All spotlights of the poker world turned towards the Mecca of Poker – Las Vegas on May 27 as the 46th Annual World Series of Poker begun at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Thousands of poker enthusiasts from around the world assembled in the sin city to vie for the most prestigious titles awarded in form of the illustrious gold bracelets and the massive prize money. The notable pros of the industry also joined this extravaganza while a few of them are still to hit the table.
In the first 7 days of 2015 WSOP, 6 events crowned its champions while The Colossus which drew the biggest filed in poker tournament history has reached its final day. Talking about the pros, Phil Hellmuth has played 3 events in the first seven days while Erik Seidel played 2 events. The Team PokerStars pros Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Selbst were among the late attendees and have played 1 event each. Vanessa Rousso survived in The Colossus and made to the money-list in 1558th place pocketing $1957. The American pro Phil Ivey is yet to begin his 2015 WSOP bracelet hunt. Among the Indian players, Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal and Mauris Noronha were the early regs to play in 2015 WSOP. Mauris brought the first cash for India in The Colossus finishing 1310th for $2,315.
Brandon Barnette became the first gold bracelet winner of 2015 WSOP at the Rio Las Vegas. Barnette won Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em after outplaying a stacked field of 688 players, and collected first-place prize money totaling $75,704. 29-year-old, Barnette is a duel-rate poker supervisor from Corona, CA who has dealt two years previously at the WSOP — in 2010 and 2012. Following two long days of steady competition, Barnette joined the final table of nine players as the chip leader, and Greg Seiden was his main rival during the finale. Did you know Barnette is a champion of two different competitions now? Yes, he has previously played on the world championship roller hockey team, which won three such titles.
Michael Wang won Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Event at WSOP 2015. Besides tough competitors like former bracelet winners Bryn Kenney, Amir Lehavot and Greg Merson, red hot Jason Wheeler, Byron Kaverman and Joe Ebanks, the 26-year-old Wang came out on top for his first career WSOP bracelet and the $466,120 first-place prize that came in the first open event of the summer. The event saw participation of a total of 422 entrants in the event, creating a total prize pool of $1,983,400.
Las Vegas-based poker pro Robert Mizrachi captured the title of Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. Mizrachi topped the field of 918 entries to win the amount of $251,022 and his third-ever WSOP bracelet. Mizrachi had to face Jacob Dahl in a tough heads-up play. Dahl was the chip leader with a 2:1 advantage over his prominent opponent at the beginning of the game. Event #3 created a prize pool of $1,239,300, and of 918 entrants, only the top 117 finishers were to be paid with the payouts starting from $2,354.
Nick Petrangelo emerged victorious in Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout at the 2015 World Series of Poker. This is the first-ever WSOP gold bracelet for the 28-year-old Petrangelo. He overcame the final table that featured three former bracelet winners in Loni Harwood, Brian Lemke and Leo Wolpert. The event began with 308 entrants spread out onto 40 tables, and in the end Petrangelo and Jason Les locked horns in heads-up for the title. Petrangelo has been awarded the $201,812 for first-place prize.
Turbo tournaments have long been a staple of poker, and the WSOP has always aimed to please players who enjoy a faster structure with Event #6: $1,000 Hyper Hold’em, featuring 20-minute blind levels. Indeed, it just took 48 hands to wrap up hyper hold’em event, and in the climax Minnesota pro John Reading emerged as the speed demon, claiming $252,068 and his first gold WSOP bracelet.
This year again Tuan Le seized the title of Event #7: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship. With this title, California Poker Pro became the first player to repeat as Champion in Same WSOP Gold Bracelet Event Since 2009. 37-year old Le, who defeated a similar field size last year, pocketed the $322,756 top prize, and picked up his second gold bracelet. Le topped a final table packed with four gold bracelet winners including Phil Galfond, Rep Porter, Calvin Anderson (along with Le). However, his toughest opponent proved to be Max Casal who was also his opponent in heads-up play.
Event #5: THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold’em
The COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold’em has reached its final table led by Aditya Prasetyo with over 39 million in chips. Kenny Hallaert of Belgium is the only non-American player on the FT and with 18,575,000 chips he will start 2nd in the chip count. In just over 12 hours, another World Series of Poker bracelet winner will be crowned. The event began with four starting flights, and over 22,300 players took a shot in the history of biggest live tournament at WSOP glory. After 3 grueling days of play, the final 9 will aim for the bracelet of the world’s largest poker tournament which brings $640,000 in the top prize.