2021 WSOP: Glory days for Taiwan as Pete Chen wins, James Chen runner up; Anthony Zinno grabs third bracelet; One gold each for Vladimir Peck and Dejuante Alexander 

Action packed halls at the 52nd Annual World Series of Poker as players sought after the next gold bracelets on offer. The past two days saw Taiwan shine with two of the country’s well known pros providing all the thrill. Pete Chen captured his first ever gold bracelet at Online Event #3: $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack and James Chen finished second to USA’s Anthony Zinno at the $10K Seven Card Stud Championship. Fans worldwide were glued to this particular event as Zinno scored his third career gold and 15x bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth was on his third final table. Also earning bracelets were first time winners Vladimir Peck and Dejuante Alexander. We’ve got those stories down below. 

rUXDJbcQImage courtesy of pokergo.com

For those just getting wind of the series, cards have been flying at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino since September 30 and will run through November 23. Nineteen out of 88 bracelets have been awarded plus three to WSOP.com online winners. Here’s a look at some of the numbers. The list of bracelet winners can be found at the bottom of the page. 

2021 WSOP Tally

Event #1 – #20 prize pool: US$ 30,140,275
Online Event #1 – #3 prize pool: US$ 1,748,670
Entries: 28,404
Online entries: 1,921
Largest prize pool: Event #7: $500 The Reunion $5M GTD – US$ 5,448,660
Largest payout: Tyler Cornell – US$ 833,289
Asia bracelet winner: Pete Chen – Online Event #3: $400 NLH Ultra Deepstack
First time bracelet winners: 12 (live) / 2 (online)

Second career bracelet won

Jeremy Ausmus – Event #3: $1K Covid-19 Charity Relief
Connor Drinan – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – Online #1: $5,300 NLH Freezeout
Ari Engel – Event #9: $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
Yuval Bronshtein – Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold’em
Rafael Lebron – Event #14: $1,500 Seven Card Stud

Third career bracelet won

Anthony Zinno – Event #19: $10K Seven Card Stud Championship

Fourth career bracelet won

John Monnette – Event #16: Limit Hold’em Championship

*Information collected from WSOP.com, PokerNews live updates, and The Hendon Mob

Online Event #3: $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack – Pete Chen – US$ 82,560

49114188786 879164fa97 bPete Chen

Asia earned its first gold this series as pro player Pete Chen came out on top of Online Event #3: $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack. Chen outlasted a field of 1,023 entries to win his first career gold bracelet and the US$ 82,560 top prize. He became the second player from Taiwan to accomplish this feat following in the footsteps of James Chen. 

Regarded as one the top players in Asia, Chen is a beast on the felt. He has over US$ 3.1 Million in live earnings and long lists of deep runs collected every year. In 2016 and 2017, he ranked top 2 in THM’s most cashes worldwide. His biggest payout of US$ 382,122 was claimed at the 2017 WSOP $5K No Limit Hold’em where he finished in 2nd place. Earlier that same year, he won the World Poker Tour Beijing Main Event for US$ 299,485. In his pursuit for glory, Chen has won titles in Australia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Korea, Spain, and of course in his homeland Taiwan. In the online arena, Chen is a Natural8 Ambassador with US$ 1.6 Million in winnings on the GG Network. This past summer, he spent his time in Las Vegas earning five cashes at the WSOP.com Online bracelet series. 

Recapping his victory run, the turbo structure demanded plenty of action from the get-go and once the money was reached it was a downpour of continuous busts. Among the players to run deep were Upeshka De Silva (238th), Connor Drinan (210th), Chris Moorman (168th), Yuri Dzivielevski (117th), David Baker (67th), and Daniel Negreanu who fell in 45th place. Pete Chen eliminated Dillon “DNasty” Baptiste (10th) to form the final table. The battle for the coveted title came down between Chen and Tzur “Selvastar7” Levy as both players took turns cleaning out stacks. Chen was up in the count having eliminated Todd “Google_Man” Rodenborn in 3rd place. His lead was never breached, and with the final hand AdJs dominating Ah4h, Chen locked up the highly desired gold bracelet. 

