One of the staples of the World Series of Poker is the numerous $1,500 NLHE tournaments. They have always been the most financially affordable for many players who want to experience the WSOP and take a chance at a gold bracelet and poker history. This year, however, a series of $1,000 buy-in events were added to the schedule, making the $1,500 a little less appealing for some.
For example, the first $1,500 no-limit holdem event of the 2009 WSOP brought 2,791 players to the tables, but this Event 5 in 2010 only brought 2,092 players into the mix. Nevertheless, the prize pool was a sizable $2,824,000, which allowed payments for the last 216 players standing and reserved a substantial prize of $515,501 for the winner. The tournament was still a success by most standards.
Day 1 of the event on Monday, May 31 took that field of 2,092 players and whittled it down to only 223, so when they returned on Day 2, it didn’t take long to make it into the money. Play then continued through the night until only 23 competitors remained.
With Vincent Jacques in the chip lead holding 1,498,000 and Kyle Knecht holding down second place with 971,000, all of the players returned on June 2 to play to the final table and the winner’s circle. The subsequent eliminations came in the following order:
|23rd place: ||Alexander Carr ($15,222) |
|22nd place: ||Getty Mattingsley ($15,222) |
|21st place: ||Dwyte Pilgrim ($15,222) |
|20th place: ||Dion Flores ($15,222) |
|19th place: ||Ting Xiao ($15,222) |
|18th place: ||John Sidoni ($18,809) |
|17th place: ||John Myung ($18,809) |
|16th place: ||Jason Fazzone ($18,809) |
|15th place: ||Joshua Gibson ($23,553) |
|14th place: ||Benjamin Kleyman ($23,553) |
|13th place: ||Karl Pirkopf ($23,553) |
|12th place: ||Yuval Bronshtein ($29,795) |
|11th place: ||Tyler Hamade ($29,795) |
|10th place: ||Santiago Nadal ($29,795) |
The final nine players became the official final table, and they were seated with the following chip counts:
|Seat 1: ||Kyle Knecht ||1,990,000 |
|Seat 2: ||David Tuthill ||264,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Donald Offord ||797,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Tomer Berda ||2,000,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Vincent Jacques ||1,518,000 |
|Seat 6: ||David Sands ||585,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Praz Bansi ||550,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Calvin Kordus ||1,111,000 |
|Seat 10: ||Hugh Bell ||549,000 |
Play started with some hits to Knecht’s stack, courtesy of two double-ups by Tuthill. Knecht went from a solid second place out of nine players to the short stack rather quickly.
Knecht was left with 171K and moved it all-in with , and none other than Tuthill made the call holding . The race took a turn as soon as the flop hit to give Tuthill the set of eights. A on the turn and on the river sealed the deal, and Kyle Knecht was the first to depart, taking $37,943 with him for the ninth place finish.
Tuthill led the pack as the final eight took a dinner break.
Upon their return, one of the shorter stacks made his move. Sands pushed for 575K with , and Bansi reraised all-in to isolate, which worked. Bansi showed a dominating . The dealer gave them a board, and Bansi’s better full house gave him the pot. David Sands left the tournament in eighth place with $49,409.
Bell finally found his ideal spot to move when he looked down at , and Tuthill made the call with . The flop of was harmless, and a double-up looked to be in order. The on the turn gave Tuthill straight outs, but the on the river gave him the set. That cracked the aces of Hugh Bell, sending him out in seventh place with $65,097.
Offord was the next to move, and he did it preflop with . It just so happened that Jacques called with . The board brought nothing of substance when it came , and Donald Offord exited in sixth place with $86,858.
Play was speeding up, as only about ten minutes later, Berda made his move with . It was Tuthill who made the call to end the preflop betting war with . The board was filled with blanks when it showed , and Berda was eliminated in fifth place with $117,416.
Tuthill seemed unstoppable with over 4 million chips. Kordus was second in line with nearly 3 million, Jacques had almost 2 million, and Bansi was the short stack with little more than 1 million chips.
But Tuthill experienced a rough ride during four-handed action, as everyone else was able to chip up but Tuthill lost hand after hand. One sizable pot won by Jacques left Tuthill with the need to move. He pushed with against the of Bansi, and the board changed nothing. David Tuthill was surprisingly out in fourth place with $160,654.
Kordus was the next to move all-in, taking his into battle against the of Jacques. The flop gave both players the pair of aces, but that much-needed 5 never came on the turn or river. Calvin Kordus was eliminated in third place with $223,069.
Heads-up play began with the following chip stacks:
|Praz Bansi || 5,140,000 |
|Vincent Jacques ||4,280,000 |
The players took a 20-minute break before launching into battle. Bansi took the reins and took several key pots from Jacques. On a board, Bansi took a sizable pot by showing the for the flush.
Jacques then got his chips all-in with against the pocket fours of Bansi, and the board gave him the flush to beat the set of Bansi for the double-up.
With only 315K in chips, Jacques moved again, this time with . Bansi made the immediate call with , and the only helped Bansi with the jacks and queens. The fell on the turn to give Jacques more outs, but the on the river ended it. Vincent Jacques took second place, which was worth a $320,913 payout.
Praz Bansi won Event 5 and walked away with $515,501 and the WSOP gold bracelet for the victory.