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2009 WSOP, Event 4: Heimiller Heads Stimulus Special Final Table

Dan Heimiller

When the last 50 players in Event #4, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em, returned to the Brasilia Room on Tuesday afternoon for Day 3, the plan was for them to play down to a winner. The final table for this "Stimulus Special" will be the first of 24 final tables scheduled to be streamed over the internet on the ESPN360 broadband service. However, a decision was made to postpone the scheduled final table stream, and after discussion with the remaining players, everybody will return on Wednesday afternoon at 2pm PT to determine a champion, with former WSOP bracelet winner Dan Heimiller leading the way with 4,155,000 in chips.

Day 3 was scheduled to kick off at 1pm on Tuesday, but play was delayed as there were not enough tables available due to the size of the 12pm $1,500 No-Limit Holdem Event #7. When play finally got underway, the action went at its usual breakneck pace. One player who was fortunate on the river early on was Dan Heimiller, who went all in with {9-Diamonds}{8-Spades} on the {9-Hearts}{6-Spades}{7-Spades} flop against Stephen Birkett's {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. The {7-Hearts} on the turn took away some of Heimiller's outs, but the {9-Clubs} on the river was one of them, crippling Birkett.

Another fortunate soul was Larry Sidebotham, who took his {J-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} against all-in player Richard Yelland's {K-Spades}{K-Hearts}. The flop came down ten-high, but the {J-Clubs} on the turn brought Sidebotham out of his seat and his friends climbed over the rail to celebrate with him. The irrelevant {2-Clubs} on the river eliminated Yelland, while earning Sidebotham an official warning for excessive celebration.

The eliminations were still coming at a steady pace as Amanda Baker (33rd), Lee Watkinson (36th), Justin Rollo (39th), and Eric Mizrachi (43rd), all fell by the wayside. Phong Huynh was expecting to join that group when he was down to his 39,000 in chips. However, his next three hands would put him back into contention. Huynh first took his Q-J up against two opponents and made a full house on the turn to more than triple up. The next hand, he cracked a player's pocket aces with Q-10 when he hit trips on the flop to double up. And on the very next hand, he actually had the lead and won a coinflip when his pocket nines held up against A-10 to take Huynh to over 730,000 in just a few short minutes.

The early eliminations slowed eventually, as the average stack would get to over 40 big blinds, creating some creative deep-stack play late in the tournament. Danny Fuhs, who started the day in second place, was able to make a move on chip leader Dan Heimiller. Fuhs made a raise and got three callers. When the flop came down {K-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{2-Spades}, Fuhs led out for 130,000 and only Heimiller came along for the ride. The {8-Hearts} on the turn brought a 275,000 bet from Fuhs and Heimiller made the laydown. Fuhs said, “I'll show the bluff one time” as he turned over {10-Spades}{9-Clubs} and built his stack to 1,500,000 while Heimiller was still on 1,920,000.

The players eventually made their way to the last two tables. Here are a few of the unfortunates who didn't join them: Day 2 chip leader Robert Comegys (19th), Jonathan Aguiar (21st), Brent Roberts (26th), Tom Dobrilovic (28th), and Jack Powell (30th). Phong Huynh would be in the spotlight yet again, after Kevin McColgan made a raise to 80,000 with {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds}. Huynh raised all in for his last 394,000 with {3-Spades}{3-Hearts}, Stephen Ma made the easy call with {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}, and McColgan called for the rest of his chips. Eric Chhor attempted to touch fists with Ma, but Ma refused, worrying that he'd jinx himself. He may want to reconsider that decision in the future. The board ran out jack-high, safe for Ma's pair of aces, until the fateful {3-Diamonds} on the river would eliminate McColgan and triple up Huynh to 1,400,000, leaving the crippled Ma slumping in his chair. Ma was eliminated shortly thereafter, in 15th place.

Jamie Armstrong was feeling the same way after Armstrong pushed all in with his {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades}, dominating James Matz III's {A-Spades}{9-Hearts}. But the {9-Diamonds} on the turn sealed Armstrong's fate as he was eliminated in 16th. Toni Ojala was sent home in 11th place after his {6-Clubs}{6-Spades} lost a race to Dan Heimiller's {A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} when the {Q-Diamonds} hit the flop. Down to ten, the players combined to a ten-player final table, where a discussion amongst the players brought about the decision to return Wednesday to get some rest and reach a conclusion.

Eric Chhor will be able to sleep in a bit longer if he wishes, as he got to be the final table bubble boy. On the {A-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{4-Spades} flop, Chhor and Steve Sung got into a raising battle, with Chhor shoving all in with his final 975,000 in chips. Sung collected his thoughts, and after about a minute's thought, made the call with {A-Spades}{6-Spades}, reverse-dominating Chhor's {A-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds} and leaving him drawing to the three remaining jacks. The knaves didn't arrive, as the {Q-Hearts} turn and {10-Diamonds} river eliminated Chhor and left the remaining players delighted to make the final table.

Here's how the final table will look when they return Wednesday afternoon:

Dan Heimiller - 4,155,000
Steve Sung - 3,395,000
Panayote “Pete” Vilandos - 1,940,000
James Matz III - 1,885,000
Jeff Oakes - 1,680,000
Larry Sidebotham - 1,500,000
Phong Huynh - 1,310,000
Nathan Mullen - 1,210,000
Danny Fuhs - 965,000

PokerNews will be there as well, following all the exciting final table action of this historic final table, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha final table, and the eventual final table of the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud World Championship, making for an extremely busy day at the World Series of Poker on Wednesday!

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