If it seems as if history is being made almost every day so far at the 2015 World Series of Poker, you’re not imagining things. In addition to a Colossus event that’s finally cut more than 22,000 players down to just nine, one player accomplished something Tuesday that hasn’t been done in more than six years at the WSOP, and never at the buy-in level at which he did it.
The Colossus and the $10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw events were just two of six events in action Tuesday, and the busiest day of the summer so far produced some truly memorable moments.
$10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Championship
Going back-to-back in any WSOP event is virtually unheard of in the modern era thanks to massive fields, and the only occasion that comes to mind in recent history is Thang Luu’s wins in Omaha Hi-Lo events in 2008 and 2009. In the case of the $10,000 Championship events, a field full of the best poker players in the world doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a repeat performance.
The only players to repeat in $10,000 buy-in events were all WSOP Main Event champions – Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar and Johnny Chan. Tuan Le added his name to that distinguished group Tuesday, taking down the $10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Championship for the second consecutive year to the tune of $322,756.
This time around Le had to beat fellow Commerce Casino regular Max Casal heads-up to do so, and while Le took a big lead into heads-up play he didn’t want to tangle with Casal specifically, due to his experience playing him heads-up in many a Deuce to Seven cash game over the years.
After giving Le a scare, taking more than 1 million chips from his stack in short order, Casal fell behind again and couldn’t recover. He got his last few chips in before the first draw, and by the time the last draw was at hand Le stood pat with a [Jx] [8x] [6x] [5x] [2x]. Casal was drawing at a [9x] [7x] [5x] [3x] low, but he paired the three and the title was once again Le’s.
Among the other final tablists was third place finisher Ismael Bojang, who led all players with 12 cashes in 2014 WSOP events – the most ever in a single year. They were joined by WSOP bracelet-winners Phil Galfond (4th), Rep Porter (6th) and Calvin Anderson (7th).
Le nearly didn’t even try to defend his title, but he was convinced at the last minute by a friend, as Le mentioned shortly after his victory.
- Tuan Le – $322,756
- Max Casal – $199,438
- Ismael Bojang – $130,851
- Phil Galfond – $89,939
- James Obst – $63,863
- Rep Porter – $46,813
- Calvin Anderson – $35,389
There are ugly ways to bust out of a tournament, and then there’s the way Bradley Burns went out on the bubble of the final table of the biggest tournament in history. Having outlasted 22,364 players, Burns three-bet shoved over an open by Adi Prasetyo with A K and Prasetyo called with A K.
While there had to be a little uncomfortability for both players considering they were both suited, no one could have foreseen how quickly and dramatically the hand would come to an end. The dealer burned, cut out the three flop cards and then fanned them out – Q 9 3. Just like that Burns’ tournament was over in a flash, while Prasetyo took control of over 30 percent of the total chips in play.
He’ll have a sizable advantage over a final table that’s almost exclusively filled out by American, with Dutch player Kenny Hallaert, who’ll start Wednesday in second, the lone exception.
Roommates Ray Henson and Cord Garcia both made this final table, and though Henson starts as the shortest stack he has a chance to do something truly remarkable if he makes a comeback happen; Henson won the largest WSOP Circuit event in history back in January, beating out more than 4,000 players there.
The final nine will play for the distinction of overcoming the biggest live tournament field of all time Wednesday afternoon starting at 12 pm PST, along with $638,880 and the bracelet. The action will be live-streamed with hole cards on a 30 minute delay on WSOP.com.
- Aditya Prasetyo – 39,300,000
- Kenny Hallaert – 18,575,000
- Bradley McFarland – 14,250,000
- Paul Lentz – 14,250,000
- David Farber – 8,725,000
- Cord Garcia – 7,275,000
- Garry Simms – 6,850,000
- Anthony Blanda – 4,600,000
- Ray Henson – 2,475,000
Chris George has five career WSOP final tables to his credit in a wide variety of mixed game variants, including a runner-up finish in 2013. While a bracelet’s eluded him so far in his career, he’s set himself up for another run at a title after a strong Day 2 in the $1,500 Razz.
He’s the overall chipleader with 356,000, with only one other player holding over 300,000. There are 18 other players looking for the same thing, and some big names lie in wait hoping to hit the right rush on Day 3 that’ll carry them to the title. Eli Elezra (251,000), Bart Hanson (245,000), Cyndy Violette (201,000) and Max Pescatori (197,000) will all be in the top half of the chip counts when play resumes Wednesday afternoon.
While the final 19 are a tough collective bunch, quite a few top mixed game players fell along the way. Randy Ohel (21st), Ylon Schwartz (29th), 2013 Razz event winner Bryan Campanello (31st), Eric Crain (39th), 2014 WSOP Main Event final table bubbler Luis Velador (40th), poker reporter Mickey Doft (45th) and Tom Schneider (46th) all finished on the right side of the money bubble.
The race to the bracelet in the $1,500 Razz event resumes at 2 pm PST Wednesday, and they’ll go until they reach a champion.
