A crazy weekend at the 2015 World Series of Poker came to a close with two memorable final tables. Max Pescatori made it two repeat 2015 winners in as many days, Brazilians nearly literally tore down the Mothership in excitement and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship kicked off.
Add in a tournament appearance by Doyle Brunson and you have everything you could ever really want from a day at the WSOP.
Brian Hastings won his second bracelet of the 2015 WSOP Saturday night, and it didn’t take long for Max Pescatori to join the club – less than a day, in fact.
Pescatori won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship, where he defeated Stephen Chidwick heads-up to claim his fourth career bracelet and $292,158. He adds that win to the $1,500 Razz bracelet he won during the first week of the 2015 WSOP, and this was Pescatori’s third final table of the summer overall.
It was especially sweet for Pescatori, who worked hard to prep for this WSOP and looked at Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo as his best opportunity to win a bracelet in 2015.
Daniel Negreanu finished two spots shy of his seventh career bracelet, not quite living up to his called shot but still earning his best finish of the 2015 WSOP so far.
11 players came back for Day 3 of this tournament, with Yuval Bronshtein (11th), Phillip Hui (10th) and Gary Benson (5th) among the notable finishers.
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- Max Pescatori – $292,158
- Stephen Chidwick – $180,529
- Daniel Negreanu – $113,062
- Aleksander Denisov – $81,865
- Gary Benson – $63,981
- Thomas Butzhammer – $51,022
- Richard Sklar – $41,433
- Alan Ledford – $34,192
$3,000 No Limit Hold’em
The rail for Brazilian players at the WSOP is infamous for its passion and ability to get loud, and Sunday was no exception in the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em. Five players returned for any extra day, and they were out in force to support their countryman Thiago Nishijima in his pursuit of the country’s third ever bracelet.
He came through for them, winning $546,843 along with that WSOP bracelet, defeating Sotirios Koutoupas heads-up on the way to victory. Nishijima wore Koutoupas down in the latter stages of their heads-up match, getting a five-bet shove through uncalled and winning another significant pot with ace-high.
After the pair traded all ins for a few orbits, Koutopas shoved having looked only at the A and Nishijima called with A 9. Koutoupas slowly sweated out his other card, which was the 5. The 4 4 2 flop gave Koutoupas chop outs and more outs to win, but the 6 changed very little. The 4 put trips on the board but both of Nishijima’s cards played, sealing his victory.
Jesse Sylvia finished third in this event after making some tough folds and losing an all in where he was a huge favorite on the flop. Sam Razavi went out in fourth in a coinflip that could have tripled him up, in a pot where Nishijima spiked the river to bust him, a hand that would start his serious run towards the title.
The Brazilian rail was so enthusiastic that several pieces of the stage on ‘the Mothership’ were shaken loose and had to be cordoned off for a later final table. They all joined Nishijima in his winner photo and much of the crowd lined up for their chance to individually congratulate Nishijima afterward.
- Thiago Nishijima – $546,843
- Sotirios Koutoupas – $338,414
- Jesse Sylvia – $211,731
- Sam Razai – $153,452
- Yun Fan – $113,452
- Alexander Freund – $85,049
- Alexander Keating – $64,691
- Duncan McCallum – $49,868
- Steve Brecher – $38,960
$50,000 Poker Players Championship
There have been a lot of mixed game events over the last few weeks, but none of them are anywhere near the spectacle that is the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.
Through five 100-minute levels, 77 players have registered for the biggest mixed game event of the year. Scott Seiver was the only player to double his stack on Day 1, bagging 350,700. David Oppenheim, Justin Smith, Abe Mosseri and Randy Ohel round out the top five.
Previous champion Michael Mizrachi (249,500) is sixth, while other former PPC champions Matt Ashton (220,800) and John Hennigan (212,100) are part of a big bunch of players around 10th and David Bach is still alive and kicking going into Day 2.
The same can’t be said for Brian Rast, who was one of four players to go out on Sunday. Australian James Obst and one of 2015 breakout players so far, Adam Owen, also went down on Day 1.
Really gutted to bust the $50k first. Looked forward to playing it for years.
— Adam Owen (@adamyid) June 22, 2015
Registration remains open through the start of Day 2 at 2 pm PST, and while there’s been rumors of Phil Ivey finally arriving in Las Vegas it’s looking less and less likely he’ll get here in time to play this event.
- Scott Seiver – 350,700
- David Oppenheim – 279,000
- Justin Smith – 273,300
- Abe Mosseri – 267,910
- Randy Ohel – 250,000
- Michael Mizrachi – 249,500
- Dan Kelly – 242,500
- David ‘ODB’ Baker – 238,000
- Matt Ashton – 220,800
- Jens Lakemeier – 220,400
$1,000 Seniors Championship
A slight change in plans, thanks in large part to how many players made it through to Day$613, 3, has caused the final table of the Seniors Championship to be moved to Monday.
