High Stakes WSOP Review: Ben Heath, Ben Yu & Anthony Zinno Performing Well

A lot is going on in the world. Important stuff. Officials are closing down a care facility in Arizona after a patient found maggots wriggling around inside an open incision, and if you thought that was traumatic, then spare a thought for fans of the Big Mac in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight after seven restaurants were chosen to trial an extended breakfast menu until 11 am. 



People are doing nothing but playing poker 24/7 in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It’s not that they don’t care about the world at this time of the year, they don’t even realise they are in a world. 

Ladies, and gentlemen, here is an update on high roller progress in the 50th Anniversary World Series of Poker without a maggot or McMuffin in sight. 

Ben Heath Poker

WSOP officials are adding a 90th bracelet to the menu after feedback from the high roller fraternity that the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em event happened too early in the competition. The $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final Fifty bracelet event takes place 8 -10 July, with Seth Palansky, VP of Corporate Communications for the WSOP saying that ‘player feedback’ played a pivotal role in the decision. Palansky also bemoaned the decision not to hold a $25,000 buy-in event, calling the omission a “goof.”  

Ben Heath won the first $50,000 buy-in event, beating Andrew Lichtenberger, heads-up, for close to $1.5m, and has since cashed in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em and $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event leaving him positioned as the highest ranking high roller in the WSOP Player of the Year rankings (8th).

Another Ben, Yu, sits in #13th position a year after finishing runner-up to Shaun Deeb. Yu has cashed in seven events, making two final tables (finishing seventh in the $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed, and second in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship).

Another high roller having a sterling 2019 WSOP is Anthony Zinno. The bracelet winner has four cashes, including finishing runner-up to Eli Elezra in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud, and tenth in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship. 

Ali Imsirovic is #28 in the POY rankings after cashing in three tournaments, making the final table of two of them including finishing runner-up to Brian Green in a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Bounty event, and fourth in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.

The reigning WSOP POY Shaun Deeb is going to have to flick a rubber band or two if he’s going to defend his title. Deeb has cashed six times but only made one final table, finishing ninth in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championships.

Other high roller performances worthy of note include Michael Watson finishing seventh in a $1,500 Dealer’s Choice and 13/91 in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, and Maria Ho finishing fifth in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em. Ho came into the WSOP on the back of a fourth-place finish in the CAD 10,000 High Roller at partypoker MILLIONS North America, and third in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Ho is second in the Female GPI World Rankings and Player of the Year Rankings behind Kristen Bicknell.

Pauli Ayras finished eighth in that $5,000 event. Ayras recently won the €25,000 NLHE High Roller at the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) in Tallinn, April. 

Lastly, Chris Klodnicki finished fifth in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E, and third in the $1,500 8-Game Mix Six-Handed, and Jake Schindler, Kristen Bicknell and Mathias Eibinger all made it to the quarter-finals of the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship. It was Schindler’s only cash of the series but has made five final tables in ARIA High Rollers since May. It was Bicknell’s second cash since finishing third in the Merit Poker Classic Main Event, and it was Eibinger’s solitary cash despite making five final tables in ARIA High Rollers, including two wins.