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Three bracelets were awarded on Saturday. Konstatin Maslak came back from the short stack to win the $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8 Event. Barry Hutter survived a grueling day of play to win the $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout. Shaun Deeb defeated Paul Volpe heads-up to win his first major title in the $10,000 PL Hold’em Championship.

Meanwhile, the Millionaire Maker completed its second flight and drew a field of 7,275. Finally, the $10,000 Razz Championship drew an elite field with Brock Parker and Abe Mosseri finishing Day 1 as chip leaders.

Konstatin Maslak Wins $2,500 Omaha 8 / Stud 8 Event

A fourth day was needed for the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 Event and the final three players returned to the Rio on Saturday to play for the bracelet. Hani Awad started the day as the chip leader, followed by Benjamin Dobson and Konstatin Maslak as the short stack.

Maslak was able to build chips early and Dobson became the short stack. Dobson was never able to recover and eventually fell during a Stud 8 round. He got the last of his chips in with split eights with an ace but ran into split kings of Maslak. Dobson failed to improve from his starting hand and hit the rail in third place, good for $105,893.

At the start of heads-up play, Hani Awad had 3.8 million versus the 2.2 of Konstatin Maslak. The betting limits at heads-up play were 100k/200k, meaning that a couple of hands could easily cause massive swings. The pair swapped the chip lead multiple times but by the 120k/240k round, Maslak had taken control, the chip lead and had cut Awad down to just a single bet.

That bet went in during Stud 8 with Awad holding Kc-8h-7h against Qd-7d-6d. By Sixth Street, Awad had picked up an open-ended straight draw but discovered he was drawing dead as Maslak hit diamonds on fourth and sixth to fill out his flush. Awad couldn’t make a low and was eliminated in second place.

Russia’s Konstatin Maslak is the $2,500 Omaha 8 /Stud 8 champion. This was his third cash in the 2015 WSOP and easily the biggest win in his poker career. In addition to winning the bracelet, he received $269,612 in prize money. Congratulations.

Barry Hutter Wins $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout

The finals of the $1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout kicked off on Sunday with a solid final table. Former November Niner Dennis Phillips was looking for his first bracelet as well as Daniel Strelitz, Barry Hutter and Grayson Rampage.

Two women made the final table in this event. Elizabeth Montizanti and Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo became the second and third women this summer to make an open-field final table.

Below is how the final ten began play at the final table:

  • Dennis Phillips: 742,000
  • Benjamin Zamani: 742,000
  • Daniel Strelitz: 743,000
  • Randy Pfeifer: 740,000
  • Grayson Ramage: 741,000
  • Anton Smirnov: 741,000
  • Hui Chen Kuo: 743,000
  • Elizabeth Montizanti: 741, 000
  • Barry Hutter: 740,000
  • Orson Young: 744,000

Due to the stacks being even, it took over almost four levels to lose the first player. Randy Pfeifer became the final table bubble boy. He held pocket jacks against the Ac-Jc of Benjamin Zamani. The board ran out 8c-6h-4c-7c-5d to give Zamani a flush and send Pfeifer to the rail.

The first of our two women fell in fifth place. Elizabeth Montizanti moved all-in for 57,000 and both Barry Hutter and Ben Zamani called. The flop fell 9d-7s-6h and Zamani bet 80,000. Hutter folded and Zamani showed 6d-5s for bottom pair and a straight draw. Montizanti turned over pocket aces but had to fade nine outs. The turn fell the 5h to give Zamani two pair and the river the Jd to send Montizanti out in fifth.

Kitty Kuo was eliminated shortly thereafter by Barry Hutter. Hutter raised enough to put Kuo all-in and she called with Ks-Jd. Hutter held Kh-10d. The flop produced a ten to give Hutter the lead and Kuo was unable to catch a jack.

Dennis Phillips made a solid run at this final table but was only able to manage a third place finish. His final hand saw him all-in with Kc-9h against the As-7c of Ben Zamani. The board missed both players and we were heads-up.

Ben Zamani faced Barry Hutter heads-up for the bracelet. Zamani started with nearly a 2:1 chip lead but Hutter came storming back to even the match.

Hutter was utterly dominant during the heads-up match and had Zamani on the ropes for quite a while. Even a full double-up late could not help Zamani regain the chip lead. In the end, an ill-timed shove ended the match.

After a raise by Hutter to 200,000, Zamani shoved for 2.45 million. Hutter eventually calls and turns over Ac-6c. Zamani turns over 10c-9s but has live cards. The flop fell Kh-Qc-3c to give Hutter a flush draw and the turn fell the 5c to complete that flush. Zamani was drawing dead and Hutter is finally a World Series of Poker champion.

Barry Hutter just missed out on the finals in both the $5,000 NL Event and $10k NL Heads-Up Championship. Once he got there in this event, he made the most of it. He took down the event to win his first bracelet and $283,546, the largest score of his professional career. Congratulations.

Shaun Deeb Defeats Paul Volpe for $10,000 PL Hold’em Championship

Those of you wanting to kill off PL Hold’em at the World Series of Poker should have watched the final table of the $10,000 PL Hold’em Championship on Saturday. This final featured one of the best final tables in recent memory.

The day started with the unofficial final table of 10 and the final table bubble boy was Tom Marchese. Marchese got into a raising war with Sam Stein that resulted in his moving all-in with Ac-9c. Stein held Ah-Kh. A king on the flop was enough to send Marchese to the rail and setup this epic final.

