Marty Derbyshire wsop gold

Two Southern California poker players can now call themselves World Champions after each won a World Series of Poker bracelet at the annual tournament series in Las Vegas this month.

Benjamin Moon, a 34-year-old poker pro from San Diego became the first California player to win a bracelet at the 2018 WSOP. He captured the 2018 WSOP Big Blind Antes $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament on June 8.

This marked the first year the WSOP has run a Big Blind Antes event. The format sees the player in the big blind pay the ante for the entire table, rather than each player paying an ante every hand.

Moon earned $315,346 and his first WSOP bracelet in an event that also marked his first WSOP cash.

Moon, who primarily plays cash games in the San Diego area, told WSOP staff he just started playing live tournaments in February 2018.

Notably, Cerritos’ Raymond Ho made eighth for $30,742, and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Dutch Boyd finished ninth for $23,605.

The event drew a total of 1,306 entries, creating a $1,763,100 prize pool that paid the top 196 finishers.

Los Angeles entrepreneur wins $3,000 Six-Max

A little over a week later, Los Angeles entrepreneur Gal Yifrach won the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event, marking California’s second 2018 WSOP win.

Yifrach won his first-ever live tournament a little over a year ago. At that time, he captured the WSOP Circuit $3,250 High Roller event title at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens. This time, he took home $461,798 for his June 16 victory in Las Vegas.

The 31-year-old is originally from Israel but now lives in Los Angeles working as an entrepreneur. In fact, he only plays poker in his spare time, telling WSOP staff he mostly competes in high-stakes cash games.

Yifrach beat WSOP bracelet winner James Mackey heads up to win the title. Two-time World Poker Tour event winner Aaron Mermelstein, two-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Darren Rabinowitz, and Ana Marquez, a Spanish pro with over $1.2 million in career live tournament earnings, also made the final six.

The event drew 868 entries, creating a $2,343,600 prize pool that paid the top 131 finishers.

2018 World Series of Poker reaches halfway point

The six-week WSOP is nearing its mid-point. The $50,000 Poker Players Championship will wrap up this week. Big events like the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship and $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller will also go off.

Additionally, the WSOP goes back online this week with the second of four online bracelet events. Its $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed tournament is set for Friday, June 22.

For the first time ever, online poker players located in New Jersey and Nevada can compete in online bracelet events.

There are two final online bracelet events on the schedule. This includes the $1,000 WSOP.com Online Championship on June 29 and $3,200 High Roller on June 30.

Marty Derbyshire
Marty Derbyshire - Martin Derbyshire is a veteran of the world of poker and gambling, having worked as a reporter, producer, and editor in the industry for more than a decade. He has traveled the globe interviewing high-profile personalities and contributes to a number of publications, including USPoker.com, PlayCA.com, and PlayNJ.com.