Lance Garcia Wins Colossus, Max Pescatori Wins 3rd Bracelet

Day 8 of the 2015 World Series of Poker stretched the Amazon Room to its limits with three final tables, two events rolling into Day 2 and short-handed No Limit Hold’em event needed every available table to start the day.

The history making Colossus event came to a close with Circuit grinder Lance Garcia earning his first bracelet, Max Pescatori became the first Italian player to earn three bracelets and the $10,000 Heads Up Championship played down to the final pairing.

Lance "Cord" Garcia won the record-breaking $565 Colossus event for $638,880.

Lance “Cord” Garcia won the record-breaking $565 Colossus event for $638,880.

Lance Garcia Wins Colossus for $638,880

Lance Garcia won the largest tournament in the history of live poker with 22,374 entrants and earned $638,880. The bracelet came down to two young grinders, neither of which had a six-figure cash yet, Lance “Cord” Garcia and Brad McFarland.

“I feel accomplished, a little satisfied, it’s unreal. Obviously, I can’t picture winning a 22,000-person tournament,” Garcia said. “After the first day, I bagged 20 starting stacks, so I knew there was only going to be about 5,000 people left, so somebody’s going to get those chips.”

He approached the event with mindset of winning a satellite to a 5,000-person event. “You get four chances by bagging more or less or average. “Just to hang around in that big of a field, it doesn’t really matter how big the chips are until the last 100 people. My strategy was just to maintain a stack, get to the next day, get to the next day and so on.”

The Colossus saw 14,284 unique players, 98 countries were represented and 5,664 entrants played their first WSOP event. The prizepool swelled to over $11 million and paid out over 2,000 players. The event broke the attendance record of the 2006 WSOP Main Event by 63% (8,773 entrants).

Garcia addressed the flat payouts, “I think for the overall best interest in the game, it’s definitely good. A bunch of people got paid a lot of money. You get tenth place in the tournament, you get 50K, that’s pretty good. Yeah, I did beat 22,000 people so it feels like I should win a lot more money, but I was okay with the structure.”

Aditya Prasetyo held the lead going into the final table, followed by Kenny Hallaert, Brad McFarland, Paul Lentz and David Farber. Garcia, Garry Simms, Anthony Blanda and Ray Henson rounded out the final table.

A tournament-changing pot with four players remaining saw Garcia open, Lentz shove and Henson re-shoving, having both players covered. Garcia called holding A A, Lentz tabled A 2 and Henson rolled over A K. The board ran 9 8 5 7 7, Lentz was eliminated, Henson lost a chunk of his stack and Garcia snagged the chip lead.

Henson was eliminated a few hands later when he moved in holding T 8 and McFarland called holding K T. The board blanked for Henson, he was eliminated and heads-up play began with Garcia holding 57.1 million to McFarland’s 55.4 million.

They played 15 hands heads-up before they went to a raised flop of Q 4 2. McFarland check-called 4.1 million, the turn came 2 and McFarland check-called 8.4 million. The river came 7, McFarland checked, Garcia bet 17.5 million and McFarland moved all in. Garcia snap-called, tabled pocket fours for a full house and McFarland showed A 8.

Final Results

  1. Lance Garcia – $638,880
  2. Brad McFarland – $386,253
  3. Ray Henson – $308,761
  4. Paul Lentz – $234,927
  5. Kenny Hallaert – $182,348
  6. Aditya Prasetyo – $140,956
  7. Garry Simms – $109,632
  8. David Farber – $87,817
  9. Anthony Blanda – $67,681

Paul Michaelis Wins $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em

Day 3 of the Pot Limit Hold’em event began with 15 players all gunning for the gold bracelet. Before long the field was down the the final table and Paul Michaelis defeated Tom Marchese for his first career WSOP bracelet.

“It’s just my second World Series tournament ever – I played this and the Colossus,” Michaelis said. “I’m not sure how I feel, I didn’t really get it until now. We (Marchese) didn’t get to play that long, maybe half an hour, obviously he’s a really good player and I feel really fortunate to have won against him.”

Michaelis began heads-up play with a large chip advantage and after a short while Marchese took the chip lead after pairing an ace. But it wouldn’t last long as Michaelis took the lead back and finished Marchese off when they got it all in preflop with Michaelis holding pocket nines to Marchese’s pocket queens. The board ran K 8 3 9 A, Michaelis turned a set and Marchese was eliminated.

Final Results

  1. Paul Michaelis – $189,818
  2. Tom Marchese – $117,199
  3. Jesse Cohen – $76,189
  4. David Eldridge – $55,960
  5. Hillery Kerby – $41,683
  6. Michel Leibgorin – $31,452
  7. Kevin Andriamahefa – $24,007
  8. Georgios Sotiropoulos – $18,529
  9. William Mitchell – $14,449

Max Pescatori Wins Razz, First Italian Player to 3 Bracelets

Max Pescatori kisses his third WSOP bracelet after winning the $1,500 Razz event.

Max Pescatori kisses his third WSOP bracelet after winning the $1,500 Razz event.

Max Pescatori returned to Day 3 of the $1,500 Razz event with 18 other players tasked with the long march to crown a winner. After ten hours Pescatori made history by winning  his third WSOP bracelet – the first Italian-born player to do so – and pocketed $155,947.

“It feels so sweet (to win) especially I love the competition,” Pescatori said. “In recent years at the World Series I’ve done okay, but not really good. So many times I felt like I could grab it.”

