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

WSOP Day 16 – Packed House for NLHE & PLO Rebuys

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It was a Saturday in Las Vegas, and there was a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event on the schedule. The WSOP built it, and they came. All of the tournament rooms were packed with players by the noon start time, and though the madness of this event died down as the day progressed, there was a pot-limit Omaha tournament to fill the tables and fill the noise void with recurring yells of “rebuy!”

The dichotomy of the two starting events was interesting. While the low buy-in NLHE event brought players from all walks of life, as well as pros and amateurs alike, the PLO with rebuys was a larger buy-in and required the specialty game players to have a sizable bankroll to compete. The fields of the two tournaments overlap to a very small degree, but the majority of the players are quite different. It shows that the World Series of Poker has something for everyone.

Two events began their second days – razz and heads-up – and both had some very interesting fields to watch. The action couldn’t have been set up to be more different in the two tournaments, but again, that is what keeps the WSOP interesting.

Let’s take a look at all of the Day 1 and Day 2 happenings at the Rio in Las Vegas.

12noon – Event #27 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 1)

Holding this event on a Saturday ensured a full field, as players from all walks of life could make the weekend trip to Vegas, and if they happened to make it to Day 3 on Monday, arrange a day off from the day jobs. It was a max crowd, and with the policy of no alternates accepted this year, the tournament was capped at 2,700 players.

While the majority of the players were unrecognizable faces – the everyday recreational poker player from Anywhere, USA, there were some notable faces in the crowd, including Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak, Justin Bonomo, Michael Binger, Scott Clements, Bill Edler, Jared Hamby, Alex Kravchenko, Joe Sebok, Jeff Madsen, Erica Schoenberg, Hevad Khan, and David Pham. It was set up to be anyone’s game, though the odds were already in favor of new faces showing up at this eventual final table.

Players in this field disappeared faster than people in a police-raided home game. By midnight, the count was at 273 as they played toward the money bubble, and finally two players busted on the bubble, so they split the 270th place prize. Another surge of exits took place in the last hour of the night, and play ended with 224 people and Bernard Lee at the top of the leader board to return for Day 2.

2pm – Event #25 - $10,000 World Championship Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2)

This was another capped field from the start, due to the inherent restrictions put upon a heads-up tournament. It began with 256 players on Day 1, and three rounds were played, leaving 32 players to return for Day 2. They drew for their match-ups, which started and played out as follows:

Jason Rosenkrantz vs. Brandon Adams (Winner: Adams)
Emil Patel vs. Michael Banducci (Winner: Patel)
Roman Paradiso vs. Sam Farha (Winner: Paradiso)
Kenny Tran vs. Erick Lindgren (Winner: Tran)
Thomas Lutz vs. John Patgorski (Winner: Patgorski)
Gavin Griffin vs. Alexander Kostritsyn (Winner: Griffin)
Andy Black vs. Michael McNeil (Winner: McNeil)
Alex Jacob vs. Jonathan Jaffe (Winner: Jaffe)
Brian Roberts vs. Alex Torelli (Winner: Torelli)
Scott Montgomery vs. Isaac Haxton (Winner: Montgomery)
Daniel Stern vs. David Williams (Winner: Williams)
Lyle Berman vs. David Podgurski (Winner: Berman)
Jean-Claude Moussa vs. Robert Mizrachi (Winner: Mizrachi)
Jonas Entin vs. Evan Sofer (Winner: Entin)
Cliff Cantor vs. Vanessa Selbst (Winner: Selbst)
Matt Giannetti vs. Michael Mizrachi (Winner: Mizrachi)

All players eliminated in the previous round were awarded $21,657. The next round of dueling players was drawn and completed as follows:

Vanessa Selbst vs. Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi (Winner: Selbst)
Robert Mizrachi vs. Jonas Entin (Winner: Mizrachi)
John Patgorski vs. Gavin Griffin (Winner: Griffin)
Michael McNeil vs. Jonathan Jaffe (Winner: Jaffe)
Alec Torelli vs. Scott Montgomery (Winner: Torelli)
David Williams vs. Lyle Berman (Winner: Berman)
Brandon Adams vs. Emil Patel (Winner: Adams)
Roman Paradiso vs. Kenny Tran (Winner: Tran)

Those who did not advance went to the cashier cage for their $36,096 to ease their frustrations. And those who won their previous matches had to hang around to play another round immediately after the others ended. But when the Berman/Williams match went over four hours, it was decided that some matches would play, and Torelli would wait to play the winner of the marathon match. When that happened, another redraw took place and the next round match-ups were as follows, the winners of which will meet on Day 3 to play for the bracelet:

Brandon Adams vs. Kenny Tran (Winner: Tran)
Gavin Griffin vs. Jonathan Jaffe (Winner: Jaffe)
Robert Mizrachi vs. Vanessa Selbst (Winner: Selbst)
Alec Torelli vs. Lyle Berman (Winner: Torelli)

3pm – Event #26 – $1,500 Seven-Card Razz (Day 2)

Razz can be a tough game to play and an even tougher one to watch – ask any tournament reporter. Those who enter a razz tournament are an interesting mix with mostly pros and a few amateurs who have discovered the game via friends and home games. Amazingly, a total of 456 players entered the event, but only 104 survived Day 1.

Day 2 began with a familiar face in the chip lead – Barry Greenstein. David Levi was in a solid second place, and others like Vanessa Rousso, Mike Wattel, Frank Kassela, and Sam Grizzle were also in the top ten. The plan was to play down to the final nine, and in the process, reach the money that would allow the top 48 players to be paid.

Just after 2:30am, with the notable eliminations of Tom Schneider in 12th place and Frank Kassela in 9th place, the final eight players for the final table were set. Chris Viox was the clear chip leader to enter the final bracelet run, and all counts were released as follows:

Chris Viox 359,500
Barry Greenstein 243,000
Brandon Leeds 206,500
Joseph Michael 155,000
Archie Karas 113,000
Mark Tenner 108,500
Chris Klodnicki 105,000
Mike Wattel 74,000

5pm – Event #28 - $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha w/Rebuys (Day 1)

This was destined to be a smaller event due to the higher buy-in and the rebuy factor. In the 2007 WSOP, the field was only 145 deep and Burt Boutin won the tournament. The 2008 event had a total of 152 entrants but an astounding 483 rebuys among them.

The table of the day that caught everyone’s attention was a poker fan’s dream table, consisting of Robert Williamson III, Phil Hellmuth, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Sirous Jamshidi, Daniel Negreanu, and Daniel Alaei. Eventually, Alex Kravchenko and Phil Ivey joined the table, and cameras and reporters were staked out there all day. The line-up there was indicative of the star-studded nature of this event.

And when play wrapped for the day after 3am with 54 players remaining, the list of top ten players was similarly representative of the field with David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren, John Juanda, Eli Elezra, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Thomas Wahlroos in that group. Day 2 was set to be an exciting play-down to the final table competitors.

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