Each week of the 2010 World Series of Poker brought the opportunity for a championship event or two, a $10,000 buy-in tournament that boasted of a title bigger and better than any in that poker variation. The pot-limit holdem championship began on Sunday, June 23, and as with other $10K events, it looked to draw some of the best players in poker, as well as some of the best bankrolled for some PLHE action.
Event 38 attracted 268 players, just seven less than the same tournament in 2009. The 2010 prize pool was then set at $2,519,200, and that was going to be enough to pay the top 27 finishers and still save $617,214 for the champion. Day 1 whittled the field to just 135 players, and Day 2 took that field into the money but not until very late into the evening, at which point, Marco Traniello and Mike Matusow cashed before action stopped with 25 players still in the tournament. Peter Jetten held the chip lead with 684K.
Tuesday was the day that those 25 players returned, and action started with Vitaly Lunkin doubling through the Day 1 chipleader Tom Marchese. But soon enough, players started leaving the tournament, and their money finishes were as follows:
25th place: John Dwyer ($21,665)
24th place: Vitaly Lunkin ($21,665)
23rd place: Dustin Woolf ($21,665)
22nd place: Patrick Walsh ($21,665)
21st place: Noah Boeken ($21,665)
20th place: Thomas Pettersson ($21,665)
19th place: Nikolai Yakovenko ($21,665)
18th place: Steve Landfish ($27,282)
17th place: Amit Makhija ($27,282)
16th place: Amnon Filippi ($27,282)
15th place: Sandra Naujoks ($34,639)
14th place: Allen Kessler ($34,639)
13th place: Marc Inizan ($34,639)
12th place: Clement Thumy ($44,010)
11th place: Nathan Doudney ($44,010)
It wasn’t until very late in the evening that the final table bubble burst, and it happened when Sam Stein raised, Dani Stern reraised, and Stein called all-in for his tournament life with . Stern showed and hit the flop when it came . The turn and river ended the hand, and Stein exited in tenth place with $44,010.
The official final table was then set as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Vlademar Kwaysser ||1,090,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Blair Rodman ||565,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Tom Marchese ||1,500,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Konstantin Bucherl ||620,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Matt Marafioti ||630,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Peter Jetten ||1,015,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Dani Stern ||1,105,000|
|Seat 8: ||Alexander Kuzmin ||310,000 |
|Seat 9: ||James Calderaro ||1,205,000 |
The first player to risk the remainder of his chips was Kuzmin, who did it preflop with . Marchese was along for the ride with and solidified his lead in the hand with a flop of . Kuzmin caught the on the turn, but the on the river didn’t help anything. Alexander Kuzmin hit the road in ninth place with $56,404.
Rodman decided to tangle with Kwaysser to see a flop of . Kwaysser bet out, and Rodman responded with an all-in raise for his last 450K. Kwaysser called with for the set, and Rodman turned over for the flopped two pair. The on the turn and on the river finished the hand, and Blair Rodman departed in eighth place with $72,754.
Bucherl then went on a tear, starting with a double through Marchese and then a constant climb to surpass the 2 million chip mark.
Meanwhile, Jetten was having no such luck. After Jetten reraised a pot preflop, Kwaysser reraised, and Jetten called all-in for his tournament life with . Kwaysser showed a dominating . The board of brought possibilities for Jetten but never got there. Peter Jetten became the seventh place finisher, for which he received $94,394.
Marchese never seemed to recover from the earlier Bucherl double-up, and when Marchese got involved with Calderaro in a preflop raising war, Marchese found himself all-in with against the of Calderaro. The flop of gave Calderaro the full house, and Marchese watched as the came on the turn and on the river completed the board. Tom Marchese was eliminated in sixth place with $123,264.
Five-handed play saw Stern sinking, and he finally moved all-in preflop with . Kwaysser called with and caught the flop of . The on the turn did nothing to help Stern, nor did the on the river. Dani Stern headed to the cashier cage with his friends to collect the $161,934 for fifth place.
Kwaysser then sat with a substantial lead over his three opponents, and it was Bucherl who fell the furthest. Marafioti doubled through Bercherl, but the latter was able to double back through Marafioti and then through Kwaysser to stay alive.
Bucherl had worked his way back up to more than 2 million chips, but a preflop raising battle with Kwaysser found Bucherl ready to commit all of those chips with . However, Kwaysser called with . The flop of gave more of an advantage to Kwaysser, but it did produce a straight draw for Bucherl. The on the turn and on the river failed to make that straight, though, and Konstantin Bucherl was gone in fourth place with $214,106.
Calderaro decided to ship his 1.7 million chips all-in preflop with , but Kwaysser was there again, this time with . The board blanked with , and the jacks were good. James Calderaro was ousted in third place with $284,845.
Heads-up play began with the following chip counts:
|Valdemar Kwaysser ||7,385,000 |
|Matt Marafioti ||655,000 |
Marafioti came on strong, doubling up twice to near the 2 million chip mark.
The next big pot developed as the two players went to see a flop. Marafioti came out betting, Kwaysser check-potted it, and Marafioti risked the rest of his chips with for the bottom pair and flush draw. But Kwaysser showed for top pair. The on the turn gave Marafioti the straight draw as well, but the on the river missed everything, leaving Matt Marafioti out in second place with $381,507.
Hungarian Valdemar Kwaysser became the pot-limit holdem champion of the 2010 WSOP, and he walked away with $617,214 and the gold bracelet for the accomplishment.