Day 24 of the 2015 World Series of Poker was a busy one with eight tournaments running. Three bracelets were awarded, one event is heads-up for a bracelet, two events neared a final table and two Day 1's kicked off.
Byron Kaverman Captures His First Bracelet
Event #37: $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em Championship is always one of the most prestigious at the WSOP and this year was no different. The final table was stacked with Paul Volpe, Doug Polk, Fedor Holz, Thomas Mueloecker, Byron Kaverman and Sam Greenwood. Combined, the final table participants had about $18 million in live tournament winnings. When it was all said and done, Kaverman was the last man standing.
"Definitely the toughest," Kaverman said, when asked where this final table ranks in the many he's made in his career. "The final table was very very tough, but things went my way. It feels good."
Kaverman faced Polk heads-up for the bracelet and scored a devastating blow on the third hand of heads-up play. With the blinds and antes at the 25,000/50,000/5,000 level, Kaverman (with 5,475,000 to start the hand) opened the button to 125,000 and Polk (with 2,295,000 to start the hand) defended his big blind. The flop came down and Polk check-called 150,000 from Kaverman to see the turn. Polk check-called another 325,000 form Kaverman, landing the river to the board. A third check from Polk led to a third bet from Kaverman, this one for 1.1 million. Polk called, but mucked Kaverman tabled for the nut straight. The WSOP live stream later revealed Polk held for two pair.
That hand left Polk with just 12 big blinds and his chips got into the middle seven hands later with against Kaverman's . The board ran out a clean for Kaverman, clinching the victory and the first WSOP bracelet for the Columbus, Ohio native.
"It was definitely thrilling. Going into the summer this is one of the events that I got really motivated for."
Final Table Results
|1||Byron Kaverman||Columbus, OH||$657,351|
|2||Doug Polk||Las Vegas, NV||$406,261|
|4||Thomas Muehloecker||Wien, Austria||$182,448|
|5||Sam Greenwood||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||$126,745|
|6||Paul Volpe||West Chester, PA||$89,934|
Daniel Idema Wins His Third Bracelet
Event #35: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. needed four days to reach a winner as Matt Vengrin, Daniel Idema and Kevin Iacofano went the distance. They returned on Friday with Vengrin holding a solid chip lead on his opponents. However, Idema rode a furious rush to come from behind and win his third gold bracelet.
Final Table Results
|1||Daniel Idema||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||$261,774|
|2||Matt Vengrin||Henderson, NV||$161,680|
|3||Kevin Iacofano||Chicago, IL||$104,280|
|4||John Racener||Port Richey, FL||$75,559|
|5||Iakov Nepomnyashchiy||Moscow, Russia||$55,553|
|6||Paul Sexton||Henderson, NV||$41,438|
|7||Randy Ohel||Las Vegas, NV||$31,358|
|8||Taylor Paur||El Dorado Hills, CA||$24,070|
Andre Boyer Gets Second Bracelet 10 Years After First
A four-day tournament with one day devoted to six-max play and another devoted to a two-round heads-up bracket. If that sounds like a format that suits online-bred players used to short-handed play and able to grind out long, draining hours, that's probably because it is.
However, it was a player from the old school emerging to top the field in Event #34: $1,500 Split-Format No-Limit Hold'em at the 2015 World Series of Poker. Quebec's Andre Boyer, 72, defeated a field of 873 to take down his second gold bracelet and $250,483 in prize money.
The split-format mechanic meant Day 1 was comprised of full-table play, Day 2 was six-max, and Day 3 was heads up, with each player who emerged from two matches making up a final table of eight.
Back in 2005, Boyer beat noted pro Matt Glantz heads up in a $3,000 no-limit hold'em event, winning $682,810 in prize money. His first taste of big time tournament success predates even 2005, though. Back in 1996, he advanced to the final table of the Main Event. There, he finished sixth for $97,500 in the tournament eventually won by Huck Seed.
Boyer still ranks his first bracelet win as the most special moment of his poker career, but this one was special for a different reason, as both Boyer and his heads-up opponent, Frenchman Erwann Pecheux, enjoyed the support of a raucous francophone crowd.
The moment very nearly never came for Boyer, though, as he was down to his last card and in need of major help against Pecheux. At a severe chip deficit, Boyer shoved his last few big blinds in with on a flop and got called by Pecheux and his . The gave Boyer hope of a chop, but he got one better in the river. Just six hands later, it was all over and the septuagenarian had his second bracelet.
“Poker is no different than any other trade,” he observed. “A plumber doesn't do plumbing today like he did 15 years ago. The players who can adapt to the changes in poker can make it.”
