The road to the 2016 World Series of Poker final table continued this week as three more players earned bracelets for the big show. Let's have a look back and recap some of the winners.
Kozlov Claims WSOP Bracelet
Martin Kozlov of Australia won a bracelet in one of the toughest events of the summer, the $10,000 six-max no-limit hold 'em game. There were 294 players that started the event to put together a prize pool of $2.76 million and it was a wild three days for those players. Kozlov made it to the final table with five others, including Chris Ferguson. Eventually, he landed a pair of queens to beat David Kitai and take home $665,709. Kozlov's best finish came back in his home country, but he is now on the big stage and has earned over $1.5 million in tournament winnings throughout his career. There was a lot of focus on Ferguson, who was associated with the Full Tilt Poker scandal and just recently returned to the public poker scene. Many fans continued to boo him and yell obscenities as he was eliminated. However, this event belonged to Kozlov, the 12th Australian player to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker.
Gathy Represents for Belgium
Michael Gathy beat out a field with over 540 players at the $5,000 six-max no-limit hold 'em event and is the second Belgian to win a bracelet. It was Gathy's third bracelet as he defeated Adrian Allain to win $560,843 in heads-up play. Allain tried to ride his bluffing skills to the win, but in the end his 8-6 spades suited had nothing on Gathy, who had two pairs, jacks and kings. It was a nervy play from Allain and it didn't pay off.
Nevada's Awad Gets Revenge
Hani Awad was back for more as he finished second to Konstantin Maslak in 2015 at the $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, then came back to win it in 2016. Awad, who hails from Henderson, Nevada, led the final table of eight players when they began and he wound up in heads-up play with Fabrice Soulier. But Awad had almost three times as many chips as Soulier, of France, and used them smartly to take home $213,186, while Soulier ended up with $131,762. There was a lot of attention on Jason Mercier, who already has a pair of World Series of Poker bracelets from this year, but he finished 11th, failing to make it to the final table. He has been the hottest player on the tour this year and may end up breaking a few records by the time the season is over. However, this event was all about Awad.
With over 40 events gone in the season, there is still a lot to play for with 25-plus events still on the schedule. The $10,000 Main Event begins July 9 and goes until July 18, all the way to the final table, which will take place over October 30, October 31, and November 1.