There’s a common theme coming up over and over again at the 2015 World Series of Poker – players coming back to win their second, third, fourth or even 14th bracelet.
Two more cases of that happened Friday, and a third winner – Byron Kaverman – cemented his status as one of the strongest No Limit Hold’em tournament players in the world with a long-awaited first major title.
$10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship
You’re unlikely to see many tougher fields, on average, than the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship at the WSOP. Between the buy-in level and the format, this event in particular tends to draw the game’s best, and that was even clearer when the final table of six was set. Sam Greenwood was looking to become
Doug Polk and Paul Volpe each had a bracelet coming into the 2015 WSOP, and Volpe was looking to put a stranglehold on the WSOP Player of the Year race at his third final table of the summer so far. Sam Greenwood was looking to become the first two-time winner at the 2015 WSOP, while Fedor Holz and Thomas Muehloecker were each looking to put up a big result on US soil akin to their successes on the EPT.
The sixth and final member of that final table was Byron Kaverman, a truly accomplished player with over $4.2 million in lifetime earnings but no signature wins to show for it. That got turned on its head Friday night, as Kaverman outlasted them all and eventually beat Doug Polk heads-up to take the bracelet and $657,351.
After taking Holz down in third place, Kaverman started heads-up play with Polk holdin a lead of over 2-to-1. Their heads-up match lasted all of 10 hands, swinging entirely on one hand where Kaverman turned the nut straight with J T and got value on every street. Seven hands later Polk shoved with Q J and Kaverman called with A 5. The board ran out T 7 5 4 4 and with that, Kaverman finally had a major title to his credit.
A total of 12 players came back for Day 3 of this tournament, with Mark Radoja (12th), Chris Klodnicki (10th) and Olivier Busquet (8th) falling before the final table was set.
- Byron Kaverman – $657,351
- Doug Polk – $406,261
- Fedor Holz – $268,463
- Thomas Muehloecker – $182,448
- Sam Greenwood – $126,745
- Paul Volpe – $89,934
The final three players in the $3,000 HORSE needed a fourth day to finish, but it took less than two hours for Dan Idema to go from the short stack to a three-time WSOP champion.
Idema outlasted Kevin Iacofano to take on Matt Vengrin heads-up, and while they were even to start their match everything went Idema’s way during a brief but eventful match for the bracelet. He adds a HORSE bracelet to Limit Hold’em (2011) and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (2013) titles and, coincidentally enough, all three victories have come in this calendar week in June.
Repeat bracelet-winners have been a trend so far at the 2015 WSOP, and Idema’s one of 13 winners over 36 bracelets through Friday with at least one previous WSOP victory. Idema was one of three bracelet winners at this final table, but Randy Ohel and Taylor Paur went out late in the night on Day 3.
- Dan Idema – $261,774
- Matt Vengrin – $161,680
- Kevin Iacofano – $104,280
- John Racener – $75,559
- Iakov Nepomnyashchiy – $55,553
- Paul Sexton – $41,438
- Randy Ohel – $31,358>
- Taylor Paur – $24,070>
$1,500 Split Format No Limit Hold’em
For the most part, the 2015 WSOP has been a young man’s game. That might be part of why 72-year-old Andre Boyer flew a bit under the radar going into the final table, but his career results speak for themselves. He’d made eight WSOP final tables in his career, including the 1996 Main Event, and Boyer won a bracelet in a $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event in 2005 that netted him a $682,810 payday.
That Boyer was able to hold his own through three different formats of No Limit Hold’em – standard ring, Six Max and heads-up – should then be a little less surprising. Boyer made it truly impressive by defeating up-and-coming French pro Erwann Pecheux heads-up to win his second career bracelet and over $250,000.
Boyer actually credited his age as an asset in this tournament, feeling as if others underestimated him at the table for that reason. While the Montreal native took a few years to help build the game of poker in his hometown, he returned in a big way and became the oldest winner of the 2015 WSOP to date.
For Pecheux, who was among the most accomplished players in Europe in 2014, his $156,098 second place prize was the biggest result of his career as well. Idan Raviv was another player looking to become the first two-time winner at the 2015 WSOP, but his run for a second bracelet ended in seventh place.
- Andre Boyer – $250,483
- Erwann Pecheux – $156,098
- Andrew Gaw – $109,015
- Chris Bolek – $76,605
- Gavin O’Rourke – $55,981
- Jonas Christensen – $41,249
- Idan Raviv – $30,053
- Isaac Kawa – $21,096
$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
While it looked for most of the day like a fourth winner would be crowned Friday, they couldn’t quite get to a winner in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha.
Corrie Wunstel and Kevin Saul each have a WSOP Circuit ring to their credit, but a bracelet is in one of their future’s when play resumes at 2 pm PSTFriday afternoon. Wunstel holds a lead of 4,550,000 to 2,785,000, but Saul’s chipped away quite a bit from a deficit that started at over 3-to-1 when they began their heads-up match.
For Saul it’s a second chance in the same tournament in which he finished eighth a year ago, and a chance at playing for the bracelet is a reward for the patience displayed by both remaining players. The majority of the night was spent playing five-handed, but after Matthew Colvin went out in fifth the next two bustouts weren’t far behind.
Saul wasn’t the only player from the final table of the 2014 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event to make Day 3 this time around. Runner-up Marcel Vonk was the first to fall out on Day 2, in 19th, though, while Dmitrii Valouev got close to a repeat final table performance of his own before falling in 11th.
