Benny Chen Takes Command to Win Millionaire Maker

Benny Chen 3
Benny Chen came back from break to dominate the table

Not the least bit surprising, the players came back from the break looking for some action. More accurately, the blinds were forcing them to take action as the average stack size was just 17.5 big blinds.

One player was sent to the rail on the first hand back and action stayed hot, lasting just 20 hands from four-handed play to crowning a new champion.

Liberto Runs out of Luck

Chipleader Benny Chen min-raised from under the gun before Liberto three-bet his last 3,050,000 which was instantly called by Chen with A T. Liberto would need one more comeback to stay alive with A 9.

Both hit the T 9 5 flop to keep Chen in the lead and Liberto couldn’t spike the extra nine on the turn or river.

Liberto had a crazy run over the last few days with some major hands and bigger comebacks. He had a decent chiplead during the final table but was knocked out in 4th place for $400,408.

Chen Gets Another

Michael Bennington open to 800,000 from the button, it was called by Chen in the small blind before Jonathan Gray moved all-in for 5,000,000.

Bennington folded his button and Chen called to find out he was behind in the hand with K Q against Gray’s A Q.

A continuation on the bad beat theme, Chen flopped two pair on the K Q 8 board. Supporters for both players mumbled when the 5 gave Gray a flush draw.

It was Chen’s friends who would cheer as the 2 gave him the hand and the lead going into heads up play.

Benny and the Bracelet

It did not take long for Chen to win the heads up match against Bennington. He began with the lion's share of chips and extended the lead on the 5th hand with a full house.

Two hands later Bennington was all-in looking for a double up or Chen to become the next WSOP Millionaire.

It took four bets to Bennington's chips in the middle with both were holding a pair, strong hands in heads up play. Unfortunately for the doctor, his 3 3 were well behind Chen's 9 9.

Unlike most all-in hands the last two days, there was no drama provided by the dealer. The board ran out K 8 2 J A Michael Bennington was eliminated in 2nd.

The doctor played well to make the right moves and put himself in contention even though he began the final table in the bottom half of the chip counts.

Benny Chen took command of the final table late to become the newest WSOP Champion plus a very nice $1,198,780.

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Players Weather Big Swings to Stay Alive

Justin Liberto 4
Justin Liberto ponders a decision while Jonathan Gray takes a br

The second level after dinner provided big swings for all four players remaining. Several players took their turns as the leader as well as the low man.

No one player has set themselves apart as the player to fear because they’ve all shown the ability to win hands at any point, whether pre-flop or with well calculated value bet.

Doctor Gives Chen a Shot

Michael Bennington opened to 500,000 from under the gun and short-stacked Benny Chen moved in over the top for 2,000,000. After asking for a count, Bennington called the bet with Q J.

Chen was far ahead with A J and was given a booster shot double-up when the board ran out A K 7 6 A. Chen moved ahead of Jonathan Gray into 3rd place but Bennington remained on top with over 11,000,000.

Gray Takes His Turn

Not to be outdone by Chen taking chips from one of the leaders, Jonathan Gray took his shot shortly afterwards. Justin Liberto min-raised under the gun and Gray moved all-in behind for 3,850,000 which Liberto quickly called with A Q.

Gray couldn’t have been comfortable even with the dominating Q Q a Liberto has proven to have a knack for coming from behind.

The J 8 8 seemed safe enough for Gray but the 4 turn gave Liberto another chance for a knockout. A blank T ended the drama and Gray completed his double-up from a big stack.

Gray Takes Another Turn

Not content for just one big pot, Gray decided it was time to head to the top of the class. He opened to 750,000 on the button and was only called by Bennington in the big blind.

Bennington bet 600,000 on the J 9 2 flop and both checked the 4 on the turn. Bennington bet another 600,000 when A hit the river which Gray just called with A 7.

Top pair on the river was goo against Bennington’s flopped pair of nines. Bennington dropped down and Jonathan Gray was the new chipleader.

Chen Slows Gray Down

Gray was building some nice momentum but Chen brought him back down to earth. Gray opened to 750,000 from under the gun and Chen came along for the ride in the big blind.

Both checked the 8 7 5 before Chen lead out for 825,000 on the 7 turn. Gary put out a call to see the river Q. Chen took his time before betting 1,300,000 which Gary snap called. Incorrectly it turns out.

Chen tabled 6 9 for the flopped nut straight to pick up a big pot.

Players were sent off on another break and will return to very shallow stacks with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and 50,000 ante.

