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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

Day 4 of WSOP Ramps Up Action with Three Tourneys

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This is a prime example of what the majority of the World Series of Poker days are like. The first day was soft day with only one event, and a $10k championship tournament at that; it was guaranteed to be a relatively short and easy-to-follow lead-up to the madness. Even the two first starting days of the $1500 NLE event were easy to track once the fields began to diminish in the first few hours.

Day 4, however, is the kind of action that the WSOP will be providing for the remainder of the Series. A new tournament began at noon, the second day of another event came in at 2pm, and another new tournament started at 5pm. Here’s a look at the rundown:

12:00pm – Event #3 - $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em (Day 1)

The third event of the 2008 WSOP was well-attended by 713 players, though the prize pool fell just short of a million at $973,245. There will be 72 places paid with the winner receiving a bracelet and the $214,131 first prize.

Play began with a slight mix-up in seating, courtesy of Kristy Gazes and the new color-coded seating arrangement. There are now four different sections in the Amazon Room, each having the same numbers. She took her seat in the orange section of the room instead of the blue section, and after she had lost one round of blinds, the tournament director figured out the mix-up. The other player took his seat and was given a full stack of chips, while Kristy took her slightly diminished stack across the room.

Some of the early exits from the tournament included Eric Lynch, John Cernuto, Isaac Haxton, Jimmy Fricke, Roy Winston, John Duthie, Alex Jacob, Mark Seif, and Andy Bloch.

As players were eliminated somewhat rapidly throughout the day, the tournament directors were faced with a decision. The field dwindled to just a few more than the 72 who were to be paid, but not much time was left on the clock before the day was to end. Finally, it was decided that hand-for-hand would begin and action would continue until the money was reached. As the money bubble approached, play slowed but it was eventually Karl Westheimer who was forced to take 73rd place and no money. Several other players went out as soon as the money hit, and play ended with 63 players, all of whom will return at 2pm on June 3rd to play down to the nine finalists.

2pm – Event #2 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2)

The event that began with two Day 1’s over the weekend and set a record as the fourth largest poker tournament ever held entered Day 2 with 447 players from the original 3,929 field. It was the largest restart, with the exception of the main event, in WSOP history.

With the tournament set to take no longer than four days, the last of which would be the ESPN-filmed final table, everyone knew that this would be a long haul. And it was.

It began with chipleader David Bach using his advantage to add to his lead. And not too long into the day, the money bubble approached and hand-for-hand play began. That would prove to be a bit of a process, as many amateur players simply wanted to make the money and refrain from any risky play. The pro players were well aware of the opportunity in front of them and became ultra-aggressive. Players like Todd Witteles and Shane Schleger were two that knew they could take the blinds and antes in almost every hand until the bubble burst, and they did.

Finally, Robert McLaughlin bubbled, and the remaining 378 competitors were in the money. Players then took the cash and ran in droves, with bust-outs coming left and right. Included in that group were Marco Traniello, David Singer, Todd Brunson, Gavin Griffin, and Mark Vos. Still atop the leader board was David Bach, but the first player to hit the 300k mark was Ginikachukwu Izuogu.

Just after 11pm PST, after having played for nine hours minus the dinner break, there were still approximately 95 players left. Playing down to nine was looking like an insane feat, but after the WSOP consulted with ESPN, it was decided that it would happen – play would continue through the night (and morning) to reach that final nine. Everyone braced for the extended play.

By 2:30am, 45 players remained, and previous chip leader Izuogu had been eliminated. Chris Ferguson was on the rise, and the last woman standing, Pia Jeppesen, was near the top of the leader board. Play was getting exciting, but few were awake to watch it.

The excitement began to wane as the hours ticked by. As 6am neared, a vote of the final 20 players was taken to decide whether to continue or suspend play. Exhaustion had set in, and after two votes in which some players did not vote, a decision was made to play to 18 and consider the options again. They did so, and after some prodding to make their voices heard, five players wanted to continue play but ten longed to go home and a few didn’t vote. With a majority rule, tournament staff suspended play until 1:30pm today.

At the time of suspension, the chip leader was Aaron Coulthard, followed closely by Theo Tran. Other recognizable names in the pack included Perry Friedman, Minh Nguyen, Chris Ferguson, and David Bach.

5pm – Event #4 - $5,000 Mixed Hold’em (Day 1)

As was the first event of the 2008 WSOP, this was one that the pros anticipated. Combining limit and no-limit hold’em, with games changing every 30 minutes, with the higher buy-in, notable players abounded. The final tally was 332 players, which created a $1,560,400 prize pool. The last 30 places would be paid, and first place would be $374,505.

A few of the big names playing the event included Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Freddy Deeb, Greg Raymer, Joe Sebok, Mark Seif, Bill Chen, Justin Bonomo, Vanessa Rousso, David Pham, Gavin Smith, Katja Thater, Phil Laak, John Duthie, Tom Schneider, Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu, John Hennigan, Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi, Robert Williamson, Jeff Madsen, David Williams, Victor Ramdin, Daniel Alaei, Chris Bell, Ted Lawson, and Event #1 winner Nenad Medic.

Vanessa Rousso got off to a good start but busted into the second level, while players like Negreanu, Seif, and Brunson were joining her on the rail…or in the VIP Lounge. Gabe Kaplan followed, just as Phil Hellmuth was deciding to join the rest of the remaining players in the tournament.

The end of the night came just after 2:30am with 91 players remaining, though defending 2007 champion Steve Billirakis was not one of them. Leading in chips seemed to be Jon Turner, and in the top ten were Justin Bonomo, David Williams, Gavin Griffin, Maria Ho, Ted Forrest, Jimmy Fricke, and Chau Giang.

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