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2009 WSOP: Lopez Leads Mixed #47 Final, Friedman Fronts #48 Omaha/8

Perry Friedman

$2,500 Mixed Hold’em Event #47, Day 2 – Lopez Well in Front as Final Table Set

Barry Greenstein did not succumb to the curse that allegedly befalls the chip leader at the end of Day 1 of a World Series of Poker event. Instead, he will be one of nine returning on Friday for the final table of Event #47, $2,500 Mixed Hold’em (a blend of limit and no-limit). However, he did yield the title of chip leader to Karlo Lopez, and will instead have to fight back as one of the short stacks if he is to claim his first bracelet of the year and fourth overall. Other familiar names returning for the final table include Ylon Schwartz and Hasan Habib.

This is officially considered a new event for WSOP 2009, although there was a $5,000 version of the same format last year. It consists of alternating 30-minute segments of limit and no-limit hold’em. Day 1 saw 527 players begin, 67 of whom stuck around for Day 2, hoping to make it into one of the 54 paid spots.

Clark Hamagami came into the day as the field’s third-shortest stack, and took only a few minutes into the first round (no-limit) to find a spot where he wanted to put those chips at risk. He got the chips in before the flop with {Q-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}, but was behind recent bracelet winner Marc Naalden, who had {A-Spades}{J-Clubs}. The board came {A-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}, and Hamagami was eliminated.

Other household names out before the money included Amnon Filippi, Jean-Robert Bellande, and Theo Tran. We had the unusual situation of a triple-elimination on the bubble during hand-for-hand play, so the last two prize slots, worth $4,739 each, were split between Bryan Devonshire, Klein Bach, and Charles Teplitz. That amounted to $3,159 apiece.

Daniel Negreanu picked up some Player of the Year points and $5,757 with his 37th-place finish. He was done in by fellow Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein. All in preflop, Negreanu started out ahead with A-7 to Greenstein’s K-Q, but the dealer gave help to the latter when the board came 10-J-10-Q-8.

Gavin Griffin went out on a bold all-in semi-bluff reraise. The flop was {K-Spades}{10-Spades}{4-Diamonds}. Greenstein bet 25,000 and Griffin pushed for all 99,000 of his chips with {Q-Spades}{2-Spades} for just a naked flush draw. Greenstein called with {K-Hearts}{J-Hearts} for top pair, which was good enough to take the pot when the turn and river fell {4-Hearts} and {6-Clubs}. Griffin earned $8,739 for 24th place.

David Baker got his money in as a nearly 7-to-1 favorite. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough. His {A-Spades}{A-Diamonds} was painfully run down by Matt Woodward’s {A-Clubs}{5-Clubs} when the board came down {8-Spades}{4-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}. Woodward grimaced in acknowledgement of his lucky straight, and Baker took his bad beat to the cashier’s cage for 14th place and $14,714. Mimi Tran lasted only one spot longer. She moved all in before the flop with her last 46,500, but was already badly behind Zachary Humphrey, her {A-Clubs}{J-Spades} to his {A-Spades}{K-Clubs}. She got no help from the community cards of {K-Spades}{Q-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}, and was out in 13th place ($14,714).

It took well over an hour for the field to be narrowed from ten to the final nine. It wasn’t clear if they would make it to an official final table before the 3:00 a.m. curfew, but with ten minutes to go, Lee Vlastaris lost his last battle in a limit round (tenth place, $19,672). Holding {A-Diamonds}{J-Hearts}, he and Karlo Lopez capped the preflop betting. There was a bet and call on the flop of {K-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}. Vlastaris bet 40,000 of his last 43,000 on the {J-Spades} turn, and called Lopez’s trivial raise, only to learn that Lopez had flopped the nuts with pocket kings. Vlastaris could only win with a queen on the river for Broadway, but it wasn’t to be when the {6-Diamonds} came instead.

Other notables in the money but now out of the running include Jeff Madsen, Eli Elezra, Marc Naalden, Shaun Deeb, Andy Bloch, Tommy Hang, Eric Froehlich, Allen Cunningham, Matt Matros, and Jesper Hougaard.

