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Jun 22, 2015

2015 WSOP Quick Recaps: Events 26-30

By RTR Dennis

The latest set of events from the 2015 World Series of Poker saw two familiar faces capture victory. And there were also three players who'd never tasted much poker success - let alone won a gold bracelet - who found themselves champions at the 2015 WSOP. Remarkably, one of these players was merely on a business trip when he satellited into the tournament that made him much richer. That said, let's discuss Events 26-30 from the 2015 WSOP.

Event #26: Aaron Wallace satellites into $1k PLO and wins $227k

Aaron Wallace is just your average recreational poker player with a 'real' job on the side that sees him travel around the U.S. for business purposes. And the Indianapolis native's most-recent business trip saw him on the West Coast, where he made a detour to the 2015 WSOP in Vegas. Wallace's story officially began when he played in a $175 satellite and won a $1,000 PLO seat. From here, the amateur battled through a 1,293-player field and on to the $227,985 first-place prize. Wallace, who always tries to satellite into live tournaments, previously had just $11k in in cashes before earning this huge payout.

Event #27: Brian Hastings wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10k Seven Card Stud

When players think of Brian Hastings, they think of the guy who's won almost $5 million in online poker profits. But it's going to be hard to forget his live tournament success, especially since he recently won a second gold bracelet in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. Hastings also collected a $239,518 payout for topping this elite 91-player field, which saw Scott Clements (2nd, $148,001) and Dan Kelly (3rd, $92,691) fall just short in seeking their third bracelets.

Event #28: Perry Shiao takes down MONSTER STACK and Monster $1.28m Prize

Perry Shiao is well versed in the poker world since he's both a dealer and player. And Shiao might think about dedicating a little more time to the latter after outlasting a massive 7,192-player field to win the MONSTER STACK. The giant amount of entrants created a $9.7 million prize pool, and Shiao grabbed the largest share at $1,286,942. This was far from an easy million for the 26-year-old, though, because he was never a clear-and-away chip leader, with the lead changing hands several times. Runner-up Eric Place ($796,834) had a 3-to-1 chip advantage when he faced off against Shiao, but he lost a few big hands that doomed him. As for Shiao, he plans on flying back to Florida pretty soon to return to his dealer job.

Event #29: Phil Galfond wins Second Gold Bracelet and $224k

Phil Galfond is definitely a pro's pro, having won over $8 million in online poker and become one of the world's biggest poker strategy experts. And he did nothing to hurt this reputation after topping a 77-player field in this $10,000 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament. Galfond collected a $224,383 prize along with his second-career bracelet for the victory. In the process, he survived a brutal final table that included Nick Schulman (2nd, $138,665), Dan Smith (3rd, $87,898), Erik Seidel (4th, $59,532), Eli Elezra (6th, $31,463) and Jorryt van Hoof (9th, $17,067).

Event #30: Franco Ivan Luca becomes First Argentine WSOP Champ

In the 47-year history of the WSOP, there's never been a champion from Argentina. However, this all changed when Franco Ivan Luca fought through the Event #30 $1,000 NLHE tournament to win the $353,391 top prize. Luca definitely had his work cut out for him in making history, given that 2,150 players entered this event. Nevertheless, despite a marathon final table and heads-up session against the Czech Republic's Artur Rudziankov ($219,976), Luca emerged victorious. Before this win, Nacho Barbero had been the closest Argentine to earning a bracelet, having final tabled three different tournaments.