The mixed tournament at the World Series of Poker provides the widest variety of poker games in one tournament that players will find. While H.O.R.S.E. is usually the most popular, many players have expanded their repertoire to include even more than those five games, and the mixed event is the place for them to play limit hold’em, Omaha-8, seven-card razz, seven-card stud, seven-card stud-8, no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and 2-7 triple draw lowball.
There were 412 players willing to put up the $2,500 to play in this tournament, which made for a $947,600 prize pool for the final 40 players to split according to their finishes. A total of 153 competitors made it through Day 1, and the second day of action saw the money bubble burst as players pushed toward the final table. Ultimately, play continued until there were 14 players left for the day after Thang Luu busted in 15th place.
The final day of play on Tuesday, June 23, saw Jon Turner starting the day with the chip lead and Jerrod Ankenman following in second place. But the day had many surprises in store.
Action began with Jimmy Fricke doubling his short stack in a 2-7 hand, then doing it again and again. He ultimately got out of short-stacked position, though Blair Rodman chipped down, mostly by way of Layne Flack and Andrew Radel.
With only 15K left, Rodman made the move in an Omaha-8 hand and was beat by Adam Friedman to be eliminated in 14th place. Rami Boukai was ousted by Trai Dang in 13th place, and Dang subsequently left in 12th place. When Ankenman sent Radel to the rail in 11th place, which was worth a $14,546 payday, chip counts showed Ankenman with nearly a 2-to-1 lead over second place Eric Crain. Chris Klodnicki and Friedman were the short stacks, and Friedman ended up moving on a 2-7 hand and lost to Layne Flack to finish in tenth place with $18,099.
One more elimination would set the official final table, though the final nine players were seated at one table with pot-limit Omaha on tap. A big hand in a subsequent 2-7 hand hurt Flack but crippled Fricke, which prompted Fricke to move all-in shortly thereafter. That hand resulted in a double-up through Ankenman, and Fricke moved on to razz to try it again. Fricke was all-in on fifth street against Ankenman, and the final cards showed Fricke with (A-5)6-7-K-J-5 to the (8-4)3-4-J-A-7 of his opponent. With the 8-7 low, Jimmy Fricke was gone in ninth place with $18,099.
The final table was then set with the following counts:
Jerrod Ankenman 1,200,000
Jon Turner 591,000
Sergey Altbregin 387,000
Eric Crain 355,000
Jeff Tims 260,000
Chris Klodnicki 109,000
Dario Alioto 103,000
Layne Flack 60,000
The final eight players began their action in the midst of Level 22 on the last few hands of razz. While Flack was able to double on a subsequent stud hand through Alioto, and actually do it again through Albregin, it was Alioto who was hurting. He followed Turner all the way through a hand until he finally called all-in on sixth street with () against the () of Turner. Dario Alioto only found a to complete his hand and send him out in eighth place with $25,860.
Flack sought another double-up and went into battle right away with Crain, and he was all-in on fifth street with (). Crain showed (), and it was on to the last two cards for each player. Flack received and for the two pair, but Crain took and for the better two pair. Layne Flack left in seventh place with $30,674.
Moving right along, it was Crain who was next on the elimination list after losing a big hand to Altbregin. Crain got involved and all-in preflop with preflop against the pocket eights of Ankenman. The board came to eliminate Eric Crain in sixth place with $38,075.
Turner hadn’t found too many spots in which to move since the final table began, and he eventually lost his chip lead over the course of action. Finally, after an initial raise by Ankenman in a limit hold’em hand, Turner called all-in only to find Altbregin and Klodnicki calling as well. All checked the flop, but the on the turn prompted a bet from Klodnicki, call from Ankenman, and fold from Altbregin. The on the river brought checks. Klodnicki showed , but Ankenman had for top pair, and Turner’s was no good. Jon Turner accepted the $49,569 prize for fifth place.
Four-handed action saw Ankenman continuing to rise and sitting with 1.7 million, while none of the others even yet eclipsed the million mark. Tims looked as if he was attempting to get there, especially after scooping a pot from Klodnicki, but the latter doubled through Tims in a subsequent razz hand.
Tims finally moved all-in from the small blind in a no-limit hold’em hand for the last 75K in front of him, and Klodnicki called with . Tims showed , and the two watched the dealer bring . Jeff Tims was eliminated in fourth place with $67,848.
Suddenly, during three-handed play, the order of things changed. Ankenman lost his massive chip lead on a NLHE hand when his A-Q fell to the pocket kings of Altbregin, who doubled to 1.4 million and put Ankenman under the million-chip mark. Altbregin won another hand against Klodnicki and looked unstoppable.
Klodnicki, on the other hand, got involved with Ankenman in a PLO hand that started with a flop. Some betting and raising led to Klodnicki being all-in with versus the of Ankenman. The turn brought a and the river a to make Ankenman’s flush, and Chris Klodnicki was gone in third place with $97,897.
Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:
Sergey Altbregin 1,680,000
Jerrod Ankenman 1,410,000
Ankenman immediately became aggressive and put the pressure on his opponent, which resulted in the return of the chip lead to Ankenman. He pushed until Altbregin was relegated to less than a 3-to-1 deficit, which brought them to a NLHE hand.
The two went to see a cheap flop of , at which point Ankenman bet and Altbregin raised all-in for his last 400K with . Ankenman called with and top pair. The on the turn made a straight for Ankenman, and the ended the tournament with Sergey Altbregin accepting $149,342 for second place.
Jerrod Ankenman, co-author of “The Mathematics of Poker” with Bill Chen, won his first WSOP gold bracelet. The victory came with a $241,637 first prize and the support and pride of many friends who came to the final table to cheer him on.