Lee 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.
Bubbled the HU. Hands down strangest hour and a half of poker of my life. Felt super-used
— Connor Drinan (@ConnorDrinan) June 3, 2015
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:
We are aware, monitoring very closely w/all resources at our disposal. Those include surveillance/security,forensic examination of cards, etc — Jack Effel (@WSOPTD) June 4, 2015
2/2 We take integrity very seriously, as evidenced by our lifetime bans, and would enjoy nothing more than catching a cheater in our midst.
— Jack Effel (@WSOPTD) June 4, 2015
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