The 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicked off on Wednesday afternoon at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino with the first two of 68 events, namely the $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em and the first open event, the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em.
Stephen Gilbert Leads Final 51 in Event #1
This year’s Casino Employees event attracted 688 players who created a $344,000 prize pool, a prize pool that has already started to be divvied out thanks to those 688 being whittled down to only 51 over the course of 15 levels of play.
PokerNews’ Chad Holloway, who won this event in 2013, couldn’t reproduce that success and bowed out before the final 72 players were paid out. Sadly, the same is true of European Poker Media Person of the Year Nominee Lee Davy who got his stack in with versus his opponent’s only for a jack to land on the river to send Davy to the showers.
Play continues at 1:00 p.m local time on Thursday and here are the current forerunners on course for the first WSOP bracelet of 2015.
Ludovic Geilich Second in Chips in Evemt #2
A field of 422 turned out for the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, creating a near $2 million prize pool. The $1,983,400 is to be shared among the top 45 finishers with a min-cash being worth $9,381 and the eventual champion scooping a cool $466,120.
Topping the chip counts of the 171 surviving players is Darryl Ronconi from Naperville, Illinois who bagged up 211,100 chips and was the only player to break through the 200,000 barrier. Ronconi has more than $1.25 million in live tournament winnings, an impressive figure helped by three WSOP final table appearances, including a runner-up finish in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Triple Chance event in 2011 that bagged him $510,053.
Hot on Ronconi’s heels is everyone’s favourite hyper-aggressive Scotsman, Ludovic Geilich. The former UKIPT Marbella champion is in hot form right now and it showed as he bamboozled his opponents on his way to finishing with 194,000 chips, and while there are still another three days of play to get through, Geilich has given himself every chance of kicking off the series in style.
A number of other Brits punched their tickets for Day 2 including Sebastian Saffari whose 143,500 chips are enough to place him in the top 10 at the end of Day 1. Also through are John Gale (121,300), Oliver Price (90,200), Stephen Chidwick (71,700), Simon Deadman (67,400), Craig McCorkell (65,200), Roberto Romanello (56,000), Patrick Leonard (50,600), Ireland’s Marc Macdonnell (36,500), Chris Moorman (32,000), and Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (15,600).
Sadly, Day 1 wasn’t so kind to the likes of Max Silver, Toby Lewis, or David Vamplew who all crashed out before the close of play.
The rest of the surviving players reads like a who’s who of international poker with reigning WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson (173,800), Joseph Cheong (111,500), Greg Merson (100,600), Bryn Kenney (80,000), Brian Rast (78,300), Byron Kaverman (74,300), Faraz Jaka (68,300), Kevin MacPhee (64,000), WPT Amsterdam High Roller champion Jason Wheeler (50,300), Fabian Quoss (43,000), and Phil Hellmuth (34,500) being among the 171 players who had chips to bag at the end of the night.
2015 WSOP Event #2 End-of-Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts
Day 2 of the 2015 WSOP sees the conclusion of the Employees tournament (Event #1), Day 2 of the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em (Event #2), and the start of both the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo (Event #3) and the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout (Event #4). Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Friday to see what went down in Las Vegas.