Final Table Results
|1||Andre Boyer||Quebec, Canada||$250,483|
|4||Chris Bolek||Boca Raton, FL||$76,605|
|5||Gavin O'Rourke||Portloaise, Ireland||$55,981|
|6||Jonas Christensen||Holback, Denmark||$41,249|
|7||Idan Raviv||Holon, Israel||$30,053|
|8||Isaac Kawa||Brussels, Belgium||$21,096|
Wunstel Versus Saul for PLO Title
Two are left in Event #36: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, and tomorrow either Corrie Wunstel or Kevin “BeLOWaBOVe” Saul will become a WSOP champion for the first time. The two declined to play an optional extra level and bagged with Wunstel holding 4.55 million and Saul 2.785 million as blinds are set to climb to 60,000/120,000 when play resumes.
The field of 978 had already been reduced to 19 entering Day 3. Marcel Vonk (19th place), Jared Ingles (14th), Nikolai Sears (12th), and Dmitrii Valouev (11th) were among the players to bust as Wunstel and Saul emerged to do heads-up battle. Valouev and Vonk were looking to score back-to-back final table appearances in the event.
Saul and Wunstel will meet at 2 p.m. to determine which player will take the bracelet and $267,435 and which will walk away $165,147 and a broken heart.
Hastings Closing in on Second Bracelet of 2015
Brian Hastings has already made 2015 a summer to remember, grabbing his second gold bracelet and $239,518 in winnings in the $10,000 Stud Championship and collecting on a pile of prop bets in the process. He's on the verge of adding to that tally in Event #39: $1,500 Six-Max 10-Game, where he leads nine remaining players after two days of play.
Hastings' 651,000 stack gives him a sizable lead over second-place Tim Reusch (434,000). Hastings' fellow bracelet winners Owais Ahmed (383,500) and Todd Brunson (191,500) also bagged. Alexey Makarov (352,000), Mike Watson (277,000), Eric Wasserson (255,000),Rostislav Tsodikov (206,500), and Dan Matsuzuki (96,000) are the other players to advance to Day 3.
A total of 89 players started the day. The money bubble burst when 42 players remained. Matt Glantz (10th place), Bruno Fitoussi (12th), Dan Kelly (15th), Phil Hellmuth (17th), Eli Elezra (24th), Jeff Lisandro (26th), and Daniel Negreanu (41st) were some of the players cashing in the tournament.
Glantz got sent home in a brutal spot that powered Hastings to his lead just as the night neared its end. The two were playing PLO, and saw a flop. Glantz barreled all three streets as the and hit, and Hastings shoved on the river. Glantz called with , but Hastings had hit a better boat with .
Day 3 is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, so check back and see if Hastings can put together a summer for the ages.
Savard Leads Final 49 in $3K No-Limit Hold'em
Event #38: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em began Thursday with a field of 989. After two days of play, just 49 players remain with hopes of capturing the first-place prize of $546,843.
Among those who made the money but busted on Day 2 include Brian Rast (52nd - $9,962), Matt Marafioti (58th - $8,612) and Tristan Wade (82nd - 6,047).
Top 5 Day 2 Chip Counts
|1||Jean Pascal Savard||1,066,000|
Others still in the field include Jesse Sylvia (422,000), Chris Moorman (383,000), Eric Baldwin (358,000), Barry Hutter (353,000), Ankush Mandavia (203,000) and Aaron Massey (194,000).
Play resumes at 1 p.m. Saturday, where the plan is to play down to a winner.
Seniors' Event Draws Big Again
A year after it drew 4,425 players, Event #40: $1,000 Seniors' No-Limit Hold'em Championship pulled in a healthy 4,193. After 11 levels, Dale Eberle notched the chip lead, having run his starting stack of 5,000 up to 160,000. He leads the 566 survivors.
John Holley (59,500), TJ Cloutier (58,100), Robert Cheung (43,200), Allyn Shulman (21,400), Ted Forrest (18,700), Scott Lazar (16,500), and Jim MacManus (12,800) were some of the well-known Seniors Event eligible players – at least 50 years old – to make to Day 2.
Defending champ Dan Heimiller was among those eliminated.
Play resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday at 600/1,200/200, and the field should hit the money fairly early on as 423 will cash.
Top 10 Chip Counts
|Did Not Report||111,900|
Ryan Miller Leads $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship
A field of 111 came to play Event #41: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Championship. After 10 levels on Day 1, just 64 remain and on top of the chip counts with 135,600 is Ryan Miller, Earlier this summer, Miller finished runner-up in the $1,500 Razz event to Max Pescatori, who happens to be third in chips with 122,100.
A slew of big names remain in the field, including Norman Chad (89,400), John Racener (88,500), Mike Leah (70,000), Daniel Negreanu (65,600), Phil Galfond (65,300), and Stephen Chidwick (47,100).
Day 2 commences at 2 p.m. Saturday where another 10 levels will be played.