Last Ones in the Door: Entering the Main Event at the Last Second

Jeff Yarchever registered just before Phil Hellmuth and the pair, who have some history, chatted briefly while they waited to be two of the last players seated in the 2015 WSOP Main Event field.

Jeff Yarchever registered just before Phil Hellmuth and the pair, who have some history, chatted briefly while they waited to be two of the last players seated in the 2015 WSOP Main Event field.

With a couple of notable exceptions, you can register late for every bracelet event at the World Series of Poker, including the Main Event. During the Main Event, you have over eight hours from the start of play to get involved and in 2015, as in every year since they started allowing late registration, there were some who took full advantage of every minute at their disposal.

Some of them cut if awfully close, and as the dinner break wound down on Day 1C a few people picked up the pace of their step to get to the registration line and ensure they didn’t have the figurative gate shut in their faces, forced to miss out on the biggest tournament of the year.

To almost no one’s surprise, pros like Phil Hellmuth, Leif Force and Kyle Julius were some of very last ones to put up their $10,000 buy-in for the 2015 WSOP Main Event, as was superstar actor Ray Romano, who rolled in around 8:10 pm PST. But for those without 14 bracelets, or millions of dollars in tournament results, there were a few others

Jayakrishnan ‘Jay’ Nair, a Seattle native with an LA Poker Classic prelim title to his credit, was the 6,420th and final player registered and seated – the last one to join in line as the last few players who got into the field picked up their seat card, one by one.

Laguna Beach, California native Jeff Yarchever was entrant 6,416 of 6,420 and ended up standing just in front of Phil Hellmuth. Yarchever and Hellmuth have some history, good and bad (as is often the case with Hellmuth), but Yarchever almost didn’t even get to play – and not just because he registered just two minutes before the dinner break.

“I’ve been here since Thursday, and it was kind of a weird deal,” said Yarchever. “I had just taken my kids on a cruise to the Caribbean and on the way out here I got hit at 60 miles an hour from behind. My sister said that might be a sign, turn around and go home. I said no way, I love the World Series.”

Even after running deep in the Lucky 777 event a few days ago, he played a couple of satellites in the days leading up to the Main Event and nothing really came together. After walking into the tournament area and seeing the tournament going on right in front of him, Yarchever couldn’t resist the urge to play.

“Everyone was walking out at dinner break, and then I thought, ‘It’s once a year, I love this game.’ I rallied it up, and then I got in there at the last second.

As far as Hellmuth goes, Yarchever met him during a charity event during the Oscars and busted him from a tournament with a straight flush on the river a few years ago. Yarchever gave Hellmuth a pair of high end shoes from Velvet Angels, a company he’s the CEO of, but they would ultimately clash at the 2012 LA Poker Classic when they played against each other and Hellmuth was pushed towards one of his signature blow-ups.

“We’re at the featured table, we were having a good time, I got the best of him with some bad hands like 8 6 and he started to get pissed off at me,” said Yarchever. “I was just having a good time and he called Matt Savage over and said ‘He’s putting his blinds in too slow and I think he should get a penalty’.”

They’ve since smoothed it over, but it seems as if Yarchever got the best of Hellmuth again when it comes to his table draw. While Hellmuth was seated with Phil Ivey and Keith Lehr, who built up a big stack after taking all of the chips from actor Aaron Paul, Yarchever found some soft spots and a crazy guy who helped him build to 50,000 in the first two hands he played.

Kellyann Heffernan of Scotland was the 6,413th player to enter the WSOP Main Event and the final woman to join the fray.

Kellyann Heffernan of Scotland was the 6,413th player to enter the WSOP Main Event and the final woman to join the fray.

Yarchever got into the tournament line just after Kellyann Heffernan, who was the last woman to enter the field as well as the last non-American. As the 6,413th player in the field overall, the Scotland native, ex-pro gymnast and high stakes heads-up online specialist was intent on resting up as much as humanly possible before taking her seat in the Main Event.

“I flew in last night and I had really bad jetlag,” said Heffernan. By sleeping in, Heffernan was able to mentally prepare herself for the long grind of the Main Event, albeit at a later time than almost everyone else who had decided to play.

It’s a decision she feels quite comfortable with. “I have a bunch of friends who are at or near a starting stack anyway,” said Heffernan, “Except for Timex, that is.”

Mike McDonald did indeed build up quite a stack before heading off to eat, and he’s enjoyed a much better fate than one of the players Heffernan decided to buy a piece of.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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