Top 5 Highlights from the first half of the 2012 WSOP

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 20, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The 2012 World Series of Poker has seen its fair share of highs and lows, and we’re only halfway through the summer tournament series. In this column I’ll take a look at the five most impressive moments/accomplishments from the first half of the 2012 WSOP.

#5 — Andy Bloch wins first WSOP bracelet

It’s been a long road for poker pro Andy Bloch at the World Series of Poker and after decades of playing at the WSOP Bloch finally came through with his first WSOP win in the $1,500 Seven-Card-Stud event. Bloch was widely considered to be on the short-list for the best players to have never won a bracelet, a dubious distinction he can now put behind him.

#4 — Old timers making waves

As we’ve gotten used to the average of final tables being somewhere in the mid-20’s over the past five years it’s nice to see some older poker players winning at the 2012 WSOP. So far there have been four players over the age of 50 picking up bracelets (including Allyn Jaffrey Shulman in the Seniors Tournament) along with longtime poker staples like John Monnette, Phil Hellmuth, and Andy Block winning a WSOP bracelet in 2012.

Here is a look at the four “Seniors” who have won bracelets in 2012:

* 58 year-old Larry Wright won the $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball tournament

* ?? year-old Allyn Jaffrey Shulman won the $1,000 Seniors Tournament

* 71 year-old Herbert Tapscott won the $1,500 Omaha 8 or better tournament

* 66 year-old David Arsht won the $1,500 No Limit Holdem tournament

#3 — Allyn Jaffrey Shulman ends the drought

It was a streak that had extended to 249 WSOP events (excluding the Ladies Tournament) where women have come up empty at the WSOP, that was until Allyn Jaffrey Shulman won the $1,000 buy-in Seniors Tournament. While not officially an Open-Event, the Seniors tournament puts the streak to rest.

#2 — Ivey Crushing

Five cashes, four final tables, three top-five finishes including a runner-up finish in the $10k Pot limit Holdem tournament, over $500k in earnings, and the current WSOP Player of the Year leader –and that’s simply the first HALF of Phil Ivey’s 2012 WSOP campaign!

*UPDATE* in between writing this article and posting it Phil has made yet another final table, finishing 8th in the $2,500 Mixed Holdem tournament!*

#1 — Hellmuth wins #12

By far the biggest story from the 2012 WSOP was Phil Hellmuth’s win in the $2,500 Razz tournament. The win gave Phil 13 career WSOP bracelets (now two ahead of his nearest competitors, Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan) as well as being his first in a non-Holdem event.

It’s safe to say that with his 2011 and 2012 WSOP performances Phil Hellmuth is the greatest WSOP player in the history of the game –something I would have been loathed to say just two years ago.

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