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WSOP Day #8 Recap: Cheating Allegations Rock Heads-Up Contest; Europe Bag Their First Two Bracelets

TAGs: Connor Drinan, Jack Effel, Paul Michaelis, WSOP

WSOP Day #8 Recap: Cheating Allegations Rock Heads-Up Contest; Europe Bag Their First Two BraceletsLee Davy brings you up to speed on the main news stories coming from the eighth day of the 46th Annual World Series of Poker, including cheating allegations coming out of the $10,000 Heads-Up, and the first two bracelets for the Europeans.

The World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) reputation is being questioned like never before. Since the advent of social media the private view of the customer is now available for the world to see. There is a growing disgruntlement falling out of The Colossus. Everyone can feel it, and yesterday it took another blow to the mid section.

It all started with a simple tweet, after Connor Drinan was eliminated from Event #10: Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championships by a relatively unknown player from Moldova called Valeriu Coca.

Drinan didn’t leave it there. He spoke to some of Coca’s other opponent’s: Pratyush Buddiga, Matt Marafioti and Aaron Mermelstein who all confirmed they felt something unexplainable happened during their matches.

The upshot of various discussions is a suggestion that Coca could have cheated during his matches. The main theory is that Coca transferred ink onto Aces, Kings and Queens, and only he could see this ink through specially adapted sunglasses. All of his opponents have concurred that this is a possibility.

During the ensuing social media melee a news report surfaced, explaining how Coca had been caught cheating in a Prague casino, bending the corners of aces and kings, and using that information to win in cash games. He was eventually barred from those establishments.

Both Kaverman and WSOP officials were made aware of the allegations. The current GPI WSOP Player of the Year leader squared off against Coca in the quarterfinals, and subsequently lost the match. Keith Lehr beat Coca in the semi-final, by which time the scrutiny on Coca was extremely intense.

It’s unknown whether Coca received his prize money.

The WSOP responded as follows:

They have also confirmed in a statement to CalvinAyre that “Preliminary testing of cards show no markings or use of any foreign solution.”

We will bring you further news on their investigations as it surfaces.

Keith Lehr, who has also faced allegations of past indiscretions on the felt, faces off against Paul Volpe for the first prize of $334,430.

Cord Garcia Makes His First WSOP Cash Victory in the Colossus

The Colossus has been playing for so long I initially finished this round-up and forgot all about it.

After five days of action, 25-year old Cord Garcia has defeated 22,374 players, to capture the first prize of $638,880. Something tells me he won’t be complaining about the pay structure.

Despite being a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring winner, Garcia had never cashed in a WSOP event until this event. What a time to break his duck.

Garcia flopping a set to move Bradley McFarland aside to take the title. Kenney Hallaert finished fifth, and Ray Henson finished third.

Here are some Colossus numbers for you:

• 6,641 players re-entered.

• 5,664 players were making their WSOP debut.

• 93.7% of the field was male.

• The average age was 42 years old.

• The oldest player was 91, and the youngest 21 and one day.

• Players from 98 countries entered the event, a new WSOP record.

Final Table Results

1st. Cord Garcia – $638,880

2nd. Bradley McFarland – $386,253

3rd. Ray Henson – $308,761

4th. Paul Lentz – $234,927

5th. Kenny Hallaert – $182,348

6th. Aditya Prasetyo – $140,956

7th. Garry Simms – $109,632

8th. David Farber – $87,817

9th. Anthony Blanda – $67,681

24-Year Old Student Wins Event #8: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em

If you were to guess the name of the first European country to win a 2015 WSOP bracelet would you have chosen Germany?

I bet many of you would.

And you would have been on the money.

24-year, German born, Paul Michaelis, defeated Tom Marchese in heads-up action to take the bracelet, and first prize of $189,818, in Event #8: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em.

Michaelis and Marchese bullied the hell out of the final table, with both players responsible for every exit. The two were like chalk and cheese. Michaelis, who had recently earned a Bachelors degree in Media and Communication Management, was cashing in a WSOP event for only the second time in his life, and Marchese was sitting comfortably at his fourth final table.

Michaelis started the heads-up encounter with the chip lead. Marchese took a slight lead, only once in the match, but the German pulled away once more, before a stroke of luck eventually broke the camel’s back. Michaelis getting it in 99 v QQ only to hit a third nine on the turn to win the title.

Final Table Results

1st. Paul Michaelis – $189,818

2nd. Tom Marchese – $117,199

3rd. Jesse Cohen – $76,189

4th. David Eldridge – $55,960

5th. Hillery Kerby – $41,683

6th. Michel Leibgorin – $31,425

7th. Kevin Andriamahefa – $24,007

8th. Georgios Sotiropoulos – $18,519

9th. William Mitchell – $14,449

Event #9: $1,500 Razz

WSOP bracelets for Europeans are like buses. You wait for ages for one, and then another one shows up immediately after.

Max Pescatori has become the first Italian to win three WSOP bracelets, after beating Ryan Miller, in heads-up action, to take the first Razz bracelet of the summer.

The 44-year old Milanese born Las Vegas resident topped a field of 462 players to win the top prize of $155,947. It was Pescatori’s 46th WSOP cash, 10th final table appearance, and third victory. He has never lost a WSOP heads-up match when the gold has been on the line.

“This is very sweet, that’s for sure. I’ve done good here, but nothing matches winning. I knew this game was strong for me, so I felt that this gave me a good chance to get my third in this one.” Pescatori told the WSOP after his win.

Final Table Results

1st. Max Pescatori – $155,947

2nd. Ryan Miller – $96,349

3rd. Chris George – $61,247

4th. Matthew Smith – $44,164

5th. Eli Elezra – $32,345

6th. Randy Kaas – $24,049

7th. Robin Lee – $18,149

Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold’em

There are 28-players remaining from 660 that took part in Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold’em. Kevin Song leads the way with 450,000 chips. Other notables in contention are Shannon Shorr (311,000), David Chiu (238,000) and Brandon Cantu (85,600).

Top Five Chip Counts

1st. Kevin Song – 450,000

2nd. Daniel Joo – 352,000

3rd. Shannon Shorr – 311,000

4th. Wook Kim – 289,000

5th. Russ Salzer – 256,000

Event #12: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed

There was a 4% increase in field size for Event #12: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed. 1,651 entrants beat the 1,587 that entered when Justin Bonomo took the bracelet in 2014.

There are 206 players left in the tournament, at the time of writing. Here are the top five. Notables herded at the top of the counts include: Craig McCorkell (166,100), Galen Hall (154,100) and Mike Watson (153,800).

Top Five Chip Counts

1st. Bryan Campanello – 213,800

2nd. Idan Raviv – 213,300

3rd. David Nowling – 206,900

4th. Gnatenko Oleksandr – 193,400

5th. Vitaly Shafran – 172,600

Event #13: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better

The numbers for Event #13: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, are pretty static year-on-year. John Kabbaj made the news when he turned a horrible year, into one mildly worth remembering, when he defeated 470 entrants on his way to victory. This year 474 players have entered and six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack is at the top of the chip counts with 72,100. Other players in contention, outside of the top 5 include: Mike Gorodinsky (47,300), Maria Ho (47,100) and Scott Clements (46,300).

Top Five Chip Counts

1st. Layne Flack – 72,100

2nd. Hani Awad – 62,400

3rd. John Hoang – 55,600

4th. Yehuda Buchalter – 51,800

5th. Jose Severino – 50,600

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