Much attention was given to the $1K NLHE tournaments at the 2010 World Series of Poker, but what was nearly overlooked was the preserved importance of the $1,500 NLHE events. While the $1K tournaments had their own special appeal, the $1,500 remained a staple in the WSOP lineup, offering yet more opportunities for those without massive bankrolls to play, practically at their convenience, for their very own bracelet. The $1,500 tournaments continued to play an important role at the Series.
This was the last of them, however, and it attracted 2,543 players to create a $3,433,050 prize pool, and in that was a $609,493 first place prize. Day 1 took that field and whittled it to a more workable number of 315, but Day 2 took them into the exciting money bubble so the top 270 players could visit the cashier cage. Further eliminations took them to the end of the night, where 23 players still held chips, the biggest stack belonging to Michael Linn.
Day 3 brought them back on Wednesday and saw some fairly quick bustouts to start the afternoon, starting with Anthony Spinella gone in 23rd place, followed in order by Elliott Harrah, Thomas Gruber, and Roberto Stamerra.
With all players then seated at two tables, progress was made in determining the final table as follows:
18th place: Clint Coffee ($21,765)
17th place: Manuel Cadilhe ($21,765)
16th place: Karl Fenton ($21,765)
15th place: David Ventura ($27,464)
14th place: Benjamin Eilers ($27,464)
13th place: Joel Bidnick ($27,464)
12th place: Ronald Chaves ($35,051)
11th place: Jonathan Spinks ($35,051)
In order to make the final table official, one more player had to go, and it was eventually John Myung who put his last 185K at risk with . Tyler Cornell also moved all-in for 410K with , and Mihai Manole called both players with . The board came to give Cornell the triple-up and send Myung out in tenth place with $35,051.
The final nine players chose that point in time to go to dinner, and they returned to begin the official final table with chip counts as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Chadwick Grimes ||1,665,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Benjamin Smith ||620,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Taylor Larkin ||2,685,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Alexander Kuzmin ||483,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Mihai Manole ||1,812,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Erle Mankin ||654,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Tyler Cornell ||1,063,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Michael Linn ||1,037,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Justin Zaki ||1,018,000 |
Short-stacked Cornell was eager to move, though it didn’t happen until he got involved with Zaki and Grimes to see a flop. Cornell pushed his last 5K all-in, and both players called, checking down the turn and river. Cornell showed for the pair of nines, but Zaki folded and Grimes showed for the pair of queens to take the pot. Tyler Cornell departed in ninth place with $45,247.
Mankin was the next to risk his tournament life and did it with . Larkin was there with , and the board of failed to help Erle Mankin, who headed home in eighth place with $59,082.
Kuzmin took the opportunity to climb, doubling through Linn to stay alive and then through Smith to climb over 1 million.
Zaki decided to attempt the same, pushing his last 775K all-in from the big blind with , but original raiser Manole made the quick call with none other than . The flop was an interested , but the on the river gave Manole the full house. The on the river brought an official end to the hand, and Justin Zaki left the building with $78,067 for the seventh place finish.
Kuzmin was one of the shortest stacks going into six-handed action, and after having been whittled down to 875K, he moved all-in with . Larkin made the call from the big blind with . The board came , and Alexander Kuzmin accepted $104,364 for the sixth place end to his tournament.
The next key hand involved Grimes and Larking going to see a flop. A bet and check-call took them to the on the turn. More money went into the pot to see the on the river, at which point Grimes pushed all-in with unknown cards. Larkin called with for the flush, and that was enough to send Chadwick Grimes out in fifth place with $141,235.
Four-handed play started with Larkin holding nearly 6 million chips, well out of range of the other players at that time. Manole was on the short stack, but a double through Larkin pushed him to 2.8 million, and a consistent climb from there showed him closing in on the chipleader. Linn then doubled through Manole, though, to leave Larkin alone at the top.
Smith was the one unable to gain any ground and finally moved all-in with . Linn called with , and the race went forward until the entirety of the board was delivered. The set of eights left Benjamin Smith out in fourth place with $193,418.
Manole had again been relegated to the short stack and tried for another comeback by pushing all-in with . Linn looked him up with and immediately hit the flop of . The on the turn and on the river allowed those aces to stay the best hand, and Mihai Manole took off in third place with $268,189.
Heads-up play started with the following chip counts:
|Michael Linn ||7,800,000 |
|Taylor Larkin ||3,600,000 |
The significant chip lead spurred Linn on, who used that advantage to be aggressive and move forward. He dominated the battle, accumulating more than 10 million chips at one point. Larkin did eventually double up to stack a little more than 2 million chips, and he did it once more, but he couldn’t seem to do enough to make a difference.
Larkin finally pushed with , and Linn went along holding . The flop of gave Linn the pair of deuces, and the on the turn and on the river let that be. Taylor Larkin had to accept a second place finish and the $378,905 that went with it.
Michael Linn won Event 49, for which he was awarded the gold WSOP bracelet and $609,493.