Sunday may be a day of rest for some, but it was a very busy day at the World Series of Poker, with six separate events going on and two of the biggest names in poker vying for a bracelet — Phil Ivey looking for his first in a hold’em event and Phil Hellmuth looking for his first in a non-hold’em event. By the end of Day 15, it was Andy Frankenberger, not Ivey, who took down Event #17: $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em. But Phil Hellmuth came through with the big one and further solidified his reign atop the WSOP by winning his record-breaking 12th bracelet in Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz.
Although that was more than enough excitement for any day, two other events completed their second day of play — Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em and Event #20: $5,000 Limit Hold’em. Finally, two new events got underway, Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em and Event #22: $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. Let’s see how all the action unfolded.
Event #17: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em
If ever there was an all-star lineup going into a final day of play, this was it. Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Scott Fischman, Dan O’Brien, Hoyt Corkins, David Benyamine, Chris Klodnicki, Shaun Deeb, Andy Frankenberger, and Antonio Esfandiari were among the 17 player returning to fight for the bracelet and $182,793 in first place prize money.
The chip leader going into Day 3 was Manuel Bevand, who had four previous WSOP cashes to his name and is a regular on the European poker circuit. He was well out in front, with nearly one million in chips. In second place with 599,000 was Steve Landfish, who had two prior WSOP final table appearances.
The first hand of the day brought the first elimination. Landfish woke up with pocket aces and his unfortunate victim was short-stack Cary Katz who moved all in with and saw the board run out . Katz, who is confirmed to be part of the $1 million Big One for One Drop field, collected $23,876 for his 17th place finish.
Following Katz out the door was David Benyamine who was all-in with against Alex Venovski’s . However, an unyielding board of sent Benyamine to the rail. Big Slick was also no help to Chris Klodnicki who took against Shaun Deeb’s pocket eights and lost when the board ran out .
With 12 left, Ivey was short stacked but found a double up with versus Venovski’s after a king on the flop saved his tournament life. Not as lucky was Esfandiari who called Bevand’s all in and was slightly ahead with against Bevand’s . He stayed ahead through the flop and turn of but couldn’t duck the river, which brought the . Esfandiari was the 12th place finisher, taking home $34,139.
Landfish had been at or near the top of the pack for most of the tournament, but he was crippled in a hand against Andy Frankenberger and eventually exited in 11th place. The big hit came after they got it all in on a flop of . Landfish had flopped top pair with only to have Frankenberger turn over . The board ran out and Landfish was in a hole he couldn’t get out of, giving the rest of his chips to Shaun Deeb.
With the elimination of Ryan Julius in 10th place, the official final table was set. Ivey was in the chip lead, with Bevand close on his heels, the only two players with above one million in chips. The short stack was Hoyt Corkins, and he was the first out when his pocket nines fell behind Bevand’s ace-jack on the flop and never improved as the board ran out .
Deeb was the next to go after an exciting turn of events. All in preflop, Deeb was a slight underdog with to the pocket sixes of Andy Frankenberger. The flop had something for everyone, coming . The on the turn, however, put Deeb ahead with the Broadway straight. But Frankenberger clinched the hand when the on the river gave him a full house, and Deeb was gone in sixth place for $84,688.
Bevand was unable to go wire to wire. Like Steve Landfish before him, he was another of Andy Frankenberger’s victims. Bevand opened the action with a raise under the gun and Frankenberger potted in the next seat over, and the two men got it all in with Frankenberger the one at risk and flipping with against Bevand’s . The flop was safe for Bevand, but the turn was the and Bevand was forced to ship most of his chips over. He was left with less than a big blind and was eliminated by Ivey on the next hand, becoming the fifth place finisher with $110,731.
Alex Venovski doubled through Ivey in one hand, then got it all in again on the next, but with the opposite results. His ace-queen found no help and Ivey’s pocket sevens ended Venovski’s run in fourth place for $147,345. Eslami was the third place finisher after losing a traditional race against Ivey. Ivey had the snowmen, , and Eslami had . Eslami was a slight dog, and he never improved as the board ran out . Eslami collected $199,623 for his excellent finish, and Frankenberger was left as the last man standing in Ivey’s way for his ninth bracelet, the two sitting on nearly identical chip stacks.
