Daniel Alaei Wins Fifth Bracelet, Dan Smith Tops $5,000 NLHE Day 1

The pantheon of players who have won five or more bracelets added one more on Wednesday at the 2015 World Series of Poker as Daniel Alaei captured the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship for the second time in his career. Two others events got close to awarding bracelets – one expected, one unexpected – before hitting the hard stop around 2 AM.

Two more events got underway with the $1,500 HORSE event attracting a big – and apparently juicy – field for the Noon event while the 4 PM start, the $5,000 Eight Max No Limit Hold’em event, saw a collection of some of the best NLHE tournament players in the world take their shot at a bracelet.

Daniel Alaei Wins 5th Bracelet in $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship

A little after midnight Wednesday night Alaei entered some exclusive territory when he beat Kyle Miaso heads-up in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship event to win his fifth career bracelet and $391,097. Only 22 others players have won five bracelets.

“I hadn’t planned on playing too many tournaments this year. This is actually my first event of the (WSOP),” said Alaei following his win. “I think (all my bracelets) are pretty sweet. I won this event in 2009 so it’s nice to win it again. Just winning in general is good.”

Alaei and Miaso played heads up for over 2.5 hours with both players taking turns holding the big lead. While Miaso was the final boss for Alaei, the final table also included Scott Clements, Ken Aldridge, Anthony Zinno and Jeremy Ausmus. Clements finished fourth for his first cash of the 2015 WSOP.

“There was a lot of back and forth. I started (heads up) so low. I started with like a million, 1.2 maybe and I got down to 500K right away and then I got up to 1.3 at dinner,” said Alaei. “The limits are so big, you win a few pots and I just happened to win those last pots.”

This is the second time Alaei has won this event. He first won the event in 2009 beating Clements heads-up for that title.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Daniel Alaei – $391,097
  2. Kyle Miaso – $241,691
  3. Jeffrey Vaughn – $175,088
  4. Scott Clements – $129,235
  5. Ken Aldridge – $97,122
  6. Anthony Zinno – $74,262
  7. Mike Wattel – $57,748
  8. Tobias Hausen – $45,661
  9. Jeremy Ausmus – $36,688

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em Hits Hard Stop; Ben Zamani Leads Final Five

When Day 3 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event began there were still 35 players chasing down the bracelet and top prize of $460,640. Ten levels of play wasn’t quite enough to get to a winner though as play was halted with five players still remaining. When the final five return to the Rio Thursday at 1 PM, Ben Zamani will be the man they’re all chasing.

Zamani finished Day 3 with 4,535,000, good enough for a 765,000 lead over Natasha Barbour who sits in second place. Paul Ephremsen, Kevin MacPhee and Wenlong Jin round out the remainding players.

Kevin Benoit busted in ninth not long after the official final table got underway on the ESPN main stage. Benoit earned $33,781. Shola Akindele finished eighth for $43,888, Jared Griener went out in seventh for $57,729. Garrett Beckman, who started the day as chip leader busted in sixth for a $76,922 score shortly before play was halted for the night.

Final Five Chip Counts

  1. Ben Zamani – 4,535,000
  2. Natasha Barbour – 3,770,000
  3. Paul Ephremsen – 2,695,000
  4. Kevin MacPhee – 1,720,000
  5. Wenlong Jin – 1,115,000

Jay Dragland On Top of Final 22 in $1,000 No Limit Hold’em

After 10 levels of play – including 90 minutes of hand-for-hand play on the bubble – Jay Dragland leads the way in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event with just 22 players remaining. Dragland bagged up 946,000. Right behind Dragland is James Dorrance with 812,000. There are a couple of blast from the past names in the top ten though.

Sean Rice sits third with 808,000 while Paul Darden finished with 433,000, good enough for the ninth biggest stack. Other notables still in the field but outside of the top ten include Sam Greenwood, Jose Barbero and Stephen Chidwick.

There were 186 eliminations on Day 2. Of those who were sent packing but did cash were Stan Jablonski, Ben Yu, Tony Cousineau, Nathan Tuthill, Zo Karim, Jesse Sylvia, Timothy Adams, Scott Davies, Antonio Esfandiari and David “ODB” Baker.

