Jul 09, 2015
2015 WSOP Quick Recaps: Events 61-67
By RTR Dennis
The last round of events before the 2015 WSOP Main Event featured a mix of both low buy-ins and high buy-ins, big tournament fields and small fields, and inaugural events and long-running tourneys. But if there was one theme from Events 61-67, it was mostly first-time champions experiencing WSOP glory. That said, let's discuss who these champions were in the latest set of tourneys.
Event #61: Student Paul Hoefer wins $1,111 Little One for ONE DROP
The very affordable (by WSOP standards) $1,111 Little One for ONE DROP drew a giant field of 4,555 players. And it was college student Paul Hoefer emerging from this amateur fest with the gold bracelet and $645,969. What's most impressive about Hoefer's victory was how he dominated the final table, which included WSOP champs Brett Shaffer and John Reading. "I did make it look easy," Hoefer said, when asked of his final table run. "There’s no question I ran super good. But I played good, I think. When you play good and the cards hit you, that’s an unstoppable combination." Beyond Hoefer's victory, the ONE DROP foundation, provider of clean drinking water to developing countries, also won with major donations.
Event #62: Jack Duong wins First-ever WSOP Bounty Tournament
Bounty tournaments have been a staple in online poker for over a decade. But they've just now hit the WSOP, with this $1,500 NLHE Bounty event being the first of its kind. Jack Duong fared the best, topping a field of 2,178 players and collecting the $333,351 top payout. Despite coming into the tournament late, Duong also collected 11 bounties, plus his own, each worth $500 for a total of $6,000. Other players who went deep reportedly earned as many as 18 bounties.
Event #63: PhD Student Andrew Barber triumphs in $10k H.O.R.S.E.
It's no surprise that this $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament drew an elite field of players. But what is a surprise is that PhD student Andrew Barber topped the tough 204-player field to earn $593,502. The 32-year-old beat out a final table that included Viacheslav Zhukov (2nd, $319,989), Jared Bleznick (4th, $153,638), Joe Hachem (5th, $114,308), Frank Kassela (6th, $86,541) and Scotty Nguyen (7th, $66,579). Barber was further motivated to win when Bleznick called him a "terrible player," which Barber is probably now laughing at with his first gold bracelet.
Event #64: Anthony Spinella wins Inaugural WSOP Online Tournament
One of the big stories heading into the 2015 WSOP was that there'd be an online event. This tourney allowed anybody within the state of Nevada (and global qualifiers from 888, Winamax and PlayNow) to compete for a gold bracelet via the internet. 905 players logged on for Event #64, creating an $859,750 prize pool. And in the end, it was long-time online poker pro Anthony Spinella taking first and earning $197,743. "It feels good to win this," said Spinella. "I’ve been playing for a long time now and always wanted to win one, so this really feels great."
Event #65: Gerald Ringe collects Third Bracelet for England
Britain has had a pretty good summer at the 2015 WSOP, with Gerald Ringe bringing home his country's third bracelet. Ringe beat out a 547-player field in this $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo tournament to win his first gold bracelet and a $180,943 payout. What really stuck out about Ringe's victory is how quickly he demolished his final two opponents - Christopher Vitch (2nd, $111,860) and Daniel Idema (3rd, $70,322) - beating them in just 35 minutes. The Brit spends most of his time playing cash games around London, especially in the Victoria Club (a.k.a. The Vic). But with this WSOP victory, he'll have a lot bigger live tournament reputation as well.
Event #66: Connor Berkowitz wins Debut $777 Lucky Sevens Event
The last regular tournament before the Main Event was $777 Lucky Sevens, another first for the series' history. And Lucky Sevens was quite popular, drawing a field of 4,422 players. The player who fared the best in this cheap $777 buy-in affair was Connor Berkowitz, a New Jersey poker pro who scooped the $487,784 first-place prize. "This is like a dream for me," said Berkowitz. "I’m speechless. I literally don’t know what to say other than this is a dream come true. It’s every poker player’s dream." The 25-year-old used to work for Chase Bank, but given this WSOP victory, it seems as if he's definitely chosen the right career.
Event #67: One Decade Later, Quinn Do wins Second Gold Bracelet
10 years ago, Quinn Do made his first big mark in the poker world, winning a $2.5k Limit Hold'em event ($265,975) at the 2005 WSOP. And now, the L.A. poker pro has a second bracelet after topping a 108-player field in this $10,000 Dealer's Choice event. Do had some simple advice to offer players about Dealer's Choice events after beating this elite field: Don't pick your best games, pick your opponents' worst games. And it seems that this formula is very good to Do since he earned $319,792 for the victory. "Winning this gold bracelet was better than the first," said Do. "This one was for Mixed Games which is something I have worked on for a long time. I spent ten years playing these games so to come here and win for this event is really better for me."