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Travis Baker, winner of the WSOP Seniors event and $613,466
1. $50k PP Champ: Can Seiver win from wire-to-wire?
The final numbers are in for the $50k Poker Players Championships and it’s down from 102 players last year to just 84 in 2015. It seems that adding badugi to the list of games has put a handful of players off, and legends like Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey also no-showed. After buying into the Super Seniors event it was hoped that Brunson might late-reg, but it looks like he’s staying in semi-retirement from the WSOP tournaments – he’s been a regular at the cash game tables. Phil Ivey hasn’t made an appearance in Vegas this summer and is still holed up in Macau as far as we know.
With just four players eliminated on Day 1, Scott Seiver was chip leader. And he’s stayed there after Day 2 as well, with just 47 players bagging and tagging earlier today. Seiver bagged up 688,500 chips, and is joined on 600k+ chips by former champ Matthew Ashton, Abe Mosseri and Dee Tiller.
Phil Hellmuth was one of the first players out on Day 2 and was joined on the rail by reigning champ John Hennigan and Daniel Negreanu. Still in the hunt for one of the summer’s most prestigious bracelets are Michael Mizrachi (11th), Dan Shak (12th), Phil Galfond (21st), Paul Volpe (24th), Jason Mercier (32nd) and David Benyamine (45th).
Action resumes at 2pm today – can Scott Seiver maintain his run and push ahead for a wire-to-wire win?
2. Travis Baker wins the Seniors
It took just less than five hours and 124 hands for Travis Baker to win his first WSOP bracelet. And it was a big one. The Seniors event is huge, with 4,193 players entering, creating a first prize of $613,466. Baker’s previous best cash was just $9,215 in 2008.
You might not think of speed poker when you’re talking about the Seniors event, but Baker wasted no time at the final table. The last four players fell in just 35 minutes, with Baker taking out the last two in consecutive hands. First he took out Jim Hopperstead with Aces against Nines, then he flopped a King-high flush against Carl Torelli’s two pair to secure the win. It was another impressive performance from Torelli, who finished 14th in the same event last year.
Talking afterwards Baker said he was in shock and had no idea what he was going to do with the money: ‘I’m an old man now,’ he added, ‘I think I’m going to go take a nap.’
3. Go Barny!
There’s a familiar name at the top of the $1,500 Extended Play leaderboard. Barny Boatman is a hugely popular UK pro who won his first bracelet in 2013, and he’s now one of only three people with over a million chips in Event #42. He’s not the only UK interest either. Former online world no.1 Patrick Leonard will bring an average stack of 581k back. 26 remain, with start of Day 3 chip leader Yevgeniy Timoshenko still in, albeit with a short stack. Play resumes at 1pm today and they’ll be trying to play down to a champion, although we suspect they might have to add another day. There’s $478,102 up top.
4. 6-handed PLO
If you like action then the $3k 6-handed PLO was the event for you. 682 players entered and after ten levels just 154 remained to progress to Day 2. Arseniy Makhaev is the chip leader, with Erick Lindgren (8th), Paul Jackson (17th) and Rob Mizrachi (43rd) all holding decent stacks. Play resumes at 2pm when the aim will be to play down to the final table.
5. The power of ten
Ten different nations have now won bracelets at the 2015 WSOP. The States have 27, Canada is next with three and Italy and the UK have two each. Argentina claimed its first this year and surprisingly Germany – dominant in recent years in Europe – are still waiting to break their duck. We’re also still waiting for the first female bracelet winner – Natasha Barbour leads on winnings after finishing runner-up in the Event #20: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
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