Somehow, the placement of a “world championship” event on the schedule makes the day a bit more interesting. The $10K buy-in reduces the field primarily to those who are truly serious or skilled at the game, making for a more intriguing tournament to watch from the rail or behind a media badge.
A $2K NLHE tournament brings some normalcy to the day, as there seems to be a constant stream of players seeking no-limit hold’em action. Throw in some PLO and H.O.R.S.E. tournaments, both of which were looking to conclude their evenings with final tables in place for the following day, and there was non-stop action in the Rio tournament rooms, especially with two final tables playing out at the same time, one of which was the highly-anticipated heads-up world championship.
The busy day at the Rio deserves some basic summaries, to which the remainder of the forthcoming words are dedicated.
Event 29: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, Day 3
This event played down from the final eight to the last two players on Day 3, but with so much action that deserves more than a few paragraphs, it will all be summarized in the Event 29 final table report when the tournament is completed on Day 4. Near midnight when John Duthie and Leo Wolpert found themselves in the finals, the tournament staff decided to play the best-of-three game on Tuesday, June 16.
Event 30: $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, Day 2
Out of the original 436 PLO action-seekers who entered the tournament on Sunday, June 14, there were only 64 left when the day ended. All of them would return on Day 2 to seek to get into the money, which was reserved for the final 45 players, and they all looked to grab their pieces of the $1,002,800 prize pool.
The second day of action moved rather slowly, as it took the elimination of Daniel Studer in 47th place to launch hand-for-hand action. And soon after, it was Andy Bloch who pushed all-in preflop with against the of Mikey Stotz. The board came to end Bloch’s run and push him out in 46th place on the bubble.
As the night wore on, the survivors tried desperately to make the final table, but recognizable pros like Isaac Baron went out in 21st place and Steve Sung left in 16th place. David Chiu took 15th, Loren Klein 14th, Len Ashby 13th, Lev Briskin 12th, and Stephen Ladowsky 11th. The last ten players were seated at one table but still needed to find one more elimination before the final table was official. There were double-ups by John Juanda, Dallas Flowers, Jean-Phillipe Leandri, and Ross Boatman until finally, Leif Force moved his short stack of 51K with and Jeff Kimber called with . The board came , and Force was out in tenth with $17,488. And the final table was set as follows:
Seat 1: Jeff Kimber 525,000
Seat 2: Rami Boukai 325,000
Seat 3: Dallas Flowers 239,000
Seat 4: Ross Boatman 718,000
Seat 5: J.C. Tran 387,000
Seat 6: John Juanda 130,000
Seat 7: Theo Jorgensen 419,000
Seat 8: Chad Layne 206,000
Seat 9: Jean-Phillipe Leandri 324,000
Event 31: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E., Day 2
The low buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event always draws a sizable crowd, as it is the lowest buy-in mixed game opportunity of the World Series. And this was no different, as 770 players registered to play and created a corresponding prize pool of $1,051,050. The first day of play ended with 220 players still in contention, so it would be well in to Day 2 before the money was reached.
It was on that second day that turned into the late evening before the 72-player money level neared. And with hand-for-hand action, the bubbled popped with unknown action and the last 72 players were in the money and guaranteed a payout of $2,848. As the time neared 11pm, the field still sat at 55 players, and it seemed that a quick playdown toward the final table was not in the cards.
When play mandatorily stopped at 3:00am, there were still 23 players in the field, all of whom would have to return on Day 3 and attempt to play to the final table and the win. Fabrice Soulier had the chip lead with 351,000 chips, but Shannon Shorr was close behind with 323,500. Mitch Schock, Brian Malcolm, and Ronald Schiffman rounded out the top five on the leaderboard, but several notables were still in the running, including Bryan Micon, Joe Serock, John Racener, Kathy Raymond, Chris Bjorin, James Van Alstyne, Lana Maier, and Paul Darden.
Event 32: $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 1
A wee bit higher buy-in than the normal NLHE event, the $2K tournament drew 1,534 players for the noon start. That brought the prize pool to an impressive $2,791,880 with $530,548 set aside for the ultimate victor. But a total of 171 players would receive some funds in return for going deep in the event.
The field dwindled quite substantially as the day moved forward, with 387 players still remaining as the time neared 11pm. But when play stopped for the evening after the obligatory number of levels, there were still 220 players in the field. It appeared that Day 2 would see the field dwindle until it hit the money and move forward to the final table. In the lead as they returned on Tuesday would be Shan Jing with his stack of 137,400 chips. Daniel Makowsky followed with 127,900, and the rest of the top five included Ed Chang, Peter Feldman, and Sergey Rybachenko.
Event 33: $10,000 Limit Hold’em World Championship, Day 1
Any event with a $10K buy-in and the “world championship” words attached to it looked to get a solid turnout of recognizable pros and those aspiring to achieve one of the coveted poker titles at the WSOP. In total, there were 185 players in the limit hold’em championship, which made for a prize pool of $1,739,000 with a $460,841 first prize. Only 18 players would receive any of the prize money, though, and it would be awhile before the field thinned that much.
When Day 1 ended, there was still a field of 116, so Day 2 looked to be a long one. In the chip lead was Jennifer Harman with 127,600, and Mark Klecan was in second place with 117,000. The other three names in the top five were Maria Ho, Josh Arieh, and Shaun Deeb , and notably David “Chino” Rheem held down the tenth place spot. Many other recognizable faces were set to return on Day 2 and attempt to play down to the final table…or as close as they could get before 3am.