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2009 WSOP: PLO #40, Schwartz Fronts Final 25

Noah Schwartz

Day 2 of Event #40, $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha, started with 116 players looking to reach one of the 27 paid spots and eventually the final table. Noah Schwartz, Tony G, Tom McEvoy, Van Marcus, Josh Arieh, Barry Greenstein, Erik Seidel, and Markus Golser were among those still left in the stacked field. A couple of players took their turns as chip leader, but Noah Schwartz surged at the end of the day to enter Day 3 with a commanding chip lead on a stack of 1.22 million.

Barry Greenstein began the day by doubling up through Jonas Entin. On the flop of {9-Hearts}{4-Spades}{5-Spades}, Greenstein called all in holding {4-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{A-Clubs}{K-Clubs} for bottom set. Entin held {9-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{6-Spades} for a straight-flush draw and a wrap. The turn fell the {5-Hearts} to give Greenstein a full house and leave Entin with two outs. The river {A-Diamonds} doubled Greenstein up to 290,000 and left Entin crippled.

Several big names were eliminated early on. Vanessa Selbst was ousted when her all-in bluff was snapped off. Selbst was unable to catch anything and fell to a single pair of jacks. Hoyt Corkins had David Benefield’s number in this event. He first doubled through Benefield, leaving him with in dire shape with just 28,000. A few pots later, Corkins finished the job, sending Benefield to the rail with trip deuces to move up to 80,000.

Freddy Deeb was all in with two pair and a straight draw against the flush draw of another opponent. His flush came in and Deeb took his leave. Adam Junglen fell in a set-over-set confrontation with Howard Lederer. Junglen flopped a set of sixes and put all of his money in, but Lederer flopped a set of kings. Junglen had redraw outs to a straight, but failed to hit them. After Junglen’s elimination, Lederer moved up to 225,000 in chips.

Other players made moves to pick up chips early. Vitaly Lunkin chipped up to 130,000 after eliminating a player with a flush. Erick Lindgren moved up to 165,000 after crippling Billy “The Croc” Argyros. On a board with all spades, Lindgren held two baby spades in his hand to leave Argyros with only 24,000 in chips. Hoyt Corkins’ newfound chips from David Benefield did not last long. Corkins put them at risk against Ernst Schmejkal with {Q-Clubs}{J-Clubs}{10-Spades}{9-Spades}. Schmejkal held {A-Diamonds}{A-Spades}{K-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. Corkins flopped a pair and turned a flush draw, but was unable to complete it. Corkins’ elimination moved Schmejkal up to 214,000.

There was a bit of controversy in this event after the dinner break. An error was made during the color-up at dinner that resulted in two players returning from their meals to erroneous stacks. In one case, the gray 100-denomination chips were colored up improperly. In the other case, two stacks of orange chips were improperly paid by four pink 5,000-denomination chips. The latter player had a 20,000 chip difference. The floor staff went to security footage and resolved the issue, but not before a big uproar from the players. Erik Seidel even joked that the tournament was tilted.

Ferit Gabriellson took the chip lead after the dinner break, eliminating Steve Zolotow after turning a full house to move up to 695,000 in chips. Gabriellson later approached the million-chip threshold after eliminating Hans-Ari Varsi. Nathan Doudney, Gabriellson, and Varsi all saw the flop of {4-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. Varsi bet out and only Gabriellson made the call. The {6-Diamonds} fell on the turn and Gabriellson bet out 40,000. Varsi potted to 180,000 and Gabriellson tanked for a few minutes. Finally, Gabriellson moved all in and was called. Gabriellson held {10-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{3-Hearts} for top pair, a heart flush draw, and a double-gutshot draw. Varsi held {Q-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} for a straight and a diamond flush draw. The {Q-Hearts} fell on the river to complete Gabriellson’s flush and eliminate Varsi. Gabriellson extended his chip lead to 915,000 after the pot.

Noah Schwartz improved his chips position at the expense of Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies. First, on the board of {Q-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}, Schwartz bet 70,000 into a 90,000 pot. Sahamies made the call and Schwartz showed {Q-Hearts}{Q-Spades} with his two other cards for quads. After the pot, Schwartz moved up to 475,000 in chips. Next, a raising war occurred preflop that resulted in Sahamies being all in to Schwartz. Sahamies started in the lead with {K-Clubs}{K-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} against the {A-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{8-Spades}{5-Spades} of Schwartz. The flop fell {7-Spades}{6-Hearts}{5-Hearts} to give Schwartz a straight draw. The turn fell the {4-Spades} to complete Schwartz’s straight, but Sahamies could win the pot if a nine hit the river. The {J-Diamonds} fell on the river to eliminate Sahamies and move Schwartz up to 795,000 in chips.

As the money bubble approached, the chip lead went to Noah Schwartz. Edward Ochana called all in at the turn with the board reading {A-Spades}{10-Spades}{3-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Ochana held {A-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{J-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} for top two pair. Schwartz held {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} for a set of aces and Ochana was drawing dead. Schwartz climbed to 1.08 million with the pot. Nam Le entered Day 2 with a respectable stack but split his time between this event and Day 2 of Event #39. As a result, much of his stack was blinded off. Play reached hand-for-hand with Le holding just 50,000 in chips. He returned and put his stack at risk against Stefan Mattsson. Le held {K-Spades}{10-Spades}{9-Spades}{6-Clubs} and Mattsson held {A-Hearts}{A-Spades}{8-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Le picked up a straight draw at the turn, but the river failed to complete the straight. As a result, Nam Le became the event’s bubble boy.

Erick Lindgren and Nenad Medic were the first two players eliminated in the money. Lindgren was all in with two pair and a wrap against Josh Arieh, who held a set of aces. Arieh made a full house by the river to send Lindgren out in 27th. Jonas Entin was all in with a flush draw and gutshot straight draw against Robin Keston’s pair of aces and wheel draw. Keston made aces up by the river to knock out Entin. Howard Lederer managed a double-up at the end of the day through Chau Giang. On the {K-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{4-Clubs} flop, Lederer raised all in against Giang and was called. Lederer held {A-Clubs}{A-Spades}{9-Spades}{8-Clubs} against the {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}. The turn and river both fell sixes to move Lederer up to 132,000.

Play was suspended at 3 a.m. with 25 players remaining. Noah Schwartz finished Day 2 with a monster chip lead, the only player over the million-mark with 1,220,000, almost twice as much as his next-nearest rival. Markus Golser and Robin Keston are next in line with 621,000 and 606,000 respectively. Other players still in the hunt are Nathan Doudney, Barry Greenstein, Josh Arieh, Howard Lederer, Van Marcus, and Chau Giang.

Play will resume at 1 p.m. Monday and will continue until the bracelet has been awarded. Stay tuned to as another World Champion is crowned.

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