It is the second Sunday of action at the 2023 World Series of Poker and there have been bracelets flying out of the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas rapidly. This afternoon at the WSOP, former WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh joined the highly exclusive “Five-Timers” club. In other action, the “Gladiators of Poker” burst at the seams with the number of entries in becoming the second-largest live poker tournament of all time.

Josh Arieh Goes Overtime, Wins Limit Hold’em Championship

It was SUPPOSED to finish in three days, but three players decided that they would come back on Sunday to wrap up the action in Event #22, the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship tournament. Canada’s Daniel Idema was atop the final trio coming to the felt, with Nozomu Shimizu (at his second final table) right behind him. The short stack to start the day was 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh, who had his work cut out for him with only eleven big blinds to start the action.

Arieh wasted little time in getting to work, scoring a big double-up through Idema to creep upwards. The major hand, however, was another battle between Arieh and Idema that saw Arieh score a flush while Idema saw his flopped two pair decimated. That hand gave Arieh 3.37 million in chips, only fifteen minutes into play, and he wouldn’t look back.

Shimizu would depart the final three at the hands of Arieh, his 9-2 unable to catch on the J-7-A-9-8 board, and Arieh took a sizeable (5.1 million to 2.9 million) chip lead to heads-up against Idema. While Idema was able to eke out a lead about thirty minutes into the battle, the Poker Hall of Fame inductee was able to parry the efforts of the Canadian. Another thirty minutes would go by before Arieh was able to put away the valiant Idema.

On that final hand, a 3-5-5-9 flop and turn saw Idema get his final chips in with an A-2 (gut shot straight draw) against Arieh’s 9-4 (turned pair). Needing a four or an Ace on the river, Idema instead saw a second nine hit to give Arieh trips and end the tournament in his favor.

1. Josh Arieh, $316,226
2. Daniel Idema, $195,443
3. Nozomu Shimizu, $144,069
4. Joseph McKeehen, $107,540*
5. Louis Hillman, $81,298*
6. Nick Pupillo, $62,255*
7. Nick Schulman, $48,298*
8. Kevin Song, $37,967*
9. Ronnie Bardah, $30,248*

(* – eliminated on Saturday night)

The victory by Arieh allows him to join Brian Yoon as this year’s newest entries in an exclusive club. Both of those men now are the proud owners of five WSOP bracelets, with Arieh becoming the 34th man to pull off the feat.

Brazil’s Rafael Reis Wins Country’s First Bracelet for 2023

In the Six-Handed $1500 No Limit Hold’em tournament, Event #15 on the books, Brazil notched a win in their column with Rafael Reis defeating Spain’s Daniel Barriocanal to capture the gold. It was a truly international final table, with France’s Sarah Herzali derailed from her run at the championship in third place despite coming in with the chip lead. Another top pro looking to add to his trophy case, John Monnette, also came up short in his pursuit, finishing in fifth.

Here’s how the final six finished off the tournament:

1. Rafael Reis, $465,501
2. Daniel Barriocanal, $287,679
3. Sarah Herzali, $207,720
4. Nikolaos Angelou, $151,559
5. John Monnette, $111,755
6. Grant Wang, $83,289

Isaac Haxton Tops Record Field in $25K High Roller

A 301-entry field broke the previous record for Event #16, the $25,000 High Roller tournament, and at the end, it was a player who shook off the title of “best player to not win a WSOP bracelet.” Isaac Haxton, who has seemingly won everything else in the world of poker, had not picked up one of the most prized possessions, the WSOP bracelet, before this year’s event. He was able to take down Ryan O’Donnell to earn the victory.

1. Isaac Haxton, $1,698,215
2. Ryan O’Donnell, $1,49,577
3. Darren Elias, $725,790
4. Lewis Spencer, $511,782
5. Roman Hrabec, $368,134
6. Frank Funaro, $270,238
7. Brian Rast, $202,532
8. Joao Vieira, $155,037

Others who had impressive finishes in the tournament included Kristen Foxen and Taylor von Kriegenbergh.

Gladiators of Poker Draws MONSTER Field

The “special” weekend tournaments at the 2023 WSOP certainly are living up to their expectations. This weekend it was the $300 “Gladiators of Poker” No Limit Hold’em tournament, which saw players able to pony up $300 buy-ins over several flights over four days. Those four days of action generated the second-largest live tournament field of all time.

Once the smoke cleared 23,088 entries had been received in the tournament, blasting past the $3 million guarantee to make a $5.6 million-plus prize pool. 827 players came back for action on Sunday, and they are expected to play down as close to the final table as possible. As of press time, there are 99 players left in the event, with Robbie Ko being reported as the chip leader with 24.5 million in chips. Melanie Weisner and Daniel Negreanu are a couple of notable names that are still in contention.

This and plenty of other action is in play around the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas on a Sunday afternoon! Hard to believe that we’re already two weeks into play in the 2023 World Series of Poker…but there’s SO much more left to go!

(Photo courtesy of WSOP and Caesars Entertainment)

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