It seems that Friday wasn’t busy enough with six events, so Saturday, June 12, gave the poker world even more to watch, read, and discuss. The 2010 World Series of Poker was already in its 16th day but finishing up its 21st event, which meant there was no down time, especially on a busy weekend in Las Vegas. The Rio Convention Center was bustling with players and fans, as six events were scheduled.
To complicate matters further, there was a World Cup soccer match on television early in the day that pitted the United States against England, and though the WSOP was bustling, there were very few eyes that weren’t also glued to televisions scattered throughout the ballrooms or cell phones or computers. However, once the excitement from that event subsided with the end of the game, all attention was again focused on poker.
The day started with one of two starting days of another $1K NLHE tournament, which brought the masses to the tables for another shot at the most reasonably priced bracelet. And at 5:00pm, another championship event kicked in, this one requiring $10K for the buy-in and some knowledge of Omaha-8, which guaranteed a field of well-knowns that would make the railbirds quite happy.
Also starting at various times throughout the day were two Day 2 portions of events, one being the ladies no-limit holdem championship and the other being the six-handed limit holdem tournament. There were also two final tables set and ready to go, one to determine the $1,500 seven-card stud champion and the other the $1,500 PLO winner. Two bracelets would have new owners by the time the night was over, many more players would be guaranteed payouts for their two days of play, and throngs of others would be happy to just have chips at the end of the day.
Enough of the general overview… Let’s get to the events themselves!
Event 20: Day 3, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
It took until Event 20 to offer the first $1,500 PLO tournament of the 2010 WSOP, but when it did become available, the players were more than ready, as many were already growing tired of the holdem events. Day 1 started with 885 players and declared a prize pool of $1,194,750, but the day ended with only 95 players left. Day 2 allowed them to play into the money so the last 82 players could be paid, and it was late in the evening that the official final table was set. The final nine returned on Day 3 to play for the bracelet and $256,919 first place prize. The entire recap of the final action can be found here.
Event 21: Day 3, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud
The first stud event that was affordable to most players was Event 21, as it offered the seven-card game for $1,500. That brought a total of 408 players to the tables for the old-school poker variation, which created a $550,800 prize pool. Day 1 reduced the field to 128 players, and Day 2 brought them into the money so the last 40 of them could be paid for their efforts. By the end of the second night of play, the last eight players were set on the final table and ready to go on June 12, where they gathered to play for the bracelet and $140,467 in prize money. When the winner is declared, a recap of the action will be compiled and posted.
Event 22: Day 2, $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship
The always-controversial ladies NLHE championship tournament, with its $1K buy-in, began on Friday, June 11, with a number of men in the field, contrary to the hopes of most women and the Harrah’s and WSOP staff members. But since anti-discrimination laws prevented the men from being turned away, they were simply harassed and threatened instead. Nevertheless, most of the men were eliminated early in the tournament, and the women played on.
Despite having 1,054 players in the field, it was a dip of six players from the previous year, showing no growing interest in the tournament, especially considering at least 5 to 10 of those players were men. The 2010 field produced a $948,600 prize pool, which would allow payouts for the top 117 finishers and $193,132 for the last person standing. Day 1 saw the field diminish from 1,054 down to 138 players, and it was La Sengphet in the chip lead with 148,500, though 2008 champion Svetlana Gromenkova was in second and looking for a repeat title.
Day 2 started with those 138 and didn’t have far to go to reach the money bubble. Karina Jett and poker blogger Michele Lewis exited before that happened, but when the bubble did approach with hand-for-hand play, it took quite awhile, but Lindsey McAdams looked to be the one out in 118th place, leaving the last 117 to finish in the money and earn a minimum of $1,802. Linh Luong left in 117th place with that money, and other notables who cashed as the day progressed included Alex Vuong in 104th, Bluff Magazine writer Jessica Welman in 83rd, Maria Ho in 75th, Brady Bunch actress Jennifer Cox in 70th, Liv Boeree in 53rd, Lacey Jones in 41st, Svetlana Gromenkova in 33rd, and Linda Johnson in 31st.
As the end of the night approached, the final table was ultimately reached when Ronit Chamani pushed all-in from the big blind for 62K, and Sidsel Boesen called with . Chamani was far ahead with and even further ahead with the flop. But the on the turn and on the river gave Boesen trip fives, and Chamani was eliminated in tenth place with $10,833.
The final table was then set as follows:
Players chose to return on Sunday, June 13 at 3:00pm to play their final table.
Event 23: Day 2, $2,500 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em
Many players adore limit holdem, as it is a betting game and one that introduces many players to poker in the first place. Others claim to dislike the slowness that can be a part of LHE but play anyway, indicating there is a secret attachment to it that many are unwilling to admit. Regardless of the reason, LHE attracts the players, especially when presented in a six-handed format.
When the Day 1 numbers were in a few hours after the 5:00pm start time, they showed 384 players in the $2,500 buy-in tournament, a bit of an increase over the 367 who played in 2009. The 2010 prize pool was then set at $883,200, out of which the top 36 players would be paid and the winner would take home $234,065. When play was finished on the first day, only 122 players had chips, and Alexander Queen had the most as the day’s chip leader.
