One of the biggest weekends of the 2015 World Series of Poker kicked off in epic fashion Saturday as Brian Hastings won his second bracelet of the summer. He was one of two winners on Day 25 of the 2015 WSOP, with three more set to follow for a crazy Sunday that includes the start of one of the most prestigious events of the year as well as a brand new event set to target an even older generation that the traditional Seniors Championship.
$1,500 10 Game Mix
Several players have flirted with a second title after winning a bracelet early at the 2015 WSOP, but until Saturday night no one had been able to pull it off.
Brian Hastings won the $1,500 10 Game Mixed Event in convincing fashion, weathering a brutal set over set cooler early at the final table to come back and eventually defeat Rotislav Tsodikov heads-up.
The pair traded the lead several times heads-up but it never felt as if Hastings lost control of the match. A pair of Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo scoops, including a hand where Hasting made aces full of deuces, left Tsodikov with less than half a big bet. He’d double twice in No Limit Hold’em, but a Limit Hold’em hand would ultimately spell Tsodikov’s doom.
It took four bets to get all in, but Tsodikov had the lead when he called off the last of his chips with A 5. Hastings was live with K 6, though, and a K J 2 flop triggered a loud cheer from his friends on the rail. The 7 turn and 4 river kept Hastings’ hand ahead and sealed his victory – not only the second of 2015, but his third career bracelet as well.
Things didn’t come easy early on on Day 3. After Eric Wasserson went out in eight place to move all of the remaining players to one table, those seven played for hours before they officially set a final table with the elimination of Owais Ahmed in seventh place. Other notables who made the final table include Todd Brunson, who finished third, and Mike Watson.
Watson earned his third sixth place finish at three final tables so far at the 2015 WSOP, and that’s not all; he’s also finished sixth in two other WSOP events, both back in 2013.
Out in my usual spot sigh!
— Mike Watson (@SirWatts) June 21, 2015
- Brian Hastings – $133,403
- Rotislav Tsodikov – $82,398
- Todd Brunson – $52,977
- Alexey Makarov – $35,130
- Tim Reusch – $23,982
- Mike Watson – $16,846
$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
Three days simply wasn’t enough to find a winner in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha, with Corrie Wunstel and Kevin Saul returning Saturday to play heads-up for the bracelet.
Wunstel started Day 4 with the lead but Saul quickly fought back and edged ahead. The match swung on one massive hand in particular, where Wunstel shoved on a board of K 7 3 5 and Saul snap-called with 9 6 5 4 for the straight. Wunstel had Q Q 3 3 for a set and needed the board to pair, which is just what happened when the K spiked on the river.
Saul doubled back into contention a few hands later, but one more cooler hand between the two sealed it for Wunstel. After both players checked a 9 8 5 flop, the J turn led Saul to check, Wunstel bet 265,000 and Saul raised all in. Wunstel called and tabled Q T 7 3 for the nut straight, which had Saul and his T 7 5 3 drawing dead with a jack-high straight.
After the tournament had wrapped, Saul was quick to congratulate the newly crowned bracelet winner.
@BeL0WaB0Ve thanks bro you’re a legend obv and a legit cool dude.
— Slim (@BigSickDucy) June 21, 2015
- Corrie Wunstel – $266,874
- Kevin Saul – $165,147
- 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
There have been quite a few instances of late of two or even three players coming back for an extra day to play for a bracelet, but in the case of the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event there’s still a lot of work to be done for those fortunate enough to make it to Day 4.
Thiago Nishijima has the lead among the final five players, with hopes that his third career WSOP final table will be the one that leads to his first bracelet. Jesse Sylvia came as close to the most coveted bracelet of all at the 2012 Main Event, where he finished second, and got close again when he took third in the WSOP Asia-Pacific High Roller. Both players hold over 4 million chips and sit clear of their three worthy opponents, but it won’t be easy for whomever comes out on top.
Sam Razavi sits in third, and while he only has six cashes for no better than 33rd at the WSOP his absolute domination of the Asian Poker Tour and results on the ANZPT and elsewhere in the Pacific speak for themselves. Yun Fan has also had tremendous success in Asia, where he won the Red Dragon Main Event in Macau in 2013, and short stack Sotirios Koutoupas has an EPT title to his credit.
It was a long a road down to five on Day 3, which started out with 48 players still in the running. Along the way Thayer Rasmussen (48th), Justin Zaki (38th), Chris DeMaci (34th), Chris Moorman (32nd), Barry Hutter (31st), Aaron Massey (25th), Alex Venovski (22nd), Ryan Riess (19th), Eric Baldwin (15th) and Steve Brecher (9th) fell by the wayside.
The battle for $546,843 and the gold bracelet resumes at 1 pm PST, with one of five accomplished players finally achieving their first WSOP victory.
Chip Counts & Results
- Thiago Nishijima – 4,510,000
- Jesse Sylvia – 4,080,000
- Sam Razavi – 2,675,000
- Yun Fan – 2,090,000
- Sotirios Koutoupas – 1,495,000
- Alexander Freund – $85,049
- Alexander Keating – $64,691
- Duncan McCallum – $49,868
- Steve Brecher – $38,960
$1,000 Seniors Championship
After fighting through more than 4,100 players over two long days, 65 players are still standing in the pursuit of the WSOP Seniors Championship.
