Yesterday was simply crazy with seven events. Technically, that makes Day 21, with its six events, a little less chaotic, though it didn’t feel that way. The Pavilion and Amazon Ballrooms were large enough to handle all of the players, and all tournament staff was on deck, but many members of the media were struggling to figure out which event was where, who was playing which event, and even what day it was. Admittedly, the exhaustion may be setting in a bit for some.
Day 21 didn’t even mark the halfway point through the 2010 World Series of Poker, so technically, the fun was still getting started. Many players were still making their way to Las Vegas, and the fans who are watching the action from around the world feared not, as much more poker was to be played this summer. And the poker was certainly exciting! Many big names were strolling through the tables, and the playdowns of Day 2 and Day 3 events were making for some interesting sweats. Michael Mizrachi going for his second WSOP bracelet of the year? Brock Parker looking to remind people of his amazing 2009 by pushing for a 2010 win? The stories simply kept emerging.
That brings us to the actual events for the day. Kicking things off at noon was the $5K six-handed NLHE tournament, one that looked to be immensely popular with the pros, and chiming in for the first time at 5:00pm was a mix of pot-limit holdem and PLO with a $2,500 buy-in. The two events returning in the afternoon hours to work their way into the money and on toward final tables were the $1,500 NLHE and the $1,500 HORSE tournaments, and at the same time, the PLO event (Event 28) was trying to find a winner, as was the $10K limit holdem championship (Event 29).
Six big events were on tap for the day, and the recaps of how they all turned out can be found right here.
Event 28: Day 3, $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
PLO players like action, and the twelve of them who made Day 3 of the $2,500 PLO event couldn’t have asked for more. The field that started with 596 was reduced to 105 on Day 1, and the twelve who survived Day 2 were working hard to make the final table of nine and continue until the WSOP gold bracelet was awarded. Out of the $1,370,800 total prize pool, 54 were paid, but there was that $315,311 awaiting the winner that stood out from the prizes. The third day of action took them in that direction and one of the dozen players did take it all. The action of Event 28 will be compiled in an article upon its completion and release of the winner’s photo.
Event 29: Day 3, $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
A championship tournament boasting of a $10K buy-in almost always brings more well-known players to the table, in addition to the more coveted nature of the title. The limit holdem championship started with 171 players seeking that bracelet, not to mention part of the $1,607,400 prize pool. Day 1 brought the field to only 107 players, and Day 2 took them into the money so that 18 players could be paid, but only 13 of them survived to take it to Day 3, where they were all gunning for the win and the $425,969 first place prize. With names like Broch Parker and Michael Mizrachi in the field, all eyes were on the final table. Its completion will prompt us to recap the action in a separate article.
Event 30: Day 2, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
It is one of the most common tournaments at the World Series of Poker, though the newly-instituted $1K events each weekend took many amateur and fly-in players from the $1,500 NLHE events. Still and all, the latter retained its appeal, and there was no shortage of players looking for a shot at a WSOP bracelet for the bargain price of $1,500. And Event 30 drew even more players than the first of its kind this year. Its popularity was certainly not in question when registration showed 2,394 players in the field and a subsequent prize pool of $3,231,900. With a first place prize of $581,851 staring the players in their faces, the event was destined to be an exciting one.
Day 1 brought the field from 2,394 players to only 288 who were able to survive the all-in festival. And it ended with Markus Lehmann atop the leaderboard with 135,200 chips. Day 2 brought those 288 back and onward to the money bubble, though some who didn’t make it that far included Andy Lim, Frank Rusnak, and Charles Mitchell.
Hand-for-hand play ensued shortly after the start of play, and though it was slow, it was eventually resolved when Dale Henderson pushed all-in preflop with , but Jeffrey Campbell called with . The board provided no help for Henderson, who left in 244th place. John Kurmel was the first to cash, taking home $2,908 for 243rd place, and notables who followed throughout the night included Pieter de Korver in 226th place, Nam Le in 151st, Matt Stout in 134th, Adam Levy in 98th, Devin Porter in 66th, and Carlos Mortensen in 23rd.
Not long after Ken McKay was eliminated in 22nd place with $16,644, the night came to an end with 21 players remaining. Of those players, Christopher Gonzalez had the most chips with 1,315,000 of them, and Martin Jacobson sat in second place with 1,098,000 chips. The rest of the top five included Christopher Kastler, David Wilkinson, and Jeff Cohen.
Play was scheduled to restart at 2:30pm on Friday, June 18 in the Amazon Ballroom, where the 21 players looked to play to the final table and on toward the winner’s circle.
