WSOP What to Watch For: Paul Volpe Pursues Victory; Mercier, Negreanu Challenge
Another busy day lies ahead at the 2014 World Series of Poker with five events in action, two of which will be playing down to winners. One of eight players remaining in Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em will be earning a first-ever WSOP bracelet today. Meanwhile, six of the seven coming back for the final day of Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship have won bracelets before, with only chip leader Paul Volpe seeking his first.
There were 557 to start Event #12, then of the 69 who made it through to Day 2 just eight were left to end the night after Phil Collins busted not long after the official final table had begun.
Gregory Kolo was the one to oust the former November Niner in ninth, picking up pocket kings versus Collins’s pocket queens late in the night, and with that pot assumed the chip lead which he kept until play was halted. This actually marks a first WSOP cash for Kolo after having earned a handful on the WSOP Circuit, including making the WSOP-C Horseshoe Cincinnati Main Event final table last fall where he finished third.
Tom McCormick returns to the shortest stack but possesses the longest WSOP résumé among those who remain, having cashed more than 40 times in events dating back to 1992. This is McCormick’s 12th career WSOP final table and first since 2005. Most of McCormick’s previous deep WSOP runs came in limit events, though he did take fourth in a $3,000 pot-limit hold’em event in 1998.
The only other player among the final eight who has been to a WSOP final table before is Dean Bui (currently in seventh position) who took sixth in a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event in 2008. Kazuhito Oshima (second in chips) came the closest among the others in 2012 with a 14th-place showing in this same $1,500 PLHE event.
Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em Chip Counts to Start Day 3
A first prize of $169,225 awaits the winner. The final table resumes at 1 p.m. PDT. Start watching the Event #12 live updates then for hand-for-hand coverage until a winner is found.
Event #13 meanwhile features a much more recognizable cast of characters, with the seven who remain from the 87 starters all coming to today’s final table with long histories of previous WSOP success.
Paul “paulgees81” Volpe returns as the chip leader, and in fact is the only one of the final seven who hasn’t won a bracelet before. Volpe has done well at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino during recent summers, however, including a 20th-place finish in the 2012 Main Event for $294,601.
Behind him in the counts is two-time WSOP winner Jason Mercier who explained on the PokerNews podcast yesterday how he doesn’t have any bracelet bets this summer, but obviously needs none to be motivated to win a third bracelet today. By contrast, six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu — currently in third — does have some significant side action going, including bets on whether he or Phil Ivey can claim gold this summer.
Those three today will have to contend with Brian Rast and John Monnette (each with two bracelets) and Larry Wright and Abe Mosseri (each with one). Wright’s bracelet came in a $1,500 buy-in 2-7 NL Draw event in 2012 and Mosseri’s in a $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw (Limit) event in 2009. None of the other bracelet holders still alive has won a bracelet in “deuce” before.
Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship Chip Counts to Start Day 3
This final table gets started at 2 p.m. local time, so check the Event #13 live updates and see if Volpe can get his first or if someone else will grab more gold and the $253,524 first prize.
They started splitting and scooping in Event #14: $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low yesterday, with 1,036 entrants playing down to 220. They’ll make the money today once they’ve played down to 117, with the schedule calling for 10 more one-hour levels to be played today.
Kalpesh Raichura of Ontario, Canada has the current chip lead, having nudged ahead of the Russian Konstantin Puchkov in the counts near the end of the night. Others with decent-sized stacks coming into Day 2 include Alexander Kuzmin, Chris Viox, Eric Baldwin, George Danzer, Robert Mizrachi, Matthew Ashton, Chris Tryba, and the aforementioned bracelet-bet-making Phil Ivey.
Play also resumes at 1 p.m. in this one, which is when the day-long scrolling of Event #14 live updates will begin.
The first of two new bracelet events scheduled to start today gets the action going at noon local time with Event #15: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em.
The German Martin Finger earned his first WSOP bracelet in this event a year ago, picking up a nice $506,764 first prize after topping a field of 807 including a final table featuring Matt Stout, Matt Berkey, and David Pham.
We’ll go out on a short limb here and suggest Brock Parker might be one to watch in this event. Fresh off his triumph in the Event #10: $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Championship where he won his third career WSOP bracelet, Parker watched his friend Justin Bonomo sneak past him into first place in the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year standings after winning Event #11: $1,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em yesterday for a second top-two finish of the summer.
Parker also has two final tables already this summer, having earlier made a fifth-place showing in Event #7: $1,500 Seven-Card Razz. He also won a bracelet in the $2,500 NLHE Six-Max event in 2009 and went relatively deep in two different NLHE Six-Max events last summer, including a 37th-place finish in this one.
They will play 10 one-hour levels today. As noted, cards go in the air at noon, which is when the Event #15 live updates begin as well.
Finally, starting later in the afternoon will be Event #16: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, offering a chance for the deuce-to-seven crowd not involved in the Event #13 finale today to play the fixed-limit, three-discards-and-draws version of the game.
While limit 2-7 TD has been offered many times in the past at the WSOP, it has featured a higher buy-in during recent years and so the $1,500 price tag should attract a few more customers. The $2,500 version of this event ended with an exciting finish late last summer when Eli Elezra bested Negreanu heads-up to take the bracelet in a tourney that saw 282 take part.
Play starts at 4:00 p.m. Vegas time with players scheduled to play 10 one-hour levels, and the Event #16 live updates will include all the major action from start-to-finish.
Here again is the full rundown of WSOP happenings on Thursday:
- 12:00 p.m. — Event #15: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (Day 1 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em (Day 3 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #14: $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Low (2 of 3)
- 2:00 p.m. — Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (3 of 3)
- 4:00 p.m. — Event #16: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (1 of 3)
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.