“Of course, its fantastic, Italy has been unlucky with bracelets – we had five seconds in a row. We had a lot of people that lost at heads up. I’m happy to be 3-0 and I haven’t lost heads-up yet,” Pescatori said. “There aren’t any (Italians) with two either – they have to catch up.”

Pescatori’s first bracelet came in 2006, the second in 2008 and credited his win changing up his game and playing more mixed games while in Europe.

Eli Elezra missed out on his third bracelet with a fifth place finish and mixed game players Ryan Miller and Chris George finished second and third respectively.

Final Results

  1. Max Pescatori – $155,947
  2. Ryan Miller – $96,349
  3. Chris George – $61,247
  4. Matthew Smith – $44,164
  5. Eli Elezra – $32,345
  6. Randy Kaas – $24,049
  7. Robin Lee – $18,149
  8. Matthew Mendez – $13,902

$10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship

Day 2 of the Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship began with the Round of 16 and after three rounds of play Paul Volpe and Keith Lehr return to play for the title and $334,430.

The Round of 16 featured George Danzer, Timothy Adams, Olivier Busquet and Byron Kaverman. The round saw Matthew Cooper, Timothy Adams, Volpe, Isidro Sifuentes, Lehr, Valeriu Coca, JC Tran and Dee Tiller advance from their opening match ups.

The final four saw Tiller against Lehr and Cooper versus Volpe. Cooper pulled ahead of Volpe at first, but then Volpe pulled ahead when both players paired a king but Volpe had the better kicker. Their final hand came on a board of T 2 2 Q 8, Cooper moved in holding Q J, Volpe called Q T for two pair and punched his ticket to the final.

Tiller and Lehr played a back-and-forth match that saw each player hold the chip lead a couple of times. But Lehr would get the better of it in the end. The final hand saw Tiller three-bet shove preflop holding A 3 and Lehr called with A Q. The board ran Q 4 3 A 8, Tiller’s two pair fell to Lehr’s better two pair and Tiller was out.

Kevin Song Leads 28 Players to Day 2 of $1,500 Limit Hold’em

Day 2 of the event saw 222 players return and after ten levels of play 28 remain. Kevin Song leads the field after bagging 450,000.

Shannon Shorr, David Chiu, Alexander Kostritsyn and Brandon Cantu all remain in the field heading to Day 3.

Allen Kessler, Matt Glantz and Barry Greenstein all picked up a cash but did not survive the day, while Joe Kuether, Humberto Brenes and Jeremy Ausmus were not so fortunate.

The field went on the dinner break on the money bubble and returned to play seven rounds of hand-for-hand play. Theodore Park and Jay Bloom busted at different tables and split the min-cash, earning $1,256 each.

Chip Counts

  1. Kevin Song – 450,000
  2. Daniel Joo – 352,000
  3. Shannon Shorr – 311,000
  4. Wook Kim – 289,000
  5. Russ Salzer – 256,000
  6. David Chiu – 238,000
  7. Nicholas Abourisk – 225,000
  8. James Sievers – 221,000
  9. William Kakon – 211,000
  10. Adam Duguay – 208,000

Bryan Campanello In Front on Day 1 of $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold’em

The first short-handed No Limit Hold’em event of the 2015 WSOP attracted 1,651 entrants and after 11 levels of play 206 players remain. Bryan Campanello leads the field after bagging up 213,800.

Galen Hall, Mike Watson, Tyler Kenney, Stephen Foutty and Zo Karim bagged up top stacks heading into Day 2.

Daniel Negreanu, Greg Merson, Jonathan Duhamel, Fedor Holz, Shaun Deeb, Garrett Greer and Jason Koon are a few of the players that were sent to the rail today.

The field built a prizepool of $2,228,500 which pays out the top 180 finishers. A min-cash is worth $2,563, a trip to the final table locks up $56,835 and the winner earns $457,007.

Chip Counts

  1. Bryan Campanello – 213,800
  2. Idan Raviv – 213,300
  3. David Nowling – 206,900
  4. Gnatenko Oleksander – 193,400
  5. Vitaly Shafran – 172,600
  6. Alessio Isaia – 167,500
  7. Craig McCorkell – 166,100
  8. Matthew Silva – 165,500
  9. Sebastian Pauli – 161,800
  10. Galen Hall – 154,100

Players arrive for $2,500 Seven Card Stud/Omaha Hi-Lo Mix

Layne Flack leads the event with 72,100 after 474 players entered and 264 players remain heading in to Day 2.

Mike Gorodinsky, Maria Ho, Scott Clements, Ben Yu and Alex Rocha all move on to Day 2 with an above-average stack. Norman Chad, Anthony Zinno and Bruno Fitoussi also move on, but with a modest stack.

The 474-player event has a $1,078,350 prizepool that will pay out the top 48 players. A min-cash is worth $4,733, a trip to the final table guarantees $24,036 and the winner walks with $269,612.

Chip Counts

  1. Layne Flack – 72,100
  2. Hani AWad – 62,400
  3. John Hoang – 55,600
  4. Yehuda Buchalter – 51,800
  5. Jose Severino – 50,600
  6. David Brookshire – 49,800
  7. Michael Sopko – 49,700
  8. Mike Gorodinsky – 47,300
  9. Maria Ho – 47,100
  10. Jacobo Fernandez – 46,600

Looking Ahead

Two new events kick off Thursday with the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout at noon and the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship at 4 p.m. The touted $10,000 Heads Up Championship crowns a winner in the final match-up and 28 number players return to play for the bracelet in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event.

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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