Two events kicked off on Day 2 of the 2015 World Series of Poker and chip clatter and table chatter picked up a livelier pace at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in comparison to Day 1.
Everyone comes with the dream to win money but many come just for the gold — the honor and glory of being a champion in a particular event for a year and taking home a Gold Bracelet that will fill a lifetime with memories is what it's all about!
And so ends Event #1: $565 Casino Employees' No-Limit Hold'em but the beginning of the lifetime of memories started at the same time.
Barnette Wins His First Gold
Brandon Barnette took some of those beats that make you hit the rail talking to yourself all the way out to the parking garage, but instead of toppling under pressure and agonizing over a beat — or two — or three — he fought on to claim victory in Event #1: $565 Casino Employees' No Limit Hold'em, after making it through a field of 688.
It was down to three and Barnette had the chip lead when he got all-in preflop with against the of Greg Seiden. He was ready to move into heads-up play but the board ran out with the and Seiden scooped up chips with a straight on the river. Barnette tried again with the all-in on a flop that had three diamonds against Seiden's . You guessed it, the board paired on the turn.
"I had a sinking feeling in my gut," Barnette said.
And the peeled off on the river. Barnette has been around poker long enough as a half-dealer/half-floor manager position that he knows what it takes to keep afloat mentally in a game of poker.
He kept his game intact and went on to win a gold bracelet in the first WSOP event he ever played and took home the first-place prize of $75,704 and a gold bracelet in his first WSOP event.
His friends were there to cheer him on and that meant he would head back to work to cover the absence of employees in his card room.
"I was supposed to play the Colossus also, but because of all these people being here, I couldn't get the time off work," he said. "My boss was actually the first one to call me, he gave me tomorrow off."
Barnette has a four-month old baby and he added that his win would help with that support. He's no stranger to gold and winning as he spent four years on the USA national roller hockey team where he says he won a world games gold medal and three world championships!
Congratulations on the win Brandon!
Merson Among 20 Alive in Event #2
Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em brought out a number of big names — as is expected. David "Doc" Sands (704,000), Jason Wheeler (683,000), Bryn Kenney (596,000), Byron Kaverman (372,000), and Joe Ebanks (301,000) were among the 20 remaining in the field when chips were bagged for the night. Carl Westcott stood at the top with 1.062 million.
WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson is in contention for another bracelet. He finished the day with 800,000 — solid third in chips — blinds will begin at 6,000/12,000/2,000 when Day 3 starts.
Players finishing in the money were Dan Sindelar (42nd - $9,381), Felix Stephensen (37th - $9,381), Tony Gregg (31st - $11,523). Brian Hastings (29th - $11,523), Jeremy Ausmus (27th - $14,280), and Jesse Martin (21st - $14,280) out of the 45 that will cash — total entries were 422!
Ma Leads Event #3
Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low, started Thursday at noon with 918 runners, 373 finished made it through the day. Tony Ma left with the biggest stack, 57,800. Ma has two bracelet wins and more than $4.5 million in career tournament cashes. Taylor Paur (56,000), Eric Crain (55,600), Steve Gross (49,800), Calvin Anderson (38,300), John Monnette (36,800), and Allen Cunningham (30,100) are strong contenders as they head for Day 2.
Phil Hellmuth, Mike Leah, David "ODB" Baker, Joe Serock, Calen McNeil, and Greg Raymer were some of the top names that busted in the event. McNeil had a shot at three straight final tables if he could have held on in this event after winning it in 2013 and finishing in fourth place last year but that ended when he got knocked out
Event #4 Update
Event #4: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout — The shootout rules, players draw seats into single-table SNGs, each table plays down to a winner who moves to the next SNG. The field had 308 seated at 40 tables at the start of day, the first round finished on Thursday and those advancing were in the money.
With payouts guaranteed at $6,180, the following names moved on to the next round: Doug Polk advanced along with Loni Harwood, actor James Woods, David Peters, Jake Balsiger, Carlos Mortensen, Sam Greenwood, Jason Somerville, and Joe Cada. They've all guaranteed themselves payouts of $6,180.
Some of the big names that played and went bust on Day 1 were: Justin Bonomo, Tom Marchese, Phil Laak, Ryan Riess, Jonathan Duhamel, and David Benefield.
Day 2 plays out four-handed. When the smoke clears the winners of each table will move to the 10-handed final table and play for the top prize of $201,812.
Image courtesy of wsop.com.