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Idan Raviv was the only champion crowned on Friday. He defeated Iaron Lightbourne heads-up for the $1,500 NL Hold’em Six-Max title and $457,007.

Over in the $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8, Hani Awad will lead the final three players in the battle for the bracelet on Saturday. Jason Koon leads a superstar field in the $10k PL Hold’em Championship while Dennis Phillips highlights the $1,500 NL Shootout final.

The $1,500 Millionaire Maker kicked off on Saturday but if Friday’s attendance was any indicator, the event may fall well short of last year’s attendance.

Idan Raviv Wins $1,500 NL Hold’em Six-Max

The final day of the $1,500 NL Hold’em Six-Max started on Friday with Steve Billirakis as chip leader and looking for his third WSOP bracelet. Other notables still in the hunt into the final day were Mike Waston, Ronit Chamani, Zo Karim and bracelet winner Scott Montgomery.

First, the field had to be thinned from 25 to the final six. We lost both our bracelet winners prior to the final table. Scott Montgomery went out early, falling in 23rd and Billirakis faded late, falling in 12th place.

At the start of the final table, Idan Raviv held a sizable lead over the rest of the field. Below are those that made the final table and their chip counts:

  • 1- Mike Watson (523,000)
  • 2- Idan Raviv (5,750,000)
  • 3- Manoel Filho (421,000)
  • 4- Markus Gonsalves (415,000)
  • 5- Iaron Lightbourne (3,460,000)
  • 6- Craig McCorkell (1,570,000)

Mike Watson hit the rail in sixth. He shoved his last 220,000 with Qc-Jc and ran into pocket queens. He flopped a jack but the board blanked out to end his day. Craig McCorkell fell some time later. He shoved 630,000 from the small blind holding Ad-9h and Iaron Lightbourne made the call with pocket eight. Lightbourne flopped a set of eights and the field was cut to four.

Markus Gonsalves hit the rail in fourth when he shoved Kc-7s into the As-Qc of Lightbourne. Manoel Fiho got the last of his chips in with pocket fours but Idan Raviv woke up with queens. The board failed to produce a four and head-up play began.

Iaron Lightbourne started heads-up play with the chip lead against Idan Raviv. Raviv managed a double through Lighthouse early on and was never in any serious trouble afterwards. He continued to build his stack and eventually took a 9:1 chip lead into the final hand.

With just around 1.1 million left, Lightbourne shoved pre-flop with Qc-Jc and Raviv woke up with pocket sixes. The flop fell Qh-5h-6c to give Raviv a set and a stranglehold on the bracelet. The turn Ad left Lightbourne drawing dead and eliminated in second place.

Idan Raviv is the first Israeli born bracelet winner of the 2015 World Series of Poker. The IT professional plays the game recreationally but says he’s an aspiring pro. His bracelet win and $457,007 payday will certainly give him the bankroll boost needed to consider taking a shot at the world of pro poker. Regardless of his decision, he is a WSOP champion, a feat that many “pros” never accomplish. Congratulations.

Hani Awad Leads Final Three into $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8 Final

Friday was scheduled to be the last day of the $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8 Event, but the generous structure of the event forced it into a fourth and final day. Hani Awad will go into that final day as chip leader and looks to win his first career bracelet.

Day 3 of this event started with 40 players looking to make the final table. Brandon Paster started as chip leader and led a stacked field that still included Scotty Nguyen, Brian Rast, Barry Shulman and James Obst.

Many of the notable players that started Day 3 fell as the field was thinned from 40 to 8. The two exceptions were Vicheslav Zhukov and Brandon Paster. Paster started as chip lead but was among the short stacks at the start of the final table. Zhukov started the final table third in chips but only 8,000 separated first and third in chips.

Here’s how the final eight started final table play:

  • Seat 1: Benjamin Dobson – 920,000
  • Seat 2: Viacheslav Zhukov – 1,083,000
  • Seat 3: Brandon Paster – 420,000
  • Seat 4: Hani Awad – 590,000
  • Seat 5: Chris Birchby – 366,000
  • Seat 6: Konstantin Maslak – 1,090,000
  • Seat 7: Jose Paz-Gutierrez – 335,000
  • Seat 8: Tuan Vo – 1,095,000

Brandon Paster played well at the final table but couldn’t get anything started, ultimately falling in sixth place. In his final hand, he ran into a flopped full house from Hani Awad and was unable to catch a low.

