It wasn’t as if it was a day with no sunshine or a day without the internet. Nothing fell apart, and no one was hurt. But Day 33 was the first since the beginning of the 2010 World Series of Poker without any tournament hosting a final table. And it simply felt odd.
The Tournament of Champions was wrapped until the weekend, and there were no events hitting their final table on Tuesday, June 29. And only one tournament began, as the $3,000 buy-in Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em launched at noon. The weekend’s $1K NLHE was in its third but not final day, simply playing down to the final table, and the previous day’s NLHE and PLO tournaments were moving along on their second days of play.
And that was it. Though the following day looked to be quite busy with three final tables and two new tournaments, Tuesday was a welcome reprieve from the madness that has consumed poker for more than a month. So, let’s cut to the chase and get on with the daily recap.
Event 47: Day 3, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
It was the fifth of six $1K NLHE opportunities at the WSOP, or in other words, the second to last chance for players to grab the most inexpensive bracelet. And it was the best timed tournament at the Series, with each event given five days, two of which were starting days, to play itself out, which was one more day than every other event on the schedule. The field may have been a wild one, but there was much to be said for running well in it.
When the action started over the weekend, there were 3,128 starting players (1,759 from Day 1A and 1,369 from Day 1B), which made for a $2,814,200 prize pool. Day 2 brought back only 476 total survivors, and they headed into the money so the last 324 could be paid. And that day ended with only 33 players to bag their chips and Manuel Davidian in the lead with 889K.
The 33 players returned on Tuesday to play down to the final table, and they played down rather quickly. Todd Neary was the first to go and collected $11,232 for it, and others who followed included Scott Montgomery in 29th place, Olivier Busquet in 23rd, and Justin Young in 20th. Once they redrew for two tables, the eliminations were recorded as follows:
18th place: Alan Snow ($17,397)
17th place: Danny McKinney ($17,397)
16th place: Paulus Valkenburg ($17,397)
15th place: David Forster ($21,986)
14th place: Jon Lactaoen ($21,986)
13th place: Jean Delay ($21,986)
12th place: Mike Beasley ($28,095)
11th place: Laurence Stein ($28,095)
With players then seated together, they looked at each other to find the final table bubble player, and he was discovered without much delay. Manuel Davidian pushed all-in with , but Chuan Shi called with . The board of changed nothing, and Davidian departed in tenth place with $28,095.
The final table was then set as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Wenlong Jin ||292,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Chuan Shi ||894,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Jason Mann ||893,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Ilya Andreev ||985,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Allan Baekke ||1,633,000 |
|Seat 6:||Shawn Busse ||1,203,000 |
|Seat 7: || Owen Crowe ||1,192,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Pekka Ikonen ||626,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Adam White ||1,685,000 |
Players were asked to return to the Rio at 2:30pm on Wednesday, June 30, to play for the win.
Event 49: Day 2, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
It was the last chance for players to get in on the $1,500 NLHE action. The low buy-in WSOP excitement was sometimes preferred over the $1K events, not only because it weeded out some of the players who only entered the absolute cheapest events, but it provided only one starting day instead of two, making for a quicker playdown. The $1,500 events remained ever popular.
This one brought 2,543 players to the tables on Monday, making the prize pool add up to $3,433,050, which included a first place prize of $609,493. Day 1 thinned the field to only 315, just a bit short of the money bubble. Day 2 brought them back to play to said bubble, at which point Scott Smith got involved with Thomas Sipes for a flop. Smith then pushed his , but Sipes showed . The turn and river ended the hand, and Smith exited on the bubble.
Jason Reed became the first to cash in the event, taking home $2,780 for the 270th place finish. Notables who followed him to the cashier cage throughout the day included JP Kelly, David Daneshgar, Allen Kessler, Shane Schleger, Eric Assadourian, Kelly Kim, Andy Bloch, Stephen Chidwick, David Pham, and Mark Gregorich. After Matthew Waxman exited in 24th place, play ended. Leading the 23 remaining players was Michael Linn with 1.41 million chips, followed by Mihai Manole in second with 1,253,000 chips. The rest of the top five included Jonathan Spinks, Benjamin Smith, and Chadwick Grimes.
The final players would return to the Rio on Wednesday, June 30, to play down to and all the way through the final table until a winner is declared.
Event 50: Day 2, $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha
It is an understatement to say that PLO has become a player favorite. Not only are players always anxious to compete in a PLO tournament, but a $5K price tag on the event brings out the serious Omahalics, those who have had success in the game and the bankroll to back it up. Also noting that it was the last Omaha event of the 2010, there was somewhat of a scramble to take part in the event.
Thus, the field produced 460 players with their buy-ins at the ready, and they were calculated to set the prize pool at $2,162,000 and the ultimate first place money set at $508,090. Day 1 took the field down to 207 players, but that left a long way to go to hit the money bubble. Day 2 started with a number of players hitting the rail before the money bubble, including Brent Roberts, Roberto Romanello, John O’Shea, Barry Greenstein, Allen Bari, Dan Shak, and David Baker. Finally, though, it was Men Nguyen and Ryan D’Angelo in a pot together to see a flop of , and Nguyen moved all-in. D’Angelo finally called with , and Nguyen showed . The turn and river kept D’Angelo ahead, and Nguyen left in 46th place on the bubble.
Without much time left to play, only a few competitors had time to be eliminated, Roger Teska went first to grab $10,226 for the 45th place finish. Others, like Matt Glantz in 39th place, Annette Obrestad in 36th, Andy Black in 34th, and Christian Harder in 33rd, followed. But after Micah Smith took off in 32nd place, play stopped with 31 players remaining. Robert Mizrachi held the lead with 758K, and Kevin Boudreau held up second place with 504K. The rest of the names in the top five were Jose Barbero, Ran Azor, and Benny Spindler.
The last of the field was asked to return on Wednesday for what was expected to be a very long day of playing to the final table and on through until one player was left standing.
Event 51: Day 1, $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em
It was a NLHE tournament with a twist. For $3,000, players had the chance to get into action with 3,000 chips to start, which is contrary to the normal deep stacks given in most events. But each player also received two rebuy chips, each worth an extra 3K chips, and those could be requested at any time during the first four levels. Regardless, at the end of Level 4, all chips would be given to players who had yet to claim them. It was the closest thing to a rebuy tournament at the 2010 WSOP, and players seemed to like it.
Last year’s equivalent event drew 854 players, while the 2010 tournament bested that by quite a large margin with a field of 965 players. That created a $2,663,400 prize pool to be distributed to the top 90 players, though there was a hefty sum of $559,371 awaiting the sole winner.
Play moved along, but some players didn’t, as early eliminations included Frank Kassela, Chino Rheem, JJ Liu, John Phan, James Mackey, Antonio Esfandiari, and Kathy Liebert. By the end of the night, only 189 players remained, and Tommy Vedes was the chip leader with 237,100. Second place was held down by David Singer with 204,100 chips, and the others in the top five were Alessio Isaia, Gavin Griffin, and Jason Helder.
Action was to resume at 3:00pm on Wednesday, June 30, to play into the money and closer to the final table.