Motoyoshi Okamura Wins Event #72: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha for $209,716
After seven hours of play on Day 3, it was music producer Motoyoshi Okamura who outlasted the other eight players to bring home his first WSOP bracelet in Event #72: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha. Prior to this event, Okamura had a career-best score of $122,000 after coming second in a $10,000 buy-in tournament at Aria earlier this month. Now with this score of $209,716, he moves up to 25th on Japan’s all-time money list.
“Winning the bracelet has been a dream of mine,” said Okamura after winning heads up against Rafael Mota. Okamura has only been playing poker for just over a year. “This is my first time playing the WSOP, and I will surely be back next time.”
This is Japan’s second bracelet of the series after Kazuki Ikeuchi won Event #5: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em for an online bracelet, but it is Japan’s first live bracelet of the series.
The tournament field started with 846 entrants, creating a prize pool of $1,129,410, which quickly got whittled down to the money on the first day of play with 126 players remaining at the end of Day 1. Many famous notables tried to get into the money but fell short like Jake Schwartz, Phil Hellmuth, Chino Rheem, and Michael Wang.
It was the dual elimination of Peter Wirth and Matt Higgins by Chris Ball and eventual winner Motoyoshi Okamura that brought the end of play on Day 1.
The first two levels of the day saw the original field of 126 quickly go down to 54, and the following levels of play saw eliminations at a quicker than normal pace. Players like Diogo Veiga (94th - $2,641), Robert Mizrachi (91st - $2,641), Manig Loeser (45st - $4,429), and current player of the year leader Josh Arieh (40th - $5,057) were all eliminated on Day 2 while collecting a cash.
It was eliminations of Jerry Wong (10th - $12,748) and the start of Day 2 chip leader Nohad Teliani (9th - $16,128) that ended the day with the final eight players set to come back the following day.
Final Table Results
|6th||Jordan Spurlin||United States||$35,942|
The action kicked off very quickly at the beginning of the day with Tim Grau going all-in on the first hand for his last 360,000 in pot-limit omaha against chip leader Rafael Mota’s raise. Mota called and saw he was behind with against , but a flopped two-pair for Mota saw Grau eliminated in eighth place for $20,737.
Shortly after in a hold’em round, Leonid Yanovski went all-in from the small blind, covering Marc Lange in the big blind who ended up calling him. Lange held ace-two suited, but it was well behind the ace-queen of Yanovski, and no sweat on the flop meant an exit for Lange, and he collected $27,088 for his seventh-place finish.
Jordan Spurlin was eliminated in sixth place for $35,942 in a hold’em round, when his king-queen couldn’t find any improvement against Nick Yunis’ pocket eights on a seven-high board.
Just before players went on their first break, Mike Takayama was out in a hold’em round when he jammed his ace-seven for 12 big blinds on the button, and Yunis called in the big blind with pocket nines. A queen high board brought no help to Takayama, and he was eliminated in fifth place for $48,428.
It would be another hour of playing four-handed before the next elimination came, and Yanovski was the fourth-place finisher. In an Omaha round, he got in a preflop raising war with Mota, who put him all in. Yanovski called with ace-ace-eight-two against queen-jack-ten-nine and flopped a set on an ace-high board. A turn flush would spell the end for him as he was unable to catch up on the river and collected $66,249 for his efforts.
Yunis found himself getting shorter during three-handed play and eventually found himself moving all-in during a hold’em round from the big blind, only to get snapped off by Okamura, who had pocket kings. Yunis’ pocket threes could not make a set, and he was eliminated in third place for $91,989.
Heads Up Play
Heads up play began close to even with Okamura only slightly ahead of Mota. This was not for long as Mota pulled ahead rather quickly and after only 40-minutes of play, created a 4:1 chip lead for himself versus Okamura.
In another 40-minutes, Okamura would find himself going from on the ropes into the driver seat when he check-raised the river in a hold’em round, when Mota had raised the turn. He gained the chip lead at that point and did not relinquish it for the remainder of the match.
The match came to an end when during an omaha round, Mota got in his stack on a board with an overpair and the nut flush draw. Okamura called with top pair, which turned into two pair on the turn, then into a full house on the river. Rafael Mota shook hands with his opponent and collected $129,716 for his second-place finish.
Congratulations to Motoyoshi Okamura on winning his first bracelet in Event #72: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha!
Stay tuned for more updates on the 52nd World Series Of Poker at The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.