Final Table Chip Counts:

Benny Chen – 10,650,000
Michael Bennington – 9,125,000
Jonathan Gray – 5,975,000
Justin Liberto – 3,100,000

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Players Return from Dinner Making Moves

Michael Bennington2
Michael Bennington came back from dinner to take the chiplead

Players returned from break as active as predicted. There were several hands which were three and four-bet pre-flop and the lead changed before long.

The bottom of the leaderboard also changed but action was still four-handed halfway through the after dinner break. The rail has been quiet but Tournament Director Robbie Thompson has been entertaining them with songs on the mic.

Gray Hits a Double off Chen

On just the third hand back from dinner, Benny Chen moved all-in from the small blind and Jonathan Gray easily called in the big blind as the short-stack with A J.

Chen’s move the small blind was with 3 2 and he doubled up Gray when the board ran out J 9 7 9 K. The move swapped their places at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Liberto Takes a Hit

Justin Liberto held the chiplead for previous few levels but gave it up in a battled of the two big stacks remaining. He min-raised under the gun and was called by Michael Bennington on the button and Jonathan Gray in the big blind.

The 8 4 2 flop prompted Liberto to bet 535,000 after Gray check with only Bennington coming along to the turn. Both checked the 6 turn and Liberto bet 1,550,000 after the A river.

Bennington took his time to make his decision, which turned out to be a call with 5 5.The hand was good as Liberto mucked his hand and lost the chiplead.

“Doctor doctor, give me the news”, was heard as Robbie Thompson sang a little Robert Palmer to Bennington the doctor.

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Liberto Dines with his Chip Lead

Justin Liberto 2
Justin Liberto will have a lot of chips to think about on dinner

Justin Liberto stayed out over the last level before the player's dinner break. He picked up a lot of pots with selective aggression and finished the level with a 3,000,000 chip lead over 2nd place Michael Bennington.

That's not to say Liberto didn't hit a few bumps in the road along the way. He lost a few middle sized pots but picked up a big one for his next elimination.

Kelly Can’t Dodge Liberto

Dan Kelly was the next to run into the hand making machine of Justin Liberto. In a battle of the blinds, Liberto took his time before calling Kelly’s all-in and was actually 50/50 going to the flop.

Liberto showed K Q against Kelly’s pocket sixes. The 9 7 4 did little to improve Liberto but the J gave him 17 outs on the river with two overs, gutshot, and flush draws.

The two-way K hit on the river to give Liberto another big hand. Dan “djk123” Kelly continued his great start to the 2013 WSOP with his 2nd final table and 5th place finish here for $302,104.

Liberto Tastes His Own Medicine

After getting involved in several big hands where he started from behind, Liberto found a spot where he was dominating pre-flop.

Liberto opened from the button for a min-raise before Jonathan Gray three-bet his entire 2,600,000 stack. It didn’t take any thought this hand for Liberto as he instantly called with Q Q, well ahead of Gray’s A T.

Gray hit the bottom half of his hand on the T 3 2 flop giving him more options going forward. Nothing on the 6 but the A was good to show Liberto how it feels.

The hand moved Gray over 5,000,000 while Liberto dropped into a virtual tie atop the leaderboard with Benny Chen.

Players Settle In

Once all players had workable stacks, they fell into a period of play where most of the hands were won with pre-flop openers or continuation bets on the flop. Players seemed content to show patience until they found the right spot.

There were few big hands but Michael Bennington and Jonathan Gray swapped places at the bottom of the chip counts during the level. Bennington then moved up another spot by taking a sizable stack against Benny Chen without a showdown.

Player took off on their dinner break still four-handed but action should pick up when they return to blinds at 120,000/240,000.

Dinner Break Chip Counts:

Justin Liberto - 11,045,000
Michael Bennington - 8,010,000
Benny Chen - 7,065,000
Jonathan Gray - 2,430,000

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Liberto Hits Big Draws to Eliminate Two and Take the Lead

Upeshka Desilva
Upeshka DeSilva began the final table short but climbed the ladd

The fates have been fickle for Dan Kelly who went from chipleader to short-stack over a string of bad hands. Players slowed down as the stacks evened out before the action heated up as the level was nearing an end.

Justin Liberto was moving in the other direction as his play moved him into the chip lead by the time players went on their second break.

Liberto Runs into Cooler; Still Wins

Liberto min-raised under the gun and was rewarded with folds until Jonathan Gray used in his newly found chips to three-bet to 700,000.

Liberto deliberated for a while until he four-bet up to 1,825,000. Gray responded with a five-bet large enough to put Liberto all-in. He called the bet only to find himself in need of a lot of help.

Gray was holding big with K K against Liberto’s A K. The rail was supportive of Liberto as he spent a few moments with them before the dealer did his job.