It’ll be on the main stage as the only final table in action, and with $613,466 on the line along with the gold WSOP bracelet the stakes will be high.
Travis Baker’s enjoying his first career WSOP cash quite a bit, as he takes the overall chiplead into the Seniors Championship final table. He and Stephen Nussrallah are the only two players over 4 million. Jim Hopperstead and Justin Tseng, who started Day 2 as the top two stacks, put them to good use and will start the final table in third and fourth, respectively.
This final table is highlighted by former November Niner and WSOP bracelet-winner Steve Gee, who’ll have to work his way up from eighth if he wants to make it two career WSOP wins.
John Holley (46th), Dale Eberle (37th) and Dan Goldman (13th) were among the notables to fall on the way to a final table on Day 3. They’ll be back at 11 am PST, with the final table livestream getting underway at 11:30 am on WSOP.com.
- Travis Baker – 4,935,000
- Stephen Nussrallah – 4,060,000
- Jim Hopperstead – 2,835,000
- Justin Tseng – 1,950,000
- Carl Torelli – 1,640,000
- Lee Budin – 1,630,000
- Shane Goldsmith – 1,600,000
- Steve Gee – 1,455,000
- Michael Smith – 855,000
$1,500 Extended Play No Limit Hold’em
The first ever Extended Play event at the WSOP made some serious headway on Day 2, and when all was said and done just 115 players made it through to the third of four scheduled days in this tournament.
The chip counts are top-heavy to saw the least, with Yevginiy Timoshenko holding the overall chiplead and Antonio Esfandiari not far behind with 368,000. Justin Zaki (172,600), Konstantin Puchkov (160,400), Jonathan Little (126,000), Barny Boatman (59,000) and Blair Hinkle (51,800) join them in advancing to Monday’s action.
It took a while for the bubble to burst, but when it did a number of big names headed to the door right off the bat. Jim McManus (198th), Andre Akkari (197th), Jason Senti (190th), Sam Chartier (161st), James Calderaro (122nd), Mukul Pahuja (120th) and Hans Winzeler (116th) all fought through the better part of two days to reach the money, but settled for less than they likely would have liked.
Play resumes at 1 pm PST and they’ll try to get as close to the final table as they can in either seven or eight 90-minute levels, depending on the rate of eliminations.
- Yevginiy Timoshenko – 405,400
- Antonio Esfandiari – 368,000
- Damian Salas – 363,700
- Patrick Leondard – 354,600
- Anthony Diotte – 306,700
- Adrian Apmann – 301,700
- Luis Duarte – 300,100
- Nicholas Duvall – 289,900
- John Hinds – 280,600
- Gabriel Andrade – 273,000
$1,000 Super Seniors Event
It’s big news these days when 10-time WSOP bracelet winner and poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson shows up to play an event, but with something big like he $50,000 Poker Players Championship getting underway it wasn’t too surprising the Brunson would head to the Rio to play.
What was surprising, however, for a player who still more than holds his own in the biggest cash games in the world, was that the $50K PPC was not his target, but rather the first ever Super Seniors event.
Brunson joined the above-65 crowd for a few levels before going out, giving a few players the surprise of a lifetime and an opportunity to mix it up with one of poker’s greatest legends.
All-told, 1,533 players came out for this brand new event, and 253 managed to bag chips at the end of the night. Henry Hannigan (115,000) and Robert Galinson (110,200) are at the top of the chip counts, but neither player has a recorded WSOP cash to their credit.
Dennis Waterman sits in third with 103,600 and he has quite a bit of experience to his credit with three WSOP final tables between 2002 and 2003, all in Pot Limit Hold’em. Two-time bracelet-winner Rod Pardey Jr. is sixth while Peter Brownstein, who has Seven Card Stud and Razz final tables at the WSOP on his resume, results since 1996 and who bagged the second-biggest stack on Day 1 of $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo WSOP Circuit this year is seventh.
WSOP Circuit veteran Charles ‘Woody’ Moore, three-time bracelet winner Perry Green, 1995 Main Event champion Dan Harrington, author and bracelet-winner Vince Burgio, Barry Shulman, Artie Cobb and Pierre Neuville all bagged up at the end of Day 1.
The money bubble is set to burst early Monday, with 171 of the 253 remaining players destined to reach the money. The top three spots all pay six figures, with the champion earning $262,220 and the first ever Super Seniors bracelet.
- Henry Hannigan – 115,000
- Robert Galinson – 110,200
- Dennis Waterman – 103,600
- Bob Keegan – 99,300
- Jesse Jackson – 91,300
- Rod Pardey – 89,700
- Peter Brownstein – 88,000
- Roger Gold – 87,000
- Ted Cohen – 86,600
- Wayne Knyal – 86,300
The first standard format $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event in nearly two weeks kicks off Monday’s action at 12 pm PST. The late event is a $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha, which begins at 4 pm PST.
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