The first bracelets have been awarded at the 2021 World Series of Poker. In the Casino Employees Event, a dealer from Caesars Palace was able to outlast the final fifty players in the traditional starting event of the WSOP. In a special charity event for COVID relief, a top pro was able to take home a WSOP bracelet while raising money to support the fight against the virus.
Caesars’ Jimmy Barnett Now Casino Employee Event Champion
In Event #1, the $500 Casino Employee Event, fifty players returned to settle the score of who was the best of the casino players at the WSOP. While it was expected to be a prolonged battle, it actually ended at a decent hour with Caesars Palace dealer Jimmy Barnett being able to defeat Jack Behrens to win the tournament.
Barnett actually has a long-term “love affair” with the city of Las Vegas and poker in general. He first came to the city with his father at the age of 18 and, once he turned 21, he was able to come back to participate in the action on the tables. He played in his first WSOP event at that tender age and, indicative of his love of the city, worked in card rooms in his native California before moving to Las Vegas in 2018. Since that time, he has been able to do both – play in poker events and work in the industry – with the new reward of being the champion of the first event of the 2021 WSOP.
1. Jimmy Barnett, $39,013
2. Jack Behrens, $24,112
3. Danny Chang, $16,540
4. Leo Abbe, $11,587
5. Bryan Garret, $8294
6. Bobby Schmidt, $6069
7. Chris Minton, $4542
8. Rick Cuevas, $3478
9. Ronald Baltazar, $2727
Professional Jeremy Ausmus Earns Second Bracelet in COVID Charity Event
It was an official bracelet event, but it also was for a worthy cause. Event #3, the $1000 COVID-19 Charity Relief tournament, saw 260 people pony up $1000 for a shot at the gold. The real reward, however, was for the frontline workers in the COVID battle that has raged for the past 18 months. $100 from every buy-in went to charitable organizations for those important health employees, meaning the event made $26,000 towards the effort.
With a turbo format – 20-minute levels throughout the event – the 260 players were played down to the final five in rapid fashion. It was an extremely difficult final table for a charitable event with professionals such as Asher Conniff, Steve Gross, Jesse Lonis and Jeremy Ausmus all were among the final survivors. Lonis held the lead as the cards went to the air but, with the turbo nature of the event, it was anyone’s tournament to win.
Gross would be knocked off first, with Lonis doing the dirty deed once his Q-5 turned into a Broadway straight after Gross had flopped a pair. Lonis would continue to get fortunate cards in the turbo play, knocking off Conniff in fourth and Mitchell Halverson in third to start heads up action against Ausmus with a 3:1 lead. However, it seemed that Lonis burned up all his good fortune in the previous three knockouts.
Although the turbo structure had an impact, both Lonis and Ausmus battled strong against each other. Ausmus would earn a key double up, his pocket tens standing up to Lonis’ K-J, to draw the match to even about 40 minutes into play. Ausmus continued to chip away at Lonis until he held a slight lead that set up the finale.
On that penultimate hand, Ausmus would limp into the pot and Lonis emptied his barrels for his remaining stack of nearly two million chips. Ausmus made the call and it was the right one; his A-9 had Lonis’ K-9 out pipped, but the “poker gods” wanted to have a bit of fun. Four spades came on the flop and the turn, setting up a potential split pot if a fifth spade came on the river. Alas, it was a 5♦, sending the pot ant the championship to Ausmus.
1. Jeremy Ausmus, $48,687
2. Jesse Lonis, $30,086
3. Mitchell Halverson, $20,541
4. Asher Conniff, $14,386
5. Steve Gross, $10,342
6. Liran Betito, $7637*
7. Craig Mason, $5798*
8. Evgeni Tourevski, $4528*
9. John Yocca, $3641*
(* – part of official final table, eliminated on Thursday evening)
$25K H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Features Hellmuth’s Run at #16
The $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, Event #2 on the 2021 WSOP calendar, will have plenty of eyes on it when the final table takes to the Rio stage this afternoon. It will be a table chock-full of talented pros who have made their bones in the game, none arguably more notable than the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Hellmuth comes to the final table of this tournament in the middle of the pack, but there are other strong players that want to pick up the jewelry in this event. Leading the way will be the U. K.’s Benny Glazer, but Matt Glantz and David Benyamine also are obstacles. It should be a tense battle of poker skills between the best players in the world when it kicks off at 2PM (Pacific Time) in the Amazon Room at the Rio.
1. Benny Glazer, 2.59 million
2. Jesse Klein, 1.8 million
3. Chad Eveslage, 1.69 million
4. David Benyamine, 1.68 million
5. Phil Hellmuth, 1.64 million
6. Phillip Sternheimer, 865,000
7. Benjamin Yu, 830,000
8. Matt Glantz, 410,000
9. D. J. Buckley, 140,000