World Series in Bits: Names, Numbers and Trivia from 2015 WSOP

Phil Ivey
Ivey: Headliner even when absent.

One thing a massive poker tournament series like the World Series of Poker produces besides big winners?

Numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. And plenty of names, new and familiar.

Also: indispensable bits and pieces of interesting trivia for poker fans the world over to mull over as they commute into work, dreaming of their own big payday.

With 40 or so events in the books the 2015 WSOP has delivered on all accounts. A few particularly interesting pieces to remember:

Of Firsts and Records

Chalk up another for Chess champs.

Numbers did drop for the first couple of tournaments. The first event that saw a rise in numbers was Event #8, $1500 Pot Limit Hold’em.

It went from 557 in 2014 to 639 players in 2015, equaling a jump of +13%.

Chess grandmaster Konstantin Maslak from Russia won his first bracelet in Event #13, $2,500 Omaha/Stud.

The 30-year-old Maslak missed last year’s WSOP because he was following the FIFA football world championship.

The average age in Event #13 was 44.1 years, about seven years higher than the average.

William Kakon from Morocco won the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event. He’s one of the top brokers in the US, has lived in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, tops the Moroccan all-time money list and comes to the WSOP for his annual vacation.

Interestingly the $1,500 LHE event used to be the first on the schedule and drew larger player fields than the Main Event in the 1980s and 1990s before No Limit Hold’em took off.

Event #6, $1k Hyper Hold’em, was the first-ever hyper turbo WSOP event. It had only 20 minute levels and the final table lasted less than two hours.

Event #3, $1,500 Omaha 8, was the tournament with the highest average age, 45.5, which is over seven years older than the overall average.

Highest Profile Finale

The toughest final table so far took place in Event #15, the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship.

Shaun Deeb won his first bracelet, having cashed 23 times at the WSOP and reached a final table for the third time. These were the finalists:



Prize Money

Highest GPI Rank


Shaun Deeb

c. 9 million



Paul Volpe

c. 9 million


POY leaderboard leader (after 40 events)

Jason Les

c. 750,000


2nd final table within one week

Sam Stein

c. 4.2 million



Greg Merson

c. 11.5 million


WSOP Main Event Champion 2012

Dario Sammartino

c. 2.5 million


GPI #1 in Italy

Kristijonas Andrulis

c. 1.4 million



Ismael Bojang

c. 1.5 million


Most WSOP cashes since 2013 worldwide

Jason Koon

c. 7.5 million



Eight of the nine finalists have made the top 100 of the GPI and three of them even the Top 10. The only one outside the top 100 is Jason Les, who has made two top-three finishes within a week and moved to #3 in the WSOP POY race.

The PLHE Championship was the first event without any female players at the WSOP 2015. In Event #20, $1,500 NLHE, only 0.03% of the players were female.


In the Millionaire Maker, just as in The Colossus, the winner had never cashed in a WSOP event before.

A 27-year-old electrical engineer from Colorado became the first millionaire of the WSOP 2015, beating a field of 7,275 players and a final table that included Olivier Busquet, Erick Lindgren and Mike Sexton.

The Millionaire Maker was the sixth largest live tournament of all time.

And then there was the story of Christian Pham, who accidentally registered for the $1,500 2-7 No Limit event – and then went on to win it although he’d never played the game before.

Notable Bracelet Winners

Phil Hellmuth used to be called a No-Limit Hold'em specialist because he won his WSOP bracelets in this game only. Now, he’s won his second Razz title.

Hellmuth won the $10k Razz Championship and raised his bracelet bar to 14. Many people say that no one will ever be able to catch him, but there is someone who has just won his fifth and he’s younger than Hellmuth was when he had five.

Jason Mercier
Important win for Mercier in couple ways.

Daniel Alaei is that player and his victory came in the $10k Omaha Hi-Lo event. Impressively this is the second time Alaei won this event.

He now has won the same number of bracelets as players like Scotty Nguyen, Allen Cunningham, John Juanda, Stu Ungar and Berry Johnston.

Jason Mercier won the $5k 6-max NLHE Championship, beating English pro Simon Deadman heads-up. It was a huge win for two reasons for Mercier.

It's his third career WSOP bracelet but his first in No-Limit Hold’em. His other two are in Pot-Limit Omaha. The $633k he won also went a long way to reversing a previously terrible financial summer after he lost a huge side bet with Brian Hastings.

Speaking of Brian Hastings, the player forever connected to the biggest online poker battle ever, he won his second bracelet this year in the $,1500 10-game event, beating a field of 380 all-round specialists this weekend.

Scott Clements and Dan Kelly finished in second and third place -- both double bracelet winners themselves. Hastings was the first player this year to win two bracelets (although he was matched by Italian Max Pescatori just a few hours later).

Hastings also took down the $10k Seven Card Stud Championship.

Galfond and Boyer Return to Glory

Seven years after his first victory Phil Galfond managed to win his second bracelet. The event was $10k No Limit 2-7 Single Draw and the final table included Dan Smith, Erik Seidel, Eli Elezra and runner-up Nick Shulman.

Phil Galfond
Galfond: Still got it.

With only 77 players that was the smallest event so far at the 2015 WSOP 2015 but it was an immensely strong field.

72 year old André Boyer from Montreal, Canada, is the oldest player to win a bracelet this year. He battled French player Erwann Pecheux for victory but the final table had players from no less than eight different countries on the last eight seats.

Max Pescatori won the Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship, thus becoming the first Italian and European player with four bracelets. His last opponents were Stephen Chidwick and Daniel Negreanu, both credited to belong to the elite of all-around players worldwide.

Both Pescatori and Negreanu call Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo their “best game."

Notable Absentees

The most prominent players not present at the WSOP are Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan. The two superstars are/were apparently in Macau playing high-stakes cash games.

They also recently starred in an odd video where they promoted a new version of Texas Hold’em called “Six Plus Hold’em."

Rumor has it that they were doing some important poker personality in Macau a favor, if you can call it that.

Ivey is expected to play n the upcoming $111,111 One Drop, though. Check the video below:

Erick Lindgren Final Tables, Files Bankruptcy

Erick Lindgren
Tough times continue for EDog.

Just a week or two ago former Full Tilt Poker pro Erick Lindgren made positive headlines for making the final table of the Millionaire Maker and earning $193,675.

Now it seems like he won’t have a lot of fun with it.

Lindgren has officially filed bankruptcy – again. Lindgren previously declared bankruptcy in 2012 when, in the aftermath of Black Friday, it was revealed he owed $2.5m to Full Tilt - $2m of which had been accidentally transferred to Lindgren’s account.

At the time Full Tilt’s new owner and PokerStars parent company, the Rational Group, managed to have all charges against Lindgren dismissed. But it seems it wasn't enough.

His debts have now reached “a cumulative debt of more than $10 million" with "available assets of less than $50,000."

Lindgren owes money to several different parties. The largest debt is to the tax authorities; other creditors include former Full Tilt teammates John Juanda and Andy Bloch.

His sports gambling debts amount to almost $3m alone.

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick