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

Day 16 Action: Crowds in NLHE and Big Names in Lowball

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It becomes easy to determine when there is a $1.5K no-limit hold’em tournament, as the parking lot is a bit fuller just before noon, the hallways of the Rio Convention Center are bustling with many who look as though they’re visiting for the first time, and hundreds of tables are staffed with dealers awaiting the seating of thousands of players. And until the field thins after the first few hours of play, it’s tough to see past the sea of NLHE players.

But there were clearly other tournaments going on. There was an Omaha/stud tournament beginning late in the day, two final tables, and two second days, one being a sit-n-go-style shootout and the other the star-studded 2-7 draw lowball world championship event. Event 22 garnered attention because all of the 100 returning players started in the money and with deep stacks, but only 10 would survive the day - one from each table. And Event 23 boasted of some of the greatest names in poker looking for a coveted world championship title, making for an interested rail to accompany the interested media.

With that, let’s get into what actually happened in these events on Thursday, June 11.

Event 22:  $1,500 NLHE Shootout, Day 2

What seemed like an easy tournament to play out, with only three rounds of sit-n-go action, was anything but easy. The first day found 999 players (one of the original 1,000 unregistered just before the event) in the shootout with only one goal in mind: survive one table of ten and be the lone survivor. All 100 players who beat their nine competitors moved on to Day 2 and found themselves in the money. But it took nine hours to take care of that seemingly simple task.

The second day of action found 100 players, all guaranteed $5,236 for making it to the second round of play, starting with 45,000 chips, and battling one table each to secure a seat at the final table. It took about eleven hours to accomplish that, and when all was said and done, the ten survivors were ready to head to the final table on Day 3. All would start with 450,000 chips, and the competitors were as follows:

Seat 1:  Jason Somerville
Seat 2:  Christopher Moore
Seat 3:  Joseph Cutler
Seat 4:  Jeffrey Carris
Seat 5:  Michael McNeil
Seat 6:  Joshua Tieman
Seat 7:  Eugene Katchalov
Seat 8:  Ralph Shannon
Seat 9:  Andrew Margolis
Seat 10:  Brandon Wong

Event 23:  $10,000 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball World Championship, Day 2

The deuce-to-seven world championship event was bound to garner an elite group of poker players, and it did just that as 96 players bought in to the $10K event. With a prize pool of $902,400, the day got off to an interesting start with some tensions among players and a sizable rail contingent looking to get a glimpse of the star-studded field. But only 57 of the mostly recognizable faces made it through to the second day of play.

That 57-player field dwindled slowly over the course of Day 2 until late into the night hours when the bubble approached. Only 14 players were to reach the money, and short-stacked Jean-Robert Bellande was forced to move during hand-for-hand play at the three tables. Ultimately, he was able to double up once on the bubble, but he tried it again with a different result. It was Vince Musso who made the all-in move, but Bellande called and was covered. Musso showed 7-6-3-2, and Bellande turned over 9-7-5-2. Bellande grabbed a 9 and Musso an 8 to end the hand and eliminate Bellande on the bubble.

The remaining 14 players took to the action in the hopes of finding the final table contingent, and they pushed forward as Jason Gray took 14th place for a $17,885 payday, Dan Harmetz took 13th, Max Pescatori 12th, and Hertzel Zalewski 11th. The late hour prompted the tournament staff to call the tournament and ask that the final ten return on Day 3 to play to the final table and ultimately the bracelet. That list of players and their corresponding chip counts were as follows:

Vince Musso        765,500
Ville Wahlbeck        487,000
John Juanda        387,000
Nick Schulman        300,000
Archie Karas        264,500
Steve Sung        212,500
David Benyamine    139,000
Justin Smith        122,500
Michael Binger        108,000
Roland de Wolfe        102,000

Event 24:  $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 1

A $1,500 no-limit tournament always brings the masses to the tables, and this one was no different. They swarmed the hallways, anxiously made their way to their respective seats, and tried to calm their nerves as they dreamt of making the money and winning a bracelet. When all of the players were counted, there were 2,506 of them, which created a prize pool of $3,420,690.

The final 270 players were to finish the tournament in the money, and the eliminations came at such a quick pace throughout the day that play continued into the early morning hours and right to that point. It was late when the bubble burst, and when it did, the man who did the honors refused to give his name or the details of his hand. But the remainder of the field was happy to have made the money and could go home for the evening knowing that they will receive a minimum of $2,668 for their troubles.

When the chips were bagged and counted, it was Glenn McCaffrey in the lead with 187,800 chips, and he was followed in the top five by Darryll Fish, Marcus Meyer, Dean Hamrick, and Mike Linn.

Event 25:  $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better, Day 1

A combination limit Omaha and seven-card stud tournament may not sound like the most popular tournament on the schedule, but there were 376 players interested enough to buy in for $2,500 and put their specialized skills to work at the tables. That number translated into a $864,800 prize pool, which would be set aside for the final 40 players with a $220,538 payday for the ultimate winner.

At the end of the second day, only 153 players remained in their seats, all of whom would return for Day 2. The goal of reaching the money was still a rather distant one, but it would be accomplished at some point in the evening hours. Going into the action, Can Hua would boast of the chip lead with 51,800 chips, and Dustin Sitar held up the second spot on the leaderboard. The rest of the top five included Mark Scott, Allie Prescott, and Jon Turner.

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