Vicacheslav Zhukov started the final table third in chips but could only muster a fourth place finish. In his final hand, he was all-in during Stud 8 with a pair of nines and a 2-3-4. Benjamin Dobson and Konstatin Maslak both were in the hand and called. By the river, Zhukov had failed to improve. Dobson showed a full house for high and Maslek had the only low hand to chop the pot and send Zhukov out for a payday.

As expected, the final table was unable to finish in ten levels so the final three players will return on Saturday to battle for the bracelet. Hani Awad leads with 3.3 million. Benjamin Dobson is second with 1.64 million and Konstatin Maslak is the short stack with just 975,000.

Dennis Phillips Headlines $1,500 NL Shootout Final – Two Women Advance

Day 2 of the $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout started with 100 players looking to make the final table. All one needed to do is win their table and they are at Saturday’s final table.

Several big names were still in contention at the start of Round 2. Among those notables were Justin Bonomo, Rep Porter, Randal Flowers, Mark Radoja, Dennis Phillips and Matt Giannetti.

Action was fast paced throughout the day and by the time that the round concluded; an interesting final table was set. Former November Niner Dennis Phillips won his Round 2 match and will headline tomorrow’s final table. He is still looking for his first career WSOP bracelet.

Two women made tomorrow’s final. While only nine players will “officially” make the final table, we are guaranteed to see at least our second female final table participant of the 2015 WSOP.

Elizabeth Montizanti and Huchen “Kitty” Kuo both made tomorrows final can become the first woman to win a NL Hold’em Shootout bracelet. (Kathy Liebert has a bracelet in Limit Hold’em Shootout.) Other notables advancing to tomorrow’s final include Daniel Strelitz, Barry Hutter, Grayson Ramage and Randy Pfeifer.

Play at this final will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until the bracelet has been awarded.

Jason Koon Leads Superstar Final Table in the $10k PL Hold’em Championship

For those wanting to see the demise of PL Hold’em at the World Series of Poker, we suggest you watch tomorrow’s final table. The final table of the $10k PL Hold’em Championship will be among the best that we’ve seen in recent memory.

Check out the line-up that will return when the unofficial final table of 10 starts on Saturday:

  • 1. Shaun Deeb – 488,000
  • 2. Paul Volpe – 586,000
  • 3. Jason Koon – 890,000
  • 4. Ismael Bojang – 80,000
  • 5. Dario Sammartino – 529,000
  • 6. Kristijonas Andrulis – 288,000
  • 7. Greg Merson – 276,000
  • 8. Sam Stein – 299,000
  • 9. Tom Marchese – 180,000
  • 10. Jason Les – 213,000

By the way, we should mention that Daniel Negreanu bubbled this even in 19th. Matt Waxman finished 15th, Todd Brunson finished 14th, Josh Arieh 12th and David Peters 11th.

Jason Koon leads and incredibly stacked final table tomorrow. This is the second final table of the series for Paul Volpe, Greg Merson and Tom Marchese. If you like to watch skilled play, this is the final table to watch.

This final will kick off at 2 p.m. PDT from the ESPN mothership in the Amazon Room and should show poker fans why PL Hold’em should remain on the WSOP schedule.

Millionaire Maker Kicks Off – Tomas Altamirano Leads After Day 1A

The first flight of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker kicked off on Friday with 3,347 players heading to the Rio to take their shot at becoming a poker millionaire. Last year’s event is the reason why we are seeing events such as The Colossus in 2015 as 7,977 players turned out for this event.

This year’s attendance thus far is looking to be well short of last year. According to the WSOP, there are currently 5,291 players registered for the Millionaire Maker through 1B on Saturday. Unless the numbers or misreported, or a massive influx happens on Saturday, this event will fall well short of 2014.

As the day commenced, the field of 3,347 players was cut down to roughly 500. The exact numbers were not posted at the time of the writing of this recap. Tomas Altamirano appears to be the Day 1A chip leader with 265,700. Other notable players that survived Day 1A include Brian Rast, Calvin Anderson, Justin Bonomo, Hoyt Corkins, Jonathan Tamayo, Rex Clinkscales, Oliver Busquet and Paul Wasicka.

These players will return on Sunday and merge fields with survivors from Saturday.

Millionaire Maker Takes Two – $10k Razz to Provide Evening Frustration

Officials will reset the tournament area later today for a second flight of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker. We will know by day’s end whether the event will fall short of attendance or crack 8,000.

The evening event is the one that pros love to hate. The $10,000 Razz Championship will bring a small but elite field to the Rio for an evening of blessed frustration. Expect the attendance in this one to go up due to lack of other offerings yesterday or today.

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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.

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