Monday, July 6, 2015 12:40 AM Local Time
Over the past 39 days, the 2015 World Series of Poker has seen 67 events begin with new and repeat bracelet winners being crowned, and millionaires being made. Sunday, however, saw the marquee event of the series begin as Day 1A of the $10,000 Main Event took center stage.
With Day 1A always attracting the smallest field of all the starting flights, play moved into the Brasilia Room, and with the defending champion, Martin Jacobson too sick to put the cards in the air and take his seat in the field, those duties were passed on to Irishman Donnache O'Dea, who has been present at every WSOP since 1982 save from one. Once the cards hit the air, the nerves started to fade away as seasoned veterans and first-time amateurs splashed chips around while settling in for a long day of poker.
Unlike last year, where it would take close to three hours for the first player hit the rail, this year saw Mohammed Ayyash's pocket aces run down by Barny Boatman's queens to bust after roughly 30 minutes of play. From there, a steady flow of eliminations occurred while several notables slowly navigated their way up the leaderboard. Ryan Ramsdell took the early lead ahead of Boatman and, by the time the second break rolled around, it would be 2009 Main Event eighth place finisher Kevin Schaffel taking the chip lead as the first player to reach the six-figure club.
Once play rolled into dinner break, Schaffel would be pipped on the post by Brandon Steven and Fedor Holz. However, it would be Mel Wiener having a restful dinner break knowing he was the man everyone was chasing. With players fed and refreshed, two players with deep Main Event experience started their ascent up the leaderboard. German Anton Morgenstern started to climb up over 140,000 before last year's third place finisher Jorryt van Hoof (pictured above) headed into the final break with a monster stack after rivering a flush against a rivered straight.
As the last level of the day started to play out, the notables at the top started to settle amongst each other as a race for the end-of-day chip leader began to heat up with the top few counts all jostling for position. Unfortunately for those previously mentioned players, it would be William Kakon (pictured below) eliminating Erik Lemarquand on one of the final hands of the night when he flopped the nut flush with to see him bag a chip stack of 152,325.
With 741 players taking to the felt - down from the 771 last year - 470 players survived into Day 2 with the likes of John Hennigan, Erik Seidel, Chris Klodnicki, Andy Bloch, and Billy Baxter not making it through. Some of the players challenging Kakon on the leaderboard include Gjergj Sinishtaj (149,000), Alex Tran (142,700), and Pat Maddon (140,500). Still in contention are John Monnette (98,750), Van Hoof (90,650), Mike Matusow (88,225), Jonathan Duhamel (82,200), Fabian Quoss (80,100), David Bach (72,850), Abe Mosseri (72,350), Andy Black (53,850), and Max Pescatori (46,075). Tthe remaining Day 1A players return on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) to battle it out once again.
The WSOP live reporting team will be back on Monday at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) to provide continuous live updates of all the Day 1B action. So stay tuned to WSOP.com as we continue writing the path of the next Main Event Champion live from the Rio-All Suite Hotel & Casino and the 2015 World Series of Poker.
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:37 AM Local Time
William Kakon bets 2,800 on a flop of and Erik Lemarquand calls to see a on the turn.
Kakon checks to Lemarquand who bets 6,000. Kakon check-raises to 14,000 and Lemarquand calls.
The river is the and Kakon bets enough to put Lemarquand all in which is about 20,000.
Lemarquand looks anguished as he wrestles over the decision for his tournament life. He spends five minutes thinking about the hand while mentioning that he has a set. Kakon remains motionless through all of Lemarquand's tanking. Lemarquand calls and Kakon shows for the stone nuts. Lemarquand sheepishly flips over for his mentioned set and takes his exit.
William Kakon - 152,325
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:32 AM Local Time
With the board showing Peter Brown leads out from the blinds, into four other players, for a bet of 5,000. Anton Morgenstern calls in middle position and another player calls on the button to send three players to the river.
The falls to complete the board and Brown checks, allowing Morganstern to take the betting lead this time. He pushes out 10,000 and forces a fold from the player on the button.
With the action back on Brown, he seems to bemoan his call saying, "Oh, you probably have the nuts." before tossing in his chips towards Morganstern.
"Just a jack." he says, tabling , while it's Brown with the proverbial nuts in this hand, as he turns over for turned two pair.
