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2009 WSOP: Naalden Heads #38 LHE Final, Charania Tops NLHE #39

Marc Naalden

$2,000 Limit Hold’em Event #38, Day 2 – Naalden Holds Monster Lead Going into Final Table

The $2,000 Limit Hold'em Event #38 brought a rare sight to this year's World Series of Poker – a final table of nine at the end of Day 2 action. When those players return Sunday afternoon to determine the bracelet winner, Marc Naalden (who earlier this year captured the PokerNews Cup Alpine) will hold a commanding chip lead with 755,000, more than double the next-biggest stack of 323,000 belonging to Danny Qutami.

Play resumed on Saturday afternoon with 126 players remaining, only 45 of whom were destined to make the money. Bracelet winners Ivo Donev, Brock Parker, and Greg Mueller were among those eliminated in early action. Alex Keating, who started the day with just over 20,000, went on a rush to take the chip lead as he moved to 96,000, overtaking David Baker, the Day 1 chip leader. Phil Hellmuth went on a similar rush, catching up on the river on three separate occasions to move into contention with 55,000 in chips.

As the dinner break approached, 49 players still remained, with Rep Porter in the lead with 138,000 in chips. Simen Sagstuen, who started the day third in chips, finished in 47th place, as Daniel Kraus would be the unfortunate bubble boy in 46th place, leaving the surviving players happy to make the money. Soheil Shamseddin squeaked into the money with just 500 in chips left. He outlasted one more player to finish 44th, good for $3,953.

With 36 players remaining, Marc Naalden moved into the lead with 211,000 in chips, followed by Alex Keating with 190,000. The next few hands sent Alex Kravchenko (35th) and Diego Cordovez (36th) to the payout desk, each collecting $4,902. The number of players continued to dwindle, as Daniel Negreanu finished 26th ($6,169). Phil Hellmuth fell to 20,000 after he got into a confrontation with Alex Keating. The two of them were involved in a war of words for an unknown reason, which left Keating to yell “I can’t take any more of this!” repeatedly as he challenged Hellmuth to a heads-up match. Rafe Furst's elimination in 19th ($6,169) meant the field consolidated to the final two tables.

Mike Thorpe finished 18th ($8,019), while Phil Hellmuth and Alex Keating were involved in another big hand. Hellmuth made a raise under the gun, and when Keating three-bet in late position, Hellmuth called. The flop came down {8-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} as Hellmuth bet, Keating raised, Hellmuth reraised, and Keating made the call. The rest of Hellmuth's chips went into the pot as the {K-Spades} hit the turn. Hellmuth had {10-Clubs}{10-Spades} for a flopped set, with Keating holding {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts} for top pair and the nut flush draw. The {6-Hearts} on the river gave the win to Keating, and Hellmuth stormed from the tournament area in 17th place ($8,019). Henric Strath finished 16th ($8,019), followed shortly thereafter by Anthony Pirone (15th), David Baker (14th) and Yan Li (13th) each good for $10,544.

Ron Burke finished in 13th ($14,156), and Tommy Hang eliminated the last lady standing, Nancy Blaustein, out in 11th ($14,156) when her Q-10 was surpassed by Hang’s J-10 when a jack spiked on the river. With that, the remaining ten players moved to one almost-final table.

Douglas Young was the short stack with just 54,000 in chips with the limits at 8,000/16,000. Young made a raise as Jared O'Dell called. When the flop came down {9-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{8-Spades}, O'Dell check-called a bet from Young, followed by another check-call from O'Dell when the {3-Clubs} came on the turn, as Young had 18,000 in chips remaining. The {10-Spades} on the river brought a bet from O'Dell. Young wondered aloud if O'Dell had made a straight as he agonized over his decision. Eventually, Young made the call, while O'Dell turned over {Q-Spades}{5-Spades} for the rivered flush, leaving Young with only 2,000 in chips.

Young doubled up with pocket treys on the next hand, but when the rest of his chips made up the big blind, his 6-2 ran into Danny Qutami's A-J. Both players made a pair as a jack and a deuce came on the flop, but no further help came for Young as he finished in tenth, pocketing $14,156 as the final table was set with the players in the following positions:

Seat 1: Jared O'Dell — 189,000
Seat 2: Danny Qutami — 323,000
Seat 3: Ian Johns — 113,000
Seat 4: Marc Naalden — 755,000
Seat 5: Tommy Hang — 202,000
Seat 6: Steve Cowley — 322,000
Seat 7: Rep Porter — 287,000
Seat 8: Jameson Painter — 205,000
Seat 9: Alex Keating — 464,000

Play resumes Sunday at 2pm, and PokerNews will be there to cover all the action.

$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Event #39, Day 1 – Charania Jumps Out to Early Lead

Saturday afternoon commenced the fifth $1,500 No-Limit Holdem event of this WSOP with a near capacity field of 2,715 participants seated at the numerous tables in the tournament area to play in Event #39. Bryan Devonshire, Kevin Saul, Jordan Morgan, Young Phan, Allen Kessler, Mark Seif, Roland de Wolfe, and David Pham were some of the famous names spotted in the field. After the conclusion of ten levels, Mohsin Charania of Chicago, Illinois emerged as the chip leader heading into Day 2

Even with a starting stack of 4,500 in chips, players would be leaving the tournament area quickly, as Kristy Gazes, Maria “Maridu” Mayrinck, and Mickey Appleman were among the early departures exiting to get some sun or head off to one of the numerous cash games available. In a hand that could only happen in an event that cost $1,500, the flop of {A-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{5-Hearts} saw PokerNews photographer Felipe Pacheco lead out with a bet of 425. Another player raised to $1,250 while the small blind called. The raiser did something with his hands which caused the cards to stick to them, revealing his cards to the entire table. The floor was immediately called, and the floorperson made a ruling that the raiser's hand was live, but had to be played face-up. The player turned over {5-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} for a flopped set of fives, as Pacheco immediately folded. The small blind would check-call a bet of 1,200 when the {10-Clubs} came on the turn, and both players checked the river as the sticky-fingered player took down the hand with his set.

The dinner break saw 873 players return for the final four levels of play, with Justin Bonomo the unofficial chip leader at 55,000. Evgeny Serebryakov eclipsed Bonomo when his pocket kings busted a player holding pocket queens to move Serebryakov to 60,000 in chips. Kathy Liebert, Andre Akkari, Shannon Shorr, Alexandre Gomes, Jen Mason, Theo Tran, and Matt Stout were some of the recognizable names who left the tournament room with full stomachs, but bereft of chips as the entire field was now playing in one section of the Amazon Room.

The end of the day saw 327 players remaining, or 12 percent of the field for those who don't want to do the math. Only 270 players will make the money. Mohsin Charania will have the most chips (144,100) when the Day 2 begins at 2pm Sunday. Jan von Halle (101,400), Brandon Cantu (86,600), Mark Newhouse (79,300), Shane Schleger (63,000), Evgeny Serebryakov (59,500), Benjamin Kang (49,500), Alex Jacob (47,300), and Raymond Davis (45,100) are some of the familiar faces who’ll also make their return to the poker room for Day 2 with thoughts of making the money and ultimately a bracelet in their sights. PokerNews will be there to follow all the thrilling tournament action.

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