There were several shootout tournaments at the 2010 WSOP, but Event 53 was the first one involving limit holdem. With a $1,500 buy-in, the players who enjoy the capped betting of limit were able to participate, as well as those looking for sit n go type action, especially internet players who enjoy the single-table format. The 5:00pm start allowed players their days off first, and then the Rio put players to work for their bracelet.
The tournament drew 548 players and created a $739,800 prize pool for them, which made for distributions to the top 64 players and $184,950 for the first place finisher. It was one of the more solid fields in a 5:00pm tournament this summer.
Day 1 took the field through their single tables, and the 64 winners left for the night assured of being in the money and advancing to Round 2. The second day of play allowed them to try to win one more table, and the eight who did so made it to the final table. Those eight players were:
Seat 1: Brendan Taylor
Seat 2: Jonathan Little
Seat 3: Brian Tate
Seat 4: Sijbrand Maal
Seat 5: Ben Yu
Seat 6: Terrence Chan
Seat 7: Michael Schneider
Seat 8: Joseph McGowan
All players began with 450K in starting chips, and action was understandably slow from the beginning of play on July 2.
Schneider started off strong, but Tate took a few solid pots from the likes of Maal and Chan. Little climbed, well, a little, but Taylor started bleeding chips. But it was Chan who took the worst of it, losing pots fairly consistently throughout the late afternoon hours.
Finally, Chan got involved in building a reasonable pot preflop to see the first cards come . Little bet, Chan check-raised, and Little reraised, and Chan pushed all-in with . But Little called with for the overpair. Chan chose not to watch as the came on the turn and the hit on the river, and he collected $12,961 for his eighth place finish.
Taylor took the opportunity during seven-handed play to start aggressive, but he soon lost quite a few chips when his plays failed to produce the results he sought.
But it was Maal who was the next to move. He got involved with Tate to see a flop, at which point the betting was capped to move to the on the turn. Tate bet, and Maal committed the rest of his 54K chips all-in. Tate called with , and Maal turned over his . But the river card failed to help the all-in player, and Sijbrand Maal exited in seventh place with $17,215.
Six-handed play went on for hours, starting with Schneider in the lead and Taylor on the short stack. Yu and Little gained some ground, the latter taking over the chip lead for a time. And Taylor made a comeback by doubling through McGowan, and Tate doubled through Schneider.
Ultimately, the battles left Schneider crippled, and though he quadrupled up at one point to stay alive, he needed to move again. He did it with against the of Yu, and the flop of hit Yu. The on the turn and on the river left Michael Schneider out in sixth place with $23,563.
Tate was short-stacked and doubled through Little to stay in the game a bit longer, but he soon found himself in a battle with Taylor. The hand started with a flop, at which point a bet and call led to the on the turn. Tate bet, Taylor raised, and Tate reraised all-in with . Taylor showed the for the winning hand, and the on the river allowed it to stay that way. Brian Tate departed in fifth place with $33,276.
Four-handed action involved just that - action. It started with Taylor holding the lead and McGowan on the short stack, but McGowan doubled through Yu twice to stay alive. Yu was crippled but doubled through Taylor and then Little. The double-ups kept the game quite exciting.
Ultimately, McGowan got into a hand with Taylor to see a flop. More chips went into the pot to see the on the turn, and when Taylor put McGowan to the test, he did commit the rest of his chips with for the flush draw. Taylor tabled the , which held up as the on the river failed to bring the diamond. Joseph McGowan headed home with $48,546 for the fourth place finish.
Little had been in trouble for awhile, and though he doubled through Taylor once, the two soon got involved again. Little moved with against the of Taylor, but the flop brought the pair for Taylor. The on the turn and on the river finished the hand, leaving Jonathan Little out in third place with $73,218.
Heads-up play then began as information became available that the final two players were roommates in Las Vegas. Their starting chip counts were:
|Brendan Taylor ||2,460,000 |
|Ben Yu ||1,140,000 |
Taylor came on strong, but Yu improved his ever-shortening stack through two double-ups. His stack was still in need of dire help, though.
Yu then got his last 235K all-in with , and Taylor called with . But the flop of gave Taylor the lead. The on the turn and on the river changed nothing, and Ben Yu had to settle for a second place finish and the $114,484 that went with it.
Brendan Taylor won Event 53, along with a WSOP gold bracelet and $184,950.