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

WSOP Day 20 – PLO Rebuys and Studs

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Think about it. There have been over 30 completed World Series of Poker tournaments in less than three weeks, with just as many prestigious WSOP bracelets awarded to well-known pros and relative unknowns alike. The whirlwind that has been the 2008 WSOP thus far is one destined to go down in history as records are being broken and the popularity of the game as strong as ever.

As has been customary, there were two events that began on Day 20 and two events in the second stages of action. And also as usual, the games vary – PLO, NLHE, and two variations of stud. Adding the rebuy aspect to the PLO event always brings out the excitement of tournament poker as it refuses to accept the boundaries of a buy-in or cautious play.

Let’s take a look at the events that played out.

12pm – Event #34 – $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha w/Rebuys (Day 1)


A low buy-in PLO tournament with rebuys allowed for the first three levels is a recipe for madness… and excitement. That it was. Some of the players up for the challenge included Tom Schneider, Lee Watkinson, David Ulliott, Erick Lindgren, Thomas Wahlroos, Bill Gazes, Jimmy Fricke, Jamie Gold, Ted Lawson, Scott Clements, Jared Hamby, Nenad Medic, Andy Black, Humberto Brenes, Jeff Madsen, and Katja Thater.

The number of players who entered the event was 320, but there were an amazing 1,350 rebuys to send the prize pool soaring to $2,407,125. Only the top 36 players will be paid, but the first place man or woman will take home $577,725.

By the end of Day 1, only 48 players remained to fight for the money spots and more importantly, the few seats at the final table. Frank Vizza was the chip leader, and others in the top ten are Kyle Kloeckner and Jerrod Ankenman, both of whom have recently reached other final tables, along with Kevin O’Donnell, Layne Flack, and Tim West. All will return at 2pm on Thursday for Day 2 of this action-packed event.

2pm – Event #32 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2)

The first day of the third $1500 NLHE event of the 2008 WSOP drew 2,304 players, which is phenomenal considering the event began on a Tuesday when many part-time players are working their day jobs. But what was normal about this event was the number of eliminations on Day 1. After only nine levels of play, only 166 players withstood it to return on Day 2.

Andy Garcia led the chip count list going into the second day, accompanied in the top ten by 2008 WSOP bracelet winner Michael Banducci. But as the day wore on and the goal of reaching the final nine players grew closer to becoming a reality, numerous competitors were forced to the rail.

As the final table neared, play naturally slowed a bit, but it was all said and done by approximately 1am, which is earlier than many of late. With the elimination of Ken Hughes in 10th place, the final table was set as follows:

Seat 1 Dean Bui 211,000
Seat 2 Justin Hoffman 138,000
Seat 3 Jose Luis Velador 1,898,000
Seat 4 Joseph Georges 1,086,000
Seat 5 Utsab Saha 961,000
Seat 6 Jae Chung 716,000
Seat 7 Shane Stacey 640,000
Seat 8 Osmin Dardon 660,000
Seat 9 Anthony Signore 636,000

3pm – Event #33 - $5,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better (Day 2)

From the original 261 players in the championship event, only 120 survived to make Day 2, and names in the top ten included Robert Mizrachi, Shawn Sheikhan, and Steve Sung. But they were faced with sticking it out and maintaining momentum through more than 100 eliminations as the play would continue.

The second day of the event turned out to be longer and tougher than any of them expected. It was literally approximately 16 hours of play that ended at 7am the next morning that led to the final eight players who would play for the bracelet. In the end, Howard Lederer was the final table bubble player and went home in 9th place, but his sister, Annie Duke, made it through.

The only one from the top ten chip counts from the night before who made it through was Sung. Final tallies going into the final table were as follows:

Sebastian Ruthenberg 663,000
Chris Ferguson 434,000
Alessio Isaia 398,000
Marcel Luske 308,000
Robert Beveridge 308,000
Annie Duke 277,000
Steve Sung 207,000
Bob Lauria 40,400

5pm – Event #35 - $1,500 Seven-Card Stud (Day 1)

While seven-card stud events are normally well-attended, they are not by any means the most popular game in the line-up. This event proved it with only 381 players in the field and a prize pool of just a bit over $520,065. Still, a bracelet and that cash was up for grabs to the 40 people who could make it to the money and come out on top in the end.

Some recognizable faces in the crowd were Marsha Waggoner, David Williams, David Chiu, Anna Wroblewski, Huck Seed, Dewey Tomko, Allen Kessler, John Juanda, Jerry Buss, John Cernuto, Katja Thater, Perry Friedman, Sam Grizzle, and John Phan.

When it was said and done for the evening after nine rounds of play, Leonardo Ebeling looked to be at the top of the leader board with Greg Pappas behind. Also in the top ten were Al Barbieri and Alan Jaffray, and many more were left with enough chips to make something happen. Players were scheduled to return for Day 2 action at 3pm on Thursday.

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