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2009 WSOP: Cantu Tops #48 PLO/8 Final; Mueller, Schneider Advance in Shootout #50

Brandon Cantu

$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo Event #48, Day 2 – Cantu Towers Over Final Nine

Day 2 of Event #48, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, kicked off Friday afternoon with 87 players returning, all looking to make the money and advance to the final table. Perry Friedman began the day as chip leader at 144,500, but a strong field stood between him and the final table. Among the players returning on Day 2 were Aaron Kanter, Lee Markholt, Lee Watkinson, Padraig Parkinson, Paul Darden, and 11-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Brandon Cantu will enter the final table with a commanding chip lead, his mountain of 1,025,000 chips almost twice as big as the next-nearest stack as Cantu eyes his second WSOP bracelet.

Paul Darden and Padraig Parkinson were both eliminated in early action. Parkinson was all in on the {K-Spades}{10-Hearts}{4-Diamonds} flop against Jeremiah DeGreef. Both held a pair of fours for high, but Parkinson had DeGreef outkicked. DeGreef improved to two pair on the {6-Spades} turn while Parkinson picked up the nut-low draw. The {J-Diamonds} river missed both players and DeGreef’s two pair was good enough to scoop as Parkinson fell shy of cashing. Paul Darden and Cung Tran both shoved all in preflop against Phillip Loomis. Tran tabled {A-Diamonds}{A-Spades}{J-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}, Darden held {A-Hearts}{J-Spades}{J-Diamonds}{3-Spades}, and Loomis flipped over {A-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{2-Hearts}. The board fell {6-Spades}{Q-Spades}{10-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} to triple up Tran and send Darden to the rail.

Seventy-two players will be paid from this event. Hand-for-hand play at the bubble lasted a mere ten minutes as Carlo Citrone became the event’s bubble boy when he ran {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades}{4-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} into the {A-Hearts}{K-Spades}{9-Hearts}{9-Clubs} of another opponent. A nine fell on the flop to give Citrone’s opponent a set, and the set held to guarantee the remaining 72 players a payday. Howard “Tahoe” Andrew was among the notable names to be sent packing after the bubble burst. A three-way preflop betting war resulted in Andrew and Brandon Cantu both putting all their chips at risk against Perry Friedman. By the river, Cantu held the nut low, Friedman the nut straight, and Andrew was third-best with a set of aces. The two-time bracelet winner headed home in 52nd place.

Perry Friedman hit the rail in 38th place as Brandon Cantu soared to 525,000 in chips. Friedman moved all in on the flop of {8-Clubs}{2-Spades}{10-Hearts} and Cantu made the call. Friedman held {Q-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{5-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} for an overpair and low draw against Cantu’s {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{6-Spades} for better overpair, gutshot straight draw, and low draw. The turn {J-Spades} and river {8-Diamonds} failed to improve Friedman and his tournament was done. Cantu was the clear chip leader, but then moved up to nearly a million in chips after eliminating Noah Boeken in 27th place and then Jeff King in 24th.

Phil Hellmuth persevered on the short stack for much of the afternoon, but finally fell to Mathieu Jacqmin in 14th place. Hellmuth put his chips at risk preflop and found callers in both Jacqmin and Lee Watkinson. The {5-Spades}{4-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} flop was checked by both players, but Jacqmin bet out 40,000 when the {A-Hearts} fell on the turn. Watkinson got out of the way and Jacqmin flipped over {10-Clubs}{4-Spades}{3-Clubs}{2-Spades} for a turned wheel. Hellmuth held {A-Spades}{10-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{2-Clubs} and needed a three or a heart for a chop. The river fell the {J-Spades} and Hellmuth was out.

Sean Getzwiller became this event’s final table bubble boy. Tommy Vedes raised to 42,000 and Getzwiller moved in from the button. Vedes called and tabled {A-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{2-Spades}. Getzwiller flipped over {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs}{5-Spades}{2-Hearts}. The flop came down {K-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{6-Clubs} to give Getzwiller middle pair, both players a nut low draw, and Vedes a straight draw. The turn {2-Clubs} counterfeited both players’ nut low draws and gave Getzwiller two pair. Vedes still had a draw to the wheel. The river fell the {3-Clubs} to give Vedes a six-high straight with a wheel and Sean Getzwiller headed out in tenth place, good for $15,664.

