It was a calmer day at the World Series of Poker, as some of the action slowed a bit just before the run-up to the end when the $50K H.O.R.S.E. would get underway and the $10K NLHE main event would start on July 3. As June seemed to be winding down for those who were entering their 30th day at the Rio in Las Vegas, it was a welcome slowdown.
The day consisted of only one new tournament, and the single option brought a solid crowd out for mixed hold’em. And only two tournaments played down - or attempted to play down - to their final tables with the Omaha-8 and pot-limit hold’em events. But the big story of the day was at one of the two final tables running, as Jeffrey Lisandro dominated his razz tournament and won his third 2009 bracelet, doing something that hadn’t been accomplished since Phil Ivey in 2002.
But for the preliminary events, the recaps were as follows:
Event 45: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em World Championship, Day 2
The pot-limit variation of hold’em along with the world championship title brought 275 players to the tables on Day 1 of the tournament, which created a prize pool of $2,585,000, which included payouts for the top 27 players and $633,335 for the winner. As expected, the first day of action did not clear the way into the money but left 85 players still in the field.
Day 2 found play to be slow, and it wasn’t until late into the evening that the money bubble neared. It burst when Michael Pesek and Bryn Kenney took on a flop. After a series of raises, Kenney put Pesek all-in, and he called for his tournament life with . Kenney showed for the better hand, and the on the turn and on the river changed nothing. Michael Pesek was eliminated in 28th place on the money bubble.
Keith Lehr was the first to cash in the tournament, receiving $24,066 for his 27th place finish, the first day’s chipleader left in 21st place, and Sam Simon cashed in 20th place. The eventual last elimination of the night was Vanessa Rousso , who lost her final hand to Eugene Todd to grab $43,091 for her 15th place finish. That left 14 players when the cutoff time stopped the tournament for the night, and they would return on Day 3 to play down to the final table and bracelet win. Their chip counts were as follows:
John Kabbaj 2,226,000
JC Alvarado 924,000
Billy Kopp 772,000
Eric Baldwin 713,000
Isaac Haxton 660,000
Davidi Kitai 581,000
Kirill Gerasimov 550,000
Ken Lennaard 467,000
Darryll Fish 368,000
Eugene Todd 351,000
Michael Kamran 261,000
Jason Lester 240,000
Mohsin Charania 224,000
Thomas Pettersson 121,000
Event 46: $2,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better, Day 2
The mid-level buy-in Omaha-8 game attracted 424 split game players on its first day, and a prize pool of $975,200 was created for the last 45 of them that would remain standing, though first place would receive its own special prize of $229,192. Day 1 found the field thinned to only 196 players and quite a bit away from the money bubble.
That bubble finally burst late into the evening after a long afternoon of play. Marsha Waggoner had 5K left in her stack and decided to call all-in with . Patrice Boudet was the only player wanting to come along with . The board started with flop and turn. When a six came on the river, Waggoner was ousted on the bubble in 46th place.
Even with the money being in place for the last 45 players, a slow pace characterized the rest of the evening, and the cutoff time of 3:00am found that 23 players were still fighting for their seats at the final table. In the chip lead was Mark Tenner with 285,000 chips, but Patrice Boudet was close behind with 258,000, and John Monnette brought up third place with 237,000. No one was particularly dominating as the players prepared to enter the last day of play, and several notables like Mike Matusow, Pat Poels, Mark Gregorich, and Frankie O’Dell were still in contention going into Day 3.
Event 47: $2,500 Mixed Hold’em, Day 1
Many people get their poker start by playing limit hold’em in casinos and online because there is less at risk in each pot. Others take directly to no-limit hold’em because of the ever-present all-in option and the game’s popularity. But many people enjoy both games, and the mixed hold’em event allows them to showcase those skills. This tournament attracted 527 of them, which created a prize pool of $1,212,100, and within that sat a first place prize of $278,804.
Only 54 players would be able to cash in the tournament, and it was surprising to see the field near that mark on Day 1. The day ended with 67 players, all of whom were set to return for the second day of play and hit the money bubble very shortly after the action began. When all of the chips were counted and bagged, Barry Greenstein had the largest stack with 177,200, and Hasan Habib came in second with 165,000. The rest of the top five included Brandon Demes, Bahador Ahmadi, and Alexander Jung. The most notable faces in the remainder of the top ten were Eli Elezra and Daniel Negreanu, but the rest of the field contained many pros as well.