There was so much going on at the 2010 World Series of Poker on Friday, June 11, that it became tough to focus. By concentrating on one tournament for awhile, the other five got out of hand. Two starting events, two second days, and two final tables brought players and fans to the Rio in droves and worked the tournament staff and media to a maximum capacity.
The tournament that received the most attention was the $1K ladies-only championship. There was controversy from the noon start, as several men registered for the event - some in drag, others in men’s clothing - and the majority of the field of women was not happy. The motives for registering were unclear for most of them, and antics marred the issue, which mainly focused on discrimination, segregation, and the topic of closed events receiving a bracelet. Everyone had opinions on the issue, from the media to the players, and Harrah’s threats of banning the male players from the WSOP - for anywhere from a year to life - added to the tension. Most of the women seemed to enjoy the day of WSOP tournament action, but excitement - good and bad - surrounded the event for anyone paying attention.
Also new on the schedule was a $2,500 short-handed limit holdem tournament with a late 5pm start, which was sure to draw a mixed crowd and fill up the unused portion of the tournament ballrooms. Down the hall further in the Rio Convention Center was Day 2 of the PLO tournament and the low buy-in stud event, both of which tried to play into the money and down to their respective final tables through the afternoon and evening hours. Finally, there was also the LHE and deuce to 7 lowball championship, both of which were near their final tables when they resumed play for Day 3, and they both had no qualms about playing until only one player stood in each tournament.
It was so much action that any fans who chose to visit the WSOP for the day had plenty of options, lots of players to watch, and almost too much poker to follow. But who are we kidding? For true poker fans, six tournaments on one day was poker heaven.
For all the results of the action from those six events, check out the recaps below.
Event 18: Day 3, $2,000 Limit Hold’em
Limit holdem always finds its own set of avid fans, from amateur to pro, from casino players to online phenoms. Event 18 attracted 476 players, which pushed the prize pool to $866,320 and allowed for the top 45 players to cash. That bubble burst on Day 2, and Day 3 began with the final ten players, just one person short of the official final table. Day 3 brought them back late in the afternoon to play to the final table and continue on until one player was left standing with all of the chips, the gold WSOP bracelet, and the $203,607 first place prize. The recap of all of the Day 3 action will be posted in a separate article when the tournament is finished.
Event 19: Day 3, $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball No-Limit Championship
It was time for another championship event to work its way to the point of crowning a new champion, and this time it was in the deuce to 7 lowball no-limit event. There were 101 players in the $10K buy-in Event 19, but out of the $949,400 prize pool, only the top 14 players were paid. That money bubble burst late on Day 2, which ended with ten players, a few short of the official final table. Thus, Day 3 left the task of making that final table and then finding a winner to claim the $294,321 first place prize and WSOP gold bracelet. Upon completion of the event, the full recap will be posted.
Event 20: Day 2, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
The first PLO event of the 2010 WSOP brought a reasonably-sized crowd to the tables of the Pavilion Ballroom on Thursday, June 10. The tournament was set up as a second chance type of event, as many are this year, which gave players only 1,500 chips with which to start but three opportunities to pick up add-on chips during the first several levels of play as needed. With the highs and lows of PLO mixed with the chip distribution system, it was bound to be an interesting tournament.
Day 1 brought 885 players to the game to create a prize pool of $1,194,750, which surpassed the 809-player field of 2009. The 2010 numbers allowed the top 81 players to be paid and a total of $256,919 to be awarded the ultimate winner. Day 1 ended with 95 players in the field and Jonathan Little as the chip leader.
Day 2 brought those 95 people back but saw a few depart before the bubble action, like Yuval Bronshtein and Jason Sanders. When the field saw only 83 players, hand-for-hand play ensued. Chance Kornuth departed in 83rd place, and it was Eric Kurtzman who got involved with Kazuhito Oshima to see a flop of . Oshima was all-in, and Kurtzman called for his tournament life with . But Oshima had the higher set with and hit the flush when the hit on the turn. The on the river sent Kurtzman out on the money bubble in 82nd place.
Some of the players to cash in the tournament as the evening wore on included Robert Williamson III in 77th place, Jason Potter in 73rd, Eric Haber in 65th, Jason Mercier in 64th, Dan Kelly in 62nd, Doug Carli in 57th, Matt Stout in 51st, James Akenhead in 45th, Jay Heimowitz in 44th, Jordan Morgan in 41st, Ted Lawson in 37th, Quinn Do in 32nd, Scott Montgomery in 31st, Jonathan Little in 30th, Nick Binger in 16th, and Christian Harder in 11th.
The last ten players were seated together at one table, though one more needed to go before the final table was official. That took place rather quickly on a board of , when Peter Costa moved all-in with for two pair. But Nenad Medic called with for the full house. The on the river ended the tournament for Costa, who walked away with $15,197 for the tenth place finish.
The final table was then set as follows:
Those nine players were set to return to the Amazon Ballroom at 2:30pm on Saturday, June 12, to play for the win.
Event 21: Day 2, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud
The first low buy-in stud event of the 2010 WSOP came in the form of Event 21, offering the seven-card game for a low $1,500 buy-in, as compared to the two $10K championship events that had been offered in the first two weeks. There were many players looking to compete at this level, which brought 408 players and a subsequent $550,800 prize pool. It was a reasonable increase over the 2009 registration number of 359.
