Jul 09, 2015
2015 WSOP Quick Recaps: Events 51-55
By RTR Dennis
The idea behind the recent influx of low buy-in tournaments at the WSOP is that more recreational players will be attracted to these low-risk/high-reward tourneys. And if the world's premier poker event is looking for a posterboy to push this idea, they need look no further than Justin Liberto. That said, let's discuss Liberto's impressive low-stakes story along with other players who won in Events 51-55 of the 2015 WSOP - including a famed Hollywood screenwriter who became the first female winner this year.
Event #51: Justin Liberto continues Low-Stakes Success Story in $3k NLHE 6-Handed
Two years ago, unknown Justin Liberto finished fourth in the Millionaire Maker and earned $400k. He's since turned this money into four WSOP Circuit final tables, 2 gold rings and, now, a gold bracelet. Liberto won the latter after topping 1,042 players in this $3,000 NLHE 6-Handed event. His prize was a massive $640,711 and another accolade in his growing poker career. "When I came to the series a few years ago and finished 4th in the Millionaire Maker that allowed me to bypass some steps that most players would normally have to go through," said Liberto. "I was careful not to overshoot my goals after that. Now, getting this win just makes things a lot easier."
Event #52: "No Reservations" Screenwriter Carol Fuchs wins $1.5k Dealer's Choice
Carol Fuchs just made herself one of the most interesting poker stories of the entire year. First off, she became the first female winner of the 2015 WSOP, topping a very skilled 357-player field in the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event to win $127,735. What's more is that Fuchs is just a part-time poker player whose career lies in the screenwriting industry. And her biggest accomplishment to date includes writing "No Reservations," a 2007 hit starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart that grossed $92.6 million worldwide.
Event #53: Realtor Jacquelyn Scott wins 2015 Ladies Hold'em Championship
It was inevitable that we'd have two female champions in a row since the $1,000 Ladies Hold'em Championship was next. 795 players turned out for this tourney, with 66-year-old Jacquelyn Scott battling her way to the $153,876 top prize. Scott, a part-time player, dominated the final table and walked away with her first gold bracelet. She now works as a realtor and plays poker on the side at Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. One interesting note about Scott is that, while working in medical sales, she sold the first-ever defibrillator when it became available in the early 1990s.
Event #54: Denmark's Alexander Petersen takes down $10k PLO Championship
After fighting through an elite 387-player field in the $10,000 PLO Championship, Jason Mercier looked poised to win his second bracelet of the 2015 WSOP. After all, he held a 3-to-1 chip lead over Alexander Petersen when heads-up play started; but the Dane had other plans, quickly doubling up through Mercier and mounting an impressive comeback to win the $927,655 top prize; Mercier settled for second and a $572,989 payout. As for Petersen, he's been an online poker pro for 11 years and sparsely plays live tournaments. But perhaps that will change now after this huge victory.
Event #55: Brandon Wittmeyer wins First-Ever Draftkings 50/50
The DraftKings 50/50 was among the innovations at this year's WSOP, with half the field cashing for at least $1,000. Aside from this, another interesting aspect to this tourney is that professional sports bettor Brandon Wittmeyer battled through the 1,123-player field to earn the $200,618 top payout. This is significant because DraftKings, the most-famous fantasy sports site, was the big sponsor behind the Event #55 $1,500 NLHE tournament. "Honestly, I did not really think about the sports betting and Draftkings connection," Wittmeyer said. "This just happened to be the next tournament on the schedule after I finished 3rd in the other event. So, it was nothing I planned out."