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Keith Lehr defeated Paul Volpe on Thursday for the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship bracelet. William Kakon defeated Daniel Needleman heads-up to take the $1,500 Limit Hold’em title.

Two-time bracelet winner Steve Billirakis is the chip leader headed into the final day of the $1,500 NL Hold’em Six-Max and Brandon Paster leads the final 40 in the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8.

Keith Lehr Beats Paul Volpe for $10k Heads-Up Title

Paul Volpe faced off against Keith Lehr in the finals of the $10,000 Heads-UP NL Hold’em Championship on Thursday. Both players navigated their way through a field of 143 players to battle for the bracelet and $334,430. Both players were looking to win their second career WSOP bracelet.

The final match between these players was single elimination with both players starting with 3.84 million in chips. Volpe jumped out to an early lead and appeared in control of the match. However, an ill-timed bluff shifted the momentum of the match into Lehr’s favor.

Volpe raised to 60,000 pre-flop, followed by a three-bet by Lehr to 255,000. Volpe called and the flop fell Jc-4s-2c. Lehr led out with 300,000 and Volpe called. The turn fell the 8c and Lehr slowed down due to the potential flush on board. Volpe bet 455,000 and Lehr flat-called.

The river fell the 6d and Lehr again checked. Volpe fires 1.2 million and Lehr went into the tank. After a bit, he finally made the call and Volpe showed Ad-5d for complete air. Lehr showed Qh-Js for top pair and took 2.5:1 chip lead.

Lehr made the finals on Wednesday after continually sucking out against Dee Tiller. The final hand of this match saw him do the same to win the bracelet. Volpe raised to 80,000 and Lehr called to see a flop of 7c-6h-3d. Lehr bet 110,000 and Volpe raised to 280,000. Lehr three-bet to 510,000 and Volpe made the call.

The turn fell the Qs, Lehr moved all-in, and Volpe made the call. Lehr turned over Qd-8s for top pair but Volpe turned over 6s-3s for bottom two pair. Lehr needed another miracle and he got it on the river as it fell the 8c to give him a better two pair and the title.

Sometimes it is better to run lucky than good and Keith Lehr has proven that the past two days. He caught cards when needed and was able to take down his second career WSOP bracelet as well as $334,430. Congratulations.

William Kakon Wins $1,500 Limit Hold’em

The final day of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em started with 28 players looking to make the final table and take down the bracelet. Limit Hold’em bracelet winner Steve Song started the day as chip leader and even made the final table. However, he would fall short of the title.

First the field had to be cut down to nine and one of the games most notable players fell along the way. Five-time WSOP bracelet winner David Chiu was looking for his third Limit Hold’em bracelet in this event. Sadly, he fell just shy of the final table.

Chiu was all-in pre-flop with Ah-9c and well ahead of the 8h-2c of Carroll Johnson. The flop fell Ad-9d-8s, pairing both. However, the turn fell the 8c and gave Johnson trips and they held to send Chiu out in 14th.

Kevin Song, Alex Kostritsyn, Shannon Shorr and Brandon Cantu were the featured pros at this final table. Cantu was looking for his second career bracelet and Song was looking for his second.

Kostristyn was first to fall when he ran As-7s into Song’s Ad-10c. Hector Contreras fell in eight when his pocket threes ran into a flopped set from Bryan Pimlott. Brandon Cantu fell in seventh when his pocket kings ran into a flopped flush from William Kaikon.

Kevin Song’s quest for his second bracelet ended in a sixth place finish. His final hand saw him move all-in with Qh-Jh but Shannon Shorr had him dominated with Ad-Qc. An ace on the turn sent Song to the rail in sixth.

Shannon Shorr fell in fifth when his trip eights was bested by the full house of Daniel Needleman. Bryan Pimlott hit the rail in fourth after running into the flopped nut straight from William Kakon.

Mike Lancaster was eliminated in third in a massive three-way hand with William Kakon and Daniel Needleman. Lancaster put the last of his chips into the pot pre-flop with a four-bet and was called by both opponents.

Action was check throughout as the board ran out Ah-7h-5c-Qh-4h. Lancaster showed Kd-Js for ace-high while Needleman showed pocket jacks. Kakon turned over 10s-6h for the rivered flush and we were heads-up.

Heads-up play between Daniel Needleman and William Kakon started with Kakon holding a slight chip lead over Needleman. From that point, Kakon took over, took a massive lead, and never looked back.

In the final hand, the board read Jh-9c-6h-7d-5d and Kakon bet out. Needleman has just enough for a second bet and goes all-in. Kakon calls and turned over Qh-Jd for top pair. Needleman had pocket tens and became this event’s runner-up.

William Kakon is the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Champion. This is the largest win in his poker career and the second six-figure score of 2015. In addition to the bracelet, he received $196,055. Congratulations.

