Event 12 and Event 18 were both limit holdem tournaments with relatively low buy-ins. The difference between the two was $500, as the first was a $1,500 buy-in and the second a $2,000. In addition, the first started at 5:00pm and the second at noon. Those may seem like insignificant variations, but timing and money means quite a bit in this business. Thus, Event 18 ended up with a lower registration number but slightly higher ratio of pros to amateurs. And hosting more than one limit hold’em event allowed more players to get in on the LHE action. That brought us to Event 18.
On Wednesday, June 9, the Pavilion Ballroom was the starting area for the $2,000 buy-in LHE tournament that brought 476 players to the tables and created a prize pool of $866,320. Day 1 took the field down to a workable 144 players, who returned on Day 2 and eventually played down into the money so the last 45 players could be paid. After the elimination of Duke Lee at the end of the night in 11th place, the final ten, though not the official final table, retired their chips for the evening.
The following players returned on Day 3, which was Friday, June 11, to play down to and through the final table so the eventual winner could be $203,607 richer. Those players were as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Matt Matros ||224,000 |
|Seat 2: ||William Jensen ||326,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Gary Bogdanski ||115,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Eric Buchman ||453,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Hansu Chu ||447,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Falvio Ferrari ||373,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Brent Courson||240,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Daniel Quach ||55,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Steven Hustoft ||383,000 |
|Seat 10: ||Matt Grapenthien ||254,000 |
Only one player needed to be eliminated before the final table was official, and that happened just moments into the action when Quach and Buchman got involved on a flop. Buchman bet, and Quach called all-in with for not much of anything. Buchman, on the other hand, had for the flush draw. The hit on the turn which made that flush, and the on the river ended the hand with Daniel Quach leaving in tenth place with $12,561.
That left the final table to be decided, and it didn’t take long before Matros and Grapenthien went to battle on a flop. Grapenthien bet and Matros called with 29K left, and after the turn, Grapenthien bet and Matros called all-in with for the flush draw. Grapenthien had , and the came on the river to allow the queens to hold. Matt Matros, who won the other limit hold’em event only days before, took ninth place in this one for a $16,174 payday.
Bogdanski didn’t start out with many chips to begin the day and soon doubled through Chu just to stay alive. But after being crippled by Grapenthien, Bogdanski had 21K remaining and pushed it all-in preflop. Hustoft, Grapenthien, and Jensen all called to see a , and when Jensen bet, Hustoft was the only one to leave the party. After the on the turn, Jensen bet again, and Grapenthien got out of the way. Jensen showed for the full house, and Bogdanski turned over the which made a flush but wasn’t good enough. The irrelevant river card ended Gary Bogdanski’s tournament with $21,025 for the eighth place finish.
Seven-handed play started with Ferrari at the top with 800K, Buchman a bit behind with 630K, and Courson on a very short stack with 50K. Courson was able to double through Jensen and then Ferrari, though, to stay alive.
But it was Grapenthien in need of chips, and he moved all-in preflop with . Buchman made the call holding , but the flop of gave Buchman the two pair. Only a few outs remained for Grapenthien, but the turn and didn’t make the cut. Matt Grapenthien was eliminated in seventh place with $27,609.
As Buchman continued to climb, Jensen wasn’t so lucky, though a double through Buchman did provide some help in that area.
Jensen soon moved again, this time taking it slowly preflop with Buchman to see a flop. Jensen bet, and Buchman check-called to see the arrive on the turn. Jensen then committed the rest of his chips with , but Buchman called with for the dominating pair of aces. The river brought nothing but a blank, and William Jensen was gone in sixth place with $36,619.
Chu was also in trouble but doubled through Courson. However, soon after, Courson crippled Chu, putting the latter in a must-move position. Chu pushed all-in preflop with , but Hustoft was the caller holding . The board came , and Hansu Chu was sent to the cashier cage to grab $49,068 for the fifth place finish.
Four-handed play saw Buchman holding 950K, Hustoft with 700K, Courson with 650K, and Ferrari on the short stack with 440K. But over the course of the action that took them to and continued after a dinner break, Courson had climbed into the top position, and Buchman fell to third.
But it was Ferrari who felt the need to go all-in from the big blind with . Buchman called with only but hit the seven on the flop. The on the turn changed nothing, nor did the on the river. Flavio Ferrari was eliminated in fourth place with $66,446.
Hustoft fell to the bottom of the stacks, and though he doubled through Courson at one point, he needed to move again. Hustoft and Buchman saw a flop of before Hustoft pushed all-in with , and Buchman called with for the flush and straight draws. The on the turn kept Hustoft’s pair of queens in the lead, but the on the river gave Buchman that straight. Steven Hustoft left in third place with $90,928.
Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:
|Eric Buchman ||1,900,000 |
|Brent Courson ||970,000|
Buchman was aggressive and continued to chip away at his opponent, though Courson did finally double through Buchman with A-8 of hearts versus A-8 offsuit with runner-runner hearts. But it wasn’t long before Courson was chipped down again and in need of a double-up. It was successful when Courson’s Q-10 beat the A-7 of Buchman with a K-J-9 flop for the straight. But that only put Courson at 160K, and Courson did it again when his queens held up to the 7-3 suited of Buchman.
Courson had 320K at that point but still had a severe disadvantage to Buchman’s stack.
The next move came when the two took to a flop of . A bet and call brought on the turn card, at which point, Courson pushed all-in. Buchman called with for two pair, and Courson showed for the pair on the board. The appeared on the river to end the hand and eliminate Brent Courson in second place, which was worth $125,737.
Eric Buchman, the fourth place finisher at the 2009 WSOP Main Event, finally won a WSOP title, taking home $203,607 and the bracelet for winning Event 18 at the 2010 Series.