It was the last championship event, the last PLO tournament, and one of the last bracelet events of the 2010 WSOP. Despite its prohibitive $10K buy-in for many players, there were plenty looking to take advantage of it and take their chances in the tournament. Not only was it set to attract some of the biggest and best bankrolled players in poker, but many 2010 bracelet winners and big cashers were also looking to add to their summer success.
There were 346 players listed as participating in the tournament, which made for a sizable prize pool of $3,252,400 with $780,599 set aside for the winner. Day 1 thinned the field down to 171 players, but it was on Day 2, very late into the night, that the money bubble finally burst and the top 36 players found themselves in the money. The night stopped with 33 players still in the running and Tom Dwan as the chip leader with 910K, far ahead of Danny Wong and his 563K for second place on the board.
Players returned on Saturday, July 3, in an attempt to play down to the final table and on until a winner was declared, but they were quite aware of the time it could take to do that with the slow pace that the tournament had taken thus far.
Day 3 started with Shawn Hattem exiting in 33rd place with $19,839, and other notables who followed in the early part of the day included Fabrice Soulier in 32nd place, Nenad Medic in 31st, Ben Lamb in 30th, Michael Binger in 27th, David Ulliott in 20th, Blair Rodman in 18th, Tom Dwan in 17th, Phil Hellmuth in 15th, and Danny Wong in 12th. After Alessio Isaia left in 11th, one more needed to go to set the final table, and it happened when Jason Mercier pushed all-in with on a flop of . Daniel Alaei called with , and the turn and river sent Mercier out in tenth place with $50,867.
The final table was then set, and all of the players agreed, in the very late hour of the night, to retire and play it out on Sunday, July 4. When they returned, their counts were as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Ludovic Lacay ||2,279,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Daniel Alaei ||1,800,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Miguel Proulx ||2,440,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Matthew Wheat ||745,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Ville Mattila ||490,000 |
|Seat 6: ||revor Uyesugit ||435,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Alexander Kravchenko ||330,000 |
|Seat 8:||Stephen Pierson ||570,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Dmitry Stelmak ||1,285,000 |
Mattila started out with a little aggression to change his status, but the first few rounds were predominantly slow. Stelmak had a tough time and lost some ground, while others doubled up to stay alive, like Pierson through Mattila and then Mattila through Proulx.
It was eventually Wheat who made the first move, though the hand simply began with Uyesugi to see a flop. Wheat then bet, but Uyesugi check-raised, and Wheat called for the rest of his chips with for top pair and some draws. Uyesugi showed for the set of queens and flush draw. The on the turn and on the river allowed the set to hold and eliminated Matthew Wheat in ninth place with $65,568.
Kravchenko then doubled through Lacay, but Lacay took a shot at Kravchenko a bit later to put him on a very short stack. With only 225K remaining, Kravchenko did push from the big blind with , and original raiser Mattila called with . The board then came , and Mattila picked up the straight to send Alexander Kravchenko out in eighth place with $85,180.
Stelmak was the next to move, calling all-in preflop upon an all-in move made by Alaei preflop. Stelmak showed , and Alaei showed . The board came , which didn’t change much of anything, as Dmitry Stelmak took leave of the tournament in seventh place with $111,524.
Uyesugi was able to double through Proulx to stay alive, but Lacay remained comfortably atop the leaderboard.
Pierson couldn’t get off the short stack. His attempt began with an all-in move preflop holding , and Proulx was the caller with . The dealer gave them , and the pair of kings held up. Stephen Pierson was sent to the cashier cage to pick up $147,138 for the sixth place finish.
Five-handed play went on for quite some time as Lacay continued to dominate before and after the dinner break. But Alaei was able to double through Lacay to remain in the game.
Uyesugi and his last 405K took a stand preflop with , but the all-in was up against the of Alaei. The flop of was good for Uyesugi, as was the on the turn, but the on the river gave Alaei trip tens. Trevor Uyesugi was gone in fifth place with $195,631.
The final four players battled as Mattila took over the chip lead but soon lost it when Alaei doubled through him. Lacay took a swipe at Alaei to climb again, but Mattila doubled through Lacay. Mattila and Lacay continued to battle back and forth, but meanwhile, Alaei snuck into the chip lead. Proulx was riding a shorter stack but doubled through Lacay.
That left Lacay crippled. His last 415K went all-in preflop. Alaei called with , and Lacay’s tournament life was on the line with . The board was dealt slowly as -10, and that was it for Ludovic Lacay, who headed home with $262,208 for the fourth place finish.
The last three players started their battle with Alaei in the lead and Proulx on the short stack, but Proulx doubled up and continued pressing. Mattila then doubled through Alaei and Proulx twice, but it was to no avail.
Mattila tried again. His initial raise was met by a reraise from Alaei, and Mattila called for his tournament life with . Alaei was immediately ahead, though, with . Mattila took the lead with aces on the flop, but the on the turn gave Alaei the set of kings. The on the river changed nothing, and Ville Mattila took off in third place with $354,218.
The heads-up match started without official chip counts but didn’t take long to finish. Proulx and Alaei limped to see a flop of . Alaei bet, and Proulx called for the on the turn, at which point, Alaei bet, Proulx check-raised all-in, and Alaei called with for the set of fives. Proulx had and was in trouble. The on the river ended the match, and Miguel Proulx was eliminated in second place with $482,265.
Daniel Alaei claimed the PLO Championship bracelet, his third piece of WSOP gold to date, and this one came with $780,599.