Seneca Summer Slam

2009 WSOP: Serock, Parker Lead #19 NLHE 6-Handed

Joe Serock

135 players returned to the felt for Day 2 of Event #19, Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em at the World Series of Poker, just 27 spots shy of the money bubble. Brett Switzer came into the day as the chip leader on a stack of 183,000. As with most Day 2's at this year’s WSOP, the plan was to play down to a final table and as with other events, that goal was not quite reached. By the time action was halted, just 11 players remained for the not-quite-final table, with Joe Serock and Brock “t soprano” Parker way out in front as the only players to crack the million-chip mark. Serock tops the leaderboard with 1,754,000, while Parker – who just recently picked up a gold bracelet in Event #14 – is close behind with 1,603,000.

The money bubble would be popped at 108 players, so early action was cautious. One short stack who was not intimidated by the bubble was Erick Lindgren, who pushed all in three hands in a row to chip himself back up to 16,800. The bubble didn’t take long to pop, as Taylor Douglas earned the dubious distinction of bubble boy, putting the last of his chips in with pocket eights only to run into a set of aces.

Pocket eights didn’t work out so well for Marco Traniello, either, as his {8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds} fell to Lindgren’s {10-Spades}{9-Clubs} when the board filled out {2-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{J-Spades} to give E-Dog a straight. Nasr El Nasr, who began the day second in chips, soon followed Traniello out the door when his pocket aces got cracked by the {7-Hearts}{5-Hearts} of Brain Meinders after two hearts flopped and a third heart hit the river. Tony Counsineau and Johannes Strassmann soon followed in their wake, while Howard Lederer and Erick Lindgren both managed double-ups. Lindgren seemed destined to give back most of his new chips when he ran pocket kings into the pocket aces of another player. But Lindgren spiked a king on the turn, bringing his once-diminutive stack up to a healthy 135,000.

Shaun Deeb made his exit from the tournament just after the dinner break when his {J-Spades}{J-Diamonds} couldn’t improve against the {Q-Spades}{Q-Diamonds} of Brock Parker. Parker soon claimed another victim when Jeff Garza pushed all in with {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades} and Parker made the call with a pair of red kings. The {K-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{3-Spades} flop left Garza drawing painfully thin, and when the turn and river bricked out, Garza was left looking for the exit as Parker moved into the chip lead with 680,000.

In the meantime, Erick Lindgren’s roller-coaster day continued as he lost more than half his stack when he took pocket nines up against pocket kings. Lindgren surrendered even more chips to Howard Lederer when his {A-Diamonds}{K-Spades} fell to Lederer’s {Q-Clubs}{J-Hearts} on the {K-Clubs}{J-Spades}{J-Clubs}{A-Spades}{5-Hearts} board. Lindgren’s chip count finally hit zero a short while later, knocking him out in 29th place for #11,839, though he did managed to just squeak past Lederer, who exited in 30th place for the same payout.

Blair Hinkle, Eugene Katchalov, Kenna James, and start-of-day chip leader Brett Switzer all exited within the space of a few minutes. Hinkle went out after his pocket fives couldn’t improve against the pocket queens of Joe Serock. Kenna James got his chips in good, shoving with {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} and getting called by then-leader Alex Ivarsson, who tabled {Q-Hearts}{J-Hearts}. But James fell behind on the {9-Clubs}{J-Spades}{4-Clubs} flop and never caught up, departing in 24th place for $14,394.

Joe Serock went on a monster heater, moving into the chip lead before eliminating Stanislav Alekhin in 18th place ($20,117). All the chips went in on the turn of the {2-Spades}{A-Spades}{8-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} board, with Alekhin’s {9-Spades}{9-Hearts} woefully behind the {A-Clubs}{J-Spades} of Serock. No miracle on the river for Alekhin and all his chips went into Serock’s stack, pushing it up to 1.675 million. Serock then sent another player to the rail when he busted Men “The Master” Nguyen in 16th place ($20,117), Serock’s pocket jacks coming out on the right side of a coinflip against Nguyen’s Big Slick.

At about the same time, Brock Parker was surrendering some of his chips to Brian Meinders, after Meinders shoved all in for 99,000 from the cutoff holding {A-Spades}{9-Diamonds}. Parker looked him up with a pair of red sevens and lost the race when the board fell {A-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{9-Hearts}. Motoyuki Mabuchi stepped up the action with a couple of all-in moves. In the first hand, his dominated {Q-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} managed to squeak out a chop on the {Q-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} board. Next, his {A-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} spiked an ace on the river to double him up.

Action slowed down considerably once the field got down to 13. It took over 30 minutes for the next player to get sent home, and the unfortunate bustee was Motoyuki Mabuchi (13th, $20,117). Mabuchi put all his chips at risk with {K-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} and was looked up by Russell Crane holding {A-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. The board missed both players and Crane’s ace-high was enough to end Mabuchi’s tournament.

Brian Meinders was another player who had a volatile day, and he closed out the last hour of Day 2 action with a series of dramatic hands. First, he doubled up when his {A-Hearts}{Q-Spades} held against the {A-Clubs}{7-Clubs} of Alex Ivarsson. Then he gave most of those chips back when Ivarsson’s A-Q flopped trips to best Meinders’ pocket kings. Immediately after that loss, Meinders looked down to find pocket aces and got his money in against James Sudworth holding A-K. The rockets held and Meinders doubled up once more. He closed out the day with 423,000 in chips.

The last player to be eliminated before play was called for the night was Yariv Levi. He moved in with {A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds} and seemed to be in great shape for a double-up when Brock Parker called him with a thoroughly dominated {A-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}. But the {4-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} flop gave Parker a wheel and left Levi drawing thin for a chop. The turn and river fell the {6-Diamonds} and {6-Hearts} and Levi was out in 12th place for a payday of $28,297.

The 11 surviving players return at noon on Wednesday to play down to a champion, with the winner slated to receive $553,745 in prize money to go with the gold bracelet and the title.

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