The second weekend of the 2010 World Series had some excitement in store for poker fans and players alike. Saturday, June 5 was scheduled to be a very busy day, but the hustle and bustle of the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas was set up to handle it, and the hallways gave the exciting feel of how the biggest series of poker tournaments should be. Though members of the media were already starting to feel some exhaustion, it was days like June 5 that reminded us of why we all have jobs.
It was no-limit day at the Rio on Saturday, as the two new events of the day were of that particular nature. The noon tournament was the second of many $1K buy-in NLHE tournaments, giving more players of varying bankrolls the opportunity to experience the WSOP and take a shot at a bracelet for only $1,000. The first of two starting days of that one was set to start at noon, while the 5:00pm start involved a low $1,500 buy-in deuce-to-seven lowball tournament of the no-limit variety. Without many chances for players who are expanding their game repertoire to buy-in to such a tournament at a bargain price, this one looked to draw an interesting mix of players.
Also on tap was the second day of a $1,500 NLHE tournament and second day of limit holdem, both starting with still-substantial fields but trying to play down to their final tables…or as close to that point as possible. And as far as final tables, the Event 9 PLHE tournament was ready with its nine players to find its winner, and Event 10 was prepared to hit its final table with only a few more eliminations and then proceed on to the winner’s circle. The latter still boasted of names like Michael Mizrachi, Vladimir Schmelev, and Dan Heimiller, all with something to prove and a bracelet in their sights.
To get a better feel for the happenings of the day, check out each individual event below:
Event 9: Day 3, $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em
The first PLHE tournament of the 2010 WSOP was set with its final table and ready to play down to a winner. After starting with exactly 650 players, only nine remained, one of them being JJ Liu, the first woman to make a final table this year. With all nine eyeing the $197,470 first place prize and the shiny WSOP bracelet, the final table looked to be an exciting one. Players were set to return to the Rio at 2:30pm on Saturday to play for the win, and all of the action is recapped in a separate article dedicated to the Day 3 festivities.
Event 10: Day 3, $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship
Other than the $50K Poker Player’s Championship, this stud event was the first high buy-in championship of the Series thus far, and the $10K buy-in brought 150 players to the stud tables. But at the end of two days, only 12 players remained. In that group were the final two from the aforementioned $50K event - Michael Mizrachi and Vladimir Schmelev. Also in contention was Dan Heimiller, who just missed his first bracelet with a second place finish in Event 4 only a few days prior. With the goal of playing to the final table and on toward the win, action was set to go for Saturday at 3:00pm in the Amazon ballroom, and the recap is available.
Event 11: Day 2, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The second in a series of $1,500 NLHE tournaments started on June 4 to give players another opportunity for straight no-limit holdem action and a bracelet in that category. This one had 2,563 players in the field and a prize pool of $3,460,050 for the top 270 players to claim, though the winner had a special $614,248 alone set aside.
Day 1 reduced the field dramatically, as it always does, and only 297 players returned for Day 2, which meant that the money bubble was near enough to almost count it.
Day 2 did start with those 297 players and didn’t take long at all to hit hand-for-hand play. Corwin Cole and his were ousted by the pocket aces of Kyle Winter for the 272nd place finish, and no one caught the actual 271st place hand, but the bubble burst nevertheless. The last 270 players standing were in the money, and Eric Cohen was the first to depart with $2,802 for his finish. Others who finished in the money as the day went on included Steve Zolotow, Shannon Shorr, and Amnon Filippi.
As the night came to an end, the last elimination was Rodrigo Horvath who left in 22nd place with $17,577, and the last 21 players bagged their chips before heading home for some rest. And when the chips were counted, none other than Tom Dwan led the way with 1,068,000 chips, followed by Marvin Rettenmaier with 953K. The rest of the top five included Scott Hamilton, Christopher Giddings, and Harsukhpaul Sangha.
Those 21 players were set to return to the Rio on June 6 to play down to the final table and the winner’s circle, starting at 2:30pm.
Event 12: Day 2, $1,500 Limit Hold’em
One tournament that many look forward to each year is limit holdem. Despite its slower nature, many players enjoy it and find it a nice change from the all-in nature of no-limit games. The first LHE tournament of the 2010 WSOP started at 5pm on Friday.
Event 12 brought a total of 625 limit hold’em enthusiasts to the tables and created a prize pool of $843,750. Day 1 of the action took the field from that 625 number down to 198 by the night’s end, and Jameson Painter led the Day 2 start.
