Wednesday was another historic day at the 2012 World Series of Poker. Naoya Kihara became the first Japanese native to win a World Series of Poker bracelet when he took down Event #34: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six Handed. Phil Ivey fell short for the fifth time this series, but Chris Tryba won his first bracelet in Event #35: $2,500 Mixed Hold'em. Antonio Esfandiari, Joe Tehan and Athanasios Polychronopoulos made the final table of Event #36: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. In Event #37: $2,500 Eight Game Mix, Jennifer Harman, Scott Seiver and Greg Mueller were able to climb the leaderboard past the money bubble. Finally, players in Event #38: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em finished just seven spots from the money, and Layne Flack is leading the pack.
Eleven players returned Wednesday for the finale of Event #34, and when it was over, Naoya Kihara made history, walking away as the first Japanese native to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. Kihara entered Day 3 with a commanding chip lead and exchanged it a few times with Davidi Kitai before finally getting heads-up with Chris De Maci.
Also making the final day but not the final table: 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong. On his final hand, Cheong got it all-in holding against Kitai's . Cheong flopped a set of aces, but it didn't hold up long because Kitai made a flush an sent him home in ninth place.
The first player sent home from the final table was Tommy Le, who was eliminated by De Maci when his flush and straight draws could not catch up, and De Maci made a full house.
Then, the tournament deciding pot occurred between Kihara and Kitai. With the flop reading , Kitai and Kihara got all of the chips in the middle. Kitai was holding for a straight draw and a pair of aces while Kihara held for a pair of nines and a wrap straight draw. The turn was the , which gave both players the same straight, but the river was the giving Kihara a better straight and eliminating Davidi Kitai in fifth place. From that point on, Kihara controlled the tournament.
Kihara eliminated both Hans Winzeler and Daniel Hindin in fourth and third places respectively, and it was off to heads-up play with Chris De Maci — the only other player to notch an elimination at the final table. On the final hand of the night, Kihara and De Maci got all of the chips in on a flop. Kihara held for a pair of jacks, a flush draw, and an straight draw to the ten. De Maci held the for a pair of twos and a wrap straight draw. The board completed with the and the though, and it wasn't enough to catch De Maci up. Kihara pocketed $512,029 for the win, and bragging rights as the first Japanese national to win a bracelet.
Event #34 Results
|2||Chris De Maci||$316,308|
To see all the action from the final table or from earlier days of the tournament, make sure you check out the live reporting blog.
All eyes were on Phil Ivey again Wednesday in his hunt for his ninth bracelet by making his fifth final table of the summer. But in the end, Ivey fell short once more and will have to wait to claim bracelet number nine. Chris Tryba was able to overcome the field and walk away with his first bracelet.
The first to go Wednesday was Michael Foti, who hit the rail when he got it all-in preflop holding against Erik Cajelais' . Foti failed to improve and hit the rail in ninth.
An extremely unfortunate series of events led to Ivey's bustout in eighth, starting with a suckout at the hands of Samuel Golbluff. In the hand, Ivey raised, and Golbluff reraised all-in holding . It didn't take long for Ivey to make the call with , but Golbluff ended up rivering a straight to cripple Ivey. On his final hand, Phil Ivey moved all-in holding against three other players. The board ran out . Ivey hit top pair, but Cajelais held for two pair, and that was enough to send Ivey to the rail.
Golbluff was soon to go after Ivey. He had a short spurt of momentum when he eliminated Brent Wheeler in seventh, but the spurt didn't last long. On his last hand, Golbluff got his money in dominated with against Joep van den Bijgaart's . Golbluff didn't improve and was eliminated in sixth place.
Players dropped one by one until only Tryba and Cajelais were remaining. Both Tryba and Cajelais were relatively deep, but in one stunning hand, it was all over. On a board of Tryba check called a 45,000 chip bet from Cajelais. The turn was the and Tryba check called a 130,000 chip bet this time from Cajelais. The river brought the and this time, Tryba elected to lead for 250,000. Cajelais reraised all-in, and Tryba insta-called, tabling for a rivered straight flush. Cajelais showed for a king-high straight that was no good. Tryba would walk away with the victory, the gold bracelet, and $210,107 for the win.
Event #35 Results
|4||Joep van den Bijgaart||$68,576|
To see all the exciting action from this final table and the rest of the tournament, make sure you check out the live reporting blog.
On Day 2 of Event #36, 60 players battled to win their respective tables until there was one final table of 10 remaining. Among the 10, Antonio Esfandiari and Joe Tehan. Also in the mix, WSOP bracelet holder Athanasios Polychronopoulos.
Some of the players who won't be returning for Day 3 include Justin Bonomo, Melanie Weisner, Jean-Robert Bellande, Christian Harder, David Bakes Baker, and Steve Billirakis. Weisner fell at the hands of Joe Tehan who made two pair with . Bellande hit the rail when he shoved all-in with and was called by Marc-Andre LaDouceur holding . The board was no help, and Bellande was also sent packing.
