Day 3 of Event #37, $10,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, was one of the longest yet in the 2009 World Series of Poker, finally wrapping up a little after 4:00 a.m. PDT. In the end, the marathon was won by Jeffrey Lisandro, picking up his second bracelet of the year. His first came in Event #16, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, not quite two weeks ago. With this win, Lisandro joins Brock Parker and Phil Ivey in the double-bracelet club for the 2009 WSOP, and pockets $431,656.
The day began at 1:00 p.m. at Level 19 with 12 players left in contention. That dozen was all that remained of the 164 runners who started on Thursday. Lyle Berman was the first to get the boot, only about 20 minutes into play. He earned $33,668 for his 12th-place finish.
Scotty Nguyen — along with Doyle Brunson, one of two former Main Event champions in this star-packed field — was eliminated next in 11th place, with a payday of $33,668. Perry Friedman had bring-in duties, but then folded after Nguyen completed, even though it left Friedman only about 13,000, with limits of 18,000 and 36,000 in Level 20. That fold would earn Friedman more than $8,000 in real-world money by surviving two more hands and into the next payout jump. Nguyen started what would prove to be his last hand with three cards to a six-low, but came up empty on the river, while Lisandro’s trip eights took the pot.
As mentioned, Friedman could last only slightly longer. After posting the 4,000 ante, he had only 5,000 chips left and put them in on third street with the showing. He was up against both Lisandro and Justin “BoostedJ” Smith. The former hung in until the river, but then folded to a final bet from Smith. Smith made trip threes, which bested Friedman’s pair of queens, and he left the arena in tenth place, good for $41,885.
At that point, the remaining nine players consolidated to a single table, though the official final table would not go into the record books until they got down to eight. That took only about 30 minutes of play. Yan Chen completed after Smith’s bring-in, Anthony Rivera raised, Smith folded, Chen reraised, and Rivera called all in.
Chen: / /
Rivera: / /
Chen made a flush and a six-low to take both sides of the pot, and Rivera was eliminated in ninth place, worth $41,885. The players were then moved over to the feature table for live streaming through Bluff magazine’s web site. A standing-room-only crowd gathered to watch, many of whom — judging by the generous applause he received with every pot that went his way — were likely hoping to see living legend Doyle Brunson capture a record-tying 11th WSOP bracelet.
It took another two hours before anybody else was forced out. The reluctant new railbird was Justin Smith (eighth place, $54,896).
Chen: X-X/ / X
Smith: X-X/ 9x/ X
The pot was limped five ways on third street, but Chen's bet with his open tens on fourth chased away everyone except Smith, who made the call. Both players checked fifth street. Chen led out on sixth, with Smith coming along. Chen bet again on seventh, and, after a long think, Smith called all in for his last 24,000. Chen turned up for a rivered queen-high flush. Smith had only a pair of aces, with no qualifying low, sending the entire pot to Chen.
In the ensuing hour, Brunson was crippled by Abe Mosseri. He check-called the latter’s bets all the way to the river with a pair of jacks, losing to Mosseri’s spade flush, neither man making a low. That hand left Texas Dolly short-stacked at 190,000. He then skated for his life through a dramatic series of four all-in hands, surviving each one only by virtue of a chop for half of the pot.
But even the greatest can elude fate for only so long. In an unseen hand, Brunson finally folded on seventh street, ceding the pot to Mosseri, and leaving himself on a stack of only 19,000 chips. With Level 22 limits at 25,000/50,000, it was not even enough for one small bet. To further force his hand, Brunson was assigned the 7,000 bring-in, making a fold almost unthinkable with any cards he was dealt. He did indeed put it all in. Chen joined in, though folded on fourth street to a bet from Farzad Rouhani.
Brunson: K-Q/ 2-4-9-7/ X
Rouhani: A-4/ 4-4-10-10/ X
Rouhani’s full house was already unbeatable by sixth street, and with Brunson having no low draw, the final cards could not change anything. The crowd sent him off in seventh place with warm applause, and the check for $62,234 probably didn’t hurt, either.
After the dinner break, the last six players battled for 90 minutes before another one bit the dust. Abe Mosseri, who had had more chips than anyone else at the start of the day, ended with none. Mike Wattel had the bring-in with the , Frank Mariani completed, Mosseri made it two bets, Wattel folded and Mariani called. Mosseri led out on fourth street and received another call. He bet again on fifth, then three-bet all in after Mariani raised. Mariani called and they turned up their hole cards:
Mosseri had queens, but Mariani was ahead with two pair, nines and sevens. On sixth street Mariani filled up with another nine to cinch the high, but it brought Mosseri the for a low draw, which he would need to stay alive. Another eight on the river, though, didn’t do the job, and Abe Mosseri exited the stage in sixth place for $74,258.
As a change from the snail’s pace of eliminations from the final table, the next player fell just 15 minutes later. Yan Chen had the 10,000-chip bring-in, and, not surprisingly, chose to put all of his last 19,000 into the middle. Farzad Rouhani called. The cards ran out:
Chen: / /
Rouhani: / / X
A mere pair of sixes was all it took to give Rouhani the pot and Chen the voucher for $93,513 for his fifth-place finish.
Frank Mariani went out in fourth place ($124,684) to a one-two punch from Jeff Lisandro right at the end of Level 25. First, the two men traded the betting lead on every street, with Lisandro getting the best of it with aces and nines to Mariani’s kings. That left Mariani with nothing but one 10,000-denomination chip — exactly enough for the next ante. He again made a pair of kings, but lost the high pot to Rouhani’s queens and tens, with Lisandro taking the low with a 7-5.
It was another 90 grueling minutes before the field was narrowed to two. Mike Wattel started with split sevens and check-raised Lisandro all in on fourth street. Lisandro called with four to a low and a gutshot straight draw. He missed both of those targets, but caught runner-runner two pair on the end, while Wattel didn’t improve, sending him home in third place with $176,605.
The heads-up finale got underway at about 12:45 a.m., with Farzad Rouhani holding a small chip lead: 2,860,000 to Jeff Lisandro’s 2,150,000, giving each man at least 13 big bets with limits at 80,000/160,000. Given the split-pot format, that was enough to foreshadow that the two men might be in for a long battle of attrition. Rouhani would hold the chip lead for the first hour and a half. But Lisandro made a comeback, and after he had captured the majority of the chips, Rouhani never drew even again.
Finally, 13 hours after the day began, and about three and a half hours into heads-up play, Lisandro prevailed. Both players seemed to like their hole cards, as they got to four bets on third street. Fourth street was checked, but Lisandro bet fifth and Rouhani made the all-in call.
Rouhani: / /
Lisandro: / /
Lisandro had been ahead from the outset, and when Rouhani couldn’t catch up after the last of the chips were in, he had to settle for second place and its accompanying $266,804.
With this victory, Lisandro, a native of Australia now living in Italy, extends his WSOP record to three gold bracelets (both previous bracelets in seven-card stud events), 11 final tables, 29 cashes, and $2,500,451 in winnings.