The third day of action in the 2024 World Series of Poker saw two gold bracelets awarded as the first winners of this 99-event summer in Las Vegas were confirmed. Big events began at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas casinos, with the $25,000 Heads-Up Champions and $1,000 Mystery Millions both getting underway, while Daniel Negreanu had a big flip for his tournament in the WSOP Kickoff... but did Kid Poker win or lose it? 

Conniff the Champion in Reunion Rollercoaster 

Asher Conniff had never won a WSOP bracelet before today, having qualified for the $5,000 Champions Reunion Event #1 via his WSOP Circuit victory. The talented American, who came 10th in the WSOP Main Event not so long ago can now claim to be a bracelet winner too, however. Beating Turkey's Halil Tasyurek heads-up after a rollercoaster ride of being both down and almost out and utterly dominant, Conniff closed it out for a famous win in Las Vegas. 

The first bracelet event of the summer was streamed live on PokerGO to poker fans around the world and played out over five and a half hours of terrific excitement. The day began with 10 players rather than nine thanks in no small part to Aram Zobian's heroic survival on the penultimate day but the American U.S. Poker Open champion lost two coinflips to bust in 10th place and the final table was formed. 

Eliminations for Bryce Welker and Michael Acevedo followed before the Serbian player Nenad Dukic lost out in seventh place. David Coleman, who had begun as one of the short stacks, laddered to sixth place before the overnight leader Terry Fleischer fell in fifth. At that point, Turkish player Halil Tasyurek looked to have a total command over proceedings and his aggression was largely responsible for taking out Jonathan Pastore in fourth place, and Yushou Yin in third. 

Heads-up, Tasyurek had a big lead, with six times as many chips as Conniff. The American fought back, however, and a pivotal flush gave him a lead that he protected until the final hand when his pocket tens won the day against the Turkish player's jack-nine suited. For Conniff, it completed the set of WSOP wins and he will be freerolling the rest of his trip to Las Vegas, striking gold in the very first event of the series.   

Event #1: $5,000 Champions Reunion Final Day Results

Place Player Country Prize
1st Asher Conniff United States $408,468
2nd Halil Tasyurek Turkey $272,305
3rd Yuzhou Yin China $188,342
4th Jonathan Pastore France $132,545
5th Terry Fleischer United States $94,936
6th David Coleman United States $69,231
7th Nenad Dukic Serbia  $51,416
8th Michael Acevedo Costa Rica $38,903
9th Bryce Welker United States $29,999
10th Aram Zobian United States $23,584

Garcia Wins Gold in Casino Employees Event 

The Spanish poker dealer Jose Garcia won Event #2 as he claimed the $79,134 top prize in the $500-entry Casino Employees Event. With only four players coming back to the felt for an additional day in the event, Lang Anderson was the first to leave as his ace-jack was unlucky to lose to Garcia's nine-ten as the latter hit a straight on the turn to send the American home with $26,698.

Alex Green lost out in third for $37,264 as his jack-ten lost to Richard Rothmeier’s king-jack but although that boosted Rothmeier's stack to around half of Garcia's pile of chips, it was not enough. Soon, Rothmeier shoved pre-flop with king-nine but Garcia called and turned over king-queen and held with ease, a king even landing on the river to confirm his first WSOP bracelet in style.

Event #2: $500 Casino Employees Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1st Jose Garcia Spain $79,134
2nd Richard Rothmeier United States $52,773
3rd Alexander Green United States $37,264
4th Lang Anderson United States $26,698
5th Barry Goldberg United States $19,412
6th Bradley Wolfe United States $14,328
7th Joshua Sieverding United States $10,737
8th Christopher Keem United States $8,171
9th Lukas Robinson United Kingdom $6,317

Willis in Command of Kickoff Event as Kid Poker Falls 

The third event of this year's WSOP is the $500 buy-in Event #3, the WSOP Kickoff, and is the first realistically open-to-everyone event with its smaller entry fee and no restrictions against entrants as in the Casino Employees Event. A tumultuous day at the felt saw British player Daniel Willis pile chips highest as he ended play with the chip lead and well over 23 million chips.

The reason Shawn Smith (16.15m) heads into the final day of action hoping to win a WSOP bracelet is largely due to him winning a crucial coinflip against poker legend Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian six-time WSOP event winner and Poker Hall of Famer was all-in pre-flop with ace-king of clubs against Smith's pocket tens, with the latter holding to take a 20 million chip pot away from Kid Poker.

While Negreanu's 16-year wait for a WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas goes on, others remain in the hunt, with Michael Wang (12.62m) and Steven Borella (10.42m) both very much in contention. 

You can watch the final table play down to a winner on Friday right here on PokerGO.  

Event #3: $500 WSOP Kickoff Final Table Chip Counts

Place Player Country Chips
1st Daniel Willis United Kingdom 23,725,000
2nd Shawn Smith United States 16,150,000
3rd Michael Wang United States 12,625,000
4th Steven Borella United States 10,425,000
5th Yoshinori Funayama Japan 7,700,000
6th John Marino United States 7,000,000
7th Daniel Sherer United States 6,275,000
8th David Niedringhaus United States 3,350,000

John Smith and Cary Katz Both Survive in Heroic Heads-Up Championship Day 1 

You couldn't move for poker heroes in the 64-player WSOP Heads-Up Championship, otherwise known as Event #6 of this year's WSOP. With the field locked at just 64 entrants, a $1.5 million prize pool will see just eight players make the money, with 16 still in the hunt for glory and the $500,000 top prize.

