Outside of the Main Event, the most popular tournament for players at the 2009 World Series of Poker was the $1,000 buy-in no-limit holdem “stimulus special,” the cheapest open tournament offered at the WSOP in quite some time. Its popularity let WSOP officials know there was a need for this type of tournament on a regular basis, so each weekend of the 2010 WSOP offers a $1K event with two starting days. The second one started on Saturday, June 5.
The first starting day of the $1K NLHE event brought in 1,922 players, and the second added another 1,120, making for a complete registration number of 3,042. The prize pool was complete at $2,737,800, allowing for payments to 324 players and setting up the winner to receive $472,479. The starting days also cut off before the end of the tenth level each day, as Day 1A looked as if it was going to dip below 15 percent of the starting field with the quick rate of bustouts. Thus, Day 1B cut off at the same time, and any premature bubble bursting was thwarted easily.
There were only 447 players in total who made it to Day 2, and it was during that day that the money bubble burst and the field was reduced to 56 players. Day 3 took that field toward the final table, and with ten players left, it was Daniel Duong who pushed all-in for 250K with against the of David Baker. The board of eliminated Duong in tenth place with $27,323.
The final table was then set for Day 4, with starting chip counts and seating assignments as follows:
|Seat 1: || Jared Hamby ||423,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Daniel Thomas ||602,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Matt Vance ||1,731,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Jeffrey Gross ||281,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Mats Gavatin ||393,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Nicholas Heather ||993,000 |
|Seat 7: ||David Baker ||2,553,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Kyung Han ||613,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Steven Gee ||1,540,000 |
Everyone returned on Wednesday, June 9 to play for the win and the bracelet. The first big pot of the day went to Gavatin, courtesy of Baker and Vance, and short-stacked Gross doubled through Vance to stay alive.
Gavatin was still a short stack, though, and the all-in move was made with 358K and . Heather called with and hit another jack on the flop. The came on the turn, followed by a king on the river, and Mats Gavatin was the first to leave the party, exiting in ninth place with $35,290.
Hamby was the next player at risk, pushing his 431K all-in from the button with . Original raiser Baker called with , and the race was on, though the flop didn’t change much. The on the turn gave Baker straight outs, and the on the river completed the straight. Jared Hamby was gone in eighth place with $46,077.
Action slowed with seven players left, but eventually, Han decided to move. After Baker raised from the small blind, Han moved all-in for 390K more from the big blind with . Baker took his time to make the decision before calling with . And a wise decision it was, as the flop hit . The on the turn and on the river ended the hand, shipping Baker the pot and eliminating Kyung Han in seventh place with $60,833.
The next few rounds saw Heather and Gee gain some ground with significant pots, and Heather came very close to Baker’s chip lead. But Gross was on the short stack. Despite doubling once through Vance, Gross remained near the bottom of the pack.
But it was Thomas who got involved with Vance preflop, and when the latter pushed all-in from the small blind, Thomas called for his tournament life with . Vance showed , and it was race time again. The flop of gave Vance the advantage, and it became greater when the hit on the turn. The amazing on the river gave Vance quads, and there was no doubt that Daniel Thomas was out in sixth place, which came with a $81,203 prize.
Gross was in danger again and pushed all-in with . No one other than Vance was there to make the call, and this time it was with . The board of allowed the queens to hold, and Jeff Gross was eliminated in fifth place with $109,621.
Vance then sat in first place with a solid chip lead. Baker made a charge after taking a significant pot from Heather, but Vance was alone at the top.
That lost pot for Heather prompted him to move his last 1,165,000 chips all-in soon after. Vance considered his options and ultimately made the call with , and Heather showed . The flop immediately hit Vance when it came , though the brought flush outs for Heather. But the on the river didn’t help, and Nicholas Heather left in fourth place with $149,702.
Gee was then on the rise, doubling through Vance and coming out of nowhere to climb above the 2.5 million mark.
Baker had been relegated to a stack of 1.2 million and pushed all-in from the small blind with , but Gee called with . The board blanked with , which sent David Baker to the cashier cage to pick up $206,813 for the third place finish.
Official chip counts were not given for the start of heads-up action, though Gee was said to have had the lead when the battle began. Gee extended that lead, and though Vance attempted to make some progress, it was going to have to be a big pot that did it.
With 1,575,000 chips, Vance moved all-in preflop with against the of Gee. And the flop of only improved Gee’s hand with the pair of aces. The on the turn and on the river ended the tournament. Matt Vance took home $292,232 for the second place finish.
Stephen Gee won Event 13, which came with a $472,479 first place prize and WSOP gold bracelet.