High Stakes WSOP Review: Bracelet Wins for Baron, Elezra; Galfond and Zinno Close

The high stakes world is changing faster than a torpedo fired from a submarine. The fliers of 5-10 years ago, contained different faces, and last week, two of them won World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets.

Isaac Baron was the first player to win the CardPlayer Magazine Online Poker Player of the Year, winning $1m in 2007 under the alias “WestmenloAA”. Back then, he was an absolute beast, printing money while sipping on cups of coffee, keys to his Maserati lying next to his mouse. 

Baron wins WSOP bracelet

Baron went on to experience success in the live realm, with his two most significant scores coming in European Poker Tour (EPT) events, finishing 3/1031 in the 2014 $10,300 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event for $1,207,599, and 4/842 in the €10,600 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final in 2008 – yet he had never won a WSOP bracelet, until now. 

Baron took down a 1,832-entrant $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event for $407,739. It was his fourth live tournament win and took his all-time live tournament earnings to the $6.1m mark. 

If Baron is ‘old school’ then Cary Katz is the ‘new.’ Whereas the online and live poker rooms are responsible for creating the high rolling strata, people like Katz increased the depth. Katz created the ARIA High Rollers and then allowed the fans to see inside the box by creating Poker Central. Katz finished 6/917 in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, won by Brett Apter. 

Erik Seidel is one of the few people who attended the ‘old’ and ‘new’ schools, and the New Yorker finished 27th in the Shootout for his third cash of the series. Seidel has won eight WSOP bracelets, but you have to trot back to 2007 to remember his last one. 

Elezra wins WSOP bracelet

Eli Elezra is another face on one of those fliers, and last week he won a $1,500 Seven Card Stud bracelet, his fourth, and third in Stud. The Israeli defeated 285-entrants to capture the $93,766 first prize. Elezra beat Anthony Zinno, heads-up, and Scott Seiver finished eighth. 

There were near misses for Robert Mizrachi (3rd), David Benyamine (7th) and Shaun Deeb (9th) in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. Frankie O’Dell took that one down for his third Omaha bracelet win. 

Jean-Robert Bellande blew a big chip lead to finish fifth in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. The event pulled in 91-entrants, and the former WSOP Main Event winner, Jim Bechtel, won the bracelet. Darren Elias (3rd), Prahlad Friedman (4th), Paul Volpe (7th), Dan Shak (12th), and Michael Watson (13th) cashed in that one.

Chris Klodnicki finished third in the $1,500 8 Game Mix 6-Handed, and Toby Lewis showed he’s not a servant to No-Limit Hold’em by finishing 17th. Rami Boukai took the title. 

Martin Zamani (4th) and Phil Galfond (5th) came close to winning an online bracelet. Josh Pollock took down the 652-entrant $600 Online Pot-Limit Omaha title, and Martin Kozlov experienced a deep run in the live $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack event finishing 14th – Andre Donabedian won that one for $205,605.