The second biggest buy-in of the 2010 WSOP - the $25,000 NLHE 6-max - offered players a tournament they’d long been asking for. It was a NLHE tournament for only those who had bankrolls to support such a buy-in, and even those who satellited in had some means by which to fund those efforts. And the short-handed aspect of it was a bonus, as 6-max tournaments always seem to attract solid crowds. Again, though, the $25K buy-in was prohibitive for most.
There were 191 players who were able to finagle their way into the tournament, which made for a substantial prize pool of $4,536,250. Only the top 18 players would receive any money back on their investment, though, with the first place finisher taking home a cool $1,315,518.
Day 1 took the field down to 78 players, and Day 2 saw the majority of them leave with no money in hand. It was at the very end of the night when John Juanda was crippled by Mikael Thuritz, then all-in against two players, and finally eliminated by Brian Hodhod in 19th place. The top 18 returned to the Rio’s Amazon Ballroom on Friday, July 2, with starting chip stacks as follows:
|Bryn Kenney ||2,425,000 |
|Brian Hodhod ||1,484,000 |
|Sam Trickett ||1,123,000 |
|Abe Mosseri ||1,035,000 |
|Frank Kassela ||978,000 |
|Daniel Negreanu ||860,000 |
|Jason Somerville ||859,000 |
|Isaac Haxton ||835,000 |
|Shawn Buchanan ||772,000 |
|Eugene Katchalov ||600,000 |
|Justin Bonomo ||576,000 |
|Martins Adeniya ||549,000 |
|Carlos Mortensen ||484,000 |
|Vadim Trincher ||425,000 |
|Mikael Thuritz ||388,000 |
|Heather Sue Mercer ||349,000 |
|Billy Jordanou ||335,000 |
|Dan Kelly ||260,000 |
And play moved along in search of a six-person final table. The eliminations that helped get them there were:
18th place: Justin Bonomo ($58,699)
17th place: Carlos Mortensen ($58,699)
16th place: Vadim Trincher ($58,699)
15th place: Heather Sue Mercer ($58,699)
14th place: Billy Jordanou ($58,699)
13th place: Martins Adeniya ($58,699)
12th place: Abe Mosseri ($77,569)
11th place: Daniel Negreanu ($77,569)
10th place: Brian Hodhod ($104,651)
9th place: Isaac Haxton ($104,651)
8th place: Bryn Kenney ($141,168)
Seven-handed play at one table went on for quite awhile as they sought one more elimination before the final table was an official one. It happened when Sam Trickett pushed all-in from the small blind with against the of Shawn Buchanan. The board of gave Trickett the top pair but Buchanan the set of jacks, and Trickett left in seventh place with $141,168.
The final table was then set as follows:
|Seat 1: || Frank Kassela ||2,610,000 |
|Seat 2:||Jason Somerville ||1,665,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Dan Kelly||5,895,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Eugene Katchalov ||475,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Shawn Buchanan ||2,110,000 |
|Seat 6: || Mikael Thuritz ||1,535,000 |
In a somewhat surprising move, the final players decided to wrap for the night, and the tournament staff allowed them to schedule their last day of play for Saturday, July 3. So, the final six bagged their chips and came back on the holiday weekend to play for the win.
It didn’t take long for short-stacked Katchalov to push all-in, and he did it from the small blind with . Original raiser Kelly called with and caught the queen on the flop. The on the turn only improved that hand to two pair, and the on the river was clearly not the card needed to save Eugene Katchalov, who left the table with $194,559 for the sixth place finish.
A big hand then developed with Kelly, Thuritz, and Somerville that led the trio to a flop. Thuritz bet, and Somerville got out of the way. Kelly check-raised, at which point, Thuritz moved his last 1,605,000 chips all-in with for top pair. Kelly called with for the flush draw, and the appeared on turn to give him straight outs as well. The fell on the river to make the flush, and Mikael Thuritz was ousted in fifth place with $272,084.
Kelly was soaring, and the Thuritz elimination put him close to the 7.5 million mark. Kassela climbed, though, and figured it was as good a time as any to get aggressive, which worked to put him in second place on the board.
Somerville, on the other hand, was relegated to just over 1 million chips and pushed all-in preflop. Buchanan reraised to isolate from the big blind, and original raiser Kassela did fold. Somerville showed , but Buchanan had . The board came , and that was the end of Jason Somerville, who departed in fourth place with $386,125.
Three-handed play started with Kassela consistently climbing, but Kelly wasn’t afraid to use his big chip stack to push his two opponents around and stay locked in to first place. Buchanan rose though, and took second place from Kassela.
Kassela and Buchanan then decided to get involved to see a flop. Several raises led them to the on the turn, at which point Kassela bet, Buchanan check-raised all-in, and Kassela called for his tournament life with for the flopped two pair. But Buchanan showed for the straight draw. And the did come on the river to give him that straight and eliminate Frank Kassela in third place with $556,053.
Heads-up play then got underway with the following counts:
|Shawn Buchanan ||7,870,000 |
|Dan Kelly ||6,460,000 |
Kelly came on strong in the battle, first getting even in chips and then taking the lead. His aggression led Buchanan to decide to risk it all. The two got into a raising war preflop that led Buchanan to push with his against the of Kelly. The flop of looked promising for a Buchanan double-up, as did the on the turn. But the came on the river to give Kelly the pair of aces. Shawn Buchanan was forced out by a river card in second place, which was good for a $812,941 cash.
Dan “djk123” Kelly, a 21-year old American online poker player, won Event 52 for a whopping $1,315,518 to go with the gold WSOP bracelet.