Daniel Lazrus Turns $1,500 Into $1,000,000

Daniel Lazrus won the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event at the 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and secured a $1 million prize.

The 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) awarded its first seven-figure prize on October 13 when Daniel Lazrus triumphed in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event. The tournament made good on its promise to award its champion a $1,000,000 payday. Lazrus was the man who got his hand on that life-changing sum.

Some 5,330 players bought into the Millionaire Maker for $1,500, creating a $3,428,280 prize pool. The bumper prize pool meant all but one of the nine finalists walked away with at least six-figures for the efforts.

Lazrus sat down at the final table with the chip lead and extended his lead by eliminating Sertac Turker. He min-raised to 800,000 with Ac-Kd and called when Turker three-bet jammed for 5,500,000 with the dominated Ah-Js. The five community cards ran Th-9c-7s-Ts-4h, and Turker busted.

The eventual champion sent Adam Sherman to the sidelines in eighth-place, a finish worth $105,690. Sherman check-called a 1,200,000 bet on the 7h-Jd-2s flop before check-calling a 4,400,000 bet on the Qh turn. Sherman checked again on the 7c river, prompting Lazrus to move all-in. Amazingly, Sherman put Lazrus on the exact hand he said yet still called and was shown Qs-Qc.

Lazrus Holds a Third of the Chips in Play

Helping himself to two former finalists’ stack put Lazrus in a dominant position; he held a third of the chips with seven players remaining.

Belgian star Michael Gathy closed the gap at the top by helping himself to Todd Saffron‘s stack. Saffron open-shoved for ten big blinds with Jc-Tc, and Gathy called with As-Kc. The all-club Qc-7c-6c flop put Saffron in front, but the 2c turn left him drawing dead. Saffron banked $124,570 for his deep run.

Gathy sent Kevin Palmer to the rail in sixth place soon after. Palmer’s short stack contained a shade over five big blinds when he moved all-in with Td-8d. Gathy looked him up with As-8h and turned a wheel on the 5c-4d-3s-2d-Qh board.

Palmer’s exit, which was worth $172,455, ended play for the day. The final five returned to their seats on October 13 under the watchful eyes of the PokerGO cameras.

Lazrus lost some early ground when Gathy doubled through him, but won those chips back by busting Ignacio Moron in fifth. Moron’s last 8.5 big blinds went into the middle with Ah-9c, and Lazrus called with Kc-Kc. The 8d-6s-Jh-5d-Jd board provided no drama, and Moron exited stage left.

The dangerous Gathy crashed out in fourth for $288,715. He only had 1.5 big blinds when he busted. Gathy shoved with Ah-7s, and Darryl Ronconi isolated with Kd-Qs. Ronconi’s hand improved to a straight with the community cards falling Jh-6h-9d-Tc-2c. Gathy, a four-time bracelet winner, was gone.

Champion Elect Holds Massive Heads-Up Chip Lead

Lazrus went into heads-up with a huge 104,300,000 to 29,300,000 chip lead over Ronconi. That happened because he sent Jeffrey Gencarelli to the cashier’s desk to collect the $377,125 third-place prize.

Gencarelli shoved on the Qc-Jd-4d-Ts turn with As-5s, and Lazrus called with Qd-7s. The 9h river ended Gencarelli’s tournament.

Ronconi managed to double up but his fightback was short-lived. With blinds of 500,000/1,000,000/1,000,000a, Ronconi opened to 2,500,000 with Tc-7h. Lazrus re-raised to 8,500,000 with As-Jh, and called when Ronconi ripped it in for 42,600,000. The 9h-9d-8h flop gave Ronconi a sweat. The Kc turn was a brick, as was the 4s river that busted Ronconi.

Second place came with a $500,125 payout, but the champion scooped $1,000,000 and a coveted gold bracelet.

Place Player Country Prize
1 Daniel Lazrus United States $1,000,000
2 Darryl Ronconi United States $500,125
3 Jeffrey Gencarelli United States $377,125
4 Michael Gathy Belgium $288,715
5 Ignacio Moron Spain $222,430
6 Kevin Palmer United States $172,455
7 Todd Saffron United States $124,570
8 Adam Sherman United States $105,690
9 Sertac Turker Turkey $83,545

This was Lazrus’ second bracelet as he won the $3,200 Online High Roller Championship in July for $205,347. The New Yorker only began playing poker four years ago and seriously two years ago, going to show that anyone can win at this crazy game we call poker.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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