Some of the early pre-money bubble eliminations included Brock Parker, Chad Brown, John Juanda, Svetlana Gromenkova, Ted Forrest, David Williams, Barry Greenstein, Matt Hawrilenko, and Eric Lynch. And a few hours into play, hand-for-hand play indicated that the money bubble was near, and it didn’t take long for Jonathan Tamayo to push his very short stack all-in with against the of Shawn Buchanan. The board came , and Tamayo exited in 64th place.
The last 63 players were in the money, and some of the notables that took trips to the cashier cage throughout the evening were Buchanan in 54th place, Phil Ivey in 53rd, Ylon Schwartz in 50th, and Marco Traniello in 22nd. The last elimination of the day was Amnuey Sri, who grabbed $8,766 for the 14th place finish.
There were 13 players remaining in the field, and their chip counts were as follows:
|Jason Potter ||371,000 |
|Jameson Painter ||307,000 |
|Georgios Kapalas ||306,000 |
|Ahmad Abghari ||302,000 |
|Terrence Chan ||288,000 |
|Matt Matros ||272,000 |
|Kirk Banks ||264,000 |
|Adrian Dresel-Velasquez ||240,000 |
|Frank Kassela ||162,000 |
|Roberto Truijers ||141,000 |
|Tran Dean || 82,000 |
|Mark Burford ||53,000 |
|Ben Lamb ||31,000 |
They were set to return to the Amazon Ballroom at 3:00pm on Sunday, June 6 to play down to the final table and find the event’s ultimate winner.
Event 13: Day 1A, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
It was the second of several weekend $1K NLHE events, which were inserted into the schedule in 2010 after the rousing success that was the one “stimulus special” event in 2009. The opportunity for thousands more players to buy into tournaments for only $1,000 offered a larger part of the poker-playing population the chance to take home a piece of poker history.
The first $1K event of the year attracted 4,345 players from its two starting days and set a prize pool of $3,910,500. Though this event had yet to set its final numbers, Day 1A brought a solid 1,922 players into the field, to start it off.
As happens in cheaper buy-in NLHE tournaments, many players exit early, and some of the notables to do so included Allen Kessler, Faraz Jaka, Amit Makhija, Bryan Devonshire, Kevin Saul, Katja Thater, Tom McEvoy, JP Kelly, and Joe Sebok.
The tournament didn’t actually play all of its levels for the day, as the new rule for tournaments such as this with two starting days was to stop when only 15 percent of the field remained, so as not to inch too close to the money bubble on Day 1A or 1B and risk unhappy players from one of those days if the other hit the money. So, when the field neared that 15%, action was halted. The official report for the day showed that 304 players remained, and Andrew Black was the chipleader with 90,275 chips. Second on the list was Pedro Reis with 78,550, and the rest of the top five were Marcello Del Grosso, Steven McLoughlin, and Shaun Hartlin.
However many there really were, they had Sunday off to enjoy Las Vegas while a whole new set of players started the tournament in Day 1B. That would get underway at noon on Sunday.
Event 14: Day 1, $1,500 Deuce to Seven No-Limit Lowball
Deuce to 7 is a favorite poker variation of many pro players, but younger players are beginning to see the thrill of it as well. Make it affordable with a $1,500 buy-in and add the no-limit part of it, and players were anxious to give the WSOP event a shot. The rules in the 2-7 No-Limit Lowball event were that players started with 1,500 chips but could take three add-ons, each worth 1,000 chips, during any of the first four levels of play.
When registration ended, it showed 250 players in the tournament, a massive increase over the 147 players in the equivalent event in 2009, though that event had a $2,500 buy-in. And Phil Ivey won it. In 2010, the cheaper buy-in brought more people into the mix and set into motion a $337,500 prize pool to be reserved for the top 28 players.
Some of the notables who played but didn’t make it through the first day of action included Steve Zolotow, Jean-Robert Bellande, Young Phan, Marc Karam, Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, Justin Smith, and Chau Giang. One of the last players to bust in the late hours was Gavin Griffin.
Play ended after the required eight levels with 67 players still in contention for the bracelet, and it was Nick Binger atop the leaderboard with 54,300 chips, followed by Scott Seiver with 46,875 chips. The others in the top five were Chino Rheem, Keith Lehr, and Sean Snyder.
The restart time for Day 2 on June 6 was 3:00pm, and the remaining players were to play into the money and on to the final table.