The 2010 World Series of Poker kicked off exactly one week ago, and already it was in full swing with event after event. Several bracelets had been won, cash games were going strong, and tournaments were moving along at a quick pace. June 5 brought two more events into play with the 11th and 12th ones.
It was primarily a hold’em day, as the noon start brought $1,500 no-limit holdem players to the tables and the 5:00pm start added a sea of $1,500 limit holdem competitors. The Pavilion and Amazon ballrooms were both full of poker players, two of them grinding their way to WSOP bracelets but all of them with the same dream.
Only one final table was in progress on this Friday, though Event 8 had to play down to the final table and then on through to a winner. And a pot-limit hold’em event had to make an attempt to reach its final table on the second day of its action. But the railbirds were mostly gathered around the $10K seven-card stud championship, as many well-known players still lingered in the field, even as it played down its second day toward a final table.
The action was everywhere, as were players, supporters, and fans. The WSOP staff had its hands full to organize, move, and handle each event, but most of it went as smoothly as could be with several thousands of players to handle. For the details of the day’s events, see below.
Event 8: Day 3, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The $1,500 NLHE event played down to 25 people on Day 2, so Day 3 was going to be a long one. Playing down to the final table and on through to a winner was the plan, but the no-limit aspect of the game assured them they would get there eventually. For the details of the long day, how the tournament went from 2,341 players to only one and how Phil Hellmuth finished on his quest to win a 12th bracelet, check out the recap of the final day’s action in a separate article.
Event 9: Day 2, $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em
Sometimes, the smallest variation in hold’em brings a new set of interested players to the tables. Give them pot-limit instead of no-limit, and the players will register. And with a $1,500 buy-in, they did come in the form of a 650-player field, which created a $877,500 prize pool. With $197,470 reserved for the winner, there was plenty to dream of while playing their pot-limit hearts out.
Day 1 saw the field dwindle to only 65 players, just two outside of the money as only 63 would receive payouts for their efforts. But the correct number of levels completed prompted the stop of play, and those 65 players returned on Day 2 to head toward the final table.
Day 2 did start with hand-for-hand play that lasted for quite awhile as several players were able to double-up at the crucial time to stay alive. Finally, the bubble did burst when Bil Smith moved his last 900 chips all-in with , but he got three callers. He likely felt good with the flop that all three players checked. The on the turn brought a bet and call, and one player folded out. The on the river prompted an all-in move from Michael Maher, and the other player folded. Maher showed 6-5 for the straight, and Smith was eliminated on the bubble.
Eric “Rizen” Lynch became the first player to cash in the tournament, and he was followed by players like Jared Jaffe, Jason Lavallee, Tom Schneider, Jonathan Little, Cornel Andrew Cimpan, and Tom McEvoy. After the dinner break, other eliminations included Scott Montgomery, Steve Yea, Steve O’Dwyer, Christian Harder, and Melissa Hayden.
In the late night hours, the final table neared. After James Lewis exited in 11th place, the final ten took seats at the last table, though one more player needed to go before the final table was official. Ultimately, it was one of the two women standing who took the fall. Julie Farkas was all-in preflop with against the of Steve Chanthabouasy. The board came , and Farkas took leave of the table in tenth place with $11,468.
The final nine were set as follows:
Everyone was set to return at 2:30pm on Saturday, June 5 to see the final table.
Event 10: Day 2, $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship
The tenth event of the 2010 WSOP brought a championship, only the second one since the $50K Poker Player’s Championship and the first $10K event of the series. The seven-card stud championship tournament was anxiously awaited by many poker pros and those who have embraced the classic stud action.
There were 150 players signed up to play, and the resulting prize pool was $1,410,000 reserved for the top 16 finishers with $394,807 set aside for the ultimate winner.
|Seat 1: ||Armen Kara ||220,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Gregg Wilkerson ||230,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Mark Babekov ||246,000 |
|Seat 4: ||JJ Liu ||479,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Edward Brogdon||89,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Scott Haraden ||224,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Steve Chanthabouasy ||533,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Joseph Williams ||385,000 |
|Seat 9: ||James Dempsey ||528,000 |
Day 1 took the field down to 88 players, but it was Day 2 that would bring it down into the money and, with any luck, the final table. Day 2 started with an interesting chip leader, as Michael Mizrachi seemed to be on a tear, but even more interesting was that Vladimir Schmelev, the second place finisher in the $50K event to Mizrachi, sat in second place to start the day. The day had potential to add up to something quite interesting.
