1,695 players took part in the latest $2,000 No Limit Hold Em event at the 2009 World Series of Poker creating a prize pool of over three million dollars. Among those who had a chance at the beginning but failed to make it past day one were Jonathan Little, Kathy Liebert, Theo Tran, Tiffany Michelle , Shannon Shorr, and Ylon Schwartz. There were still plenty of name players in the hunt but they too would fall short on day two. Making the money but not quite attaining their bracelet dreams were Jared Hamby, Darus Suharto, Shaun Deeb, Michael Binger, Kenna James, Jordan Rich, and Corwin Cole. For the first time all year, two women took their place among the final nine.
The final table, their seating assignments, and starting chip counts were as follows:
Seat 1: Anthony Roux – 1,034,000
Seat 2: Joe Morneau – 996,000
Seat 3: Jonathan Plens – 1,031,000
Seat 4: Ken Lennaard – 1,312,000
Seat 5: Laurence Grondin – 1,258,000
Seat 6: Jordan Smith – 1,025,000
Seat 7: Almira Skripchenko – 1,185,000
Seat 8: Pat Atchison – 1,792,000
Seat 9: Andrew Seden – 545,000
The first big pot of the final table took place between Joe Morneau and Jonathan Plens when Morneau re-raised the opening pre-flop raise of Anthony Roux and Plens called. The flop came and Morneau checked. Plens made a bet of 250K which Morneau called. The turn was the and Morneau checked again. Plens moved all in and Morneau quickly called with a set of 6's. Plens had slow played pocket aces pre-flop and now would need one of the two remaining aces in order to win the pot. The river was the and Morneau doubled up to nearly two million while Plens was left with just over 200K.
After doubling up once, Plens came over the top of Morneau's opening raise hoping to induce a fold. Morneau looked him up with only which turned out to be a good call as Plens merely had . The board was of no help to Plens and Morneau stacked even more of his chips. Jonathan Plens finished in 9th place winning $61,081.
Jordan Smith raised first to act from the cut off and the short stack at the table Andrew Seden moved all in. Smith made the call and turned over which was ahead of the that Seden had. The flop came with a king but also came with an ace and Smith ended up winning the hand. Andrew Seden finished in 8th place winning $67,867.
Almira Skripchenko found the perfect time to pick up pocket kings when Laurence Grondin raised and Jordan Smith called. Skripchenko was in the small blind and she moved all in for over 600K. Grondin folded and Smith made the call with pocket 5's. Skripchenko was in great shape to double up and become a force in the tournament but unfortunately for her a 5 on the flop would ruin her dreams. Almira Skripchenko finished in 7th place winning $78,664.
In one of the craziest hands witnessed at this year’s WSOP, Joe Morneau completed out of the small blind only to see Pat Atchison bump it up to 100K. Morneau raised to 265K and Atchison re-raised to 765K. Morneau moved all in for just over two million total and Atchison made the call. Morneau had pocket jacks but was way behind the queens of Atchison. The flop of Q-J-2 pretty much sealed the deal and Morneau was moments away from going to the cashier’s cage to collect his 6th place winnings. The miraculous jack on the turn, however, would change all that and devastate Atchison.
Poor Atchison would move all in the very next hand first to act and was called by Laurence Grondin. Atchison was again ahead, this time with A-K against Grondin's A-10, but it just wasn't Atchison's day as a 10 would hit on the turn. Pat Atchison finished in 6th place winning $95,631.
Morneau added to his stack in a battle of the blinds when he called Anthony Roux's all in re-raise with A-Q that would best the A-8 of Roux. Morneau had Roux covered and they were down to four. Anthony Roux finished in 5th place winning $120,311.
Morneau shipped a ton of chips over to Jordan Smith when he opened the action and moved all in over the top of Smith's re-raise and was called. Smith had A-K while Morneau had pocket 8's and when Smith hit a king on the flop, he became the new chip leader with 4.7 million and Morneau was still in good shape with almost 3 million. Morneau's bad run at coin flips continued when he next doubled up Laurence Grondin when he could not improve A-K against her pocket 6's. Morneau continued his overly frisky ways moving all in against Grondin after she re-raised him with just that was way behind the queens of Grondin. Grondin moved into the chip lead after the hand with 4.1 million and Morneau, once the runaway chip leader, now had 1.2 million.
Jordan Smith and Morneau faced off in a blind versus blind confrontation and saw a flop of . Smith bet 70K and Morneau called. The turn was the and Smith bet 150K with Morneau calling again. The on the river saw Smith bet 325K and this time instead of calling, Morneau moved all in. Smith made the call and his made a bigger flush than the one Morneau's made. Joe Morneau finished in 4th place winning $166,584.
On a flop of in an unraised pot, Ken Lennaard check raised Laurence Grondin to 500K and Grondin decided she was going to make a stand and moved all in. Lennaard made the call and showed bottom two pair which was ahead of the top pair Grondin had. The turn was a ten and Grondin needed another queen to match the one in her hand, a ten, or an eight to survive. The river was a king and Grondin's valiant effort at being the first woman to win an open event bracelet this season had come to an end. Laurence Grondin finished in 3rd place winning $237,537.
Heads up play began with the two remaining players in a virtual deadlock. The two battled back and forth for some time until the tournament's defining hand came up. On a board of 8-7-5-K-6 with no flush possible, Smith led out for 900K and Lennaard pushed all in. Smith insta-called and showed 10-9 for the nut straight which was one better than the unfortunate Lennaard who had J-9 for the 2nd nut straight. The loss put Lennaard close to being on the felt with just 1.5 million chips left.
Lennaard doubled up with jacks against Smith's A-7 and was back in striking distance. He opened the action for 300K and Smith called. The flop came and with in his hand, Lennaard led out for 350K. Smith moved all in and Lennaard called. Smith had flopped a flush with and if he could fade another diamond he would be the winner. The turn and river were not diamonds and Ken Lennaard finished in 2nd place winning $360,439.
Jordan Smith was one of the quieter participants at the final table but his well timed aggression and even better good fortune at hitting good hands at the perfect time propelled him to victory and his first WSOP bracelet. Jordan Smith finished in 1st place winning $586,212. Congratulations Jordan!