After Monday started the week with two new tournaments, Tuesday increased the number of players in the ballrooms and hallways of the Rio Convention Center by adding another two tournaments. Though Tuesday seemed like a light day, especially under the notion that Event 24 might not make its final table and cut play at an early time, there were still four major events, one being a championship, running at the same time, keeping media and staff on their toes.
Tuesday got underway with the noon start, which was the $2,500 PLO event, which filled quite a few of the tables in the Pavilion Ballroom. By mid-afternoon, the final 30 players in Event 24 returned to see if they could play down to the final table in a reasonable amount of time that would allow a winner to be decided, or if they would wrap and play it out on Day 4 as is allowed for the $1K NLHE events. Also congregating were the remaining fields of the $2,500 short-handed NLHE and the $1,500 stud-8 tournaments, both playing down to the final table or as close as they could get. And by 5:00pm, all those wanting to plunk down $10K for a shot at the LHE championship were bustling in the Amazon Room and getting as much capped betting action as they could handle.
The range of buy-ins, event types, and players made Day 19 an exciting one in the Rio Convention Center. And with the very enthusiastic fans sweating the playdown of Event 24, there was not a dull moment. Check out all of the highlights as summarized here.
Event 24: Day 3, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
It was the third of the weekend $1K NLHE tournaments being held throughout the 2010 WSOP, and it was the second most popular thus far. There has been no problem attracting thousands of players to the cheapest buy-in open events of the Series, as amateurs and pros alike sign up for their chances at a bracelet each weekend.
The event began with 1,931 players on Day 1A and another 1,358 on Day 1B, making for a total field of 3,289 competitors and a prize pool of $2,960,100. Only 512 players survived their starting days, and it was on Day 2 that the final 342 of them found their way into the money. Only 30 players came into Day 3, and the tournament staff was undecided as to whether the final table could possibly be played out on Day 3 or if play would slow down enough to justify another day. Both of the other $1K NLHE tournaments thus far went the full four days, so it would remain to be seen.
When those 30 players returned on June 15 for Day 3, play got off to an exciting start with several players willing to move. Brian Kennish was the first to go, taking home $11,870 for 30th place, and others who followed throughout the day included Laura Cantero in 24th place and Eugene Castro in 17th place. When James Jeffrey left in 12th place, the remaining 11 took a dinner break and returned to find Anthony Damore ready to go in 11th. Not long after, Alexis Belanger-Lebel pushed all-in with , and David Cai called with . The board came , which ousted Belanger-Lebel on the final table bubble, leaving him with $29,897 for the tenth place finish.
Since it was after 9pm at night, the determination was made to play the final table on Day 4, where it would start with chip counts and seating assignments as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Blake Kelso ||1,166,000 |
|Seat 2: ||JD McNamara ||2,393,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Thanh dat Tran ||2,311,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Greg Pohler ||1,660,000 |
|Seat 5: ||David Cai||844,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Michael Gross ||535,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Denis Murphy ||789,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Jeffrey Tebben ||466,000 |
|Seat 9: ||John Tolbert ||925,000 |
Play was set to resume on Wednesday, June 16, at 2:30pm in the Amazon Ballroom to complete the tournament and crown the latest WSOP winner.
Event 26: Day 2, $2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
All players needed to know was that it was NLHE played six-handed, and the buy-in was a semi-reasonable $2,500. And they descended upon the Rio on Monday, June 14 in droves to play some short-handed poker with no split pots, no extra cards, no bring-ins, and no fuss. It was poker the way many of the pros liked it, as they could do well early or get out and play another tournament, and the amateurs felt comfortable enough with it to take a shot.
Thus, there were 1,245 players in Event 26, which added up to a prize pool of $2,863,500 that included a top prize of $630,031. Day 1 whittled the field down to 156 survivors, and it was William Haydon who led the pack as they retired for the night. Day 2 brought them back to play into the money, as only the top 126 players would get paid.
It wasn’t long into the action on Day 2 that the money bubble burst, and though there were several hands that happened during hand-for-hand play, the bubble player was never found. It was only Annette Obrestad who finished her tournament just in time to take 126th place for $4,782, and Tony Licastro marched out right behind her in 125th place. Others who cashed throughout the day included Davidi Kitai in 120th place, Leo Margets in 116th, Al Barbieri in 110th, Alan Sass in 101st, Ryan Fee in 95th, Christina Lindley in 91st, Jeff Shulman in 84th, Maria Mayrinck in 80th, Edward Sabat in 64th, Amnon Filippi in 59th, Jerry Yang 57th, Chris Moorman in 53rd, Steve Billirakis in 50th, Taylor Caby in 46th, Marco Traniello in 39th, Sorel Mizzi in 25th, and David Benefield in 20th.
The last bustout of the day was Daniel Negreanu, who walked away with $23,537 for the 16th place finish. That left 15 players to bag their chips before getting some much-needed rest. Of the remaining players, Steve Cowley was the leader with 1,279,000 chips, followed by Martins Adeniya with 823K. The others in the top five were Jeffrey Papola, William Haydon, and Joe Baldwin.
