Keith Lehr added a second bracelet to double his collection, and amateur player William Kakon made the WSOP dream come true by acquiring his first.
Event #10: $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship
Play lasted just 24 hands before Keith Lehr beat Paul Volpe to win the $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship.
“I just hung in there and I didn’t really catch real good, but I caught some hands at some key times and got some double ups. That’s about it. None of them were really any easier than the others. They’re all tough players,” said Lehr after the match.
On his way to winning his second bracelet—the first came in 2003—Lehr knocked out Valeriu Coca who has been accused by some players of cheating during the tournament. The WSOP is investigating the allegations but no conclusions have yet been reached.
Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold’em
The victory of amateur William Kakon in the $1,500 NLHE event keeps the dream alive—WSOP bracelets can and will continue to be won by non-professional players.
The Miami real estate broker was born in Morocco and is the first person from the country to have won a bracelet.
“I’m a very competitive person,” Kakon revealed, somewhat overstating the obvious given his domination of the later stages of this tournament. “If it’s business or poker, I just play to win all the time.”
He beat a final table that included Shannon Shorr, Kevin Song and Brandon Cantu on his way to taking the $196,055 first prize.
Event #12: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed
With only 25 of the starting 1,651 players remaining, two-time bracelet winner Steve Billirakis has the chip lead in event #12.
Most of the big names who entered the event failed to survive the second day with Eric Baldwin, Antonio Esfandiari, Bryn Kenney, and Eugene Katchelov all busting in the course of the day’s play.
Several professionals remain in the field, with Canadian Scott Montgomery lying 15th in chips, way down the leaderboard, but with a keen desire to win his second WSOP bracelet.
Event #13: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Brandon Paster is another bracelet holder who has the chip lead in his hands, with a stack of 385,000 after Day 2.
1998 WSOP Main Event Champion Scotty Nguyen is one of the 40 players left in the event, but he has less than a third of Paster’s chips and will need to build a much bigger stack if he is to be in the running for his sixth WSOP bracelet.
Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout
The second shootout event of this year’s WSOP began with exactly 1,000 entries, of which 100 will make the money to share in a total prize pool of $1,350,000. All 100 players who will be back for the second day are therefore assured of making a profit.
The popular figure of Dennis Phillips will make the eighth cash of his WSOP career. He is best known for his third place finish in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, but he also has two final table finishes under his belt in the $1,000 Seniors event in 2014 and in 2012 when he finished in second place.
Event #15: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship
The third Championship event of the series uses the Pot-Limit format, and it has kicked off with a very strong if relatively small field of 128.
The first day saw that number chopped in half as just 64 players remain. The top of the leaderboard includes Josh Arieh, Shaun Deeb and Davidi Kitai as three of the top four stacks. Kitai has three bracelets, Arieh has two, and Shaun Deeb is one of the favorites to break his duck with a bracelet at some point during this year’s series.
The rest of the field is equally star-studded— Daniel Negreanu is in contention with a middle sized stack, and even at the bottom of the leaderboard, Mike Matusow still has enough chips to stage a run at the bracelet.