2012 World Series of Poker Day 2: Ivey Returns; Event #1 Hands Out First Bracelet



Day 2 of the 2012 World Series of Poker boasted two firsts — the first bracelet awarded and the first large-field open event at the Rio this summer. Chiab "Chip" Saechao won Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em, and took home $70,859 and a shiny new gold bracelet. Event #2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, got under way at 1200 PDT (2000 BST) with 2,101 players competing for their share of a $2,836,350 prize pool. This event heralded the return of Phil Ivey to the Rio, after having sat out last year’s WSOP. But Ivey was far from the only familiar face at the tables. A veritable "Who’s Who" of the poker world turned out on Memorial Day to take their first shot at a bracelet. After 11 levels, the field had dwindled to 240, still 24 shy of the money.

Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em

The final day of this two-day event began with 46 players. The chip leader was the appropriately nicknamed Chiab "Chip" Saechao, followed closely by James Routos and Matthew Wilmot. All eyes were on WSOP executive director Ty Stewart, the most famous name left in the field. Three hours later, the field was reduced to the final two tables, but sans Stewart. Donald Michael had propelled to the lead, with roughly 17 percent of the chips in play, in part because of his knockout hand against Stewart to reach the top 18.

The two went heads-up to a flop of {k-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{2-Spades}, and Stewart led out with a bet of 25,000, about half his stack. Michael came over the top to put Stewart all-in. Stewart was in trouble with {j-Spades}{9-Hearts} for middle pair against Michael’s {k-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} for top pair. The board ran out {3-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}, and Stewart was out in 19th place ($2,223).

Amy Brady had been the chip leader earlier in the day after busting Joshua Murray and taking down the biggest pot of the day in a blind versus blind contest. They limped to see a flop of {3-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{10-Hearts} and, not surprisingly, the raggedy board was just what the blinds needed. Brady bet, Murray raised, Brady reraised and the pot was already over 100,000. After the {q-Clubs} fell on the turn, Brady shoved and Murry made the call. He had flopped bottom two with {8-Spades}{3-Spades} and Brady had top pair with {10-Spades}{9-Hearts}. But a {q-Hearts} on the river gave Brady the pot and Murray was out in 25th place ($2,223).

Brady ended her day in 14th place after a failed semi-bluff. With the board reading {3-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{J-Clubs}, Patricia Baker led out from the big blind for 35,000. Brady tanked then moved all-in for 117,000 more. Baker, who barely had Brady covered, made the call. Brady showed {Q-}{10-} for an open-ended straight draw and Baker had top pair with {j-Spades}{10-Spades}. Brady missed all her outs on the {3-Spades} turn and {5-Clubs} river and she took home the consolation prize of $3,379.

Saechao and Routos, two of the three chip leaders going into Day 2, joined Baker as the last three standing. When the dust settled, Saechao was crowned the winner, with Baker the runner up. Saechao had crippled Baker earlier when he won his second of two late-in-the-day coin flips, this one in sick fashion. His pocket tens were behind Baker’s {a-Diamonds}{q-Spades} on the {q-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} flop, but the turn was the {10-Hearts} and, as if to rub it in even further, a {q-Hearts} on the river gave Baker trips to Saechao’s boat. Their final hand had Baker coolered as her straight fell to Saechao’s flush.

To read all the exciting action, check out our live reporting blog.

Event #2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Some of the biggest names in the poker world turned out for the first open event of the 2012 WSOP, plopping down a mere $1,500 to take part in one of the weekly low buy-in events. Phil Ivey, absent from last year’s event, was in attendance along with Daniel Negreanu, Kathy Liebert, Allen Cunningham, Jennifer Harmon, Gavin Smith, and dozens of well-known pros. Main Event winners like Jonathan Duhamel and Phil Hellmuth, November Niners — including Chino Rheem and Ylon Schwartz, and TV regulars Jean-Robert Bellande and Maria Ho — represented a wide range of the poker world. Out of this group, only Hellmuth survived to Day 2.

Ho may not have made it to the end of the day, but she had the knockout heard round the Rio when she ended Ivey’s day during Level 5. With blinds at 100/200, Ho raised to 450 from the hijack seat, Ivey repopped for his last 1,600 out of the small blind and Ho called. Ivey was ahead {10-Hearts}{10-Spades} to Ho’s {j-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}. The flop seemed safe, coming {9-Spades}{3-Spades}{2hs}, the {7-Diamonds} on the turn added four more outs, and one of those, the {8-Diamonds}, sent Ivey out the door.

The other Phil, Hellmuth, had a better day. During Level 8 he tweeted he had hit quad aces, which was overkill considering he had pocket aces against his opponents pocket queens. But in Level 9, he took pocket tens against his opponent’s pocket sevens only to see the board cruelly run out {5-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. Hellmuth built back up and will go into Day 2 with an above-average chip stack of 44,600.

After 10 levels of play, Sadan Turker is the chip leader with 158,100. Close on his heels are poker pros Eli Elezra, second in chips with 155,900, and Brandon Cantu, fourth with 130,100. Included among those still in the hunt for the first open bracelet of the year are such notables as Layne Flack, Noah Schwartz, John Juanda, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier and Carter Gill.

The top 216 finishers will cash, with payouts ranging from a minimum of $2,893 to the top prize of $517,725.

Be sure to follow all the coverage of Event #2 when it restarts on Tuesday at 1300 PDT (2100 BST).

On Tap

Tomorrow, in Event #2, the first order of business will be getting into the money. The remaining 240 players will return to play down first to the top 216 and then to the final table as we move closer to knowing if the first open bracelet will be taken down by a known pro or an unknown amateur. Two more open events will kick off. First, is Event #3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha. The first match will start at 1200 PDT (2000 BST). Entrants will be capped at 512, so register early if you’re interested in playing. Later in the day, at 1700 PDT (0100 BST), Event #4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better, will get under way.

To make sure you don’t miss any of the action, follow our live tournament reporting.

Video of the Day

Kristy Arnett caught up with a scruffy Phil Hellmuth during a break in Event #2. The two discussed dental emergencies, second-place finishes, and no-limit hold’em records.

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