Every pot carries significant weight now that we're down to the big jumps int he prize pool distribution. That may explain why Steve Sung tanked for five full minutes (we clocked him) after opening to 50,000 and then facing an all-in re-raise from big blind John Juanda, who eyeballed Sung's stack before making his move.
During Sung's time in the tank, Juanda looked around and said a few words (inaudible to us) to Sung. Nick Schulman and Ville Wahlbeck each got up from the table to stretch their legs. Wahlbeck could be seen tapping away at his phone.
Sung finally called all in. Both players stood pat. Juanda opened 9-8-6-5-4, a hand that was no good against Sung's 9-5-4-3-2. It was a sick read by Sung and an even sicker decision not to break his hand after Juanda stood pat. Sung doubled up to a total of 1.2 million chips.
Guaranteed at least 55 POY points for his finish today, Ville Wahlbeck has officially taken over the lead in the 2009 WSOP Player of the Year race from back-to-back bracelet winner Brock Parker. This is Wahlbeck's third final table of the series-- he won the $10,000 World Championship Mixed Event, finished third in the $10,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud event, and is now at his third $10K final table.
Steve Sung opened the small blind to 48,000 and was called by Ville Wahlbeck. Each player discarded one card, then checked the action after the draw. Wahlbeck's Q-10-8-7-4 was the winner.
A note on the gallery: there ain't many people here. We spot about a dozen people in the seating around the table, and maybe another dozen up on the balcony floating between this final table and the $1,500 No-Limit Shootout final table on the secondary feature table. The only notable faces are Jean-Robert Bellande, the bubble boy from this tournament, and T.J. Cloutier.
There's not much room left for multi-way pots now. Ville Wahlbeck opened for 45,000 from the button and was called only by big blind John Juanda. Juanda drew two cards; Wahlbeck took one and then bet 115,000 after Juanda checked.
There was a 30-second pause before Juanda announced he was all in. Wahlbeck didn't need nearly as long to fold his hand.
Juanda seems to be picking his spots well, using his stack as a weapon to induce folds.