WSOP 2021 Week 2 Wrap-up: Reunion Event Exceeds Expectations, Koon Wins His First Bracelet
The second week of the 2021 World Series of Poker is now behind us. If there is one thing that we can now safely say is that concerns over small turnout have disappeared. Rio has been bustling with action this past week, and there is no reason to think this won’t continue.
Up to this point, 16 WSOP bracelets have been awarded, with quite a few players winning their very first golden trinket. This includes the American pro Jason Koon, who outlasted 56 other players to book a win in the $25,000 Heads Up Championship.
Out of these 16, two bracelets came from online events played on WSOP.com.
The first one, a $5,300 freezeout event attracted 156 entries, and it was Martin Zamani holding all the chips in the end, bagging $210,600 and his second WSOP bracelet.
The Big 500 saw 742 entries, for the final prize pool of $480,150.
As reported earlier, WSOP decided to add 10 online events to the final schedule, which means there are still quite a few more opportunities to win a bracelet sitting in front of your computer.
Big Crowd Showing Up for the Reunion Event
One of the biggest WSOP stories this week was definitely the Reunion event. With the buy-in of just $500 and a clever name, the tournament hoped to attract a big crowd and kick off the series in style.
The organizer met and exceeded its goals, as the event saw 12,973 entries, bringing the total prize pool to over $5.4 million and crushing the $5,000,000 guarantee.
Long Ma, the eventual winner, took home the impressive $513,604 for his efforts, alongside his first WSOP bracelet.
It’s safe to say the Reunion did not disappoint and it helped disperse any fears about low turnout for this year’s series. With almost 13,000 entries, it showed that players were very eager to get in on the action and that new circumstances, while not ideal, are not really an obstacle to achieving this goal.
12,973 entries for The Reunion ! Thank you to every player who came to celebrate love for the game. Looking for a great fall ! pic.twitter.com/DNBkVaclY6
— WSOP (@WSOP) October 4, 2021
First Bracelet for Jason Koon
Jason Koon managed to boost his impressive resume this week by adding a WSOP bracelet to his score sheet. The high roller took down the $25,000 Texas Hold’em Heads Up Championship event, defeating several heads up specialists along the way.
This win was long coming as no one suspected Koon’s poker playing abilities. However, up to this point, he simply couldn’t find the lucky streak when he needed it the most. He came close to winning a few times, but failed to close the deal.
While there is no such thing as bad time to win a bracelet, the victory came at probably the best possible moment for the high-roller as he recently took up a new role as a global ambassador for GGPoker.
Phil Hellmuth Doing Well in Non-Hold’em Events
Last week saw Phil Hellmuth make the final table of a H.O.R.S.E event, giving him a real shot at a bracelet number 16. Phil was eager to close the deal in this one and prove the world that his knowledge and skills go beyond No Limit Hold’em.
Things didn’t quite go as planned for Poker Brat in this one, though, as he was eliminated in 6th spot.
This didn’t deter Hellmuth, though, as he was back at it this week again, making the final table of the $10,000 Omaha 8 or Better Championship.
Once again, poker gods weren’t too kind to Phil, as he came into the final day nursing a short stack and couldn’t get anything going. He busted in fifth, banking just shy of $81,000.
While another bracelet is currently eluding Hellmuth’s wrist, he seems very keen on winning at least one this fall, and the way things have been going thus far, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take down one of non-Hold’em tournaments.
And here's part 2: pic.twitter.com/DSsu9tn8Vm
— Jeff Platt (@jeffplatt) October 8, 2021
It seems clear that Phil did really put in the work to improve his mixed game abilities and it is showing. He’s been having a great series, and this will probably motivate him to grind even harder in coming days and weeks.