Because of the hard stop rule, Day 28 of the 2011 World Series of Poker only saw the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship bracelet awarded. Both the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em and the $2,500 Razz events made the final table but had to be halted at heads-up play. The latest $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event had two big names making runs on Day 2, and the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max Championship drew an all-star caliber field. Finally, the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 returns after a one-year hiatus and proves there are still plenty of split-pot players left in the poker world.
Event #42: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship
The final four players in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship returned on Monday with Ben Lamb leading a field that included John Shipley, Sami Kelopuro, and Christopher King. Lamb knocked King out of the event in fourth place, and Kelopuro eliminated Shipley in third place to get to heads-up play.
Lamb led at the start of heads-up play with 6.6 million to Kelopuro's 4.1 million. Kelopuro battled back and took the chip lead briefly, but Lamb retook the lead prior to the start of the final hand. Kelopuro raised to 240,000 preflop and Lamb called to see a flop of . Lamb check-called a 275,000 bet and the turn brought the . Lamb checked and Kelopuro fired a 675,000 bet. Lamb then check-raised the size of the pot before Kelopuro moved all-in for around 5 million. Lamb called and showed for a flush draw and wheel draw. Kelopuro showed for top two pair. Kelopuro looked primed to take an overwhelming chip lead, but the fell on the river to complete Lamb's wheel and give him the bracelet.
After finishing runner-up in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event 10 days ago, Ben Lamb did one better and took down the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship and $814,436.
For more on how Lamb took down the bracelet, check out our live blog coverage.
Event #43: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
Day 3 of this $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event began with 34 players looking for a spot at the final table. Around the midpoint of the day, the final table was reached with Jacob Naquin leading a field that included Team PokerStars Pro Brazil's Andre Akkari. Naquin could not capitalize on his chip lead at this final table and eventually fell in fourth place when he ran into Akkari's pocket jacks.
Heads-up play was reached with less than two levels to play between Nachman Berlin and Andre Akari. Berlin took an 8 million to 4.77 million chip lead into the start of the battle. For the remainder of the day, the two ground their stacks, and Akkari slowly got his up to around 5.45 million before the momentum started shifting back to Berlin.
The hard-stop rule forced this event to stop with two players left. Berlin built his stack up to 9.46 million to finish the day, and Akkari has just 3.4 million left to try and stage a comeback for the bracelet on Tuesday. Players will return at 1500 PDT (2200 GMT) to complete the match.
Learn more about this final table in our blog.
Event #44: $2,500 Seven Card Razz
The $2,500 Razz Event restarted on Monday with 23 players looking to navigate to the final table and bracelet. Tommy Chen led a stellar final table, which included Rep Porter, Chris Bjorin, and Robert Williamson III. Chen was eventually taken out in third place by Stephen Su.
Su had crippled Chen in the prior hand to 100,000 and Chen looked down at /, a great short-stack hand. Su on the other hand picked up / and was ahead. By fifth, Chen picked up a ten-nine low and Su picked up a queen-low with a redraw to a 98 low. Sixth street brought a four for Su and another ten for Chen. Su now had and Chen was board-locked.
Heads-up play started between Su and Porter. Su led 1.8 million to Porter's 950,000, but there was less than half of a level remaining. Porter pulled almost even with Su a couple of times, but Su pulled ahead. When play was suspended at the end of the level, Su was leading 1.65 million to just over 1 million. The two players will return on Tuesday and play for the bracelet.
Check out all the action from this final table in our live reporting blog.
Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
Day 2 of the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event started with 304 players, just seven players short of the money. The money bubble was eventually burst, and players were able to focus on the two big stories of the day. Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari were both alive in this event. Esfandiari was near the top of the leaderboard, while Hellmuth was near the bottom.
Hellmuth masterfully ground his short stack until he found a way to double up with pocket aces. He went from there and proceeded to run deep, but his run-good ran out approaching the end of the day, and he fell in 28th place.
On the other hand, Antonio Esfandiari stayed near the top of the leaderboard all day and ultimately finished the day fourth in chips with 663,000. Jonathan Driscoll and Kenneth Griffin are the only players to finish the day over 1 million in chips. Driscoll is the current chip leader with 1.24 million and Griffin has 1.13 million. Only 21 players remain to return on Tuesday to play to the final table and the bracelet.
Who survived Day 2? Find out in our live blog.
Event #46: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Championship
The $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Championship drew a record field of 474 players to the Rio on Monday. However, to be fair, last year's championship had a buy-in of $25,000, making this one much more affordable to one's bankroll. As expected, the best and brightest in live and online poker took their seats for this event.
Some of those that will not have a seat on Day 2 include Annette Obrestad, Tom Dwan, Faraz Jaka, Lex Veldhuis, Jose Barbero, John Juanda, Jason Mercier, Eugene Katchalov, Paul Volpe, Scott Seiver, Chad Batista, Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, Alec Torelli, and Tom Marchese.
Alan Sternberg finished Day 1 with the chip lead and 260,600 in chips. Ben Lamb, Jake Cody, Farzad Bonyadi, and 2009 WSOP Main Event Champ Joe Cada are all-in the top 10 in chips. The remaining 162 players will return on Tuesday and start their battle toward the money and the final table.
All the action from Day 1 can be found in our live reporting pages.
Event #47: $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 Event
Back by popular demand, the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 Event kicked off on Monday drawing a strong crowd of 450 players. That is 74 more players than the last time this event was held in 2009. As the day progressed, the field was shaved down to just 201 players and those players will return Tuesday to play through the money bubble.
Abe Mosseri finished the day with 64,200 and the chip lead. Kevin Iacofano, Dan Heimiller, and Bryan Micon are all in the top 10 in chips. Others in strong contention include Scott Clements, Erik Seidel, Chad Brown, Al Barbieri, and Perry Friedman.
Get all the split-pot goodness from the opening day in our live event blog.
Events #43, 44, and 45 will all award bracelets on Tuesday. Also, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Championship and the $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 event will play to the money and start their march to the final table. Finally, two new events kick off on Tuesday. Event #48, yet another $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event should draw another massive field to the Rio at 1200 PDT (1900 GMT). The last lowball event of the series also kicks off Tuesday evening with the $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball event.
The PokerNews Podcast returned on Monday and discussed all the happenings of the prior weekend at the 2011 WSOP. They were joined during the first half of the show by Jay Rosenkrantz. Some of the topics of discussion included Matt Jarvis' first bracelet victory, whether or not Skittles colors have independent tastes, and the name "Epic Poker League."
The PokerNews Podcast is always epic. Click here to listen.
Video of the Day
Ben Lamb has been competitive in pot-limit Omaha events throughout the 2011 WSOP. He finally took down his first bracelet on Monday in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. Sarah Grant caught up with Lamb after his bracelet win and talked with him about his final table and about his run at the 2011 WSOP.