The calm after the storm was Day 9, as the chaos that had engulfed the room the day before with seven events playing out at once subsided, and with it the crowds of fans. While there were still four tournaments playing out and two final tables seeking champions, it was a more peaceful, organized day at the 2009 World Series of Poker.
As Phil Ivey went on to win Event 8 in the late evening hours, most of the other events went unnoticed except for a few friends and family members, along with the media, who focused on those other tournaments. With someone as recognizable as Ivey taking down his sixth bracelet, all of the attention in the room was on the ESPN stage.
Nevertheless, there were two new tournaments beginning and two others making their way toward their final tables, and those events deserve more than a casual mention. Thus, some recaps for your reading pleasure.
Event 9: $1,500 NLHE 6-Handed, Day 2
In its second day, only a small fraction of the original 1,459-player field returned, and those 105 players were seeking seats at the final table. Out of the original prize pool of $1,991,535, a substantial $428,259 was waiting for the eventual champion, and everyone had that amount in their sights.
Day 2 ultimately ended in the wee hours of the morning having been unable to accomplish the goal of whittling the field down to six. It was 3:00am when the tournament staff found eight players remaining after Robert Lipkin took ninth place. That left eight players, two off the final table, who would need to come back the following day to play again. Bryce Yockey was the chip leader with 1,489,000, and only two other players - Charles Furey and Carman Cavella - had over a million chips.
Event 10: $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha, Day 2
When the original 453 players gathered for some mixed hold’em/Omaha action, the field didn’t seem daunting by way of numbers, but it was the pot-limit nature of the event that slowed action a bit. There were still 99 players in the tournament when action stopped after the first day’s levels, and they were still plenty far from the money as only the top 45 would be paid.
The field boasted of many notables remaining, but more importantly a $1,041,900 prize pool waiting for the money bubble to burst. Just before it happened, Michael Mizrachi was eliminated, and then the showdown happened in an Omaha hand between Jeff Littlefield and Luis Santoni. Littlefield showed , and Santoni turned over for his tournament life. The board came , and Santoni left on the bubble.
As the morning hours moved forward, it became clear that there would be no final table determined before the cut-off time of 3am. With 18 players left at the two tables, Daniel Makowsky held the lead with 561,000 chips, and he was followed by Rami Boukai and his 508K stack. But none of the other players in the field held more than 300K. All of them would return on Thursday, June 5 to play down to the final table and the ultimate champion.
Event 11: $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 1
Another no-limit hold’em event was another big attraction, as 1,646 players were willing to pony up $2K to try their hands at the poker fan’s favorite. That field led to the creation of a $2,995,720 prize pool, which would be reserved for the top 171 finishers. The winner was set to receive $569,254.
That mark was not to be reached on Day 1, however, as 232 players made it through the initial day of action. When all was said and done, it was Patrick Stemper as the chip leader with 165,000 in his stack, followed by Scott Hall, Alex Millar, Zackary Weiler, and Adam Adler rounding out the top five spots. Notably, Jason Mercier remained in the field, along with Jared Hamby, Jim Meehan, Scott Montgomery, Perry Friedman, and Phil Hellmuth in the top 100.
Play would resume on June 5 in an attempt to play down to the final nine, though action would be stopped at 3:00am if that goal was not achievable.
Event 12: $10,000 World Championship Mixed Day 1
The mixed event was a highly anticipated one by mixed game specialists, who also happened to be predominantly recognizable pro players. The eight events included in the world championship event were limit hold’em, Omaha hi-low split-8 or better, seven-card razz, seven-card stud, seven-card stud hi-low split-8 or better, no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and 2-7 triple-draw lowball. And the field reflected the level of skill necessary for such a high buy-in and varied-game event.
There were a total of 194 players when registration was closed, and that pushed the prize pool to $1,823,600, but only the final 24 players would receive any of it. The first place prize was set at a substantial $492,384.
When the first day of the event ended with 126 players left, David Oppenheim was the chip leader with 143,000, and Daniel Negreanu brought up the second spot on the leaderboard with 121,300. Jimmy Fricke, Eric Froehlich, and Brandon Adams made it into the top five. The entire rest of the field boasted of some of the biggest names in poker, so Day 2 could result in an interesting playdown and ultimate final table.