There should have been a bracelet awarded late in the day in H.O.R.S.E. on Day 17, but play went on so long that the final three players had to bag their chips to return for an unscheduled Day 4. The $5K hold'em and $10K stud played down to a star-studded final table, and the largest-ever live non-hold'em tournament made it down to just 16 players remaining. As well, Day 1a of the Monster Stack attacked the Rio. Everything you need to know about Day 17 of the 2015 WSOP is below.
H.O.R.S.E. Race Needs Fourth Leg to Determine Winner
They rounded the third turn in Event #24: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E., but the final three runners needed another leg to determine a winner. 31 runners took their positions in the starting gate before Day 3 play, expecting to award a bracelet to one among their ranks before the end of the day. Almost 12 hours later, three runners were still on course for the bracelet.
Canada’s Mike Watson came to Day 3 as the chip leader and even built on that lead in the early hours of the day, stacking more than a million after a big stud hand against Arash Ghaneian. Watson smooth-called Ghaneian to a check-raise on fifth street, then returned the raise favour when Ghaneian led out on sixth with their boards reading for Watson versus . Ghaneian called and both players checked seventh. It was a battle of two pairs with Watson’s nines and sixes taking down Ghaneian’s sevens and fours.
Watson made it to the unofficial final table with a healthy stack of 800,000, and quickly took over the chip lead. His fortunes turned about an hour later, still nine handed, when he lost a huge stud-eight pot to Ghaneian’s trip nines. When Mike Wattel was eliminated shortly thereafter in ninth place for $15,424, Watson was on the final table, but with the third-shortest stack.
Playing less than four big bets, Watson managed to nurse his small stack and even attempt a comeback when he almost doubled in an Omaha-eight hand against David Levi. Watson was all in for his final 60,000 on the turn with the board reading . Levi reluctantly folded to the small bet. Watson managed to nurse the small stack through two eliminations, watching Jeffrey Mitseff exit in eighth for $20,093 and Jonathan Pineda go down in seventh for $26,669, before he finally finished in sixth place, adding $26,080 to his bankroll.
It was getting very late, but play continued to see Michael Trivett bust out in fifth spot, winning $49,775, and Ronald Schiffman go home in fourth with $70,067 in his pocket. Play continued three-handed till almost 2 a.m. before the decision to add a fourth day was made.
Robert Campbell will return on Day 4 as the chip leader with 2,670,000. With H.O.R.S.E cashes on both the Circuit and the big stage, Campbell is well positioned to win his first bracelet. Immediately on Campbell’s tail is the talkative and jovial Arash Ghaneian who will bring 2,270,000 to the table to start Day 4. Ghaneian has nine previous cashes at WSOP events, but this is his first cash outside the hold’em realm. Bringing up the rear is David Levi with 855,000. Levi’s career winnings at WSOP top half a million dollars, with much of it coming in mixed-game events, so Levi clearly has the experience to battle back from his short stack.
Action kicks off on the final leg of the race Saturday at 1 p.m. Pacific time.
Day 3 Ends in Star-Studded Final Table for $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Day 3 of Event #25: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed started with 23 players unzipping their bags and stacking their chips. Among those players still in contention for the bracelet at the start of Day 3 were two Canadians.
Action was fast and furious and it took less than five hours to turn 23 players into a final table of eight. Among those to fall along the way were both Canadians. Kris Steinbach finished in 13th for $24,213 while Ioannis Pentefountas managed one spot better with 12th place for $30,238. Other notable players to cash out during Day 3 included Jesse Sylvia (18th — $16,219) and Shaun Deeb (22nd — $16,219).
The final table is a star-studded affair. Pierre Milan was the only player over 3,000,000 at the end of Day 3, bagging 3,031,000. Milan won a bracelet last year in Event #29 and has more than $500,000 in eight WSOP cashes.
The other bracelet winner at the final table is short stack Dominik Nitsche. The German-born player has three bracelets to his name already, but has a steep hill to climb if he wants to come back from 861,000.
Even without bracelets, the rest of the final table are no rank amateurs. Jonathan Jaffee sits second in chips with 2,205,000 with Jonathan Little right behind him at 2,039,000. Add Dan O’Brien (fifth — 1,095,000) and Anthony Zinno (sixth — 908,000) to the table, and it’s clear the final table will qualify for the term “stacked.”
Play gets underway at 1 p.m. Pacific time.
Just Sixteen Remain in Largest Live Non-Hold’em Tournament Ever
Event #26: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha ended up being the largest non-hold’em poker tournament ever held at 1,293 entries. Just 129 of those players returned to the felt for Day 2, secure in the knowledge that they were all in the money. By the time play ended some 12 hours later, only 16 players remained with chips in front of them, including Curtis Krushelniski from Macklin, Saskatchewan.
Among the many who wouldn’t make the end of Day 2 were five Canadians. Al-Karim Lalani went the deepest on Day 2, finishing 18th for $8,332. The other Day 2 Canadian cashes are below.
Some notable non-Canadians to cash on Day 2 were Jeremy Ausmus (105th — $1,978), Marvin Rettenmaier (78th — $2,688), and Greg Merson (29th — $5,690). Action on the third and final day kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Final Table Set of Stud Championship Featuring Loads of Talent
The $10,000 events are named “Championship” for a reason, and they attract some of the best in the game at various disciplines. Event #27: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship was no exception.
The list of players who came back on Day 2 still looking for the Championship was illustrious. By the end of the day, just the final table of eight players remained holding chips. Among the 51 hopefuls who fell short of the money were Daniel Negreanu, Andre Akkari, Bryn Kenney, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, and Abe Mosseri.
Eight players cashed before the end of Day 2. David Steike managed 14th for $17,364 while mixed-game beast Rep Porter scored $23,463 for 10th.
Brian Hastings leads the final table looking for his second bracelet. While his first bracelet was in heads-up no-limit hold’em, four lifetime cashes in stud variant games show he knows his seven-card format. He will play 770,000 to start the final table.
Joining Hastings at the final table will be a few notable players. Chris George comes into the final table fifth in chips with 251,000 and while George is yet to earn his first bracelet, he brings eight cashes worth of experience in stud variant games to the table, including third in the recent Event #9: $1,500 Razz.
The winner of that aforementioned razz event, Max Pescatori, is sixth in chips to start the day. The recent razz bracelet was Pescatori’s third, and he has 46 lifetime WSOP cashes totalling nearly $2 million, much of it earned in mixed games.
Oxana Cummings will come to the final table with the shortest stack and, with only two WSOP cashes to her name, perhaps the least experience. Those two cashes were both stud events in 2014, however, so Cummings is clearly a player to watch in the seven-card format.
The full final table is below.
Action kicks off at 2 p.m local time.
Day 1a of Monster Stack Rampages into Rio
A Godzilla-sized field turned out for Day 1a of Event #28: Monster Stack $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em as more than 3,000 runners descended on the Rio to take their shot. By the end of the day, just 825 players still had chips left in front of them.
PokerNews Canada is doing a special feature on all the PlayNow qualifiers at the Rio for the Monster Stack, and you can read about the 12 qualifiers in the first flight in our first special feature by PokerNews Canada. Fifty-eight Canadians bagged chips at the end of Day 1a, some of whom are listed below.
A second starting flight gets underway at 10 a.m. Saturday heading to Day 2 on Sunday.
Details courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.