and was given a sweat for a chop when the board ran out J-8-x-7. 

But another jack on the river closed out Ramirez’ hopes. He took home $86,375.

Elsewhere Liv Boeree got parked.

Altman First Out in 14th

11:25 PST, 14th June 2017

Brian Altman is the first person to the rail today after playing for less than half an hour. With a stack of just 1,015,000 and blinds still at 60,000-120-000 he called Pablo Mariz’s raise to 265,000 with the 6-5.

The flop came J-7-4 and Altman shoved for his remaining 900,000 and was called by Mariz with pocket aces.

The turn was a 9 and the river a 2 earning Altman $68,022 for 14th place.

Elsewhere Uncle Ron returned to the Rio. #luckyfist

A Millionaire Maker Final Day Begins

11:04 PST, 14th June 2017

The fourth and final day of the Millionaire Maker begins with two tables in the feature Thunderdome. Someone is going home a Millionaire and the unlucky thirteen others will be going home with nothing but a fattened wallet.

Ralph Perry is currently leading the field into day four with 7,765,000. But is closely followed by Daniel Chan and Bryce Yockey. Brian Altman and Thiago Grigoletti are on life support with less than 2 million in chips.

The hour long blinds will start at 60,000-120,000 with 20,000 antes, so those small stacks are going to need to get to work if they want to make it to the first break.

Good luck too all of them.

Poker Go will be live streaming once the official final table of nine players is reached.

Day 3

14 Left At End of Day 3

23:50 PST, 13th June 2017

Just one more day to go until a winner is crowned and a Millionaire Made. Just 14 players are left vying for the crown. Raphael Perry is the chip-leader of the pack and is looking for bracelet number two after waiting since his 2006 win in a $1,500 PLO tournament here at the series.

Yockey has 26 cashes including a third place in 2011, so he’s got to be absolutely starving for some bracelet gold and has a good chance sitting behind 6,315,000 in third place. 

Chen Yu Hung (4,550,000) is playing his first WSOP event and can’t be feeling to bad about his investment the thrill of going so deep so early seems worth the price of admission. He’s right in the middle at number 7. And Brian Altman is bringing up the rear with just 1,015,000, but isn’t letting his tail end Charlie status get him down.

Every single one of the final fourteen will be hoping for the run of cards that will carry them all the way to the bracelet and $1,221,407 for first. Someone in this group is going to be Millionaire by this time tomorrow.

The players will be returning to blinds of 60,000-120,000 with a 20,000 chip ante. Which makes for stacks ranging from 8 big blinds to 65. So day four might be a rather shorter day than the first three.

End of Day 3 Chip Counts

1Ralph Perry
2Daniel Chan
3Bryce Yockey
4Yuriy Boyko
5Alexander Farahi
6Jonathan Gray
7Chen Yu Hung
8Senovio Ramirez III
9Hector Martin
10Dejuante Alexander

Lisa Hamilton, Last Woman Standing, Out in 26th ($43,123)

21:33 PST, 13th June 2017

Players continue to fall.

Arkady Tsinis didn’t make it to the end of the 20,000-40,000/5,000 ante level, busting out in 35th after getting so close to back-to-back final tables.

With 30 players left there were just two women in the field Lisa Hamilton and Jessica Dawley neither of whom were destined to make the top 20. With the blinds at 25,000-50,000 Dawley got her 900,000 in preflop with A5os against ex-chip leader Senovio Ramirez III’s pocket jacks and lost the race for 30th place and  $34,718

That left just Lisa Hamilton to represent the double-X chromosome.

Despite the excellent omen of getting quad queens shortly before Jessica Dawley went out, Lisa Hamilton busted in the next blind level.

With her stack at 3,550,000 and blinds at 30,000-60,000 with a 10,000 ante Hamilton made a bold all-in reraise bluff on a 2x-5h-6x-8h-8x river against Alexander Fahari

Fahari went into the tank and Hamilton sweated it out with her Ah-Kh having missed the flush draw she got on the turn.

