And then there were three… three bracelets awarded in a single day's play at the Rio.
The 2008 World Series of Poker on Tuesday showcased the final tables of three different events, spanning the spectrum of the game, while the one event that played down toward a final table to be held today will offer perhaps the most star-packed finale of this year's Series to date.
First up was Event #15, the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit World Championship, where Svetlana Gromenkova came to the final table with the lead and made that lead stand up, winning the specially-designed Ladies Corum bracelet and $244,702. Gromenkova' final opponent was Anh Le, who finished second in this same event to Jennifer Tilly three years ago. Le's repeat runner-up showing was worth $144,567.
Event #17, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, had pared a capped field of 1,000 entrants down to ten in two marathon rounds on Monday, then saw those ten finalists return on Tuesday to do battle again. The winner here was Jason Young, whose trifecta of wins in the shootout's three rounds brought bracelet gold and $335,565. Mike Schwartz finished in second for $209,527, while John Strzemp III (son of John Strzemp Jr., who finished as the runner-up to Stuey Ungar in Ungar's celebrated third and final Main Event win) finished third for $129,675.
Event #16's bracelet was the last of the day's three to be determined. The final in the $2,000 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo tourney was destined to take a while to resolve, since 18 players needed to be whittled down to one. Around 3am this morning that one was finally determined and it was 25-year-old Andrew Brown, who finished off one of poker's giants, Ted Forrest, for the win. Brown collected $226,483 and his first bracelet gold, while Forrest settled for a second-place payday of $143,420.
The big audience for today's action will certainly be attentive to the final in Event #18, $5,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw w/ Rebuys, which boasts an outstanding seven-player final. Top spot (and a sizable lead) is held here by Erick Lindgren, the star whose impressive poker resume finally saw its first WSOP bracelet added; he now has the inside track on collecting his second within a span of days. Still, despite his early run at this year's WSOP, it'll be no easy task, as the other six finalists are Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, Jeffrey Lisandro, David Benyamine, Tony G and Tom Schneider. This one gets underway as this story goes live on the Internet.
Two more events began action on Tuesday and in one of them, it was clear that Ladies Day covered more than just the glittery Event #15. Event #19, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, saw a 758-player chopped all the way down to 46 players, well inside the money bubble, with the top position overnight held by Vanessa Selbst. Selbst's 203,600 in chips was more than 70,000 ahead of second place Anthony Phillips, with Carter Gill and Eugene Todd in the next closest spots. A short Day 2 session for this event is likely, with the field likely to be reduced to its final nine within a few hours.
The other event beginning play on Tuesday was Event #20, $2,000 Limit Hold'em, which saw its field thinned from 480 to 125 in the first eight levels of play. The overnight leader here is Daniel Makowski, though another, somewhat more famous Daniel — Negreanu — finished the event's opening session in fourth. Phil Hellmuth escaped short-stack status in this one as well, with a decent chance of extending his all-time career mark for WSOP cashes tomorrow as this one plays all the way down to its final nine.
Wednesday starts at the WSOP include Event #21, $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em, which began at noon with a slew of big names taking seats. 731 of poker's best began play. At 5pm this afternoon Event #22, $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., begins, which is sure to draw many late entries from stars bounced early from Event #21 proceedings.