Anyone who can survive their third heads-up match in the next round will win at least $86,000 and there were some surprises on Day 1 as some huge players took the L. Defending champion Chanracy Khun lost in Round 1 after drawing the toughest opponent possible in Chance Kornuth. The triple WSOP bracelet winner prevailed with pocket queens beating Khun's ace-five only to depart in Round 2.

Stephen Chidwick took on Jeremy Ausmus and the Englishman won, but he too lost out in Round 2 as Russian GG MILLION$ serial winner Artur Martirosian also won big with pocket queens to leave Stephen Chidwick short, and eventually out when his top pair was no good against the Russian's full house.

John Smith took out Dario Sammartino and survived to Round 3 as the heads-up specialist once again showed what makes him such a dangerous opponent in this format. Joao Vieira despatched Nik Airball to the rail before other big names such as Shaun Deeb, Alex Foxen and Chris Brewer all missed out on the second and final day of the event. Just 16 remain in the hunt for the bracelet. 

Event #6: $25,000 Heads-Up Championship Remaining Matches: 

1. Cary Katz              vs.    Artur Martirosian
2. Patrick Kennedy    vs.    Michael Steele
3. Darius Samual       vs.    Matthew Wantman
4. Weston Mizumoto  vs.    John Smith
5. Nikolai Mamut        vs.    James Gorham
6. Marko Grujic          vs.    Joseph Miller
7. Faraz Jaka            vs.    Sam Soverel
8. Owen Messere     vs.    Kane Kalas

Winner of Match 1 plays winner of Match 2, etc, in following rounds. 

'Miami John' and Jamie Kerstetter Make Final Day of Omaha Hi-Lo Event 

Just 22 players remain in the $1,500-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better 8-Max Event #4, with a top prize of $209,350 on offer to the winner. It is Adam Nattress who leads the final day's collection of mixed game lovers, with 2,480,000 chips but plenty of dangerous opponents lie only a short distance behind. 

Day 1 chip leader James Chen (1,985,000) will be a threat, while 'Miami John' Cernuto (1,135,000) Ben Yu (715,000) and Eric Baldwin (555,000) will all be hoping to make their experience count. Jamie Kerstetter is short on 280,000 chips, as she hopes to add a WSOP bracelet to her two WSOP Circuit rings. 

Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better 8-Max Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Country Chips
1st Adam Nattress United States 2,480,000
2nd Aleksey Filatov United States 2,145,000
3rd James Chen United States 2,100,000
4th Curtis Phelps United States 1,985,000
5th Lewis Brandt United States 1,850,000
6th Pearce Arnold United States 1,410,000
7th Todd Dakake United States 1,220,000
8th John Cernuto United States 1,135,000
9th Mathew Rego Canada 1,120,000
10th Matthew Aronowitz United States 1,085,000

Chen Leads Mystery Millions with Moreno and Wilson Close

The $1,000-entry Mystery Millions Event #5 saw an incredible 2,246 entrants as a prize pool of over $1.97 million was gathered into the pot, with just 118 players surviving to Day 2. The chip leader at the close of play was Taiwanese regular at the WSOP Pete Chen, who ended the day with 3.15 million chips, some way clear of his nearest challenger Uri Reichenstein from Israel on 2,225,000. 

The current state of play represents Chen's best chance of breaking his live bracelet duck for some time, with the Taiwanese player coming closest to gold seven years ago in 2017. Since then, he's become a double bracelet winner in online events but he'll have the opportunity to bag a third gold bracelet when play resumes for him on Day 2.

Before then, Day 1b looms, but players such as Andrew Moreno (1,370,000), Brock Wilson (1,035,000), Jeremy Becker (940,000), and Alex Foxen (625,000) will not need to take part having already bagged a stack on Day 1a. 

Event #5: $1,000 Mystery Millions Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Country Chips
1st Pete Chen  Taiwan 3,150,000
2nd Uri Reichenstein Israel 2,225,000
3rd Akinobu Maeda Japan 2,080,000
4th James Erickson United States 1,805,000
5th Wojciech Barzantny Austria 1,500,000
6th Milfred Sageer United States 1,500,000
7th James Maita United States 1,500,000
8th Zhao Xin China 1,395,000
9th Andrew Moreno United States  1,370,000
10th Arin Youssefian United States 1,345,000

Benny Glaser Chasing Wagner in Dealer's Choice after Day 1

Finally, Day 1 of the $1,500-entry Dealer's Choice 6-Max Event #7 began in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Michael Wagner (272,000) top of the 126 survivors from 530 entrants. Last year, this event had 456 entries, so the first indications that we might have an even bigger WSOP this summer look positive.

With some Poker Hall of Famers mixing it up with legends of the mixed game circuit such as Benny Glaser (261,500), a prize pool of $707,550 will award a $138,296 top prize, with other players such as Scott Bohlman (259,000), Andrew Kelsall (240,500), Hanh Tran (225,500), Jeff Madsen (193,000), Maxx Coleman (147,500) and Julien Martini (144,000) all ending Day 1 well ahead of average. 

Event #7: $1,500 Dealer's Choice Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Country Chips
1st Michael Wagner United States 272,000
2nd Jacob Hamed United States 262,500
3rd Benny Glaser United Kingdom 261,500
4th Scott Bohlman United States 259,000
5th Andrew Kelsall United States 240,500
6th Hanh Tran Austria 225,500
7th Fu Wong United States 220,000
8th Ryan Pedigo United States 213,500
9th Clinton Wolcyn United States  199,000
10th Kuenwai Lo China 197,500

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Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, John Smith, Asher Conniff, WSOP 2024, Jose Garcia, Miami John