Esfandiari was one of the first to finish off his table. In the end, he was heads-up with Jason Koon. He told our tournament reporters that he got all of the chips in with against Koon's and got lucky to finish off his table. Meanwhile, on another table, Joe Tehan was playing heads up with Nicolas Levi. On the final hand of their match, Tehan got it all-in with against Levi's . The board ran out and Tehan's two pair sent him to the final table.
The final table will commence at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) on Thursday on the ESPN main stage. Thursday will be full of action as both Esfandiari and Polychronopoulos will be vying for their second bracelet, and Tehan will be shooting for his first.
Here's a look at the stacks going into Thursday's action:
*Note: player's stacks differ because not all tables began with the same amount of players
To make sure you don't miss any hands from the final table, keep your eyes on the live reporting blog for up to the minute updates.
There were 209 players at the beginning of Day 2 of Event #37, but at the end of the day, the field had been reduced to just 27, and plenty of notables hit the rail on the second day of play. Among them were Matt Glantz, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Vitaly Lunkin, and Gavin Smith. Several players also busted after the money bubble popped Wednesday as well, including Ylon Schwartz, Gavin Griffin, Bruno Fitoussi, Noah Schwartz, Max Pescatori, and John D'Agostino.
Some players to top the charts going into Thursday are Jennifer Harman, Scott Seiver, and Greg Mueller, who all finished in the top 10 with above average chip stacks. Leading the way though is Joseph Couden, who has 303,300 chips.
The bubble boy was Matt Glantz, who hit the rail after he was crippled to just 500 chips. On his final hand, three of his tablemates limped in during the pot-limit Omaha round, and Glantz had no option but to take on all of them. The flop fell and all three players checked. The turn was the and this time, Gavin Griffin decided to bet 2,500, which only one player called. The river was the and both players checked. The other player showed for two pair, and Glantz showed , and he was the last player to walk out the door without a pay day.
Another player who will be returning on Thursday is Jeff Madsen, who finished Day 1 with a healthy stack, and finished Day 2 just below average. In one of the last hands of the night, in the 2-7 triple draw lowball round, Jean Gaspard was all-in against Madsen. On the second draw, each player took one card. They each took another on the third draw as well. Gaspard showed and had drawn a to make a straight. Madsen held and drew a to make a ten-low, and that sent Gaspard to the rail. Madsen finished the day with 106,300 chips, and will return on Thursday to make a run at the bracelet.
Action will resume at 1400 PDT (2200 BST) on Thursday with the remaining 27 players playing down until a winner is reached. All the action will be in the Amazon room, but will move over to the secondary feature table in the Pavilion room once a final table is reached.
To make sure you don't miss a single street of action, stay tuned in to the live reporting blog.
On Wednesday, 2,502 players entered Event #38 and at the end of 11 levels only 277 remained. Players finished up the night just seven spots away from the money. Finishing the day better than anyone else was Layne Flack, who was able to bag up 229,700 chips and the chip lead. Also finishing the day among the leaders was Lauren Kling with 123,300 and AP Phahurat with 122,800.
Among those to hit the rail Wednesday, were Daniel Negreanu, Dennis Phillips, Randy Lew, JJ Liu, Phil Ivey, Jonathan Duhamel, and Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth's day ended when his hand couldn't compete against and a rivered sent him to the rail, and Ivey was sent packing for the second time on Wednesday when he ran his into .
Lex Veldhuis was another player not to make it to Day 2, but his day ended in a brutal fashion after one hand sent him on a crash course to the rail. In the hand, there was a flop reading , Veldhuis and his two opponents each had 1,000 in the pot. The turn was the , where Veldhuis bet 3,700. Kurt Younker made the call and the river brought the . This time Younker bet out 7,000, and Veldhuis shoved, only to have Younker snap-call with for a rivered straight. “This is a joke,” Veldhuis said after the hand, turning up his for a flopped straight.
The 277 remaining players will return Thursday to burst the money bubble and play to a final table. Action will start promptly at `300 PDT (2100 BST) in the Amazon room. Some of the other players who will be returning on Thursday are Tommy Vedes, Dan Smith, Ari Engel and Jason Senti.
To see action from these players and more, make sure you don't miss a single hand by checking out the live reporting blog.
On Thursday, Event #36: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout and Event #37: $2,500 Eight Game Mix will both play down until a winner is determined. Event #38: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em will play past the money bubble on the way to the final table. Also, starting on Thursday is Event #39: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha and Event #40: $2,500 Limit Hold'em Six-Handed.
To make sure you don't miss a single exciting hand from any of Thursday's events, make sure you check out the live reporting blog.
Video of the Day
Today's video of the day is Kristy Arnett's “The Straddle.” If you haven't seen “The Straddle” before, it's a weekly look at everything going on behind the scenes at the World Series of Poker. This week, Kristy talks about #RealIveyTweets, takes a look inside Allen Bari and Huck Seed's sacks, and shows pros the improper way to end an interview. Make sure you check out the video below for all of that and more.
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