The 2024 World Series of Poker (WSOP) has already seen some thrilling action by Day 3, delivering excitement and a few surprises. With the first two gold bracelets of the series awarded, poker enthusiasts worldwide are watching with bated breath. Let’s delve into the highlights of Day 3 at the WSOP, where dreams are made and crushed in the blink of an eye.

The First Bracelet Winners: Asher Conniff and Jose Garcia Shine

Day 3 saw the crowning of the first bracelet winners of the series. Asher Conniff emerged victorious in the $5,000 Champions Reunion event, clinching his first WSOP bracelet along with a hefty $408,468 prize. Conniff’s triumph is particularly sweet, given his numerous near-misses in previous years. His victory was hard-earned, especially in a final table filled with formidable opponents, including David Coleman and poker author Michael Acevedo.


Meanwhile, Jose Garcia, a poker dealer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, made waves in the $500 Casino Employees event. Garcia outlasted a field of 1,189 entries to claim his first bracelet and a $79,134 top prize. This event showcased the talents of those who often stand behind the tables, demonstrating that poker dealers definitely know a thing or two about playing the game as well.

WSOP Hold'em Event Gold Bracelet

New Events Kick-Off: Who's Leading the Pack?

Several new events started on Day 3, including the much-anticipated $1,000 Mystery Millions and the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship. The Mystery Millions attracted 2,246 entries, with only 118 making it through to Day 2. Leading the pack is Pete Chen, whose impressive stack of 3.15 million chips sets him up nicely for a deep run. Other notable survivors include Uri Reichenstein and Akinobu Maeda.


The $25,000 Heads-Up Championship also promises some intense head-to-head battles. With a prize pool of $1.5 million, only 16 players remain from the original 64, vying for the $500,000 top prize. The field is stacked with poker heavyweights, including heads-up specialist John Smith, poker coaching guru Faraz Jaka, and high-stakes crusher Artur Martirosian. The road to victory is fraught with tough matches, and the next rounds will undoubtedly be ones to watch.

Daniel Negreanu's Rollercoaster Run in the $500 Kickoff Event

No WSOP would be complete without some memorable moments involving Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian poker legend had a rollercoaster ride in Event #3: $500 WSOP Kickoff No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout. Starting the day with a formidable stack, Negreanu was poised to make a deep run. However, fate had other plans.


With blinds at 125,000/250,000, Negreanu found himself in a pivotal hand against Shawn Smith. Holding AcKc, Negreanu got it all-in pre-flop against Smith’s TcTd. With a near-coin flip, Smith holding a slight 55% to 45% edge, the board offered no help, and Negreanu’s stack was reduced to a mere three green 25K chips. He was forced all-in on the next hand and, despite his upbeat demeanor, was eliminated in 16th place, earning $8,451. This finish brought him closer to Antonio Esfandiari on the all-time WSOP money list, but it wasn’t the bracelet-winning run he had hoped for.

Other Notable Highlights

While the first bracelet winners and high-profile eliminations drew much attention, other stories from Day 3 are equally compelling. Adam Nattress leads the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event, with poker legend “Miami” John Cernuto among the top chip holders. Cernuto, now 80 years old, continues to impress with his enduring skill and resilience.


The $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed event also kicked off, with Michael Wagner leading the field at the end of day 1. However, all eyes are on Benny Glaser, who is considered to be one of the best mixed game players of all time and is currently sitting in third place. With five WSOP bracelets already to his name, Glaser is a favorite to add another to his collection.

What’s on the Horizon?

As Day 4 dawns, the excitement is far from over. The $500 WSOP Kickoff No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout will play down to a winner, promising another intense day of poker action. The $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event is also scheduled to conclude, although Limit Omaha events are notorious for overrunning.


Day 1b of the $1,000 Mystery Millions will see another large crowd, each player hoping to hit one of the lucrative bounties. Meanwhile, the 16 remaining players in the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship will battle it out, aiming to make it to the final rounds and secure a spot in the money.


Two new events will also begin: the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed) and the $1,500 Limit Hold’em (8-Handed). Both are sure to draw substantial fields and add to the growing buzz at the WSOP.

The Thrill Continues

The 2024 WSOP is off to an electrifying start, with memorable wins, surprising upsets, and ongoing battles for poker glory. Asher Conniff and Jose Garcia’s bracelet victories have set the stage for what promises to be a thrilling series. With big names like Daniel Negreanu making dramatic exits and legends like John Cernuto and Benny Glaser chasing more gold, the action is only heating up.


Stay tuned as the WSOP continues to unfold. Whether you’re rooting for the seasoned pros or the underdog newcomers, one thing is certain: this year’s WSOP is delivering on all fronts. So, keep your chips stacked, your strategies sharp, and enjoy the ride. After all, in the world of poker, anything can happen.