On Friday, for the second day in a row, there were four events in action. Everyone in the room was still talking about Phil Hellmuth's second-place finish the night before in his quest for that elusive tenth bracelet. And any mention of Hellmuth was followed with discussion of Johnny Chan, who would be playing at the final table for Event #10 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud) in pursuit of his eleventh bracelet.
For details on Chan's final table, read Earl Burton's full report by clicking here. The other three events are summarized below.
EVENT #11 ($1,500 LIMIT HOLD'EM) - DAY TWO
Event #11 resumed with 41 players, all looking to make the final table. There weren't many big names in this event (most chose to play Event #12 instead), but one popular pro started the day tied for third place — Joe Sebok.
While some people joked that Sebok "had the field to himself," he took a bad beat early in the day that stole his momentum. There was heavy betting between him and Thanh Nguyen all the way to the river, where a 7 fell to give Nguyen a set — and the pot. Sebok didn't show his hand, but said later that Nguyen's sevens were "in deep trouble" before that. It was a huge pot that improved Nguyen to 75,000, and dropped Sebok down to 20,000.
Sebok would be eliminated in 23rd place a little over an hour later.
What a difference a seven makes. Thanh Nguyen carried those chips with him the rest of the day, reaching the final table in seventh place.
When the action was down to 12 players, the final table bubble burst unexpectedly when three players were eliminated nearly simultaneously at 9:00 pm. Michelle Lancaster and David Baker were both busted by David Calla on one table, while Adam Smith was losing his all in at the other table.
Day Two took just seven hours, so the final nine players should be well rested for the final table. Here are their official chip counts:
Seat 1: David Calla - 147,000
Seat 2: Thanh Nguyen - 72,000
Seat 3: Bob Bartmann - 64,000
Seat 4: Jan Sjavik - 37,000
Seat 5: Bob Chalmers - 175,000
Seat 6: Doug Saab - 150,000
Seat 7: Graham Duke - 184,000
Seat 8: Tam Ho - 149,000
Seat 9: Warren Wooldridge - 74,000
The Saab 851: This is Doug Saab's 8th WSOP cash, his 5th WSOP final table, and he won a bracelet in a stud event back in 1997. Can he upgrade to become the "Saab 852"?
Who Says No-Limit Players Have More Fun? Not Jan Sjavik. This is his fourth WSOP final table in limit hold'em events. But he's still looking for his first bracelet.
What Have You Done For Me Lately? Tam Ho has cashed in the WSOP once before — nine years ago.
The final table for Event #11 is scheduled to begin today at 2:00 pm.
EVENT #12 ($5,000 OMAHA HI-LOW SPLIT) - DAY TWO
The day began with 41 players, and it wouldn't end until the bracelet was awarded.
Gavin Smith was the chip leader from Day One, but he was apparently more aggressive than he needed to be. it was shocking to see him bust out in 22nd place.
Sam Farha was Smith's partner-in-crime (and chip counts) late on Day One, but he would fare much better than Smith on Day Two. Farha held strong, and reached the final table in second place.
Phil Ivey was on the verge of elimination on the money bubble the day before (with less than a single big bet), at a time when the other players had extra incentive to bust him. (So they themselves would reach the money.) But nobody took him out when he was vulnerable, and today they paid the price. Ivey was a force all day long, and reached the final table with the fourth-highest chip stack.
The final table was set and ready to go before 9:00 pm, with the following players and chip counts:
Seat 1: Jim Ferrel - 143,000
Seat 2: Jeff King - 40,000
Seat 3: Mike Wattel - 312,000
Seat 4: Phil Ivey - 174,000
Seat 5: Sam Farha - 255,000
Seat 6: Kirill Gerasimov - 186,000
Seat 7: Brian Nadell - 47,000
Seat 8: Ryan Hughes - 106,000
Seat 9: Mike Henrich - 62,000
Two Words: Phil Ivey.
Okay, Thirty-Six Words: Phil Ivey has 5 bracelets, 12 final tables, and 20 cashes at the World Series of Poker. This is the seventh straight year that he's made a WSOP final table. And he's only 30 years old.
What About Us? Ivey's not the only experienced player at the table. Mike Wattel and Brian Nadell have both reached nine WSOP final tables, and this is Kirill Gerasimov's fifth. But Wattel is the only one with a bracelet, which he won back in 1999.
Instant Gratification: The final table was played late last night, so you can immediately find out who won by reading Stephen Noh's full report by clicking here.
EVENT #13 ($2,500 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM) - DAY ONE
Event #13 attracted 1,290 entrants, creating a total prizepool over $2.9 million. The top 99 players would get paid, and play would continue through 10 levels or until they reached the money — whichever came first.
A quick word about playing late to reach the money. It's no fun for the media or the tournament staff, but this is a players-come-first decision, and it's the right one. It's not fair to ask players to return the next day, where they might play for an hour and be eliminated outside of the money. At least if the field reaches the money, the players don't mind missing out on the next day's action. (Although a few players do a live version of multi-tabling by playing in two WSOP tournaments at a time.)
As it turned out, it was a fairly early night, with the money bubble bursting about 12:45 am with 96 players surviving. (Five players busted on the round-for-round bubble, splitting the money for the bottom three spots.) Here are the top five chip leaders headed to Day Two, along with some notables who are above the average stack of 33,593:
1. Mark Wilds - 108,700
2. Steve Cohn - 104,500
3. Anthony Reategui - 104,200
4. Danny Fuhs - 98,800
5. David Chiu - 91,000
7. Erick Lindgren - 90,500
8. Scott Fischman - 89,700
13. Joe Cassidy - 59,400
15. David Plastik - 56,400
25. Men "The Master" Nguyen - 47,700
27. Max Pescatori - 45,100
The 6-50 Club: With this money finish, Men "The Master" Nguyen reached the half-century mark with 50 cashes. Combine that with his 6 WSOP bracelets, and that puts him in the exclusive "6-50 Club." The only other member is Phil Hellmuth, who is actually in the "9-50 Club." (Sorry for rounding off your cashes, Phil.)
Experience Counts, Sort Of: Men Nguyen has six bracelets, and David Chiu has four. But here's a twist — neither have ever won a WSOP no-limit hold'em event.
Day Two of Event #12 is scheduled to begin today at 2:00 pm.
Ed note: Party Poker have multiple tables available at every limit, 24 hours a day.