2015 WSOP Day 31: Three Bracelets Awarded to Three First-Time Winners

2015 WSOP

Matt O’Donnell Wins $2,500 Hold’em in Third Final Table of Five WSOP Cashes

Event #47: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em needed an extra day to determine who would earn more than half a million dollars and the prized WSOP gold bracelet. The last five players returned to the table on Friday to play out the last of the 1,244-player tournament.

It still took another six and a half hours to play down to a champion, and the one holding the bracelet at the end was Matt O’Donnell. This was the Floridian’s fifth WSOP cash and his third final table. His previous best result was a second-place finish in the $10,000 pot-limit hold’em championship event in 2014, and his win on Friday earned him more than double his runner-up cash.

A very short-stacked Andrew Dean returned to the table for just four hands before being eliminated at the hands of Timur Margolin. The two got it all in preflop and Margolin had the best of it with {a-Hearts}{9-Clubs} over Dean’s {10-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} The board ran out with a pair for Dean but two better pairs for Margolin, and Dean left to collect fifth-place money of $115,637.

The next to go was Andy Black after check-raising a {k-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{7-Spades} flop with top pair and facing an all-in bet by Matt O’Donnell. Black’s {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts} was the last hand he’d be dealt this tournament, as O’Donnell’s {a-Clubs}{a-Hearts} held up through the {7-Clubs} turn and {4-Diamonds} river. Black earned $156,759.

Just four hands later, O’Donnell was calling an all-in raise from Brandon Wittmeyer preflop. O’Donnell was behind this time with {q-Hearts}{10-Clubs} against Wittmeyer’s {k-Clubs}{j-Hearts}, but the queen in the window foreshadowed impending doom, and Wittmeyer never caught up, collecting $215,964 for third place.

Heads-up play between Matt O’Donnell and Timur Margolin took another 87 hands before the winner was decided. The short-stacked Margolin eventually called a three-bet shove preflop with red sixes against O’Donnell’s queen-jack. When the board ran out {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{q-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}, O’Donnell had the best of it and earned his first bracelet along with $551,941. Margolin earned $341,338 for being second-best.

First-Time Bracelet Winner Takes Down PLO8

Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better took the scheduled three days to play down from 815 entries on Day 1. At the start of Day 3, just 21 players remained with chips in front of them. They were all guaranteed $7,217, but all had their eyes on the top prize of $231,102.

Action was fast and furious to start the day, and it took barely three hours go from 21 players down to the unofficial final table of 10. Among those to fall along the way included multiple bracelet winners Vanessa Selbst (17th — $8,813) and Erik Seidel (14th — $10,969). Galen Hall, who led the chip counts at the start of the day, finished 13th, also for $10,969.

Anthony Piazza was the final-table bubble. He got his chips in on a four-bet holding {A-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{5-Hearts} versus Mark Dube’s {A-Clubs}{K-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{2-Hearts}. The board was not kind to Piazza, coming {4-Spades}{Q-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} to brick for low and give Dube two pairs. The bubble finish was worth $13,643 for Piazza.

The official final table included 2014 WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer, cashing in his third event in 2015. Danzer finished eighth for $22,181. Also at the final table was Connor Drinan (fourth — $67,555), who suffered the most horrific beat in last year's Big One for One Drop, losing {A-}{A-} versus {A-}{A-} to a flush, as well as the most colourfully named player in the 2015 WSOP, Prince of Docness (seventh — $28,771).

Heads-up play was down to Young Ji and Mark Dube, both of whom were looking to score their first bracelet in their seventh WSOP cash. Only one would accomplish that feat while the other would have to settle for second.

Mark Dube began heads-up play as the chip leader, but after a two-hour battle, it would be Young Ji who emerged on top when he rivered two pairs to scoop the final pot. Dube had to settle for second place and $142,449 in his seventh WSOP cash, while Ji claimed the bracelet and $213,102.