Brandon Cantu enters the final table with a hefty chip lead, but with the nature of the game, no lead is safe. Both Cantu and Lee Watkinson enter the final table looking to win their second bracelet. The final table will kick off at 2 p.m. PDT Saturday.

Seat 1: Lee Watkinson (412,000)
Seat 2: Steve Jelinek (260,000)
Seat 3: William McMahan (168,000)
Seat 4: Brandon Cantu (1,025,000)
Seat 5: Ted Weinstock (250,000)
Seat 6: Aaron Sias (353,000)
Seat 7: Mathieu Jacqmin (552,000)
Seat 8: Ronnie Hofman (76,000)
Seat 9: Tommy Vedes (334,000)

$1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout Event #50, Day 1 – Binger, Bellande Among Shootout Survivors

Day 1 of Event #50, $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout, also kicked off on Friday afternoon. Most tournament poker is about survival. In the case of shootout events, winning is the only goal. Win one table and you’re in the money. Win the second table, and you’re at the final table. Win the final table, and you’re a WSOP champion. At the end of Day 1 action, 64 winners advanced to Round 2. Among those advancing are Nick Binger, Jean-Robert Bellande, Tom Schneider, Greg “FBT” Mueller, David Plastik, and Humberto Brenes.

This event was capped at 1,000 players, but tournament officials only set up for 64 tables, or a maximum of 640 players. By the end of registration, only 572 players entered the event, allowing most tables to play nine-handed. Among the players who signed on for this event were Cyndy Violette, Eric Froehlich, Sorel Mizzi, Berry Johnston, Michael Binger, Shaun Deeb, Humberto Brenes, Joe Sebok, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Nick Frangos, Men “The Master” Nguyen, and Tom McEvoy.

Bryan “Devo” Devonshire and Michael Mizrachi were among the first big names eliminated. Mizrachi lost most of his chips at the hands of “Minneapolis” Jim Meehan. The Grinder then had to gamble with {10-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} against the {A-Spades}{10-Clubs} of Dylan Linde. The board failed to bring a deuce and Mizrachi hit the rail. Marco Traniello fell to Stefan Rapp. With three spades on the board, Traniello was all in and drawing dead at the turn holding pocket sixes and a flush draw against the turned straight and nut-flush draw of Rapp. Allen Cunningham, J.C. Tran, Tom McEvoy, and Joe Sebok were also among the early exits.

“Crazy Mike” Thorpe was the first player to advance to Day 2. Thorpe had grinded his opponent down to just a couple of big bets when his opponent moved in with {Q-Spades}{5-Clubs}. Thorpe had him dominated with {Q-Clubs}{J-Spades}. Thorpe caught a pair of jacks on the flop and held two pair by the river to advance. Ben Ponzio and Jonathan Dwek both eliminated short-stacked opponents to advance to Day 2. Nick Binger won his table in dramatic fashion. His opponent was all in and dominated with {10-Diamonds}{3-Hearts} against the {A-Spades}{3-Clubs} of Binger. Binger hit aces on both the turn and river to advance.

Jean-Robert Bellande is a step closer to making a final table repeat, having won his first-round match-up to advance. Last year, he finished runner-up to Matt Graham in this event after a marathon match that lasted until 7:30 a.m. David Plastik, Greg “FBT” Mueller, and 2007 Player of the Year Tom Schneider also advanced to Day 2. Robert Campbell had to suck out in order to advance. His opponent was all in with pocket nines against Campbell’s {J-Spades}{4-Diamonds}. Campbell spiked a jack on the turn to move on.

By the time play reached Level 8, 38 matches were still going. Since the majority of tables started with nine players, most tables only had 45,000 in chips total. Level 8 limits were 1,000 and 2,000, leaving 28.5 big bet left in play. As a result of the high limits, all of the remaining matches ended relatively quickly. David Williams and Johnny Neckar were among the players who won their tables toward the end of Day 1 play.

Sixty-four players will return tomorrow. The only way to advance in pay is to make the final table. Among those looking to make tomorrow’s final table are David Williams, Nick Binger, Tom Schneider, Greg Mueller, and Humberto Brenes. Day 2 play will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT and continue until the final table has been reached. Stay tuned to as we bring you all the action from this event and all the remaining events of the 2009 World Series of Poker.

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