Steve Billirakis Takes Leads Final 25 in $1,500 NL Six-Max

The $1,500 NL Hold’em Six-Max resumed on Thursday with just 206 players looking to make the money and earn a spot at the final table. Bryan Campanello started the day as chip leader but by the end, it was a two-time bracelet winner leading the final 25.

The first order of business on Thursday was to burst the money bubble. Just 180 players will receive a payday in this event with a min-cash receiving $2,563 and the winner taking home $457,007.

It didn’t take long to reach the money bubble and the pace of eliminations increased as players tried to chip up for a final table run. Those falling in the money but shy of Day 3 included Leo Wolpert (166th), David Peters (140th), Eugene Katchalov (118th), Olivier Busquet (107th), Steve Sung (97th), Scott Seiver (83rd), Antonio Esfandiari (66th), and Justin Young (28th).

Just 25 players remain in this event. Two-time bracelet winner Steve Billirakis is the chip leader heading into the final day with 1.01 million. Other notables still in contention are Scott Montgomery and Zo Karim.

Action will resume later today at 1 p.m. and continue until a champion is crowned.

Brandon Paster Leads Final 40 in $2,500 Omaha8/Stud 8

The word for Day 2 of the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 Event was “grind.” A field of 277 players returned on Thursday looking to make the money and the final table in this event, but with the revised structures the players barely reached the money by the end of the day.

Only 48 players will be paid in this event. A min-cash is worth $4,733 while first will receive $269,612. It took until almost the beginning of the last level of the night to reach the money and Eng Teng was the bubble boy. In Omaha Hi-Lo, his two pair could not beat Tai Nguyen’s straight and he did not have low.

At the conclusion of play on Day 2, 40 players remain to battle for the only mixed split-pot bracelet of 2015. Brandon Paster is the chip leader heading into the final day with $385,000. Other players in contention are Barry Shulman, Scotty Nguyen, Vladimir Shchemelev and Viacheslav Zhukov.

Play will resume later today at 2 p.m. and continue until the bracelet has been awarded.

Porter, Bonomo, Phillips and Gianetti Advance in $1,500 NL Shootout

The Noon event on Thursday was the $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout. Shootout events are the quickest path to a WSOP bracelet. Win your first table and you’re in the money. Win your second table and you’re at the final table. Win the final table and you win a bracelet.

This year’s $1,500 Shootout drew a solid field of 1,000 players, up 5.2% from the 948 runners in 2014. The winner from each table will make the money and earn at least $5,413. Payouts from this event are flat from 100th to 11th, meaning you have to make the final table to make a pay jump. The eventual winner will take home $283,546.

This event drew a solid mix of pro and amateur players. Some of the notable players failing to make Day 2 were Jonathan Duhamel, Mike Leah, Greg Mueller, Brock Parker, Andy Frankenberger, Faraz Jaka, Eddy Sabat, Loni Harwood and Jennifer Shahade.

Day 2 will start on Friday with 100 players returning to play to the final table. Some of the notables that advanced to Day 2 were Matt Gianetti, Justin Bonomo, David Tuthill, Randal Flowers, Steve Gross, Rep Porter, Dennis Phillips, Mark Radoja, and Barry Hutter.

Josh Arieh Leads $10k PL Hold’em Championship – Esfandiari and Negreanu Lurk

The evening event on Thursday was the $10,000 PL Hold’em Championship. This was another star-studded event with most tables stacked with big name pros. Attendance for this event suffered, dropping 20% to just 128 players.

While attendance may have been lacking, we still had plenty of big names take their seat Thursday evening. Among those in attendance were David Sands, Greg Merson, Daniel Negreanu, David Peters, Antonio Esfandiari, Shun Deeb, Mike Leah, Faraz Jaka, Erik Seidel, Michael Mizrachi, Dan Smith, Dan Shak, and Doug Polk.

By the end of Day 1, just 71 players remain and will return tomorrow in search of a payday and a spot at the final table. Josh Arieh is the overall chip leader with 168,900. Other notables returning later today include Shaun Deeb, Joseph Cheong, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Leah and Daniel Negreanu.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

The only new event for Friday is the $1,500 Millionaire Maker NL Hold’em Event. This event drew almost 8,000 players last year over a two-day span and similar numbers are expected this year. Regardless of the final totals, tomorrow should be another action-packed day with long lines and a lot of positive energy.

If you’re in Nevada, you can earn your seat into WSOP events online at Satellites to bracelet events are run daily and your seats can be picked up at the Rio.

Click the Banner Below to Satellite into the WSOP Online Bracelet Event:


Also offered are satellites to WSOP Event #64, the first-ever online bracelet event. Play your way to the final table from the comfort of your home and then travel to the Rio to play for the bracelet. History will be made this summer, so why not take your seat and take your shot at immortality.

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.