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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP 2010 | WSOP Tournaments

WSOP Day 12: No Limit to the No-Limit Tournaments

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It was nearly two weeks into the 2010 World Series of Poker, and most days varied somewhat with the tournament offerings. Even Day 1 had the casino employees’ event with NLHE but added the 8-game mix for the $50K Poker Player’s Championship later in the day. Almost each day has a variation of poker games to watch and/or play. But Day 12 was heavily saturated with no-limit holdem.

There was one non-NLHE event being played out in the Amazon ballroom in the afternoon and evening hours, as the $10K stud hi-low split championship was finding its way to a final table and on to the tournament’s ultimate champion. But the majority of tables found nothing but NLHE.

The only new tournament of the day offered a $5K buy-in NLHE event, which had a solid turnout for its noon start. The $1K NLHE tournament that got underway over the weekend with two starting days was still working its way down to a final table on Day 3 and wouldn’t play for the win until the following day. And the $1,500 short-handed no-limit holdem tournament was only in its second day, thinning the field in the hopes of finding its final table by the end of the night.

Many say that there is simply too much NLHE at the WSOP, but that opinion is countered by the fact that those tournaments continue to attract the largest crowds, the biggest prize pools, and the most new players. It may seem like an old standby, but no-limit tournaments remain the staple of the live tournament industry.

All in all, it was another somewhat light day in the ongoing Series, as compared to other days with two starting tournaments or days with cheaper buy-in NLHE fields. For a summary of the day’s action and how it all ended, take a look below.

Event 13: Day 3, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The second $1K buy-in NLHE tournament of the Series headed into its third day on Tuesday, and it was expected that the final table would be reached in order to play it out on Day 4. Much about the weekly $1K’s had to be adjusted after the initial one in 2010, as the first proved the field was too large to finish the tournament in three full days, and the two starting days had to be adjusted and stopped earlier than planned if Day 1A found itself with only 15 percent of the starting field before the end of the night so as not to hit the money on either starting day. With those realizations in place, Event 13 moved along smoothly.

After the Day 1A field added up to 1,922 players and Day 1B put another 1,120 in the mix, the total number of registrants was 3,042, and the total prize pool was $2,737,800. While smaller than the first of the $1K’s, the pool still added up to a sizable amount, enough to pay out 324 players and save $472,479 for first place. Day 2 started with 447 players but quickly got to the money at the beginning of the day. Play finished in the nighttime hours with 56 players.

The first player to exit was Alan Goodman, who left in 56th place, and other notables who finished in the money as the day progressed included William Reynolds in 53rd, Ylon Schwartz in 34th, and Andy Black in 32nd. Later in the evening hours, with the elimination of Gerald Domagalski in 11th place, the last ten players were seated together at one table, though one more had to go before the final table was official. And it happened when Daniel Duong pushed all-in for about 250K preflop with {10-Hearts}{8-Hearts} against the {A-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} of David Baker. The board of {10-Spades}{3-Clubs}{4-Spades}{5-Spades}{A-Hearts} rivered top pair for Baker, and Duong left in tenth place with $27,323.

Play then wrapped with the final table set for the next day as follows:

Seat 1:
Jared Hamby
Seat 2:
Daniel Thomas
Seat 3:
Matt Vance
Seat 4:
Jeffrey Gross
Seat 5: 
Mats Gavatin
Seat 6:
Nicholas Heather
Seat 7:
David Baker
Seat 8:
Kyung Han 
Seat 9:
Steven Gee

Players were set to return on Wednesday, June 9, at 2:30pm to find the Event 13 winner.

Event 15: Day 3, $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split Championship

The second $10K event of the 2010 WSOP was also the second 7-card stud championship, though this one was of the hi/low variation. The 170-player field had a $1,598,000 prize pool and first place prize of $447,442. By the end of Day 2, there were 18 players left, all of them returning on Day 3 to play into the money, toward the final table, and ultimately to a winner. As expected, it was a star-studded affair with some big names in the running, and the excitement only grew as Day 3 played out. To catch up on the action and the outcome of Event 15, check out the final table recap of that tournament.

Event 16: Day 2, $1,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em

The six-handed events at the WSOP are always player favorites, and when they come with the affordable $1,500 buy-in, players of all rankings turn out for the festivities. This one brought 1,663 players and created a prize pool of $2,245,050, surpassing the 2009 numbers and spreading tables across two ballrooms in the Rio Convention Center.

Day 1 brought the field from that 1,663 starting number all the way through the money bubble, which burst toward the end of the night and guaranteed the last 162 players standing a minimum payout of $2,828. A flurry of bustouts happened just before the night ended, and Roger Teska sat atop the leaderboard with 221K as they all bagged their chips.

The remaining 146 players came back to the Amazon ballroom on Day 2 and played with the goal of reaching the final table. But some who didn’t even make it to the dinner break but did cash in the tournament included Ted Lawson, Hoyt Corkins, Matt Hawrilenko, Jan Skampa, Al Barbieri, Stefan Rapp, Tristan Wade, and Avery Cordoza. After dinner, other notables who hit the rail were Chris Bjorin, Robert Williamson III, JP Kelly, Lee Childs, Bryan Micon, and Ray Henson.

With the elimination of Ryan Snickles in 17th place, for which he earned $17,488, only three more hands were played before the night ended. Still 16 players remained in the tournament, with Carter Phillips in the lead with 922K. In second place was Mikhail Lakhitov with 763K, and rounding out the top five were David Diaz, Kevin Iacofano, and Craig Bergeron.

The last 16 players were set to return to the Amazon ballroom on Wednesday, June 9 at 2:30pm to play down to the final table and on through to a winner.

Event 17: Day 1, $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The obvious difference between this NLHE tournament and the ones that preceded it at the 2010 WSOP thus far was the buy-in. By setting the price at $5,000 to take a seat, the field was more likely to attract more experienced players and make for an exciting tournament.

The first $5K buy-in NLHE event of the 2009 Series brought 655 players to the tables for a $3,078,500, but the story of the tournament was winner Brian Lemke, who played for recently deceased cousin and dear friend of the poker media Justin Shronk. The emotional victory was treasured by many who were still reeling from the loss of Shronk. This year may not have had such a touching story attached, but the numbers were solid and surpassed those of the prior year. A total of 792 players signed up to play in Event 17, which created a $3,722,400 prize pool in order to pay out the final 72 players and reserve $818,959 for the first place finisher.

Some of the early casualties of the day included Jose Barbero, David Pham, Kevin Saul, Alex Kravchenko, Beth Shak, Brock Parker, and Daniel Negreanu. But when all was said and done, there were only 225 players able to bag their chips, and the one with the most was Steven Goosen with 229K. Following a little behind was Brian Smith with 208,400 chips, and the rest of the top five included Chino Rheem, Jeff Williams, and Nico Behling.

Play will resume at 2:30pm on Wednesday, June 9, as the field plays into the money and ever closer to the final table.

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