Annette Obrestad was hoping to use the $10,000 Pot-Limit Holdem Championship as a springboard towards 2010 World Series of Poker success, but that wasn’t to be the case. During the early morning hours of WSOP Day 25, Obrestad was eliminated after she was short stacked and decided to make a move on a flop of three diamonds, while she was holding pocket 8’s. Unfortunately her opponent held giving him the nut flush. No miracle cards came on the turn or the river and Obrestad was left with another unsatisfying finish.
Obrestad was right back at it later in the day, registering for the $1,500 No Limit Shootout event. Obrestad is still at her first round table with two others, hoping to advance to the next round, but quite a few notables have already advanced, including Victor Ramdin, JC Tran, Chau Giang, and Jeff Sarwer.
Back at the $10,000 Pot-Limit Holdem event about 100 people remain. Holding the chip lead is Tom Marchese, but names like Vitaly Lunkin and John Duthie are right on his tail.
One of the more interesting moments of the event took place with none other than Phil Hellmuth, a surprise to all our readers, I’m sure. Hellmuth believed that he had been eliminated after he lost a hand to Ashton Griffin, and headed for the exits. As he walked down the hallway a member of the tournament staff, and a few fans, called out to him that he still had chips so he was still in the event. In fact, it turned out he still had over 6k chips, which was certainly short stacked for that point of the tournament, but far from being eliminated. Hellmuth hurried back to the table, and promptly ran his stack up to a respectable 22,000. However, in the end it was once again Griffin winning a big hand against the “Poker Brat,” this time knocking him out for good.
Hellmuth raised all-in with pocket tens only to be called by the pocket queens of Griffin. Hellmuth immediately went into one of his little rants, saying “it’s almost not fair.” His commotion caused Mike “The Mouth” Matusow to leave his shootout table to see what was going on with his buddy Hellmuth. Hellmuth explained to him that it “is almost not fair for Ashton to have queens there.” Matusow explained to his friend that “tens don’t beat queens.” So it is fair. Hellmuth sulked around the table for a few moments before heading out of the tournament.
Hellmuth, never one to leave it at the table, immediately jumped on his Twitter account to reiterate how “almost not fair” it was for his pocket tens to lose to pocket queens. Following Hellmuth on Twitter, particularly after a bad beat or an event he has busted out in, has become one of the favorite past times of many members of the media and a fair number of the crowd too.
The $10,000 Heads-Up Championship was supposed to end on day 24 of the WSOP, or at the very least the early morning hours of day 25, but there has been a schedule change. The reason for that schedule change is that the first game (it’s best 2-out-of-3) in the championship match between Ayaz Mahmood and Ernst Schmejkal went an astonishing six hours. When the first game was finally over at 5:30 a.m., the tournament directors agreed, much to the delight of the remaining members of the media, that they would resume play at 7 p.m. The first match was won by Mahmood, meaning he is just one win away from the championship and the prize money of $625,682.
The other final table completing on Day 25 is the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E event. Of the 15 players currently remaining, almost all of them have a recognizable name. In theory the WSOP organizers would rather have a holdem event be the one with a star-studded table, but with this possible line-up, they can’t help but be pleased. Leading the way is Ryan Hughes, but his lead is hardly protected, as he has the likes of John Juanda, Jeff Lisandro, Bill Chen, Chad Brown, and David Makowsky right on his heels.
Then you have the short stacked players. Typically you aren’t worried about a player considered a “short stack,” but when you see the names of the players manning these stacks your tone changes. Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, and David Heimiller are all still alive. As predicted, Ivey still hanging around in the tournament brings quite the crowd along with it. Although it’s true that a lot of the H.O.R.S.E games are hard for the crowd to follow, many of them seem to be living vicariously through every pot Ivey plays. If Ivey can make the final table, and especially if some of these big names join him, it will make for a lively crowd.
A lot of people consider Razz poker tournaments a gimmick event, but there is certainly an amount of skill involved in trying to get the worst hand in poker when you are used to trying to get the best. The $2,500 Razz event started on Day 25, and quite a few poker players you wouldn’t consider to be “gimmicky” have joined the event. The internet pro Jimmy Frick, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, and Barry Greenstein, and John D’Agostino are just a few names seen around the tournament.
Each poker tournament has a table that’s designated as the “Table of Death.” No, you won’t be sent to an alligator pit if you lose, it just means that every person at the table is considered a very good player. The table considered by many members of the media as the “Table of Death” in the razz tournament features Jason Mercier, Christopher George, Stuart Rutter, Dario Alioto, and Brian Micon. All of these players are of the younger generation, which is odd because razz has the reputation of a game mastered only by older players.
It’s still very early, but a former member of the poker media, Mickey Doft, has the early lead.