One of the biggest questions going into the 2010 World Series of Poker was: How will Annette Obrestad do? The organizers of the WSOP were certainly awaiting her arrival. Everywhere you turned in the Amazon or Pavilion poker rooms you were greeted by Obrestad’s image on a billboard. Every poker website had a story or interview with her, and part of the reason some people were calling this “The Year of the Woman” was specifically because of her.
So far Obrestad has only had two finishes in the money. She placed 72nd in the $5,000 No Limit holdem event, and 126th in the $2,500 Six Handed No Limit event. Not exactly what she, or the poker world, was expecting. In fact, Obrestad has made more noise away from the table than she has at it. While she has been here, ESPN released an interview where she said, “all women poker players suck” and that Doyle Brunson has an ego problem. Both, as you can imagine, did not go over well.
Obrestad hopes to turn her luck around starting on Day 24. She is playing in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Holdem Championship, an event she feels is right up her alley. For starters she seems more excited about this event because it is at a full-table. She made a joke on Twitter, saying, “Hopefully I’ll make day two in this. lol” It’s hard to imagine she is really “lol’ed” though. At times Obrestad has appeared upset at her results so far, so a good finish in this event could be, and most likely would be, just what the doctor ordered.
Obrestad won’t have an easy time making it to day 2. Joining her at the table is Humberto Brenes and sitting to her immediate right is Erick Lindgren.
Between rounds of play in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship, a good portion of the crowd looks at the heads-up tables in confusion. About 20 minutes before play begins, the dealers will go sit in their seats at the table, take out the cards and spread them across the table to make sure they are all there. However, for heads-up play there are two dealers at each table, because two heads-up matches take place on one table. So, when people first walk in a lot of them make comments like, “Why are there two dealers there?” or they think that the dealers are getting ready to play some sort of game against each other.
Luckily for confused fans this won’t be a problem for much longer because the event will conclude Sunday. Five players currently remain. Alexander Kostritsyn, Ayaz Mamood, and Jason Somerville have advanced to the final four. Vanessa Rousso and Ernst Schmejkal are still playing their match to determine who will join the other three in the remaining group of four.
The remaining four players are guaranteed at least $214,289, but it’s the top prize of $625,682 that they all have their eyes on.
The $1,000 Seniors No Limit Holdem Championship is currently down to 11 players. Two people who have recently been eliminated have ended two of the bigger storylines of the event. Tom Schneider, the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year, was just eliminated in 14th place. His elimination meant that the last recognizable name of the field is gone. This was the 50 year-old Schneider’s first seniors event, as players must be 50 years old or older to play.
Being eliminated in 12th place was Jeanne Nelson, who was the last remaining woman in the field. Jennifer Harman, Karina Jett, and JJ Liu have all made final tables this year, but this ranks right up there with one of the best performances of the year to this point for a woman. The event draws criticism and jokes because it is a senior event, but the fact of the matter is that many talented and well known poker players entered the event. Additionally, some of the tables, specifically in the early portions of the event, have been called by some of the members of the media the toughest tables the entire WSOP has seen. This just goes to show you that being over 50 years old isn’t a death sentence for a poker career. In other words, this event is no joke.
Also no joke is the amount of money the first place finisher will take home tonight: $487,994.
For many poker players the $1,000 No Limit event is their World Series of Poker Main Event. In the poker world the value of a dollar is much diluted. For example, a $1,000 tournament can be a “donkament,” and many people, media and poker players alike, don’t take it seriously. It is the cheapest offering for a bracelet event at the WSOP, but outside of the poker world, $1,000 is a lot of money.
There is also the belief that many of the world’s well known poker players won’t play these events, giving amateurs a greater chance of winning. Also not true. Many of the top players choose to play these events because of side bets, which can arguably take something away from the true sense of the game, but because these professionals are in the events it makes it that much harder for the amateur who decides to play. Also, there isn’t a pro in the world that will scoff at the first place prize in these events, which will be $481,760 for the $1,000 event currently running.
Currently near the top of the leader board is Antoine Saout, James Akenhead, Shannon Elizabeth, and David Bach. This event will conclude on Wednesday.
The other event taking place is the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E event. David Baker is making another run at a final table, as he is currently in fourth place with 126 players remaining. Also, Rousso’s other half, Chad Brown, has a top ten chip stack. Also, the most popular player in any poker room he ever enters, Phil Ivey, is sitting with about 35,000 chips which is right at the average. This event will conclude Monday.