WSOP 2017: Champions, runners up and the award winners who photgraph them
The sight towards the top of the World Series Main Event chip counts today of Valentin Messina--second overnight, in fact, as Day 6 gave way to Day 7--will remind all poker watchers in Europe of one of the defining moments in EPT history.
Messina once finished second at EPT Malta, losing an epic heads-up tussle against his friend and fellow Frenchman Jean Montury. When Montury finally took the last of Messina's chips, the pair embraced in a moment captured perfectly by Neil Stoddart, the PokerStars photographer, and which earned Stoddart a nomination at the European Poker Awards.
It's neat, then, that Montury is here in Las Vegas watching Messina play today. Montury told PokerStars Blog that he travelled to the United States with Antoine Saout, who is also still in this tournament, and seated this afternoon alongside Messina. "I'm supporting all the French," Montury said.
Montury added that somebody sent him Stoddart's picture of him and Messina as a reminder just this morning. He flicked through his phone's gallery to remember the moment once again. "I'm really happy for him," Montury said of Messina, who is now already guaranteed a payout of at least $263,532. He'll need to finish 11th or better in this event to surpass his Malta payday.
Emotions are always high on Day 7 of the World Series, and on this day two years ago, Joe Giron snapped another award winning picture. This one captured the moment that Daniel Negreanu was knocked out in 11th place from the 2016 Main Event. Negreanu has spent the best part of the day today sitting close to media row, and he confirmed, "Yeah, that's a good pic." He added, "It's OK. It doesn't hurt."
It may have done back then, but Negreanu said he was happy that Giron picked up the award for capturing his heartbreak.
Giron is leading the photography team at this year's World Series too, and is clear what he wants from their work. "Get the emotion," Giron said during a team-talk I overheard yesterday.
There will be plenty more emotion as we get close to the final table, but here's a selection of some of the best images from this year. Hats off, as ever, to Jayne Furman, Drew Amato, Antonio Abrego, Melissa Haereiti and Giron himself.
Marcel Luske hits the rail
The end of Jake Bazeley's final-table bid
The end of a bad Day 6 for Max Silver
Czech mate for Michael Sklenicka
Stressful times for Michael Ruane
Pedro Oliveira conducts proceedings on Day 7
Bryan Piccioli fears for his future
Help on the rail for Valentin Messina
WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com. The first image in this post is from Neil Stoddart.