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Three bracelets were awarded on Wednesday. Cord Garcia took down the largest live poker tournament in history, winning the Colossus for $638,880. Paul Michael defeated Tom Marchese heads-up for the PL Hold’em bracelet and Max Pescatori won his third career bracelet in the $1,500 Razz.

In other action, Paul Volpe reached the finals of the $10k Heads-Up Championship and Kevin Song will take the chip lead into the final day of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em.

Paul Michael Defeats Tom Marchese to Win $1,500 PL Hold’em

The final day of the $1,500 PL Hold’em Event saw 15 players return, all looking to make the final table and take the first PL bracelet of the summer. David Eldridge started the day as the chip leader but most were waiting to see how Tristan Wade and Tom Marchese would finish in the event.

WSOP bracelet winner Tristan Wade fell just short of the final table, finishing 11th. His pocket sixes were outrun by the Ah-Jh of David Eldridge. It took a little over two levels to reach the final table. Paul Michaelis came into the final as chip leader with David Eldridge and Paul Marchese right behind.

While the final table chip leader is perceived to have the advantage going into the final table, they often fail to take down the event and many times don’t even reach heads-up play. That didn’t happen in this event.

Paul Michaelis built his stack throughout the final table and went into heads-up play against Tom Marchese with over a 3:1 chip advantage. Michaelis would not have an easy road to the bracelet as Marchese managed to win seven of the first eight hands heads-up. He continued to apply the pressure and by the time the dinner break was reached, Marchese had taken the chip lead.

Three hands after the dinner break, Michaelis retook the lead and it appeared we would be here for a while. However, the tournament came to an abrupt end after Marchese fell victim to a massive cooler.

Marchese opened for 100,000 and Michaelis three-bet to 280,000. Marchese then moved all-in and snap-calls. Marchese was well in front with pocket queens against the pocket nines of Michaelis.

The flop Ks-8h-3d left Marchese needing to fade two outs to double-up and take a stranglehold on the match. Unfortunately, the turn fell the 9c and Michaelis flipped the script. Now only a king could save Marchese’s tournament. The river fell the Ac and Michaelis is the champion.

Paul Michaelis is the first international play to win a bracelet at the 2015 WSOP. The Austrian cashed in the Colossus over the weekend and now is a WSOP champion. In addition to the bracelet, he earned $189,818. Congratulations.

Max Pescatori Wins $1,500 Razz for Third Career Bracelet

The final day of the $1,500 Razz Event started with 19 players looking to make their way to the final table and take down the first Stud bracelet of 2015. The remaining field was a stacked one that included bracelet winners Eli Elezra, Cyndy Violette and Max Pescatori.

The first order of business was narrowing the field down to the official final table of eight. Among the notable players falling short of the final table were Scott Epstein (18th), Jason Schwartz (14th), and Bart Hanson (13th).

Prior to the start of the 2015 WSOP, we listed Cyndy Violette as one of our Top Five Studs to Watch and she didn’t disappoint in this event. Violette played masterfully as she has the majority of her career and just missed the final table.

In her final hand, she was all-in with split fours against the split threes of Max Pescatori. By Sixth Street, Violette was holding a jack-low against the 10-9 of Pescatori. Pescatori failed to improve on the river, leaving the door open for Violette. Violette also failed to improve and fell in 9th.

The final table was now set and Chris George started the final as chip leader. The featured players at the final included bracelet winners Max Pescatori and Eli Elezra. Robin Lee became the first woman in 2015 to make an open-field WSOP final table but was among the short stacks. (Loni Harwood finished 10th in the NL Shootout with nine considered the final table.)

Lee would not become the first female to win a bracelet in 2015 as she fell in seventh place. She was all in on Third Street with 9-7-4 against the 6-5-4 of Max Pescatori. By the river, Lee was drawing to a ten while Pescatori held a made ten with a redraw to a nine. Lee caught an ace on the end to make a 10-9-7 but Pescatori caught and ace to make his nine. Lee hit the rail in seventh, good for $18,189.