Even with losing Marchese in 10th, this was still a fantastic final table. Paul Volpe and Jason Koon led a final that included former Main Event Champion Greg Merson.

Below were your final table participants:

  • Seat 1: Shaun Deeb – 488,000
  • Seat 2: Paul Volpe – 720,000
  • Seat 3: Jason Koon – 666,000
  • Seat 4: Ismael Bojan – 56,000
  • Seat 5: Dario Sammartino – 531,000
  • Seat 6: Kristijonas Andrulis – 240,000
  • Seat 7: Greg Merson – 244,000
  • Seat 8: Sam Stein – 480,000
  • Seat 9: Jason Les – 394,000

With 10 players left, Jason Koon held the chip lead. He was second in chips with nine players left. Amazingly, he was the first eliminated from the final table. The beginning of the end came in a massive cooler against Jason Les. A raising war resulted in Les being all-in pre-flop with Koon calling. When the cards were revealed it was Koon with pocket kings and Les with pocket aces. The board fell low cards and Les doubled up through Koon, leaving him with 188,000.

The rest of his chips went into the pot on the next hand with As-Qc. This time it was Shaun Deeb picking up a big hand, pocket kings. The flop fell Kc-Jh-5d to give Deeb a set but now Koon had a gutshot draw. The turn 4d missed both but the river 5s gave Deeb a full house and sent Koon to the rail in ninth.

Former Main Event champion Greg Merson fell in fifth place in this event. With less than 20 bigs left, he went to war with Kh-Js against the Ac-Qd of Paul Volpe. The board ran out ten-high and Merson fell in fifth.

Ultimately, it was Paul Volpe facing Shaun Deeb for the bracelet. The pair started relatively even in chips with Volpe holding a slight 100k advantage. Deeb jumped out to an early lead and the pair battled back and forth for a while. However, a brutal bluff attempt by Volpe cost him his shot at the bracelet.

Volpe had fired into a flop of Ah-5s-2s and into the turn 7h. When the river fell the 5h, he fired a third time for 1.08 million. Deeb instantly moved all-in and Volpe instantly folded. Deeb showed pocket aces for a full house and Volpe was left with only 10,000.

After a pair of double-ups to 40,000, Volpe was again all-in with 7h-2h against Ad-8d. The flop fell 8d-5s-2c, giving both a pair. The turn As gave Deeb two pair and the river Kc made Paul Volpe a runner-up for his second tournament in a row.

On Thursday, Paul Volpe finished runner-up in the $10k Heads-Up Championship and he finished runner-up tonight. An impressive run, but we are certain he would rather have the bracelet.

Shaun Deeb has finally broken through for his first World Series of Poker bracelet. The established pro lacked a major poke title on his resume but that void has been filled. In addition to the bracelet, he earned $318,857. Congratulations.

Millionaire Maker Draws 7,275 – $1.27 Million to Winner

Saturday was the second flight of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker NL Hold’em Event. Based on the numbers from Day 1a (3,347 players), it was questionable whether the event would crack 7,000 runner.

Fortunately, the event drew a solid field of 3,928 players Saturday to make a combined field of 7,275. While that is 8.81% off last year’s 7,977, it is still one of the largest live tournament fields in history. Keep in mind that the Colossus was last weekend and some of the players that would have played in this likely opted for that event.

When registration was completed, the field created a prize pool of $7.14 million. This event will pay 747 players with a min-cash earning $2,749 and the winner receiving $1.27 million.

Alexander Villa finished Day 1b as chip leader and will lead the surviving 618 players into Day 2 action on Sunday. Other notable players advancing from Day 1b included Bart Hanson, Ronnie Bardah, Paul Sexton, Barry Shulman, Shannon Shorr, David Vamplew and Maria Ho.

After two starting flights, a combined field of 1,118 players will return to the Rio on Sunday to play ten levels. The money bubble will burst on Sunday but it will probably be late Monday before we discover who will make the final table in this event.

Parker and Mosseri Lead $10k Razz, Deeb and Awad in Contention

Sunday’s evening event was the $10,000 Razz Championship. Razz is considered one of the more frustrating games in poker but is a cornerstone game to most rotation games.

This year’s Razz championship drew just 103 players, off 8% from 112 in 2014. Despite the slight drop-off, this was a stacked field as evidenced by those that finished Day 1 atop the leaderboard.

Brock Parker and Abe Mosseri finished the day tied as chip leaders with 140,900. Hani Awad jumped into this event after finishing runner-up in the $2,500 Omaha 8/ Stud 8 and finished third in chips with 122,200. Shaun Deeb won the $10k PL Hold’em Championship, registered in this event and finished fifth with 94,700.

At the conclusion of play, 63 players advanced to Day 2 which means it will be a long day of play on Sunday. With just 16 players receiving a payday, don’t expect the money bubble to be burst until late in the day. Play will resume at 2 p.m. and continue for 10 levels.

Turbo NL and Six-Max Limit Rule on Sunday

We are back to semi-normal on Sunday with two new events. The Noon event is the $1,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Event. If last weekend’s event was any indication, this should draw a solid field and reach the final table in a single day.

The evening event is the $3,000 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em Event. This should draw a skilled field of Limit Hold’em specialists and pros looking to take the only six-max Limit bracelet of the year.

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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.