The short-handed tournament is one that many players have come to enjoy, and guaranteeing six players to a table always attracts them to a tournament. Limit holdem also draws players to the tables, though many will attempt to deny that they enjoy LHE action because it can be so slow. Nevertheless, the combination for Event 23 of a $2,500 buy-in short-handed limit holdem tournament was enough to fill the tables and bring a solid number of well-known pros to the Rio Convention Center for an evening WSOP event.
All in all, there were 384 players in the tournament, which created a prize pool of $883,200, out of which the top 36 finishers would be paid and the winner would be awarded $234,065. Day 1 took that field from 384 down to 122 in the eight levels played, and those competitors returned on Day 2 to try to play down to the final table. In the evening hours, the money bubble burst courtesy of Erick Lindgren and Vitaly Lunkin, and eventually the final table neared into the late night hours. However, after Charles Danielsson departed in 13th place, the final 12 were out of time and scheduled to return for another day.
Day 3 brought those 12 players back to play to the official final table of six and down to the winner. Starting at 3:00pm, the Amazon Room was the place for the action to get underway, with chip counts as follows:
|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 |
A number of players still needed to be eliminated before the official final table was set, and the first ones to go were:
|12th place: ||Eduardo Miranda ($12,382) |
|11th place: ||Dana Kellstrom ($12,382) |
|10th place: ||Christopher Vitch ($16,303) |
|9th place: || Jeff Norman ($16,303) |
Then a huge hand happened to eliminate two players at once. It started with Liu capping the raises, Le calling with only 2K behind, and Parmann calling as well. When the flop came , Parmann was the first to bet, and Liu called. Le called all-in reluctantly. The on the turn prompted another bet from Parmann, and Liu raised all-in for her last 44K. Parmann called with for the full house. Liu showed for the two pair, and Le turned over for the straight draw. The on the river allowed Parmann’s hand to stand, which eliminated both women from contention for the bracelet. Anh Le finished in eighth place and JJ Liu finished in seventh place, and they both received $21,991 for their efforts.
The official final table was then set as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Brian Meinders ||157,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Dutch Boy ||543,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Al Barbieri ||561,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Albert Minnullin ||574,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Art Parmann ||551,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Domenico Denotaristefani || 485,000 |
With no one possessing a strangle hold on the chip lead, it was up for grabs, and Minnullin kept it for awhile until Meinders soared, continually moving upward until he took the chip lead. Boyd also moved up, though Denotaristefani and Parmann fell to the bottom of the counts.
But no one fell further than Barbieri, who pushed all-in preflop to find two callers in Boyd and Meinders. The flop came , and Boyd and Meinders raised and reraised to see the on the turn. A bet and call brought the on the river for another bet and call. When Meinders showed pocket fours for the full house, Boyd mucked. Barbieri showed his before walking away in sixth place with $30,399.
Meinders had climbed over 1 million in chips, and though Boyd climbed, no one seemed to be able to catch Meinders. Parmann did double up through Meinders and Boyd, but neither of the latter seemed to suffer much. Parmann then doubled again through Denotaristefani.
It was Denotaristefani who went for the next double-up, pushing his short stack all-in with after the board showed . Minnullin called with , which was the better pair. The river card was a blank, and Domenico Denotaristefani was eliminated in fifth place with $43,117.
Then it was Parmann’s turn to try again, pushing with against the of Meinders. The double-up looked promising, but only until the flop came to give Meinders the pair of tens. The on the turn and on the river allowed those tens to hold, and Art Parmann was sent away in fourth place with $62,769.
Three-handed play started with Meinders holding 1,305,000 chips, Boyd with 820K, and Minnullin looking at 705K.
It was Minnullin who then lost a significant amount of chips to Meinders, which prompted him to then get involved with Meinders again on a flop. Minnullin committed the rest of his chips with Q-8, but Meinders had the advantage with K-9. The rest of the board was not reported except to say the cards were blanks, and that was the end of the tournament for Albert Minnullin, who finished in third place with $93,892.
Heads-up action started at approximately 12:30am with the following chip counts:
|Brian Meinders ||2,010,000 |
|Dutch Boyd ||870,000 |
Over the first hour, Boyd used a consistently aggressive strategy and chipped up into the lead. By the time two hours had passed, Boyd possessed a 3-to-1 lead over Meinders.
Meinders was finally down to one big bet and pushed with . Boyd was there with , and the two watched the flop come , which gave Boyd the pair of jacks and the distinct advantage in the hand. The came on the turn, and the on the river was too little, too late for Meinders but gave Boyd the straight. Brian Meinders took home $144,650 for the second place finish.
Russ “Dutch” Boyd won his second bracelet, this one for Event 23 at the 2010 WSOP, and he was awarded the gold bracelet and $234,065.