Chip Counts

  1. Jay Dragland – 946,000
  2. James Dorrance – 812,000
  3. Sean Rice – 808,000
  4. Rod Dingler – 724,000
  5. John Myung – 648,000
  6. Bruno De Aguiar – 533,000
  7. Lisa Hamilton – 517,000
  8. Ken Weinstein – 497,000
  9. Paul Darden – 433,000
  10. Angel Farrington – 427,000

$1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven

Daniel Ospina leads the final three players of the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event.

Daniel Ospina is among the final three players of the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event.

Day 2 started with 40 players still in contention for the $ 81,314 first place prize money and the original plan called for play to stop when a final table was reached. That all changed in the last level of the night though that saw rapid-fire eliminations that left Christian Pham on top.

Pham, who started they day with the chip lead, didn’t even plan to play this event. He thought he had registered for a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event but instead found himself playing No Limit Deuce. The two players standing in his way are Daniel Ospina and Matt “SamENole” Smith.

The official final table included Huck Seed and Mike Leah. Seed busted in fifth spot not long after Leah was sent to the rail in sixth. Leah, who BLUFF is chronicling throughout the summer, came up short of bracelet #2 again, but seems focused on grinding his way through the summer

2014 November Niner Jorryt Van Hoof finished 10th for $4,881 – not bad work considering this tournament was his first time playing the game. Action resumes Thursday at 2 PM. Chip Counts

    1. Christian Pham – 695,000
    2. Daniel Ospina – 680,000
    3. Matthew Smith – 271,000

Christopher Boedeker Tops Big Day 1 Turnout in $1,500 HORSE

Another day, another million dollar prizepool at the 2015 WSOP. The $1,500 HORSE event attracted 772 players, pushing the prizepool to $1,042,200 with the eventual champion pocketing $239,750.

The player who put himself in best position to win the six-figure score and the bracelet was Christopher Boedeker. His 67,800 end of day chip count was good enough for the Day 1 lead. David Williams and BLUFF columnist Maria Ho are two of the more familiar faces in the top 10. Last year the event drew 743 runners. 

While the field was larger than it was in 2014, the quality – or lack thereof – was apparent to some of the more experienced players in the field including Greg “FBT” Mueller. 

The final 299 players return Thursday at 1 PM to play ten more levels.

Chip Counts

  1. Christopher Boedeker – 67,800
  2. Brian Tate – 64,100
  3. Tim Reusch – 60,700
  4. Samuel Ngai – 56,700
  5. David Williams – 54,400
  6. Ryan Boyle – 54,400
  7. Maria Ho – 54,000
  8. Shannon Petluck – 48,000
  9. Clemens Manzano – 47,800
  10. Jan Sjavik – 42,700

Shocking News: Dan Smith Leads a $5,000 Eight Max NLHE Event

Dan Smith has had his fair share of success in $5,000 buy-in NLHE events but he’s never won a WSOP bracelet. On Wednesday however Smith found his sweet spot, the $5,000 Eight Max event and used that to his advantage. Smith finished Day 1 of the event with 191,400 and the overnight chip lead.

Smith is being pushed by Brandon Shane and Grayson Ramange.

Shaun Deeb, fresh off winning his first bracelet earlier this week, bagged up a top ten stack. Deeb, who busted the $1,500 HORSE earlier in the day, finished with 163,300, good enough for sixth. Anthony Zinno, fresh off of a sixth place finish in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event, finished Day 1 with 151,400 to put himself right behind Deeb in seventh.

The 193 survivors will be back in action at 2 PM on Thursday.

Chip Counts

  1. Dan Smith – 191,400
  2. Brandon Shane – 188,200
  3. Grayson Ramage – 183,900
  4. Valentin Vornicu – 182,100
  5. Ronald Minnis – 165,100
  6. Shaun Deeb – 163,300
  7. Anthony Zinno – 151,400
  8. Sebastian Saffari – 150,000
  9. Jonathan Jaffe – 149,400
  10. Sergey Rybachenko – 143,500

Looking Ahead – PLO Madness

Thursday afternoon could see the WSOP set a record for the biggest non-Hold’em field in WSOP history. The $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event is expected to attract a huge field. In 2014 the event had 1,128 players and was won by Brandon Shack-Harris. Given the success lower buy-in events have had so far at the 2015 WSOP, a bigger field is certainly a possibility.

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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at BLUFF.com
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, ThePokerBiz.com 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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