Matt Vengrin Leads Final 3 in $3K HORSE, Polk Tops $10K Six Max

There wasn’t a single bracelet winner crowned Thursday at the 2015 World Series of Poker, but that lull sets up the likelihood of a four-bracelet day for the second time in three days for Friday.

While there weren’t any winners crowned, there was still plenty of action to be had across six events and a variety of formats, and with the players left in the field in the four events likely to finish Friday it looks like there will be some truly compelling final tables.

Kevin Iacofano, Matt Vengrin and Dan Idema will be back Friday to finish out the $3,000 HORSE event.

Kevin Iacofano, Matt Vengrin and Dan Idema will be back Friday to finish out the $3,000 HORSE event.

$3,000 HORSE

The $3,000 HORSE event got the closest to a winner Thursday, but when Level 30 clicked down to 0 there were still three players left fighting it out for the bracelet.

Matt Vengrin has over 56 percent of the chips in play with hopes of winning his first bracelet, but he has Kevin Iacofano and Dan Idema still standing in his way in that regard.

All three players outlasted a talented group on Day 3 that started at 29 and was slowly whittled down throughout the day. Dan Kelly (29th) and Ted Forrest (28th) were the first two out the door, and Joe Hachem (22nd) and Allen Kessler (19th) were also among the day’s early casualties.

Mike Leah put together another deep run and earned his third five-figure cash of the summer, but his tournament ended in 13th place. David Benyamine (12th), Farzad Bonyadi (10th) and David Oppenheim (9th) each missed out on the final table, while bracelet-winners Taylor Paur (8th) and Randy Ohel (7th) made it that far before falling out.

John Racener was the last player to go before the end of the night, and his fourth place finish makes it two years in a row with at least one final table at the WSOP.

Vengrin, Iacofano and Idema will come back at 2pm PST and likely crown the first winner on what’s sure to be a hectic day at the Rio.

Chip Counts & Results

  1. Matt Vengrin – 3,175,000
  2. Kevin Iacofano – 1,390,000
  3. Dan Idema – 1,080,000
  4. John Racener – $75,559
  5. Iakov Nepomnyashchiy – $55,553
  6. Paul Sexton – $41,438
  7. Randy Ohel – $31,358
  8. Taylor Paur – $24,070

Doug Polk has the chiplead with just 12 players left in the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Championship, but he'll have three other bracelet winners and several other tough pros to deal with on Day 3 Friday.

Doug Polk has the chiplead with just 12 players left in the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship, but he’ll have three other bracelet winners and several other tough pros to deal with on Day 3 Friday.

$10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em

The $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship is one of the premier events of the summer, and the lineup for Day 3 should make for a tremendous final table Friday.

Doug Polk has the chiplead, and he’s one of four players remaining with hopes of a second career WSOP bracelet when this tournament is all said and done. Paul Volpe, who sits in third place overnight, is another member of that group, and he hopes to do one spot better than his pair of runner-up finishes in $10,000 events so far at the 2015 WSOP.

Sam Greenwood and Mark Radoja are also looking to become multi-time champions, but Radoja’s path to victory will be the hardest.

The list of potential first-time winners is also compelling. Chris Klodnicki has second place finishes in two of the biggest events on the WSOP schedule – the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and the $111,111 One Drop High Roller – but a bracelet has eluded him so far. Byron Kaverman, Olivier Busquet and Thomas Muehloecker each have serious tournament resumes of their own and hope to add a WSOP bracelet to those lists Friday.

They’ve already outlasted the likes of Sam Stein (13th), Faraz Jaka (19th), Kyle Julius (20th), Jonathan Duhamel (21st), David Benefield (22nd), Bertrand Grospellier (28th), Jeremy Ausmus (29th) and Phil Galfond (30th), who all finished in the money but fell short of a Day 3 appearance.

The final 12 players will be back at 2 pm PST, and once they reach a final table they’ll be headed to the main stage where the action will be live-streamed with hole cards on a 30 minute delay.

Chip Counts

  1. Doug Polk – 1,443,000
  2. Kenneth Fishman – 1,200,000
  3. Paul Volpe – 896,000
  4. Fedor Holz – 841,000
  5. Kevin Song – 661,000
  6. Byron Kaverman – 580,000
  7. Sam Greenwood – 455,000
  8. Chris Klodnicki – 434,000
  9. Fernando Brito – 419,000
  10. Olivier Busquet – 403,000
  11. Thomas Muehloecker – 254,000
  12. Mark Radoja – 143,000

$1,500 Split Format

There are three days in the books in the brand new Split Format event, and after two rounds of heads-up matches the final table of eight is set.

Denmark’s Jonas Christensen has the chiplead by virtue of how the bracket played out, but all eight players are close and deep-stacked going into the final table. Notable among this final eight are Erwann Pecheux, who was a factor at several points in the 2014 BLUFF Player of the Year race, and Chris Bolek, who has a WSOP Circuit ring to his credit.