Date: October 10, 2021
Buy in: US$ 400
Entries: 1,023
Prize pool: US$ 488,520
ITM: 248 places 

Final table payouts

1st Pete Chen – Taiwan – US$ 82,560
2nd Tzur “Selvastar7” Levy – Mexico – US$ 50,904
3rd Todd “Google_Man” Rodenborn – USA – US$ 36,639
4th Melody “Meliano34 “Mckee – USA – US$ 26,624
5th Dustin “Exclusive25” Bush – USA – US$ 19,590
6th Kari “stuckonluck7” Johnson – USA – US$ 14,558
7th Robert “420is” Thomas – USA – US$ 10,943
8th Amit “rocketsbaby” Makhija – USA – US$ 8,305
9th Stephen “fisherman702” Wieczorek – USA – US$ 6,400

Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball – Vladimir Peck – US$ 134,390

svFRFuQwVladimir Peck, Image courtesy of pokergo.com

Vladimir Peck defied the odds at Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball to land his first ever gold bracelet and a career high score of US$ 134,390. Peck overcame a field of 253 entries, denying the headstrong Venkata Tayi at victory’s door. Based on his THM stats, the win was only the third of his career. In 2019, Peck took down the EPT Barcelona €550 No Limit Hold’em for €19,130 and even further back, he won the 2008 Borgata Summer Poker Open US$ 1,080 NLH for US$ 109,040. The latest title boosted his tournament earnings to US$ 450K. 

The event ran for four days with portions of the US$ 562,925 prize pool dished out starting at Day 2. Peck delivered the bubble by besting Donny Rubinstein at Badugi, and among the first to the cage were bracelet winners James Chen (36th), Ron Ware (35th), Randy Ohel, and 3x winner Benjamin Yu (33rd). At Day 3, actor James Woods dropped out in 14th place and bracelet winner/ Australian Poker Hall of Fame inductee Gary Benson busted in 8th place, just missing the final table by one spot. 

The final round had its share of hotshots the likes of triple bracelet winner Brian Yoon, bracelet holder Joao Vieira, and Hal Rotholz who was on his second final table visit. All three would fall before heads up with Vieira going the furthest of 3rd place. For Peck, at one point he was on the brink of elimination but by night’s end, he survived to fight one more day for the coveted title. Returning to action, only two remained. Tayi dominated as he did on the previous day however he still had difficulty closing it out. Once the tables turned and Peck was up top, the momentum carried. Peck stripped down his opponent in multiple hands to bag the dream gold and a career high score. 

Date: October 8 to 11
Buy in: US$ 2,500
Entries: 253
Prize pool: US$ 562,925
ITM: 38 places

Final table payouts 

1st Vladimir Peck – USA – US$ 134,390
2nd Venkata Tayi – USA – US$ 83,056
3rd Joao Vieira – Portugal – US$ 57,558
4th Aaron Rogers – USA – US$ 40,443
5th Brian Yoon – USA – US$ 28,818
6th Hal Rotholz – USA – US$ 20,828
7th Carlos Rodriguez – USA – US$ 15,272

Event #19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship – Anthony Zinno – US$ 182,872

TdTLqf7AAnthony Zinno, Image courtesy of pokergo.com

There couldn’t be a more exciting finish than the Event #19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship with 15x bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth on his third final table and Taiwanese pro/ bracelet winner James Chen reaching heads up. However, in the end, the glory was denied as decorated pro Anthony Zinno came out triumphant for his third career gold bracelet. Zinno claimed his first title under this variant and the US$ 182,872 first prize. Interviewed by PokerNews, Zinno said, 

“It’s unreal because stud is one of the games that I’ve only recently been working on. Some of the best stud players in the world were in the field … What an honor. To have this, I might play poker my whole life and not win another stud bracelet. These guys are so good at stud, and honestly, I’m not on the level of top stud players by any stretch.”