What he saw was a flop bigger than just hitting his over-card, it came out Q J T for the Broadway straight. Gray could not pull off runner-runner perfect for the boat when the 7 hit the turn.

Liberto Comes from Behind Again

Liberto did not waste any time putting his new big stack to use by pushing around the other players in a few hands before he notched his first knockout.

Upeshka DeSilva had done well to work his stack up the ladder after being short-stacked most of Day 3 and the final table. He opened a pot to 255,000 and action folded until Liberto put him all-in from the big blind.

Chris Hunichen 2
Chris Hunichen could not dodge the hot hand of Liberto

DeSilva called with J J and Liberto had the pros favorite drawing hand, 8 7. DeSilva was still ahead after K J 9 while Liberto picked up a gutshot draw which turned open-ended with the 6 turn.

DeSilva’s impressive run was done on the river 5. The rest of the players at the table made a point to congratulate him while for a job well done.

Hunichen Burns on Liberto's Heater

After the break, Chris "BigHuni" Hunichen moved all-in after Liberto min-raised under the gun. Hunichen looked good for a double up with 6 6 against A 3 but Liberto had come from behind earlier.

The dealer kept in clean on the 9 5 2 flop. Liberto again had a gutshot draw but this time hit the overcard when A landed on the turn.

No help for Hunichen on the river and he was the 6th place finisher for $229,575.

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McVeigh Loses Three Big Hands; Former Big Stack Eliminated

Robert McVeigh
Robert McVeigh's day looked promising but three big hands ended

Theron Eichenberger’s elimination set a fire under some of the players and they kept the dealer busy. There was a lot of action which produced a handful of double ups and one more elimination.

Dan Kelly showed his skills early to extend his chiplead but backed off some as the short-stacks pecked away with all-in moves.

McVeigh Spreads the Wealth

Upeshka DeSilva was desperately short-stacked when he doubled through Robert McVeigh with A K versus K T. He picked up a little breathing room and McVeigh dropped back in the counts.

The big problem came for McVeigh after getting involved in a three-bet, three-way pot against Jonathan Gray and Dan Kelly. All three players checked the K 6 2 flop before the J lit a fuse.

McVeigh bet 515,000 after Kelly checked and Gray responded by moving all-in for over 2,000,000. Kelly moved out of the way and McVeigh called after some hesitation.

Perhaps the consideration was whether his turned flush with 8 7 was good and he was correct with the call as Gray showed J J for a set.

Gray’s supporters called for the dealer to pair the board and they were rewarded on the 6 river for a boat. Gray doubled up near the chipleaders and McVeigh was in the danger zone.

“BigHuni” Gets There

Chris “BigHuni” Hunichen was sitting with less than 10 big blinds when he open-shoved with 7 7 but needed a lot of help when Benny Chen moved all-in behind to isolate with Q Q.

His vocal rail was yelling for a seven while they counted down the stacks but prayers were not answer with the K 8 3 flop. 9 changed their tone and they were screaming for a diamond.

8 on the river gave Hunichen running flush cards for a big double up and more room to move.

McVeigh Runs Out of Steam

After doubling up his opponents in earlier hands, McVeigh managed a small double against Kelly before taking another stand. He three-bet shoved his 10 big blind stack against DeSilva with A J.

DeSilva was a big favorite when he showed A K and the T 5 5 Q 9 board kept it clean for his win. The former short-stacked DeSilva was now firmly in the middle of the pack while McVeigh’s tournament ended in 8th place for $135,467.

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Millionaire Maker Moves to Main Stage

Joe Kuether 3
Joe Kuether was a surprise early victim on Day 4

The unofficial final table began in the outer areas of the Amazon Room, waiting for one elimination before moving onto the main stage. The players did not have to wait long.

Upeshka DeSilva and Theron Eichenberger were most in danger of early elimination with very few chip, but it was of our highlighted players who took the first hit.

Kuether Gets Coolered

Both DeSilva and Eichenberger made it through their blinds without incident when Joe Kuether moved all-in for his final 1,300,000 in chips with A K and was called by Dan Kelly to his immediate left.

Kuether thought he picked the right spot until Kelly rolled over A A to dominate for a big pot.

Kuether picked up a gutshot straight draw on the J T 7 flop but his long four-day run ended when J and 9 ran out on the turn and river. Kuether finished in 10th place for $82,205.

Short Play and Long Break

Since the players began play in the Amazon Tan section for the "unofficial" final table, the remaining nine only played a few hands before they had to rack up their chips for a move to the main stage.

They took a 20 minute break, spent time getting their broadcast microphones clipped on, and were instructed by staff on hole cam operation before they were finally back underway.

