Cards are in the air for the 2015 World Series of Poker, with the start of two bracelet events kicking things off from the world’s biggest poker tournament series at the Rio in Las Vegas.
This is a running blog that will be updated regularly throughout the day with interesting happenings from the WSOP, including big hands, the status of pro players, insights from Twitter and more. Check back later for updates. Newest items are at the top.
Updated: 1:45 a.m. Vegas time
Despite warnings to pre-register for the $565 Colossus, which will be the largest live poker tournament ever held, people didn’t take the hint. There are still apparently long lines at the Rio as people try to register on-site:
— Chris Tsiolis (@ChrisTsiolis) May 28, 2015
One event over for the day
The casino employees event has wrapped up play, with 51 players coming back for day two. Updates here. The runner-up from last year, Corey Emory, is still alive but short-stacked.
We haven’t seen too many concerns or comlpaints with the playing cards so far, after the WSOP switched from Bicycle to Modiano, which makes 100% plastic cards. But at least one pro is worried:
— Eric Crain (@EricCrain) May 28, 2015
No grand entrance from Phil Hellmuth this year. He watched his beloved Golden State Warriors clinch a berth in the NBA Finals, then finally sat down:
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) May 28, 2015
Don’t you wonder where these guys come from?
Every year, players who have very little tournament history do well in bracelet events. Right now, an example of that is near the top of the chip counts. Robert Gorodetsky has just $2K in WSOP earnings, and $44K in live earnings. But he’s playing in the pro-heavy $5K event. Everyone else near the top of the chip counts we’ve either heard of or their results lead you to believe they belong. We’ll be curious to hear Gorodetsky’s story if he hangs in there.
Nearing the century mark
The casino employees event is down to nearly 100 players. Just 72 players will cash, and the event is supposed to wrap up tomorrow.
Doing well in the $5K
Pros doing well include into the evening include Calvin Anderson, Fabian Quoss, Eugene Katchalov, Christian Harder, Greg Merson and Jason Somerville.
A video glimpse at day 1
The $565 event that starts Friday keeps getting fuller. Right now, the Saturday morning flight is looking like the best bet:
Colossus Update 438 seats left for Fri 10am flight. 1,213 left for Sat 10am. This does NOT count late wave seats so can add 1750 more each
— WSOP (@WSOP) May 28, 2015
Now Seidel is complaining too
Apparently securing valuables, not so easy at the WSOP:
If you're one of those people who camps out for the new IPhone or Star Wars movie, you'll be well prepared 4 experience getting a Box @Rio
— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) May 28, 2015
The Mouth wants backing
Hey, it’s never too late to get staked for six figures in the WSOP, right?
Anyone interested in buying 50% of me at the wsop this year for 105k at 1.2 please contact me by im or notification #wsop2015
— Mike Matusow (@themouthmatusow) May 28, 2015
The champ is here
The casino employees event just went on break. Unofficially, there are just under 700 entries in the event, with $75K going to first place. Defending champ Chad Holloway is out.
Who is in?
We started finding out some of the big names who are playing the $5K event. Phil Hellmuth is one of the ones we hadn’t seen previously. Chip counts here.
There are more than 270 entries so far, pushing the prize pool past $1.2 million.
Champ on champ violence
Main event winners Carlos Mortensen and Ryan Riess mixed it up. Hand here.
We’re only about five hours into the WSOP, and people have already found something to complain about (although this stuff does seem warranted):
— Toby Lewis (@810ofclubs) May 27, 2015
Rent-a-lockers at the WSOP this year. Maybe I should just put my money in there instead of waiting in a 2 hour box line.
— Christian Harder (@realcharder30) May 27, 2015
Don't understand how the WSOP fields grow every year but the registration room never does.
— Tony Dunst (@Bond_18) May 27, 2015
Oh, there’s an update
Just as we were about to write that the WSOP was off to a slow start in providing live updates in Event #2, they gave us one. It was half an hour in, though, making us wonder if this indicates some of the bumpy road we might see as WSOP tries to do in-house live reporting for the first time.
But, now they are on the board, listing some of the tough tables that have been put together in the $5K event. The early leader in the clubhouse might be the table with Mike Leah, Ravi Raghavan, and Tom Marchese.
Update: This table we found looks tough, too:
— Ryan Riess (@RyanRiess1) May 27, 2015
The WSOP on Twitch
The PokerNews podcast is live from Vegas, with Remko Rinkema, Jason Somerville and Donnie Peters. Watch it here.
Now we’re really started
While the casino employees event is a nice way to start, now the real pros get involved. The first open-field event, Event #2, $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, just got underway. Live updates here.
We have to imagine with will be popular with the pros who are already in Vegas, because of the buy-in level and the fact that it will be less of a minefield against amateurs.
World Series of Zombies
The comic from PokerNews.com’s Chad Holloway (who also happens to be a bracelet winner) is out, and you can buy it at the WSOP for five bucks. With the awesome looking comic, we wonder why the sign indicating they are for sale is hand-written on pink paper.
— Chad Allan Holloway (@ChadAHolloway) May 27, 2015
Updated: 1:38 p.m. Vegas (Pacific) time
A story over at ESPN.com notes how much the profile of online poker has risen once at the WSOP, with the advent of regulated real-money play at WSOP.com in Nevada. There’s even an online bracelet this year, if you hadn’t been following the news about the schedule. From the article:
Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc. — which owns the WSOP and the WSOP.com platform that is legal in Nevada and New Jersey — is allowing (and encouraging) players to play the game online while participating in the WSOP. Caesars is making sure players know there is free Wi-Fi in the ballrooms at the Rio. And Caesars is recruiting players to sign up for WSOP.com, which started in 2013 and, while initially marketed primarily to Nevada residents, now heavily promotes the fact that out-of-staters can legally play while in Nevada.
I also noted that the WSOP.com presence was pretty big in my quick walkthrough on Sunday.
DraftKings all over the place
Apparently, daily fantasy sports site DraftKings has more of a presence than we realized. We knew they were sponsoring one of the events — a 50/50 tourney where half the field gets paid. But they are also seemingly on the felt of every table, right in front of the dealer (making it great for them in terms of TV/live stream purposes):
— PokerNews (@PokerNews) May 27, 2015
Where’s the WSOP?
We LOL’d at this one:
— Eric Crain (@EricCrain) May 27, 2015
The first event
The WSOP officially got underway with Event #1, the $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em tournament. World Series of Poker Vice President Jack Eiffel was responsible for kicking off the festivities.
According to the WSOP’s live updates, there were 50 tables running after “Shuffle up and deal” was declared. You can follow live updates from the casino employees event here.
The first open-field event gets started at 4 p.m. That tournament is Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em. Updates here when it gets underway.
Filling up fast
The $565 Colossus, which starts on Friday, has already beat the largest live poker tournament in terms of entries in history (the 2006 main event). There were already nearly 10,000 entries on Wednesday. And it seems like the first flight on Friday has a good chance of selling out:
Today we are averaging 200 Colossus sign-ups an hour. Now have 952 seats left for Friday's 10am flight.
— WSOP (@WSOP) May 27, 2015
After that flight fills up, there is also a “late wave” for the first flight that players can enter. There are four total starting flights across Friday and Saturday.