Six tournaments were active on Day 7 of the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP), the busiest day yet this series. The biggest live poker tournament of all time became more manageable, ending the day with just the final table remaining. A new bracelet was awarded in Event #7: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship, and the first razz event of the year went into its second day. As well, three hold'em tournaments are under way, including a pot-limit and the $10,000 heads-up tournament, as well as the beginning of Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold'em
Colossus Has Shrunk to Final Nine Players
After starting with a truly mind-blowing 22,374 entries, Event #5: The Colossus $565 No-Limit Hold'em is finally down to a single table. There were 39 remaining hopefuls who took to the felt Tuesday with all eyes set on the first-place prize of $638,880 as well as the coveted gold bracelet, which may even have a bit more cachet than usual as the trophy for the largest live poker tournament ever held.
Of the 39 remaining players, Canada had several strong hopes. At the top of that list was Mike Leah, winner of Event #10: High Roller No-Limit Hold'em at the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific. Leah came into the day with the most chips among all the Canadians, but ended up being the first player to exit. Leah finished 39th for $23,022.
The other two Canadians fared a little better. Timothy Vukson held on for 30th place and a $27,215 payday. Richard Robertson ended up as the top Canadian finisher in the Colossus, exiting in 25th place for $32,349.
The final-table bubble was decided by a brutal hand. Bradley Burns three-bet all in from the button after an open from chip leader Adi Prasetyo in middle position. Prasetyo called, and both players flipped over big slick, Burns' in spades, Prasetyo's in clubs. It looked like a chopped pot until the flop came down all clubs, sending Burns to the exit on the final-table bubble in brutal fashion. Burns won $55,968.
When the final nine players return on Wednesday, Prasetyo will be the massive chip leader holding nearly 40 million chips — over 30% of the total chips in play. The full final-table counts are below.
Tuan Le Does it Again; Back-to-Back Bracelets in Lowball Championship
It's pretty hard to argue who the best deuce-to-seven triple draw player in the world is right now. Tuan Le won the $10,000 Championship event in that game variant last summer at the WSOP, and now he has done it again in 2015 in Event #7: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship.
The 37 year-old from Los Angeles, California is the first player to win the same event in back-to-back years since 2009, and he joins a very elite group of players to have ever done so in the history of poker.
It all came down to a heads-up duel with Max Casal, and in the final hand the two players got all the chips in the middle before the first draw. Casal drew one card and Le drew three. On the second draw, Casal drew one again and Le drew two. On the third and final draw, Casal drew one yet again and laid down his while Le stood pat and spread on the table. Dramatically, Casal slowly squeezed his draw card, eventually flipping over for a pair and the losing hand. He earned $199,438 for his runner-up result while Le collected $322,756 for his repeat victory.
Here are the final-table results:
Jonathan Duhamel Falls Short of Day 3 in Pot-Limit Hold'em
Day 2 of Event #8: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em began with 108 survivors on Tuesday, but only 15 of them still had chips to play with at the end of the day. Our one Canadian hope, Jonathan Duhamel, was not one of them.
After being crushed part way through Day 1 of this event and bouncing back to a 12th-best stack by the end of the night, Duhamel returned on Day 2 as the only Canadian in the field. After lasting most of the day, it was clear Duhamel was not meant to win this event when he was delivered a bad beat.
Jesse Cohen raised preflop, Georgios Sotiropoulos three-bet it up on the button, and Duhamel got it all in with a four-bet from the small blind. Cohen got out of the way but Sotiropoulos made the call. According to the PokerNews Canada Poker Odds Calculator, Duhamel was a little more than an 80% favourite to win the hand with his over Sotiropoulos' , but the flop spelled doom when it came down . Duhamel never caught up to his opponent's set with the turn and river of and , and he was eliminated in 24th place for $5,883.
Some of the other notable players to collect a payout on Day 2 include Jesse Sylvia (31st — $4,830), Joe Cada (32nd — $4,830), Hiren Patel (38th — $4,011), Oleksii Khoroshenin (41st — $4,011), Antonio Esfandiari (45th — $4,011), and Chris Moorman (69th — $2,432).
Of the remaining 15 players who will return on Wednesday, David Eldridge holds a slim lead of 677,000 chips over Michel Leibgorin's 667,000. Paul Michaelis has 562,000 and Hillery Kerby holds 455,000 while the rest of the players have less than 300,000 each. They will return to the final two tables at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and another gold bracelet will be awarded before the day is through.