Day 2 started with those 122 players and found many eliminated in the first half of the day, including Patti Gallagher, Bertrand Grospellier, Joe Sebok, Mike Leah, Matt Vengrin, Soheil Shamseddin, Andy Bloch, Annie Duke, Matt Hawrilenko, Matt Glantz, and Noah Boeken. Finally, the evening hours brought on the money bubble, but players like Erick Lindgren and Vitaly Lunkin departed just before the money in 38th and 37th place, leaving the rest of the players to vie for a minimum payout of $5,202.
Jeffrey Mervis was the first player to cash in 36th place, and other notables who followed included Justin Bonomo in 32nd, Phil Gordon in 27th, Shawn Buchanan in 24th, Michael Binger in 22nd, Tad Jurgens in 18th, and Rafe Furst in 16th. The elimination of Charles Danielsson in 13th place was the last one of the night, and the 12-hour rule shut the tournament down with 12 players remaining. They were as follows:
|Seat 1:||Vanessa Hellebuyck ||277,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Holly Hodge ||279,000 |
|Seta 3: ||Allison Whalen ||344,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Kami Chisholm ||529,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Sidsel Boesen ||789,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Bonnie Overfield ||226,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Loren Watterworth ||75,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Timmi Derosa ||437,000 |
|Seat 9: ||La Sengphet ||206,000 |
Those players were set to return to the Amazon Ballroom on Sunday, June 13, to play down to the official final table and on through to the winner’s circle.
Event 24: Day 1A, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
This $1K buy-in NLHE event was the third of its kind at the 2010 WSOP, as every weekend was set up to offer a low buy-in tournament for players with such an interest. Though popularity for the event continues, it does not parallel the numbers in the 2009 inaugural tournament, but its frequency in 2010 is a simple explanation for that.
|Al Barbieri|| 415,000 |
|Albert Minnullin ||358,000 |
|Christopher Vitch||352,000 |
|Dutch Boyd ||348,000 |
|Brian Meinders ||300,000 |
|Anh Le ||289,000 |
|Julian Parmann ||202,000 |
|J.J. Liu ||182,000 |
|Dana Kellstrom ||151,000 |
|Domenico Denotaristefani ||110,000 |
|Jeff Norman ||102,000 |
|Eduardo Miranda ||63,000 |
On the first of two starting days, there were 1,931 players in the Pavilion Ballroom, which was on par with the second of the 2010 events that brought 1,922 on the first day but under the 2,601 that showed up for the first one at the very beginning of this summer. But the overall numbers will not be known until the final starting day on Sunday brings the rest of the field into the mix.
Though many amateurs and non-pros signed up for the tournament, there were some pros at the tables as well, though some of them played the double-up-or-go-home strategy. Those who may or may not have played that way but went home early nonetheless included names like Jerry Yang, Tiffany Michelle, Eric Baldwin, Bryan Micon, Dwyte Pilgrim, Jason Mercier, Nick Binger, David Singer, Gavin Smith, Men Nguyen, Kathy Liebert, Shannon Elizabeth, and Greg Pappas.
When the day finally ended, there were 290 players able to bag up their chips, and atop the leaderboard was John Tolbert with 73,900 chips, followed by an unnamed player with 70,075. The rest of the top five included Jeffrey Tebben, Ping Yung, and Leonid Yanovski. Those players were then set to take Sunday off and enjoy Vegas, returning on Monday to combine with the rest of the field to play Day 2.
Sunday was set to bring the second starting day’s players to the tables and round out the field, starting at noon.
Event 25: Day 1, $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship
It was one of many $10,000 buy-in championship events, but this one proved to be more popular than most. Though the stud and stud-8 championships brought in approximately 100 players each, the Omaha hi-low split-8 or better looked to attract more, as Omaha is the most popular game besides holdem in the poker family, and players are consistently being drawn to the game, especially those of the younger variety. When this championship came around as a stark contrast to the $1,500 PLO that was Event 20, players were ready.
In 2009, there were 179 players ready to take on this challenge, which created a $1,682,600 prize pool and found Daniel Alaei as its champion. The 2010 tournament showed a significant increase, as 212 players bought in and set the prize pool at $1,992,800. That dollar amount allowed 27 players to be paid, though a solid $488,241 was set aside for the ultimate winner.
But early in the evening of the 5:00pm start event, some players found themselves already on the rail with the plethora of fans trying to catch a glimpse of the big names. Those eliminated included Hoyt Corkins, Tom Dwan, Scott Clements, Shunjiro Uchida, John Hennigan, Michael Mizrachi, Tommy Vedes, Jason Mercier, and Daniel Negreanu. When play wrapped for the night, there were 154 players remaining, and Eugene Katchalov was the leader with 123,200. Holding in at second place was Sergey Altbregin with 112,500 chips, followed by David Benyamine, Sammy Farha, and Alexander Kostritsyn to round out the top five.
All of the players were set to return to the Amazon Ballroom at 3:00pm on Sunday to play into the money and toward the final table.
*Editor's note: all of the photos are from the Ladies Event. Read the editor's view here*