Ben Yu Comes From Behind to Win First Bracelet

There was a time when limit hold’em was a marquee event. Despite that time being past, 117 players turned out for Event #50: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. By the time two days of play were complete, just 11 players remained looking to win the top prize of $291,456.

Leading the way by a huge margin to start the day was Justin Bonomo with 910,000. The bracelet winner already notched his 33rd cash before sitting down at the table. Alexandr Denisov and Jesse Martin rounded out the top three with 626,000 and 378,000 respectively.

Also advancing to Day 3 was Terrence Chan of Vancouver, B.C. Chan is still looking for his first bracelet, but his 31 cashes, including several final-table appearances, indicate it’s only a matter of time until Chan captures his first bracelet. Chan finished ninth, pocketing $27,341.

Chip leader to start the day, Justin Bonomo could only manage a third place, winning $130,480. Anthony Zinno, who has been tearing up the WPT circuit in recent months, finished fifth for $72,377.

Heads-up was between Ben Yu and Jesse Martin. Yu began heads up play with the chip lead, but the two battled for nearly three hours before Yu was able to secure his first bracelet. The crucial hand that left Martin crippled saw Martin raise and Yu call preflop. Yu check-raised the {9-Clubs}{5-Spades}{7-Diamonds} flop and Martin called the extra bet. Yu led out on the {9-Spades} turn and Martin called. Yu led again when a {j-Hearts} hit the river with Martin calling behind, only to muck his hand when Yu showed {10-Hearts}{8-Clubs} for the rivered straight.

Martin collected $180,114 for his second-place finish, while Yu won $291,456, the gold bracelet, and the right to call himself “Limit Hold’em Champion of 2015.”

Timothy Adams Makes Final Day of $3K 6-Max Hold’em

When Event #51: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed got back under way on Friday, 285 of the original 1,043 players returned to the tables, including a dozen Canadians. By the end of the day, only 35 players remained with just one Canadian still in it.

The bubble burst with 108 players remaining, and just three Canadians were still in it at that point. Gareth Struivig De Groot was the first to collect a payout, receiving the min-cash of $5,666 for 103rd. Griffin Benger hung around longer, making it to 51st before losing the last of his chips, earning $8,627. That left just Timothy Adams with chips to bag for Sunday’s Day 3. He will return with 611,000, good for ninth overall.

Jason Les will lead the field when action resumes, and some of the notables still in the tournament include Stephen Chidwick (773,000), Taylor Paur (530,000), Mohsin Charania (457,000), and Amir Lehavot (249,000). They’ll be back at it at 1 p.m. on Sunday and the plan is to play down to a champion — a title worth $640,711.

Final Eleven in Dealers Choice Led by Szymaszek

Day 2 of Event #52: $1,500 Dealers Choice started with 75 people tearing open their bags and stacking their chips. After 12 hours of poker action of all varieties, just 11 players remain in contention for the title.

Leading the way into the final day is Matt Szymaszek who brings 446,500 to the table. This is Szymaszek’s fifth cash at the WSOP, and he’s looking to turn his chip lead into his first bracelet. He will have tough competition from second place stack Robert Mizrachi, playing 391,000. Mizrachi increased his bracelet count to three earlier this summer, winning the $1,500 Omaha hi-lo, and is looking to repeat as winner of this event, after taking down the top prize last year.

Carol Fuchs rounds out the top three with 319,500. Fuchs has only one cash at the WSOP, but it was from 10-game mix last year. Coupled with a resume littered with H.O.R.S.E. and mixed-game cashes at lower buy-ins, Fuchs is a force to be reckoned with in any mixed-game tournament.

The top 36 players got paid in this event, and that list included one Canadian. Mike Leah scored his eighth cash this summer, finishing in 27th for $3,445. The cash means Leah sits in eighth spot overall in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Other notables to cash on Day 2 include Todd Brunson (32nd — $2,838), Jeff Lisandro (29th — $3,445), Jeremy Ausmus (26th — $3,445), Jesse Sylvia (23rd — $4,188), Tom Schneider (21st — $4,188), Kevin MacPhee (18th — $5,258), Randy Ohel (13th — $5,358) and Scott Blackman (12th — $6,756).

