The first respite in what had been an unrelenting early WSOP schedule brought a Sunday where action occurred in only four events, with only one bracelet being awarded. Sunday was far some sedate, however, and the day's bracelet chase saw another trend of late being continued: the jewelry went to another European pro, Belgium's Davidi Kitai, who survived a hotly contested final in Event #38, $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em.
Kitai came to the final squarely in the middle of a pack that was led by Germany's Jan Von Halle and that included American Chris Bell, Full Tilt-sponsored players Lee Watkinson and Ben Roberts and other talented players. Kitai picked up a couple of knockouts early on before ending up in a marathon heads-up match against Bell, which lasted nearly five hours before Kitai emerged the winner. Kitai pocketed $244,546 for the win, while Bell's second-place effort brought him $155,806.
Event #39, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, saw a final table reached not long before dawn, the 2,720 initial entrants finally pared down to nine after two grueling days of play. The Monday final table will be headed by '05 bracelet winner Thom Werthmann, who amassed 1.6 million in chips; other players over the million-chip mark entering the final are Thanhdat Tran, Curtis Early and David Woo.
Two more events also got underway on Sunday. Noon brought the start of Event #40, $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw. This deuce-to-seven lowball event was sprinkled with a number of big names, one of whom, Greg Raymer, finished the day in a strong fourth spot among 30 players still in the hunt. Raymer trailed Shun Uchida, Gioi Luong and Raymong Davis at the top of the pack, with the top ten also including Mike Wattel, Chris Vitch, Robert Mizrachi, and recent bracelet winner Jose Luis Velador. They'll set their final-table lineup today.
Event #41, $1,500 Mixed Hold'em, began at 5pm. This event alternates 30-minute periods of fixed-limit and no-limit hold'em play, and worked down to 98 survivors by night's end from an initial field of 731. Jonathan Tamayo held the overnight lead in the event, ahead of Ricky Sanders, with Alexander Borteh, a 2007 bracelet winner, also in the top ten.
Monday brings the start of another long-running tradition at the WSOP. It's the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit World Championship, with an age-50 minimum for its entrants. Nearly 1,900 entrants joined the fun last year and another large field is on hand this time around.