The World Series of Poker is now entering the halfway mark, and the top players in the world ended the first half of the series on a high note this past weekend. Mark Radoja was able to defeat some of the most notable names in the business on his way to a Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em championship.
The Heads Up event was the first of this year’s WSOP that brought together all the top names in poker. As has been the case in the past, the Heads Up tourney provided plenty of fireworks, and players exchanging the usual table talk jabs. Radoja, however, went unfazed through the tournament and escaped with the gold bracelet and $336,190.
When Phil Hellmuth is in the running for a title, every fan in attendance knows they will get their money’s worth. Hellmuth had a strong Heads Up event, but sputtered just short of the finish line, closing the tourney in 5th.
Justin Bonomo, another well-known pro, also made a deep run, knocking off opponent after opponent before bowing out in the semifinals.
That left Radoja and Don Nguyen to battle it out for the top prize. When Rodaja emerged victorious, Nguyen had to settle for the $204,648 second place prize money.
Bertrand Grospellier made his first big run in Event #19, a Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament. Grospellier finished in seventh after reaching the final table. David Kitai won the top prize of $224,560, with Cary Katz finishing second. Katz won $138,794.
Three players remain in Event #21, a No-Limit Hold’em/Six Handed tournament with a $3,000 buy-in. Martin Finger has the chip lead with just under 3,000,000 chips. Matt Stout is in middle position with only 5,000 less chips that Finger, and Matt Berkley is hanging on as the short stack, with 1,500,000 chips.
Play is moving along swiftly towards the $10,000 buy-in Main Event that begins on July 6th. Over 5,000 players are expected to enter the Main Event. The tournament will run for several days until the final table is reached, and then play will be suspended until November.