Roland Reparejo Wins WSOP $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em

Retired chef Roland Reparejo won the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event today, becoming the first official WSOP bracelet winner in the 65-event tournament. Mr. Reparejo won $82,835 for the first place finish.

Final Round of Play – $500 Casino Employees Event

In Day Three of the Casino Employees event, it took only six hands to become champion. Roland Reparejo was a late favorite, having sat in the shadow of 2nd-place finisher Corey Emery most of the Day 2. Reparejo won a big all-in call on the last hand of Day 2 to become the chip leader, and Emery never seemed to recover.

In fact, Mr. Reparejo won five of six hands in the final day of the event. Play had ended at past 3am the night before, so the winner of the heads-up competition between Reparejo and Emery was likely to be the fresher player.

After giving up 4 pots in a row, Corey Emery raised from the button on the 5th hand and Reparejo folded. On the sixth and final hand, Reparejo limped off the button, but quickly called a shove from Corey Emery.  Reparejo was holding A-Q suited, while Emery was holding a J-8 suited. The trap was baited, though Corey Emery was needing to make long calls at this point, because of the chip disparity. When the cards fell, they came out 2-8-A-10-2. Emery had two pairs with 8-high, while Reparejo held two pairs with ace-high. Mr. Reparejo had won the event.

Event #2: Mixed Max No-Limit Holdem

The second event of the tournament, the WSOP Mixed Max No-Limit Hold’em event, has only two players remaining after three days of play. The Mixed Max event was a $25,000 buy-in with a $3.1 million prize pool, so it attracted more professional poker players than the 1st event. The event had 131 total entries.

JC Tran (finished in 4th), Robert Tepper (6), Aaron Jones (8), Darren Elias (9), and Brian Green (10) are name players who made the final table. Each of these players has eight or more money finishes in World Series of Poker events. J.C. Tran has two WSOP bracelets in his long career. Other known players who finished in the money include Richard Lyndaker, Kevin Song, Nick Schulman, Calvin Anderson, and Noah Schwartz.

How Mixed Max Works

The Mixed Max event is unconventional in how its stages are organized. The first day featured the traditional 9-handed tables. Day Two say the number of players at the table reduced to 6, while Day Three saw 4-player tables as the standard. The final two obviously play heads-up for the bracelet.

Jason Mo v. Vanessa Selbst

The players remaining include Jason Mo, with $5.86 million in chips, and Vanessa Selbst, who holds $3.96 million. Vanessa Selbst is the top-earning female tournament player of all time. In her World Series of Poker career, Selbster has made 6 final tables and 2 heads-up semifinals. She won the 2008 WSOP $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event and the 2012 WSOP $2,500 10-Game Mix, 6-Handed event. She clearly has a talent for playing at tables with a smaller number of gamblers, which involves more scrutiny from the competition. Vanessa grew up in Brooklyn an attended MIT and Yale, and is currently a Yale Law School student. She hopes to have a career as a civil rights attorney.

Jason Mo is a specialist at heads-up poker. He finished second in the 2012 WSOP $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, eventually falling to Brian Hastings in the championship match. Winning the tournament on Friday would be the single biggest win of his live tournament career. It would be his first World Series of Poker Bracelet.

Other Active WSOP Events

Three other events are ongoing at the moment. Event #3 is a Pot Limit Omaha event with a $1000 buy-in. The pot-limit Omaha contest began on Wednesday and might finish up tomorrow. Thursday saw events #4 and #5 begin. The first was a $1000 No-Limit Hold’em event, while the second was a $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Ball Lowball event.

Friday has two more events set to begin. The first is a No-Limit Hold’em Shootout with a $1,500 buy-in. The second is a Seven Card Razz event with a $1,500 entry fee. Razz is considered a poker players favorite, due to the many intricate ways to win (or lose). Razz is like seven-card stud, but requires a player to have the lowest–not highest–hand.

On Saturday, the Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em event begins. This is a favorite and should be the most watched event of the first week. IN the Millionaire Maker tournament, the winner collects $1,000,000 in winnings. This will be the biggest field, besides the WSOP Main Event itself.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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