Final-table play will begin Friday at 2:00 p.m. PDT, looking like this:

Karlo Lopez – 941,000
Bahador Ahmadi – 708,000
Matt Woodward – 653,000
Randy Haddox – 555,000
John McGuinness – 406,000
Ylon Schwartz – 286,000
Barry Greenstein – 193,000
Hasan Habib – 114,000
Zachary Humphrey – 99,000

$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo Event #48, Day 1 – Friedman Jumps to Early Lead

Tiltboy Perry Friedman came out on top of the field at the end of Day 1 of Event #48, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, in possession of 144,500 in chips. He is followed by Tommy Vedes (119,300), Barry Craig (114,600), and Brandon Cantu (105,000). Other notables alive and kicking among the 87 slated to start Day 2 include Rodeen Talebi, Noah Boeken, Phil Hellmuth, Ben Roberts, Lee Markholt, Lee Watkinson, Padraig Parkinson, Paul Darden, Aaron Kanter, and, fresh off of his bracelet win earlier in the week, Jerrod Ankenman.

The day began at noon with 762 entrants, an increase from the 720 last year, an event won by Martin Klaeser. Their buy-ins formed a prize pool of $1,040,130, with 72 paid spots, ranging from $2,953 for the first nine in-the-money finishers to $228,867 for the bracelet winner.

As with most other pot-limit events in this year’s WSOP, players were given the equivalent of the buy-in in tournament chips (1,500 here), plus two “add-on” chips, each good for the same amount again. These could be redeemed either immediately or at any time before the end of Level 3, at which time they would be exchanged for the chips automatically. This presents the players with an additional strategic decision as to when to deploy their reserves.

Mike Sexton had an early end to his day. He got his last 800 chips in the pot before the flop, holding {A-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}. He wasn’t in bad shape against his opponent’s {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{7-Spades} — at least not until the flop of {Q-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} gave the other player the nut flush. Sexton would need two running cards to win with a full house or to chop with a low, but the {4-Spades} and {J-Hearts} gave him neither.

Jason Mercier’s draws and top pair must have looked good, with {A-Spades}{6-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{3-Clubs} on the flop of {A-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{J-Clubs}, and he reacted accordingly, getting the last of his money in. His opponent, however, had both the better hand and better draw with {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs}{2-Spades}{3-Diamonds}, and scooped when the turn and river were {8-Spades} and {5-Diamonds}.

Marco Traniello narrowed the number of opponents in the hand from six to one with an all-in bet on the {K-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} flop, while holding top two pair with {K-Spades}{9-Spades}{3-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}. That one opponent, though, had him in a world of hurt with {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{6-Spades}. There was a glimmer of hope for the low half of the pot when the turn fell {7-Spades}, but the river {2-Clubs} instead gave Traniello a worthless third pair, and his day was done.

“Minneapolis” Jim Meehan exited late in the day. He pushed all in on the flop of {K-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{5-Hearts} and was instantly called by the only other player in the hand, who had flopped a full house with {K-Clubs}{K-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{3-Spades}. Meehan’s {A-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{J-Hearts}{J-Clubs} was drawing nearly dead, and the {2-Hearts} and {9-Diamonds} on the turn and river sealed the deal.

Others taking their leave during the day included Marcel Luske, Mel Judah, Chip Jett, Tom Franklin, Mark Seif, Brett Jungblut, Kathy Liebert, Thang Luu, Nenad Medic, Clonie Gowen, Berry Johnston, Roland de Wolfe, Allen Cunningham, Terrence Chan, Tom Schneider, Victor Ramdin, David Williams, Layne Flack, Michael Mizrachi, Katja Thater, Robert Williamson III, Men Nguyen, Toto Leonidas, Chris Ferguson, Jimmy Fricke, Mickey Appleman, and this year’s triple-bracelet winner Jeffrey Lisandro.

Day 2 will commence at 2:00 p.m. PDT, and, as usual, play either to a final table or until 3:00 a.m, whichever comes first.

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