This year John Gale returned from three-year Hiatus caused by Brain Tumor to capture his second WSOP Bracelet at Event #18: $1,000 Turbo No-Limit. The fast-paced turbo event attracted 1,791 entries and only took two days to complete. The Englishman received $298,290 in prize money after defeating Gary Luther heads up.
Phil Hellmuth has just extended his lead further on the WSOP gold bracelet leaderboard after picking up his 14th bracelet in Event #17 $10,000 Razz Championship. He received $271,105 in prize money for his victory, which brings his total WSOP earnings to an incredible $12,512,8000! He has 109 cashes at the WSOP and 52 are final table appearances.
Shaun Deeb topped a stacked final table in the Event #15 $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship to capture his first bracelet and the first-place prize of $318,857. Deeb topped a field of 128 entries en route to the title, encountering plenty of tough competition along the way. Joining him at the final table were three gold bracelet winners in Paul Volpe, Sam Stein and 2012 world champion Greg Merson, as well as several other top pros in Jason Les, Dario Sammartino, Ismael Bojang, Kristijonas Andrulis and Jason.
Florida’s Barry Hutter took down the WSOP 2015 Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout in Las Vegas, collecting his first bracelet and vaulting himself into 2015 GPI WSOP Player of the Year contention.The $283,546 win marked Hutter’s 13th WSOP cash lifetime and third of the 2015 WSOP, including a 13th-place finish in the $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship and a 14th-place finish in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
Konstantin Maslak claimed the title for Event #13 – $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo for $269,612. Maslak, a 30-year old chess grandmaster from Russia topped a field of 474 players to lay hands on his first gold bracelet and $269,612 – the biggest score of his poker career that started back in 2009. This was his third cash at this year’s WSOP. He finished in-the-money in The Colossus, and also min-cashed the $1,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split event.
Idan Raviv became the first poker player from Israel to win a gold bracelet at 2015 WSOP. Israeli High-Tech Professional topped the field of 1,651 players to win Event #12 – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max which was played over a three-day period at the Rio in Las Vegas. International players dominated the event as finalists from Israel, England, Brazil, Canada, and the United States take the top six spots. He overcame a 2 to 1 chip disadvantage to England’s Iaron Lightbourne in the heads-up match to seize the victory and collected $457,007 prize money.
William Kakon won Event #11 – $1,500 Limit Hold’em. Miami based Real Estate Broker closed the deal and made history becoming the first Moroccan-Born Champion to win WSOP Gold Bracelet and $196,055 in prize money. The 38-year-old real estate broker and healthcare professional outplayed the field of 660 players over a three-day period in Rio. In the heads-up play, he defeated 45-year old Daniel Needleman from New York who collected $121,051 for second place finish.
Players not happy with the new card decks at 2015 WSOP
This year WSOP contracted a new playing card manufacturer, namely Modiano, to supply decks for the 2015 WSOP. This Italian company claimed to make 100 percent plastic playing cards constructed with its own proprietary platinum acetate. Even the company’s website claims that they are superior to competitors like Copag and Kem in “every aspect worthy of merit.” However, after the recent cheating caught at $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Event, a number of players are taking issue with that claim, including six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu and Andy Frankenberger.
According to Daniel Negreanu, “the quality of cards is too thin so they can be easily marked. The clubs and spades are similar in shape. A spade is usually pointy and has a rough edge. And the face cards, especially in the stud games, if you’re sitting at the other end of the table, it’s very difficult to distinguish between a king, queen and a jack. These are all complaints that have been echoed by most people.”
The Canadian pro tweeted:
Modiano supplied the new cards for the WSOP and are the worst cards I’ve seen since the ones that had Jeffrey Pollack’s name on them!
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) June 4, 2015
Keith Lehr captured his second piece of WSOP bracelet and $334,430 in first-place prize money after he defeated Pennsylvanian player Paul Volpe in the final match of Event #10: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship. For Lehr, who won his first bracelet 12 years ago in a $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event, this victory has been a long-time in the making. The event attracted a total of 143 entries that created a prize pool of $1,344,200.
Italian Poker Pro Max Pescatori claimed his third WSOP Bracelet in Event#9: $1,500 Razz. The event drew a field of 462 entries creating a total prize pool of $623,700. Popularly known as the Italian Pirate, Pescatori outlasted a tough field of 462 entrants and a final table which included 2 time WSOP bracelet winner, Eli Elezra. Pescatori eventually battled out Ryan Miller heads-up to win the title and to add $155,947 to his career live tournament earnings, which now exceed $3.7 million.
The Event#8: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em at the 46th Annual WSOP drew a field of 639 entrants, creating a total prize pool of $862,650. And, it was 24-year-old Paul Michaelis who defeated high-stakes poker pro Tom Marchese heads-up for his first gold bracelet and the $189,818 first-place prize. Marchese earned $117,199 for his runner-up finish, and currently sits in 27th place in the 2015 POY race. Originally from Germany, Michaelis, is a Graduate in Media & Communications Management, but considers himself a tournament poker specialist.
Dreams really come true at the World Series of Poker! Did you know this year a small-time circuit grinder from Houston, Texas has won the biggest tournament in the history of live poker? Yes! 25-year old Cord Garcia won the 2015 WSOP Event #5: THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold’em, outplaying a record-breaking 22,373 field to collect his first WSOP bracelet and a $638,880 first-place prize. The $5 million guaranteed $565 buy-in WSOP 2015 ‘Colossus’ no-limit hold’em event drew the largest field in live tournament history. An incredible total of 22,374 entries were made in the re-entry event, blowing away the guarantee to build a $11,187,000 prize pool. There were 14,284 unique players in this historic event, including 5,664 first-time WSOP players.
Player Caught Cheating in $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Event
The players who took part in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship have suspected an opponent of cheating his way to a fifth-place finish in the event. According to a Prague reporter and former Casino Manager, “the player “Valeriu Coca” in question has a history of marking cards that has seen him banned from casinos across the Czech Republic.”
Valeriu Coca from Moldova defeated Matt Marafioti, Pratyush Buddiga, Aaron Mermelstein, Connor Drinan, and Byron Kaverman before losing to Keith Lehr in the Round of 8. According to Connor Drinan Coca played very slow, double-checked his cards numerous times, and alleged this might have been part of his process of marking cards. Coca took very strange lines during the match, and also asked to see his chips time and time again. Drinan further said he started to get more and more paranoid, especially when he noticed that Coca never looked at his own cards before Drinan looked at his
WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky has confirmed that the WSOP is investigating and resolving the issue.