A couple of well-known poker pros added missing pieces to their respective poker résumés on Tuesday at the 2008 World Series of Poker. Both John "The Razor" Phan and Dutch star Rob Hollink claimed their first gold bracelets during the day.
Phan's first bracelet came in Event #29, $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em, where he came from behind to take down the win after negotiating a large starting field. Phan pulled past Day 2 leader Matt Vengrin and survived a lengthy heads-up duel against Johnny Neckar to secure the victory, finally taking down the $434,789 winner's share. Neckar's second-place finish brought him $277,452.
Hollink, meanwhile, claimed the title in Event #30, $10,000 Limit Hold'em, after starting the final day's play in a strong second spot. Hollink overtook early leader Aaron Katz on his way to the win (Katz finished fourth), for a well-earned $496,931 payday. Second place here went to Jerrod Ankenman for $307,380. This event's powerful final also included Andy Bloch, J.C. Tran and Brock Parker.
Only one final table will be contested today, with the lineup for that set during Monday's play. That's Event #31, 2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed, where online star Dario Minieri has made the first WSOP final table of his career. He's done so in fine form, too, amassing 1.72 million in chips, far ahead of second-place Kevin Song's 1.17 million. The other four finalists here are Justin Filtz, John O'Shea, Seth Fischer and Stuart Marshak.
Tuesday also brought the kickoffs to two more events. Event #32, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, played all the way down from a starting field of 2,304 players to just 166 survivors, including one Phil Hellmuth, Jr., who thereby extended his mark for career WSOP cashes to 65. Up at the top of the pack rests veteran Andy Garza, who finished Day 1 with 169,200 in chips. Behind Garza in the overnight counts are Donny Carlton and Jonathan Jaffe, the latter fresh off his semifinal showing in the $10,000 World Championship Heads-Up event.
Starting later on Tuesday and trimming its field by more than half was Event #33, the $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo World Championship. Chicagoan Matt Grapenthien finished the day with the lead, but the real work comes today as the tightly bunched field works toward the money bubble and the final eight. In the overnight top ten in chips were Robert Mizrachi, Shawn Sheikhan, Thang Nguyen and Steve Sung, with even bigger names lurking just a bit lower down the board.
Wednesday has two more events scheduled to begin. Starting up at noon was Event #34, the predictably wild $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha w/ Rebuys. No word yet on the number of entrants… or rebuys… though if history is any indicator this one began with a crazed rebuy period and will offer a well-inflated prize purse once everything is tabulated. Getting underway at 5pm is Event #35, $1,500 Seven Card Stud.