Another pair of bracelets found worthy homes in Monday's action at the 208 World Series of Poker, concluding a run of several two-bracelet days in a row. But don't think the pace is easing up – in today's action, three bracelets will be awarded.
The first award ceremony on Monday revolved around Duncan "Pumper" Bell, who arrived at the final table of Event #13, $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em, with a big lead,and rode that chip stack to the bracelet ceremony. Bell vanquished several of the final-table challengers, and finally put away Steve Merrifield for the win. Bell collected $666,697 to go along with his new jewelry, while Merrifield settled for $428,949 as the runner-up.
The other bracelet awarded on the day came in Event #14, $10,000 Seven-Card Stud World Championship, where David Oppenheim came to the final with a narrow lead. It wasn't Oppenheim who claimed the gold, however, nor was it Minh Ly or Erik Seidel, two other feared names present at this final. Instead, the relatively unknown Eric Brooks emerged to take the title, then announced he was donating the entire $415,856 winner's check to Decision Education Foundation, a cause dear to Brooks' heart.
A handful of famous women poker players made it into Day 2 of Event #15, $1,000 Ladies No-Limit World Championship, but the biggest remaining names, including Kathy Liebert and Linda Johnson, were banished to the rail during the day's play. Anh Le, the runner-up in this event in '05 to Jennifer Tilly, is the most well-known player at the final. Le and the others, however, will be chasing Svetlana Gromenkova in this final, after Gromenkova surged to the top during Day 2 play.
While the structure in the women's event has translated to relatively few hours at the felt for its final-table participants, the same can't be said for players running deep in Event #16, $2,000 Omaha Hi/Lo Split (8 or Better). Play was adjourned late in the evening with 18 players still alive, guaranteeing another marathon session on Tuesday. The leader atop a tight field here is Soheil Shamseddin, with Ted Forrest, Scott Clements and Ralph Perry all lurking not far behind.
The longest opening day of any event so far this year was turned in by participants in Event #17, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout. Two full ten-handed rounds were played on Monday after the filed reached its 1,000-player cap. This event's final consists of players not as well known on the live scene, though the last of ten spots was wrapped up at roughly 7am Tuesday morning by Canadian online force Kyle "kwob20" Bowker. He'll be joined by nine others in today's battle for the $335,565 first-place payday.
Many of poker's biggest names showed up for the 5pm Monday start of Event #18, the $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball w/ Rebuys event. The action was crazed during the initial rebuy period, as the players chipped in for an average of roughly 3.5 rebuys per, creating a $1,735,020 prize purse from just 85 entrants. Of those, 39 suvrvived into Day 2 play, with Tom 'durrrr' Dwan at the top of the pack. But the rest of the board is star-stuffed, with the top ten alone including Mike Matusow, Chis Ferguson, Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson, who is looking here for a record-tying 11th bracelet.
Tuesday's new events are Event #19, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, which gets underway at noon, and Event #20, $2,000 Limit Hold'em, which occupies the 5pm start slot.