Eventually Fahari called and showed the 3-4. He had flopped a straight and won the chip lead in the tournament. Hamilton took a decent $43,123 payout for her 26th place finish.

Elsewhere, for those keeping track of Daniel Negreanu’s bracelet bets. His newest blog is largely about chasing records and worrying about who to watch on the WSOP Player Of The Year leaderboards.

First Time Player First to Three Million

16:26 PST, 13th June 2017

With blinds at 15,000-30,000 and a 5,000 ante, Chen Yu Hung – for whom this is the first WSOP event ever – put in a raise to 65,000 with Ad-Ks and was re-shoved by Yossi Crispin for a total of 815,000.

The size of the bet gave him pause, but once Hung matched the bet, he breathed a little easier. Krispin had the As-Qd.

The flop was a jack high runout with a king coming on the turn. Only a ten could save Krispin, and he didn’t get it on the river. Adding 890,000 to his stack, Chen Yu became the first person to pass the three milly mark with 3,300,000 in chips.

Krispin took 48th place and $23,013. The next pay bump is at 45th.

Hallaert Busts Two For One

14:00 PST, 13th June 2017

The first few hours of play saw over 50 players move from poker chips to payout slips including Elky who went out in 100th for just $8,054.

Some players were pulling more than their weight in this bustathon. When Maxim Semishenko, in middle position, shoved for 233,000, Halleart called and was squeezed by Joseph Hebert for a total of 360,000. Halleart called and the three way all-in was dealt.

The flop came 9-9-5 which helped neither Semishenko’s K-8 nor Hebert’s A-Q. Halleart’s pocket jacks were made solid on the turn when if fell another jack and the blank river sent Semishenko and Hebert off for a quiet lie down at the same time.

With those two eliminations the field is down to 80.

Back For Day 3

11:02 PST, 13th June 2017

136 players return from the original 7,761 entries, and they are all here for the gold of both the medal and mineral kind. We have ten levels of play today which will run the blind up from 6,000-12,000 with a 2,000 ante to 50,000-100,000 and and a 15,000 ante. Along the way we’re going to lose some people.

All eyes will be on Elky, who is back along with other notables: Jessica Dawley, Joe Cada, and Matt Affleck with his Tag Team teammate Thomas Taylor.

While elsewhere Phil Hellmuth is drumming up some publicity for his new autobiography Poker Brat. He’s got a booth where he’s doing some signing. It’s not out on Amazon until August, so now is a great time to grab a first edition with the Brat’s own John Hancock on the front leaf.

Day 2

Day 2 Ends With 

00:25 PST, 13th June 2017

The chips are bagged and chip leader Senovio Ramirez III is off to bed where he’ll no doubt be counting the 1,570,000 chips in his stack to get himself off to sleep.

Lucas Blanco (1,339,000) and Daniel Lee (1,196,000) are in hot pursuit from second and third respectively. All three are part of the select nine who have risen into seven figures in this tournament. They currently sit at the head of a field that is now down to just 136

We have a good chance of getting a final table by the end of tomorrow when pay will resume for another ten levels at 11:00 PST starting with blinds of 6,000-12,000 and a 2,000 ante.

Air force vet and Seminole Hard Rock Poker Ambassador Jessica Dawley is among the top ten sitting behind 650,000 in chips having had an eventful day winning pots and tilting opponents. Other notables going into day three are players like Elky, Joe Cada, Matt Affleck and Brian Rast.

On the other hand bracelet winners Humberto Brenes, Antonio Esfandiari, Upeshka De Silva and David Pham have gone belly up along with other notables Maria Ho and Garrett Greer.

Elsewhere Daniel Negreanu is chasing cash records as well as bracelets now. Does his hubris know no bounds?