Eli Elezra was looking for his third career bracelet in this event but fell short of that goal, finishing in 5th place. In his final hand, Elezra made an 8-7-6 on Sixth Street and put the last of his chips on the river. However, Ryan Miller made an 8-6-5 on Sixth Street and that ended Elezra’s quest for bracelet #3.

Max Pescatori and Ryan Miller battled heads-up for the bracelet. Pescatori held nearly a 3:1 chip lead at the start of heads-up and he quickly extended that lead to 6:1. Pescatori continued to grind Miller down until he had just a couple of bets left.

He put those bets into the pot holding split aces against the K-6-3 of Pescatori. On Sixth Street, Miller had a pair of aces with a draw to an 8-7. Pecatori had a Q-7-6 with a redraw to a six. Miller wound up pairing his eight to finish with a pair of aces and Pescatori improved to a 7-6-3 to take the hand and his third career bracelet.

This is Pescatori’s first bracelet victory since 2008 when he took down the $2,500 PL Hold’em/Omaha title. His latest victory earned him his first career Razz bracelet and $155,947. Congratulations.

Cord Garcia Wins the Colossus and $638,880

After four days of play, the final table of the Colossus was finally reached. Adi Prasetyo came into the final table as chip leader with 39.3 million, or 30% of the chips in play. Ray Hensen was one of the bigger names still alive at the final table, but he started the day as the short stack.

Despite starting the final table as the short stack, Ray Henson didn’t give up and proceeded to find double-up after double-up. After his third double, he found himself in the chip lead. He was all-in for about 15 million and Prasetyo made the call. Henson held pocket kings while Prasetyo held pocket tens. The board failed to produce a ten and Henson took the chip lead with over 30 million. Prasetyo was down to 21 million.

Starting with 30% of the chips in play doesn’t guarantee a victory, and in the case of Adi Prasetyo, it didn’t even get him heads-up. With 12.6 million left, less than 16 big blinds due to blinds of 400k/800k, Prasetyo moved all-in with Ac-9c. Both Brad McFarland and Ray Henson made the call. Henson had both players covered. McFarland showed pocket kings while Hensen showed queens. The board failed to produce an ace and Prasetyo hit the rail in 6th place.

Henson’s run from short stack to chip leader would get him deep but he fell short of the bracelet. He lost the majority of his stack in a big three-way pot that sent Paul Lentz to the rail in fourth. Lentz was all-in pre-flop for 18 million and Henson moved all-in for about 30 million.

Cord Garcia makes the snap-call and turns over pocket aces. Lentz held Ac-2c and Henson turned over Ad-Ks. Henson was unable to catch a king but Lentz picked up a flush draw on the turn. A river heart eliminated Lentz in fourth and made Cord Garcia the new chip leader with 60 million.

A few hands later, Henson moved all-in for his last eight big blinds with 10s-8d and was insta-called by Brad McFarland holding Kc-10h. The board blanked both and we were heads-up for the Colossus title.

Cord Garcia and Bradley McFarland were nearly even in chips at the start of heads-up play with Garcia holding 57.1 million to 55.42 of McFarland. Play continued even for quite a while and even into the final hand when McFarland made the most critical of miscues to give away the bracelet.

Garcia opened for 3 million from the button and McFarland called. On the flop of Qd-4h-2d, McFarland checked to Garcia who bet 4.1 million. McFarland called and the turn fell the 2c. McFarland again checks and Garcia bet 8.4 million. McFarland again just calls.

The river fell the 7d and McFarland checked a third time. Garcia bet out 17.5 million and McFarland moved all-in. Garcia insta-calls and immediately turns over pocket fours for a full house. McFarland sits in stunned silence and turns over Ad-8h for complete air.

