Day 2 of the 2008 WSOP Event #25, the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em World Championship, started with 32 players and played three rounds to get down to the final four. Vanessa Selbst must have liked making the final four in this event last year, because she wasted little time securing her berth this year. The last match of the day lasted over four hours when Lyle Berman finally had to give up his bid for the bracelet when Alec Torelli advanced in the marathon match.
Final Four Matchups:
Vanessa Selbst vs. Alec Torelli
Kenny Tran vs. Jonathan Jaffe
Round 4 Recap
The fourth round determined the sweet sixteen and each player eliminated in the round received $21,657.
Vanessa Selbst was one of the first players to advance to the next round, making quick work of Clifford Cantor. All the money went in on a turn of and Cantor had for a pair and the gutshot straight draw, but Selbst had the overpair with . The river was the and Selbst's aces held.
The 2004 WSOP Championship runner-up, David Williams, also didn't waste any time. Betting escalated on the flop until David Stern was all in. Williams tabled for two pair while Stern flipped over pocket aces. The on the turn left Stern drawing thin. And the on the river had Williams moving on to the next round.
Sammy Farha committed all his chips after catching a piece of a flop, but Roman Paradiso had an overpair with pocket kings, which sent Farha to the rail. Pocket kings, though, couldn't save Aussie Millions champ Alexander Kostritsyn. All the money went in on the flop. His opponent, Gavin Griffin, had for the flush draw and a gutshot to the wheel. The turn changed little, but the king on the river was fortune-reversing. While the king gave Kostritsyn a set, it was the , giving Griffin the winning flush. The kings, however, worked for John Patgorski when Thomas Lutz couldn't catch up with A-J.
Isaac Haxton made a move with K-J, only to discover that Scott Montgomery had him dominated with A-K. The board kept the status quo and Montgomery moved on to the next round. And Evan Sofer got it all in with a flush draw against Jonas Entin's pocket aces. Sofer's flush failed to materialize and Entin advanced. Brandon Adams put Jason Rosenkrantz all in pre-flop. Adams' pocket eights held against Rosenkrantzs' A-7 and Adams moved on.
Andy Black made a short-stacked push with and ran into Michael McNeil's . Mitchell caught an ace on the flop and scored an insurance ace-high flush on the river to advance. Robert Mizrachi moved to the next round when his A-10 held against Jean Moussa's A-7. And brother Michael Mizrachi moved on in much the same way, with his A-K holding against Matt Giannetti's A-6.
Kenny Tran's monster made two pair on a flop against Erick Lindgren's , which was enough to move Tran on to the next round. Newly minted bracelet winner Michael Banducci ended his chase for another, when Emil Patel caught his river flush. The sweet sixteen filled out when Jonathan Jaffe defeated Alex Jacob, Alec Torelli defeated Brian Roberts and Lyle Berman prevailed against David Podgurski.
Round 5 Recap
Round 5 determined the elite eight with players eliminated in the round receiving $36,096. The matchups for Round 5 were:
Vanessa Selbst vs. Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi
Robert Mizrachi vs. Jonas Entin
John Patgorski vs. Gavin Griffin
Michael McNeil vs. Jonathan Jaffe
Alec Torelli vs. Scott Montgomery
David Williams vs. Lyle Berman
Brandon Adams vs. Emil Patel
Roman Paradiso vs. Kenny Tran
Alec Torelli was the first player to advance to the elite eight, eliminating Scott Montgomery in the first two hands of play. Montgomery was crippled in the first hand when Torelli made a flush on the river to best Montgomery's flopped top pair. In the next hand, Montgomery pushed in with K-Q, but failed to overcome Torelli's A-9.
Robert Mizrachi was the next player to become "elite." All the money went in of the flop, where Mizrachi had top pair while Jonas Entin had the bottom. The board delivered another four and ten, filling Mizrachi's boat and eliminating Entin. It wasn't until the river that all the money was committed in the match between Emil Patel and Brandon Adams. Patel had made a seven-high straight on a 7-5-4-3-J board, but Adams advanced after showing down an eight-high straight.
Gavin Griffin became the fourth player to advance after defeating John Patgorski. With a board, all the money went in on the river. Griffin tabled for the boat and Patgorski mucked his cards.
A Mizrachi-Mizrachi elite eight failed to materialize when Michael succumbed to Vanessa Selbst. Mizrachi got the early chip advantage on Selbst, but she battled back to take the lead. Mizrachi got his money in with the best of it, holding Q-5 on a Q-6-3 flop. But Selbst's 9-6 would find a second pair when the river delivered a nine. Kenny Tran didn't wait for the river, he flopped his two pair to eliminate Roman Paradiso. And Jonathan Jaffe defeated Michael McNeil when Jaffe's Q-9 found a straight on the river.
The match between Lyle Berman and David Williams was the longest of the round. After four hours of play, the match was still essentially even. The match lasted so long, in fact, that the tournament staff started the first three matches of the elite eight while Berman and Williams continued to battle on. Berman finally advanced after six hours of play when a short-stacked Williams pushed in with 5-6. Berman promptly made a flush with his and joined Alec Torelli for their elite eight match.
Winners of this round advanced to the final four and players eliminated in the round received $54,144. The matchups among the elite eight were:
Vanessa Selbst vs. Robert Mizrachi
Jonathan Jaffe vs. Gavin Griffin
Kenny Tran vs. Brandon Adams
Lyle Berman vs. Alec Torelli
After this event, Vanessa Selbst has claimed the right to be called the Mizrachis' nemesis. Selbst eliminated Michael in the previous round and would do the same to Robert in this round. All the money went in preflop, with Mizrachi's pocket kings with the advantage over Selbst's A-10. But the flop clearly favored Selbst when it came A-A-9. The rest of the board couldn't salvage Mizrachi's hand.
At one point in their match Gavin Griffin had a commanding lead over Jonathan Jaffe. However, Jaffe got a couple of key double-ups to finally take the lead. All the money then went in on the turn with a board of 6-5-2-J. Jaffe had J-8 for top pair, while Griffin held 4-5 for a lower pair and a gutshot draw. An eight fell on the river to give Jaffe two pair and eliminate Griffin.
Brandon Adams moved all in with A-9 preflop against Kenny Tran's K-J. Adams kept the advantage on a flop of A-K-7, but Tran took the hand and the match when a jack fell on the river, delivering his second pair.
After four hours of play, the last match between Lyle Berman and Alec Torelli was essentially even. With the blinds overtaking them, they finally got it all in; Berman had Q-6 to Torelli's K-5. Torelli prevailed when the final board of the night ran out 4-5-9-4-K.
The $10,000 Heads-Up Championship finally had its final four. Check back with the PokerNews Live Reporting Team on Sunday to see who walks away with the bracelet.