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

Colossal problems

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:

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.

Card problems?

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:

Heeeeeeeeere’s Phil

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:

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

Colossus update

The $565 event that starts Friday keeps getting fuller. Right now, the Saturday morning flight is looking like the best bet:

Now Seidel is complaining too

Apparently securing valuables, not so easy at the WSOP:

The Mouth wants backing

Hey, it’s never too late to get staked for six figures in the WSOP, right?

The champ is here

Reigning WSOP main event champ Martin Jacobson recently entered the $5K event, tells us. Former NFL star Richard Seymour, too.

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.

Already complaining

We’re only about five hours into the WSOP, and people have already found something to complain about (although this stuff does seem warranted):

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:

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’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.

Updated: 1:38 p.m. Vegas (Pacific) time


A story over at notes how much the profile of online poker has risen once at the WSOP, with the advent of regulated real-money play at 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 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, 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 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):

Where’s the WSOP?

We LOL’d at this one:

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:

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.