Ok, let’s get right to it. Here are some of the latest goings-on at the 2023 World Series of Poker. There have already been over two dozen bracelets awarded and there’s still over a month left in the festival. Poker overload.

Jason Simon is the last Gladiator standing

Jason Simon won Event #18, the inaugural $300 Gladiators of Poker, which was billed as the “most affordable” tournament in WSOP history. Still too rich for my blood, but yeah, compared to most other events, it is super affordable (and really, if I wanted to play in the Series, I could swing that).

The upshot of the Gladiator’s price is that it attracted 23,088 entries, making it the second-largest tournament in WSOP history. Simon, dubbed “The Chisler” for how his opponents viewed his tactics, was fourth out of 14 going into the final day. The half-million-dollar first prize was by far the biggest of his career.

“It was awesome,” Simon said of his vibrant rail in his post-game interview. “Having your friends here with you, cheering for you in the all ins, it definitely helps.”

Omaha Hi-Lo Championship final table is intimidating

Event #25: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship was supposed to get down to five players by the end of Monday’s action, but as happens sometimes, the plan didn’t exactly go to form. Instead, seven players return Tuesday to finish things up.

And it’s a hell of a final table. Ben Lamb, the chip leader, is looking for his second bracelet. Luis Velador is gunning for his third. Brad Ruben is competing for his fifth, Johannes Becker, his second. Robert Yass and James Chen are both trying to win their first.

And then there is Erik Seidel, who, with a win, would pull into a tie with Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey, and Doyle Brunson for second all-time with ten WSOP gold bracelets.

Sometimes you just need sleep

Another tournament whose schedule had to be altered because eliminations did not happen as quickly as expected was Event #26: $800 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack. It was actually supposed to end last night, but in a rare occurrence, tournament officials decided to pause it during heads-up play because Matthew Elsby and Renji Mao had already had a 14.5 hour day. It was time to get some rest.

Because it’s No-Limit Hold’em, the tournament could obviously end at any time, but as we have seen time and time again, heads-up play can go on a long time, so it made sense to postpone the rest of the match until Tuesday.

Mao went into heads-up with a 112 million to 78 million chip lead and actually expanded it fairly significantly right off the bat, but Elsby was able to double-up to stay within arm’s reach and by the time play was paused, he had actually flipped the tables. Elsby now leads 118.9 million to 71.1 million.

The winner will bank $402,588, while the runner-up will take $248,833.

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