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2009 WSOP: John Monnette Tops Final 17 in Omaha Hi/Lo #18

John Monnette

129 players returned for Day 2 of the $10,000 World Championship Omaha Hi/Lo Event #18, with the type of stacked field that we’ve come to expect from the world championship events. Among the runners still in the bracelet hunt as the day kicked off were Doyle Brunson, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Barry Greenstein, Annie Duke and Chau Giang. When the money bubble burst late in the evening, play wrapped with only 17 survivors, among them emerging Finnish phenom Ville Wahlbeck, who made his third cash of the 2009 Series after racking up his first WSOP victory in Event #12, $10,000 World Championship Mixed. But it was John Monnette who closed out the day at the top of the leaderboard, the only player to make it over the million mark on a stack of 1,141,000. His next-closest competitor is Ben Boyd with 663,000.

After a slow Day 1, the blinds caught up to the split-pot format on Day 2, and the field began to thin rapidly. Among the early eliminations were Mike Sexton, Farzad Bonyadi, and Thang Luu, who was looking to add a third Omaha hi/lo bracelet to his collection. Doyle Brunson headed to the rail early as well, the victim of flopped quads by Matt Savage.

Daniel Negreanu made it through Day 2 largely thanks to a huge pot he scooped in bizarre fashion just before the dinner break. Negreanu saw the flop of {K-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} with Alex Kravchenko, Matt Glantz, and James Van Alstyne. Kravchenko bet out, Negreanu raised, and both Glantz and Van Alstyne called. Kravchenko three-bet, Negreanu four-bet, and Glantz and Van Alstyne both came along for the ride once more. Kravchenko checked the {J-Clubs} turn, and Negreanu bet out for his last few chips. All three opponents called, then all checked around as the river came down the {9-Hearts}. After some hesitation, Van Alstyne tabled ace-high. Negreanu showed {A-Spades}{K-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{2-Spades} for top pair, top kicker, and Kravchenko and Glantz both mucked. Negreanu’s one pair scooped a huge pot, sending him to dinner with a newly-healthy stack.

Not everyone had that kind of good fortune, as the 2008 winner of this event, David Benyamine, busted midway through Day 2. Other notable eliminations included Barry Greenstein, Todd Brunson, Mike Matusow and Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler.

As the evening wore on and the bubble drew near, more and more big names headed to the rail. Johnny “World” Hennigan busted just a few spots out of the money, as did Bill Gazes. Phil Hellmuth fell short in his quest for more WSOP records, as he failed to add to his record for most cashes and most bracelets. Hellmuth’s {A-Hearts}{J-Spades}{J-Clubs}{4-Hearts} was no good against Pat Pezzin’s {A-Spades}{K-Spades}{J-Hearts}{5-Hearts} on the board of {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{5-Spades}. Pezzin didn’t really need to fill up to bust Hellmuth, but he wasn’t complaining, either. Hellmuth later posted to his Twitter feed that he “played too many hands and busted myself out 24th…6 out of money…I feel horrible.”

Chris Bjorin became the bubble boy when he ran into the player of the week, Ville Wahlbeck. Bjorin raised all in preflop, and Wahlbeck called with {A-Clubs}{A-Spades}{5-Spades}{Q-Clubs}. Bjorin was a bit behind with {A-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}, and made a flush on the {8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}{A-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds} board. Unfortunately, the case ace gave Wahlbeck a full house, and Bjorin was done in 19th place, one out of the money.

Play ended for the night with 17 survivors, including Sam Khouiss, Annie Duke, Scott Clements and Wahlbeck. Join PokerNews for all the live updates from the Rio as the final 17 play down to the gold WSOP bracelet.

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