The 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is in full swing now. Day 2 saw the first bracelet awarded in 2015 as Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em played down to a winner. As well, Event #2, the $5,000 no-limit hold'em, played down to 20 players remaining, and Events #3 and #4 got under way.
Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em
The WSOP traditionally opens its schedule every year with an event dedicated to casino employees. The $565 buy-in is the lowest of the series and the event is often the only one that casino employees, who are busy working for the rest of the series, have a chance to play in.
With 688 people buying stacks for the tournament, they were all trying to win the grand prize of $75,704, and before Day 1 was even complete, they were in the money. A full deck of 52 players came back for Thursday's Day 2, including three Canadians. Adam Hawkins of Kingston, Ontario min-cashed the tournament before the end of Day 1 for $970, but Shawn Patreau, Martin Butler, and Johnny Gagelonia still had chips coming into the final day.
Patreau managed a 39th-place finish for $1,599 while Butler finished a bit better in 28th for $1,926. Edmonton, Alberta's Gagelonia was Canada's top finisher, collecting $3,618 for 15th place. Taking home the top prize was Californian Brandon Barnette who pocketed $75,704 and his first gold bracelet.
Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em
Day 2 of the second event of the series is in the books with American Carl Westcott leading the way with 1,066,000 chips. Fellow American Artur Koren was the only other player to end the day with more than a million, bagging 1,062,000. 2012 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Merson finished the day in third with an even 800,000.
No Canadians made it through the day, but Mark Radoja of Guelph, Ontario cashed in 36th place for $11,523. Sam Greenwood and Jonathan Duhamel both made it to Day 2, but were unable to survive long enough to earn a payout. Here are some of the other notable players to cash:
With 20 players remaining, there are some big names to watch out for on Friday's Day 3. Returning to the tables are David Sands (704,000), Bryn Kenney (596,000), Amir Lehavot (473,000), Byron Kaverman (372,000), Joe Ebanks (301,000), Alex Bolotin (271,000), Kevin MacPhee (178,000), Nam Le (155,000), among others.
Some of the players to be eliminated on Day 2 without a prize include Chris Moorman, Jay Farber, Joe Kuether, Mukul Pahuja, Stephen Chidwick, Andrew Lichtenberger, Martin Jacobson, Connor Drinan, Jake Cody, Fabian Quoss, Brian Rast, Maria Ho, Antonio Esfandiari, Faraz Jaka, Phil Hellmuth, John Hennigan, Dan Shak, Jason Somerville, Ryan Riess, and Noah Schwartz.
Day 3 resumes on Friday at 2 p.m. and we'll be back with a report of the action as likely only a handful of players will remain by the end of the day.
Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
The opening day of the fixed-limit Omaha hi-lo kicked off on Thursday as well with a field that included the Canadian who won the event two years ago and final-tabled it last year, Calen McNeil, who is on our roster of Canadian players to watch this summer. This year, 918 players bought in, generating a total prizepool of $1,239,300 and a first-place prize of $251,022.
Sadly for Canadians, McNeil didn't make it through Day 1. He got his money in with a draw-heavy hand that bricked, ending his run for a third-straight final table. American Tony Ma ended the day at the top of the counts with 57,800, while his countryman Taylor Paur finished right behind him at 56,000.
With 358 players remaining, the top Canadian at the end of the day, as far as we can tell right now, was Calvin Anderson from Edmonton, Alberta, bagging 38,300 chips. The full chip count has not yet been uploaded by WSOP, so we will update this list when the information is available. Vancouver, B.C.'s two-time bracelet-winner Daniel Idema finished with 12,000.
Day 2 will see players return to the tables on Friday at 2 p.m. in the Amazon Room at the Rio.
Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
The other event to kick off on Day 2 was Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. With 308 players taking seats at the felt, the prizepool grew to $840,840. The day began with 40 tables, and each table played down to a single player who will return for Day 2 and be in the money.
Day 2 will see the 40 Round 1 winners return to 10 four-handed tables, and the winners of those tables will advance to the final day with a final table of 10 players. With players carrying forward their Day 1 stacks, there is some difference in the chip counts, as some tables had less players than others and unpurchased stacks were blinded off until registration ended before being removed from the table. However, the biggest stack is that of Italian Gicomo Fundaro with 122,500, and the smallest is not much less, being the 103,400 held by Richard Kirsch.
Sam Greenwood, another Canadian to watch this summer, finished the day as the best of his table and will head to Round 2 on Friday with 118,100 chips, while Kyle White from Surrey, B.C. bagged up 105,000 after winning his table.
Other notable players to win Round 1 include Doug Polk, Loni Harwood, Carlos Mortensen, Jeff Gross, Jason Somerville, Ryan D'Angelo, and Joe Cada.
Canadians who were eliminated in Round 1 include Matt Salsberg, Mike Leah, Jonathan Duhamel, and Sorel Mizzi, and non-Canadian notables who didn't win their table include Shannon Shorr, Paul Volpe, Humberto Brenes, Eugene Katchalov, Anthony Zinno, Brian Rast, Martin Finger, Sam Trickett, Taylor Paur, Jason Mercier, JC Tran, Faraz Jaka, Blair Hinkle, Jonathan Little, Dan Shak, Phil Laak, Ryan Riess, and Jennifer Tilly.
Stay tuned here at PokerNews Canada for all the Day 3 action including details on the final table of Event #2. Day 2 of the Omaha hi-lo as well as the Shootout plays out on Friday, and the much-hyped $565 Colossus gets under way with the first Day 1 in what is predicted to be the largest live tournament in poker history. We'll have all the tournament highlights for you here, with special emphasis on how our Canadians fared.
Details and photo courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.