Event #15: $3,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em

Brandon Cantu Comes on Strong at End of Night to Lead Day 1

[user153638] • Level 10: 400-800, 100 ante
Brandon Cantu

Event #15 of the 2014 World Series of Poker, a $3,000 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold’em tournament, attracted 810 players – three more than last year – and created a prize pool of $2,211,300. That will be distributed to the top 90 finishers with a hefty $508,640 going to the eventual winner.

The man best positioned to make a run at top prize and gold bracelet is Brandon Cantu, who emerged as the chip leader of the advancing 144 players with a stack of 244,700. Others still in contention are Barry Hutter (201,100), Andreas Hoivold (195,200), Nick Guagenti (178,100), and Davidi Kitai (141,900).

Cantu captured the chip lead in the penultimate hand of the night, which turned out to be “one of the greatest” hands he’s ever played. He told PokerNews all about it after conclusion of play.

Of course not everyone was so lucky. Chris Molica was the first player to fall, and it happened on the first hand of the day when a preflop raising war resulted in him getting his 9,000 starting stack in holding {a-}{q-} against Justin Gavri’s {a-}{k-}. The board ran out clean and Molica spent more time walking to the exit than he did in the tournament.

While Molica was the first to go, he certainly wasn’t the last. Among the hundreds to fall on Day 1 were Matt Kirby, who ran queens into the kings of Paul Newey; former November Niner Jason Senti, who was playing his first event of the summer; and 2013 WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess, who actually fell in the same hand as 2006 WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Madsen.

It happened in Level 3 (75/150) when Riess opened the action with a raise to 350. Madsen called from the button, Bryn Kenney came along from the big blind, and three players saw a flop of {k-}{9-}{7-} rainbow. Kenney checked, Riess bet 750, and Madsen made the call. Kenney then woke up with a check-raise to 2,100, Reiss three-bet to 4,000, and Madsen moved in for 5,500 total. Kenney then moved all in over the top and Riess called off his remaining chips.

Kenney: {9-}{7-}
Riess: {a-}{a-}
Madsen: {k-}{j-}

Kenney was in the lead with a flopped two pair, and it held as a {4-} blanked on the turn followed by a {10-} on the river.

Others who fell throughout the course of play were Jake Cody, TJ Cloutier, Brock Parker, Erick Lindgren, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Clements, Scott Seiver, Jeremy Ausmus, Doug “WCGRider” Polk, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Liv Boeree, and Phil Ivey.

Ivey late registered Event #15 after busting another tournament, and his stay was short. In Level 7 (200/400.50), he got his last ten big blinds in the middle from the small blind and his opponent in the big blind quickly made the call with {j-Diamonds}{j-Spades}. Ivey needed to find some help for his {k-Hearts}{9-Hearts}, but the board ran out {10-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} and Ivey's tournament and massage came to an abrupt halt.

While dozens of notables fell, many were able to navigate the tough field. Among those who punched their ticket to Day 2 were Michael Mizrachi (100,700), Will Failla (73,000), Phil Hellmuth (59,400), Todd Terry (52,000), Andrew Lichtenberger (40,300), Paul Volpe (24,800), and Jonathan Duhamel (22,200).

Day 2 will get underway at 2 p.m. on Friday as the returning players look to play through the money bubble on their way to the final table, or at least as close as they can get in ten more one-hour levels of play. The PokerNews Live Reporting will be bringing you all the action, so be sure to join us then.

Tags: Brandon Cantu