1Senovio Ramirez III1,570,000
2Lucas Blanco1,339,000
3Daniel Lee1,196,000
4Scott Baumstein1,187,000
5Michael Falcon Ravn1,135,000
6Brian Altman1,112,000
7Victor Wan1,101,000
8Brayden Gazlay1,101,000
9Yervand Boyadjian1,023,000
10Harsukhpaul Sangha980,000

Min Cash For A Big Name

16:18 PST, 12th June 2017

Allen Cunningham busted for a minimum cash while Esfandiari (33,000) and Grospellier’s  (40,000) stacks dwindle.

Maria Ho (49,000) on the other hand is on the rise along with Chris Moorman (64,000), Timoshenko (53,000) and Kenny Halleart (171,000).

Across the room Humberto Brenez is pushing toy sharks around on the felt in front of his considerable chip stack and everyone is looking for the bracelet whether it is their first or third, as is the case with Upeshka De Silva.

Too Many Bustos

12:16 PST, 12th June 2017

Shortly afterwards, the “Table of Death” broke up, on which Antonio Esfandiari, Jason Koon and Yevgeniy Timoshenko had all ended up at once. 

Play was then paused so the staff could get to grips with the tsunami of bust outs as the short stacks, relieved at making the money started to gamble it up and lose.

Once play starts again, we’re down to just over 1,000 players.

Pop! Goes the Bubble

11:35 PST, 12th June 2017

After a thirteen minute tank from Jordan Knackstedt the tournament finally hit the bubble.

On a Js-7s-5h-Td board Robert Bourkney got it all in against Todd Taylor with Jd-7d. Taylor called with 9s-8s and hit his flush when the river came the Qs. The stacks were close but after a quick count Taylor took all the chips and Bourkney all the disappointment. He hit the rail as the tournament’s bubble boy in 1166th place.

From here on out everyone’s earning something. Apart from anyone who used a rebuy; they’ll be waiting for lucky 666th place to make their money back.

Stephen Ladowsky then became the first money finisher for a min cash of $2,249

And We’re Back… For Day Two

11:12 PST Monday, 12th June 2017

With all 1,187 players left in the Millionaire Maker now sharing the recycled air of the Rio’s Amazon Room the room is now filling with the explosive clatter of 120 odd dealers riffling their decks for the first hand of day two.

The blinds are 600-1,200 with an ante of 200. While that’s barely a nick on the chip leader, Boris Kolev’s stack of 290,700 while at the bottom of the table Bryan Mykisen with 2,500 has barely enough for a round of antes.

We just need twenty-two players to get unlucky and we’re in the money. With over a thousand players out there blink and you might miss it.

No one’s vlogging this event at the moment, but a couple of vloggers are still putting out their coverage of their events so to keep you up to date with what’s going on in the rest of the Amazon room:

Day 1 B

Day 1B Finishes With 7,761 Entries Total

23:50 PST, Sunday 11th June 2017

That’s a wrap on day one(s) of the Millionaire Maker, Day Two of which took an impressive 4,323 entries, rather more than yesterday’s flight – no doubt due to the odd player using the extra day on as an opportunity to rebuy in.

Today’s buy-ins brings the total entries up to an impressive 7,761 entries for this event, all of which has added up to a not unreasonable $10,477,350 prize pool to divvy up between the 1,165 players who will cash.

1,187 players will be returning on day two so there won’t be too many disappointed faces but that close to the money you do have to feel a little sorry for the 22 players who will be coming back only to leave again empty handed. Emotionally they are all bubble-people.

Once in the money though everyone is guaranteed at least $2,249. But you don’t buy-in to the Millionaire Maker to min cash. Like t’s all about that million dollar bill This year first place will be $1,221,407, with everyone at the final table taking home six figures.

Going into Day Two Brian Altman will be the chip leader with 227,800 in chips. Joining him on Day Two from today’s play is Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Collins (not that one) and – with just 9,000 in chips – Jeff Gross

While some other big names like Jamie Gold and David Williams made it right up to the wire but didn’t manage to hold on long enough to bag their stacks for Day Two.

