It was a busy day at the 2010 World Series of Poker, busier than many expected as both ballrooms were absolutely filled with players. Though the tournaments don’t use all of the space available in the Pavilion and Amazon ballrooms each day, sometimes it is the 1:00pm deep stack tournament that does. Those tournaments gave gained such popularity the tournament staff sometimes has a tough time making enough space for them. But the success of those events is certainly nothing about which to complain.
The rooms were also full because of the outstanding turnout for the noon event, which was another in a series of $1,500 NLHE tournaments. It hasn’t happened many times this year that the starting field bleeds from the Pavilion into the Amazon room, but as one of the last low buy-in events on the dwindling schedule, it brought thousands of players to the tables. The 5:00pm start of the $5K PLO-8 tournament expected and received a reasonable but much lower turnout than the noon tournament, though it was still a challenge to find room enough for them.
The only tournament in its second day was the $2,500 mixed holdem tournament, and only brought back 69 of its players for Day 2. The bigger draws for media and railbirds, though, were the final days of two tournaments. One was the $1,500 NLHE event that started on Wednesday, and the other was the $10K HORSE championship. Both were scheduled to play down to their final tables but would likely be playing late into the night to complete them. Tournament reporters stocked up on Red Bull, players bided their time, and the slow but exciting day was underway.
It was certainly gearing up to be a big weekend, as another $1K NLHE was set to begin, among other events. In perspective, Friday wasn’t such a heavy day after all. To find out how it all played out, check out the recaps below.
Event 42: Day 3, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
This $1,500 NLHE tournament brought 2,521 players to the tables, which wasn’t a stunning number by any stretch of the imagination but still produced a solid $3,403,305 prize pool in order to pay out the top 270 players. And for the winner? There was a substantial prize of $604,222 waiting. Day 1 took the field down to 278 players, and most of them quickly made the money on Day 2. By the end of that second night, there were only 25 players still in the running for the bracelet, and they were prepared for a long night as the goal was to play down to and through the final table. Upon the completion of all of the action, a separate article will bring it to a close.
Event 43: Day 3, $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
This was one of the most watched tournaments at the 2010 WSOP, as almost every well-known player in poker took the opportunity to play the $10K HORSE championship. With five games in rotation - holdem, Omaha-8, razz, stud, and stud-8 - the action was undeniable and intense. A total of 241 players entered, creating a $2,265,400 prize pool, which would pay out the last 24 players standing. Day 1 only whittled the field to 169 players, and Day 2 worked until the very late hours to burst the money bubble just before the end of the night. Tommy Hang and Cyndy Violette busted at the same time, and after they split the 24th place payout, the final 23 players bagged up to return on Friday to play down to the final table and on to the bracelet win.
Event 44: Day 2, $2,500 Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No-Limit)
Holdem players had the best of both worlds when this tournament started on Thursday, as Event 44 welcomed limit and no-limit aficionados to the tables for the mixed event. The $2,500 buy-in was affordable for many but not all, and that limited the field somewhat. Ultimately, the field was set with 507 players and a $1,166,100 prize pool.
Day 1 took the field from 507 down to only 69, and Eli Elezra was the chip leader when those people returned on Day 2 to proceed toward the money. There were payouts awaiting the last 54 players, and though all were gunning for the $268,238 first place prize, any profit would be more acceptable than none at all. Action started with some players leaving with no payout, including Shannon Shorr, Jason Potter, and Grant Hinkle. Hand-for-hand play eventually produced an elimination when Marc Goldman put his last 1,000 chip all-in from the big blind, and Tay Nguyen and Ray Henson called. The two went along as the board came , and Nguyen showed for the nut flush. Goldman mucked his cards and left in 55th place.
Some of the notable players who cashed through the night included Eric Froehlich in 53rd place, Svetlana Gromenkova in 52nd, Jeff Shulman in 50th, Erica Schoenberg in 45th, Alex Gomes in 38th, Chris Bell in 31st, Roberto Romanello in 27th, Matt Stout in 25th, and Eli Elezra in 23rd. Finally, the end of the night saw a rarity, as the final table bubble burst on Day 2. It happened when Alfonso Amendola battled with Timothy Finne to see a flop, and then Amendola moved all-in with . Finne showed , and the turn and river allowed that pair to hold up. Amendola left in tenth place with $16,663.
The final table was then set with chip counts as follows:
|Jarred Solomon ||748,000 |
|Gavin Smith ||745,000 |
|Danny Hannawa ||542,000 |
|Michael Michnik ||527,000 |
|Timothy Finne ||331,000 |
|Jamie Rosen ||300,000 |
|Daniel Idema ||237,000 |
|Dwyte Pilgrim ||196,000 |
|Mike Santoro ||179,000 |
Players were asked to return to the Rio’s Amazon Room on Saturday, June 26 to play out their final table and compete for the WSOP gold bracelet.
Event 45: Day 1, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The second $1,500 NLHE tournament in three days signified that the 2010 WSOP was more than half over and proceeding to the end of the line. Though much of the Series offers a great variety of games and buy-ins, the end lessens those options and ups the number of straight-up, low buy-in NLHE events. The masses demand it and show up for it, so Harrah’s doesn’t hesitate to provide it.
After the players completed their registration and the staff tabulated the numbers, it turned out there were 3,097 entries and a $4,180,950 prize pool. The last 324 players were to be paid from that money, though a solid $721,373 was going to be reserved for the winner.
The day started with a number of players not able to get comfortable, and some of the early eliminations included Scott Freeman, David Williams, Phil Ivey, Peter Gelencser, Dennis Phillips, Brock Parker, Adam Levy, and Lee Childs. When the evening came to a close, only 400 players remained, and it was Will Failla in the chip lead with 156K. Second place was taken by Hiren Patel with 138K, and the rest of the top five were Francois Safieddine, Jesse Rockowitz, and Patrick Karschamroon.
The final 400 players were asked to return at 2:30pm on Saturday to play into the money and as close to the final table as time allowed.
Event 46: Day 1, $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
If the 2010 Series seemed a little PLO-heavy, that was the truth, but with Omaha consistently drawing more players to the games, it only made sense to offer them. There had been straight PLO games, but players also enjoy the hi/low option, as it brings even more action and excitement to the poker variation. And there was no shortage of players looking for another shot at a PLO-8 bracelet.
Players took their seats starting at 5:00pm on Friday night, and when registration closed, it showed 284 players in the field and a subsequent $1,334,800 prize pool. The money will be distributed when only 27 players remain, and the last person standing will receive $327,040.
The day started slowly but picked up and saw some eliminations by the names of Frank Kassela, Tommy Vedes, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Andy Bloch. When the tournament was called for the night, there were 130 players left to bag their chips, and the one with the most was Colin Burton with 91,700 chips. He was followed by James Dempsey with 88,900, and the rest of the top five included Steve Chanthabouasy, Sergey Altbregin, and Ryan Karp.
All remaining players will return to the Rio on Saturday, June 26, to play toward the final table.