Poker history added a new line to the ledger when the biggest tournament ever held ended with a champion on Day 8 of the 2015 World Series of Poker. Very newsworthy and notable — perhaps without as much fanfare as the Colossus — but to the other two gold bracelet winners on Wednesday, it was just as exciting and filled with the glory of becoming a champion and winning a WSOP bracelet. Two other tournaments started and two others played down to manageable numbers as the $10,000 Heads-up Championship ended for the night with the final two and the $1,500 Limit Hold'em stopped with 28 still in competition.
The Biggest Live Tournament in Poker History
When the Colossus began, it could have been likened to a massive road race, like the Bloomsday Run held each year in Spokane, Washington, that started with 49,094 runners in the competition in 2014.
The 2015 WSOP's Event #5: THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em found a winner in Cord Garcia! Garcia is a circuit grinder and won an incredible first-place prize of $638,880 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. His biggest score previous to this win was $83,640.
Garcia took a moment to talk to PokerNews.com about the victory after making it through a starting field of 22,374. When the final table started, he was sixth of nine in chips.
When it got down to the final two, Garcia managed to pull off a bluff-catcher by McFarland on the river. Bad timing on McFarland's part — Garcia flopped a set and turned a full house.
Michaelis Wins Event #8 $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em
Fifteen players started the third and final day of the 2015 WSOP Event #8: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em. Of the 639 who started with high hopes, 15 remained.
When the day began, David Eldridge was in the lead but German Paul Michaelis took over as the only player with more than one million in chips when the fina table of 10 was set. Michaelis ran into Tom Marchese when he tried a king-high bluff in a massive hand to put Marchese out in front heads-up. The war went back and forth until Marchese picked up and four-bet shoved.
With Michaelis made the call and if Marchese's hand held, he would double up and land back in control in the fight to win his first bracelet. The fickle finger of Lady Luck brought the abd Michaelis truimphed with a set.
Michaelis took down his first WSOP cash — 1295th-place in the WSOP's Event #5: THE COLOSSUS $565 No-Limit Hold'em — and just claimed his first WSOP gold, along with a six-figure payday!
Pescatori Picks off $1,500 Razz
Max Pescatori finished the 2015 WSOP's Event #9: $1,500 Razz in first place to take down his third piece of WSOP gold. Pescatori had been just outside the spotlight since 2008 and PokerNews.com talked to him about his return.
Pescatori won $155,947 after making it through a field of 462 besting a final table that included two-time WSOP bracelet winner Eli Elezra. The final table results:
The $10K Championship, Down to Heads-up
The 2015 WSOP $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship is down to 2014 WSOP $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball champion Paul Volpe and 2003 WSOP $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em winner Kieth Lehr.
The field began with 143 and the final 16 came back to play down to two. Lehr defeated Jake Schindler, Valeriu Coca, and Dee Tiller to make it to the final and Volpe beat Barry Hutter, Isidro Sifuentes, and Matthew Cooper to get there.
When the two return, both will hold 7,680,000-chip starting stacks and blinds at 30,000/60,000. A cool $334,430 is waiting for the winner and $206,620 for the second-place finisher.
Here's how the payouts look so far:
$1,500 Limit Hold'em Stopped with Song in the Lead
Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold'em finishes with 28 players left and 1997 WSOP $2,000 Limit Hold'em bracelet winner Kevin Song has the chip lead.
Day 2 started with 222 players all looking for the bracelet and the $196,055 first-place prize.
Some of the big names that will return are Shannon Shorr and WSOP bracelet winner David Chiu. When play resumes, the contest will run until a champion is crowned.
Day 1 of the $1,500 Six-Max
The 2015 WSOP's Event #12: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed started with 1,651 entries as cards went in the air for short-handed action. The prize pool grew to $2,228,500 and 180 players will take home cash with the winner bagging $457,007 for a first-place prize.
With 206 remaining players, Bryan Campanello had the lead. Galen Hall, Mike Watson, and Steve Billirakis bagged six-figure stacks and others that had plenty of chips to crank up the action were David Benyamine, Kevin Saul, Antonio Esfandiari, and Scott Seiver when they come back on Day 2.
$2,500 Eight or Better - Flack in the Lead
Six-Time WSOP bracelet winner Layne Flack held the lead in Day 1 of the 2015 WSOP Event #13: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better. The pize pool sets at $1,185,000 with 48 players taking home cash out of the 474 entries that started on Wednesday. The winner will take home $269,612.
Back-to-Back Flack stood at the top of the 277 players that bagged and tagged for the night in Day 1. Maria Ho wasn't far behind. WSOP bracelet winners Scott Clements, Eli Elezra and Jeff Madsen were in a comfortable spot also.
When play resumes on Thursday, the plan will be to play down to the final table.
Thursday will also see two new events begin: Event #14: $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout at 12 p.m. and Event #15: $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em Championship at 4 p.m.