The first Omaha event of the 2010 World Series of Poker came in the form of a $1,500 buy-in Omaha hi-low split-8 or better tournament. It began on Day 3 of the summer Series, and it brought a field of 818 players to the tables. The complete prize pool was $1,104,300 to be distributed to the top 81 players, and there was $237,643 of it reserved for the ultimate winner.
The numbers for the 2010 event didn’t match up to the equivalent tournament in 2009, as that found 918 players for its field. That year was also special because Thang Luu won the tournament for the second year in a row…and after placing second in it in 2007. But sadly, he wasn’t allowed to push for another title in the same event, because late in the 2009 WSOP, during a cash game, he broke the hand of a dealer at his table. He was banned from Harrah’s properties for one year, and that ban had not lifted by the time the 2010 Omaha event began.
Day 1 of the event saw the field thin quite a bit to 274 players, but it was during Day 2 that the money bubble burst. Play continued through the evening until only 26 remained when play was called for the night. That brought action to Day 3, for which the goal was to play not only to the final table but all the way through until only one player remained standing.
Some of the early afternoon eliminations included Shawn Buchanan, Anthony Reategui, and David Bach, and into the evening, Huck Seed busted in 18th place, Andreas Krause left in 17th, Chris Viox in 14th, and Jeff Madsen in 12th. After Stephen Su left in 11th place, the final ten players were seated at one table.
However, one more player needed to be eliminated before the official final table was set, and it happened when James McWhorter tangled with Fred Koubi in a limped blind situation. The two saw a flop of , at which point McWhorter committed the rest of his chips with . Koubi turned over and hit the draw when the came on the turn. The on the river ended the tournament for McWhorter, who took home $14,030 for the tenth place finish.
The final table was then set, and in order of chip counts, the players were as follows:
|Michael Cipolla ||605,000 |
|Michael Chow ||590,000 |
|Dan Heimiller ||525,000 |
|Fred Koubi||475,000 |
|Scott Epstein ||410,000 |
|Sasha Rosewood ||375,000 |
|Todd Barlow ||365,000 |
|Joe Leibman ||235,000 |
|Ylon Schwartz ||130,000 |
Play started without much delay before the first elimination. Todd Barlow and Dan Heimiller went to see a flop of , and a bet from Heimiller prompted an all-in raise from Barlow. Heimiller called with A-2-7-Q, and Barlow showed A-2-5-7. The last two cards came , and Heimiller had the better kickers with A-Q. Barlow didn’t understand how he lost at first, but upon the explanation being given, he exited in ninth place with $17,780.
The next few rounds of play saw Epstein double through Chow and Heimiller jump into the lead.
On the other end of the spectrum, Schwartz doubled through Leibman and left the latter crippled with only 30K left after the hand. The very next hand saw Leibman all-in from the big blind, and Chow and Rosewood went along all the way to the river of the board. Chow bet, Rosewood folded, and Chow showed A-4-8-Q for the wheel. Leibman slowly turned over A-2-6-K, and that left Joe Leibman out in eighth place with $22,798.
Rosewood then got involved in a hand with Heimiller that involved a floor decision. Rosewood’s second card fell on the floor, and Heimiller called it a misdeal, but the dealer simply wanted to exchange the exposed card. The floor eventually ruled that the dealer was correct because the card was dealt to the player in the first two rounds. Play went on, and after the flop, Rosewood moved all-in with , and Heimiller called with . The turn was the and the river the , and Heimiller took the pot as Sasha Rosewood exited in seventh place to collect $29,548.
Next up was Cipolla, who finally moved his short stack all-in on a board. His hand wasn’t reported, but Chow called with for the two pair. After the blank on the river, Michael Cipolla headed to the cashier cage to grab $38,747 for the sixth place finish.
Epstein then got involved with chipleader Chow on a board. It was then that Chow bet, and Epstein check-called all-in for his tournament life with A-5-7-J. Chow had the flush and low with , and he sent another player packing, this time Scott Epstein in fifth place with $51,431.
Chow had a commanding chip lead during four-handed action with 2.4 million chips. Heimiller had 550K, Koubi 400K, and Schwartz 250K.
Schwartz doubled to stay alive, but Heimiller crippled him a short time later.
But it was Koubi, who gave Schwartz the aforementioned double and lost more chips to Chow, who finally moved with his last 150K. Koubi was all-in with against the of Heimiller, and the board came . Fred Koubi left in fourth place with $69,188.
Schwartz never recovered from the last short stack he was left with. His last 250K went all-in on a flop with 2-3-5-9, and Heimiller called with 2-3-9-K. The turn of the and the river of the finished the hand with Heimiller’s winning two pair. Ylon Schwartz was eliminated in third place with $94,446.
Heads-up action began with the following chip counts:
|Michael Chow ||2,175,000 |
|Dan Heimiller ||1,425,000 |
The battle was an intense one, and though Heimiller came out of the game with momentum, Chow came back to reclaim and solidify his lead. Heimiller lost a significant pot on a board when Chow showed the flush and 8-3 low. A subsequent pot turned up on a board of board when Chow showed another flush. Heimiller was down to 500K.
The short stack doubled up. And he scooped a 1.5 million-chip pot with trip deuces and the low on a board. But it was going to take more for Heimiller to grab the chip lead. Soon after, though, Heimiller lost a massive pot that left him with only 125K.
The following hand saw Heimiller all-in without much choice holding , and Chow was along with . The board came to give Chow the straight, and Dan Heimiller had to accept the second place finish, for which he was awarded $146,505.
Michael Chow won the Omaha-8 event, along with $237,140 in prize money and the WSOP gold bracelet.