The two traded pots, then Frankenberger started pulling ahead. Just before the end, with blinds at 60,000/120,000, Ivey raised to 240,000, Frankenberger called and the dealer spread out . Frankenberger checked, Ivey bet 240,000 and Frankenberger thought before just calling. They checked the turn and saw a on the river. Frankenberger bet 450,000 and Ivey called, only to see Frankenberger turn over for the straight.
Their last hand saw Frankenberger raise to 300,000 and Ivey call. The flop was ; Ivey checked, Frankenberger bet 130,000, and Ivey raised pot and was all in. Frankenberger called. Ivey revealed for the open-ended straight draw and Frankenberger turned over for top pair. The turn was the and the river was the and Andy Frankenberger had defeated Phil Ivey to win his second WSOP bracelet and $445,899. Ivey took home $275,559 for his second-place finish. With this win, Frankenberger moves into first place in the Player of the Year standings.
To see how all the exciting final day action went down, make sure to check out the live reporting blog.
Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz
While Phil Ivey was vying for his ninth bracelet in Event 17, none other than the Poker Brat himself, Phil Hellmuth, was in the hunt for the elusive bracelet No. 12. Hellmuth has been battling the oft-mentioned bromide that he’d never won a bracelet in a non-hold’em event. Three times last year he came close but fell ever-so-shy. Was Sunday the day? At just before 2:00 AM local time, the answer came loud and clear: “Yes!” Phil Hellmuth had his record 12th bracelet, presented to him by his son, with family and friends surrounding him. He gave an impromptu speech after the win that included a nice shout out to fellow Phil, Mr. Ivey.
Hellmuth had to face an impressive Day 3 field led by Brandon Cantu, with Brendan Taylor, Scott Fischman and Barry Greenstein among the 18 remaining players going for the gold.
Scott Clements was the first out, followed by Chris “Fox” Wallace, Dan O’Brien and Chris Viox. By the time it got down to the official final table of eight, half the field was bunched together near the top. Brendan Taylor (451,000 chips) had a slight lead over Hellmuth (446,000), with Scott Fischman (430,000) and Don Zewin (359,000) not too far behind. The bottom half of the table had Brandon Cantu (187,000), Jeff Misteff (187,000), Michael Chow (145,000) and Barry Greenstein (115,000).
Mistiff and Chow went out in eighth and seventh, respectively. Then Greenstein was knocked out in sixth place at the hands of Brandon Cantu. In that hand, Greenstein completed, Hellmuth passed, and Cantu raised. Greenstein called. On fourth street, Cantu led out, and Greenstein raised. Cantu re-raised, putting Greenstein all in, and Cantu called.
Brandon Cantu: /
On fifth street, Greenstein was dealt a , Cantu made a nine-low with , and then both players were dealt a on sixth. Cantu flipped over a on seventh, while Greenstein squeezed his down card. Unfortunately for the Bear, it was the , and he was sent to the rail to collect his $30,150.
Hellmuth was the first player over a million in chips, right after Brendan Taylor was eliminated in 5th place after two hands against Cantu. Four-handed, Hellmuth had three opponents remaining: Cantu, Fischman, and Zewin. While Zewin may not be as big a name as the others, he did have an interesting history with Hellmuth. Zewin had finished third in the 1989 WSOP Main Event, the event that gave Hellmuth his first WSOP bracelet. Fischman was the first of this group to bust, and then Hellmuth took out Cantu in 3rd place ($147,346).
In that hand, Cantu had the lead at the turn and bet out, which prompted Hellmuth to ask for a count. "Can’t afford to let you bluff me," Hellmuth said. "Let’s put it all in." With that, Hellmuth raised, Cantu three bet, and soon his entire stack was in the middle. The cards revealed that Hellmuth was ahead, and it stayed that way through last street.
