It was an incredibly eventful day in the Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix, but the climax is yet to come as Rami Boukai and John Evans bagged their chips after 20 hours of mixed-game poker. They are heads up for the bracelet and $177,294, having left 610 players behind them in their wake and will return as the quest for the title concludes in the Amazon Room on Wednesday, June 12th at 2 p.m. local time.
It's currently a lopsided heads-up match with Boukai holding a 3-to-1 chip lead. Moreover, Boukai already has an experience of closing things out at the World Series of Poker. The Saudi Arabia-born California resident emerged victorious in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha bracelet event back in 2009.
Heads-up chip counts:
|1||Rami Boukai||United States||4,565,000|
|2||John Evans||United States||1,545,000|
Evans entered the event with only one cash from a WSOP main series to his name, but he's already managed to outlast some true mixed-game greats. His best chance might also be that there are just over 30 big bets left in play. A couple of home runs could change the script in a matter of minutes.
The extra day looked to be a three-player affair but Chris Klodnicki busted just before the buzzer, adding a third place to his fifth from last week's $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event.
Philip Long provided a remarkable storyline as he returned to the final table after conquering this very event in 2018. Long held a huge chip lead on the last two tables and remained a strong contender until there were only four players left. However, a streak of losses stopped the back-to-back dreams right there and this time Long had to settle for fourth place.
Another could-have-been was Allen Kessler's push for his maiden gold bracelet. Following 73 WSOP cashes and four runner-up finishes, Kessler had another attempt at bringing it home for the first time in his career. He even took the final table chip lead for a short stint, but cash number 74 was eventually confirmed as a fifth-place finish, mostly due to his stud encounter with Klodnicki in which he ran with two pair into Broadway.
After a lot of ups and downs today, including those on the final table, the $1,500 8-Game is still one elimination away from crowning a new champion. Will Boukai ride home his advantage or can underdog Evans pull off a stunning comeback? The answer will come on Wednesday from 2 p.m. PDT. Make sure to come back to PokerNews for the home stretch as the live updates from the conclusion will be right here.