The $1,000 NLHE tournament, at first glance, seems like the best deal of the 2008 WSOP. The only other buy-ins as low are the ladies’ and seniors’ events…but then the other two words appear after NLHE – with rebuys.
Rebuy tournaments can be a goldmine if played correctly, but too many players go into it with the intention of pushing with any two cards and doubling up quickly or giving in to the rebuy option. While some stick to the basics and never rebuy, many players end up going in for between $5,000 and $10,000 – and some for even more. With 879 registered in the tournament, there were a total of 2,508 rebuys, which created a whopping prize pool of $3,240,174, thanks to the rebuys.
Out of the starting field, only 115 made it to the second day, and it took more than 12 hours to determine the final nine players. Of Friday, June 27th, the following group returned to play for the WSOP bracelet and all of the cash up for grabs:
The action at the final table was just that – action – right from the start. On the seventh hand, Alex Bolotin made an initial raise, Albert Iversen reraised, and Bolotin called it. The flop of was checked by both players, but when the turn brought a , Bolotin pushed all-in for his last 112K. Iversen called with , and Bolotin was only able to show . The on the river didn’t help, and Bolotin was out in 9th place with $63,183 in parting prize money.
Only eight hands later, the action began with a raise from Max Greenwood, a reraise from Rene Mouritsen, and an all-in reraise from Phung Ngo for his last 250K. Greenwood folded, but Mouritsen called with , and Ngo showed . The board came , and it was over for Ngo in 8th place. He took $87,484 with him when he exited.
And it didn’t stop there. Greenwood raised a few hands later with enough to put Curt Kohlberg all-in in the big blind. Kohlberg thought for a bit and finally called for his last 271K with , and Greenwood showed . The Ace looked good for Kohlberg until the dealer put out the community cards of . Kohlberg was eliminated in 7th place for $111,786.
The fast play continued. Iversen was in the small blind and raised with the hopes that Aliaksandr Dzianisau would call all-in, and he did. Dzianisau’s quick call was obvious when he turned over , and Iversen showed only . The board couldn’t have been uglier for the short stack, though, when it produced on the flop. The turn and river were Aces, and Iversen had a lovely full house. Dzianisau had a 6th place finish and $144,187 for it.
In a strange turn of events, the player who came to the final table with a massive chip lead was in a desperate situation. In the 22nd hand of the day, Mouritsen raised, Jesse Chinni reraised, Mouritsen reraised again, and Chinni moved all-in for a little more than 1 million more with . Mouritsen called immediately with . The board came . And just like that, Chinni was out in 5th place with $183,069 for his work.
Play then slowed quite considerably without any significant exchanges happening for more than 40 hands. During that time, Mouritsen stayed atop the leader board as Iversen continually chipped up and put himself into a strong position. Even after Scott Freeman doubled through Iversen, the latter held a firm position in second place.
Freeman, however, was having a rough time. His double-up didn’t take him far, and two hands later when Mouritsen raised pre-flop, Freeman pushed his last 422K into the pot. Mouritsen called with , and Freeman showed . The dealer brought , and it was over for Freeman in 4th place; he received $223,572 to take home…or gamble with at the casino.
With three players left, it turned out to be Max Greenwood’s time to shine. He doubled through Mouritsen to get to 902K, then five hands later did the same through Mouritsen to begin approaching the 1.5 million mark. And in a stellar run, Greenwood doubled-up at the expense of Mouritsen a third time, this time to sit with 1,854,000 and relegate the former chip leader to last place on the leader board. But Greenwood wasn’t done, to the delight of his boisterous supporters in the audience. He went on to take a sizable pot from Iverson to climb all the way to 2,692,000. What a turn of events!
Not long after, Iversen began the 96th hand of the night with a raise, but Mouritsen reraised, and Iversen decided to call. When the flop brought , Mouritsen moved all-in, knowing that he had Iversen covered. Iversen called with , and Mouritsen showed for some outs to his opponent’s trips. The turn was the to make the flush, and the on the river was irrelevant. Iversen was out in 3rd place with $267,314.
Heads-up action began with the following chip stacks:
The two finalists had an intense battle which was made even more interesting by the dueling fans. Each player had fans in the stands who were quite outspoken, loud, and excited about almost every play. And with the stacks fairly close, it was anyone’s game…until Greenwood continued the aggression he put into motion midway through the final table. Ultimately, Greenwood took over the chip lead and made a sizable dent in Mouritsen’s stack.
On the 129th hand of Event 44’s final table, a champion was crowned. Mouritsen made a starting raise, and Greenwood simply called after sizing up his opponent’s chip stack. The flop came , and Mouritsen bet. Greenwood check-raised, but Mouritsen came back over the top all-in. Greenwood instantly called with , and Mouritsen showed . The turn and river were and , and Mouritsen had to settle for runner-up status and $445,523.
Max Greenwood took the title, bracelet, and $693,444 for a hard-fought battle and winning aggression. Congratulations!