It was another light day at the 2009 World Series of Poker, as a result of only one new tournament introduced the prior day. That meant that Tuesday, June 9 would see only one event play out its second day. That sounds simple enough, but adding two final tables and two new tournaments to the mix, it’s still busy by most poker players’ standards.
The most excitement of the day, with the exception of two very well-attended and tense final tables, was the introduction of the first H.O.R.S.E. event of the 2009 Series. Players have come to love and practice all the games included in a H.O.R.S.E. event, and they were anxious to put their skills to use in a relatively cheap $3K buy-in (relative to the upcoming $50K buy-in, which requires a bit more of a bankroll). The field looked to be mixed with those amateurs who’ve put in their time to learn the games and the pros who have sought recognition for their multi-game play for decades.
With that, the quiet-except-for-the-final-tables day was set into motion.
Event 19: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed, Day 2
When this tournament began on Monday, June 8, there were 1,068 faces in the crowd who came together to create a $2,456,400 prize pool. But only 135 of them would survive the day and rally forward into Day 2.
All who showed up on Tuesday had one immediate goal in mind: make the money and then go for the win. It only took a few hours to get to hand-for-hand play, at which point the hand-for-hand process took about 20 minutes. Brian Meinders moved all-in, but it was Taylor Douglas who called all-in for his last 31K with pocket eights; unfortunately for him, Meinders had aces. The eights never improved, and Douglas took the bubble player spot, out in 109th place.
As the day turned to night, the action led them to the early morning hours with the final table in sight. It became apparent that the final six were not going to be determined before the 3:00am cut-off time, so with the elimination of Yariv Levi in 12th place, the last of the players were set to return on Day 3 to play for the final table. But every one of them would have their eyes on the WSOP gold bracelet and $552,745 first prize. The chip counts for the remaining players were:
Joe Serock 1,745,000
Brock Parker 1,603,000
Jesse Rios 745,000
Alex Ivarsson 734,000
Russell Crane 672,000
Alexander Wilson 603,000
Jay Kinkade 512,000
Clayton Newman 501,000
Brian Meinders 423,000
Brian Friesen 258,000
James Sudworth 247,000
Event 20: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em, Day 1
The early starting event of the day, if noon can be labeled early, was the low buy-in pot-limit hold’em, which ended up attracting a total of 633 competitors. That put the prize pool at $864,045, which would be reserved for the final 63 players standing, and a nice prize of $194,431 for the ultimate winner.
As the night came to a close, so many players had been lost throughout the day that the tournament staff decided to pursue the money bubble. Though it would require playing a little longer than expected, it would prevent one or two players from returning the next day to simply be sent home with nothing. Hand-for-hand was put into play, and it didn’t take long for the bubble to burst. Mark Seif went into a flop of with two other players, at which point the player in the big blind pushed his last 7,700 chips. Seif was the caller with , and the all-in player showed pocket tens. The turn was the and the river the , and Seif eliminated the unknown player in 64th place on the bubble.
Just before play wrapped, Oleg Prosandeev busted in 63rd place and cashed for $2,851. One other player was eliminated as well, leaving 61 to return on Day 2. When the chips were counted and bagged, Jason Dewitt had the most with a stack of 184,700, and Jeremiah Vinsant and Nick Stowell followed with 100K-plus counts. The rest of the field included some big names, including Seif in eighth place and Erik Seidel in 21st.
Event 21: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., Day 1
The H.O.R.S.E. was one of the most anticipated events thus far in the Series, and that brought 452 players to the tables for some mixed game action. It also brought the prize pool up to $1,247,520 that would be split among the final 48 players in the tournament according to their finishes, with first place looking at a $311,899 payday.
Many well-known players exited early in the day, and some of the casualties included Shannon Elizabeth, Vanessa Rousso, Mike Matusow, David Benyamine, and Michael Mizrachi. But when the chips were tallied at the end of the day, the pack was 197 players strong with Rob Amereno in the lead with 96,800 chips. Frank Debus held up the second spot with 62,100, and it was obvious that everyone had a way to go to catch the leader. The remainder of the top five included Markus Golser, Scott Lake, and Phillip Penn Sr., while notables Andre Akkari and David Singer held solid places in the top ten.
Play would resume on Day 2 to play into the money and onward to the final table.