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Poker Pros Doug Polk and Ryan Fee Win Tag Team, “Big One High Roller” Sets Off

The 2016 World Series of Poker crept closer to its Championship Event with the conclusion of the inaugural Tag Team event on Friday. With several top-notch pros entered into the event, it was the duo of Doug Polk and Ryan Fee who walked away as champions.

Event #61 – $ 1000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em

The final nine teams left in Event #61 were all looking to ring up the first bracelet in an event that may very well become a staple at the WSOP. The format – teams of two to four players could tag in and out at any time during the course of the tournament – brought several partnerships to the felt, but none were working the format better than Polk and Fee. At the start of the final day of play, Polk and Fee were the only players over the million chip mark with 1.243 million. In fact, they had more than double the chips of the second place team of John Gale and T. J. Shulman (606K) and more than ten times the chips of the short stack triumvirate of the Little Family (pro Jonathan and his parents Larry and Rita).

The story of the short stack was true for many of the competitors. Although they would hang around for the first 10 hands, Team Little just didn’t have the ammunition to get anything going, falling in ninth place at the hands of Team Mittelman (Niel Mittelman, Adam Greenberg and Gabe Paul). Next to go was the trio of Marco Caruso, Mike Padula and Daniel Urban, who saw their dreams of WSOP gold disappear in eighth place after losing a race against Team Charania (Mohsin Charania and Marvin Rettenmaier) for most of their stack and delivering the rest to Team Dempsey (James Dempsey and Chris Godfrey) when they couldn’t win a similar race. Finally, Team Peters (Reuben Peters and Robert Altman) succumbed to Team Dempsey in seventh place when Dempsey’s A-Q stood over Altman’s K-8…and this action was just in the first two hours!

By the 50th hand of the final table, two more teams would be gone. Team Gale was able to knock off Team Lybaert (Bart Lybaert, Adam Owen, Benny Glaser and Owais Ahmed) in sixth place after Gale flopped Aces up unnecessarily against Lybaert’s J-10 of spades. It wasn’t enough to keep Team Lybaert around, however, as they would depart in fifth place after Team Mittelman turned a flush against Gale’s Big Slick.

With four teams remaining, Polk and Fee were still cruising in the lead, waiting for a challenger to emerge. They got over the two million chip mark in eliminating Team Dempsey in fourth after Fee turned a Broadway straight to best Dempsey’s flopped top pair of Aces. Soon after Dempsey’s elimination, they were joined above that plateau by Team Mittelman when they four-flushed Team Charania from the event despite getting it all in pre-flop at a serious disadvantage (Rettenmaier’s pocket nines for Team Charania against Mittelman’s pocket fives).

Heads up play started with the two teams relatively even in chips, but Fee would assert his team’s claim on first within 20 hands to move out to almost a 4:1 lead. Mittelman, however, would find a key double to bring the match back to near even. This would be the way the heads up play would go – back and forth – for 107 hands, or more hands of heads up play than it took to eliminate the previous seven teams (102). When the end came, however, it came quickly.

On the final hand, an A♠ 10♠ 7 flop brought a check-call from Fee after Paul bet out 90K. the 9♠ on the turn saw a similar action, with Paul betting out 180K being the only difference. The 5 didn’t seem to help anyone, but Paul moved all in and Fee snapped him off, saying “The nuts,” as he tossed up K♠ 3♠. All Paul could show was a flopped two pair with his A-10 as the championship went to Doug Polk and Ryan Fee.

1. Doug Polk/Ryan Fee, $ 153,358
2. Niel Mittelman/Adam Greenberg/Gabe Paul, $ 94,748
3. Mohsin Charania/Marvin Rettenmaier, $ 66,458
4. James Dempsey/Chris Godfrey, $ 47,278
5. Bart Lybaert/Adam Owen/Benny Glaser/Owais Ahmed, $ 34,118
6. John Gale/T. J. Shulman, $ 24,982
7. Reuben Peters/Robert Altman, $ 18,564
8. Marco Caruso/Mike Padula/Daniel Urban, $ 14,003
9. Jonathan, Larry and Rita Little, $ 10,724

Event #67 – $ 111,111 One Drop High Roller

The largest buy-in event on the 2016 WSOP schedule, the One Drop High Roller naturally brought out some of the biggest guns in the poker world. The re-entry event (yes, if you burned through more than $ 100K, you had the option of chucking another $ 111,111 at the event) saw 171 entries racked up through the Day 1 action, but those aren’t the final numbers. With registration open until the start of play this afternoon, there could very well be more players who jump into the mix.

Of those 171 entries, 88 of them will return on Day 2 with a stack to play. Leading the way will be Koray Aldemir who, according to his Hendon Mob resume, has only played in a tournament with a buy-in higher than $ 5000 once (the 2015 WSOP Championship Event) and only has tournament earnings about five times ($ 561,683) more than what he bought in for on Friday. He ripped through the field late in the evening on Friday to build a 3.789 million chip stack, dwarfing anyone else in the field by almost a million chips.

Although he has a big lead now, Aldemir will have to watch his back. Fedor Holz is lurking in that second place slot, while the remainder of the Top Ten looks like a horror show of top-flight players:

1. Koray Aldemir, 3.789 million
2. Fedor Holz, 2.884 million
3. Brian Green, 2.36 million
4. Michael Mizrachi, 2.296 million
5. Dominik Nitsche, 2.15 million
6. Jeff Gross, 2.105 million
7. Kyle Julius, 2 million
8. Sergio Espina Aido, 1.867 million
9. Joe McKeehen, 1.866 million
10. Adrian Mateos, 1.842 million

Day Two will kick off at 2PM on Saturday (Pacific Time), at which point the final numbers for the tournament will be compiled and the prize pool, number of payees and the eventual first place prize, which should be well over $ 2 million if not $ 3 million if new entries are received, will be revealed.

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