Event #13: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship
Paul Volpe has found himself leading the way on the star-studded final table of WSOP Event #13 – $10k No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. He had the chips all right, but experience was not really on his side. Of seven remaining players, he was the only one not in possession of gold WSOP bracelet. By the end of the night, that would change, as he managed to beat Daniel ‘KidPoker’ Negreanu in the heads-up confrontation, to add this beautiful piece of poker jewelry to his collection.
Volpe earned $253,524 for the victory, not to mention the bragging rights that come with beating one of the most stacked WSOP final tables in recent memory. Jason Mercier (3rd), Brian Rast (4th), Larry Wright (5th), John Monnette (6th) and Abe Mosseri (8th) were all present in the line-up, as was the reigning WSOP Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu, who was heads-up for a bracelet for the 12th time in his illustrious career. The heads-up battle was so electric, it appeared to have crashed the internet at the Rio, which experienced a total outage during heads-up action. That didn’t stop play in the event nor dampen anyone’s enthusiasm though.
When it was down to three-handed play Mercier was the one to catch as he had a substantial chiplead over the remaining two. However, despite the strong first half of the tournament, things started spiraling downwards for Jason from there on, and eventually he was all out of chips and exchanging his third place finish for $99,313. This left Paul Volpe and Daniel Negreanu to square off for the bracelet with Volpe holding more than a 2:1 chip lead, There was some back and forth, but Negreanu was not able to take the lead away from Volpe at any point. Eventually, KidPoker made the call against Volpe’s button shove and both players drew one card. Volpe made his Jack-Ten, and it was up Negreanu to see what poker gods had in store for him. He took his time squeezing the card, as rail was cheering on, but it just wasn’t meant to be. When he revealed enough of his card to realize it was the paint, he turned it over, and it was a queen, enough to make him Queen-Jack, but not enough to beat Volpe’s hand. KidPoker will have to seek his opportunity for bracelet number seven and the bet-winner elsewhere, as he scores the runner-up finish and $156,674 in cash.
“It feels amazing to get my first bracelet, especially in the $10K Deuce-to-Seven (event), which is one of the toughest events of the summer,” Volpe said afterward. “I was confident I was going to win. I felt like I was going to win. It was a super-tough table. It was unbelievable getting heads-up against Daniel. If I have to pick one person to beat for my bracelet, it would be him.”
This year’s $10,000 buy-in event drew 87 players, the exact number it drew last year. The prize pool came in at $817,800. The top 14 finishers each earned a payday and here are the final table results from the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Event:
1st: Paul Volpe – $253,524
2nd: Daniel Negreanu – $156,674
3rd: Jason Mercier- $99,313
4th: Brian Rast – $67,264
5th: Larry Wright – $47,792
6th: John Monnette – $35,549
7th: Abe Mosseri – $27,633
Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em
End-of-day chipleaders crashing out is a common site at the World Series. Indeed many a Day 1/2/3/4 chipleader has not even in made it to the money in many cases. So it was a pleasant surprise when Gregory Kolo who started the final day’s play in Event #12: $1,500 Pot Limit Hold-em hung on till the very end to claim gold and first place prize of $169,225.
It was a lightning fast final table as after only about two hours of play, the eight players who started the day had been whittled down to two, Kolo and second-place finisher Kazu Oshima. About 20 minutes later, Kolo held all the chips, winning the first-place prize of $169,225 to go with his gold bracelet.
Kolo came into the final day of competition with the chip lead, but he got off to a rough start. The 37-year old from Ohio maintained his confidence, though, and kept himself near the top of the chip counts throughout the final table. “I lost the first two hands of the day,” Kolo recalled after his victory. “I was mad at myself ‘cause I didn’t play them how I should have. I called a bet when I shouldn’t have. I bet a flop when I shouldn’t have. I was really down on myself, but after that, I chipped up. After that I never had any doubts.”
This is not only Kolo’s first bracelet. It’s also his first cash in a WSOP event. He has had quite a bit of success of the WSOP Circuit, however. Before today, the biggest tournament cash of his career came last September, in a third-place finish in the Main Event at the WSOP Circuit at the Horseshoe Cincinnati. Kolo surpassed that today with his with his win and his first piece of WSOP hardware. But for him, the money is not as important as the symbolism of the bracelet. “It feels good. Just the reward of knowing that I played well enough to win. [The bracelet] is a good recognition of that fact.”
The final table included three players with previous WSOP final table experience, 2011 November Niner Phil Collins (9th), Tom McCormick (5th), and Dean Bui (3rd). For McCormick, it was his 46th career WSOP cash, which puts him second behind Tony Cousineau on the list of players with the most cashes but no bracelets. Coincidentally, Cousineau also cashed in this event, bringing his total of WSOP cashes to 30.
This event drew 557 players and generated a prize pool of $751,950. The top 63 finishers made the money. Some of the notables who cashed include Tony Gregg (45th), Joseph Cheong (40th), Ryan Riess (36th), Phil Ivey (22nd), and Jake Toole (13th).
Here are the final table results from the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em:
1st: Gregory Kolo – $169,225
2nd: Kazu Oshima – $104,513
3rd: Dean Bui – $74,314
4th: David Martirosyan – $53,328
5th: Tom McCormick – $38,898
6th: Dan Goldman – $28,769
7th: Ahmed Amin – $21,565
8th: Ryan Schoonbaert – $16,384
9th: Phil Collins – $12,610