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

Day 22 Action: Only PLO Begins and NLHE Goes On

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It may not be the exact midway point of the 2009 World Series of Poker, but it feels like it around the Rio. An easy day for sure, June 17 was comprised of two final tables, one tournament in its second day, and one new event starting at noon. The media is getting a much-needed break from days that see five or six tournaments running at once, and the fans seem to be taking a breather to see other Las Vegas sights that don’t involve poker players seated at the green felt.

The big hoopla in the Amazon Room today was the NHL (National Hockey League) Charity Shootout tournament sponsored by PokerStars. The event gathers well-known poker players and NHL stars for a charity tournament set to benefit a variety of charities, selected by the players themselves, and prefaces the NHL Awards ceremony on June 18 at the Palms Resort and Casino across the street from the Rio. With ESPN on hand to record the excitement of the tournament for a future broadcast, the hockey and poker stars were out early in the day and continued their festivities through the afternoon when the actual Stanley Cup was brought to the Rio for a viewing. For hockey fans, it was all a refreshing break from the WSOP.

In non-final table action, there were only two events to cover today.

Event 34:  $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 2

One of the many $1,500 NLHE events of the 2009 Series began with 2,095, which was a reasonable crowd for a tournament beginning on a Tuesday. The 2,095-player field created a prize pool of $2,859,675 and an ultimate prize of $521,991 for the winner. And as fast as the field diminished on the first day of play, there were still 240 players remaining when it came to a close.

Since only 216 of the competitors would finish their sprints in the money, Day 2 would find some action right off the bat as they battled toward hand-for-hand and tried to make it through the bubble. It took very little time, in fact, to get to that point, and hand-for-hand kicked in with 217 players. Quickly, the bubble burst, with Mark Wilds and another player both busting on the same hand and splitting 216th place money. With that, the flurry of eliminations continued.

While it looked for a time like it would be tough to even break the 50-player mark, the night eventually ended with only 21 players left standing. The next day would be a tough one, as they were scheduled to play down to the final table, all the way through to a winner, but that was the task at hand. Jonas Klausen had the chip lead with 939,000, and he was followed by Martin Jacobsen on the leaderboard with his 806,000. Third on the list was very recent WSOP champion Roland de Wolfe with 644,000, and with other names like Bertrand Grospellier and Young Phan in the field, it was going to be an even tougher day.

Event 35:  $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, Day 1

The only starting event of the day brought Omaha players to the felt for some pot-limit action. There were 363 of them when registration closed, and that made for a prize pool of $1,706,100, which would end up being split according to finish among the final 36 players. And the ultimate first place prize to go along with the WSOP bracelet? $409,484!

When all was said and done for the first day of action, there were 64 bags of chips strewn amongst the tables. Jesper Hougaard was the chip leader with 208,500, and the rest of the top five, in order, were Rifat Palevic, Edward Ochana, Sorel Mizzi, and Ralph Perry. Notably, Jeff Lisandro held down the sixth place spot, Sandra Naujoks the eighth, Cliff Josephy the ninth, and Dave Ulliott the tenth. Day 2 would see those players and more play down through the money to get as close to the final table as possible.

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