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WSOP What to Watch For: Todd Brunson Leads $10K Stud; Hellmuth, Orenstein Among Final Nine

There will be five events in action on Thursday at the 2014 World Series of Poker, including the very last preliminary event getting started before the Main Event begins on Saturday.

Among the happenings on today’s schedule are the second and last Day 1 flight of the “Little One for One Drop” plus a couple of final days scheduled, one for the last $1,500 no-limit hold’em event and the other for the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship.

It’s the latter event that should draw much of the spotlight today, where Todd Brunson leads the final nine players with not one but two members of the Poker Hall of Fame among his remaining competitors — Phil Hellmuth and Henry Orenstein.

Read on for a rundown of what to watch for in all five events playing out today.

Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

From 2,563 starters just 24 are left in Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, and there’s a familiar name on top to enter the final day. Steve Sung will start today with a leading stack of 1,132,000, the only player left with more than a million chips.

Sung has two WSOP bracelets already among his more than two dozen career cashes, including one in a huge $1K NLHE event in 2009 where he topped 6,012.

Erwann Pecheux of France is Sung’s nearest challenger at present with 780,000, with Cherish Andrews (seventh, 653,000), Kurt Jewell (11th, 452,000), Evan McNiff (12th, 433,000), Scott Baumstein (20th, 265,000), and Zach Gruneberg (23rd, 187,000) each still alive as well and with hopes of landing the $614,248 first prize.

Play resumes at 1:00 p.m. PDT today, so begin checking the Event #60 live updates then to see if Sung can hold off the pack to collect his third career bracelet.

Event #61: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship

Henry Orenstein

As noted above, Todd Brunson returns as the chip leader among the final nine in the Event #61: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship, with his stack of 980,000 well ahead of Steve Landfish sitting in second with 556,000 to start play today.

Brunson is seeking a second WSOP bracelet after winning his first back in 2005 in a $2,500 Omaha Hi-Low event. Meanwhile Landfish hopes for his first WSOP win after finishing runner-up in this very same event in 2011 to Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.

The 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth comes back in third position with 404,000. Meanwhile Matt Grapenthien (fourth, 390,000) Ben Yu (fifth, 247,000), James Obst (sixth, 169,000), Jesse Martin (seventh, 156,000), Henry Orenstein (eighth, 112,000), and Henrik Hecklen (ninth, 46,000) round out a formidable remaining field.

Of the latter half-dozen, Martin has one WSOP bracelet, having won the $10K 2-7 NL Draw event a year ago, while Orenstein likewise earned gold at the WSOP when he won the $5,000 seven-card stud event in 1996. If the 90-year-old Orenstein were to win today, he’d establish a new record as the oldest player ever to win a WSOP bracelet.

Like Hellmuth, Orenstein is likewise a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2008 in part for his having patented the hole card camera which proved an integral part of helping to increase the popularity of televised poker. A Holocaust survivor, Orenstein went on to pursue a successful career as toymaker and philanthropist.

Orenstein delivered the directive to “shuffle up and deal” to begin this event back on Tuesday, and afterwards our Remko Rinkema spoke with WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla about Orenstein’s background and significance to poker. Take a look:

This will surely be a final table worth following for a number of reasons. Start checking those Event #61 live updates at 2 p.m. today to see how it plays out.

Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop

Day 1b of Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop is scheduled today, where once again players will be able to reenter an unlimited number of times during the first six of the eight one-hour levels to be played.

Yesterday there were 1,942 total entries with Jason Wheeler establishing the mark at which to aim by bagging a leading 71,500 chips among the 351 players who survived the day. Today will likely see even more entries, with players who busted yesterday returning and others taking part as well. A year ago the “Little One” drew a total of 4,756 entries.

They’ll start at noon again today for this one, so click over to the Event #62 updates then to see just how big the “Little One” turns out to be.

Event #63: $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix

A total of 445 turned out for Event #63: $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix yesterday, the tournament that requires players to rotate through 10 different poker variants — no-limit hold’em, seven-card razz, fixed-limit hold’em, Badugi, seven-card stud, 2-7 no-limit draw, Omaha hi-low, pot-limit Omaha, 2-7 triple draw, and seven-card stud hi-low.

From that group 85 survived to return for today’s second day of play, with Bryn Kenney (first, 67,000), Scott Clements (second, 55,825), James Carroll (third, 50,850), Justin Bonomo (fourth, 49,050), Andrey Zaichenko (sixth, 46,300), and Sergey Rybachenko (seventh, 45,250) among those coming back to leading stacks. Also still with a chance at the bracelet and $153,220 first prize are Allen Cunningham (21st, 35,075), Daniel Negreanu (30th, 30,150), and Chris Moneymaker (54th, 15,100).

Only the top 48 make the cash, so point your browser to the Event #63 live updates starting at 2 p.m. today to see who makes the money then who positions themselves best for tomorrow’s finale.

Event #64: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship

Then later in the afternoon will come the start of the very last preliminary event on the 2014 WSOP schedule, the Event #64: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship.

Daniel Alaei returns as the defending champ in this one after having bested a big field of 386 players in last year’s $10K PLO event earn an $852,692 first prize and his fourth career bracelet. A similar turnout today would well exceed the largest seen this summer in these $10K “Championship” events, with the 264 who participated in the Event #32: $10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship being the biggest field among them.

Point your browser to the Event #64 live updates starting at 4 p.m. local time today to see how many they draw in what is sure to be a popular event in which many top pros will be participating.

Here again is the full schedule of bracelet events playing out today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino (all times PDT):

  • 12:00 p.m. — Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop (Day 1b of 4)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 3 of 3)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Event #61: $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship (Day 3 of 3)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Event #63: $1,500 Six-Handed 10-Game Mix (Day 2 of 3)
  • 4:00 p.m. — Event #64: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship (Day 1 of 3)

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