Event 3, the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament attracted the most players ever for a non-hold’em event with 1,128 runners. While hold’em tournaments remain the rage the interest in events other than NLHE continues to increase. It is reasonable to conclude that more PLO and mixed-game events will make the 2015 schedule.
Event 7 drew one of the largest audiences for both the live stream and in the Amazon room ever for one of poker’s most maligned games, Razz. The final table of the event was loaded with elite players. The early attention was generated by Phil Hellmuth and Brandon Cantu who had exchanged barbs and verbal insults throughout the event including one of Hellmuth’s trademark rants. The real story however was the heads up battle between Ted Forrest and Hellmuth for the championship. Hellmuth was aiming for his 14th bracelet and his second in event other than hold’em. Forrest was looking for bracelet number six. Three of his previous bracelets were in stud variants including one Razz bracelet, so it was no surprise when Forrest emerged as the champion.
The Millionaire Maker tournament continued to draw huge numbers of entrants with the eventual championing taking home more than the guaranteed $1 million first prize.
The biggest news of the WSOP so far came in Event 2, the $25,000 Mixed Max No-Limit Hold’em event which was won by Vanessa Selbst. Selbst had to overcome a chip deficit of almost seven-to-one to make the final table then another major deficit at the final table.
Selbst’s victory earned her a third WSOP bracelet and pushed her career tournament earnings past the $10 million mark. It also placed her atop the Player of the Year leader board. That is where the most interesting part of this year’s WSOP could develop.
Selbst has long been considered the best female players in poker, but it’s now time for her to be recognized as simply one of the best poker players on the circuit today. Selbst has been on a quite a roll for the first part of the 2014. She came close to capturing the European Poker Tour Player of the Year title and she has cashed in eight EPT events in the past 7 months. Her aggression and skill, especially in high roller events, have earned her renewed respect and prestige with both players and fans alike. She has to be a favourite to make a deep run in The Big One for One Drop tournament. If her momentum continues it is totally plausible that Selbst could walk away with the WSOP Player of the Year title, becoming the first female player to do so. And if poker fans are lucky, she well end up being the second female player to make the Main Event Final table.