Players were to return at 3:00pm on Wednesday, June 16, to play down to the final table of six and on to the declaration of a winner.
Event 27: Day 1, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
A stud-8 tournament with a $10K buy-in as was previously held in the 2010 WSOP restricts buy-ins because of the stakes. But by reducing the buy-in to $1,500, many more players are willing to try the seven-card stud hi-low tournament, even those who don’t have the best grasp on the game. Action players looking to play tournaments every day took advantage of this one, but there were also a plethora of skilled stud-8 players at the tables looking to chop some pots, scoop more of them, and walk away with a stud bracelet.
There were 644 players in the tournament when it began on Monday, June 14, and the prize pool grew to $869,400 because of it. With $208,682 reserved for the winner, the action was slow in the beginning but eventually thinned the field to only 208 players by the end of Day 1. Odette Tremblay was the chip leader as the chips were being bagged, but Day 2 saw everything change. Some of the early eliminations included Greg Dinkin, Mike Leah, Paul “Eskimo” Clark, Andreas Hoivold, Chris Bell, and Robert Varkonyi.
Well after the dinner break and into the evening hours, the money bubble burst before hand-for-hand could even get underway. That left the last 64 players in the money, and Jan Sjavik was the first to cash, taking home $2,851 for the finish. Others who made trips to the cashier cage later in the night included John D’Agostino in 62nd place, Gina Hecht in 53rd, Phil Ivey in 52nd, Chris Reslock in 43rd, Scott Clements in 41st, Vince Burgio in 37th, and Dutch Boyd in 28th. The last player to be eliminated was Felipe Tavares in 24th place, leaving 23 players to return for the final day of action. Maxwell Troy led the pack with 430K, and Christopher George held up second place with 375K. The rest of the top five included David Levi, Karina Jett, and Allyn Marshall.
Play was set to resume at 3:00pm on Wednesday in the Amazon Room, where a long day would likely be in order to play to and through the final table.
Event 28: Day 1, $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
It wasn’t the lowest buy-in for a PLO tournament at the WSOP, but that’s what made it appealing to many of the players. While more amateurs are likely to take a chance on a $1,500 buy-in PLO event, fewer will risk $2,500 on it unless they have serious skills, a reasonable bankroll, or some other means by which to put that money on the line. But with the increasing popularity of Omaha, players are finding ways to make it happen and sometimes tending toward the Omaha variety of poker rather than the usual holdem. The tournament also offered the second chance scenario, where players started with 1,500 chips but were able to take three add-ons of 2,000 chips each whenever necessary through the first four levels of play.
And that brought them to Event 28. When the numbers were tallied, there were 596 players in the field and a $1,370,800 prize pool, which was big enough to pay out the final 54 players and hand over $315,311 to the ultimate winner. Day 1 found many eliminations early in the tournament, as the high action tends to grab some players and not let go until they’re busted. Some of the early finishers included Erick Lindgren, Michael Mizrachi, Quinn Do, Jason Somerville, Shaun Deeb, Andy Black, Andrew Lichtenberger, Jason Potter, Eli Elezra, Fabrice Soulier, and David “Devilfish” Ulliott.
When play wrapped for the night, there were only 105 players left in the field, and sitting atop the leaderboard was Loren Klein with 187,300 chips. Second was Eric Rabl with 154,200 chips, and rounding out the top five were Richard Ashby, Jeffrey Schnettler, and Justin Gardenhire.
Players were asked to return at 2:30pm on Wednesday to play into the money and on toward the final table.
Event 28: Day 2, $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
For limit holdem players, it was the opportunity they waited for all year. The $10K buy-in championship event was ready to get underway on Tuesday, June 15, and capped betting action was on the horizon. LHE players built their bankrolls to allow the chance to play for the ultimate limit holdem title, and the tables were full of well-known players anxious to get started.
The 2009 championship event brought 185 players into action for a prize pool of $1,739,000 and saw Greg Mueller take the title. The 2010 event came in just under those numbers, as the final registration tally showed only 171 players and a total prize pool of $1,607,400. That was enough, though, to warrant payouts for the top 18 players with $425,969 set aside for the winner.
But no matter how much money was put up or how many chips were in play, some players were bound to exit early. Some of them included Noah Boeken, Soheil Shamseddin, Chantel McNulty, Nikolay Evdakov, Liz Lieu, and Daniel Negreanu. The end of the night found only 107 players with chips to bag and tag, and it was familiar face Jeffrey Lisandro in the top position with 130,900 chips, followed by Michael Reed with 123,600 chips. The others in the top five on the leaderboard were Brett Richey, Hoyt Corkins, and Zvi Groysman.
The restart time was 3:00pm on Wednesday, June 16, and the place was the Amazon Room. All 107 players would gather there to play into the money and make every effort to reach the final table.