WSOP TODAY: June 9; Matros goes three for three, Hellmuth again eyeing no. 12

Highlights from day 14 of the 2012 WSOP (June 9)

At the rate Matt Matros (pictured left) is winning gold bracelets these days, he may very well become the all-time World Series of Poker victory leader by year 2022 after winning a WSOP gold bracelet for the third year in a row.

Only six players in history have achieved that milestone. Following previous wins posted in both 2010 and 2011, Matros’ golden trifecta was completed on Saturday night at the Rio in Las Vegas, in the $1500 buy-in Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event.

The calm and quiet New Yorker known for his intense focus and scholarly demeanour at the table collected a career-high USD $454,835 in prizemoney. He topped a formidable starting field totalling 1604 players.

Matros, a 35-year-old professional poker player with interests that go way beyond the game, won his second career WSOP gold bracelet late at last year’s series, in the $2500 buy-in, Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No Limit) championship. The year before, Matros won his first gold bracelet when he beat out 624 opponents in the $1500 Limit Hold’em event.

Over the years, he has applied his considerable talents to many things – including computer science, writing and teaching. Matros is also the author of The Making of a Poker Player, which chronicles his early years transitioning from student/employee into a full-time poker pro.

• There’s been plenty of talk about the performance of female players at this year’s WSOP. It may have been four years and 234 events since Vanessa Selbst won a bracelet in an open event back in 2008 but the gold bracelet tally belies the facts.

This year, the ladies have already made seven final table appearances and collected USD $764,432 in winnings. If you throw in Annette Obrestad’s quarter-final appearance in Event #3, the $1500 Heads-up No-Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha event, that number is actually USD $792,841.

So far, there have been 15 final tables and women have been present at six of them. Both Selbst and Amanda Musumeci netted six-figure scores and each of the seven female final table participants have earned at least USD $15,000.

Jessica Hanna is following the trend having topped the chip count after day one of Event #19, the $1500 No Limit Hold’em tournament. She leads the 262 survivors heading into day two after almost 85 per cent of the 2302 starters were KOed on day one. Aussie Kel Beattie is also through to day two of this event.

• Event #17, the $10,000 buy-in Pot Limit Hold’em tournament is nearing conclusion with a talented array of players still in contention. Frenchman Manuel Bevand leads but the list of contenders with 17 players chasing the USD $445,899 first prize includes Hoyt Corkins, Shaun Deeb, Antonio Esfandiari Phil Ivey, Andy Frankenberger and David Benyamine.

They’re also down to the business end of Event #18, the $1500 Seven-Card Razz with just 18 of the 309 starters in the hunt for the first prize of more than USD $182,000. Californian Brendan Taylor is the player to chase but the line-up behind him features Phil Hellmuth (chasing his 12th bracelet), Brandon Cantu, Barry Greenstein, Scott Abrams, Scott Fischman and Scott Clements.

Event #20, the $5000 Limit Hold’em tournament, also enters day two today with 107 of the 166 entrants returning to the felt. After finishing third in the Mixed Max event last week, Sydney’s Warwick Mirzikinian is back in the hunt for another deep run trailling only Vegas local Nicholas Derke on the chip count. Other events kicking off today are the $1000 No Limit Hold’em (#21) and $2500 Deuce-To-Seven Triple-Draw Lowball (#22).

• Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla,

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