There had been several stud championships thus far in the series, but Event 21 offered the seven-card game with no frills and the bargain buy-in price of $1,500. One of the more traditional forms of poker attracted players of all ages because of its ability to stand the test of time and still bring new players into its spell.
This tournament brought a total of 408 players to the tables, which was a notable increase over the 359-player field from 2009. The 2010 event turned up a $550,800 prize pool, from which 40 players would cash and the winner would take home $140,467. Day 1 brought the field down from 408 to 128, and Day 2 returned them to their seats where they eventually played down into the money so as to guarantee the last 40 players a minimum payout of $2,985. As Day 2 came to a close, Alex Kravchenko was eliminated in ninth place for $10,057 so that the final table of nine was officially set.
Those nine players returned on Saturday, June 12 with starting chip counts 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 |
Without much time to waste, short-stacked Turner got involved on fifth street, Shebell folded out of the hand, and Ahmed called. Turner showed three queens, but Ahmed filled his club flush to rake the chips. Jon “Pearljammer” Turner was eliminated in eighth place with $12,916.
Seven-handed play saw Heimiller chip away at Mizzi, ultimately taking the lead himself, and though Ashby made a charge as well, Ahmed took two pots from him and climbed out of short-stack position. It was a time for chips to change hands.
Pietsch also climbed but did it at the expense of Pezzin. Pezzin then got involved with five players, though only Ashby and Heimiller followed him all the way to seventh street, and Ashby and his two pair took a great deal of chips from Pezzin and his lower two pair. That left Pezzin with 20K, and all of the chips went in against Mizzi. Pezzin ended up with for one pair, but Mizzi showed for the trip jacks. Pat Pezzin departed in seventh place with $16,826.
As the next break came and went, Shebell had become the new chip leader, but Pietsch was closing in and Ashby was standing strong. Ahmed doubled through Pietsch to stay alive, but it was Mizzi who stumbled, doubling through Heimiller to stay alive but still short-stacked.
Mizzi took his stack into battle with Shebell and was all-in on fifth street, ultimately showing for the pair of eights, but Shebell had for the set of deuces. Sorel Mizzi was eliminated in sixth place with $22,235.
When the final five players went to dinner, Pietsch was the chip leader by a significant margin, with Shebell in second, Heimiller in third, Ahmed in fourth, and Ashby on the low end of the stacks with 86K.
But it was Ahmed who moved next, taking on Pietsch and Shebell. Ahmed was all-in on sixth street, but Shebell and Pietsch continued to add to the pot after that. When Pietsch showed J-Q-10-K-3-9-A for the straight, though, Shebell folded. Ahmed turned over , a hand that simply didn’t materialize into anything, and Pietsch scooped the pot. Owais Ahmed departed in fifth place with $29,809.
Ashby suddenly found new life by doubling through Shebell, then tripling up, and finally crippling Heimiller. The rise was, one could say, out of the ashes, for Ashby, but Heimiller was in danger.
Ashby and Heimiller battled again, but it was for the last time. Heimiller was all-in on fifth street and ended up with and an unknown seventh card, while Ashby showed for the rivered straight. Dan Heimiller was eliminated in fourth place with $40,544.
The final three players found themselves with the following chip counts:
|Christine Pietsch ||860,000 |
|Darren Shebell ||785,000 |
|Richard Ashby ||260,000 |
But as Ashby rose, Shebell fell over the course of the subsequent rounds. Ultimately, Ashby and Shebell switched roles, and short-stacked Shebell was all-in on fifth street with a hand that developed into for the set of sixes. But Ashby showed for the rivered full house. Darren Shebell had to accept the third place finish and $55,955 that went with it.
No official chip counts were given at the start of heads-up play, but Pietsch had the chip lead. Ashby fought, though, and eventually overtook the lead and got aggressive. Pietsch couldn’t seem to gather much of her earlier momentum.
Finally, the two got involved to the point that Pietsch was all-in on fourth street, and Ashby had no trouble calling. Pietsch ultimately turned over for the pair of tens, but Ashby showed , and the two pair easily won the hand. Christine Pietsch finished in second place in her first ever WSOP tournament, walking away with $86,756 for the effort.
Richard Ashby won Event 21, a stud victory that came with $140,467 and a WSOP gold bracelet.