Chris George Leads Final 19 in $1,500 Razz
Ken Lo, author of A Poker Player’s Guide to Mixed Games: Core Strategies for HORSE, Eight-Game, Ten-Game, and Twelve-Game Mixes, describes razz as a game “of deep satisfaction and intense joy one moment, but utter disappointment and complete frustration the next.” That 462 players entered Event #9: $1,500 Razz shows the poker world is full of people looking for that emotional swing.
Day 2 started with 169 players still in contention for the $155,947 first-place prize. A total of 48 spots get paid so Day 2 was the day for players to make some money. After 10 one-hour levels of play, just 19 players bagged and tagged.
Leading the way is mixed-game specialist Chris George. With 15 WSOP cashes to his name, only two were in hold'em events. Having cashed in several stud and stud hi-lo events in past series, this is George's first razz cash, and he'll be looking to turn his 356,000 chips into his first WSOP bracelet.
The second stack belongs to another player familiar with non-hold'em games, Matthew Smith. Smith's biggest WSOP cash was seventh in the 2011 Event #44: $2,500 Seven Card Razz, so he is well positioned to turn his 307,000 chips into a deep run on Day 3.
The field going into Day 3 has some big names. Eli Elezra, who holds a bracelet in stud hi-lo from the 2007 WSOP, sits in fifth with 251,000. Bart Hanson, who may be better known for his Omaha hi-lo results, is only 6,000 behind Elezra with 245,000. A bit farther down the list is Max Pescatori in 10th with 197,000, and Day 1 chip leader Alexander Kuzmin is still holding on with 64,000.
With 48 places getting paid, nearly 30 people went home with cash today. Canada got another cash when Steven Cage finished 23rd for $4,540. He was crippled on a hand where he called down to seventh street showing against Matthew Smith's . When Smith showed for the 65, Cage mucked his hand and was left with just 4,000 chips. He was all in, and all out, on the next hand, giving his final few chips to Jason Schwartz.
Other notable cashes were Eric Crain (39 — $3,218), Thomas Bihl (41 — $2,738), and Tom Schneider (46 — $2,738). The final 19 take to the felt for Day 3 on Wednesday.
Timothy Adams with Chance to Win Canada's First Bracelet of 2015
The $10,000 events are always considered marquee events, and Event #10: $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship was no exception. The field was stacked with familiar pros right from the start with 143 players turning out. After four rounds of play on Day 1, just 16 players remain in contention for the title. All 16 players coming back to the felt on Wednesday are guaranteed at least $26,490 but everyone is eyeing the top prize of $334,430.
Most players got a bye in the first round, but 30 players were required to play. Those players, win or lose, were given a $5,000 refund for the inconvenience. Quite a few familiar faces fell in the first four levels, and players who paid their buy-in and left empty handed include Phil Hellmuth, Isaac Haxton, Brian Rast, Doug Polk and Erik Seidel. Canadians who tried and busted on Day 1 included Mark Radoja, Sorel Mizzi, and Matt Marafioti.
The 16 remaining players reads like a who's-who of high level poker. Triple bracelet winner and 2014 WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer is still in the hunt, as are Jake Schindler, Max Silver, Byron Kaverman, JC Tran, Olivier Busquet, and Paul Volpe, among many others.
The remaining Canadian hope is Burlington, Ontario's Timothy Adams. With one bracelet and 16 lifetime cashes at the WSOP under his belt, Adams is well positioned to compete for Canada's first bracelet of the year. The full line up for Day 2 is below.
Vigeant Best Among 15 Canadians Who Bag and Tag After One Day of Limit Hold'em
Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold'em kicked off Tuesday with 660 entries generating a prizepool of $891,000. There are 72 players guaranteed at least $2,512 and 225 players will return to fight for the top prize of $196,055.
Vasili Firsau sits on top of the chip counts with 65,200, but Canada's Froancois Vigeant is right behind in second, bagging 59,900. Vigeant leads 12 Canadians who made it through to Day 2, including James Meek with 44,300, and Calgary's Eric Tran with 42,900. The rest of the Canadian Day 2 hopefuls are below.
Other familiar faces to advance to Day 2 included Barry Greenstein in 33rd with 35,200 and Todd Brunson in 38th with 33,300. Canadians who tried and busted on Day 1 included Daniel Negreanu and Jonathan Duhamel, and other notables to cash included Phil Hellmuth, Huck Seed, and Jonathan Little.
Details and photo courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.