There was a different vibe in the Amazon Room on the morning of Sunday, June 8, as women were out in full force for the noon start to the $1K Ladies World Championship event. With husbands and boyfriends - even some children - in tow as they entered the Rio Convention Center and meandered down the hallway to the tournament room, the players were different than on most days, not only in appearance but in their level of excitement to play in the WSOP. Many women come out only for this tournament, and Sunday was their day.
But as that field quickly thinned, the predominantly male sea of players filled the space as the $10K O8 championship players came in, along with all of the final table participants for the two tables looking for bracelet winners, and all of those coming back for second days looking to make the money and accumulate chips in their tournaments. The normality of a day at the WSOP resumed as the day progressed.
Event 15: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 2
It started with 655 players on Saturday, all of whom were willing to buy in to a NLHE tournament with $5,000. The prize pool was one of the largest of the year as it swelled to $3,078,500, and the top 63 players would take home a piece of it.
Only 164 players made it through the first day of action, and Day 2 saw the numbers dwindle even more. As the money neared and hand-for-hand play ensued, it was finally Shawn Farmer who had almost no choice but to push all-in when the big blind took all but 100 chips. He did it with , but another player called with pocket tens. The board missed Farmer with , and he left on the bubble. The other 63 players in the field were guaranteed a minimum of $10,159.
Dan Heimiller was the first to cash in the event with a 63rd place finish, and other notables who visited the cashier were Amit Makhija, Tony Cousineau, Ludovic Lacay, Hasan Habib, Erik Seidel, and Kathy Liebert. The 18th place elimination of Faraz Jaka was the last of the day, and the action stopped at 3:00am.
The last 17 players were set to return on Monday, June 8 to play to the final table and discover the newest WSOP champion. Isaac Baron was the massive chip leader when all chips were counted and bagged, as he had accumulated 1,101,000 throughout the day. Olivier Busquet was in second, with David Pham pulling up in third. Other notables remaining included Mike Sowers, Thomas Keller, and David Benefield.
Event 16: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, Day 2
Seven-card stud attracts a unique group of players, most of them older and fond of the days that stud was the game of choice among players, but others who have recently come into the game and found an appreciation for it. There were 359 of them altogether who started Event 16, which made for a $490,035 prize pool.
The first day of play ended with 97 players still in the field, and only 40 of them were to get paid. Midway through the day, hand-for-hand play began, and the shortest stack in the room, Craig Kaufman, continued to leak chips until he finally put it all-in with /. Two other players joined the action, but Eric Friedman ended it with the winning straight, and Kaufman only showed a pair of deuces by the end. That left Kaufman out on the bubble, and the survivors to cash. Included in that bunch as the evening went on were Ben Akiva, Sam Grizzle, Robert Goldfarb, Chris Reslock, David Levi, Fabrice Soulier, Barbara Enright, Jason Mercier, Dutch Boyd, and John Cernuto.
Most tournaments were abiding by Rule 96 that calls for an end to action at 3:00am no matter the player count, but the tournament director decided to play on, as only one more player needed to be eliminated to find the final table eight. That happened only five minutes or so after the cut-off time, when Thor Hansen was ousted by Steven Stencil and earned $9,360 for his ninth place finish.
The final table was then set for Monday as follows:
Seat 1: Jeff Lisandro 334,000
Seat 2: Eric Pardey 217,000
Seat 3: Nick Frangos 84,000
Seat 4: John Juanda 287,000
Seat 5: Mitch Schock 83,000
Seat 6: Steven Stencil 323,000
Seat 7: Rod Pardey 245,000
Seat 8: Daniel Studer 43,000
Event 17: $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, Day 1
The women came out in force for the championship and reduced buy-in event, though the final number of 1,060 participants failed to meet last year’s total, making it the second year running that fewer players registered for the event. Regardless, the prize pool was set at $964,600, and the players seemed happy enough with that.
In the end, only 117 players were to be paid, but the first day of action ended with 146 remaining. That left Day 2 for the playdown into the money and toward the final table. Tammy Tibbles would be the chip leader when play resumed, as she held a massive lead with 129,700 chips, but the reigning champion, Svetlana Gromenkova, was fighting to take over from second place with a 62,200 stack. Anna Resnick held up third place, and Patti Zarosky and Mychele Medina rounded out the top five. Other notables still in contention were J.J. Liu, Susie Isaacs, Maria Ho, and Erica Schoenberg.
Event 18: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better World Championship, Day 1
The O8 championship event was likely to bring some of the biggest names in the game to the felt, so the railbirds and media alike looked forward to it. A total of 179 players bought in to take home the world title, and that created a prize pool of $1,682,600 to be reserved for the top 18 finishers.
At the end of Day 1, the field was nowhere near the money, as 129 remained when the last level ended. The next day looked to be a long one, but feeling good going into it was Chris Bjorin, the chip leader with 134,400 chips. Second on the leaderboard was Scott Clements and his 130,800 stack, and rounding out the top five were Tom Koral, Patrick Bueno, and David Benjamine. Notables in the top ten included Phil Hellmuth, Josh Arieh, and James Van Alstyne, while the rest of the field was a solid and highly recognizable one as well.