ILLINOIS POKER PRO AMONG FIRST WSOP BRACELET WINNERS THIS YEAR
 
Kyle Julius celebrates his first winners bracelet at pokers top tournament.
 
Illinois poker pro Kyle Julius (29) is among the first to bag a World Series of Poker winners bracelet this year after scoring a vistory worth $142,972 in the $1,000 buy-in Top Up Turbo no-limit hold’em event, in which 667 entries were recorded.
 
WSOP organisers developed an innovative live-and-online format for the event, which allowed competitors to to double their 10,000 starting chip stacks by winning sit-n-go’s that were available both at the Rio and online on WSOP.com. For those who failed to top up in these ancillary events, there was a $1,000 facility to buy addition top up chips.
 
The format proved popular, with 235 players topping up online, 99 at the Rio, and 81 paying the additional $1,000, creating a total prize pool of $681,300.
 
Julius topped up through the Rio channel but was sitting around the middle of the final table on chip stacks as the contest went into its final stages. Settling down to a disciplined but aggressive style of play he began working his way through the field and building his stack, finally eliminating Ben Yu and qualify with a substantial lead for the heads up against Bart Lybaert.
 
It was a brief, single hand affair in which Julius confidently trounced his opponent, sending Lybaert to the cashier for a runner up pay-out of $88,328
 
Other final table pay-days included:
 
Ben Yu  $61,137  
Karl Held  $43,001  
Hugo Perez  $30,742  
Christian Blech  $22,345  
Nitis Udornpim  $16,518  
George Dolofan  $12,422  
Vinny Pahuja  $9,506  
 
In related news, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, back at WSOP after his five-year self-imposed exile over the Full Tilt Poker debacle scored a 19th place finish worth $4,069 cash in the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Dealers Choice event, which attracted 389 entries.
 
38-year-old Lawrence Berg won the event, claiming the $125,466 main prize after a heads up against Yueqi Zhu