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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | WSOP2009 Tournaments

Event 10, 2.5K PLHE/PLO: Boukai Takes Home Bracelet

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Many players profess that Pot Limit poker is where you find the true greats. Unlike limit where you can call down for single bet, or no limit where you can move all your chips in, controlling your bets and the pot size of are utmost importance. It was with that idea in mind that 453 players paid $2,500 to enter the World Series of Poker $2,500 Pot Limit Hold Em/Pot Limit Omaha tournament. When former Main Event final table player Hevad Khan went out in 11th place, the two tables were combined into one table of 10. These were the seating assignments and chip counts:

Seat 1 - Pawel Andrzejewski 205,000
Seat 2 - Cornel Cimpan 155,000
Seat 3 - Gary Do 210,000
Seat 4 - Ben Grundy 290,000
Seat 5 - Daniel Makowsky 635,000
Seat 6 - Paul Parker 378,000
Seat 7 - John Kabbaj 145,000
Seat 8 - Sigi Stockinger 131,000
Seat 9 - Rami Boukai 571,000
Seat 10 - Najib Bennani 568,000

Even though he didn't come into the final ten as the short stack, Gary Do found himself on the unfortunate end of a bad beat and was the first player eliminated. Rami Boukai opened the action for 35K and Cornel Cimpan re-raised to 100K. Cimpan had recently won two big pots to move up to nearly half a million in chips and the new found chips must have given him renewed confidence. Do moved all in for 131K total, Boukai folded, and Cimpan made the easy call since it was only 31K more. Cimpan had A-7 of clubs and was up against the kings of Do. The flop kept Do in the lead as it was 10-8-5 but the dreaded ace came on the turn to end any chance Do had of winning a bracelet. Gary Do finished in 10th place winning $18,170.

The game switched over to Omaha and with the board showing A-7-5 rainbow, Sigi Stockinger bet the pot, or 24,000, and was called by Daniel Makowsky. The turn was the queen of diamonds and Stockinger put most of his remaining stack in the middle. Makowsky set him in and Sigi made the call. Stockinger had A-K-K-8 but Makowsky had A-Q-10-4 and had hit two pair on the turn. The river was a meaningless 7 and Sigi Stockinger finished in 9th place winning $25,151.

Still in Omaha, John Kabbaj limped under the gun, Rami Boukai called, and the ever aggressive Cimpan made it 66K to go from the button. John called and we saw a flop of 8-5-3 with two spades. Kabbaj bet the pot, Cimpan raised, and the rest of Kabbaj's chips went into the middle. Kabbaj had A-J-7-4 with two baby spades for a flush draw and double gutter but Cimpan had him in bad shape with A-A-K-Q with one of his aces suited in spades. The turn was the 9 of spades leaving Kabbaj with exactly one out for a straight flush to win the hand, but the miracle didn't come and Cimpan added to his chip lead. John Kabbaj finished in 8th place winning $28,006.

Omaha was the knock out game, that much was evident, as our next player was also eliminated in the Omaha portion of the game. Rami Boukai limped under the gun and Pawel Andrzejewski made it 70K to go. Boukai made the call and the flop came 10-4-3 with two clubs. Pawel moved all in and after a brief hesitation, Boukai made the call. Pawel had A-A-A-8 and was ahead of the 10-8-7-6 of Boukai but Boukai had a lot of outs, one of which came on the turn in the form of a 7. Pawel Andrzejewski finished in 7th place winning $32,653.

Finally an elimination came in Hold Em when Paul Parker opened the action for 84K and Rami made the minimum re-raise to 144K. This was enough to set Parker all in and he made the call. Parker had A-6 and Rami had A-K. No 6 or miracle came for Parker and he was our next player out. Paul Parker finished in 6th place winning $39,904.

Cimpan had ran his stack at one point to over a million in chips but when you play as many pots as he was, it was bound to go down eventually, and it did as he lost nearly half of it over a series of hands. In the meantime, Najib Bennani doubled up courtesy of Dan Makowsky and it was a five horse race with Boukai leading the way with over 1 million in chips and the remaining four players all between 450K and 750K.

Bennani and Makowsky would go at one another again, this time in PLHE, when Makowsky opened the betting with a pot raise and Bennani raised enough to set him all in. Makowsky called and the two were racing as Makowsky had A-J and Bennani had pocket 8's. It was a race Makowsky would lose and the start of the day chip leader was out of the tournament. Dan Makowsky finished in 5th place winning $51,313.

PLO would claim the next victim and this time it would be Cornel Cimpan who would be sent to the rail when he raised the limp of Bennani from the big blind and Bennani made the call. The flop came J-7-5 rainbow and Bennani bet enough to set Cimpan all in. Cimpan made the call with A-A-7-3 and was technically ahead of the 8-8-6-5 of Bennani. A 4 on the river would give Bennani the hand though and Cimpan was out. Cornel Cimpan finished in 4th place winning $69,546.

Chips swapped hands between the three remaining players. First, Ben Grundy doubled up through Rami Boukai to get his stack to 950K. Then Boukai got it back and then some when he doubled up through Bennani to get his stack to 1.25 million. Bennani was at 1.15 million and the three were all in good shape in relation to each other.

Grundy would proceed to lose half his stack and then the rest of it when he would get it all in pre-flop with A-A-A-7 with one ace suited in spades against the K-Q-J-4 double suited of Bennani. The flop was a good one for Grundy... 10-7-5, but the turn gave Bennani a ton of outs in the form of a jack. The river was one of those outs... a king, to give Bennani two pair and the pot. Ben Grundy finished in 3rd place winning $99,574.

Heads up play started with Bennani and Boukai nearly even in chips. Boukai would draw first blood winning a big pot that didn't reach showdown in PLO to pull ahead by a nearly 2:1 margin. Desperate to get back in it, Bennani would get all his chips in the middle against Boukai shortly thereafter in the PLHE portion of the game. Bennani had Q-J and was racing against the 9's of Boukai. It looked like they were going to continue when the flop came A-K-Q to give Bennani the lead but those dreams were dashed when one of the two remaining nines came on the turn. The ace on the river ended the tournament and Boukai was the winner. Najib Bennani finished in 2nd place winning $151,335.

Rami Boukai persevered through a long, drawn out final day that lasted a total of nearly thirteen hours. For his efforts Boukai won his first World Series of Poker bracelet. Rami Boukai finished in 1st place winning $244,862. Congratulations Rami!

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