HORSE is anything but a simple game. It is, in fact, made of five games - holdem, Omaha-8, razz, stud, and stud-8 - that rotate on a consistent basis throughout the tournament. Players go to great pains, most of the time, to understand the nuances of all of the games, so it goes without saying that the dealers should be the most prepared of anyone at the tables. But several inexperienced dealers at the start of the $3K HORSE tournament on Saturday, June 19, frustrated the players, many of whom had their own issues, and the night took a nasty turn when several players nearly came to blows at the tables. Chaos and complaints were a big part of the first night of action, but things - thankfully - moved forward more calmly from there.
Most importantly, let’s get to the numbers for this tournament. There were 478 players who started it, which created a $1,319,280 prize pool. Day 1 thinned the field to only 219 players, and Day 2 took them into the money so the last 48 players standing could get paid. When chips were bagged, there were 25 players looking forward to returning the next day, and John Juanda sat in the chip lead with 393K. Several big names remained at the tables, so action on the final day looked to be exciting, especially with a $329,480 top prize and WSOP gold bracelet awaiting the last one standing.
Day 3 did start at 3:00pm in the Amazon Ballroom, and it turned out there were only 24 players remaining. And the ensuing action saw some of them eliminated as follows:
24th place: Alexandre Luneau ($9,604)
23rd place: Mark Johns ($9,604)
22nd place: Zachary Milchman ($9,604)
21st place: Mitch Schock ($9,604)
20th place: Dale Phillips ($9,604)
19th place: Jordan Siegel ($9,604)
18th place: Farzad Bonyadi ($9,604)
17th place: David Singer ($9,604)
16th place: Scott Seiver ($11,675)
15th place: Dan Heimiller ($11,675)
14th place: David Benyamine ($14,406)
13th place: Ming Reslock ($14,406)
12th place: Yuebin Guo ($18,021)
11th place: Dan Makowsky ($18,021)
10th place: Brent Wheeler ($22,849)
The last nine players were then seated together but sought one more bustout before the table would be the official final one. That key hand happened in stud-8 when Ryan Hughes pushed all-in on fourth street, and three players made the call, though only two followed it through all the way to seventh street. The cards ultimately showed Hughes with , but the aces weren’t good enough to beat the of Lisandro, who scooped with the high and low. Ryan Hughes was gone in ninth place with $22,849.
The final table was then officially set as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Chad Brown ||398,000 |
|Seat 2: ||David Baker ||109,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Phil Ivey ||751,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Bill Chen ||765,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Albert Hahn ||368,000|
|Seat 6: ||Kenneth Aldridge ||554,000 |
|Seat 7: ||John Juanda ||905,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Jeff Lisandro ||453,000 |
Play began with short-stacked Baker doubling through Brown to stay alive and Lisandro scooping a three-way pot to gather some momentum. Chen also took a sizable pot and jumped into the chip lead.
But it was Brown who was hurting for chips, and he got involved with Chen in a hold’em hand that started with a flop. The on the turn prompted Chen to bet and Brown to raise all-in for his last 87K. Chen called with for the straight draw, and Brown showed for the flush draw. The on the river gave Chen a pair, which was good enough to send Brown out of the tournament in eighth place with $29,406.
Baker stayed alive on his short stack with doubles through Ivey and Chen, and Juanda chipped up as well.
Hahn wasn’t so lucky. He pushed all-in during Omaha-8, and Lisandro and Ivey came along, betting after the flop and the turn. The on the river prompted two checks, Ivey showed , and Lisandro turned over . They split the side and main pot and Hahn simply mucked before heading out in seventh place with $38,391 in prize money.
Six-handed play started with Chen holding 1.2 million but Juanda creeping up with 1.1 million. Baker was the very short stack with only 130K.
Baker moved soon after in Omaha-8, putting the rest of his chips at stake preflop with . Ivey and Juanda went along through the flop and turn, but another bet from Ivey at that point was too much for Juanda, who folded. Ivey showed for the queens and nines, which beat the nines and sixes of Baker. The on the river ended the hand and eliminated David Baker in sixth place with $50,871.
Lisandro was crippled by Aldridge and finally made his move in a stud hand. He pushed all-in on third street, and Aldridge was there again. After all of the cards were out, Lisandro had for the pair of fives, but Aldridge showed for the pair of eights and the win. Jeffrey Lisandro departed in fifth place with $68,417.
The next to fall into dangerous chip territory was Aldridge, who got involved with Juanda and Ivey. The flop in Omaha-8 prompted Ivey to bet, Aldridge to raise, and Juanda to check-fold. Ivey called. The on the turn brought the all-in move from Aldridge with , and Ivey showed . The on the river gave Ivey the full house and Ken Aldridge left the game in fourth place with $93,418.
Three-handed play saw Juanda ride the perpetual short stack, and he eventually moved in the stud round after fifth street. When all of the cards were dealt, Juanda turned over for the aces and treys, but Ivey had for the full house. John Juanda exited in third place with $129,553.
Heads-up play began as follows:
Bill Chen 3,275,000
Phil Ivey 1,025,000
Ivey worked his way from the short stack, chipping up at key moments and eventually evening the stacks. Ivey took the lead, Chen took it back, and it was a solid match between the two skilled players. But suddenly Chen lost a few hands, one key pot in holdem and another in Omaha.
Chen and Ivey then got involved in a razz hand. Chen had the bring-in with a deuce, and Ivey completed with the ace showing, but Chen raised, and Ivey reraised. Chen pushed it up again, and Ivey called. Ivey took a six and bet, Chen caught a seven and called. When Ivey picked up a deuce on fifth street, he bet it, and Chen raised with a six. Ivey reraised, and Chen called all-in for his tournament life. The entire hands came out as:
Bill Chen was eliminated in second place with $203,802.
Phil Ivey won his eighth bracelet, this one for Event 37 in the $3K HORSE tournament, for which he picked up $329,840 and the gold bracelet.