By Day 4, the 2010 World Series of Poker was in full force. And there was excitement in the air as the high stakes players were moving toward their final table, the low stakes competitors tried to make it into the money, and other tournaments progressed with WSOP bracelets on everyone’s minds.
Players in the $1K NLHE tournament were set to make the money soon after their afternoon start, and the Omaha fiends also looked to see the money bubble late in the evening hours. An entirely new set of players made their way to the tables for some $1,500 no-limit holdem action as well, filling the Pavilion ballroom in addition to the Amazon being taken up with Day 2 restarts. But most eyes were on the few tables still running in the $50K Poker Player’s Championship tournament, as big names still had to play into the 16 paying spots and on toward the final table. Though the rail was bustling around all of the tournaments, it was the $50K event that brought serious poker fans to the ropes to watch names like Juanda, Mizrachi, and Ferguson go for one of the most coveted prizes in poker.
With all of the commotion, the WSOP felt like it was in full swing, and action was everywhere. Poker players and fans were amidst the experience they await all year long.
For the details of what happened throughout the day, tournament by tournament, we have it all right here.
Event 2: Day 4, $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship (8-Game Mixed)
One of the first events to start the WSOP was still in motion on May 31 as it proceeded to find its final table on Day 4 of action. The tournament began on May 28 with 116 players and a prize pool of $5,568,000, whittled the field down to 110 on Day 1, down to 54 on Day 2, and all the way to 21 on Day 3.
Memorial Day was the day that the players would compete for the sixteen money spots and ultimately the eight seats at the final table. Early in the day, it was Eli Elezra who was the first to hit the rail, taking 21st place after more than an hour of play. James Van Alstyne followed, as did Erik Seidel and David Singer. That put the players firmly in hand-for-hand play at the last three tables with 17 players remaining.
Ultimately, it was Kirk Morrison who put all of his chips at risk on fifth street during a stud-8 hand against Daniel Alaei. Their hands, complete and turned up, were as follows:
Kirk Morrison: ()()()()
Daniel Alaei: ()()()()
Alaei’s two pair won the entire pot, and Morrison bubbled the tournament, walking away with nothing for his $50,000 investment. The final 16 players, though, were in the money.
After redrawing for the final two tables, Andy Bloch was eliminated in 16th place by Vladimir Schmelev in a stud-8 hand, and Ilya Bulychev was gone in 15th place by Schmelev in PLO. Both players received $98,300 for their efforts. Allen Bari was then ousted by Schmelev in limit holdem in 14th place, and Brett Richey followed when Lyle Berman eliminated him in pot-limit Omaha. Those two players received $113,030. Berman himself was taken out by Michael Mizrachi in an exciting PLO hand with quads over quads, and Abe Mosseri was done in by Nick Schulman in LHE; both players cashed for $129,957. Alexander Kostritsyn was eliminated by John Juanda
in NLHE for $152,739.
The last nine players were seated together at one table, with Juanda holding a slight lead over the rest of the table. Schulman was the short stack after David Baker took a chunk out of his stack, and though Schulman doubled through Robert Mizrachi in stud, Schulman had to take another chance, and it happened in stud-8. Juanda was the opponent, and Schulman put the last of his chips in on fifth street with ()()() against the ()()() of Juanda. The latter finished up with and , while the of Schulman wasn’t enough. The blank river card ended Schulman’s run in tenth place with $152,739.
The final table was then set as follows:
The story of the table was obvious, as the Mizrachi brothers found themselves in the biggest competition of their careers against each other. Oppenheim was clearly the short stack. But anything would be possible as the players prepared to return for Day 5 to play for the win.
Action was set to resume at 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 1 with eight players on the ESPN stage, and they would play all no-limit hold’em throughout the final table until a winner was declared. On the line is the Chip Reese trophy, one of the most sought-after titles in poker, and $1,559,046 in prize money.
Event 3: Day 2, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
WSOP organizers hoped the first $1K NLHE event of the year would draw as many as the only one did last year, but the numbers fell far short of the 6,012 players in 2009. Day 1A of the 2010 event brought 2,601 players to the tables, and another 1,742 were added on Day 1B for a total of 4,345 players. That made for a $3,910,500 prize pool with $625,872 set aside for the winner.
The first starting day thinned the field to only 276 players, and the second down to 205, which was dangerously close to the money, which was set to hit at 441 players. But the crisis was averted when bustouts slowed down at the end of Day 1B, and everyone relaxed as the day finally ended with both days’ players at the same level of play.
