When members of the media know that it is Day 20 of the 2010 World Series of Poker but do not know what day of the week or month it is, we know we’re entrenched in the Rio Convention Center. But when we ask multiple times what event is playing out right in front of us, we know it’s a crazy day. Seven events playing out at one time - who wouldn’t lose a little bit of sanity amidst the madness?
While the 2010 Series has spread things out a bit, as the Pavilion Ballroom has been a gift from the Harrah’s gods, this is one of those days that simply boggled the mind. Event 24 still had to play its final table, Events 26 and 27 planned to play to and through their finals. Two other tournaments played into the money and toward their final tables, and two new events got underway. By 3:00pm in the afternoon, all but one of those events were in full swing, and the last one kicked in at 5:00pm.
“What is that tournament over there?” we would find ourselves asking several times. Other frequently asked questions had to do with what event number corresponded with what game, where each final table was playing out, and which room - Pavilion or Amazon - could we find players or friends whose action we needed to see. But the one thing that was clear was that it was organized chaos. The tournament staff had the 2010 event locations and playdown format down to a near-science, and that provided answers to some of our questions.
The crazy day started with the first tournament - $1,500 NLHE - taking over the Pavilion Ballroom at noon, and it grew exponentially from there. We’ll try to sort it out in the summaries below.
Event 24: Day 4, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Despite efforts to play the third $1K NLHE tournament out in three full days (four counting the two starting days), the field was simply too large and the playdown too cautious to make that a reasonable option. Therefore, Day 3 finished in the mid-evening with its final table of nine players, all returning to compete for the $503,389 first place prize that would be accompanied by a gold bracelet. From a starting field of 3,289 players, only one would be left standing. Upon the tournament’s completion, a recap will be posted with details of the final table excitement.
Event 26: Day 3, $2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
After two full days of short-handed NLHE play and a field that dwindled from 1,245 starting players to only 15 by the end of Day 2, the last day was upon those who survived. There was a solid $630,031 first place prize awaiting the last player standing, along with that gold WSOP bracelet, and Steve Cowley headed into the last day with the chip lead and visions of winning in his head. But all 15 players believed they could do it. When the action played out and there is one winner, the recap of Day 3 action will be posted in its own piece.
Event 27: Day 3, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
The third final table of the day was one that involved stud-8 players. Of the 644 that started the event on Monday, only 23 of them remained, but heading into the official last day of play with that many players set everyone up for a long one. Even so, the play was to play it out, reach the final table, and play through until one player held the gold bracelet and $208,682 in prize money. The leader at the start of Day 3 was Maxwell Troy, but anything could and would happen in the last day of action, all of which will be chronicled in a separate article upon its conclusion.
Event 28: Day 2, $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
PLO has come to be synonymous with action games and well-known poker pros. And since its rise in popularity in the last few years, strategy has become more extensive but also easier to come by for the average Joe to pick up and compete with the best of the PLO enthusiasts. And by adding the second chance aspect to the tournament, meaning players started with 1,500 chips and could take three add-ons of 2K each over the course of the first four levels of play, the tournament started off in quite the hectic manner.
Registration for the event showed 596 players and a $1,370,800 prize pool, out of which $315,311 was to be set aside for the winner. Day 1 took that field down to a more reasonable number, as only 105 finished out the day. With Loren Klein in the lead with 187,300 chips, players retired for the night but knew there was work to do before even reaching the money that only the last 54 players would see.
Day 2 started with those 105 players, and some of the early casualties included Will Failla, Humberto Brenes, Tim West, Joe Hachem, and Bertrand Grospellier. The bubble approached as the afternoon turned to evening, and Alessandro Dalbello got involved with Jonathan Depa and Michael Greco to see a flop. Dalbello committed the rest of his chips with for the flush draw, but after the turn and cards were revealed, it was Greco who won the pot with . Dalbello departed on the money bubble.
The last 54 players were guaranteed a minimum payout of $5,304, and some of those collecting money for their efforts throughout the evening included Thomas Bichon in 52nd place, Michael Binger in 50th, Jim Shipley in 42nd, TJ Cloutier in 38th, Tad Jurgens in 35th, Scott Clements in 28th, Christian Harder in 26th, and Sandra Naujoks in 25th. Play ultimately ended with 12 players remaining, and they were as follows:
|Miguel Proulx ||877,000 |
|Patrick Hanoteau ||824,000 |
|Loren Klein ||470,000 |
|Karl Gal||458,000 |
|Joerg Engels ||405,000 |
|Dilyan Kovachev ||339,000 |
|Trevor Pope ||261,000 |
|Matthew Reed ||253,000 |
|Tommy Le ||213,000 |
|Joe Serock ||185,000 |
|Stephane Tayar ||102,000 |
|Michele Greco ||100,000 |
That dozen will return at 3:00pm on Thursday, June 17, to play down to the final table and on toward the winner’s circle.
