Big Fields, Breakthroughs and Bracelet Races: 2015 WSOP Predictions


When BLUFF first started running the 2015 WSOP Countdown series, the WSOP was almost a month away. Now it’s just hours – mere hours – until cards are in the air and millions of dollars,  as well as bracelets, are on the line as poker players from around the world crowd the Rio Hotel & Casino. As we do every year BLUFF staff have taken a stab at predicting some of the things poker players and fans will see over the next seven weeks.

Breakout Performer

Last year Brandon Shack-Harris came from nowhere to contend for the WSOP Player of the Year title. Nobody could have predicted the emergence of Shack-Harris but the BLUFF staff have all taken a shot at picking one under-the-radar player who just might find himself going on an epic run over the next seven weeks.

Lance Bradley, Vice President, Content & Editor in Chief

Griffin Paul – The tournament resume of 22 year old Paul isn’t all that impressive until you get to his most recent result. He has a total of eight career cashes, including events with buy-ins as low as $160. But the last time Paul made noise at the poker table was at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in April. Paul beat out 1,475 other players to claim the $1,000,000 first place prize. Last summer he had two WSOP cashes. First in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker and then in the Main Event. He’s got the chops to make it through big field No Limit Hold’em tournaments and he now has the bankroll to play as many of the WSOP events as he chooses.

Tim Fiorvanti, Managing Editor

Jason Wheeler – There’s something to be said for catching fire at just the right time of the year. Wheeler won the High Roller at WPT Amsterdam and final tabled the Main Event a few days later. They were the fourth and fifth final tables of the year for Wheeler, and he seems overdue for a big run in a No Limit Hold’em event or three this summer. He has 23 career cashes at the WSOP – all of them in No Limit Hold’em – and one big performance in 2009 where he finished second in a $1,500 event. He’ll have a standout summer in 2015, with at least one final table and potentially more with a lot of opportunities for success throughout the summer.

Kevin Mathers, Poker Information Manager

Fedor Holz – Holz had an incredibly successful 2014, racking up over $200,000 in live tournament winnings along with winning the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event for $1,300,000. In 2015, Holz has already racked up seven live cashes including two final tables in the EPT Grand Final €100,000 and €50,000 Super High Rollers, totaling over $845,000 so far. Turning 21 after the WSOP last year, expect Holz to bring his run good from Europe to Las Vegas.

Paul Oresteen, Senior Writer

Joshua Turner – Turner has quietly amassed over $500,000 in live earnings playing the domestic circuit out of the spotlight. He has two WSOP Circuit rings, wins in the Hollywood Poker Open, Venetian Deep Stack and Heartland Poker Tour series. He final tabled the HPT East Chicago event and picked up his first six-figure cash when he took down the WSOPC St. Louis Main Event. More than half of his career cashes (68) are final tables (37) and almost a quarter of those he wins (9).

Field Sizes

With the addition of the $565 buy-in Colossus event to the 2015 WSOP schedule, there has been  a lot of talk about just how many runners the event will have. The event is sure to break the record for biggest live tournament field of all time but just how big can it get? With that in mind the BLUFF staff predict the field size of that tournament and four other key tournaments.

Event Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
Colossus 22,103 13,425 21,568 27,000
Online Event 977 750 725 4,300
Poker Players Championship 101 105 104 120
One Drop High Roller 148 153 169 130
Monster Stack 7,681 7,142 7,322 7,500

Key Questions

Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
How many players will win multiple bracelets this summer? 2 4 1 3
How many players will earn third or more career bracelet? 2 4 3 4
How many open events will have at least one woman at the final table? 7 9 4 5

The Bracelet Race

Phil Hellmuth

Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
Cashes 5 4 6 4
Final Tables 0 2 2 2
Bracelets 0 1 0 0

Phil Ivey

Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
Cashes 4 2 4 5
Final Tables 1 1 2 4
Bracelets 1 0 0 2

Daniel Negreanu

Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
Cashes 5 5 7 6
Final Tables 1 2 4 3
Bracelets 0 1 1 1

Erik Seidel

Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
Cashes 5 6 5 6
Final Tables 1 1 2 2
Bracelets 1 1 0 1

Vanessa Selbst

Bradley Fiorvanti Mathers Oresteen
Cashes 4 4 3 2
Final Tables 0 1 1 2
Bracelets 0 0 0 1
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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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