WSOP What to Watch For: A Heads-Up Finish, $25K Mixed-Max, and Series’ First $10K
The 2014 World Series of Poker is heating up with no less than five events in action today, with the winning of the first gold bracelet of the summer due to happen sometime this afternoon when Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em finally concludes. Meanwhile, Event #2: $25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold’em is back in action as is Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, with two new events getting underway as well.
There were 876 to start, and 51 returning yesterday for what was expected to be the final day of Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em. But after play lasted beyond 3 a.m. this morning, two players still remained with chips — Roland Reparejo and Corey Emery.
Reparejo enjoyed a big double-up on the last hand of play between the pair to carry a better than 2-to-1 chip lead to today’s extra day with 1,795,000 to Emery’s 735,000.
Those two get back at it starting at 2 p.m. Pacific time, as will our reporters over at the live reporting blog. Click over and see whether Reparejo or Emery claims the $82,835 champion’s prize and the first 2014 WSOP bracelet.
Meanwhile the marquee event of the WSOP thus far, the four-day $25K “Mixed-Max” NLHE event in which players start nine-handed, then move to six-handed, then four-handed, then heads-up, starts back up today with 16 players remaining.
There are a ton of big names still left from the 131 who entered, making today’s Day 3 must-follow poker. JC Tran and Vanessa Selbst return to big stacks today, with Calvin Anderson, Matt Giannetti, Barry Hutter, Aaron Jones, and Noah Schwartz among those also still in the hunt.
However, it is restaurant owner Al Decarolis who will be returning to the chip lead this afternoon when the tourney resumes with the final 16 reassembling around four separate four-handed tables.
They'll be playing down to the final four tonight, with those players then returning on Friday to play heads-up matches to determine a winner. Only the top 16 places paid in Event #2, meaning the entire $3,111,250 prize pool is still up for grabs with that tantalizing $871,148 first-place prize awaiting the winner.
The Event #2 restart is scheduled for 2 p.m. PDT, so start checking the live reporting blog then to see how things play out.
As we suspected might happen yesterday, the first low buy-in “open” event of the summer drew a massive field. In fact, Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha broke a record for the largest-ever WSOP field for a non-hold’em event, with 1,128 turning out to build a prize pool of more than $1 million.
From that group just 106 remain, with Loren Klein the current chip leader and John O’Shea, Steve Billirakis, Phil Laak, and Paul Phillips currently part of the chase pack in the top 10. Other notables still alive include Ashton Griffin, Doug Polk, Greg Merson, Stephen Chidwick, and Jason Somerville.
The money bubble burst late last night, meaning all of those returning for today’s Day 2 are cashing, but all continue to eye the $205,634 prize reserved for the winner. The schedule calls for 10 more one-hour levels to be played today once they get going again at 1 p.m. local time. Check the Event #3 live reporting blog starting then for updates throughout the day and night.
Speaking of big fields, no one doubts that Event #4: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em — kicking things off today with a 12 noon start — should draw another big wave of bracelet-seekers.
Last year Matthew Waxman won the first of the $1,000 NLHE events of the summer, a tournament in which 1,837 participated. The biggest drawing $1K NLHE of the 2013 WSOP came at the end in Event #54 with Dana Castaneda topping a field of 2,883.
This is the first of six regular (i.e., not “turbo”), “open” NLHE events with the $1,000 price tag, and as with every event we’ll be there start-to-finish with updates, chip counts, photos, and more on the live reporting blog.
Finally, later in the afternoon comes the start of the first of 14 different events with $10,000 buy-ins covering a wide variety of disciplines on this year’s schedule. Like Event #2, Event #5: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball will certainly attract a small but especially tough field of poker talent.
This is a new event for the WSOP, as last year’s schedule featured both a $10K 2-7 NL event (won by Jesse Martin) and a $2,500 buy-in limit 2-7 triple draw tourney (in which Eli Elezra beat Daniel Negreanu heads-up), but no $10K limit 2-7 triple draw event.
The discards and draws start at 4 p.m. today, so be sure to click over to the live reporting blog to see who comprises what is sure to be an elite field in Event #5.
Follow all of the action from the 2014 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. And stay tuned throughout the summer for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.