Event 31: Day 2, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
As many poker players tire of holdem, they begin to learn new games and focus on strategies for those poker variations. It hasn’t hurt that HORSE and HOSE games are so popular in many tournament series, and players want in on the action. So when the WSOP hosted a HORSE tournament for only $1,500, it was an easy purchase. With holdem, Omaha, razz, stud, and stud-8 on the menu, the field was ready with a whopping 828 players at the tables, well over the 770-player field from 2009 and more than Harrah’s anticipated, thus a late organization of extra tables and a call for more dealers.
Those 828 players made for a $1,117,800 prize pool, from which the top 80 players would be paid and the ultimate winner would receive $257,134. With all of that in mind, Day 1 saw the field thin down to only 280, and Ming Reslock boasted of 50K chips and the overall lead. Day 2 brought them back to play down toward the money, but before that happened, many hit the rail like Mickey Appleman, Katie Baxter, Nina Tovish, Victor Ramdin, Phil Ivey. Midway through the day, the money bubble burst without hand-for-hand play even going into effect because the bustouts were coming at a rapid enough pace.
Once players were in the money and guaranteed a minimum payout of $2,869, the eliminations came even quicker for awhile. Some of the notables included Tom Dwan in 74th place, Robert Williamson III in 53rd, Mary Jones in 52nd, George Lind in 50th, Brandon Cantu in 47th, Cyndy Violette in 46th, Maria Ho in 42nd, Pat Pezzin in 37th, Jeff Shulman in 34th, Michael Craig in 31st, Linda Johnson in 29th, and Lex Veldhuis in 25th. Only 24 players remained when the chip-bagging process began, and the leaderboard showed Konstantin Puchkov with 465K, followed by Andrew Revesz with 336K. Others in the top five were Robert Mizrachi, Allen Kessler, and Dustin Leary.
The 24 players were scheduled to return to the Rio on Friday to play down to and through the final table until only one player was left standing.
Event 32: Day 1, $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
The popularity of short-handed play prompted the WSOP to put several of them in the lineup again this year, and by putting a $5K price tag on it, it limited the field to some of the better known players. The smaller field but six-handed NLHE action was enough to attract a solid group of players.
This exact event wasn’t offered until the very end of the 2009 Series, but it still attracted 928 players to create a $4,361,600 prize pool with over $1 million awarded to the winner. The 2010 event was a crushing blow to the statistics for the current series, as its placement directly in the middle of the Series prompted only 568 players to sign up, making for a prize pool of $2,669,600. That was going to allow 54 players to cash and the winner to take home $667,433, which was a sizable sum of money but a definite downswing from the previous year.
As play got underway, some players barely got comfortable before they were forced to depart, including Eric Froehlich, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Daniel Negreanu, Dutch Boyd, Bill Chen, Jason Potter, and Ravi Raghavan. By the end of the night, only 116 players remained, and of them, Christian Harder had the lead with 258,700 chips. Tony Dunst sat in second place on the leaderboard with 180,500, followed by David Ulliott, Matthias Neu, and Jose de Paz.
The players were set to return on Friday, June 18 to play down into the money and as close to the final table as they could get by the end of the night.
Event 33: Day 1, $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha
The combination of the two most popular games in poker - holdem and Omaha - is always a welcome sight for players. It doesn’t have the complications of a game like HORSE but does change it up with alternate pot-limit hold’em and Omaha rounds to allow players to use their strengths, capitalize on the weaknesses of others, and keep themselves interested when one game gets a bit monotonous. Put a $2,500 price tag on it so most pros can afford it, and that’s all it took.
The 5:00pm start brought 482 players to the tables, which was a reasonable increase over the field of 453 players from the prior year. In 2009, the tournament was Event 10 and created a prize pool of $1,041,900, but the 2010 event surpassed that number with a $1,108,600 pool. The current event then arranged it so that the top 45 players would receive payments and the winner would take home $260,517.
Some of the players who took their seats weren’t there for long, and those who were still able to make evening plans included Chino Rheem, Antony Lellouche, David Williams, Perry Friedman, Alexander Kostritsyn, and Daniel Negreanu. The day ultimately ended with 126 players in the field, and it was Justin Smith in the chip lead with 130K, followed by Tyler Patterson with 95,300. Those rounding out the top five included James Mitchell, David Paredes, and Craig Hartman.
All of the 126 players were set to take seats again on Friday in order to play into the money and ever closer to the final table.