Early eliminations for Day 2 included Alexander Kravchenko, Benjamin Lin, Nick Frangos, Allen Kessler, Tony G, Chris Ferguson, David Singer, John Cernuto, Scotty Nguyen, and Eli Elezra. Later in the evening, others like Doyle Brunson and Andy Black followed.
The money bubble came into play around the midnight hour, but before the bubble actually hit, the 2009 champion of the event, Freddie Ellis, was eliminated by Brandon Adams. Ultimately, actual hand-for-hand play lasted nearly 1.5 hours until short-stacked Dario Aliota finally got involved with Men Nguyen. Aliota ended up all-in with , but Nguyen had , and the two pair won. Aliota left in 17th place on the bubble.
The remaining 16 players were in the money, each guaranteed a minimum payout of $24,900. The first to head to the cashier cage was Edouard Mignot Bonnefous, and Yuval Bronshtein left in 15th place. In the next money category of $28,623, Pat Pezzin took 14th place and Shane Douglas took 13th. Play stopped at the end of the last level with 12 players still in the game, and their ending chip counts were:
|Vladimir Schmelev ||921,000 |
|Sirious Jamshidi ||638,000 |
|Michael Mizrachi ||544,000 |
|Nikolay Evdakov ||543,000 |
|Steve Billirakis ||448,000 |
|Joe Cassidy ||410,000 |
|Men Nguyen ||302,000 |
|Dan Heimiller ||222,000 |
|Eric Buchman || 142,000 |
|Ray Dehkarghani ||132,000 |
|Brandon Adams ||115,000 |
|Todd Barlow ||85,000 |
Day 3 was set to get it going again at 3:00pm on Saturday, June 5, to play to the final table and the winner. The stories were ready to write themselves, as Mizrachi and Schmelev were looking to do battle, reminiscent of the $50K championship heads-up of several days ago, and Heimiller sought to avenge his recent second place finish with a bracelet. Big names, big action on the horizon.
Event 11: Day 1, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The $1,500 NLHE tournaments were coming at a fast and furious pace, as the last one was wrapping up while this one was beginning. But there never seems to be a shortage of players looking for the low buy-in no-limit action, so the multiple occurrences on the 2010 WSOP seem to be warranted.
Event 8 brought in 2,341 players with a $3,160,350 prize pool. By comparison, the June 4 tournament surpassed it by bringing in 2,563 players and creating a prize pool of $3,460,050. Event 11 was going to be able to pay out 297 places and set aside $614,248 for the winner.
The field was full of big names alongside new faces, but some of the notable early eliminations included names like Adam Levy, Kevin Saul, Jean-Robert Bellande, Gavin Griffin, Arnaud Mattern, Chino Rheem, and Amit Makhija. The day continued as the large field was condensed into one ballroom and some of the later exits named Liv Boeree, Eugene Todd, and Berry Johnston.
When play stopped, the majority of the players were gone and only 297 remained. It was Venkatesh Gupta in the chip lead with 199,100 and Timothy Miles in second place with 150,600. The rest of the top five were Taylor Paur, William McMahon, and Blair Hinkle.
The restart time was set at 2:30pm for June 5 in the Amazon Ballroom.
Event 12: Day 1, $1,500 Limit Hold’em
The first limit hold’em event of the 2010 Series was scheduled for a 5:00pm start, and many players anxiously got to their seats for the action. Limit hold’em has its own set of fans, though pro players often register for it as well simply because it’s a WSOP event. Despite LHE and its ability to be a painfully slow game, many like the infrequency of the all-in factor and enjoy its pace.
In 2009, the first limit holdem event didn’t appear on the schedule until Event 26, and it brought in 643 players and a $877,695 prize pool. The 2010 equivalent showed lower numbers but ones that were in the same general range and nothing to incite panic. Event 12 on June 4 attracted 625 players, thus taking the prize pool to $843,750, from which 63 players would be paid and the winner would take home $189,870.
The limited betting of the game allowed the players to settle into their seats for awhile, though several levels in, several players were out, including Noah Boeken, Barry Shulman, Roberto Romanello, Tom Schneider, Jeffrey Lisandro, and Andy Bloch.
Despite that LHE title, however, only 198 players survived to the wee hours of the morning, and the chip leader of that group looked to be Jameson Painter with 47,600 chips. Second on the leaderboard was Kenji Sazanami with 46,200 chips, and rounding out the top five were David Williams, Kengo Ito, and David Gee.
The Amazon Room would be the place of Day 2, and players would reconvene at 3:00pm in an attempt to play down to the final table.