As the three-week mark approached at the 2009 World Series of Poker, Day 19 provided a great deal of action with everything from the HORSE mixed game event to a heads-up no-limit hold’em championship. And it was topped off by a bracelet ceremony honoring the two bracelet winners from the prior day - Pete Vilandos and Phil Ivey.
The ceremonies that are held at 2:20pm each day seem to solidify the importance of winning a WSOP bracelet and give each player their special moment in front of the press and the fans while giving tribute to their home countries by playing each person’s national anthem. All play in the Amazon Room is halted during the 5-10 minutes of tribute, and almost everyone in the room gives respect to the newest winners of the most coveted prize in poker. The daily ceremonies remind us all of the reasons we are there.
For the action of Day 19 with the exception of actual final tables, let’s get into it now.
Event 28: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 2
The third in a series of $1.5K buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments got underway on Saturday, June 13, with 2,638 players in the field and a corresponding $3,600,870 prize pool. Day 1 ended with 327 players remaining, though the money bubble at 270 was yet to be reached.
Day 2 began with those 327 players moving quickly toward the money, and without much delay, Scott Bohlman busted in 272nd place to push the tournament staff to move to hand-for-hand action, at which point an unidentified players ran his pocket queens into J-8 offsuit and a board of . That opened up the flood gates for the final 270 players to cash, and Grayson Ramage was the first to head to the payout window for his $2,808.
By midnight, the field had thinned to only 50 players, but the goal was to reach the final table of nine. In the end, only 27 were left to count and bag their chips, and Joe Simmons was the chip leader with 1,100,000 in his monster stack. Second on the list of counts was Jason Potter with 929,000, followed by Adolfo Ramirez, Tilman Kieschke, and Mickey Neuberger.
Event 29: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, Day 2
The heads-up matches are some of the most interesting to watch. Many call it the purest form of poker, as it involves only two players, both of whom are in every hand and making decisions that affect their chip stacks. When the event began on Saturday, the field was capped at 256 players for the $10K buy-in tournament, and there was no problem finding that number of competitors ready for the heads-up action. The subsequent prize pool was $2,406,400, with more than $625K awaiting the winner.
The final 32 players who made it through three rounds were to be in the money, when Round 3 began on Sunday, June 14, the 64 remaining took their seats and started the action. Antonio Esfandiari was the first to be eliminated, followed by Justin Filtz and Adam Ewenstein. When the round eventually completed, the last 32 players were all guaranteed a payout. Round 4 then played out as follows:
Jason Mercier defeated Benjamin Lamb
Yevgeniy Timoshenko defeated Evan Roberts
Dustin Woolf defeated Jonathan Jaffe
Johnny Chan defeated Jimmy D’Ambrosio
Bryan Pellegrino defeated Brock Parker
Benjamin Sprengers defeated Jason Senti
Justin Smith defeated Dragan Galic
Leo Wolpert defeated Matthew Woodward
Alec Torelli defeated Nathanael Poysti
John Duthie defeated Andrew Lichtenberger
Clavet Mathieu defeated Benjamin Tollerene
Jamin Stoke defeated Brian Lemke
Steve O’Dwyer defeated Albert Iversen
Roberto Romanello defeated Benny Spindler
Nathan Doudney defeated Steve Zolotow
Mike Caro defeated Dmitry Lesnov
The defeated players left with $17,987 each, and Round 5 then played out as follows:
Jamin Stokes defeated Alec Torelli
Nathan Doudney defeated Jason Mercier
Bryan Pellegrino defeated Yevgeniy Timoshenko
Steve O’Dwyer defeated Roberto Romanello
Leo Wolpert defeated Mathieu Clavet
Johnny Chan defeated Justin Smith
Dustin Woolf defeated Mike Caro
John Duthie defeated Benjamin Sprenger
Each player defeated in that round received $38,424 for their efforts, and Round 6 was set with the Elite Eight prepped to come back on Monday, June 15, to play for the win. The first matches of the day would be set as follows:
Leo Wolpert v. Dustin Woolf
Jamin Stokes v. Johnny Chan
Nathan Doudney v. Bryan Pellegrino
John Duthie v. Steve O’Dwyer
Event 30: $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, Day 1
The PLO tournament drew 436 brave, action-craving souls to the tables to compete for a WSOP bracelet and a $1,002,800 prize pool. The final 45 players were guaranteed a payout of at least $4,883, and the winner would receive $235,685 in cold, hard cash…or a check, if preferred.
As the money bubble approached late into the night, the tournament staff was looking at a field of 64 players with only six hands left to play before the action stopped. And, in fact, there were 61 when the day was called. Holding a significant chip lead over the bunch was J.C. Tran and his stack of 176,900, while Len Ashby brought up second place with 123,500 chips. The rest of the top five included Jesse Rios, Chad Layne, and Loren Klein. Notably, John Juanda and Theo Jorgensen also took places in the top ten.
Event 31: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E., Day 1
The lowest buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament available at the 2009 WSOP was bound to draw a crowd, and despite some low early registration numbers, the event ended up garnering a 770-player field. The prize pool was then set at $1,051,050, which would be reserved for distribution among the final 72 players in the tournament.
When the action stopped late into the night with 220 players still in the fight, it was Sabic Sebastien with the chip lead and 72,700, while Eric Kurtzman rounded out second with 57,800. Marco Traniello, Jim Silviera, and Andrew Black made up the rest of the top five. Everyone was set to return on Day 2 to play through the money and as close to a final table as possible.