World Series of Poker Europe

2009 WSOP: Filippi Snags Early Lead in #42 Mixed, Iacovone Tops NLHE #39

Amnon Filippi

$2,500 Mixed Event #42, Day 1 – Billirakis Holds Narrow Edge

Event #42 saw another stacked field of poker superstars settle in for the $2,500 Mixed tournament. A field of 412 top pros signed on to take a shot at the eight-game event, which featured a rotation of deuce-to-seven triple draw, limit hold’em, Omaha hi/lo, razz, stud, stud hi/lo, no-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha. At the close of Day 1, Steve Billirakis held a narrow lead over a tightly packed field.

With such an array of games, you would expect to find a list of the world’s top players in the room, and that’s exactly what happened on Day 1 as players like Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Daniel Negreanu, Michael Mizrachi, and Carlos Mortensen all came to compete for WSOP gold. Several players showed up looking for their second WSOP bracelets of 2009, including Greg Mueller, James Van Alstyne and Jeffrey Lisandro.

As you might expect, there were very few eliminations in the early rounds, as the deep stacks and mostly-limit formats kept the pots on the small side. It took a couple of passes through the eight games before the bustouts really started to flow, and when they did, one of the first players to head to the rail was Phil Ivey.

Ivey got into a big pot with Victor Ramdin in deuce-to-seven triple draw and found himself crippled when he couldn’t beat Ramdin’s 9-7-5-4-2. Ivey’s last few chips went into the middle on the next hand, and Mike Wattel took him out with a seven-low. Other Day 1 eliminations included Rep Porter, Allen Cunningham, David “Chino” Rheem, and Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth, with 11 WSOP bracelets to his name, prolonged his search for a bracelet in a non-hold’em event when he lost to a big flush in Omaha hi/lo.

Play concluded after eight rounds of the eight-game rotation, with 153 players still in contention. Only 40 of those players are destined to make the cash, which starts at $4,814 and goes all the way up to $241,637 for the eventual champion. Steve Billirakis led the way overnight with 59,275 inm chips, with . Andy Black (58,200), Nick Frangos (54,555), and Thayer Rasmussen (48,425) close behind. Other players who made it through Day 1 with healthy chip counts include Dario Alioto, Jon Turner, Chris Klodnicki, Sorel Mizzi, and J.C. Tran. [Note: An overnight tabulation error led to the incorrect listing of Amnon Filippi as the chip leader.]

Join Pokernews at 2PM local time for all the live updates from Day 2 of Event #42.

$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Event #39, Day 2 – Iacovone Vaults into Lead

While the bust-outs were sluggish on Day 1 of the mixed game, the eliminations flowed like a river on Day 2 of Event #39, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. 327 players returned to the felt from the original 2,715-player field, and with the money bubble set at 270 players, it didn’t take long at all to reach hand-for-hand play. When the action was called to a halt in the early hours of Monday morning, 26 players remained with Michele Iacovone holding the chip lead.

As expected, the tournament took well less than an hour to reach hand-for-hand play, and the bubble popped with two players busting at the same time. Dennis Sargent put his last chips in from the button and got action from Jeff Williams and Tristan Wade. Williams and Wade checked down the {A-Diamonds}{A-Clubs}{10-Spades}{J-Clubs}{2-Spades} board, and Wade’s pair of jacks was enough to eliminate Sargent and his pair of deuces. At the same time on a different table, Tom West jammed with {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs} and got one caller with {J-Hearts}{10-Hearts}. When the final board read {9-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{Q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}, West’s one pair was no good and the bubble was burst.

With the rupture of the bubble came the flood of eliminations, including Grant Hinkle, Justin Bonomo, Matt Matros, and Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri. Barbieri led out on the {10-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{2-Spades} flop, and Jan von Halle made the call. Barbieri led out again on the {6-Diamonds} turn, and once again von Halle smooth-called. The {Q-Clubs} hit the river, and Barbieri moved all in with {2-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} for the flopped set. Van Halle snap-called with {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds} for the nuts as he rivered a gutshot straight draw to send Barbieri packing. Other Day 2 eliminations included Amanda Baker, Adam Levy, and Benjamin Kang.

As the chips flew around the tables, the name at the top of the leaderboard changed almost with every hand. Shawn “sprstoner” Glines took over the top spot for awhile when he busted Chandrasekhar Billavara by flopping top set on the {5-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} board. Then 2006 Ladies Event champ Mary Jones took her turn at the top of the pack before busting just before the end of Day 2. After busting Jones, Ray Foley held the chip lead for a short time before Michele Iacovone grabbed the top spot in the last few hands of the night.

One of the toughest tournament players in the world, Nam Le put on a clinic in live multi-tabling yesterday, playing Day 2 in both this event and Event #40, $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha. Le just missed the money in Event #40, but finished strong in Event #39 after a late surge. Le picked up a big pot late when he got all his chips into the middle in a three-way pot against one live player and a shorter stack who was also all in. Le held the lead going into the flop as his pocket kings were up against {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} and pocket tens. The board of {9-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{J-Clubs}{9-Spades} meant that Le was back in contention, and he finished Day 2 in the middle of the pack.

When action resumes at 2pm Monday, Michele Iacovone will have the most chips with 1,605,200. Ray Foley and Joe Bartholdi are right behind him as the only other players over the million-mark, on stacks of 1,302,000 and 1,040,000 respectively. Join PokerNews at 2PM local time for all the live updates as the 26 survivors play all the way down to a winner.

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