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2009 WSOP: One-Two Punch Lands Bracelet for Austin in PLO #35

Richard Austin

Day 3 of Event 35, $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, started with 11 players looking to make the final table and take down the bracelet. Sorel Mizzi began the day as the chip leader at 969,000, but both Rifat Palevic and Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy were right behind him. Only seven hours were needed to crown the champion, and after a dramatic double-elimination in the final hand, Richard Austin walked away with the bracelet.

Jeppe Nielsen was the first player knocked out on Day 3. Nielsen raised to 70,000 preflop and Cliff Josephy reraised to 200,000. Nielsen made the call and turned over {a-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{2-Spades}. Josephy held {a-Diamonds}{a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. Nielsen failed to connect with the board and finished in 11th place for a $32,330 payday. Isaac Baron was the final table bubble boy. Baron raised preflop to 70,000 and Richard Austin re-potted to 240,000. Austin called all in and was ahead with {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades}{9-Clubs}{6-Spades} to Baron’s {a-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}. The flop fell {k-Hearts}{q-Spades}{4-Hearts} to give Austin a set of kings and Baron both a wrap draw and flush draw. The turn {8-Diamonds} failed to improve Baron and the {q-Clubs} on the river gave Austin a full house, sending Baron home in tenth place. Baron took home $32,330 for his strong effort.

Cliff Josephy took the chip lead into the final table but Rifat Palevic was less than 40,000 behind. The railbirds were in force for this final table, but a couple of players had high-profile sweaters in the stands. Gary Benson and Sam Khouiss turned out to support Van Marcus, and Maria “Maridu” Mayrinck was in the stands to follow the action. The seat assignments and chip counts at the start of the final table were as follows:

Seat 1: Felipe Ramos (452,000)
Seat 2: Cliff Josephy (1,027,000)
Seat 3: Richard Austin (563,000)
Seat 4: Rifat Palevic (989,000)
Seat 5: Sorel Mizzi (869,000)
Seat 6: Dan Hindin (282,000)
Seat 7: Van Marcus (544,000)
Seat 8: Samuel Ngai (182,000)
Seat 10: Peter Jetten (430,000)

Samuel Ngai entered the final table as the short stack and was the first to exit. Van Marcus potted preflop and Ngai re-potted to put himself all in. Marcus made the call holding {a-Hearts}{a-Spades}{7-Clubs}{6-Hearts}. Ngai held {k-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} and needed help. Ngai’s situation improved on the flop of {j-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{2-Clubs} when he picked up a gutshot draw. The turn {j-Diamonds} helped neither player and the river {j-Clubs} gave both players a full house, but Marcus won with jacks full of aces. Samuel Ngai headed to the rail in ninth place, good for $43,539.

Peter Jetten fell next, eliminated at the hands of Richard Austin. At the turn, the board read {k-Spades}{8-Clubs}{5-Spades}{10-Diamonds} and Jetten bet out 100,000. Richard Austin countered with a raise to 350,000. Jetten then moved all in and was called. Jetten held {a-Spades}{j-Clubs}{10-Spades}{4-Clubs} for a gutshot Broadway draw and the nut-flush draw. Austin flipped over {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{8-Hearts} for a set of tens. The river fell the {9-Hearts} and Jetten finished in eighth place, taking home $48,112.

Cliff Josephy frequently woke up with two aces in his hand during this event. Van Marcus had raised pot preflop and Cliff Josephy re-potted, enough to put Marcus all in. Marcus made the call and found his {k-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} behind to the {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} of Josephy. The flop and turn missed both players, leaving Marcus needing a river king to avoid elimination. The river flowed Josephy’s way when the {a-Hearts} fell, giving Josephy a set of aces and sending Van Marcus home in eighth place. Marcus took home $55,687 for his final table run.

Sorel Mizzi moved into the chip lead after a series of pots. He first took a monster pot off Rifat Palevic with a straight to move up to 1.3 million in chips. He steadily chipped up to 1.8 million. He then moved up to 2.1 million after eliminating Felipe Ramos in sixth place. Ramos moved all in over the top of a preflop raise from Mizzi. Ramos was ahead with {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} to Mizzi’s {a-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{9-Clubs}. The flop of {2-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{4-Spades} gave Ramos a flush draw and left Mizzi needing runner-runner straight cards to win. The turn fell the {8-Hearts} to give Mizzi a wrap draw and the river was the {j-Hearts} to complete the runner-runner miracle for Mizzi. Felipe Ramos took home $67,663 for his strong finish.

Rifat Palevic hovered around second in chips for most of this event, but after losing a huge pot to Sorel Mizzi, he was never able to rebound. The last of his chips went in preflop against Mizzi. Palevic held {a-Spades}{8-Spades}{9-Clubs}{2-Hearts} and found himself behind to the {a-Hearts}{q-Spades}{3-Hearts}{q-Diamonds} of Mizzi. By the river, both players held aces up, but Mizzi held aces and threes to the aces and deuces of Palevic. Rifat Palevic finished in fifth place for $86,516. Dan Hindin was eliminated on the very next hand after Richard Austin put him all in preflop. Austin was ahead with {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} against the {k-Clubs}{k-Hearts}{q-Clubs}{7-Hearts} of Hindin. Hindin flopped a pair of queens and rivered queens and sevens, but a pair of sixes on the board gave Austin aces up and the win. Dan Hindin hit the rail in fourth place, taking home $116,748.

Mizzi’s chip lead evaporated at the hands of both Richard Austin and Cliff Josephy. Mizzi was not involved in any huge pots, but his two opponents steadily chipped away at his stack, until Austin moved into the lead with 2.5 million. Each of the three remaining players traded pots back and forth until one of the more unlikely developments in WSOP history occurred when a double-elimination on the final hand decided the bracelet winner.

Both Richard Austin and Sorel Mizzi limped preflop and Cliff Josephy raised to 150,000 from the big blind. Austin made the call and Mizzi re-potted to 750,000. Josephy then moved in for 945,000 total. Austin tanked for about a minute before making the call. Mizzi wanted to raise again, but was unable to since Josephy did not make a raise of at least half the pot. Mizzi called and the three players saw the flop of {k-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}.

Mizzi then shoved the rest of his chips into the middle for 680,000 and Austin made the call. Mizzi held {a-Spades}{a-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} for a pair of aces. Josephy had {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{k-Spades}{8-Diamonds} for top set. Austin tabled {q-Hearts}{j-Spades}{8-Clubs}{5-Clubs} for a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. The turn fell the {8-Spades} and Josephy stayed in the lead, looking primed for a triple-up. But the river was the {7-Clubs} to complete the flush for Austin, eliminating both Josephy and Mizzi in one fell swoop. Cliff Josephy finished in third place for $166,771, while Sorel Mizzi finished in second place for $253,048.

In one of the more dramatic hands in WSOP history, Richard Austin took down the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha bracelet and $409,484 in first-place prize money. Austin entered the day around the middle of the pack and kept himself out of harm’s way until he found his spots to take the chip lead. Omaha is a game of big cards and big draws, and Austin rode one big draw all the way to the bracelet. Congratulations to Richard Austin, Event #35 Champion.

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