Brown gets pushed the pot and is now playing just shy of 80,000 while Morganstern is still sitting comfortably with 115,000.
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:31 AM Local Time
A player in late position raises to 1,200. Michael Kleinecke is in the small blind and calls. as does the big blind.
The flop comes the . Both blinds check and the player in late position bets 1,800. Kleinecke calls, as does the big blind.
The comes out on the turn and Kleinecke bets 3,000. Both of his opponents fold. Kleinecke decides to show while telling his opponents that they made a good fold. The woman in late position says she, "had a bad feeling," about the bet. "Nice hand," she tells him as he is stacking his newly-acquired chips.
Michael Kleinecke - 54,400
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:30 AM Local Time
On the turn, the board reads and Fedor Holz bets 2,900 and the hijack raises to 7,200. Holz gets an exact count from the dealer and then calls after a few moments of thought.
The river is the and Holz leads out for 7,000. The hijack takes just under a minute and then tosses in a call. Holz shows , giving him a straight flush. The hijack tables , showing a flush and Holz takes the pot.
Fedor Holz - 122,400
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:28 AM Local Time
Having been down to just about 5,000 a bit ago, Kenny Tran is slowly building back near the end of the night.
A player in middle position raises to 1,150 and Kenny Tran calls.
The flop rolls out and both players check.
The turn is the . After his opponent checks, Tran shoves all-in and his opponent folds.
Tran is now sitting with 11,000.
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:25 AM Local Time
The Tournament Director has announced that there will be four more hands remaining in the day.
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:20 AM Local Time
The flop is . Adam Shuman bets 1,300 from middle position and the cutoff calls.
The turn is the . Shuman looks at his opponent's chips and asks how many he's got. His opponent moves his hands to let Shuman see. Shuman checks his hand, and his opponent.checks back.
The river is the and both players check.
Shuman turns over . His opponent mucks his hand.
Adam Shuman - 29,700
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:19 AM Local Time
Shane Foulds limps from early position and Mike Matusow raises to 1,500 from the hijack. Braxton Dunaway calls from the cutoff and Foulds calls as well.
The three players check down the board and Matusow shows , which takes the pot. Both Dunaway and Foulds said they turned flush draws, but missed their last heart.
Mike Matusow - 89,800
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:18 AM Local Time
Mark Radoja, who is sipping on a Corona, opens from early position and picks up two callers, including Barkatal Mohammed in the small blind.
"I've been tight all day," Radoja warns his opponents, "but now I've had a few sips I'm opening up my range."
The flop is and Mohammed comes out firing with a bet of 2,100. Radoja calls and the other player asks how muck Mohammed has behind (around 10,000) before he too calls.
The turn card is the and Mohammed moves all in. Radoja takes a moment or two before he calls. The remaining player seems uncertain what to do here, but in the end he folds and shows his . It turns out to be the right move as the other players tabled their hands.
"I'm in trouble aren't I?" Mohammed say as he turns over for trip sevens.
Radoja shows for the same hand, bigger kicker.
Mohammed has the redraw to a flush, but the river means they end up chopping it up.
Mark Radoja - 59,000
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:16 AM Local Time
Fadi Barakeh opens with an early-position raise, and John Morgan calls from the small blind.
The flop comes , and Morgan open-shoves for just about 20,000 total. Barakeh snap-calls, turning over for a set of eights. Morgan shows for top pair, needing runner-runner to stay alive.
The on the turn is a good start for the at-risk Morgan, but the river is a miss. He is eliminated, and Barakeh nearly doubles up in the process of earning that knockout.
John Morgan - Eliminated
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:16 AM Local Time
With the board showing William Kakon bets 1,500, only to see his opponent raise to 4,000.
Kakon leans over and asks his opponent how many 5,000 chips he has left, and after seeing the answer is only four, he raises to 9,000.
After a few moments of thought, his opponent raises again, this time to 19,000, which brings a quick announcement of "all-in" from Kakon.
Kakon has his opponent well-covered and the all-in shove forces a quick fold.
Kakon is awarded a pretty sizable pot without having to go to showdown.