- Chris George – 356,000
- Matthew Smith – 307,000
- Jason Schwartz – 279,000
- Orjan Skommo – 261,000
- Eli Elezra – 251,000
- Bart Hanson – 245,000
- Hernan Salazar – 238,000
- Randy Kaas – 229,000
- Cyndy Violette – 201,000
- Max Pescatori – 197,000
- Ryan Miller – 185,000
- Matthew Mendez – 139,000
- Scott Epstein – 139,000
- Robin Lee – 131,000
- Kiryl Radzivonau – 118,000
- Alexander Kuzmin – 64,000
- Sergio Braga – 53,000
- Scott Byron – 40,000
- Yueqi Zhu – 37,000
$10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship
The closest poker ever gets to the NCAA tournament is a heads-up tournament, and odds are you won’t find a bigger one than the annual $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship at the World Series of Poker.
This year’s Heads-Up event drew 143 players, and after winning three (and in some cases four) matches the final 16 players have all reached the money.
Drawing one of 15 first round match-ups was not a recipe for success in most cases, with only Valeriu Coca and Dee Tiller advancing to the Round of 16 after participating in what was essentially a $5,000 play-in match to the Round of 128. Coca beat Matt Marafioti, Pratyush Buddiga, Aaron Mermelstein and Connor Drinan to get there, while Tiller defeated Branden Hampton, Bobby Oboodi, Darren Elias and Christopher Dow.
There are quite a few intriguing Round of 16 matches, including Paul Volpe taking on Barry Hutter, Olivier Busquet battling JC Tran and Jake Schindler taking on Keith Lehr. Timothy Adams, George Danzer, Byron Kaverman and Max Silver are all still in the mix as well.
Everyone still in is guaranteed $26,490, and winning one more match guarantees all who make the final eight at least $54,545. Making the final four gets you into the six-figure range, but the top prize of all is $334,430 and the gold WSOP bracelet.
Three rounds of play are scheduled for Wednesday, with the Round of 16 taking place at 1 pm PST, the Round of 8 going off at 4 pm and the final four scheduled to start at 7 pm. The championship round is set for Thursday afternoon.
Round of 16 Match-Ups
Andy Philachack vs. Matthew Cooper
Timothy Adams vs. Simon Lam
Paul Volpe vs. Barry Hutter
Isidro Sifuentes vs. George Danzer
Jake Schindler vs. Keith Lehr
Byron Kaverman vs. Valeriu Coca
Olivier Busquet vs. JC Tran
Max Silver vs. Dee Tiller
$1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em
There will be a third bracelet on the line Wednesday in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em event, and there are some seriously accomplished players in the running in this event too.
David Eldridge has the slight edge over Michel Leibgorin at the top of the chip counts, 677,000 to 667,000, and they’re each part of a group of four well clear of the rest of the pack.
2013 EPT Prague runner-up Georgios Sotiropoulos leads the second group, which includes Tom Marchese – a supremely accomplished player still searching for his first career bracelet win. Just behind him is Tristan Wade, who hopes to earn his second gold bracelet, and Kyle Bowker.
In total, 15 players remain with $189,818 sitting there for the taking by whomever happens to be crowned champion. They’ll resume their hunt at 1 pm PST.
- David Eldridge – 677,000
- Michel Leibgorin – 667,000
- Paul Michaelis – 562,000
- Hillery Kerby – 455,000
- Gerogios Sotiropoulos – 278,000
- Jesse Cohen – 269,000
- Tom Marchese – 258,000
- Tristan Wade – 249,000
- Kyle Bowker – 235,000
- Artem Metalidi – 201,000
- Andrey Gulyy – 201,000
- Steven Wendroff – 200,000
- Kevin Andriamahefa – 195,000
- Steven Uccio – 181,000
- William Mitchell – 172,000
$1,500 Limit Hold’em
Limit Hold’em made its debut at the 2015 WSOP Tuesday, and 660 players showed up to play this $1,500 event. Only 222 of them were left standing by 3 am PST, and Vasili Firsau had the most chips of them all.
His 65,200 set the pace, with Chris Tryba (48,000) and Brock Parker (43,100) among his closest competition. Brandon Cantu, Barry Greenstein, Todd Brunson, Joe Kuether, Rep Porter, Ronnie Bardah, Matt Glantz and Jimmy Fricke all ended the night inside the top 50 spots.
72 players will ultimately get paid, with $196,055 up top. Day 2 gets underway at 2 pm PST in the Amazon Room.
Top 10 Chip Counts
- Vasili Firsau – 65,200
- Francois Vigeant – 59,900
- Tynan Sammatarohutchins – 53,500
- Jim Karambinis – 49,600
- Chris Tryba – 48,000
- Ron Burke – 47,700
- Brian Horwitz – 46,300
- James Meek – 44,300
- Avraham Kadosh – 44,100
- Peter Cleven – 43,600
Wednesday brings the first short-handed event of the 2015 WSOP, as the $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold’em kicks things off at 12 pm PST. The $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo is the 4 pm event, pushing the number of bracelet events in action Wednesday to seven.
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