Headlining action on Day 29 at the World Series of Poker were Frankie O'Dell and Tom Schneider. O'Dell came out the winner at a topsy-turny final table in Event #44, $2,000 Pot Limit Omaha High/Low Split, while Schneider survived his own tumultuous stretch to take the lead into the final of Event #46, $1,000 Seven Card Stud High/Low Split.
O'Dell, a prior bracelet winner (in 2003 in another Omaha High/Low) event, worked through a final table that began the day with Marcel Luske in the lead. Luske, though, took early hits to his stack, though he recovered to finish fourth. Meanwhile, O'Dell surged forward, eventually moving into a dominating lead over both Thang Luu and Martin Corpuz, Jr., the second- and third-place finishers. Neither mounted a serious challenge during three-handed play, and O'Dell quickly claimed the $240,057 winner's prize and bracelet
Tom 'Donkeybomber' Schneider played the aggressor throughout the night as the final tables of Event #46, the $1,000 Seven Card Stud High/Low tourney. Facing elimination in several occasions, Schneider nonetheless moved his chips in again and again, pressing thin edges and, by night's end, coming out on top of the pack. Schneider will try to become this year's first double winner at a final table that also includes Scotty Nguyen and a short-stacked Tony Ma.
Event #45, $5,000 No Limit Hold 'Em (Six-Handed), began action on Friday with Dutch Boyd in the lead and Phil Hellmuth having secured a record 62nd cash and in search of a record 12th WSOP bracelet. Boyd survived the day's play, unlike Hellmuth, whose departure was perhaps his loudest of the series to date. Team PokerNews captain Tony G also made a deep run before exiting just short of the final table. That table will be lead by Erik Friberg and Alex Bolotin. Bolotin held a commanding edge through much of the late action before a late surge by Friberg put him into the top spot entering today's six-player final.
Starting on Friday were two tourneys, Event #47, $2,000 No Limit Hold 'Em, and Event #48, $1,000 Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw (w/ Rebuys). The $2,000 no-limit event drew the noon starting slot and the big crowds, with 2,038 entrants playing all the way to 143 survivors, well inside the money bubble. Jess Ravich and Peter Horenstein are the overnight leaders, with Jordan Morgan, David Chiu, Blair Rodman and Nick Frangos all inside the top ten.
Event #48, the Deuce-to-Seven Lowball outing, drew a rather smaller 209 players to its 5pm start. This field played down to 93 by the end of the evening session, with Jon Shoreman in first place at the end of Day One, with Rafi Amit in second. Many big names still have chips, and with a relatively compressed leader board, the race to the final table remains wide open.
Only one new event begins on Saturday, but it's expected to draw a huge field. Event #50, $1,500 No Limit Hold 'Em, is the last of the year's standard-format $1,500 freezeouts, and gets underway at noon PDT. The latest on this and the other events is available at PokerNews.com's 'Live Reporting' section.