The first pot-limit hold’em tournament of the 2010 World Series of Poker got underway on June 3 as part of the first week of action at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The $1,500 buy-in allowed a wide variety of players to afford the entry, and the pot-limit aspect of the tournament brought a smaller crowd than many tournaments but one of solid PLHE fans.
When the buy-ins were calculated, the 650 players created a prize pool of $877,500 for themselves. The last 63 players standing would be paid from that money, but $197,470 of it was reserved for the ultimate winner.
Action took the Day 1 field from 650 down to only 65, just two away from the money. So when Day 2 began, hand-for-hand play kicked in immediately which would allow the final 63 players in the tournament to be guaranteed a cash for their efforts. Late into the evening hours, it was Julie Farkas who became the final table bubble player, exiting in tenth place with $11,468. And that allowed the final table to be ready to go on June 5 as follows:
|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 |
Play began on Saturday without Dempsey, but he did roll in a few minutes late to take his seat. Initial play went on for about a half hour before there was an all-in and call.
Wilkerson, Liu, and Chanthabouasy got involved to see a flop. Chanthabouasy bet, and Wilkerson pushed his last 102K all-in. Liu got out of the way, and Chanthabouasy thought for quite some time before finally making the call with . Wilkerson showed for the overpair, which was ahead even though the came on the turn to give Chanthabouasy the flush outs. And it happened when the hit on the river. Gregg Wilkerson busted from the tournament in ninth place with $14,715.
The next few rounds saw Brogdon double through Kara, Babekov double through Haraden, and then quite a bit of chip exchanges through mostly small pots. Kara came back to double through Haraden, but it was Brogdon who still struggled.
Brogdon finally put his last 88K at risk with , but Chanthabouasy was able to make the easy call with . The board brought nothing of significance with its , and Edward Brogdon was sent to the cashier cage to collect $19,120 for the eighth place finish.
Williams was the next to move, but it wasn’t until Chanthabouasy put him to the test with the preflop all-in. Williams called all-in with , and Chanthabouasy turned over the . The entire board was full of blanks when it came , and Joseph Williams was gone in seventh place with $25,166.
Action was speeding up at the final table. Kara and Babekov tangled before checking out a flop. Kara quickly pushed all-in with for bottom pair, and Babekov called with for not much of anything. The on the turn changed nothing, but the on the river provided the pair of sixes for Babekov. Armen Kara was sent away with $33,573 for the sixth place finish.
Haraden was the next to put his tournament life on the line, but it wasn’t until he and Dempsey saw a flop. Haraden pushed his last 90K into the middle of the table with for the flush draw, and Dempsey called with for the pair of jacks. The on the turn and on the river secured the elimination. Scott Haraden departed in fifth place with $45,393.
A survey of the last four players’ chip stacks found Dempsey with 1.5 million and Chanthabouasy with 670K. Both Babekov and Liu held steady in the 300K range.
Babekov was able to double once through Dempsey, but he decided to make another attempt soon after. Babekov shoved with , and Chanthabouasy called with . The flop of gave Chanthabouasy the set of kings, and the on the turn made that hand into a full house. Babekov was done, but the obligatory was given on the river to make it official. Mark Babekov exited in fourth place with $62,232.
Liu remained the short stack at the table and didn’t take long before making the decision to commit the rest of her chips with . Dempsey was there with , and the race was on until the flop came . Dempsey paired the king, and the on the turn gave him two pair. The on the river ended the run for the first woman to make a final table at the 2010 WSOP. JJ Liu was eliminated in third place with $86,512 for the solid effort.
The last two players headed off to dinner but returned to start heads-up action with the following counts:
|James Dempsey ||2,115,000 |
|Steve Chanthabouasy ||820,000 |
Dempsey came on strong after the dinner break, not allowing his opponent much room in which to move. But Chanthabouasy doubled up twice and started bringing the chip counts to near even. But Dempsey never stopped the aggression, despite having lost the chip lead.
By the late evening hours, Dempsey took the lead back and chipped Chanthabouasy down. It was then that the latter went for another double-up. With , Chanthabouasy moved all-in preflop, only to discover that Dempsey had . The board came , and none of the straight outs or sevens hit. Steve Chanthabouasy left in second place with $121,963.
James Dempsey won Event 9 and took the first pot-limit holdem title of the 2010 WSOP, which came with a gold bracelet and $197,470.