Event 29: Day 2, $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
The championship tournaments always bring an elite group of players to the tables, as most amateurs don’t have $10,000 to pony up for a tournament that contains the words “main event.” But limit holdem has its die-hard enthusiasts, and many were willing to play those satellites and build bankrolls to get into Event 28. And June 15 was their chance to show their stuff.
There were 171 players signed up for the $10K championship, which was a downturn from the 185 who registered in 2009, but the 2010 prize pool still climbed to $1,607,400. That made for a tough run for those 18 players who would make it into the money and an even tougher journey for the ultimate winner who would take home $425,969 to go with the bracelet. Day 1 took that field of 171 and thinned it to 107, at which point 2009 Player of the Year Jeffrey Lisandro held on to the chip lead with 130,900 chips.
Day 2 allowed those 107 players to unbag their chips, but some didn’t get much further than that, including Lex Veldhuis, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, Matt Glantz, Miami John Cernuto, Dan Heimiller, David Benyamine, Jeff Lisandro, Maria Ho, and Shaun Deeb. Many others left before and after the dinner break, and it wasn’t until late in the night that hand-for-hand action brought the bubble hand, when Greg DeBora risked his last 25K preflop with against the of Simon Morris. The board of gave Morris the winning hand and left DeBora out on the money bubble.
Kenny Hsiung was the first to cash in the tournament for $22,809, and following, in order, were Gianlucca Marcucci, Matthew Gallin, Patrick Walsh, and Albert Minnullin. That left 13 players, who bagged their chips and counted them as follows:
|Kyle Ray ||643,000 |
|Daniel Idema ||634,000 |
|Jameson Painter ||574,000 |
|Dave Baker ||542,000 |
| Darren Woods ||529,000|
|Matt Keikoan ||418,000 |
|Simon Morris ||364,000 |
|Brock Parker ||351,000 |
|Zvi Groysman ||278,000 |
|Anh Van Nguyen ||274,000 |
|Michael Mizrachi ||256,000 |
|Mark Klecan ||169,000 |
|David Chiu ||144,000 |
Those 13 were asked to return on Thursday at 3:00pm to play down to the final table and on through until only one player was left standing…and holding a WSOP gold bracelet.
Event 30: Day 1, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Some poker players enjoy acting as if they know more about the game than most. To hear sighs and statements like, “Oh, just another cheap NLHE donkament” are quite common throughout the hallways of the Rio during the WSOP. But talk is cheap, as players do line up to register for these events and continue to play them, no matter how many end up on the schedule. While it tends to be a solid opportunity for amateurs to get in on the WSOP action, the number of seasoned pros who buy in is significant. Most who try to downplay the importance of the $1,500 NLHE event are also playing it.
The opportunity to play was harnessed by a total of 2,394 players, which created a prize pool of $3,231,900, with payouts for the top 243 players and $581,851 reserved for the winner alone. This event surpassed the first $1,500 NLHE of the year that had 2,092 players and showed that players really can’t get enough of the low buy-in NLHE events.
Some of the first players to take leave of the tournament included Jim Collopy, Jon Turner, Andy Black, Kirk Morrison, Trishelle Cannatella, Alexandre Gomes, Raymond David, Eskimo Clark, John Juanda, and Liv Boeree. By the end of the night, the field had been reduced to only 288 players, and it was Markus Lehmann in the chip lead with 135,200 chips, followed by Thupten Thondup with 123,000. The rest of the top five players were William Kakon, Carlos Mortensen, and Neil Channing.
Play was set to resume at 2:30pm on June 17 to play down quickly into the money and toward the final table.
Event 31: Day 1, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
HORSE is an acronym for holdem, Omaha, razz, stud, and stud-8, and the tournament consists of rounds of each followed by, well, more rounds of each. The trick to playing a HORSE tournament is to be able to switch games and gears at a consistently quick pace, put more focus on the games that are one’s forte, and figure out other players’ weaknesses. All players have weak games out of the five, and it takes skill to use one’s own strengths to capitalize on them. While many players claim to have the ability to excel in such a game as HORSE, not many truly do, but the notion that they want to try brings them to the tables in force, especially with a reasonable buy-in of $1,500. Thus, Event 31 looked to be a very popular one.
As action got underway for the 5:00pm start, a quick look back at the equivalent 2009 event showed that 770 people played and created a $1,051,050 prize pool that resulted in James van Alstyne grabbing the $247,033 first place prize. Event 31 this year brought a significant increase with 828 players in the field, making for a $1,117,800 prize pool. When that money gets distributed, a total of 80 players will benefit and the winner will receive $257,134.
The 5:00pm start brought players into the evening hours, though some didn’t make it too far, including Chris Ferguson, Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Jeff Madsen, and Lacey Jones. The end of action showed 280 players still in contention for the bracelet, and the chip leader was Ming Reslock with 50K in chips. Next on the list was Jesse Rios with 47,100 chips, followed by Robert Rasmussen, James van Alstyne, and Maria Ho.
The restart was scheduled for Thursday, June 17, at 3:00pm in the Amazon Room.