WSOP Daily Digest, June 22: Hastings & Pescatori win two, Brunson shows up and the $50k Poker Players Championship is underway

Byron Kaverman takes down the prestigious $10k 6-Handed Championship

1. Kaverman wins first in $10k 6-Max

Byron Kaverman won his first WSOP bracelet in one of the toughest tournaments in the world, the $10k 6-Max. It puts the polish on a fantastic year for Kaverman who has been crushing the high roller events at the Aria in Vegas. He finished fourth and second in two $25k events in January before winning two on consecutive nights in March for a total score of close to $900k. He added another $657k by winning the 6-Max Championship, but the bracelet will mean more.

Kaverman beat heads-up specialist Doug Polk heads-up after eliminating 2014 WCOOP Main Event champ Fedor Holz in third. He had a 10-1 chip lead and he closed it off in just ten hands when his A-5 held against Polk’s J-Q.

Paul Volpe added another final table to his 2015 WSOP resume. He was first out in sixth, but, with his two runner-up finishes, he’s strengthened his hold on the WSOP Player of the Year. Volpe is currently over 300 points ahead of Phil Galfond in second.

Event #37: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship

  1. Byron Kaverman – $657,351
  2. Doug Polk – $406,261
  3. Fedor Holz – $268,463
  4. Thomas Muehloecker – $182,448
  5. Sam Greenwood – $126,745
  6. Paul Volpe – $89,934

2. Two for Hastings and Pescatori

You wait 39 events for the first double bracelet winner of 2015 and then two come along at once. Brian Hastings became the first player to win two bracelets when he won the $1,500 Ten-Game Mix over the weekend. Hastings beat Rostislav Tsodikov heads-up after Todd Brunson was railed in third spot. It’s Hasting’s third career bracelet and comes ten days after his victory in the $10k Seven-Card Stud Championship.

Hastings said afterwards: ‘I really pride myself on being able to play all of these games well. I hope this carries over into the $50K (Poker Players Championship).’ Hastings also moved into third place in the WSOP PotY race.

Just a few hours ago Max Pescatori matched Hastings by winning his second bracelet in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud 9 or Better Championship. He came out on top of a stacked final three, which saw Daniel Negreanu fall in third for his best performance of the summer, and Stephen Chidwick lose heads-up.

It keeps up an incredible record for Pescatori, who has never finished second or third at the WSOP – each of the four times he’s made the final three he’s gone on to win.

In a post tournament interview Pescatori said: ‘I believed I could do it, because stud is my best game. Coming into the series, I thought this event was my best shot to win another gold bracelet. The win in razz (gold bracelet number three) wasn’t the event I necessarily thought was my best chance, so that was nice to get it there. But I always thought stud was the game where I could go deep.’

3. Doyle Brunson doing it for the old-school

The WSOP might be dominated by younger players these days but the $1,000 Seniors event always gets an incredible turnout and is probably the friendliest and most fun tournament of the summer. This year 4,193 old timers (over 50) filled the Rio and just nine remain, with Travis Baker leading the way. Up for grabs is the bracelet, the Golden Eagle trophy and a pension sweetener of $613,466. Action restarts at 11am PT with the live stream starting with hole cards on a 30-minute delay.

For the first time this year, the WSOP is also running a Super Seniors event – for players aged 64 and over. The $1k buy-in attracted some stellar old-school players like TJ Cloutier, Dan Harrington and Tom McEvoy in the 1,533-strong field, but the biggest story was Doyle Brunson who bought into his first WSOP event of 2015 and got a standing ovation from the crowd. Unfortunately Brunson was eliminated before the end of the day when he missed a flush draw with A-T on a K♣-5-9 flop. Henry Hannigan is the Day 1 chip leader, with Dan Harrington still in contention.

4. Extended play for Yevgeny Timoshenko

Another new event at this year’s WSOP – the $1,500 Extended Play – has proved popular with 1,914 players buying in to take advantage of the 90-minute levels. When Day 2 ended around three hours ago just 115 remain with Yevgeny Timoshenko leading the way and looking for his first bracelet to complement his $6,842,647 live earnings.

There are plenty of big names still in contention too, with Antonio Esfandiari in second and Patrick Leonard in fourth. Play resumes today at 1pm PT with the plan to get as close to the final table as humanly possible.

5. $50k Poker Players Championship

It’s one of the summer’s most prestigious events, but a lot of players have been critical of the decision to add two new games to the $50k Poker Players Championship – badugi and no-limit 2-7 single draw. While some players with an edge at badugi were licking their lips, others were threatening not to play and numbers are down at the moment. Day 1 is in the bag and only 77 players have currently bought in, although registration is open until the start of Day 2 later today. 85 players bought into Day 1 last year, with numbers eventually swelling to 102. Doyle Brunson bought in late last year and we’re hoping he’ll be back after his appearance at the Super Seniors event.

With stacks of 150,000, play was deep and only four people were eliminated on Day 1 – Adam Owen was first to fall, followed by James Obst, Kevin Song and 2011 champ Brian Rast towards the end of the day.

Phil Hellmuth is still in after buying in towards the end of the day. He’d have been better off waiting until Day 2 as he’s currently down to 107,300. Scott Seiver is the chip leader with 350,700, with Michael Mizrachi in sixth, Matthew Ashton in ninth and the reigning champion John Hennigan in 14th.

Play resumes at 2pm when we’ll be keeping an eye out for late buy-ins. Five more 100-minute levels should see some significant movement.

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