Pot-limit Omaha has become synonymous with action poker, with poker in general. Any series of tournaments worth its weight must include at least one Omaha event, as the game’s popularity simply keeps growing and barely takes a backseat to holdem anymore. But the last Omaha opportunity of the 2010 World Series of Poker offered players the chance to compete only if they could afford the $5K buy-in. That excluded many PLO fans and kept the field to only those serious about their PLO addictions, e-r-r-r, affections.
The turnout for the event was solid, as 460 players and their buy-ins added up to $2,162,000 for the prize pool, out of which $508,090 was set aside for the eventual winner. Day 1 and its eight levels of action brought the field down to 207 players, and Day 2 took them into the money very late into the night so the top 45 players could be paid. Not many people exited after that, as the night ended with 31 of them still in their seats. The big stack was Robert Mizrachi, but many big names still remained, and the nature of PLO in and of itself dictated that things could change quickly.
Day 3 brought those 31 players back and the first to exit the field was Nam Le, who took home $12,561 for the 31st place finish. Others who followed in the first few hours of the day included Justin Smith, Joe Serock, Ayaz Mahmood, Joshua Tieman, and Ben Spindler. With the remaining players then gathered at two tables, the following moved things along:
18th place: Joe Beevers ($19,479)
17th place: Gary Bolden ($19,479)
16th place: Jason Mercier ($19,479)
15th place: Ali Aljenabi ($24,711)
14th place: Niall Charlton ($24,711)
13th place: David Iammarino ($24,711)
12th place: Ryan D’Angelo ($31,448)
11th place: Mark Eddleman ($31,448)
The last ten players were seated together, though they chose to take a dinner break at that point before playing for the official nine seats available. When the returned, it didn’t take terribly long for Ran Azor to lose ground and move his last 250K all-in on a board. Azor had , but Scott Mandel had the better pair with . The came out on the river to eliminate Azor in tenth place with $31,448.
At that point, the final table was official as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Scott Mandel ||1,211,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Julian Gardner ||266,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Danny Smith ||1,069,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Robert Mizrachi ||711,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Jose Barbero ||328,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Chance Kornuth ||896,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Eric Liu ||771,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Edward Martin ||791,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Kevin Boudreau ||854,000 |
The short stacks seemed ready to move, and Barbero was the first to do so, pushing all-in for his last 256K preflop with . Smith called with , and the flop of gave Smith the set. A on the turn left Barbero drawing dead, but the on the river made it official. Jose “Nacho” Barbero left in ninth place with $40,364.
As Kornuth moved up in the chip counts, Martin did the same but at the expense of Mandel. Liu was hurting but hung in there.
It was Mizrachi who decided to risk it all, but he waited until the appeared. Mandel and Mizrachi began their raises, and Mizrachi ended up calling all-in with for the pair of aces and flush draw outs, but Mandel was better at the moment with . the on the turn gave Mizrachi more outs, but the wasn’t one of them. Robert Mizrachi was eliminated in eighth place with $52,471.
Liu took his short stack into battle with Kornuth to see a flop of . Liu then moved all-in with and the lead with his top set of aces, but Kornuth showed for the pair of tens and draws. The on the turn made the straight for Kornuth, and the on the river didn’t change anything. Eric Liu was gone in seventh place with $68,902.
Gardner was the next to push, but the hand started more innocently with he and Kornuth going to see a flop. It was then that Gardner moved all-in with . Kornuth called with . The on the turn gave Kornuth the pot, and the on the river officially ended the hand. Julian Gardner became the sixth place finisher with $91,387.
Mandel took an earlier hit courtesy of Boudreau and couldn’t seem to recover. Mandel then tangled with Kornuth in a hand that started with a flop. They both checked to the on the turn, which was when Mandel bet, Kornuth raised, and Mandel pushed all-in with . But his set of threes was no good against the set of eights made by Kornuth’s hand. The on the river eliminated Scott Mandel in fifth place with $122,455.
Four-handed play began with Kornuth dominating in the lead with 3.3 million chips. All other players had less than 1.5 million each, but Boudreau was able to double through Kornuth three times to leave the danger zone.
Martin only had 550K left at the point he moved it all-in preflop with . Boudreau and Kornuth both called to see the flop. Boudreau then pushed all-in with , and Kornuth called with . The on the turn and on the river finished the hand, and Boudreau completed his flush to triple up. Ted Martin, however, was out in fourth place with $165,825.
Smith was on the short stack and tried to make something happen with . Boudreau was right there holding , and the board came to give him two pair. Danny Smith was relegated to the rail in third place with $226,923.
The final two players began their match as follows:
|Kevin Boudreau ||3,600,000 |
|Chance Kornuth ||3,200,000 |
Kornuth found his earlier sense of adventure and began to move up, and a big hand of straight over straight pushed Kornuth into the chip lead with 4.15 million chips versus the 2.65 million of Boudreau.
It didn’t take long for the two to get involved again, this time to check out the flop of . Boudreau bet, Kornuth, raised, and Boudreau’s life was on the line with for that pair of kings. Kornuth showed for the pair of eights and the straight draw, but the on the turn gave him trip eights. The on the river ended it, as Kevin Boudreau departed in second place with $313,792.
Chance Kornuth claimed the PLO title in Event 50, for which he won a gold WSOP bracelet and $508,090.