Zinno has been cashing at the annual series since 2008 and after a long list of final table visits, he finally landed his first gold bracelet and a whopping US$ 1,122,196 payout at the 2015 $25K High Roller Pot Limit Omaha. To date, that remains his largest career score. Four years later, he won a second bracelet at the 2019 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha H-Lo 8 or Better. With his latest win, he climbed to 110 cashes and over US$ 4 Million in WSOP earnings. Aside from his series achievements, Zinno also has three WPT titles and was awarded Season XIII WPT Player of the Year. His first million was at the 2015 L.A. Poker Classic $10K NL Hold’em Championship, just four months before winning his first WSOP gold. 

The $10K Seven Card Stud Championship attracted 62 players for a prize pool of US$ 578,150. To lock up his third gold bracelet, Zinno overcame a loaded final table. Hellmuth who was on his third visit and was the first player to achieve this all on the live front. Recent winner Jason Koon was the first to three final tables however one of them was at an online event. Other bracelet winners in Zinno’s path were Chen, Jason Gola, and Stephen Chidwick. Also in the hustle was Poker Hall of Fame member Jack McClelland. Throughout most of Day 2, Zinno and Hellmuth held the top two spots and at the close, Hellmuth had built a slight edge. 

At Day 3, first to go was Gola in 7th place with Chen taking his chips. Leading up to the next bust, Zinno took control and pressed on to a big lead while Hellmuth was on a downward trend. After Chen eliminated Chidwick (6th) and Jose Paz-Gutierrez cleaned out McClelland (5th), the ailing Hellmuth couldn’t keep up and exited in 4th place. Down to three players, Zinno had two-thirds of the chips at his disposal. Chen dropped extremely low but staged an impressive comeback to switch places with Paz-Gutierrez who eventually departed in 3rd place. Heads up saw Chen continue to play catch up and when it seemed a second gold for the Taiwanese pro was on the horizon, Zinno pulled away and kept his nose out front. He soon eliminated Chen to bring home his third gold bracelet. 

Date: October 9 to 11
Buy in: US$ 10,000
Entries: 62
Prize pool: US$ 578,150
ITM: 10 places

Payouts

1st Anthony Zinno – USA – US$ 182,872
2nd James Chen – Taiwan – US$ 113,024
3rd Jose Paz-Gutierrez – Bolivia – US$ 77,227
4th Phil Hellmuth – USA – US$ 54,730
5th Jack McClelland – USA – US$ 40,284
6th Stephen Chidwick – UK – US$ 30,842
7th Jason Gola – USA – US$ 24,601
8th Scott Bohlman – USA – US$ 20,480
9th George Alexander – USA – US$ 17,828
10th Daniel Zack – USA – US$ 16,262

Event #20: $1,000 Flip & Go NL Hold’em – Dejuante Alexander – US$ 180,665

ziPqy sgDejuante Alexander, Image courtesy of pokergo.com

Debuting at the series was Event #20: $1,000 Flip & Go No Limit Hold’em by GGPoker. The event was first added to this year’s international online bracelet series and due to its tremendous success, it was given its first live introduction at the Rio. The two day affair saw 1,240 join the fun for a prize pool of US$ 1,103,600. Dejuante “DJ” Alexander shipped it for his first ever gold bracelet, one he was denied back in 2017 when he finished 2nd at the Millionaire Maker. Alexander has been cashing at the annual series since 2009 and won his first circuit ring in 2016. To date, he has accrued nearly US$ 1.4 Million in WSOP earnings. Outside of the series, he won the 2017 Hollywood Poker Open Main Event for US$ 332K and came close to winning the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event with a fourth place finish. 

The fast paced structure sent players flying to the rail. Earning a piece of the pot were Daniel Negreanu, Patrick Tardif, David Williams, Shaun Deeb, Felipe Ramos, Adrian Mateos, Calvin Anderson, Elio Fox, and Korean pro Steve Yea. Czech pro Vojtech Ruzicka bubbled to the final table with all his chips sent to triple bracelet winner David Peters. Joining Peters was bracelet winner Fred Goldberg who burned out in 8th place, and ring winner Corey Bierria who fell in 6th place. Peters staged a good run but met his end in 4th place against Alexander with K-J dominated by  K-Q. At the fall of Jake Schwartz in 3rd place, Alexander got the best of Jason Beck at heads up with the final hand AcJh over As4h to win the first ever live Flip & Go bracelet event and the highly desired golden strap. 