Cantu: / / (x)
Hellmuth: / /
After Hellmuth turned over the six, Cantu studied his last squeezed card for a long time, looking for a six, seven or ace. But instead, it was the and we were down to heads up.
Hellmuth entered heads-up play with nearly a 5-to-1 chip advantage, but that advantage was obliterated shortly as Zewin doubled up with a well-disguised seventy-six to the ninety-five of Hellmuth. Hellmuth was not discouraged and rallied back, chipping away at Zewin hand after hand over an hour and a half until he reclaimed the 5-to-1 advantage. Hellmuth pulled further ahead until Zewin was down to just three big bets.
Here is how our reporters on the scene described that last hand: Don Zewin brought it in with a and was called by Phil Hellmuth, who was showing a . The 11-time bracelet winner then led out on the turn and Zewin said, "Alright, let’s do it," before raising. He had 5,000 back so Hellmuth three-bet and the tournament was on the line.
Zewin: / / (x)
Hellmuth: / /
Zewin was drawing live headed to seventh and he slowly squeezed out the last card. He seemed to know what this tournament meant to Hellmuth, and he said, "Go ahead. You got it." His last card was a . Zewin took home $113,024 for his second place finish and, though he didn’t realize it at the time, Hellmuth’s first place earned him $182,793. But for Hellmuth, it was all about the bracelet.
With the final card shown, Hellmuth tossed his sunglasses on the table and stood up triumphantly. Nearly twenty-three years after his first bracelet, Hellmuth was now the proud owner of an even dozen. Time to go for the baker’s dozen?
To read all the electrifying action of this record-setting win, make sure to check out our live reporting blog.
Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
There were 262 players who began Day 2, 19 players shy of the money bubble. Those cashing would be guaranteed a minimum of $2,796, with the winner taking home $559,514 and the gold bracelet.
The leader going into the day was Jessica Bertrand Hanna with 149,500 in chips. The unfortunate bubble boy was Pratik Ghatge who open-shoved during hand-for-hand play with pocket kings and was snap-called by ace-queen. An ace on the river was bad news for Ghatge, but good news for the remaining 243 players.
Cashing, but not moving on to day three, were actor James Woods, and poker pros Lauren Kling, Isaac Haxton, Jon Aguiar, Victor Ramdin, Avery Cardoza, Collin Moshman, Cliff Josephy, Matt Stout, and Phil Collins. Day 1 chip leader Hanna exited in 43rd place, for $10,721.
Day two came to an end with 19 players left in the field. The chip leader with 1,227,000 is Gregg Wilkinson. Rounding out the top five are Patrick Smith (867,000), Cliff Goldkind (760,000), Eric Wasserson (725,000) and Adria Balaguer (697,000). Also coming back for the final day of play is Barry Shulman, who cracked aces just before the end of the day to stay in the hunt, along with Philippe Boucher, David Peters and Jason Wheeler. They will all return at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) on Monday.
To see how we got down to the final 19, and to watch the winner be crowned, make sure to check out our live reporting blog.
Event #20: $5,000 Limit Hold’em
Day two began with 109 players, two-thirds of the starting field of 166. The chip leader was Nicholas Derke and he was followed closely by Warwick Mirzikinian, who recently scored his first WSOP third place finish. It was expected to be a long day of play before we would get to the money, with only 18 players cashing. The minimum payout was $11,071, but all eyes were on the top prize of $206,760 and the coveted gold bracelet.
The field was packed with well-known pros including Vitaly Lunkin, John Juanda, Greg Mueller, Jen Harman, JC Tran, Erick Lindgren, Jeff Lisandro, Humberto Brenes, Jason Mercier, Dwyte Pilgrim, Mori Eskandani, Huck Seed, Daniel Negreanu and reigning champ Daniel Idema. Unfortunately, none of those players were able to make it past the money bubble.
