2015 WSOP Day 39: Anthony Spinella Wins First-Ever Online Bracelet; Dan Idema in Final Three of Stud Hi-Lo
Jack Duong is the Bounty Winner
Event #62: $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em required an unscheduled Day 4 before a winner was found. Late in the day on Day 3, play was called still heads up between Jack Duong and Vitezslav Pesta.
Duong came into the impromptu Day 4 the massive chip leader, with more than a 15-to-1 chip lead. Once players returned to the felt, Pesta managed to claw a few chips back with an early double-up, but Duong’s massive advantage was just too big to overcome.
The final hand played itself. Pesta moved in from the button with jacks and Duong called with kings. The flop of put Duong way in front, and the turn sealed Pesta’s fate. The on the river was irrelevant as Pesta won $206,734 for second, and Duong won his first bracelet and $333,351.
Anthony Spinella Goes Down in History as First-Ever Online WSOP Bracelet Winner
It’s never been done before. For the first time ever, the WSOP hosted a bracelet event online with players competing on the digital felts of WSOP.com. It began on Thursday with 905 players paying $1,000 each to take part in Event #64: WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em, and play paused with the final table of six to break for a day and resume on Saturday live at the Rio on a real table.
At the time of our last recap, only their online aliases were known, but now we know the real names and faces of those six final-tablists. Here are their names and finishing order:
Varnell held the chip lead with Spinella not far behind when play began at noon on Saturday, and it took less than three hours and exactly 82 hands for Spinella to earn his first WSOP bracelet and $197,743.
Dan Idema Two Players Away from Second Bracelet in 2015
When Day 3 of Event #65: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better began, 17 players of the original 547 still remained in the hunt for the top prize of $180,943. Among them was Dan Idema of Vancouver, B.C. sitting fifth in chips with 306,000 when Day 3 began.
John Esposito led the way at the end of Day 2, bagging 630,000, the only player to crack the 600,000 mark. The second place stack of 586,000 belonged to Gerald Ringe of the United Kingdom. Other notable players to bring chips to Day 3 included Todd Brunson, John Monette, and Jesse Martin.
It took six hours for players to reach the final table, but they wouldn’t be able to get down to a winner in the next eight. Along the way, many players inevitably fell, but Idema was able to stay in the mix. Among those to cash were Jesse Martin (14th — $7,716), Todd Brunson (13th — $7,716), and John Monnette (12th — $9,636). Chip leader to start the day John Esposito finished fifth for $36,811.
Nearly 13 hours after they began, there were still three players sitting at the table with chips, and among them was Vancouver’s Idema, playing the small stack of 540,000. Gerald Ringe, second stack to start the day, was still in second place, bagging 1,625,000 at the end of the night.
It will be Christopher Vitch of the U.K. who will bring the most chips into the unscheduled Day 4. Looking for his first bracelet in his 11th cash, Vitch will bring 1,940,000. Canada’s Idema is the only bracelet winner still left in the hunt, holding three of his own, one of which was earned earlier this summer. If he can spin his small stack into gold, it will be his fourth lifetime bracelet, and second in 2015.
Two Canadians Remain Among 61 in Lucky Sevens
“Lucky Sevens” is a new event at the WSOP for 2015 with a lower buy-in than most events and a bit of a different format. Two entry flights began and concluded on Day 1 with 40-minute levels before the blinds were lengthened to an hour thereafter. The new offering was obviously appealing, as 4,422 entries created a prize pool of $3,095,400 in Event #66: $777 Lucky Sevens No-Limit Hold’em.
When Day 2 resumed with the two starting fields combined on Saturday, just 618 players remained. By the end of play, only 61 players still had chips and were deep in the money. Among them, just two Canadians remain. Brian Macnevin will return on Sunday with 389,000 chips for a 20th-best stack, while Li Fu will be playing 291,000 when action resumes.
A few notable players are still in the hunt like Matt Matros (699,000), Faraz Jaka (659,000), Brett Shaffer (246,000), and Kevin MacPhee (229,000). They’ll all be back at 2 p.m. for what is supposed to be the final day on Sunday, but almost certainly won’t be with the amount of players left.
Rep Porter Leads Final Dozen in Dealer’s Choice Championship
The 19-game mix of WSOP’s dealer’s choice is quickly gaining prestige as one of best skill-testing poker tournament on the schedule. Event #67: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship is the final tournament before the truly prestigious Main Event, and Day 2 resumed on Saturday with 61 players.
There were a whole slew of talented mixed-game specialist who had chips to return to on Saturday, and three of Canada’s best were among them. Shawn Buchanan, Mike Leah, and Daniel Negreanu were still in contention for the bracelet. But, by the end of play when only 12 players remained, none of our three Canadians were still playing.
The scheduled 10 levels of play for Saturday were not quite enough for these players as they were determined to finish hand-for-hand play on the money bubble. It took an extra 30 minutes, but Aleksandr Denisov was eventually eliminated, bursting the bubble and sending these dozen players to bed for the night.
The returning players are now guaranteed at least $21,908, but the real prize is the $319,792 and gold WSOP bracelet for the eventual first-place finisher. Some of the notable players looking for that title are David Benyamine, David Chiu, Jeff Madsen, Rep Porter, and Paul Volpe. They’ll be back at 2 p.m. on Sunday to determine the winner of the first-ever Dealer’s Choice Championship.
Details courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.