To some, it was a Wednesday, middle of the week, hump day. To thousands of poker players, it was a much bigger deal, as another $1,500 no-limit holdem tournament was on tap and provided another chance at poker fame and a coveted WSOP bracelet. And they converged on the Rio Convention Center with the hopes and dreams of everyone who attends the World Series of Poker.
June 2 offered only one new event, the aforementioned $1,500 NLHE, the second of its kind at the 2010 WSOP. But for poker fans, there was quite a bit more going on in the Pavilion and Amazon ballrooms on that Wednesday. A final table was set up to play to a winner in Event 3, and Event 5 was ready to play down to the final table and continue on until only one player was left standing. Two new NLHE WSOP winners would be declared in the nighttime hours, and those persons’ dreams would become reality.
Also on tap for the first Wednesday of the WSOP was the playdown of the NLHE shootout (Event 6), which was still a star-studded tournament including some of the biggest names in poker as they prepared to play their sit n goes and hoped to make a final table. And the Deuce to 7 triple draw (Event 7) was set to play down to its final table as well, also with some famous players still in contention.
Another exciting day on tap at the Rio for poker players and fans, and everyone was welcome to play or rail their favorite players. For a rundown of exactly how it all played out, see below.
Event 3: Day 4, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
The first of many $1K buy-in NLHE tournaments was coming to its long-awaited conclusion on Wednesday, as the final table had been set the previous night. From an original field of 4,345 players, there were nine remaining with Aadam Daya in the chip lead. A $625,872 first place prize and WSOP awaited the winner, and a recap of all of the action can be found in a separate article on PokerWorks.
Event 5: Day 3, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The first of the $1,500 NLHE events of the 2010 WSOP was filled with 2,092 players when it began, along with the promise of $515,501 in first place prize money awaiting the ultimate champion. On Day 2, the field dwindled from 223 players to 23, but when the requisite number of levels were played, they were further from a final table than planned. Those 23 players returned to the Rio on Wednesday to play down to the final table and continue on until only one competitor was left standing. All of the playdown information will be included in the final table recap posted upon its completion.
Event 6: Day 2, $5,000 No-Limit Holdem Shootout
When most players put up the money for a sit n go online, they plan on being done - win or lose - in a relatively short period of time. One table shouldn’t take very long to play. But make it a live table, with some of the toughest poker pros in the world, charge $5,000 to play, and set it up so that only the winner moves on to Round 2 and the prize pool and that changes everything.
Players took the $5K NLHE shootout event quite seriously when they took their seats on Tuesday, June 1. There were 358 competitors, making for a prize pool of $1,682,600, though only the 36 advancing players were set to be paid. After the day turned into late evening hours, the 36 players moving on were finally determined, and they all left for the night. And of course, they returned on Day 2 to play again, this time with the winners of each table moving on to the coveted final table, the winner of which would take home $441,692.
Some of the early exits, those who took home $16,607 but were unable to secure the final table seats included James Akenhead, Tom Dwan, Max Pescatori, Christian Harder, Tommy Vedes, Faraz Jaka, Chris Ferguson, Justin Smith, Chad Brown, Dario Minieri, Aaron Been, and Chris Bell.
As tables were completed, some did move on, though, the first being Brent Hanks, who defeated Josef Monro in a heads-up battle. Then Neil Channing took down Chris Moore, Nicholas Levi beat Blair Hinkle, Stuart Rutter eliminated Julien Nuijten, and Josh Tieman took out Danny Estes. Finally, Joe Elpayaa and Cary Katz got involved on a board, and Katz moved all-in with . Elpayaa called with for two pair, and though the changed nothing, the on the river turned that into a full house. Katz left the tournament, and Elpayaa moved on.
The final table was then set with Hanks, Channing, Levi, Rutter, Tieman, and Elpayaa, all guaranteed a minimum payout of $71,998 and a shot at the $441,692 and WSOP bracelet.
Players will return at 2:30pm on Thursday, June 3 to finish the tournament.
Event 7: Day 1, $2,500 Deuce to 7 Triple Draw Lowball
It was anything but the normal no limit holdem poker tournament. In fact, it wasn’t NLHE at all. The Deuce to 7 triple draw lowball tournament requires a different game plan, new strategies, and a different level of focus. It promised to be a smaller field but one of skilled players, those who embrace new poker game variations and excel at them.
Event 7 brought 291 players to the tables on June 1, which made for a $669,300 prize pool. It wasn’t the most prestigious tournament on the schedule, nor the most popular, but it was an elite field with $180,730 and a WSOP gold bracelet set aside for the winner. Enough said. The field thinned a bit on Day 1, and only 257 players were allowed to return on Day 2.
The goal was to play down to the final table, and it was slow going in the beginning levels of the afternoon. Some of those making an early exit before the money bubble included Maria Ho, Bryan Devonshire, Amnon Filippi, Steve Billirakis, Barry Greenstein, Alexander Kostritsyn, Davidson Matthew, Sorel Mizzi, and Michael Binger.
When the bubble approached, it was Brian Tate who was eliminated in 32nd place that set hand-for-hand play into motion. Ultimately, it was Chris Fargis and his 9-7-6-5-3 that ousted Tony G from the tournament in 31st place. The last 30 players were in the money and guaranteed $4,798 for their efforts.
Some who cashed going forward included David Singer, Raymond Davis, Daniel Fuhs, Hoyt Corkins, Greg Mueller,
Farzad Bonyadi, Allen Kessler, Eli Elezra, Ted Forrest, David Baker, and Pat Poels. But late into the evening, play stopped at approximately 4:00am with eight players, just two short of the actual final table. The chip leader was David Chiu with 436K, and he was followed by Peter Gelencser and his 400K chip stack. The rest of the players were Don McNamara, Raphael Zimmerman, Tad Jurgens, Leonard Martin, Shunjiro Uchida, and Jameson Painter.
Those eight players plan to return at 4:00pm on Wednesday, June 3 to play down to the final table and ultimately a winner.
Event 8: Day 1, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The second no-limit holdem tournament of the 2010 WSOP brought another solid crowd to the Rio, all seeking a WSOP bracelet and the always-solid prize money that accumulates in such fields. The $1,500 buy-in brings a solid mix of amateurs and pros to the tables, and the field drops players rather quickly as many players figure the first of three days requires a quick chip-up or go-home attitude. While that is not the ideal strategy for most, it thins the herd quite rapidly on Day 1.
Two players of note were in the field. Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad attended the NLHE party, having just flown in to Vegas from Norway. Her first appearance in a WSOP event as a 21-year old came with high expectations from the poker industry, but she was eliminated from her first tournament early in the day. Also in the field was Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, who showed up to play just hours after winning his first bracelet.
Some who didn’t make it far into Day 1 included Freddy Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, Joe Cada, Jeff Madsen, David Pham, Lex Veldhuis, Kara Scott, Jennifer Tilly, Vanessa Rousso, Jimmy Fricke, Antonio Esfandiari, Billy Baxter, and Erick Lindgren.
But those who did stick around found out that the total number of entries in the event was 2,341 players, which made for a $3,160,350 prize pool that would pay out 243 places and reserve $352,916 for the first place finisher.
Ultimately, play stopped with 270 players bagging their chips, and Josh Schlein had the biggest stack with 127,300 of them. Hugo Perez held down second place with 109,300, and the rest of the top five included Blake Keslo, Timothy Milliron, and Samuel Trickett.
Action was set to resume on June 3 at 2:30pm to play directly into the money and attempt to get close to a final table.