Lee Davy brings you a weekly round-up of news from the 46th Annual World Series of Poker including gold bracelet victories for Michael Wang & Nick Petrangelo, and a starring role from James Woods.
In the past few years, Michael Wang has been knocking on the door. On Saturday, he kicked it down. His victory in Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) wasn’t impressive because he defeated 422 players, or that the final table was stacked with some of the world’s best known faces. It was impressive because most of them were in scintillating form.
Bryn Kenney, Artur Koren, Jason Wheeler, and Byron Kaverman are experiencing a renaissance of late. Add the powerful combination of Greg Merson, Amir Lehavot and Joe Ebanks into that equation, and you are you are going to have to work hard to earn your coin.
But Wang was also in fine form. He came eighth in the A$1,650 8-Game Dealer’s Choice at the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP- APAC), he bubbled the final table of the Season XIII World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Open, and finished third in the Irish Open this year.
This was going to be a tough nut to crack.
For most of the final table it seemed Kenney would win his second WSOP bracelet in successive years. He came into the final table second in chips, and soon carved out an impressive chip lead. One he maintained until the dying embers of the event.
“If my good friend Bryn Kenney was not at that final table, I think I could have won it,” Said Jason Wheeler, the recent WPT Amsterdam High Roller winner, and Main Event finalist.
Wheeler had mixed emotions about his fifth place finish, Kenney was clearly disappointed. After the up and coming Artur Koren was sent to the rail in third, Kenney started his heads-up match with Wang holding a 9:1 chip lead. You need to put those babies away in order to bag the bling.
But Kenney will be back. He is one of the players who will play a wide variety of formats, and could become an early candidate for a strong Player of the Year run. In the meantime we will leave you with some words from the new champion.
“This is the most prestigious prize in poker. This is the best thing in the game that’s ever happened to me. It’s going to take some time for this to sink in.” Said Wang after his win.
This is the WSOP.
There is no time here.
Final Table Results
1st. Michael Wang – $466,120
2nd. Bryn Kenney – $287,870
3rd. Artur Koren – $208,177
4th. Gregory Merson – $152,126
5th. Jason Wheeler – $112,339
6th. Amir Lehavot – $83,838
7th. Joe Ebanks – $63,210
8th. Long Nguyen – $48,137
9th. Byron Kaverman – $37,030
Nick Petrangelo Wins Event #4; James Woods Hogs the Headlines
A few weeks ago Doug Polk was hitting headlines all over the world, as he led a group of four heads-up specialists in the controversial Man v Machine heads-up game against artificial intelligence (AI) creation Claudico.
This weekend Polk was at it again. Only it wasn’t Man v Machine. It was Man v Hollywood Legend. If the arrival of 20,000+ people to play in the Colossus wasn’t enough to create global mainstream headlines, seeing a Hollywood legend do battle with one of poker brightest minds is.
When Woods defeated Polk, to make the final table, he did so after a marathon heads-up match that saw both players starting with more than 60 big blinds. That’s no fluke, and Polk appreciated that in the wake of his loss.
“Just because you’re the best, doesn’t mean you never lose. They’re still chips, it’s still poker. He deserved to win today.”
If you want the best poker lesson you could ever have, spend eleven hours at a poker table with @DougPolkPoker
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 30, 2015
Unfortunately, for Woods, elation turned to disappointment when the bracelet loomed large. Did that epic encounter take the best out of him? Only Woods will know, but when reflecting on his seventh place finish, he had the following to say.
For the record I was disappointed my FT performance in the Shootout. I just whiffed it, but this game is a constant learning experience.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 31, 2015
It was another tough final table.
Polk may not have made it, but his Man v Machine team member Jason Les did. David Peters was in there, as was former European Poker Tour (EPT) winner Andreas Hoivold. But the presence of Nick Petrangelo was also intriguing.
The 28-year old from Massachusetts came into this thing as one of the most in-form players in the world, with six final table appearances under his belt, and over $800,000 in prize money. By the time he was done taking this one apart he had crossed the million mark.
Petrangelo, ranked #7 in the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year race, squared off against the formidable Jason Les in heads-up action. Under normal circumstances you may have pegged Les as the favorite – not this year. This year belongs to Petrangelo.
“Winning early on in the series is great,” Petrangelo told the WSOP after his win, “It creates less pressure. I’ve been other years where I have run really badly early on, and it’s hard to catch up. So I was really glad to get this one out of the way.”
Final Table Results
1st. Nick Petrangelo – $201,812
2nd. Jason Les – $124,696
3rd. David Peters – $91,575
4th. Jeffrey Griffiths – $67,788
5th. Derek Bowers – $50,576
6th. Andreas Hoivold – $38,039
7th. James Woods – $28,832
8th. Brian Lemke – $22,021
9th. Leo Wolpert – $16,951
The Best of the Rest
The weekend was dominated by one event. I am, of course, talking about the record-breaking Colossus. We know that over four flights, and numerous different waves, that the world record for a live poker tournament field was smashed to smithereens, we don’t know by how much.
The Day 1 flights ended with Ardit Kurshumi and Yuval Bronshtein at the top of the chip counts, with 169,100 & 190,00 respectively. Taylor Paur is the main name that leaps out from the top 15 chip counts with 95,000.
There is a guaranteed $5m for the winner. We will keep you posted on this huge event.
Last, but not least, Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better has reached the heads-up phase. Robert Mizrachi is attempting to make it bracelet number three, against Jacob Dahl, but he is going to have to work hard to get it – Dahl holds close to a 3:1 chip lead. 918 players entered the event, both players are guaranteed a minimum of $155,333, with $251,022 going to the winner.