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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP 2010 | WSOP Tournaments

WSOP Event 31: Konstantin Puchkov Defeats Sugar Bear for HORSE Title

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More and more players seem to be learning additional poker game variations, and the growing popularity of HORSE can be found at all levels of the game. Higher limit players have been playing mixed games for years, but amateur players and semi-pros can now frequently be found seeking out HORSE games or a lesser version like HOE or HOSE. But when the 2010 World Series of Poker offers a $1,500 buy-in for HORSE, which consists of holdem, Omaha, razz, stud, and stud-8, it is almost guaranteed that sizable crowd will turn out.

This year was more than a sizable crowd. There were 828 players registered for Event 31, which was well over the 770-player field from the previous year. That elevated the 2010 prize pool to $1,117,800, which was set aside for the top 80 finishers with a special $257,134 for the ultimate winner. Day 1 took those 828 players and eliminated enough so that only 280 finished the day, and those returned on Day 2 to play down to the money, through that bubble, and on to the end of the day, at which point 24 players remained. While not the ideal number or close to the final table, time constraints required play stoppage. When that happened, it was Konstantin Puchkov who sat atop the leaderboard with 465K and Andrew Revesz came up behind with 336K.

Day 3 brought those players to the Amazon Ballroom at 3:00pm on Friday, June 18, and bustouts started almost immediately and continued as follows:

24th place:    Jon Turner ($6,885)
23rd place:    Kerry Stead ($6,885)
22nd place:   David Brooker ($6,885)
21st place:    Thomas Hunt ($6,885)
20th place:    Mark Zuffi ($6,885)
19th place:    Cliff Josephy ($6,885)
18th place:    James Darnaby ($6,885)
17th place:    Kyung Han ($6,885)
16th place:    Johannes Steindl ($8,349)
15th place:    Ming Reslock ($8,349)
14th place:    James van Alstyne ($10,294)
13th place:    Allen Kessler ($10,294)
12th place:    Daniel Ospina ($12,932)
11th place:    Danny Kalpakis ($12,932)
10th place:    Regis Burlot ($16,543)

With nine players at the table, one more had to go before the table was officially the final one, and that hand came about during the stud round when Chip Jett and Konstantin Puchkov battled with Jett pushing all-in on seventh street with {J-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{3-Hearts} showing versus the {2-Clubs}{6-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} of Puchkov. It was Puchkov who made a full house, and Jett left the action with $16,543 for the ninth place finish.

The final eight players’ chip counts were listed as follows:

Al Barbieri
Konstantin Puchkov
Blake Cahail 
Hani Awad
Andrew Revesz
Dustin Leary
Robert Mizrachi
Ken Lennaard 250,000

The first pot of the night went to Revesz, and Barbieri climbed. Awad started out well but lost ground and a big pot to Barbieri. Play went on for two hours before real movement happened.

Mizrachi lost a sizable pot to Puchkov in a hold’em hand, and with only 71K remaining, he got involved with Leary to see a {K-Clubs}{5-Spades}{4-Hearts} flop. Mizrachi was all-in with {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}, but it couldn’t beat the {K-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and top pair of Leary as the turn and river brought nothing but blanks. Robert Mizrachi was eliminated in eighth place with $21,525.

Barbieri climbed, but Revesz doubled through him.

Cahail doubled through Lennaard to stay alive, but in a subsequent stud-8 hand, Cahail got involved with Barbieri. Cahail produced a hand of {6-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{A-Clubs}{10-Spades}{J-Hearts}{4-Spades}{9-Hearts} for a mere pair of fours, while Barbieri produced {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{4-Diamonds} for the king-high flush. Blake Cahail departed in seventh place with $28,569.

Then it was Revesz’ turn to try for another double. He got involved with Puchkov and Awad in a stud-8 hand that prompted Awad to fold after seventh street, Revesz showed {3-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}{A-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} and the other cards made a pair of threes, but Puchkov had {K-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{7-Diamonds} and completed his diamond flush with the other cards. That left Andrew Revesz out in sixth place with $38,651.

Still in stud-8, Awad was the next to move, doing it on fifth street. He ultimately showed {A-Spades}{2-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{2-Hearts} with a 10-J and an irrelevant river card because Barbieri had {7-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{4-Spades} showing plus a 4-5 and other unknown card. But the trip fours were good enough to take it, and Hani Awad was eliminated in fifth place with $53,321.

Play certainly sped up, as it was in stud-8 that another player moved all-in. This time it was Lennaard, who pushed all-in on sixth street with {6-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}. Leary called with {A-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{Q-Clubs}. Lennaard only picked up the {A-Hearts} to end his hand with a pair of sixes, but Leary picked up a {10-Clubs} on the end to make for a pair of tens for the win. Ken Lennaard was sent home in fourth place with $75,058.

Three-handed action started with Leary in the lead, more than 2 million chips to his credit, Barbieri holding just over 1 million, and Puchkov on the short stack with 675K. Over the course of play, the three traded positions several times, but it was Leary who ended up short with less than 400K.

Leary ended up moving all-in during a stud hand, after betting with Barbieri led to the final chips going in on sixth street. Barbieri showed {3-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} and had {K-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} in the hole, but his flush draw never materialized. But those kings were good against the {J-Spades}{6-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{2-Spades} and missed draws. Dustin Leary departed in third place with $107,849.

Heads-up counts were not given, Barbieri started out in front. Puchkov was whittled down to a very small stack during the first part of the match, but he slowly and steadily chipped up. Ultimately, Puchkov took the lead and stayed aggressive.

The lengthy match finally ended after 5:00am when Barbieri moved all-in on fifth street of a stud-8 hand and ultimately showed a completed hand of {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} for the pair of fours. But Puchkov had  {A-Spades}{7-Spades}{2-Clubs}{2-Spades}{7-Spades}{2-Hearts}{9-Spades} for the full house, eliminating Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri in second place with $158,647.

Konstantin Puchkov claimed a HORSE victory in Event 31, taking home $256,820 and the gold bracelet for the win.

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