Tournament officials counted down the stacks and Garcia had McFarland covered. Cord Garcia is the champion of The Colossus, earning $638,880.

This is Garcia’s first ever WSOP cash. He is well known on the WSOP circuit and close friends to third-place finisher Ray Henson. They are currently rooming together during the 2015 WSOP. Combined, they pulled in over $946,000 from the Colossus, meaning the party is at their place the rest of the week.

Paul Volpe to Battle Keith Lehr in Finals of Heads-Up Championship

Day 2 of the $10,000 Heads-Up NL Championship saw the field reduced from the Sweet 16 to Championship match. Returning players were all in the money and looking to work their way to the bracelet championship round.

Below are the matches from the Sweet 16:

  • Andy Philachack vs. Matthew Cooper
  • Tim Adams vs. Simon Lam
  • Paul Volpe vs. Barry Hutter
  • Isidro Sifuentes vs. George Danzer
  • Jake Schindler vs. Keith Lehr
  • Byron Kaverman vs. Vaeriu Coca
  • Olivier Busquet vs. JC Tran
  • Max Silver vs. Dee Tiller

Philacheck fell to Cooper while Adams was sent to the rail by Lam. Volpe ended Hutter’s run at the bracelet while Sifuentes sent Danzer to play in the evening event. Lehr beat Schindler, Tran took out Busquet and Tiller beat Silver. The last match of the round saw Valeriu Coca beat Byron Kaverman when Coca’s pocket fours outran Kaverman’s pocket tens.

Below are the matches for the Elite Eight:

  • Matthew Cooper vs. Tim Adams
  • Paul Volpe vs. Isidro Sifuentes
  • Keith Lehr vs. Valeriu Coca
  • JC Tran vs. Dee Tiller

Paul Volpe made short order of Isidro Sifuentes while Tim Adams took out Matthew Cooper. JC Tran was never able to get anything started in his match against Dee Tiller and eventually busted when his Kd-9d was unable to outrun the pocket deuces of Tiller.

The final match between Valeriu Coca and Keith Lehr was a hotly contested affair with play going back and forth between the two. The turning point in the match came when Lehr was able to find a massive double with pocket nines against the As-5s of Coca. With just 10 big blinds left, Coca shoved with 6h-3h and ran into the Ah-Jc of Lehr. A jack on the flop would prove enough to eliminate Coca and setup the Final Four.

The Final Four pitted Dee Tiller against Keith Lehr and Matthew Cooper against Paul Volpe. Cooper jumped out to an early lead in his match, but Volpe came storming back and it was all over early into the second level.

In the final hand, Cooper checked a board of 10s-2c-2h-Qs to Volpe, who bet 150,000. Cooper check-raised to 450,000 and was called. The river fell the 8d and Cooper shoved for around 1 million.

Volpe finally made the call and Cooper showed Qc-Jh for two pair. Volpe showed Qh-10c for a better second pair and locked up his spot in the finals.

The match between Lehr and Tiller took considerably longer with Tiller taking an early lead. At one point, he took a 4:1 chip lead in the match and looked poised to make the finals.

However, the cards started working against Tiller and every time he had Lehr all-in and behind, Lehr would spike lucky to double-up. The one time and only time heads-up that Lehr was all-in and ahead was the final hand.

In a previous hand, Lehr had doubled into the chip lead when his Kh-10h outdrew Tiller’s pocket jacks. A couple of hands later, Tiller moved all-in from the big blind for around 1.54 million holding Ad-3d. Lehr made the call with Ac-Qd.

The flop fell Qs-4d-3s to give both players a pair but Tiller needed another three or runner to win the hand. The turn As gave both aces up and the river 8s was enough to send Tiller to the rail short of the finals.

Paul Volpe will battle Keith Lehr in the finals of the $10k Heads-Up Championship on Thursday. Action will begin at 1 p.m. PDT and continue until a champion is crowned.

