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Jun 16, 2015

2015 WSOP Quick Recaps: Events 21-25

By RTR Dennis

The latest round of events from the 2015 WSOP featured one player winning his fifth-career bracelet, Canada ending a two-year WSOP drought and a poker pro entering the wrong tournament, only to win a game that he'd never played before. Let's discuss all of these stories in addition to everything that happened in Events 21-25 at the 2015 WSOP.
Event #21: Daniel Alaei wins Fifth Bracelet and Second Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
Daniel Alaei may not carry the same name recognition as Scotty Nguyen, Chris Ferguson, Stu Ungar or David Chui. But he now has just as many WSOP gold bracelets as these famed players after winning the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship along with $391,097 and his fifth-career bracelet. Alaei beat out a 157-player field and overcame a 6-to-1 chip deficit to Kyle Miaso in heads-up play to win. At the age of 30, Alaei joins an exclusive club of four players who've won five gold bracelets before their 31st birthday, with Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey and Allen Cunningham being the others.

Event #22: Sam Greenwood wins First Bracelet for Canada in Two Years

Canada has won the second-most WSOP bracelets in history with 47. But strangely enough, they were completely shut out of the winner's circle at the 2014 WSOP. And through the first 21 events of the 2015 WSOP, the Great White North had yet to taste victory. However, Sam Greenwood ended this bracelet drought for Canada by winning this $1,000 NL Hold'em event and $318,977. To do it, Greenwood had to beat a very large field of 1,915 players. Nevertheless, he came through to earn his first bracelet and boost his career live tournament winnings over $1.4 million.

Event #23: Christian Pham signs up for Wrong Tournament and wins

Poker players make plenty of mistakes, but it appeared that Christian Pham made one of the biggest mistakes of them all - signing up for the wrong tournament. Pham paid a $1,500 entry fee thinking that he was entering a NLHE tourney, only to find out that he'd signed up for a 2-7 Draw Lowball event. Given that he only realized the mistake when the tournament already started, Pham stayed in the tourney, despite never having played 2-7 Draw Lowball in his life. Amazingly, he picked up the game along the way and eventually navigated through the 219-player field and on to the $81,314 top payout.

Event #24: With Twins on the Way, Arash Ghaneian wins $1.5k HORSE

Arash Ghaneian has every reason to win as much money in poker as he can right now - he has twins on the way. And his pregnant wife sat in the Rio cheering him on as he navigated through a 772-player field and on towards the $239,750 top prize. Ghaneian was emotional after the victory because his wife has been with him for 10 years, through the good and bad times of being a poker pro. "It’s been a hard road," the Iranian-American said. "Each time I saw her here or she sent me a text, she would say, 'I know you’re going to win this – I can feel it.'" Australia's Robert Campbell also made a deep run in this tourney, but he ended up finishing second ($148,096) while missing out on the Aussies' first bracelet of 2015.

Event #25: Football Coach Jeffrey Tomlinson upsets Tough Final Table in $5k NLHE

This $5,000 Eight-Handed NL Hold'em tournament drew a very strong field of 493 players; this much was evident from the final table, which featured pros Pierre Milan (2nd, $351k), Dominik Nitsche (3rd, $220.6k), Jonathan Little (6th, $85.6k), Anthony Zinno (7th, $64.5k) and Dan O'Brien ($49.3k) all making the final table. With such a stacked final table, it's surprising that Jeffrey Tomlinson, a high school teacher and football coach from Florida, emerged victorious here. But Tomlinson said he never had any fear, despite facing multiple bracelet winners and famed pros. And this lack of fear is what powered the 51-year-old to the $567,724 top prize along with his first gold bracelet.