World Series of Poker Europe

2008 WSOP Event #6, $1,500 Omaha Hi/Low, Day 2: Luu Heads Final

2008 WSOP Event #6, $1,500 Omaha Hi/Low, Day 2: Luu Heads Final 0001

205 players returned to the Rio for Event #6 of the 2008 World Series of Poker, $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo. With the aggressive Thang Luu leading the pack, the field thinned down to a final table in a very long day of play before the final nine weary players bagged their chips and headed to bed with dreams of a WSOP bracelet dancing in their heads. James Van Alstyne led a Day 2 field featuring such notable players as Perry Friedman, Bryan Devonshire, Rolf Slotboom, Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler, Allyn Shulman and Linda Johnson.

It didn't take long for the field to thin to the money bubble, as players such as Allie Prescott and Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke headed to the rail before the payouts began at 81st place. Another notable player from Day 2 was John Parker, who missed the money in the event, but logged a win nonetheless in his first WSOP appearance. Parker became one of only a handful of legally blind players to participate in the World Series of Poker in Event #6. Parker, who suffers from severe bilateral optic neuritis, made it through more than 700 runners before exiting just before the money bubble.

After the typical tightening of play around the bubble, Nick Polydoros became the bubble boy when he busted in 82nd place. He found himself all in from the big blind and got action from Spencer Lawrence. Polydoros tabled {k-Spades}{k-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{6-Clubs} to Lawrence's {a-Clubs}{4-Spades}{10-Spades}{10-Diamonds}, and busted when Lawrence hit his flush on the turn. The final board read {q-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{3-Spades}{9-Spades}{7-Clubs}, and the bubble was burst.

Rolf Slotboom went to the rail almost immediately after the bubble burst, and picked up $2,728 for 80th place. Other notable eliminations soon after the bubble included Robert Mizrachi, Perry Friedman and Allen Kessler. Kessler pushed all in with {a-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} and was called by Bob Mangino, with {10-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{j-Clubs}. The board ran out {9-Diamonds}{q-Spades}{9-Clubs}{k-Spades}{2-Hearts}, and Mangino picked up a straight on the turn to bust Kessler.

Allyn Shulman moved the last of her chips in holding {k-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{9-Spades}{6-Diamonds} on a flop of {k-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}, but ran into Mallory Smith's flopped full house as he tabled {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}{8-Hearts}{q-Spades}. The {7-Diamonds} turn was no help, and when the {8-Spades} landed on the river, Shulman was eliminated in 26th place ($6,367). She was followed to the rail by Linda Johnson, as the "First Lady of Poker" was eliminated in 25th place.

With 19 players remaining as play neared the 4:00 AM mark, a vote was taken on whether to suspend play for the night or play down to the final table as originally planned. With 10 votes for playing on, the weary competitors decided to soldier on to the final table and their shot at the bracelet. As the limits rose and the stacks shrank, many players were left with less than ten big bets in their stack, and the pace of elimination picked up as dawn approached.

Ben Johnson headed to the rail in 19th place ($6,367) when Craig Sabel turned a full house on a board of {8-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{k-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. John Shirk busted in 18th not long after when Chris Falconer rivered a 6-high straight on a board of {5-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{q-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{6-Spades}. Falconer's {3-Clubs}{4-Spades}{a-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} outran Shirk's {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}, and Shirk headed to the cage to pick up $8,300. Harold Heckethorn (17th), Mallory Smith (16th) and John Lucas (15th) all fell in short order as the big stacks picked off the shorter stacks on the way to the final table.

Shirley Graham was the last woman remaining in the event, but exited in 14th ($11,143). Graham raised all in preflop from the button and found three callers to a flop of {7-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}. All four players checked around, and the {j-Spades} came on the turn. Three players stuck around for the {k-Diamonds} on the river, and George Guzman tabled {a-Diamonds}{a-Clubs}{q-Spades}{5-Clubs} for the nut straight. Graham showed {a-Spades}{2-Hearts} for the busted nut-low draw and mucked the other two cards as she headed to the rail.

After Wayne Kepfer busted in 13th place ($11,143), proud new papa Jac Arama headed to the rail in 12th ($13,985). Arama and Scott Clements were two of five players to see the flop of {7-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Arama led out and found three callers to see the {8-Clubs} turn. Arama moved the last of his chips in and was again called in three spots. The {a-Spades} came down on the river, and Clements led out. Everyone folded and Clements showed down {a-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{6-Spades}{3-Spades} for the wheel and the scoop as Arama headed to the rail.

As the final table neared, Thang Luu ramped up his aggression to take advantage of the short stacks, taking out Jose Razo Cabrera in the process. With {j-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{j-Spades}{k-Hearts}, Cabrera got all his chips in against Luu's {2-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. The board brought {9-Spades}{2-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{a-Clubs}, and Cabrera busted in 11th ($13,985) place as Luu moved one step closer to the final table.

Shortly after 6 AM, Mark Gregorich got the last of his chips in for the final time. Gregorich, who had nursed his short stack through several all-in situations, called Greg Jamison's bet on a board of {3-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}. Gregorich tabled {a-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds} for a pair of threes and a 7-5-4-3-A low, but Jamison's {2-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} gave him a straight to the six and a 6-5-4-3-2 for the low. The river was a blank and Jamison scooped the pot, sending Gregorich to the rail in 10th place ($13,985) and setting the stage for the final table.

After a marathon Day 2, the final nine chip stacks looked like this:

Thang Luu 560,000

Greg Jamison 333,000

Chris Falconer 331,000

Scott Clements 315,000

Mark Wilds 226,000

Spencer Lawrence 226,000

George Guzman 196,000

Craig Sabel 160,000

James Pritchard 155,000

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