The 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship continued on Wednesday at the Rio in Las Vegas with the start and completion to Day 2-AB.
Poker’s world championship resumed with a grand total of 4,371 players who survived the (three combined) opening-day sessions -- with 1,624 players taking seats in the first of two flights which make up the Day Twos. These next two flights will commence with the fields joining together for the first time, this Friday.
Wednesday’s participants played five more levels, of two-hours each in duration. With periodic 20-minute recesses and a break for dinner, that made for another 12-hour marathon filled with lots of poker action and quite a few surprises. There were 654 survivors from this session.
Here were some of the highlights from Day 2-AB:
A NEW TOP-TEN LEADERBOARD
The leaderboard was expected to be a volatile place, with lots of names and faces coming and going as players jockeyed for position, and the day played out pretty much as anticipated. Amar Anand, from Shrewbury, MA became the first player to hit the 500,000 chip mark. He ended the day as the only player with more than 600,000 in chips.
By day’s end, the top-ten chip leaders were as follows: CHIP COUNTS
WSOP’S OLDEST PLAYER STILL
William Wacher, from Carmel, NY was the oldest entrant into this year’s championship. At 94 years young, the World War II veteran not only managed to make it into Day Two, he appears to be in comfortable chip position, with more than the chip average.
Two Canadians had dominated much of the day’s excitement – as Charles Sylvestre (Saint Bruno, QB) and Joe Lu (Edmonton, AB) crossed the 300,000 and 400,000 mark respectively. They are both now comfortably in contention with well above average stack-sizes.
BEST OVERLAY OF THE WSOP
Tom Yates, from Yorkshire, UK won his seat into the Main Event along with travel expenses for the extraordinary bargain price of .01 cents, at 888poker. He won a series of online satellites and was still very much alive at the end of Day 2-A with more than 100,000 in chips.
THREE FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS HIT THE RAIL EARLY, THEN ANOTHER BUSTS OUT LATE
Level 7 was not good to three of the biggest names in poker. Three former world champions were eliminated, ending their WSOP hopes for a repeat victory. First to exit was back-to-back world champ, ten-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, and Poker Hall of Fame inductee Johnny Chan (1987-1988). Then, Chris Moneymaker (2003), the man often credited with igniting the “poker boom,” took a walk a short time later. In mid-afternoon, Dan Harrington (1995), a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Fame inductee, went out.
After the dinner break, during Level 9, Carlos Mortensen (2001) was eliminated after an early rush at the start of the day.
NOTABLE CELEBRITIES COME AND GO
Jennifer Tilly went bust during Level 8. She won the Ladies world championship in 2006 and is best known for many classic movie roles, including an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Another well-known actor and Hollywood celebrity, James Woods, enjoyed one of the day’s biggest comebacks. He was down to his last 1,500 in chips at one point (which was two big blinds) but somehow managed to climb back to near the chip average. Towards the end of Level 10, he busted out holding pocket aces, versus queens (a queen fell on the turn).
SEVERAL WSOP GOLD BRACELET WINNERS ELIMINATED
Quite a few gold bracelet winners were helpless to prevent the end of their 2015 WSOP experience. Among the most notable former champs to hit the rail were -- Hasan Habib, Barry Shulman, Gary Benson, Diego Cordovez, Abe Mosseri, Jeffrey Lisandro, Jeremy Ausmus, Mark Radoja, Jesper Hougaard, Ted Lawson, Tony Ma, Donnocha O’Dea, Gavin Smith, Dutch Boyd, Todd Brunson, David Singer, David Pham, Dominik Nitsche, Phil Galfond, and Brian Rast.
OTHER WELL-KNOWN POKER PROS WHO WENT BUST
Among the most notable names (non-WSOP winners) who went out on Day 2-A were -- Natasha Barbour, Isaac Haxton, Maria Mayrinck, David Levy, John Strzemp, Gabriel Nassif, Andy Black, Andy Philachack, Antoine Saout, Jorryt van Hoof, Erick Lindgren, Annette Obrestad, Mark Gregorich, and Jesse Sylvia.
THE 2015 GOLD BRACELET WINNERS BUST-OUT CLUB
Since there were 67 gold bracelet tournaments leading up the Main Event, many players will return home with the satisfaction of having achieved poker’s most coveted prize, the WSOP gold bracelet. However, quite a few won’t be adding the crown jewel of poker on their resume, since their Main Event is now over.
Most notably among those eliminated during the Day 2-A session were -- Anthony Spinella, winner of the inaugural WSOP.com online-offline tournament, the first of its kind in WSOP history, was eliminated. So to was – Max Pescatori, one of the players to win two WSOP titles this year. Also, Jason Mercier went out late in the day.
WHAT’S UP NEXT?
The 2015 WSOP Main Event Championship continues with Day 2-B which will be played on Thursday, starting at Noon PST. There will be 2,747 survivors from the Day 1-C session who will play down to what’s expected to be just under 2,000 players who will return for the unified Day 3.