Kevin Song Leads Final 28 in $1,500 Limit Hold’em

Day 2 of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Event started on Wednesday with 222 players looking to make the money in this event and work their way to the final table. The field contained numerous big name players looking to win the first Limit Hold’em title of the year.

As only 72 players will receive a payday, much of the day was spent reaching the money bubble. Shortly after the dinner break, the bubble burst with two players eliminated during hand-for-hand play. Jay Bloom and Theodore Park both fell on the stone bubble and split 72nd place prize money.

After the bubble burst, the pace of eliminations picked up as short stacks tried to build a stack or bust. Allen Kessler scored his 39th career WSOP cash in this event and his second of the 2015 WSOP. He was eventually knocked out in 49th when his pocket aces were cracked by pocket jacks. Other notable players finishing in the money were Barry Greenstein (48th), Eric Froehlich (42nd), Matt Glantz (37th) and Brandon Young (32nd).

Play was halted after 10 levels with just 28 players remaining. Kevin Song is the overall chip leader heading into the final day with $450,000. He is a former bracelet winner with over $1.3 million in earnings. Shannon Shorr is third in chips with 311,000 and David Chiu is sixth with 238,000.

Play will resume today at 2 p.m. PDT and continue until the first Limit Hold’em bracelet of 2015 has been awarded.

Bryan Campanello Leads $1,500 NL Six-Max

The Noon Event on Wednesday was the $1,500 NL Hold’em Six-Handed Event. This popular event brings out pro and amateur fans of short-handed play and is always a fast-paced event.

This year’s event saw a modest increase in attendance. A field of 1,651 players took to the felt on Wednesday, up 3.88% from last year. The field created a prize pool of $2.28 million. This event will pay 180 players with a min-cash receiving $2,563 and first earning the bracelet and $457,007.

Some of the notables in the field on Day 1 included Dutch Boyd, Greg Merson, Ryan Riess, Annette Obrestad, Andrew Lichtenberger, TJ Cloutier, Melanie Weisner, Daniel Negreanu, Matt Affleck, Mike Leah, Faraz Jaka, Jonathan Duhamel and Eddy Sabat.

Bracelet winner Bryan Campanello is the chip leader heading into Day 2 with 213,800. Other notables making Day 2 include Olivier Busquet, Antonio Esfandiari, David Benyamine and Galen Hall.

Over the course of the day, the field was cut from 1,651 to just 206. Those players will return at 1 p.m. PDT today to play through the bubble and probably the final table.

Layne Flack Leads $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8

The evening event on Wednesday was the $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8 Event. This is a popular event among pros and split-pot specialists. A field of 474 players took their seats in this event, just topping the 470 from last year.

This was another star-studded field with the leaderboard looking like a flashback to WSOP’s of the past. Among those in attendance were Scott Clements, Perry Friedman, Barry Shulman, Tony Cousineau, Layne Flack, Bill Chen, Daniel Idema, Jeff Madsen, Al Barbieri, Erik Seidel, George Danzer, Todd Brunson, Miami John Cernuto and ESPN’s Norman Chad.

By the end of the day, the field had been reduced to 277. Layne Flack will return on Thursday as the chip leader with $72,100. Other payers coming back healthy in chips are Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Maria Ho, Norman Chad and Scotty Nguyen.

Play resumes at 2 p.m. PDT and will continue for 10 levels. This event will break the money bubble but probably fall short of the final table.

$1,500 Shootout and $10k PL Hold’em Championship on Tap

Two new events kick off on Thursday. The Noon tournament is the $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout. This event presents the easiest path to a bracelet for the amateur. Win three Sit & Go’s and you win the bracelet. Expect this event to crack 1,000 players.

The 4 p.m. event is the $10,000 PL Hold’em Championship. Russia’s Alex Bilokur took down this title in 2014 and will certainly be back to defend. This will be another pro-heavy field and expect more debate on whether PL Hold’em should remain a WSOP event.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.