The 481 remaining players started Day 2 on their way to the money, but a few tables had to be broken before that happened. Amarillo Slim Preston was one of the players who didn’t make it into the money. But those who made it into hand-for-hand play didn’t have to wait long for the bubble to burst, as a player moved all-in with against the of Kevin Stammen. The board came , and the trip aces won, eliminating the other player near the bubble. The exact bubble player was not made clear, though two players did bust in the same hand, meaning that those 441st and 440th place finishers split $1,877 on their way out the door.
|Seat 1: ||David Baker ||3,095,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Mikael Thuritz ||2,300,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Vladimir Schmelev ||1,925,000 |
|Seat 4: ||John Juanda ||2,620,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Daniel Alaei ||1,705,000 |
|Seat 6:||Michael Mizrachi ||2,620,000 |
|Seat 7: ||David Oppenheim ||460,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Robert Mizrachi ||3,125,000 |
Some of the subsequent bustouts in the money included Vanessa Rousso, Bryan Devonshire, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, Justin Young, and Joe Sebok. At the point of the dinner break, there were 188 players still in the field, but that number decreased into the evening hours as players like Jordan Morgan, Jon Friedberg, Tommy Vedes, Jared Hamby, Chris Bjorn, and Men “The Master” Nguyen were eliminated.
When play ended for the night, there were still 41 players left in the field. The tournament was scheduled to be four or five days, depending on the need, and it was looking like five would be the answer. Of those 41 players, Drew Crawford was the chip leader with 800K chips, followed by William David with 775K. The rest of the top five included Dash Dudley, Nicholas Mitchell, and Robert Scott.
Play would resume at 3:00pm on Tuesday to see how far the field could be reduced on the way to the final table.
Event 4: Day 2, $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
The first Omaha tournament of the Series began on Sunday with no chance of the reigning champion, Thang Luu, looking for a third straight bracelet in the event, as his ban from Harrah’s properties was still in effect from July of 2009. But there were 818 other players anxious to take the title. The entire prize pool was determined to be $1,104,300, with payments for 81 players and $237,643 for the winner alone.
Day 1 saw the field dwindle to only 274 players, but it was the second day that took them into the money. Initial thoughts indicated it would not happen, but the day’s progression changed all that. Early pre-money eliminations included Shaun Deeb, who came into the day with exactly one 100 chip and decided not to play it but instead focus on Event 5. He was quickly eliminated, and others who followed included Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer, Cyndy Violette, Jimmy Fricke, Dario Minieri, Jeff Lisandro, and Phil Ivey.
There was a dust-up involving Amnon Filippi midday, as his chip stack was listed as being allocated to a player named Steven Aaron. Filippi did register late for the tournament, and though his name was listed as Aaron on the card, Filippi evidently did not investigate further after tournament director Jack Effel told him not to worry about it. But as the money bubble neared, it became an issue, and it was ultimately discovered that the player who registered before Filippi was switched with him. Filippi’s player’s card number was the problem, and it was fixed prior to the crucial time in the tournament.
By the time the dinner break hit, there were about 117 players remaining, but the money bubble was in full effect a few hours later, just before 10:00pm. Hand-for-hand action led to the elimination of Micah Brooks in 82nd place, which was worth nothing but WSOP memories, and Ken Lennard became the first to cash in the tournament, walking away with $2,750 for the effort. Other notable cashes included Andy Black in 77th place, Chip Jett in 75th, Berry Johnston in 73rd, Steve Sung in 66th, Todd Brunson in 52nd, and Allen Kessler in 39th.
When play stopped for the night, only 26 players remained with Sasha Rosewood atop the leaderboard with 399K in chips. Second place was held down by Anthony Reategui and his 317K chip stack, and the others in the top five were Michael Cipolla, Fred Koubi, and Dan Heimiller.
Play was set to restart at 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 1 in the Amazon Ballroom.
Event 5: Day 1, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The only event to get underway on Day 4 was the first $1,500 NLHE tournament of the summer. In years past, players would storm the Rio for the chance to play what was the lowest buy-in event of the WSOP, but with the implementation of the $1K event last year and the extension of its availability this year, the $1.5K has taken a bit of a back seat to the cheaper events.
In 2009, this event found 2,791 runners and a prize pool of $3,809,715, and Travis Johnson took home the gold bracelet for his win there. This year, the numbers were significantly lower, as only 2,092 players entered, and the total prize pool stood at $2,824,200 with payments for 216 players. Nevertheless, the first place finisher was set to walk away with $515,501 in prize money, and that was nothing to dismiss.
As play got started, some players looked to have the double-up or go-home mentality. Very early exits included Jerry Yang and Phil Ivey, and other notables who left in the first part of the day included Victor Ramdin, Lex Veldhuis, Liz Lieu, Tom Dwan, Barry Greenstein, Gavin Griffin, JP Kelly, and Allen Cunningham.
As the day progressed, names like Anthony Yeh, Maria Ho, Brandon Cantu, and Greg Raymer followed. By the dinner break, there were only 638 players remaining, as approximately two-thirds of the field was already gone. Later in the night, as the ten levels were completed, David Sklansky, Daniel Negreanu, and Joe Cada also made their exits.
Play was stopped at the end of the tenth level with only 223 runners still in the game. They were set to return to the Rio at 2:30pm on Tuesday, June 1, to play directly into the money and on to the final table.