Action kicks off on the final day of the Dealers Choice at 2 p.m. Pacific time. Seat draws for the final day are below.

Table 446

SeatPlayerChips
1Empty--
2Ilya Krupin212,000
3Matt Szymaszek446,500
4Viktor Celikovsky266,000
5Anton Smirnov80,500
6Konstantin Maslak167,500

Table 449

SeatPlayerChips
1Robert Mizrachi391,000
2Carol Fuchs319,500
3Chris Klodnicki308,000
4Yuval Bronshtein178,500
5Jens Lakemeier115,000
6Scott Clements170,000

Canadian Second After First Day of Ladies Championship

Poker is often a hostile environment for women, and many female newcomers to the game are deeply intimidated sitting down at a table full of men, especially in an environment where alcohol and emotions can both run freely. Event #53: $10,000/$1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship seeks to provide a safe environment for women to experience high-level tournament poker.

A lot of women were looking for that safe space, as 795 players turned out for the event. After 10 full levels of play, just 121 ladies remained fighting for one of the 81 paid spots. The $715,000 prizepool means that 81st place will pocket $1,781 while the winner will receive $153,876 to go with a shiny gold bracelet.

After one day of play, Russian Irina Batorevich leads the chip counts with 117,400. Batorevich cashed in this event in 2011 and 2013, which means if the pattern holds, she is headed for a cash again in 2015.

Less than 10,000 chips behind Batorevich is Canadian Stephanie Ampelikiotis from Toronto. Ampelikiotis cashed in this year’s PCA ladies event, but if she manages to play her 108,200 chips into a cash here, it will mark her biggest score ever.

Nine other Canadians managed to survive the first day of play, and are listed below.

RankNameChips
20Mandy Jimmie50,700
22Elizabeth Bennettmartin50,000
34Parminderjit Mehmi40,300
36Nicole Cervenka40,000
45Marie Jespersen34,600
53Wing Chan27,900
54Cindy Kerslake27,500
79Mei Yang20,000
102Li Fu13,100

Play for Day 2 of the ladies event kicks off at 1 p.m. Pacific.

Seven Canadians Advance to Day 2 of Pot-Limit Omaha Championship

Pot-limit Omaha is a game of massive swings. The edges are often tiny, and flopped nuts can turn into little more than a bluff catcher by the river. The first day of Event #54: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship saw 387 of the world’s best at negotiating those tiny edges sit down to take a shot.

After 10 levels of play, just 134 players remained in contention for the top prize of $927,655. Just 40 players will get paid in this event, with the minimum payout set at $19,716, so most of the players returning on Day 2 will go home empty-handed.

Leading the way into Day 2 is American George Medrano with 320,800. Brazil’s Yuri Dzivielevski is a distant second with 256,000 and Australian Warwick Mirzikinian is third with 246,800. Of the top three stacks, only Dzivielevski has any WSOP results, bringing the experience of six previous cashes into Day 2.

Seven Canadians are still in the pot, bagging chips at the end of Day 1. At the top of the Canadian heap is Sam Chartier in 31st with 115,200. Chartier is still looking for his first bracelet after ten cashes. The rest of the Canadians coming back to the felt for Day 2 are below.

RankPlayerChips
39Michael Baxter104,400
50Mike Leah88,000
56Kyle Johnson84,500
71Sorel Mizzi72,100
76Matt Marafioti67,000
121Stephen Ladowsky24,300

Not everyone was so lucky to make it through the day of course. Daniel Negreanu was one of the unfortunate ones to bust on Day 1, as were Juha Helppi, Bruno Fitoussi, Brian Hastings, and Scott Seiver. A few of the better-known names to advance to Day 2 include David Benyamine (160,000), Shaun Deeb (124,700), Ted Forrest (81,500), Brian Rast (67,700), and Jason Mercier (61,600).

Action on Day 2 starts at 2 p.m. Pacific time.

Details courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.

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