There are now 15 events in the books at the 2015 World Series of Poker with week three starting Monday. The grind of the WSOP is now rearing its ugly head for some of the players but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a few things worth keeping an eye on this week. Between big names, big fields and big controversy, Week 3 at the WSOP has plenty to offer.
Can Phil Hellmuth Win Bracelet #14?
Only 12 players remain in the $10,000 Razz Championship event and despite a stacked group of players, all eyes will be on Phil Hellmuth as he looks to add another bracelet to his record-setting resume. Hellmuth sits third in chips heading into the final day, just like he did in 2012 when he won the $1,500 Razz event for bracelet #12. He may have tougher road ahead of this time though. Adam Owen leads with Thomas Keller right behind him in second, but in the group right behind Hellmuth are Erik Seidel, Mike Leah, Mike Gorodinsky, Stephen Chidwick, Shaun Deeb, Eric Wasserson and Brandon Shack-Harris. Play gets underway at 2 PM PT with the final table streamed live on WSOP.com.
Coming Soon: A New Millionaire (Probably)
Sometime on Tuesday there’s going to be a (potentially) new millionaire in our midst. The $1,500 Millionaire Maker heads to Day 3 on Monday with 142 players left and 10 levels on the schedule with the final table set for Tuesday afternoon. Justin Pechier leads the way but there are a number of highly respected players still in the hunt including Wendy Freedman, Steve Gross, Blair Hinkle, Andrew Lichtenberger, Tom Koral, Olivier Busquet and Shannon Shorr. No matter who wins they’ll earn a whopping $1,277,193.
$10,000 Championship Field Sizes
In 2014 the $10,000 buy-in Championship events returned with great fanfare. But with four of the events already in the books in 2015 the prevailing storyline has been dwindling field sizes. Of the four $10K events already played this year, only the Heads-Up Championship saw the field size increase. The other three events (Pot Limit Hold’em, Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Razz) dropped between 8% and 20%. There are nine more Championship events on the schedule this year (excluding the Main Event) with three scheduled for this week. Will the bigger buy-in events continue to trend down or can some late-arriving players correct the downward spiral?
Star Gazing in the $5,000 8-Max No Limit Hold’em
The first open event on the 2015 WSOP schedule was a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event and the final table included a bunch of big names; Byron Kaverman, Jason Wheeler, Greg Merson and Bryn Kenney to name a few. The second $5,000 NLHE event of the summer starts Wednesday with players playing eight-handed throughout the event. Last year this event drew 550 players with Brian Yoon winning the bracelet over runner-up Josh Arieh and other final tablists Mustapha Kanit and Dan Smith. The event always attracts the best players and the eight-handed format is a favorite with all the players.
You Do The Monster Stack
The WSOP loves themselves a gimmick tournament and as long as they continue to be smashing successes, they’ll maintain their spot on the WSOP schedule. With the Colossus and Millionaire Maker already in the books this year the next special event on the schedule is the $1,500 Monster Stack which starts Friday afternoon. Following the big turnout for the previous two gimmick events, another huge turnout is expected for this one. Last year Jonathan Dimmig beat out 7,977 but the WSOP big wigs are predicting bigger things this year.
— Ty Stewart (@wsopSUITd) June 7, 2015
The $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship
For the poker fans following from home the WSOP schedule always has a few events that you just don’t get anywhere else. The $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship event always attracts three groups of players: top pros who are diversified enough in the games to play, specialists who play only this game and NLHE, and degenerate gamblers who just love to play. Last year Paul Volpe beat out 86 other players to win his first bracelet. Given the trend in $10K events so far this year, the field size here should be in or around 80 players this year.
A Resolution or Statement on the Cheating Scandal
The WSOP is obviously being very meticulous in their handling of the cheating allegations levied at Valeriu Coca in the $10,000 Heads Up Championship and haven’t made too many public statements about what they’ve learned or what they’ve done. Depending on who you ask or which version of the story you’re hearing, Coca either has or has not yet received his $54,545 payout from his 5th place finish in that event. Given that the event wrapped up on June 5 there could be some sort of update from the WSOP this week on where the investigation stands.
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