Dan Kelly Stays Hot

It did not take long for one of the short-stacks to mix it up under the lights.

Theron Eichenberger only had 435,000 chips to carry across the Amazon floor and put them to work against Dan Kelly. Eichenberger was in prime position for a double up with A 8 against 5 4.

Eichenberger dodged pairing Kelly’s two little cards on T 9 6. The crowd mumbled a bit with the K on the turn and Kelly completed the flush and knockout with Q.

Eichenberger climbed the payout ladder to finish in 9th place for $105,154 and Kelly moves into the chiplead.

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Millionaire Maker Final Day is Underway

Benny Chen
Benny Chen will start his day as the Millionaire Maker final tab

The $1,500 WSOP Millionaire Maker has played down for the initial 6,343 entrants to the final 10. They are in their seats and play is underway, they will continue until someone has a new WSOP bracelet an almost $1.2million.

With such a large field, it is not surprising we have a large group of players who will make have their biggest tournament score of their life.

There are three big players will keep our eyes on even though everyone has a shot at the million dollars at the start.

Dan “djk123” Kelly is the most accomplished player coming into the final table. He won a bracelet in 2010 after making his first trip to the WSOP as a 21 year old. Kelly has nearly $2.5million in live career tournament earnings with an additional $6million won in online tournaments.

Joe Kuether is making his 2nd career WSOP final table and has more the $1.2million in career earnings. He also has a WSOP-Circuit win to his credit along with a WPT final table and near $1million in online tournament success.

Chris “BigHuni” Hunichen only has $125,000 in live career success but the internet grinder has over $5million in tournament earnings online including six major victories. No matter when he finishes today, he is guaranteed his biggest live cash to date.

Seat 1 Benny Chen 5,865,000
Seat 2 Jonathan Gray 2,745,000
Seat 3 Justin Liberto 3,800,000
Seat 4 Chris Hunichen 3,430,000
Seat 5 Joe Kuether 1,365,000
Seat 6 Dan Kelly 4,130,000
Seat 7 Robert McVeigh 3,175,000
Seat 8 Michael Bennington 2,995,000
Seat 9 Upeshka DeSilva 550,000
Seat 10 Theron Eichenberger 595,000

Level 29: Blinds 40k/80k with 10k ante

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Kelly, Kuether, Hunichen Headline Millionaire Maker Finale

Dan Kelly
The smart money is on Dan Kelly.

The WSOP's first ever "Millionaire Maker" tournament has, somehow, been whittled down to a final table. From a massive field of 6,343 just ten remain, and a few true poker talents are among them.

Former WSOP bracelet winner Dan "djk123" Kelly is sitting second in chips but the experience he'll bring to bear today makes him the clear favorite.

This is Kelly's second final table of the 2013 WSOP.

Joining Kelly as the only known pros to successfully navigate this monster event are Joe Kuether and Chris Hunichen.

Kuether has a long list of live cashes including WSOP and WPT final tables, while Hunichen is primarily known for his online accomplishments, where he plays as Big Huni and has over $5 million in tournament earnings.

These three pros and their seven final-table counterparts will all be battling it out today for the $1.2 million first-place prize.

Keep it locked right here for full coverage as we play down to a winner!

And in the meantime get yourself caught up with our coverage of the playdown to the final table.

Final Table Chip Counts and Seats

  • Seat 1: Benny Chen - 5,865,000
  • Seat 2: Jonathan Gray - 2,745,000
  • Seat 3: Justin Liberto - 3,800,000
  • Seat 4: Chris Hunichen - 3,430,000
  • Seat 5: Joe Kuether - 1,365,000
  • Seat 6: Dan Kelly - 4,130,000
  • Seat 7: Robert McVeigh - 3,175,000
  • Seat 8: Michael Bennington - 2,995,000
  • Seat 9: Upeshka DeSilva - 550,000
  • Seat 10: Theron Eichenberger - 595,000
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Event Name Event 6 - Millionaire Maker
Venue Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 1 June 2013
Final Day 4 June 2013
Buy In $1,500
Entrants 6343
Prize Pool $8,563,050
First Prize $1,199,104
Benny Chen

Benny Chen

Event 6 - Millionaire Maker

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Benny Chen $1,199,104
2. Michael Bennington $741,902
3. Jonathan Gray $534,505
4. Justin Liberto $400,408
5. Daniel Kelly $302,104
6. Christopher Hunichen $229,575
7. Upeshka Desilva $175,713
8. Robert McVeigh $135,467
9. Theron Eichenberger $105,154
10. Joseph Kuether $82,205