James Hopperstead has the chiplead with 886,000, and he has a fair bit of experience being this deep in the Seniors Event. Both of his other WSOP cashes were top-70 finishes in the Seniors Championship, back in 2004 and 2006.
The next three players in the chip counts are each enjoying their first career WSOP cashes, while Stephen Nussrallah, who will start Day 3 in fifth, is fresh off winning his first career WSOP circuit ring back in April at Harrahs Cherokee.
November Niner and WSOP bracelet winner Steve Gee, former PokerStars Chief Marketing Officer Dan Goldman, Day 1 chipleader and two-time WSOP runner-up Dale Eberle and 2013 Seniors Event third place finisher John Holley are all coming back with eyes towards a title
2011 Ladies Championship winner Marsha Wolak (394th), 2012 Seniors Champion Allyn Shulman (372nd), Ted Forrest (357th), John Esposito (305th), Hal Lubarsky (207th) and TJ Cloutier (126th) all finished in the money on Day 2.
It might be a tough task to accomplish, but the final 65 players will be back at 11 am PST to try their best to play all the way down to a winner on Sunday. With $613,466 on the line, there’s a good chance that one of those players will make life-changing money by the end of the night.
- Jim Hopperstead – 886,000
- Justin Tseng – 816,000
- Frank Pacocha – 755,000
- David Roncelli – 691,000
- Stephen Nussrallah – 670,000
- Carl Torelli – 667,000
- Theodore Grose – 644,000
- Brian Cunningham – 595,000
- John Chase – 572,000
- Travis Baker – 570,000
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
There are only a few $10,000 Championship events left on the 2015 WSOP schedule, and just 11 players remain in contention for one of those coveted titles in Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo.
Stephen Chidwick has done a lot in his poker career, but up to this point a WSOP bracelet has escaped him. He hopes to put an end to all that Sunday, as he carries a sizable chiplead of 808,000 into Day 3, with Max Pescatori standing as his closest competition at 549,000. For Pescatori, he hopes to join Hastings as a two-time champion at the 2015 WSOP.
Gary Benson sits third with 421,000 and there’s another drop between him and the other eight players in the field. Daniel Negreanu sits in fifth place with aspirations of a seventh career WSOP bracelet, and from his perspective it’s been a foregone conclusion since before he even sat down.
In the money $10k Stud 8 my 3rd WSOP cash and back to back. I called this one before it started. Babe Ruth calling my shot. This is it.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) June 21, 2015
Phillip Hui and Yuval Bronshtein will also be back to play for this bracelet Sunday.
That’s more than Ben Yu (12th), Bart Hanson (13th), Mike Leah (14th), Huck Seed (15th) and Phil Galfond (16th) can say, although they all managed to survive a lengthy bubble that saw Richard Chiovari go out on the bubble.
The final 11 return at 2 pm PST to play to a champion.
- Stephen Chidwick – 808,000
- Max Pescatori – 549,000
- Gary Benson – 421,000
- Alan Ledford – 267,000
- Daniel Negreanu – 252,000
- Thomas Butzhammer – 250,000
- Aleksandr Denisov – 242,000
- Phillip Hui – 190,000
- Yuval Bronshtein – 130,000
- Yehuda Buchalter – 130,000
- Richard Sklar – 100,000
$1,500 Extended Play No Limit Holdem
There have been quite a few new events to schedule already at the 2015 WSOP, but the $1,500 Extended Play No Limit Hold’em seeks to achieve something similar to the Monster Stack – giving players as much bang for their buck as humanly possible. This is done by extending levels from the standard 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
Players heard that message loud and clear as 1,914 showed up for this one, building a prizepool of over $2.5 million. After seven levels on Day 1, 543 players bagged chips and two of them had over 100,000. Jose Pineda Moncada has the edge with 113,950 to Philipp Roth’s 112,050.
Vasili Firsau (87,300), Andrey Pateychuk (78,375) and Chris Bjorin (74,700) each finished with a top 10 stack. Barny Boatman, Justin Zaki, Hans Winzeler and Brent Hanks each managed to bag at least 50,000 to end Day 1.
They’ll come back for Day 2 of 4 starting at 1 pm PST Sunday.
- Jose Pineda Moncada – 113,950
- Philipp Roth – 112,050
- Vasili Firsau – 87,300
- Luis Duarte – 86,500
- Ira Friedman – 84,425
- Andrey Pateychuk – 78,375
- Pavel Veksler – 77,050
- Daniel Plonsker – 76,250
- April Facey – 74,725
- Chris Bjorin – 74,700
The $50,000 Poker Players Championship kicks off at 4 pm, with something of a makeover. The format’s been changed from 8 Game to 10 Game, adding No Limit Deuce to Seven and Badugi – a change that’s stirred a certain amount of controversy. Three players punched their ticket into that event Saturday night as Shawn Buchanan and Naoya Kihara won seats via the mega satellite that ran and Stuart Rutter took third for just under the value of a seat at $45,519
The first ever Super Seniors event kicks off the action on Day 26 at 10 am PST, with those aged 65 and up eligible to put up $1,000 to play for this title.
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