Many poker players began playing limit poker before venturing into the ever-growing world of no-limit hold’em. Though it may not be their game of choice anymore, an event like the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em, one that switches from limit to no-limit every 30 minutes throughout the tournament, allows players to blend their passions and skills on the felt.
A total of 332 players entered the event, creating a prize pool of $1,560,400. Only 36 places paid, but some familiar names who cashed but didn’t make the final table included Chau Giang in 11th place, Andy Bloch 15th, Robert Williamson III in 18th, Phil Laak 24th, Patrik Antonius 27th, and Andy Black in 35th place.
The final table was a star-studded one and started with chip counts as follows:
Roland de Wolfe
The bracelet chasers were scheduled to begin at the ESPN feature table, amidst the production crews, at 3pm, though the start was nearly two hours late for an unknown reason. But once play started, big action came in the second hand.
One of the short stacks, Isaac Haxton, opened with a raise, but Erick Lindgren reraised. Haxton put in his remaining 70k as an all-in reraise with A-K, and Lindgren called with pocket Queens. The board hit 6-5-2-8-7, and one player was gone. Haxton was out in ninth place and sent to pick up $35,109 at the cashier cage.
On the very next hand, some pre-flop raising ended with Andrew Robl all-in with pocket 10’s and Lederer in the pot with pocket Aces. The dealer showed K-Q-5-10-8, and Robl was able to double up, much to the delight of his section of fans.
Roland de Wolfe went on a tear and won several sizable pots to move up on the leader board. His signature style was working well when he picked spots, and he showed that he’s in this for the long haul.
It was short-stacked Pat Pezzin that finally reacted to a David Rheem raise with an all-in reraise, and though Rheem folded, Robl called with A-K. Pezzin showed A-Q, and they watched the board produce 8-5-3-10-10. Pezzin was shown the door in 8th place for a $46,812 cash.
Play had slowed quite dramatically from the first few hands, and though there were some exciting moments and likely stellar plays that we won’t see until ESPN airs the hole cards, the final table players were getting comfortable and not ready to leave. That was until nearly 50 hands had been played and Rheem raised a pot pre-flop, David Williams reraised, Rheem did one better, and Williams moved all-in with . Rheem called with . The board came , and Williams was done in 7th place with $58,515 to improve upon his famous tennis shoe collection.
Howard Lederer became somewhat aggressive in an attempt to climb the leader board, and he was getting comfortable with his all-in moves. He did it with Robl and split the pot when both players showed A-J. He shoved and doubled up with A-8 against Rheem’s K-Q when the board gave him the Ace he needed on the flop. A while later, he doubled up again through Rheem with A-J against Rheem’s pocket 3’s, and the flop again gave Howard the Ace he needed.
On hand 80, Lederer raised, Justin Bonomo reraised from the big blind, and Lederer called. Bonomo bet the flop in the dark, and Lederer noted, also in the dark, that he would raise with his last 24k. The flop showed , Lederer showed and Bonomo showed . The turn and river were and respectively, and Lederer was forced to settle for 6th place and a $74,199 payday.
After a dinner break, players returned with the following chip counts:
Roland de Wolfe
Less than ten hands after their return, David Rheem raised pre-flop, and de Wolfe called from the big blind. After the flop hit , both players checked. The turn of a prompted a check from de Wolfe, a bet from Rheem, and a call from de Wolfe. Rheem’s money was all in after the on the river, and de Wolfe showed for the straight. Rheem mucked and left the tournament in 5th place with $93,624.
Roland de Wolfe was having some difficulties, and after numerous hands where he couldn’t get the momentum going, he tried again. He raised and was called by Bonomo. After the flop of , Bonomo checked, de Wolfe bet, and Bonomo raised all-in. de Wolfe thought and decided to call with , and Bonomo showed . The turn was a safe for de Wolfe, but the river was the to give Bonomo the flush. de Wolfe was out of the tournament in 4th place with $117,030.
The last hand brought Bonomo very close to Lindgren, the former with 1,420,000 and latter with 1,425,000. Robl was the short stack with only 245,000.
Robl couldn’t seem to climb back up the chip ladder. On the 157th hand of the evening, he moved all-in over a raise by Bonomo, who called the all-in. Robl had A-2, and Bonomo had Q-5. The board came Q-9-8-10-6, and Robl had to settle for third place and $144,337.
Heads-up action began in the no-limit portion of the mixed hold’em tournament with the following chip counts:
Lindgren took his time to try to chip away at Bonomo, though 20 hands into two-handed action, he was still the underdog. But a few hands later, he began to take his stand. He took pot after pot in a patient but concerted effort to take the lead. By the 190th hand of the night, he had done so. He was up to approximately 2.7 million to Bonomo’s 560,000.
On hand 197, Lindgren raised, and Bonomo called. After seeing a flop of , both checked. The turn of a brought a bet from Bonomo and call from Lindgren. And the on the river caused Bonomo to bet again, but this time Lindgren raised. Bonomo shoved all-in, and Lindgren quickly called. Lindgren showed the for the straight, and Bonomo turned over for two pair – not good enough.
Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo finished in second place for $230,159.
Erick Lindgren, a Full Tilt pro, took first place, the prize money of $374,505, and his first World Series of Poker bracelet. Congratulations, Erick!