Chip Counts & Final Results
- Corrie Wunstel – 4,550,000
- Kevin Saul – 2,785,000
- Jim Karambinis – $103,326
- Peter Levine – $74,997
- Matthew Colvin – $55,365
- Markus Cara – $41,504
- Bryce Fox – $31,569
- Kevin Allen – $24,336
- Kechao Ni – $19,012
$3,000 No Limit Hold’em
Event 38 is scheduled to be a three day tournament, but with the field it drew and the amount of players who bagged on Day 3 it’s going to be very close as to whether they’ll be able to get it all done on Saturday.
Of the 989 players who started, 48 are still alive and kicking – none more so than Jean-Pascal Savard, who has the only stack over 1 million. 2014 EPT Deauville champion Sotirios Koutopas is fifth, 2002 bracelet-winner Randal Heeb is sixth, 2012 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jessie Sylvia sits in eighth and Justin ‘stealthmunk’ Schwartz is ninth.
The list of notables doesn’t end there. Chris Moorman is making another run at a bracelet, with the likes of Steve Brecher, Eric Baldwin, Barry Hutter, Sam Razavi, Aaron Massey, Justin Zaki and 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess also in the mix.
Jason Lester (49th), Brian Rast (52nd), Matt Marafioti (58th), Eugene Todd (59th), Tristan Wade (82nd), John Gale (86th), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (87th), Jackie Glazier (91st) and Maria Ho (93rd) all finished in the money in this one.
They’ll be back at 1 pm PST to begin a long road towards crowning a champion by the end of the night on Saturday.
- Jean-Pascal Savard – 1,066,000
- Yun Fan – 873,000
- Gerald Karlic – 629,000
- Alexander Keating – 583,000
- Sotirios Koutoupas – 484,000
- Randal Heeb – 462,000
- Harry Thomas – 454,000
- Jesse Sylvia – 422,000
- Justin Schwartz – 410,000
- Thiago Nishijima – 394,000
$1,500 10 Game Mix
Several players have made pushes to become the first two-time winner at the 2015 WSOP in the last few days, but Brian Hastings might have the best chance of them all going into Day 3 of the 10 Game Mixed Event.
He has the chiplead with just nine players left, and a sizable one at that with 651,000. Owais Ahmed (383,500), Alexey Makarov (352,000), Mike Watson (277,000), Eric Wasserson (255,000) and Todd Brunson will all be fighting him for that bracelet once play resumes Saturday afternoon.
The first tournament to enjoy the altered structures implemented a few days prior saw the bubble burst early on Day 2 with Daniel Negreanu (41st), Michael Cathy (36th), Young Phan (35th), Max Pescatori (32nd), Jeff Lisandro (26th), Eli Elezra (24th), Phil Hellmuth (17th), Dan Kelly (15th), Bruno Fitoussi (12th) and finally Matt Glantz (10th) all finishing in the money.
Play resumes at 2 pm PST.
- Brian Hastings – 651,000
- Tim Reusch – 434,000
- Owais Ahmed – 383,500
- Alexey Makarov – 352,000
- Mike Watson – 277,000
- Eric Wasserson – 255,000
- Rotislav Tsodikov – 206,500
- Todd Brunson – 191,500
- Dan Matsuzuki – 96,000
$1,000 Seniors Championship
The Seniors Championship brings a much different kind of crowd than the average $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament during the WSOP, but the excitement in the air for this massive event is palpable throughout.
The field reached 4,193 players over the age of 50 by the close of registration, and by the end of the night just 566 of them remained. Dale Eberle, who has a pair of second place finishes at the WSOP to his credit including a runner-up in the 2008 Seniors Event, holds the chiplead after Day 1 with 160,000.
Bracelet-winner John Esposito (69,000) and Steve Gee (60,900) made it through to Day 2 as well, as did TJ Cloutier (58,100), Sam Barnhart (39,600) and Hal Lubarsky (32,700). Defending champion Dan Heimiller came back to defend his title, but failed to bag this time around on Day 1.
The bubble should come early Saturday, with 423 players making it into the money. The top six spots pay over $100,000, with a top prize of $613,466, the bracelet and the Seniors Championship trophy awaiting the champion.
They’ll resume at 11 am PST Saturday.
- Dale Eberle – 160,000
- Oliver Anderson – 147,500
- Daniel Lamb – 119,300
- Douglas Manguiat – 115,500
- Donald Civic – 112,800
- DNR – 111,900
- Daniel Fordiani – 108,300
- Carl Mcgowan – 103,900
- William Scanlon – 103,900
- Antonino Loverso – 103,800
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
The $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship kicked off at 4 pm PST, and by the time registration closed almost nine hours later 111 players had ponied up to play this one.
Ryan Miller holds the overall chiplead with 135,600, slightly ahead of Peter Brownstein (131,500) in second place. Max Pescatori (122,100), Yuval Bronshtein (107,200) and Norman Chad (89,400) are among the biggest stacks on Day 1.
Defending champion (and defending WSOP POY) George Danzer failed to make it through Day 1 in this title defense.
The winner’s share of a prizepool of just over $1 million will be $292,158, with 15 other players also set to reach the money. Play resumes in this tournament Saturday afternoon at 2 pm PST.
- Ryan Miller – 135,600
- Peter Brownstein – 131,500
- Max Pescatori – 122,100
- Gary Benson – 121,900
- Yuval Bronshtein – 122,100
- Joshua Karnad – 103,500
- Thomas Butzhammer – 103,200
- Richard Chiovari – 94,000
- Norman Chad – 89,400
- John Racener – 88,500
For the first time since the very beginning of the 2015 WSOP, there’s only one new event on the schedule. The $1,500 Extended Play No Limit Hold’em makes its debut at 12 pm PST, with 90 minutes levels throughout the tournament, rather than the standard 60 minutes. There will also be an opportunity for players to earn their way into Sunday’s $50,000 Poker Players Championship via a mega satellite that kicks off at 5 pm.
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