Toby Lewis, Arkadiy Tsinis and Vojtech Ruzicka each won their first match before bowing out in the second round, while Kevin O’Donnell and David Vamplew were among those to fall in the round of 32.

Final table action begins at 1 pm PST Friday.

Chip Counts

  1. Jonas Christensen – 929,000
  2. Andre Boyer – 851,000
  3. Chris Bolek – 849,000
  4. Erwann Pecheux – 831,000
  5. Idan Raviv – 829,000
  6. Gavin O’Rourke – 785,000
  7. Andrew Gaw – 756,000
  8. Isaac Kawa – 721,000

$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha

Corrie Wunstel leads after Day 3 of the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha, thanks to a 1 million chip pot late in the day that sent two-time WSOP bracelet-winner Brandon Cantu out in 21st place. Raymond Davis followed in 20th, leaving 19 players to fight it out for the bracelet on Friday.

Kevin Saul sits in ninth place overnight, and he’s one of three players (along with Marcel Vonk and Dmitrii Valouev) who made the final table of this event in 2014 and hope to repeat that performance this time around.

Davis and Cantu were far from the only notables to make deep runs. Alex Kravchenko (24th) and Jonathan Little (25th) both played deep into the night, with Jim Collopy (38th), Max Pescatori (45th), Yuval Bronshtein (46th), Christian Harder (48th) and Noah Schwartz (54th) all finishing deep in the money.

Day 3 begins at 1 pm PST Friday, and they’ll almost certainly crown a champion by the end of the night.

Chip Counts

  1. Corrie Wunstel – 1,217,000
  2. Shane Abbott – 646,000
  3. Matthew Colvin – 520,000
  4. Ari Levy – 491,000
  5. Dmitrii Valouev – 470,000
  6. Joshua Beckley – 453,000
  7. Jim Karambinis – 446,000
  8. Chelsea Gelber – 416,000
  9. Kevin Saul – 399,000
  10. Kechao Ni – 324,000

$3,000 No Limit Hold’em

The $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event that kicked off the action Thursday at the WSOP drew a sizable crowd, with 989 players joining the fray by the close of registration.

That helped build a prizepool just a hair shy of $2.7 million, with a first place prize of $546,843. Chris DeMaci leads the 297 players who advanced to Day 2 with 214,900, with Eric Afriat (163,200), Jesse Sylvia (161,900) and Maria Ho (122,500) among the other top stacks.

There’s still significant work to be done before they reach the money at 117 players, but that effort begins at 1 pm PST.

Chip Counts

  1. Chris DeMaci – 214,900
  2. Jorge Breda – 192,800
  3. Nick Yunis – 163,400
  4. Eric Afriat – 163,200
  5. Jesse Sylvia – 161,900
  6. James Gilbert – 148,500
  7. Akash Malik – 142,300
  8. Sotirios Koutoupas – 139,600
  9. Gal Erlichman – 139,000
  10. Eddie Blumenthal – 133,700

$1,500 10 Game Mix

The 10 Game Mix event rounds out the action from Thursday, and before play even began WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel brought good news with him. Thanks to popular demand, and approval of Nevada gaming officials, the WSOP altered the structure of all the remaining low buy-in mixed events remaining on the schedule to add more play to the later stages of the tournament.

It certainly seemed to work well for Eric Wasserson, who ended the night with 85,350 and edged out Eli Elezra (82,325) for the overall chiplead. He even gave a nod to one of the most instrumental people who helped push for those changes.

Unfortunately for Kessler, he didn’t make it through to Day 2 of this one. In fact, only 89 of the 380 players who started will play on to Day 2 Friday. Ylon Schwartz (63,750), Owais Ahmed (58,500) and Bruno Fitoussi (57,650) all finished the night in the top 10 of the chip counts. Dutch poker writer Remko Rinkema mixed it up with the likes of Scotty Nguyen and Phil Hellmuth on Day 1 and lived to tell the tale, bagging 21,775 at the end of the night.

42 players are set to get paid, with a top prize of $133,403 awaiting the champion. They’ll be back in action starting at 2 pm PST Friday.

Chip Counts

  1. Eric Wasserson – 85,350
  2. Eli Elezra – 82,325
  3. Guy Hareuveni – 70,100
  4. Dan Matsuzuki – 69,100
  5. Alex Dovzhenko – 64,025
  6. Ylon Schwartz – 63,750
  7. Michael Schiffman – 61,000
  8. Kevin Strehlow – 59,275
  9. Owais Ahmed – 58,500
  10. Bruno Fitoussi – 57,650

Looking Ahead…

The Seniors Championship, which is sure to feature one of the biggest fields of the summer yet again, will pack the halls of the Rio starting at 10 am PST. The $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship kicks off at 4 pm.

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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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