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

WSOP Day 25 – Seniors Ruled the Day

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This was a day dominated by the senior members of the poker playing world. The $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em World Championship was the only event starting on Day 25 of the 2008 WSOP, and it was a packed house with players seated in the Amazon Room, the excess area of the Brasilia Room, and even a few extra tables near Buzio’s restaurant down the hall at the casino entrance. Nothing was going to stop this bunch from playing.

While the seniors-only field shrank quickly, only two other events played out in Day 2 form – the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball and $1,500 Mixed Hold’em tournaments. Both were set to play down to the final table competitors. Without another event beginning at 5pm, and with only one final table playing out in the Amazon Room, it was a relatively easy day to follow the action.

12noon - Event #42 - $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em World Championship (Day 1)


An event catering to players age 50 and older draws an interesting crowd. While some of them are quite experienced with years of poker under their belts, many have become interested in the game through television over the past few years and decided to plunk down a cheap buy-in of $1,000 to see what they can do.

In 2007, the total number of players was 1,882, but this year saw a dramatic increase with 2,218 registered for the event, which also turned out to be the largest field ever for this event. The prize pool climbed to over $2 million, and the players were ready to take a chunk of that. Included in that list of players were Tony Ma, Humberto Brenes, Marsha Waggoner, Johnny Chan, Eskimo Clark, Lon McEachern, Bruce Buffer, Mike Caro, and Amarillo Slim Preston.

At the end of the day, 220 players remained with Duane Gerleman sitting with a monster stack of well over 100K, while no other player hit that century mark yet. But near the top of the leader board were some big names – Tom Franklin, Men “The Master” Nguyen, Avery Cardoza, and Tom McEvoy. While this particular crowd of players were looking a little ragged at the end of the long day of play, those 220 hung in there and were set to return on Day 2 to play down to the final nine.

2pm - Event #40 - $2,500 2-7 Limit Triple Draw Lowball (Day 2)

The lowball tournament began with 238 players, which mainly consisted of well-known players who were experienced in this unique variation of poker. Thusly, the prize pool was only $547,400, but registered players were not in this to be one of the 24 finalists paid – they were in it for the WSOP bracelet.

All things considered, even that this was a limit game, only 30 players were left from the starting field to return for Day 2. Shun Uchida was the chip leader, followed closely by Gioi Luong, Ray Davis, and Greg Raymer. The goal was to play down to the final six players, and getting to the money where the top 24 would be paid wasn’t difficult. Finally, Richard Chase went out in 10th place, Mike Wattel in 9th, Steve Sung in 8th, and Billy Baxter in 7th to set the table by only 10:30pm.

The final table to take place on Tuesday, June 24th was going to start with the following players and chip counts:

John Phan 294,000
Gioi Luong 291,000
Robert Mizrachi 215,000
Shun Uchida 200,000
Ben Ponzio 113,000
David Sklansky 78,000

3pm – Event #41 - $1,500 Mixed Limit/No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2)

Out of the 731 players that entered the mixed hold’em formatted game, only 98 made it through the first day of play. Playing through the second day with the goal of reaching the nine final table players would be a challenge, especially with the limit rounds mixed in that obviously go slower than the no-limit portions of the tournament.

A player named Jonathan Tamayo was the chip leader coming into Day 2, and no recognizable players were in the top ten on the leader board. But when play began, it was a fight because only the top 72 players would be paid, and there were some determined competitors ready to gain their rightful places in that mix. Finally, it was Bob Lauria who took the place of the bubble boy, and the battle for final table rights was on.

At approximately 3am, after play had slowed incredibly for the night, it was the elimination of Todd Witteles in 10th place that allowed the rest of the players to go home for the night. The final table was set for the following afternoon:

Mats Gavatin 405,000
Nick Binger 339,000
Frank Gary 332,000
Michael Chu 264,000
Jonathan Tamayo 238,500
Alex Jalali 204,000
David Machowsky 147,500
Chris Rentes 132,000
David Sorger 130,000

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