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

Day 36 Action: Six-Handed Players Seek Last Non-Main Final

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It was only two days before the start of the 2009 World Series of Poker $10K Main Event. And it was a rather slow day as far as the tournament schedule, as the action wound down toward the “big dance.” While there were three tournaments making their way through their final tables, only one tournament hit its stride in Day 2.

The $5K NLHE short-handed event was the 56th tournament of the 2009 Series, and for those who had been in Las Vegas since the beginning, the excitement had turned into a grind. For some, Event 56 was a must, as it was the last chance to cash or win a bracelet before the main event. For others who had just come to town and were in the process of preparing mentally and poker-wise for the main event, it was a chance to put their skills to the test. No matter what the reason, they came in larger numbers than expected for the tournament.

But what was in the minds of each and every player in or around or on their way to Las Vegas was the start of the main event. Only two days away, the pinnacle of poker tournaments was on the verge of taking over the Rio, and the excitement was in the air. Satellites were in full swing as players tried to parlay $1,000 into a main event seat, and cash games were also running at high volume. Players with their buy-ins already in hand were already wandering into the Rio to secure their seats. And the WSOP main event was within reach.

But on Wednesday, July 1, there was one tournament seeking its final table players, and that is the focus of today’s recap.

Event 56:  $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed, Day 2

This was it. And 928 players came to the tables for the last preliminary event of the Series. That created a prize pool of $4,361,600 and a corresponding first place prize of $1,003,218. It was an amazing reward for those who set their sights on WSOP glory. Though only 90 players would receive any payout, the first day of action stopped with 160 remaining. The money was another day away.

Day 2 started with Rory Mathews in the chip lead, but most know that anything can - and does - happen on the second day of play. Action took the field swiftly toward the money bubble, and during hand-for-hand play, three players were eliminated on the same hand. Daniel Zink was ousted by Peter Feldman when Zink’s pocket kings were cracked by a set of nines. Ken Aldridge was sent away by Lee Vlastaris, whose pocket nines reigned supreme over the A-K of Aldridge that never improved. And Phongthep Thiptinnakon was eliminated to make for the third bubble player. The trio split 90th place money, each taking home $3,053 for their willingness to take risks. Each subsequent elimination was guaranteed a minimum of $9,159 in prize money as the day progressed.

The night turned to morning as the field sought to be reduced to final table status, and it became clear near the 3:00am cutoff time that it wasn’t going to happen. The last elimination of the night came when Andrey Zaichenko was eliminated by Rory Mathews in 17th place, for which he received $26,824. That left 16 players to return on the final day of action to play for the win. They were to be seated at three tables on Thursday, July 2, as follows:

Seat 1:  Peter Feldman        1,328,000
Seat 2:  Aurelien Guiglini       549,000
Seat 3:  Josh Brikis           294,000
Seat 4:  Thorsten Schaefer    1,094,000
Seat 5:  Matthew Waxman    1,132,000
Seat 6:  Alex Venovski         684,000

Seat 1:  James St Hilaire       876,000
Seat 2:  John Conkright    749,000
Seat 4:  Rory Mathews        1,358,000
Seat 5:  Jonas Wexler           848,000
Seat 6:  Eugene Katchalov        356,000

Seat 1:  Robert Kay        1,213,000
Seat 3:  Frank Calo           569,000
Seat 4:  Sean Keeton           641,000
Seat 5:  Matt Hawrilenko    1,327,000
Seat 6:  Faraz Jaka            778,000

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