William Kakon - 125,000
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:14 AM Local Time
There is a completed board that reads in a pot involving Sean Keller and another opponent. That player bets 3,000 into the pot of 8,000, and Keller announces a raise. He tosses 11,000 into the middle, and his opponent thinks for a bit before saying, "I have to see it," and tossing in the call. Keller shows for a seven-high straight, and his opponent nods his head before showing for a lesser straight.
Keller scoops the pot, upping his stack to nearly 90,000 as the last 20 minutes of the night are upon us.
Sean Keller - 87,000
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:12 AM Local Time
The player under the gun raises to 850 and is called by Kyle Cartwright on the button.
The flop comes down and the original raiser fires out another 1,550 which Cartwright calls.
After the drops on the flop, the under the gun player splashes out 4,050, which earns her the pot after Cartwright quickly mucks his hand.
Kyle Cartwright - 90,000
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:10 AM Local Time
Kevin Benoit, in the small blind, raises to 1,200. The big blind reraises to 3,000 and Benoit calls.
The flop shows . Benoit checks and his opponent bets 2,800. Benoit calls and the two see the on the turn. Benoit checks and the big blind bets 3,900 to which Benoit calls.
The river peels off the and Benoit bets 11,000. His opponent tanks for a bit and then tosses out one chip for a call.
Benoit shows for the flush and the big blind mucks his hand.
Kevin Benoit - 73,200
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:09 AM Local Time
On a flop of , Kyle Frey checks from the small blind, Sigurd Eskeland checks from middle position, and the cutoff bets 4,600. Frey check-calls and Eskeland moves all in for 19,200. The cutoff quickly folds and Frey calls.
Frey shows , but needs to find an ace against Eskeland's . The turn is the and the river is the to give Eskeland the pot with kings and jacks. The dealer counts down Eskeland's stack to verify how much he is all in for and Frey moves about a third of his stack over to Eskeland.
Sigurd Eskeland - 56,200
Kyle Frey - 48,025
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:06 AM Local Time
The board is and Cathleen Tran bets 5,000. Jonathan Gaviao calls with no hesitation. The two see the river and it is the , which pairs the board.
Tran bets again, and this time she makes it 10,000 to go. Gaviao thinks for a short while this time around, but eventually calls. Tran turns over for fives full of kings and Gaviao squints at her cards and then the board. He shakes his head, mumbles under his breath, and says, "wow, nice hand," as he gives his cards to the dealer.
Cathleen Tran - 67,000
Jonathan Gaviao - 50,500
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:02 AM Local Time
Josh Arieh opens to 900 under the gun, and Marc Alioto three-bets to 2,300 from middle position. When it folds back to Arieh, he moves all in for about 13,500 total, and Alioto quickly calls, committing more than half of his own stack in the process.
The flop comes to give Arieh a set of tens. Alioto flops top two pair, though, still drawing live for the knockout. The turn is a blank, but the river brings the and a full house for Alioto. Arieh is eliminated, and Alioto climbs back above starting stack with that knockout pot.
Marc Alioto - 33,000
Josh Arieh - Eliminated
Monday, July 6, 2015 12:01 AM Local Time
The flop is and Gjergj Sinishtaj checks from the big blind over to Matt O'Donnell, who bets 1,300. Jeff Frerichs calls, as does Sinishtaj.
The turn brings the . The action checks to Frerichs and he bets 4,300. Only Sinishtaj calls, and the comes on the river. Both players check and Sinishtaj shows for missed draws. Frerichs turns over and takes the pot.
Jeff Frerichs - 36,700
Gjergj Sinishtaj - 75,000
Sunday, July 5, 2015 11:58 PM Local Time
With the board showing , Anthony Hope leads into Brandon Steven for 5,300. Steven, who is in the cutoff, calls.
The falls on the river to pair the board and complete the flush draw. It also brings a check from the previously aggressive Hope.
Steven takes a few moments to think before hesitantly tapping the table as well, checking back.
"I got clubs," Steven says, tabling for a rivered nut flush. Hope moves forward in his chair and then says, "What the f*?" before tabling for a rivered full house.
The entire table seems in shock that at least one bet wasn't put in on the river.
He sheepishly smiled as Hope gets pushed the pot, with a player next to Steven saying, "I wouldn't have checked it, but then again, I'd probably be broke."
Brandon Steven - 70,000
Anthony Hope - 55,000