Ten hours after the day began, the field was down to 27 and they did a table redraw. One full table would still have to be eliminated before they hit the money. Matt Keikoan, Philip Tom, and Annie Duke were among the notables who fell just short of the money. Matt Glantz received a timely double up via a queen-high straight to keep his bracelet hopes alive. Melissa Barr was the last female in the field, but she fell to Terrence Chan late in the day.
The bubble burst at just before 2:00 AM local time. Action folded to Nicholas Derke in the small blind, and he raised it up. Todd Witteles re-raised from the big blind and Derke called. Derke check-raised the flop and Witteles called all in. Witteles turned over and was ahead of Derke’s until the turn gave Derke a straight. The river changed nothing and the 18 remaining players celebrated as they redrew their seats.
After one more elimination for the night, the remaining 17 bagged and tagged their chips for day two. Matthew Woodward is the chip leader with 265,000, followed by Terrence Chan with 238,000. They will all return on Monday at 1400 PDT (2200 BST) to play down to a winner.
Be sure to check into the live reporting blog for all the important flops, turns, and rivers throughout the day.
Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
The first $1,000 buy-in event of the series brought in a whopping 2,779 players, creating a prize pool of $1,519,100 to be shared among the top 297 finishers. Chad Brown, David Williams, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, and Martin Staszko all hit the rail early. Joining them were David “Doc” Sands, David Singer, Layne Flack, Scott Clements and Dwyte Pilgrim.
The money bubble burst just after 2:00 PM local time. John Manggunio moved all in on the river with a board showing . Fentisov Viacheslar called and was immediately upset when he saw that the river which gave him a set with his had given Manggunio a straight with .
By the end of the day, 228 players remained in the field. The chip leader is Edward Locke with 133,200. Right behind him are Joseph Cappello (124,000), Efran Garcia Louzao (97,800) and Chris McClung. Notables Kory Kilpatrick (89,900), Dan Smith (66,000), James Dempsey (65,000), Austen Johnson (62,000), Martin Staszko (38,700), John Duthie (33,800), Christian Harder (28,800) and Maria Ho (27,600) are still in the running and have the experience to climb the counts. They will all be back on Monday at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) to get as close to the final table as they can.
To follow all the action as we play down to the final table, make sure to check out our live reporting blog.
Event #22: $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
Last year’s event drew 309 players and the eventual winner was Leonard Martin, who beat out a power-packed final table that included Justin Bonomo, David Bach, Eli Elezra and Jason Mercier. This year, only 202 registered. Martin came back to defend his title, and Bach, Elezra and Mercier also returned to see if they could best last year’s finish.
Early exits were had by Daniel Negreanu, Scott Seiver, and Andy Bloch. They were followed later in the day by last year’s winner, Martin, as well as his final tablemates Mercier and Elezra. Also eliminated on Day 1 were Ted Forrest, Joseph Cheong, Doyle Brunson, Bertrand Grospellier, Michael Binger, John Racener, Mike Matusow, Greg Raymer, Vanessa Selbst, Shaun Deeb and Todd Brunson.
Even with those illustrious eliminations, there is still a field of 79 bursting with notables moving on to Day 2. Shawn Buchanan is the chip leader with 61,800 chips. John Monnette (43,000), Layne Flack (34,300), and Josh Arieh (33,100) will return, as well as Jean-Robert Bellande, who had been down to around 2,000 chips in the last level but managed to chip back up to 25,200 by the end of the day. The top 24 will cash, with the winner taking home $145,247 and the gold bracelet.
Do not miss any of the exciting action as we play down to the money and then onto the final table. Make sure to follow our live reporting blog.
On Monday Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em and Event #20: $5,000 Limit Hold’em will both play down to a winner. Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em and Event #22: $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball will play down towards their final tables, with the latter event also getting into the money. Finally, two more events will get underway, Event #23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Six-Handed and Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better.
To make sure you don’t miss any of Monday’s action, make sure to follow our live reporting blog for up-to-the-minute updates.
Video of the Day
Lynn Gilmartin interviews Phil Hellmuth after his record-setting 12th WSOP bracelet.
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