The big news from this weekend’s play at the 2015 World Series of Poker has to be the record breaking achievements of Event #5, The Colossus, which recorded 22,374 entries. The previous record was set by the 2006 WSOP Main Event with 8,773 entries.
The WSOP needed 982 dealers to handle the huge field which was spread out over four starting flights—the number of dealers was more than the number of players who entered Event #3, the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better.
Only 506 players now remain from that enormous starting field. 3,447 players made it to Day 2. Greg Raymer (2162nd) and JC Tran (2102nd) managed to cash with Erick Lindgren outlasting more than 95% of the field to finish in 717th.
As play goes into Day 3, the chip leader is Valentin Vornicu who has 1.3 million chips. He is a well known WSOP Circuit player, with six victories, and 27 cashes. His total earnings in non-circuit WSOP events comes to just over $5,000, a figure which could potentially go up to over $640,000, if he can sustain his position until the end and emerge victorious.
Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
Robert Mizrachi added over quarter of a million dollars to his WSOP earnings with a victory and the bracelet in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event. The final hand saw him win both the low and the high hands, the high part of the pot came with a remarkably unbeatable pair of fives.
The win gives Mizrachi his third bracelet, equaling the tally of his brother Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, who won both the 2010 and 2012 $50,000 buy-in Players’ Championship events.
Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout
The $3,000 NLHE event would have topped the headlines for the weekend were it not for the Colossus. Actor James Woods, twice nominated for an Oscar, and a regular at the annual WSOP events, came close to winning a bracelet of his own.
Woods finished the event in 7th place for a prize of over $28,000, after defeating Doug Polk heads up to make the final table. First prize, and first bracelet went to Doug Petrangelo who takes home a little over $200,000.
Event #6: $1,000 Hyper Hold’em
Out of the 1,436 who started the first Hyper Hold’em event of the series, only nine players remain. The Hyper format may have suited online players better than live specialists. PokerStars Team Pro and SCOOP 2015 Player of the Series Jason Mercier made it as far as 23rd place before making his exit, satisfyingly one place ahead of former WSOP Main Event champion Greg Merson.
Harrison Beach starts the final day as chip leader and looks set to make a big improvement on the $30,000 in chases he has in WSOP events. Any finish above 6th place will double his lifetime WSOP winnings.
Event #7: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship
The first $10,000 event of this year’s WSOP crept up over the $1 million prizepool mark by a whisper with 109 entries.
Theoretically, the smaller field sizes of the $10,000 events should make it easier to win bracelets, but the quality of the field more than makes up for the reduced size.
Robert Mizrachi is in with a real chance to overtake his brother Michael’s bracelet count, as he sits in 15th place with a nice chip stack and only 56 player remaining.
Ahead of him at the end of Day 1 remain some opponents who could be tricky to overtake. Brynn Kenney, who came second to Michael Wang in Event #2 the $5,000 NLHE tournament, sits one place in front of Mizrachi, and in 9th place Scott “Big Riskky” Clements has one of the few stacks with over 100,000 chips.
In 7th, the newly married Phil Galfond will be looking to earn enough to pay off his honeymoon credit card bills, and in 5th, Layne Flack is gunning to win his sixth WSOP bracelet.
The chip leader going into Day 2 is the relatively unknown Craig Hartman, whose total WSOP and WSOP Circuit winnings amount to only slightly more than the buy-in for this event. He will do well if he can hold off the challenges from the poker superstars behind him.