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2009 WSOP, Event 5: Iacofano Leads $1,500 PLO Final

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Event #5 of the 2009 World Series of Poker, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, kicked off Tuesday afternoon with 81 players returning to take a shot at the final table. Jason Mercier started the day as the commanding chip leader with 227,300 in chips. Since the money bubble had been burst at the close of Day 1, action on Day 2 started out fast and furious as the short stacks tried to build up their chips to make a deep run. By the time the final table was set, Kevin Iacofano had vaulted into the chip lead with 770,000.

Robert Mizrachi, Matt Stout, and Alexander Kostritsyn were all eliminated early on Day 2. Mizrachi shoved all in with {A-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{J-Clubs} and was called by Jesse Rios who was holding {K-Spades}{K-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{2-Hearts}. Rios’ kings held and Mizrachi was eliminated. Stout was bounced from the tournament when he moved in with {J-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{8-Clubs} against the {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}{5-Diamonds} of Alex Jalali and the board came down {10-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{2-Spades}{10-Spades}. Alexander Kostritsyn was knocked out after running into a full house belonging to Dario Alioto.

Josh Arieh already holds a bracelet in pot-limit Omaha and was looking for another in this event. But his quest for his second PLO bracelet came to an end at the hands of Steven Burkholder. On the flop of {Q-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{6-Clubs}, Arieh bet out 11,000 and Burkholder raised enough to put Arieh all in. Arieh made the call with {K-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} for two pair against Burkholder’s {10-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{8-Spades}{5-Hearts} for middle pair and a flush draw. The turn fell the {7-Hearts}, completing Burkholder’s flush and leaving Arieh with four outs to stay alive. The river {9-Diamonds} sealed Arieh’s fate and he will have to wait for another chance to win his next Omaha bracelet.

At one point during Day 2, Dario Alioto was chip leader of this event. But tides can turn in an instant in poker, and Alioto was at risk for his tournament life as we approached the final table bubble. On the turn, the board was {J-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{2-Diamonds}, Jason Mercier bet out 40,000, and Alioto responded by moving all in for 170,000. Mercier made the call, showing {Q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{7-Clubs} for a flush draw and a wrap. Alioto showed {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{4-Diamonds} for a pair, a higher flush draw, and gutshot straight draw. The river {10-Spades} missed both players and Alioto doubled up to 350,000. Jason Mercier, who was the chip leader going into Day 2, dropped to 400,000.

Alex Michaels would be the final table bubble boy for this event. Michaels was set all in preflop by Chris Biondino, with Micheals holding {A-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}{J-Hearts}{7-Hearts} to Biondino’s {K-Spades}{10-Spades}{8-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}. The flop fell {J-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{9-Spades} to give Biondino a jack-high straight, but Michaels had a Broadway redraw. But Michaels did not make it to Broadway as the board blanked out baby cards and the final table was officially set.

Kevin Iacofano heads into the final table as chip leader with 770,000 in chips; Jonathan Tare is his closest competitor with 639,000. Below are the final table seat assignments and starting chip counts. An Tran’s count is unofficial as he did not report at the end of Day 2. The final table of this event will kick off at 2 p.m. PDT.

Seat 1 - An Tran (435,100)
Seat 2 - Jason Mercier (384,400)
Seat 3 - Chris Biondino (182,000)
Seat 4 - Matt Giannetti (311,000)
Seat 5 - Kevin Iacofano (770,000)
Seat 6 - Jonathan Tare (639,000)
Seat 7 - Dario Alioto (315,000)
Seat 8 - Victa Park (341,000)
Seat 9 - Steven Burkholder (263,000)

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