Day 1 took the field from 408 players down to only 128, and it left off with Scott Seiver as the day’s chip leader. Day 2 brought those players back and sought to play down into the money, which would allow the last 40 players to be paid a minimum of $2,985 for their efforts.
Some of the early eliminations that took place in the afternoon hours of Day 2 included Men Nguyen, Perry Friedman, Tom Dwan, Esther Rossi, Greg Raymer, Cyndy Violette, Marco Traniello, and Carlos Mortensen. The 47 remaining players took their dinner break and returned to have hand-for-hand play started soon after.
|Seat 1: ||Trai Dang ||500,000 |
|Seat 2:||Nenad Medic ||1,504,000 |
|Seat 3: ||John “Tex” Barch ||546,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Ashkan Razavi ||294,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Tyler Patterson ||139,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Blair Rodman ||272,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Chris Hyong Chang ||195,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Denton Pfister ||167,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Klinghammer Thibaut ||366,000 |
The bubble hand happened when David Blatte was crippled on one hand and moved all-in on the next one with . Lewis Lipsey called with . The last cards made no difference, as Blatte left on the money bubble and made way for the remainder of the field to cash. James Maguire was the first to do so, taking home $2,985 for 40th place. Other notables in the money throughout the evening were Philip Collins in 35th place, Chip Jett in 33rd, Scott Seiver in 19th, and Raymond Walter in tenth place.
With one more elimination to go, it looked as though time was running out and play would be wrapped one short of the official final table, but a hand quickly developed to change that. Four players got involved - Alex Kravchenko, Darren Shebell, Christine Pietsch, and Dan Heimiller. All players came along on third and fourth street bets, but on fifth, Pietsch folded. Kravchenko moved all-in, and Shebell and Heimiller came along. Kravchenko showed 2-6-9-9-6-5-3 for two pair, Heimiller showed rolled-up sevens, and Shebell turned over A-8-8-A-Q-A-10 for the full house. Alex Kravchenko left in ninth place with $10,057.
The final table was then set as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Christine Pietsch ||194,000 |
|Seat 2:||Richard Ashby ||276,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Pat Pezzin ||211,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Dan Heimiller ||241,000|
|Seat 5: ||Jon Turner ||83,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Sorel Mizzi ||435,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Darren Shebell ||320,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Owais Ahmed ||78,000 |
The players would return to the Rio on Saturday to play out the final table and determine the champion, with action starting at 3:00pm.
Event 22: Day 1, $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship
The much-discussed and debated ladies-only tournament was the tournament scheduled to begin at noon, and it was all the more controversial this year when a number of men entered the event, citing Harrah’s inability to prohibit them from doing so. Controversy ensued when the men’s belongings were searched before they were allowed to enter, and many women protested their presence in the event. The fact that at least one of the men dressed in women’s clothing also exacerbated the situation. There were threats of banning the male players from the WSOP for as little as one year and as much as for life, but the Nevada Gaming Commission was called, and the outcome of those threats remained in jeopardy as the event played out.
On to the details of the event, it saw a slight dip from the previous year. The 2009 numbers saw 1,060 players registered and a total $964,600 prize pool, but the 2010 event saw only 1,054 players at the tables with a $948,600 pool. The final 117 players were set to be paid from that money, and $193,132 was reserved for the ultimate winner. (The number of men in the field was estimated between 6 and 20, though no official number was given.)
Some of the eliminations throughout the day included Kristy Arnett, Linda Geenen, Vanessa Rousso, Mandy Baker, Nichoel Peppe, Kathy Liebert, Shaun Deeb, Suzie Isaacs, Alexia Portal, and Shannon Elizabeth. And when the day was done, there were 138 players left in the event, and the chip leader was La Sengphet with 148,500 chips. In second place was Svetlana Gromenkova, the 2008 event champion with 70,100 chips. The rest of the top five included Kim Wooka, Stacy Taylor, and Linda Johnson.
Players were asked to return at 2:30pm on Saturday, June 12, to play into the money and attempt to hit the final table.
Event 23: Day 1, $2,500 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em
Limit holdem is a special game, attracting players who enjoy the slower play than in no-limit games and the strategies pertaining to capped betting, but adding the six-handed aspect to Event 23 brought even more players to the tables, those who thrive on the short-handed tables and the intricacies of the game involved with that. All in all, it was an attractive event for many players, and the 5:00pm start time allowed them to sleep in, play other events, and take their seats in the evening hours.
Attendance was up a bit this year from last, when only 367 players signed up in 2009 but 384 registered in 2010. The prize pool for this event was then set at $883,200, from which the top 36 players were to be paid and the winner was to receive $234,065.
As the day progressed, many notables were eliminated, such as Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi, Tom Schneider, Isaac Haxton, Tom Dwan, Chris Ferguson, Bill Chen, Tommy Vedes, and last year’s champion Brock Parker. Day 1 ended with 122 players with chips to bag, and Alexander Queen had the most as he put away 74,400 chips, though he was closely followed by Richard Li at 74,200 chips. The rest of the top five players were David Webb, Keith Ferrera, and Justin Bonomo.
Those 122 players were asked to return to the Amazon Ballroom at 3:00pm on Saturday to play down into the money and as close to the final table as they could get.