2015 WSOP Day 3: The Colossus Begins and Thomas Taylor is 2nd in Chips in Omaha Hi-Lo

WSOP Colossus

Every day is a busy day now at the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and Day 3 is no exception. Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em played from 20 down to a winner, while Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better narrowed the field to under 50. Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout set the final table for Saturday's action, and the hugely anticipated Event #5: The Colossus $565 No-Limit Hold'em got under way with two of its four starting flights.

Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em started the day with 20 players remaining and played down until a winner was decided. The initial schedule had Friday's Day 3 playing down to the final table of nine players, but when David "Doc" Sands was eliminated in 10th place for $28,759 less than two and a half hours after the start of the day, the decision was made to play down to a winner.

In addition to Sands, the flurry of bust-outs off the top of the day included Day 2 chip leader Carl Westcott in 12th for $28,759, Nam Le in 13th for $22,670, and Kevin MacPhee in 19th for $14,280.

The final table was a stacked affair that included Bryn Kenney, Byron Kaverman, Jason Wheeler, Greg Merson, and Joe Ebanks. Here is how they stacked up when the final table began:

SeatPlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Long Nguyen1,554,00077
2Joe Ebanks725,00036
3Greg Merson2,066,000103
4Amir Lehavot1,302,00065
5Jason Wheeler814,00040
6Byron Kaverman94,0004
7Bryn Kenney1,824,00091
8Artur Koren1,412,00070
9Michael Wang764,00038

Byron Kaverman came into the final table with the smallest stack, so it's no surprise that he was first to exit. Kaverman collected $37,030 for ninth place. 2012 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Merson started the final table with the biggest stack, but was only able to convert that into a fourth-place finish for $152,126.

The tournament came down to heads-up play between Bryn Kenney and Michael Wang. Kenney came into heads-up play with a massive chip advantage, but Wang managed to keep his cool as he battled back to keep himself in the match. It was finally decided on two incredible hands where Wang coolered in successive hands. In the first, Wang took the chip lead when his {9-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} flopped the stones on a board of {8-Hearts}{7-Spades}{6-Hearts}. Unfortunately for Kenney, his {j-}{8-} hit enough of the flop to keep him in, and when he rivered his two pair, there was no way he could get away.

On the very next hand, Wang raised with {j-Hearts}{2-Hearts} and Kenney called with dominated hearts. When both players rivered the heart flush it was all over for Kenney who finished in second for $287,870 while Wang collected $466,120 and the bracelet for his win.

Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better

Day 2 of Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better started with 358 players all looking for one of the 117 paying spots. By the time the day ended, only 49 players remained in contention for the first non-hold'em bracelet of the 2015 series. A total of 918 people entered the tournament, building a prize pool of $1,239,300. That puts $251,022 up top for first place.

Leading the way by a huge margin at the end of Day 2 is American Kelly Vandemheen with 466,000 chips. The next name in the chip counts is the top Canadian of the day. With a second-best stack, Thomas Taylor of Victoria, B.C. will return for Day 3 on Saturday with 288,000 chips. The only other Canadian to bag chips on Day 2 was Winnipeg, Manitoba native Barry Hallman with 48,000.

Notable non-Canadians to move on to Day 3 include Eric Wasserson (235,000), Robert Mizrachi (184,000), and John Monnette (117,000).

Of course not everyone was able to bag chips at the end of the day, but many got the consolation prize of some cash. Two Canadians managed to cash already in the event. Stephen Ladowsky of Toronto, Ontario finished in 73rd for $3,085 while Jaehwa Son of Georgetown, Ontario took home $2,552 for 94th place.

Other notable players who finished in the money include Taylor Paur (63rd — $3,953), Ari Engel (85th — $2,776), and Bart Hanson (95th — $2,552).

Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

On Day 2 of Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, 40 of the original 308 players came back to play 10 four-handed tables until a winner emerged from each, creating the final table of 10. Every player who made Day 2 was in the money for having won Round 1 of the shootout format, and every play eliminated on Day 2 made the same min-cash of $6,180.

There were two Canadians who emerged victorious from their tables on Day 1 to go on to Friday's Round 2. Kyle White from Surrey, B.C. and one of our Canadians to watch this series, Sam Greenwood.

