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

Day 32 Action: Second Day of $50K HORSE and Sold Out NLHE

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There were two stories that dominated the World Series of Poker headlines for the day. One was the second day of the $50K H.O.R.S.E. event, as the majority of the recognizable faces were still kicking and trying to stay alive for another day. The other was the sold-out $1.5K NLHE event that filled all three tournament rooms in the Rio Convention Center.

Both tournaments brought plenty of fans to the rail, though the H.O.R.S.E. event found its rail three-deep with poker enthusiasts seeking photos of their favorite players in action and possibly an autograph during a tournament break. But the NLHE event also brought some fans with it, as family members and friends of the players looking for their shot at a WSOP bracelet watched and cheered their players on.

But lest we not forget, there was one more event running, as the LHE shootout had 64 players seeking their opportunity to win their seats to the final table by beating only the players at their respective tables. Let’s take a look at all of the day’s action in more detail.

Event 49:  $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, Day 2

Outside of the WSOP main event, the $50K H.O.R.S.E. tournament is the most anticipated of each Series. In its fourth year, the event now draws poker fans to its rail for each of its five days of action, everyone hoping for a glimpse of the players they’ve only seen to date on television, names like Brunson, Chan, Greenstein, Negreanu, Harman, and Ivey.

During Day 1 of the event, the final tally of players became known as 95, which was a definite decrease from past years, as the inaugural year found 143 players registered, and the two subsequent years drew 148 players each. The drop in entrants could be attributed to numerous factors, such as the lack of ESPN coverage for the event, the previous bankroll drain of the $40K NLHE tournament, and of course, the global recession that even touches the poker community occasionally. But despite the less-than-100 player field, the prize pool was a substantial $4,560,000 and the first prize portion of it $1,276.806.

Day 1 found 91 players surviving the action, as they all began with 150,000 chips and most were able to maintain enough momentum during the first of five days to make it through. The first unlucky eliminated players of the day were Steve Zolotow, Dan Shak, David Singer, and Alexander Kostritsyn.

Day 2 found the 91 survivors heading into a day that would surely find more of them making their exits, and it began happening at the beginning of the day. Bryan Colin was ousted by Joe Cassidy, and Jennifer Harman left early, courtesy of Steve Sung. Greg Raymer was eliminated, followed by Pat Pezzin, Justin Bonomo, John Juanda, Max Pescatori, and Eli Elezra to name a few, and the dinner break found only 77 left.

As the night progressed, players began to feel the stress of another long night at the tables late in the Series. Freddy Deeb accused Brett Richey of pacing the table in order to see Deeb’s cards, which developed into a testy exchange. Scotty Nguyen was enjoying some beer and engaging quite a bit with fans on the rail. And players being eliminated were quite unhappy, as was  Annie Duke who posted on Twitter that she was “really depressed” about her late-night elimination.

When all was said and done, there were 53 players left. Considering only 16 places paid and there were three more days left in the tournament, the 53 remaining would not necessarily sleep easy when they departed the Rio. There were still tough days ahead. But Gus Hansen ended the night in the chip lead with 686,000. Second place was Ray Dehkharghani with a stack of 643,000, and the rest of the top five, in order, were Erik Sagstrom, Todd Brunson, and Hasan Habib, the latter of whom was the chip leader at the end of Day 1. Also in the top ten were Scotty Nguyen, Frank Cremen, David Bach, Tony G, and Jani Sointula. The shortest stack of the bunch was the aforementioned Richey, who was hanging on to a stack of 43,000.

Event 50:  $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout, Day 2

The tournament drew a lower registration number than the staff anticipated, as only 571 players came out for the limit hold’em shootout. Played like sit-n-go’s, the players would be required to win their respective tables on Day 1 to advance to the money, then win another round to move on to the final table. There were 571 players interested in the idea, which created a prize pool of $779,024.

The first day consisted of 64 players winning their tables, which meant they all returned on Day 2 with a guaranteed payout of $4,350. And the second day proved to be a long one. It took two and a half hours for the first player to be eliminated, and it happened when Ken Lennard was ousted by Antonio Patelidas. But it was late into the night before any of the tables were decided and anyone found their way on to the final table. When it finally happened, names like Nick Binger, Juha Helppi, Jean-Robert Bellande, Humberto Brenes, David Plastik, and Tom Schneider were out of the running.

The final table, which was set to begin on Sunday, June 28, was finally set as follows, with each player starting with 360,000 chips:

Seat 1:  David Williams
Seat 2:  Flaminio Malaguti
Seat 3:  Greg Mueller
Seat 4:  Joep Van Den Bijgaart
Seat 5:  Jose Barbero
Seat 6:  Marc Naalden
Seat 7:  Matthew Sterling
Seat 8:  Millie Shiu

Event 51:  $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Day 1

The only starting event of the day was an event not unfamiliar to the World Series, as there had been countless $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournaments throughout the summer. This one, being one of the last events before the $10K main event, drew a sold-out crowd of 2,781 players, bringing the prize pool to an impressive $3,796,065. That would be reserved for the final 297 players standing in the tournament, and while each of those players would be guaranteed at least $2,733 for their play, only the ultimate winner would receive $664,426.

Play went predictably fast throughout the day, with nearly 1,000 players exiting the tournament within the first three and a half levels. When play finally ended for the night, there were only 349 players left after the slaughter. At the top of the leaderboard was Christopher Bonita and his stack of 131,700 chips, and Ryan Price came in a close second with 130,000. The rest of the top five included Cody Slaubaugh, Phong Huynh, and Steven Van Zadelhoff.

Action would resume on Sunday to play quickly to the money bubble and on toward the final table.

News Flash

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The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

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