Two of the final three preliminary tourneys before tomorrow's WSOP Main Event concluded on a Fourth of July Wednesday at the Rio, while today's concluding action in Event #54 $5,000, No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw (w/ Rebuys), will determine the winner in the revised Player of the Year chase.
Ram Vaswani, part of the London-based Hendon Mob, claimed the bracelet in Event #53, $1,500 Limit Hold 'Em Shootout. Vaswani triumphed at the final table — Round Three of the event, overall — finally wearing down Andrew Ward during head-to-head play. Vaswani pocketed $217,438 for the triumph, while Ward claimed $124,816 for the runner-up showing.
Event #52, $1,000 No Limit Hold 'Em (w/ Rebuys), also reached its conclusion. Michael Graves began the day with the chip lead and ended up with the bracelet, but between start and finish Graves had to win several key pots against Michael Graves and Shawn Luman, the second- and third-place finishers. Luman put on an early charge to take the lead, but was reeled in by Graves as the evening wore on. Graves' title, his first at the WSOP, also brought $742,121, while Tran's runner-up showing was worth $387,193.
One more preliminary bracelet remains to be awarded, and in the lowball single-draw event, Shahram (Shawn) 'Sheiky' Sheikhan doubled through Jeffrey Lisandro late to take the overnight lead and top the list of 17 Day Two survivors. 78 players entered this final preliminary event, meaning that the cash and Player of the Year points go only seven spots deep. Two players remain alive for that title — Lisandro and current POY leader Tom Schneider, who begins today's action short-stacked, in 15th position. If either Lisandro or Schneider cashes while the other does not, then that player wins the POY honor. If both players finish out of the money (eighth place or lower), then Schneider wins the honor. If both players make the money, then it becomes a race to see how many spots higher Lisandro can finish, and several scenarios apply.
Today is 'Satellite Day' at the Rio, with players trying to parlay their way into the Main Event or take advantage of the cash-game opportunities. Day 1-A of the Main Event starts at noon tomorrow.