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Jun 26, 2014

2014 WSOP Quick Roundup: Events #40, #41 and #42

By RTR Dennis

Event #40 - Unknown Davide Suriano wins First 2014 WSOP Bracelet for Italy

In a $10k Heads-up NLHE field full of well-established grinders like Daniel Negreanu and Dan 'Jungleman' Cates, Davide Suriano stood out namely because he was so unknown. Due to his relative anonymity, Suriano was able to confuse opponents with his unorthodox playing style and top the 136-player, Event #40 field. The Italian won his country's first gold bracelet of the 2014 WSOP and a $335,553 payout.

This certainly wasn't just some unskilled, amateur crapshoot where Suriano luckboxed his way through the tournament. His road to the title started with beating Cates in the round of 64, before moving on to defeat Shane Moran, Serkan Kurnaz, Ankush Mandavia and Sam Stein to win. Stein was a story himself as he navigated through Bryn Kenney, Sam Trickett, Max Silver and Scott Baumstein to reach the final heads-up match.

Both Suriano and Stein were relatively even with about 1,000 big blinds when they started playing. That said, many onlookers would've predicted Stein taking home his second-career bracelet since he has over $4 million in tournament winnings. But Suriano pulled off the upset, and in just 36 hands.

Event #41 - Seven Years Later, Robert Mizrachi wins Second Gold Bracelet

Robert Mizrachi has been in the poker world for well over a decade. So he's gotten to know plenty of different variations of the game, thus making him a perfect fit for the first-ever WSOP $1,500 Dealer's Choice tournament. The Dealer's Choice event truly called for a widescale mastery of poker since players in the dealer position could call on any one of 16 different variations. That said, one really has to respect Mizrachi's skills since he overcame a field of 419 players to win this event and $147,092.

It's been a while since the Florida native has won a gold bracelet, with his last one coming in the 2007 $10k Pot-Limit Omaha Championship ($768,889). And it was certainly sweet for Mizrachi to get his second bracelet in the first Dealer's Choice tourney. "There's definitely a lot of pride in winning this event," he said. "It's a very skilled event. You not only have to know all the games, but you have to pick the games that your opponents' don't play as well."

Mizrachi had his famous poker-playing brother, Michael, on hand to cheer him on. And brotherly rail support was especially important since Aaron Schaff had twice as many chips as any other player when the final table started. But Robert was able to gradually whittle Schaff's chip lead down, especially thanks to the fact that the latter kept choosing one of Mizrachi's best games, PLO.

Event #42 - Sociable PLO Specialist Michael Drummond wins

San Francisco resident Michael Drummond loves Pot-Limit Omaha. He plays any PLO game that he can find in his area and specializes in six-handed games. So it should be little surprise that his first-career gold bracelet came in a $5k Six-Handed PLO tournament.

He topped a 452-player field to win the $541,747 first-place prize, which will only further fuel his love of PLO. "It's a social game," Drummond said after his victory. "It's so much more about your cards that you can just look at your cards and then have a conversations at the table. PLO is just a more fun, social, gambling game."

A couple of bracelet winners who made strong runs at the Event #42 title include Phil Laak (6th, $66,918) and Kory Kilpatrick (3rd, $217,113). The latter was actually trying to win his second bracelet this summer because he also captured a $3k NLHE Shootout ($254,891) victory a few weeks ago.