Neither Canadian won their four-handed Round 2 table to make the final day. Kyle White lasted longest, being eliminated when he called a button shove in the big blind with his 140,000 remaining chips (about 23 big blinds). He was racing with {a-Clubs}{q-Hearts} against Jason Les' {4-Clubs}{4-Spades}, but couldn't catch either of his overcards on the {5-Hearts}{3-Spades}{2-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} board.

Sam Greenwood's end came a few levels earlier when he got all of his chips in the middle preflop with a dominated hand. He held {9-}{9-} to Kyle Frey's {q-}{q-} and was unable to catch a lucky card to stay alive.

Some of the other notable players to be eliminated in Round 2 include Doug Polk, Carlos Mortensen, Jason Somerville, Jeff Gross, and Joe Cada, all of who earned the same $6,180 min-cash.

The final table of 10 players who will return on Saturday to determine the winner is a pretty impressive lineup. Here are the final survivors to go on to Round 3 where the bracelet is now in play:

Nick Petrangelo474,000
Andreas Hoivold472,000
David Peters467,000
James Woods462,000
Brian Lemke460,000
Derek Bowers460,000
Loni Harwood446,000
Jeffrey Griffiths445,000
Leo Wolpert444,000
Jason Les443,000

These final 10 return at 2 p.m. to play down to a winner with at least $13,150 guaranteed and the possibility of $201,812 and a shiny gold bracelet calling them for first place.

Event #5: The Colossus $565 No-Limit Hold'em

The Colossus is easily the most talked-about event on the calendar of the 2015 WSOP. With four starting flights spread over two days, the lowest buy-in of the series, and a $5-million-guaranteed prize pool, it is predicted that this will be the largest live poker tournament in history.

Friday saw Day 1a and 1b both fill the Rio to capacity with excited players, most of them playing their first-ever bracelet event. This is the recreational player's Main Event. More than 5,300 players registered for Day 1a, and 804 players survived to advance to Day 2. All numbers are estimates right now, as the logistics of accurately tracking this many players is very challenging.

It appears that Ty Durekas is the chip leader for Day 1a as one of the few players near the 200,000 mark. He will return with 179,100 chips.

Day 1b, also on Friday but later in the day, was estimated to seat more than 5,000 players for the second starting flight of this massive event. Of those, 710 players bagged and tagged to resume play on Sunday's Day 2 when the four starting fields all combine.

It is likely that Ian O'Hara is the chip leader of Day 1b, stacking up 184,000 chips after 11 levels of play.

Here are the Canadians we saw who survived either Day 1a or 1b:

Day 1aPlayerChipsDay 1bPlayerChips
 James McCarter60,500 James Keichinger104,600
 Jean-Pascal Savard51,900 Darryl Beal84,300
 Craig Ripley51,300 Oliver Greer80,500
 Warren Russell46,400 Max Greenwood70,100
 Gilles Brodeur46,000 Homan Mohammadi69,500
 Matthew O'Brien41,100 Allan Han57,900
 Matthew Livingston37,800 Steven Bao Nguyen Pham49,400
 James Fry35,800 Adrian Baran49,300
 Matthew Brunskole31,400 Clifford Harris48,200
 Vasilios Gerontakos30,800 Jiri Horak37,000
 Theodore Yarmuch30,400 Jeffrey Hartlin36,500
 Jeff Staples29,300 Doug Lee35,900
 Matthew Robitaille-Sweeney28,800 Philip Elliott35,000
 Jessie Wheatley26,100 Robert Bowers34,900
 Darrin Oremba25,000 Avinash Kumar31,600
 Jeffrey Hunt24,700 Peter Johnson30,900
 Hermann Riederer24,100 Igor Grinevsky29,900
 Eric Nuss22,400 Tony Hoang28,000
 Zoe Yuan21,900 Richard Simon26,500
 Mark Mckee21,100 Kristin Laverty26,100
 Frank Katana21,000 James Mao22,400
 Michael Ma17,400 Kim-Phong Duong21,200
 Harvie Windover13,800 Tyler Bonkowski18,100
 Brad Hubbard13,100 Timothy Vukson16,800
 Andrew Yip12,400 Peter Cornick14,000
 John Credgeur7,500 Scott Maihara12,000

Day 1c begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and the final starting flight, Day 1d, begins at 7 p.m. on the same day. We'll be back with more details on Sunday morning as we see this massive tournament, among the other events still in play, fill the Rio with poker players.

Details courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.

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