Call the tournament a championship, up the buy-in to $10,000, and the high-stakes players will come. That is what happened for Event 10 at the 2010 World Series of Poker, as stud players from the world over gathered for the first championship event since the first day’s $50K Poker Player’s Championship. Stud has long been a player favorite, and many pro players relish the opportunity to play a $10K buy-in that limits the field and produces the prestigious title of 7 Card Stud champion.
The $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship started on Thursday, June 3 with 150 players and a $1,410,000 prize pool. The field was reduced to 88 players on Day 1, but it was during Day 2 that it would play down further, heading into the money for the 16 players who would be lucky enough to get paid. Dario Alioto became the bubble player, sent out in 17th place courtesy of Men Nguyen, and ultimately Day 2 stopped with 12 players remaining.
Day 3’s plan was to play to the final table and continue until there was a winner. Action started with several big names in the field, but it was inevitable that some of the players wouldn’t make the official final table of eight. Early eliminations were:
|12th place: ||Eric Buchman ($32,909) |
|11th place: || Ray Dehkharghani ($32,909) |
|10th place: ||Todd Barlow ($38,676) |
The last nine players were reseated together at one table, and it didn’t take long to lose one more player to make the table an official one.
Dan Heimiller, who was going for his second final table in less than a week, was crippled in a hand with Mizrachi, and though he was able to quadruple up to stay alive, he was short enough to have to move again. The hand ended up with Heimiller all-in on sixth street with , and Nguyen was there with . Heimiller was given a as his last card, and Nguyen took the , and that was the end of the line for Heimiller, who left in ninth place with $38,676.
The final table then officially began, resituated on the ESPN stage to accommodate the crowd of fans watching the action, with the following chip counts:
|Seat 1: ||Men Nguyen ||847,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Steve Billirakis || 610,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Vladimir Schmelev ||735,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Sirious Jamshidi ||365,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Joe Cassidy ||199,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Michael Mizrachi ||298,000 |
|Seat 7: || Nikolay Evdakov ||823,000 |
|Seat 8: || Brandon Adams || 625,000 |
The story of the final table was certainly the potential of a rematch between Mizrachi and Schmelev, as they had just battled days prior for the $50K Poker Player’s Championship title. Schmelev wanted revenge, and Mizrachi wanted to reaffirm his winning streak.
But the table played out with Evdakov taking the lead from Nguyen as play got underway, and Jamshidi suffering under the weight of a short stack.
Jamshidi was finally relegated to a 90K stack and pushed all-in against Brandon Adams. Jamshidi showed , but Adams had for the pair of aces, which was good enough for the win. Sirious Jamshidi was the first to leave, taking with him $46,206 for the eighth place finish.
Several players were soon to be in trouble, as Cassidy was short-stacked and Mizrachi took a hit at the hands of Schmelev. But Mizrachi tripled up, and Cassidy came back to take a big hand from Schmelev, who then had to triple up to stay alive.
Schmelev got involved in a big hand that saw five players go to fourth street, but Nguyen was the only one who stuck around when Schmelev moved all-in. Nguyen ended up with , and the two pair dominated the two of Schmelev when he showed . Vladimir Schmelev was eliminated on that hand in seventh place with $55,991.
The last six players went to dinner, and their chip counts at the time showed Nguyen with a serious lead holding 1,628,000 chips, while the next highest count was Billirakis with 805K and Adams with 696K. Mizrachi, Evdakov, and Cassidy each had less than 500K.
Post-dinner play saw Adams take a big hand from Mizrachi, and the latter was chipped down further until he had only 29K remaining to complete the betting in a subsequent hand with Adams. Mizrachi ended up with , and Adams found two pair in his hand. Michael Mizrachi was denied a second 2010 WSOP bracelet, as he left in sixth place with $68,949.
Cassidy was struggling and saw his chip stack whittled down to about 90K. He doubled through Billirakis and Adams, even again through Nguyen, but the momentum came to a halt when he met up with Evdakov. Cassidy pushed all-in on fourth street and when all of the cards were dealt, he had against the of Evdakov. Joe Cassidy departed in fifth place with $86,461.
Four-handed play saw Adams take a significant pot from Nguyen as well as the chip lead, but Nguyen came back with a win over Evdakov.
Evdakov finally put the rest of his chips at risk on fifth street against Nguyen after Adams folded out of the way. Evdakov finished the hand with , but the pair of aces couldn’t beat the and two pair of Nguyen. Nikolay Evdakov headed to the cashier cage to collect $110,629 for his fourth place finish.
Billirakis was the next player at risk after being crippled by a hand with Adams. Billirakis pushed his last 120K all-in on third street, and Nguyen went along for the ride. Billirakis ended up with two pair in his hand of , but Nguyen had and the trip sevens. Steve Billirakis was eliminated in third place with $152,788.
Heads-up action started with the following counts:
|Men Nguyen ||2,700,000 |
|Brandon Adams ||1,800,000 |
The battle was a futile one for Adams, and Nguyen dominated nearly every hand the two played. Eventually, Adams was chipped down to 350K, and it was time to move.
Nguyen challenged Adams to go all-in blind on the final hand, and Adams agreed. Once the raising and reraising led to Adams’ last chips all-in, the two watched the cards come until the following hands were displayed:
The kings and sixes for Nguyen eliminated Brandon Adams in second place with $243,958.
Men “The Master” Nguyen claimed the Event 10 title, which made for his seventh lifetime World Series of Poker bracelet. For this one, Nguyen was awarded $394,800 in prize money for the 7-Card Stud Championship title.