Mixed games like HORSE or some variation thereof require players to be focused, adept in all of the games, and able and ready to switch gears quickly. But a mixed game like pot-limit holdem and Omaha, which was offered to the players in Event 33, for the reasonable buy-in of $2,500, was a comfortable combination for many, as pot-limit rules the day and players get their favorites of holdem and Omaha in one convenient package. That was enough for a solid group of players to register and play.
Speaking of registration, there were 482 players in the field, which were added together to create a prize pool of $1,108,600, enough to pay the top 45 finishers while keeping $260,517 aside for the winner. From the original field, Day 1 reduced it to only 126, and Day 2 took the players into the cash and all the way down to 14 players.
Those 14 came back to the Amazon Room at the Rio on Saturday, June 19, with chip counts as follows:
|Jose-Luis Velador ||455,000 |
|David Chiu ||451,000 |
|Rob Hollink ||423,000 |
|Matt Sterling ||280,000 |
|Joshua Tieman ||277,000 |
|Annand Ramdin ||262,000 |
|Craig Gray ||248,000 |
|Kevin MacPhee ||247,000 |
|Phil Ivey ||207,000 |
|Tristan McDonald ||196,000 |
|Burt Boutin ||190,000 |
|Gavin Cochrane ||188,000 |
|James Mitchell ||136,000 |
|Konstantin Bucherl ||75,000 |
The plan was to play down to the final table, and that’s exactly what they did, with the first eliminations of the day coming in the first few hours of the afternoon:
14th place: Konstantin Bucherl ($12,671)
13th place: Tristan McDonald ($12,671)
12th place: Phil Ivey ($16,075)
11th place: Joshua Tieman ($16,075)
With the last ten players seated at one table but one to go before the final table could be official, it didn’t take long for Burt Boutin and Kevin MacPhee on a board. Boutin bet, but when MacPhee raised, Boutin called all-in for his tournament life with against the of MacPhee. But the on the river gave MacPhee the best two pair, and Boutin was left with $16,075 for the tenth place finish.
The final table was then set, and when players returned from their dinner break, play got underway with starting chip stacks as follows:
|Kevin MacPhee || 631,000 |
|Victor Ramdin ||589,000 |
|Jose-Luis Velador ||547,000 |
|Craig Gray ||492,000 |
|David Chiu ||437,000 |
|James Mitchell ||337,000 |
|Rob Hollink ||323,000 |
|Gavin Cochrane ||131,000 |
|Matt Sterling ||128,000 |
The short stacks were going to feel the pressure to move, and the first one to do so was Sterling in a holdem hand, who pushed from the big blind with . Original raiser MacPhee called with , and the race was on. The flop gave Sterling only one card toward a straight, and the on the turn didn’t even help that situation. The on the river gave MacPhee the set of tens and left Matt Sterling out in the cold with $20,698 for the ninth place finish.
Cochrane was next on that short stack list, and though he doubled up through Velador, he was ready to attempt it again. A raising war during the holdem round between Cochrane and Velador left the former all-in with against the of Velador. The flop only gave the straight outs to Velador. The on the turn blanked, and the on the river meant the hand was over. Gavin Cochrane was eliminated in eighth place with $26,906.
In the next PLO round, Mitchell tangled with Chiu preflop, and a raise, reraise, and reraise brought it back to Mitchell, who ultimately pushed all-in with . Chiu called with , and the board of left James Mitchell with no more chances, at which point he left in seventh place with $35,331.
Though MacPhee had taken the lead from Velador prior to the last elimination, he then took some hits during six-handed play when Hollink and Ramdin both doubled through MacPhee.
For Ramdin, the double wasn’t enough. He still only had about 110K remaining and pushed that all-in during the Omaha round with . MacPhee was there with the call and . The flop of hit both players, and the didn’t change much. But the on the river gave MacPhee the trip treys. Victor Ramdin departed in sixth place with $46,861.
Then things took a turn in the holdem round. MacPhee lost his chip lead to Velador and the two then got involved in a serious hand. They started innocently enough with a flop. MacPhee bet, and Velador check-raised. MacPhee then moved all-in with all of his 500K chips holding . But Velador called and revealed the for top pair. The on the turn changed nothing, and the on the river ended the hand. Kevin MacPhee took fifth place in the tournament for a $62,791 payout.
Gray was the next player in danger after battling Velador. It was after the flop that Gray pushed all-in with . Velador didn’t hesitate to call with and two pair. The on the turn made Velador’s hand into a full house, and the was merely a formality. Craig Gray was gone in fourth place with $85,030.
Velador then took a significant pot from Hollink with full house over full house, and that led to Hollink and Velador going into the next hand for a flop. The rest of Hollink’s chips went all-in with for two pair, but Velador flipped over the for kings. The on the turn and on the river gave Velador top two pair, and Rob Hollink was sent to the cashier cage to pick up $116,359 for the third place finish.
Initial heads-up chip counts were not given, though Chiu was behind but able to double through his opponent to sit with 950K to the 2.6 million of Velador.
It didn’t take long for the match to end. In a holdem round, Velador raised, Chiu reraised, and Velador called to see a flop. Chiu bet, and when Velador raised, Chiu called all-in for his tournament life holding . Velador showed for the pair of sixes. The on the turn gave Chiu straight outs, but the on the river didn’t fill it. David Chiu finished the tournament in second place with $160,902.
Jose-Luis Velador won Event 33 to claim his second WSOP gold bracelet and the $575,000 in prize money.