The Colossus officially entered the record books Sunday at the 2015 World Series of Poker, blowing away the previous record for largest tournament field size. While there was some controversy about how more than $11 million in prize money was distributed, there’s no denying how much a victory in this tournament is worth.
Sunday was also a big day for the Mizrachi family, with one prolific brother joining another in a milestone most poker players won’t achieve in a lifetime. As if that wasn’t enough for one day of action, a new twist on a No Limit Hold’em format took more than 1,400 players and reduced them to just nine over the course of a single day.
$1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo
Robert Mizrachi looked seriously ill as Day 3 of the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event drew towards a close, after what was once a lead of well over 2-to-1 had been flipped on its head by Jacob Dahl. It wasn’t just the run of cards he was having – Mizrachi was actually sick and in need of a good night’s rest, as he’d eventually reveal in his winner’s interview.
It all worked out quite nicely, and though his stack fell to the point where he was all in on just the seventh hand on Day 4 of the tournament Mizrachi came roaring back with a vengeance. After edging into the chiplead, Mizrachi went on a tremendous run around Hand 60 of Day 4 and within eight more hands he’d captured his third WSOP bracelet and the $255,022 first place prize.
After Dahl raised on the button, Mizrachi three-bet, Dahl four-bet all in and Mizrachi called. Mizrachi had the more traditionally strong Omaha Hi-Lo hand with A 6 5 5, but Dahl had live cards with Q 8 6 3. The T 7 2 flop kept Mizrachi’s pair of fives ahead and gave him a strong low draw too. The T turn changed nothing, and the 3 both kept his pair of fives on top for the high and gave him a seven-low as he scooped the pot to seal his victory.
Mizrachi is now tied with his brother Michael with three bracelets, but he made it clear afterwards that it’s nothing more than a friendly rivalry among family.
- Robert Mizrachi – $251,022
- Jacob Dahl – $155,333
- Don Zewin – $97,185
- Ryan Himes – $70,540
- Dominick Cuzzi – $52,075
- James Juvancic – $39,037
- Nguyen Tran – $29,693
- Bruce Levitt – $22,889
- Thomas Taylor – $17,883
Shortly after Day 2 got underway, the official field size and prizepool numbers were released by tournament officials. There were a total of 22,374 entries, building a prizepool of $11,187,000 with 2,241 players sharing in their own piece of that money.
The first place payout of $638,880 drew a lot of conversation and some controversy on social media, as that prize represents just 5.7 percent of the overall prizepool. As the controversy slowly started to die down there was poker to be played and a bubble to burst, and within the first few levels of play Sunday they’d reached the money in this historic event.
Problems arose from the sheer volume of players headed to the payout line, with computers going down for upwards of three hours starting at around 11 pm PST. Those issues were resolved and players continued to get paid, but for 506 players that’s a process they’ll have to wait at least one more day for.
Valentin Vornicu, a five-time WSOP Circuit ring winner, is the only player with over 1 million after 19 levels of play. Vornicu’s 1,237,000 is over 33 percent more than his nearest competition, but there’s a lot more to fight through and a number of big names lingering near the top of the chip counts.
Mike Leah earned his first cash of the 2015 WSOP in this event, and he’ll start Day 3 in the top 20 with 571,000. Better still was Ray Henson, whose 616,000 put him in 12th to end the night. Yuval Bronshtein, John Racener, Zo Karim, Dan O’Brien, Eric Baldwin, Jeff Gross and Lee Watkinson are just a few of the other players whose dreams of Colossus glory stayed alive for at least one more night.
Play resumes at 2 pm PST, and while the plan is to play as close to a final table as possible it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll need an extra day to get this tournament finished.
- Valentin Vornicu – 1,237,000
- Shahen Martirosian – 799,000
- Travis Miller – 770,000
- Adam Lamphere – 669,000
- Alexey Blyakher – 668,000
- Anthony Miller – 661,000
- Scott Gould – 637,000
- Brandon Shane – 635,000
- Will Givens – 632,000
- Dale Schuman – 628,000
$1,000 Hyper No Limit Hold’em
It’s not often that you get to see a tournament with well over 1,000 players get down to a final table in a single day, but the format of the first ever ‘Hyper Hold’em’ event was designed to do just that and worked just as designed.
A total of 1,436 players got involved in this $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event with 20 minute levels, and by the time they were through six hours they were nearly at the money bubble of 144. Jason Mercier was one of the big stacks at that point and he climbed even further, and he took some time on a break in the middle of that run to discuss how he got there, along with his enjoyment of turbo events in general, with BLUFF.
He’d eventually go out 29th, joining David Vamplew (17th), Matt Marafioti (26th), Greg Merson (35th), James Woods (39th) and Sorel Mizzi (40th) among the top 50 finishers.
When a final table was eventually reached, Harrison Beach held a commanding lead with 2.28 million and no one else over 1 million. Ryan Julius and Bobby Suer, arguably the two most notable players remaining, follow in second and third, respectively.
They’re all playing for $252,068 and the bracelet Monday afternoon, and they’ll all have a little more room to maneuver as blinds are extended from 20 minutes to 30 for the final table. Just 1:56 remains in Level 27, with blinds of 20,000/40,000 and a 5,000 ante – and once they jump up only Beach will have over 20 big blinds in his stack.
- Harrison Beach – 2,280,000
- Ryan Julius – 930,000
- Bobby Suer – 765,000
- Matt Woodward – 710,000
- Marc Macdonnell – 655,000
- Kenneth Johnson – 650,000
- John Reading – 610,000
- Aleksandr Gofman – 435,000
- Wayne Boyd – 175,000
$10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
The first $10,000 Championship event on the 2015 WSOP schedule is the Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, and predictably enough it attracted a field filled with poker superstars and mixed game specialists.
109 of them, to be exact, by the time registration came to a close Sunday night. Of those players, 56 made it through to the end of the night and none of them had a better day than Craig Hartman, who leads with 147,300.
Rep Porter (141,800), Layne Flack (116,200), Phil Galfond (112,000), Scott Clements (107,500) and Matt Glantz (100,000) each finished in the top 10 with six-figure stacks, built from the 30,000 each player started with. Robert Mizrachi, fresh off of winning the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event in the afternoon, finished the night in 15th.
They’ll all be playing for $322,756 and the bracelet, with just 12 of the remaining 56 players destined to make the money. Play resumes at 2 pm PST for Day 2, which should go a long way in determining how the rest of the event plays out.
- Craig Hartman – 147,300
- Rep Porter – 141,800
- Maximilian Casal – 138,700
- Ismael Bojang – 121,900
- Layne Flack – 116,200
- Mark Gregorich – 115,200
- Phil Galfond – 112,000
- Mike Gorodinsky – 110,700
- Scott Clements – 107,500
- Matt Glantz – 100,000
A pair of $1,500 events are on tap for Monday, with the first Pot Limit Hold’em event of the summer kicking things off at noon PST. The first Seven Card Stud variant on the schedule for 2015, the $1,500 Razz, fills the afternoon slot at 4 pm PST.
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