Date: October 10 to 11
Buy in: US$ 1,000
Entries: 1,240
Prize pool: US$ 1,103,600
ITM: 155 places 

Final table payouts

1st Dejuante Alexander – USA – US$ 180,665
2nd Jason Beck – USA – US$ 111,715
3rd Jake Schwartz – USA – US$ 82,675
4th David Peters – USA – US$ 61,815
5th Huy Lam – USA – US$ 46,695
6th Corey Bierria – USA – US$ 35,645
7th Rok Gostisa – Slovenia – US$ 27,495
8th Fred Goldberg – USA – US$ 21,435
9th Koveh Waysei – USA – US$ 16,895

2021 WSOP Winners

ODMIugFAImage courtesy of pokerGO.com

Event #1: James Barnett – USA – Casino Employees – US$ 39,013
Event #2: Jesse Klein – USA – $25K H.O.R.S.E. – US$ 552,182
Event #3: Jeremy Ausmus – USA – $1K Covid-19 Charity Relief – US$ 48,687
Event #4: Long Ma – USA – $500 The Reunion 5M GTD – US$ 514,604
Event #5: Connor Drinan – USA – $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – US$ 163,252
Event #6: Tyler Cornell – USA – $25K HR NL Hold’em 8-Handed – US$ 833,289
Event #7: Jaswinder “Jesse” Lally – Canada – $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed – US$ 97,915
Event #8: Zhi Wu – USA – $600 NL Hold’em Deepstack – US$ 281,406
Event #9: Ari Engel – Canada – $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – US$ 317,076
Event #10: Michael Perrone – USA – $1K Super Turbo Bounty NLH Freezeout – US$ 152,173
Event #11: Jason Koon – USA – $25K Heads-Up NL Hold’em Championship – US$ 243,981
Event #12: Yuval Bronshtein – Israel – $1,500 Limit Hold’em – US$ 124,374
Event #13: Harvey Mathews – USA – $3,000 Freezeout NL Hold’em – US$ 371,914
Event #14: Rafael Lebron – USA – $1,500 Seven Card Stud – US$ 82,262
Event #15: Bradley Jansen – USA – $1,500 6-Handed NL Hold’em – US$ 313,403
Event #16: John Monnette – USA – $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship – US$ 245,680
Event #18: Vladimir Peck – USA – $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball – US$ 134,390
Event #19: Anthony Zinno – USA – US$ 10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship – US$ 182,872
Event #20: Dejuante Alexander – USA – $1,000 Flip & Go NL Hold’em – US$ 180,665

Online #1: Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani – USA – $5,300 NLH Freezeout – US$ 210,600
Online #2: “NJ_AcesmarkA” – USA – $500 NL Hold’em BIG 500 – US$ 89,356
Online #3: Pete Chen – Taiwan – $400 NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack – US$ 82,560

Multiple final tables

Jason Koon
9th – Event #6: High Roller NL Hold’em 8-Handed
6th – Online Event #1: $5,300 NLH Freezeout
1st – Event #11: $10K Heads Up NL Hold’em Championship

Phil Hellmuth 
6th – Event #2: $25K H.O.R.S.E
5th – Event #9: $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
4th – Event #19: #10K Seven Card Stud

Robert Mizrachi
3rd – Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better 
7th – Event #9: $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship

Jesse Yaginuma 
6th – Online Event #2: $500 WSOP.com NLHold’em BIG 500
6th – Event 15: $1,500 6-Handed NL Hold’em 

Hal Rotholz
8th – Event #14: Seven Card Stud
6th – Event #18: Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit)

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you updates and recaps throughout the series. 

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