The story of the day had nothing to do with the three events playing out their first and second days as detailed in this report. It was at a final table of the stud-8 championship, where some larger-than-life names were competing for a WSOP bracelet and the legendary Doyle Brunson was pushing for his 11th, which would tie him with Phil Hellmuth for the most bracelets held by a single person in all the years of WSOP history.
But while most eyes were focused on the stud-8 final, WSOP officials placed no less importance on the other events pushing forward midway through the 2009 festivities. Each bracelet has its own significance, and every player in each event looks to make their own history. Cashing in a WSOP event may be the highlight of someone’s personal poker career, and making a WSOP final table might warrant flying friends and family to witness the event. There are personal and professional milestones occurring every day at the World Series, and the following events have a thousand stories intermingled with chip counts and money finishes. Therefore, in order to give credit where it is due…
Event 38: $2,000 Limit Hold’em, Day 2
As a minor switch from the seemingly nonstop no-limit hold’em events, the $2K limit tournament provided a bit of a reprieve and an option for those casino players who still remain limit hold’em fans. When the tournament began on Friday, June 19, there were 446 players in their seats and an $811,720 prize pool reserved for the 45 of them who could make it through the killing fields. Day 1 saw the number of players diminish to 107, but the money was still a ways off.
The second day of action brought everyone back to the Rio with the money carrot hanging in front of them, and the players slowly but steadily reached for it. Nearly half the Day 2 field fell as the bubble drew near, and with the elimination of Sagstuen Thorpedoed in 47th place, hand-for-hand play began. And it took only one hand to see Daniel Kraus and his super short stack of 7K go all-in with against the of Jared O’Dell. The board hit O’Dell right away with , and Kraus left in 46th place on the money bubble.
The rest of the 45 players finished in the money, and play sped through the evening. As the hour grew late, the last 19 players were seated at two tables, and Rafe Furst gathered his things soon after to leave in 19th place. Mike Thorpe was out in 18th, Phil Hellmuth in 17th, Henric Strath in 16th, Tony Pirone in 15th, David Baker in 14th, Yan Li in 13th, Ron Burke in 12th, and finally Nancy Blaustein in 11th.
The last ten players took their seats at one table, and it didn’t take long for Douglas Young to push all-in from the big blind with . Danny Qutami called with a dominating , and the two watched the board as it ran out . Young took tenth place in the tournament, which was the final table bubble, and the $14,156 that went with it.
The final table was then set for the next day as follows:
Seat 1: Jared O’Dell 189,000
Seat 2: Danny Qutami 323,000
Seat 3: Ian Johns 113,000
Seat 4: Marc Naalden 755,000
Seat 5: Tommy Hang 202,000
Seat 6: Steven Cowley 322,000
Seat 7: Rep Porter 287,000
Seat 8: Jameson Painter 205,000
Seat 9: Alex Keating 284,000
Event 39: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 1
With it being the weekend and all, the obligatory $1.5K NLHE event was on the schedule for all of the players looking for standard no-limit action. What the media commonly refers to as a “donkament” for all of the dead money coming to the tables was well-attended with three rooms of players, each one of them claiming to be the best and far from the “donkey” category. With players in the Amazon, Brasilia, and Miranda rooms to accommodate everyone, the final tally of players was 2,715, and the prize pool was $3,705,975. The first prize was set at $657,969.
Only the last 270 players were set to receive any piece of the pool, and the first day would not deliver funds to any of the players, as 327 of them survived the day. That left the money bubble for Day 2. Going into Sunday’s action, Mohsin Charania sat on the chip lead and a 144,100-chip stack, and Chairud Vangchailued came in second with 124,500. The rest of the top five on the leaderboard included Tom Grimes, Micah Raskin, and Luis Sanchez.
Event 40: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship, Day 1
Another $10K buy-in event that would award a world championship bracelet brought another elite field came to the 5pm start tournament. But more players seemed to take a chance on this event because of the immensely growing popularity of PLO. With that said, there were 295 players who paid the high buy-in, which created a prize pool of $2,773,000. Only the top 27 players would cash in at all, but it would be the ultimate winner taking home $679,402 and a bracelet for the win.
The field played down quicker than anticipated, likely due to the wild swings common in PLO games. When all of the chips were counted and bagged, there were 116 of them, and the one with the most chips was Nate Lindsay, who touted a 482,200 stack. Noah Schwartz was in second with 292,600, and the top five was rounded out with Ilari Sahamies, David Williams , and Josh Arieh. There were still quite a few top-level pros and recognizable faces in the crowd, which assured quite a bit of media and fan attention when the players returned on Sunday to play down to the final table.