Interest in Tuesday's Event # 21, The $1,500 No Limit Hold Em Shootout exceeded expectations --- so much so that the field was expanded from 800 to 900 players and the start delayed a half hour to accomodate the extra players. The first two of three total rounds occurred on the day, setting up the nine-player final table for today.
In shootouts, each table is a self-contained mini-tournament, like a single-table sit-'n'-go, with only the winner from each table moving on to the next stage. Stage One took the field from its 900 starting players to 90, and Stage Two trimmed those 90 to nine during the evening session.
The day after his winning his record 11th WSOP bracelet, Phil Hellmuth tried for #12, but was unsuccessful in getting through the first stage, along with Antonio Esfandiari, David 'The Devilfish' Ulliott, Max Pescatori, John Gale, Phil Ivey, J.C. Tran and Mark Seif. Many others, though, won their opening rounds, including Barry Greenstein, Joe Sebok, Erik Seidel, Bill Chen, Kirk Morrison, WPT announcer Vince Van Patten and An 'The Boss' Tran.
All Stage Two qualifiers were guaranteed $6,757 for the their initial victories, but not all the big names could move on to the final. The random draw pitted Greenstein against Negreanu at one table; Lindgren and Brandon Schaefer held seats at another; and Seidel, Morrison and Van Patten were grouped together on a third.
Since the only goal in Stage Two play was to make the final table (with all other players receiving no additional money), the collisions continued. Seidel knocked Van Patten out before being eliminated himself a bit later. Bill Chen departed here, along with Michael Banducci, Greenstein and Sebok.
Our first qualifier for the final table was Frederick Goldberg, just after 1am. He was soon joined by Thomas Fuller, Don Baruch, Brandon Lee and Doug Baughman. Then Daniel Negreanu and Erick Lindgren made it through to the final. By 3:3am, only two spots remained to be filled.
One was claimed by Michael Wehner, who took out Dewey Tomko and Jeffrey Vanchiro to earn his spot. Lastly, Amnon Filippi and Jared Davis battled until after 4:30 before Davis came through. Davis caught a gut-shot straight on the turn, then got Filippi to move in after Filippi caught two pair on the river, giving Davis the ninth and final spot
The final nine come to the Bluff Tent at 2pm Wednesday with 300,000 in chips each, set to battle for the bracelet in the Shootout event. Check PokerNews.com's 'Live Reporting' of Event #21, $1,500 No Limit Hold 'Em Shootout. The final nine players: