The 2015 WSOP is about two-thirds done, with 43 bracelets having been awarded already. The biggest stories out of Las Vegas revolve around Perry Shiao, the poker world’s newest millionaire, and Matt Glantz, whose frustrations go way beyond his lackluster performance.
Perry Shiao wins 2015 WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack
In perhaps the most remarkable victory of the 2015 WOSP thus far, 26 year old Perry Shiao becme in instant millionaire last Wednesday when he survived a massive field of 7,192—that’s more player’s that the Main Event averages—to take down the $1,500 Monster Stack. Shiao collected a whopping $1,286,942 for his efforts.
That in itself is amazing, but even more so is the way everything came together. You see, a professional poker dealer by trade, Shiao has never cashed in a WSOP event before, and only decided to come to Vegas because he had won $7,500 in a tournament in Florida. Figuring it was enough to fly to Sin City and enter a few events, he did so. And now, he can afford to fly anywhere in the world, and enter any tournament he desires.
“I came out here to chase the dream,” Shiao said after winning the 2015 WSOP Monster Stack. “My birthday was the first day this tournament started. I couldn’t have given myself a better birthday gift.”
Matt Glantz says WSOP is ‘Losing its Luster’, may Skip 2016
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 36x WSOP casher Matt Glantz is beyond frustrated with his experience at the 2015 WSOP. The 43 year old American poker pro from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania isn’t just upset because of his uninspiring performance this year. He feels the poker festival is falling apart, and is actually considering skipping Vegas next summer.
In an open letter to the WSOP’s Executive Director Ty Stewart, Tournament Director Jack Effel and VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky, Glantz listed a plethora of ways in which he feels the 2015 WSOP has failed to deliver for players.
Glantz disputed the quality of the playing cards in use. He said the type is too small for many players to identify suits from across the table, and worse, they are shoddily made, resulting in players being able to identify and call out cards before they are tabled.
He went on to address the structure of mixed tournaments with lower buy-ins, saying they are unevenly spread. Matt Glantz feels they allow excessive play in the early stages, with too little towards the end. The American poker pro says many players find the structure exhausting, and are entering fewer events as a result.
He also berated organizers for removing PokerNews from the media and live reporting line-up, saying the excitement their coverage previously provided is sorely missed in the 2015 WSOP. He continued his scripted rant by haranguing the quality of food and mediocre service at the cashier cage.
“The WSOP is losing its luster,” wrote Glantz. “I can honestly say this is the first summer I have ever had the thought that I might not come back next year. I might actually skip the WSOP. When talking about it with my peers I am hearing similar thoughts across the board. You should be greatly concerned. You should be scared.”
Whether the poker pro is exaggerating due to frustration is uncertain, but if there’s one thing we do know, Matt Glantz has about as much WSOP experience as anyone (without a bracelet, that is). He’s cashed in 36 WSOP events over his career, making 8 final tables and harvesting $2.5 million of his $5.87 million lifetime earnings.
The 2015 WSOP, however, has been explicitly unkind to the series veteran. Glantz has cashed in just two events this year, pocketing just $13,161.