Away from the tables things got weird when Uncle Ron showed up, to spread some of his rail bird birding – and a little hair mayonnaise – about the Rio’s gaming floor which kept some of the press entertained until time was called on the last hand of the night.

Day Two starts tomorrow, Monday 13th June 2017, with play will beginning again at 11:00 AM PST. The lucky remaining players will be returning to blinds of 600-1,200 with 200 antes. To start out the ten sixty minute blind levels of play.

Don’t miss it.

1Brian Altman215,000
2Billy Graybeal195,000
3David Peters172,000
4Dustin Fox168,000
5Clayton Fletcher134,300
6Ron Gesmundo126,000
7Kenny Hallaert125,000
8Tanner Bibat120,900
9Kyle Knecht110,000
10Chris Kusha106,000

Day 1 A

Boris Kolev, Barry Hutter and Scott Skriba Lead The Field At the End of Day 1A

22:22 PST, 10th June 2017

Who wants to be a millionaire? 3,438 people answered in the affirmative, putting up the the $1,500 buy-in for day one A of Event #20: The Millionaire Maker. 

Boris Kolev (290,700), Barry Hutter (259,900) and Scott Skriba (207,500) lead the field in first second and third and are the only players with over 200k at the end of level ten when everyone bagged up their chips and headed home for a good night’s sleep.

At that point just 535 players remained. Some big names showed up and then were shown the door today, including recent bracelet winner Liv Boeree and heads up quarter finalist Charlie Carrel. They will be commiserating with names like Sam Abernathy, Mike Sexton, Maria Ho, Cate Hall, Chris Ferguson, Greg Raymer and three time bracelet winner David “The Dragon” Pham – cousin of Men “The Master” Nguyen.

While a couple of big names did manage to slip through to day two including Bertrand “Elky” Grosspellier, Ryan Smith, Kathy Leibert and David “ODB” Baker and at least one player going by the name DID NOT REPORT 1 from the US who goes through with just 10,400 in chips.

Last years champ Jason Dewitt is not on the list of Day Two survivors, but it sounds like he had the best day of any one. He just stayed in late playing with his pet dog.

We’ll be bringing you more coverage of that tomorrow and more detailed coverage as the field narrows. Day two will combine the players from both flights on the 12th June 2017

Official End-of-Day Chip Counts

1Boris Kolev
2Barry Hutter
3Scott Skriba
4Michael Falcon Ravn
5Darwin Giles
6Frank Stepuchin
7Andre Garcia
8Rick Jones
9Jonas Wexler
10Kevin Saul

How often do you get the chance to get a 666.66% return on your investment? Because that is what the World Series of Poker Event #20: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em is offering. For your buy in of just $1.5k you could walk away with that first prize of no fewer than one million US dollars.

The five day event will start off with two day ones on the 10th and 11th of June 2017 to help get through what looks to be a huge number of entries (last year’s event attracted 7,190 entries). Caesar’s Entertainment has guaranteed the $1,000,000 first prize minimum with a prize pool bolstered by the one rebuy per player per flight that is allowed.

Day One A will start at 10 AM PST with every player receiving 7,500 chips. The one hour bind levels start out at 25/50 and will be up to 500/1000 with 100 antes by the end of day one at the tenth level. So the action will be thick and fast.

The fast action, accessibility of the buy-in and thrill of seeing millionaire’s get made for just a week’s work is a large part of why the event has been run each year since 2013 when Benny Chen took it down for just a few dollars shy of $1.2million. Last year’s winner was Jason DeWitt for whom it was the second bracelet, and the seventh final table he’d made.

We’ll see if he’ll be back to defend his title tomorrow. But with such a large field predicted, we can probably look forward to seeing a totally new name make the cut. In a game like this, on any given Sunday, anyone can FT. And isn’t that part of the thrill?

Join us tomorrow, when we’ll be providing you with the updates for this event as they come in.

Articles 278

Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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