More than $2.5million in tournament winnings tells its own story, but there are still some out there who refuse to read the script. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso has a hell of a game and has a glittering record to back it up, yet I'm still taken aback by those who are reluctant to give her credit. Today may just be the day when any fiction about Rousso's talent finally becomes a closed book. She's down to the last eight in the WSOP $10,000 Heads-Up Championship, and a first bracelet is within her grasp.
I wrote the following after she won €720,000 in the EPT Monte Carlo High Roller event little over a year ago: 'She (Rousso) hardly needed to prove her ability to the poker world, but if there's one thing that cements a place among the game's great and the good, then winning a High Roller event will do the trick. It's not just the big prize money, it's the knowledge you have beaten some of the very best players to get it'.
The same can be said of this Heads-Up no-limit event. The very nature of it ensured only the world's best were prepared to enter; some 256 in all for a series of one-to-one knockout matches to determine a champion. No match-up at this level is a pushover, but after five wins so far, Rousso finished as one of the eight survivors last night and will come back today for a shot at the title.
Those eight are already guaranteed $92,580 but the prize money rockets up to $625,682 for the champion, as confirmed by Rousso at the end of the night: "I won against Vivek...down to eight players in heads-up 10k WSOP event. We play tomorrow 3pm PST! Guaranteed $90,000, looking for $600,000 and bracelet though!"
That was Vivek Rajkumar. Rousso had limped in and then called when Rajkumar moved all-in for his tournament life:
The flop was an emphatic 2♠5♥4♥, giving Rousso the straight, and the 2♣ and T♣ river changed nothing.
Earlier in the day Rousso had defeated Melanie Weisner and PokerStars player Terrence 'Unassigned' Chan.
Team PokerStars Pro nearly had three players in the quarter finals, but ElkY fell in a 'Battle of France' confrontation with Ludovic Lacay. ElkY took home $38,424, his best cash of the WSOP this year. Alex Kravchenko came mighty close as well, but he fell at the same late stage as ElkY, defeated by Ernst Schmejkal, for $38,424.
All of which rather takes away the attention that Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin was going to get today for making the final table of the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha event. Ramdin made it all the way to sixth last night, cashing for $46,861.
It was Ramdin's third - and biggest - WSOP cash so far this year, and brings his total tournament winnings to $3million. He busted to Kevin 'ImaLuckSac' MacPhee, the PokerStars player who won EPT Berlin back in March. In a PLO round, Ramdin was all in for around 110,000 with A♣K♦J♠9♣. MacPhee held A♠A♥6♠3♦. It was MacPhee's three which confirmed Ramdin's exit, with the board running J♥4♠3♠2♣3♣.
MacPhee went on to finish fifth for $62,791 before Jose-Luis Velador went on to take the title for $260,517.
Yesterday was the start of another monster $1,000 No Limit event at the Rio, this one attracting 2,559 players. Today, 287 of those will return to the tables, but only one Team PokerStars Pro survives - Gualter Salles from Brazil with 16,050.
Also starting yesterday was the $3,000 HORSE event. There were 478 entries for this one and 219 got through the first hurdle. Two Team PokerStars Pros are placed in the top ten: Canada's Darus Suharto with 55,100 and Chad Brown from the US with 47,500. Also still going strong are Daniel Negreanu (29,400), Marcel Luske (26,500), Katja Thater (25,100), Alex Gomes (21,800), Friend of PokerStars Bill Chen (15,000), Alex Kravchenko (13,900), Andre Akkari (12,850) and Pat Pezzin (7,900). They're all chasing overnight chip leader Jordan Siegel on 66,900 chips.
As well as waiting for Rousso's run at a WSOP bracelet and the re-starts, we have one big starting event today, the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em Championship. Expect a big Team PokerStars Pro turnout for that one.
Good luck to everyone today.
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Tweets of the Day
@Maridu (Maria Mayrinck): Fight 3 almost broke out at my table. They are nuts! Arghhh
@RealKidPoker (Daniel Negreanu): I just realized how much of a robot I've become. Workout, eat the same everyday, go to Rio, repeat. Watching golf makes me miss playing
@NoahBoeken: Done with running terrible; I just won't allow it anymore!playing the 3000 horse! (he busted)
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Thought of the Day
Will Rousso be a golden (bracelet) girl?
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Previous WSOP Diary entries
WSOP Diary: Last chance to join us in Las Vegas
WSOP Diary: Anh Van Nguyen, remember the name
WSOP Diary: Love to hate Phil Hellmuth? You gotta see this
WSOP Diary: Classic rub down for Daniel Negreanu
WSOP Diary: Maria Mayrinck, something in the water
WSOP Diary: Who needs a rest anyway?
WSOP Diary: An apology
WSOP Diary: George Danzer just misses first bracelet for PokerStars
WSOP Diary: Negreanu, Danzer eye $10K Lowball bracelet
WSOP Diary: Hold me, darling - this is going to be BIG
WSOP Diary: Why Peter Eastgate is missing from the World Series
WSOP Diary: Ville Wahlbeck joins Team PokerStars Pro
WSOP Diary: Durrr misses biggest-ever poker payday, pros overjoyed
WSOP Diary: Poker's clean-up operation begins again
WSOP Diary: Manchester United soccer star Darren Fletcher tackles World Series of Poker
WSOP Diary: $10,000 Stud Championsip draws big names
WSOP Diary: Nh, gg, wp Daniel Negreanu, k?
WSOP Diary: Grinding out $1.5million with perfect timing
WSOP Diary: Team Pro Maridu needs Baker, Baker needs dough
WSOP Diary: Viva la revolution in Las Vegas
WSOP Diary: Safari, so good for Noah Boeken
WSOP Diary: Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the $50K
WSOP Diary: Going supersize in Las Vegas