Day 16 of the 2011 World Series of Poker saw bracelets awarded in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Event and the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix. The final table was reached in the $5,000 No-Limit Shootout Event, and players in the $1,500 Stud 8 or Better played through the money bubble. Finally, both the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Event and the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship began play.
$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
The final table of the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event started with Juha Vilkki holding a huge chip lead over the rest of the field. His 1.23 million nearly lapped the 667,000 of Rafe Kibrit. However, bracelets aren't awarded based on chip size at the start of the final table, and this final table was ready to battle. David "Doc" Sands was the headliner here, but he began the day as the second-shortest stack.
Vilkki probably wishes he had saved some of his run good for the final table, having been unable to capitalize on his big chip lead. He ultimately fell in fourth place after shoving on the turn with a flush and straight draw against Stephen Wolfe's the bottom set. The board paired on the river to give Wolfe a full house and eliminated Vilkki. David Sands was able to masterfully maneuver his short stack and work his way to a third-place finish.
Heads-up play in this event was between Elie Payan and Rafe Kilbrit. The two had battled through the final table, and each held the chip lead at some point. Going into heads-up, Payan led 3.19 million to 1.63 million. Kilbrit almost pulled even during the match, but Payan pulled away again off of the strength of a runner-runner flush.
Kilbrit had about 1.025 million left in his stack at the beginning of the final hand. After raising to 180,000, Payan made the call and both saw the flop of . Kilbrit potted, Payan re-potted, and Kilbrit called all-in. Kilbrit held for aces only. Payan held for a flush draw. The turn fell the to complete Payan's flush, but now Kilbrit could win if the board paired. The river fell the and Payan was the champion.
Frenchman Elie Payan took the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha bracelet and $292,825.
Another day, another champion. Read more on his win in our blog.
$2,500 Eight-Game Mix
Day 3 of the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix started with 25 players all looking to make the final table and battle for the bracelet. By the time the unofficial final table of nine had been reached, Eric Buchman had built up just over 1 million in chips. John Monnette was his next-closest opponent with 745,000. Adam Geyser was the final table bubble boy when Monnette rivered the nut flush against him in Omaha.
The final table of this event included 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener and this year's 2-7 Lowball Champion, John Juanda. Ultimately, it was the two leaders at the beginning of final table play that battled each other for the bracelet. However, by the time heads-up play began, the script had been flipped and John Monnette led with 2.85 million. Eric Buchman held just 715,000.
Buchman quickly saw his stack knocked down to 203,000 during the Stud round and decided to go to war during Stud 8. Buchman put the last of his chips in on fourth street holding and faced Monnette's . Monnette improved to a pair of jacks on fifth street while Buchman picked up the to give him a straight draw. Sixth street brought a for Buchman, and Monnette picked up a flush draw to go with his pair. On seventh street, Buchman caught a pair, but it was sixes, and the match was over.
John Monnette won the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix for his first WSOP bracelet and $278,144.
For more on this final table, read our live reporting pages.
$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
Round 2 of the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout event started on Wednesday with 40 players. In a change from the typical shootout format, the remaining 40 players were split up into 10 four-handed tables so that the final table of 10 could be reached. Sean Getzwiller will get to play for his second WSOP bracelet on Thursday. In the final hand of his table, Ben Tollerene put the last of his chips in at the river and the board showing . Getzwiller made the call and showed for second pair. Tollerene showed for the nut bluff and was eliminated.
Tom Marchese also advanced to the final table. On a flop of , JP Kelly moved all-in and Marchese called him. Marchese showed pocket sevens for middle set and Kelly showed for the nut-flush draw. The turn improved Kelly to a wheel draw, as well, but the on the river allowed Marchese to advance.
Adam Junglen also advanced to the final table in this event. He will join Getzwiller, Marchese and seven other players on Thursday as they play a single-table sit-n-go for the bracelet. Everyone will be on equal footing, starting with 600,000 in chips each.
Find out how the final table was reached in our live coverage blog.
$1,500 Stud 8 or Better
Day 2 of the $1,500 Stud 8 or Better may have ended without a lot of fanfare were it not for one story. The field started play with 172 players and worked its way through the money bubble. Some of the stronger Stud 8 players finished in the money, such as Dutch Boyd in 52nd, Artie Cobb in 49th, and John Cernuto in 43rd. By the end of the day, however, the story of the tournament was ESPN color commentator Norman Chad.
Chad finished Day 1 in ninth place and continued to chip his way up through the day. Not only did he make the money in this event, he finished Day 2 play fourth in chips with 179,000. Chad only has two live tournament cashes on his poker resume, with one of those in this same event in 2009.
Only 23 players will return on Thursday to play for the bracelet. Cory Zeidman leads the field with 217,500. Mike Sexton, Cyndy Violette, Frank Kassela, Kirill Gerasimov, and Tony Ma are all still alive as well.
This recap is just half of the story. Read our live coverage of the event for more.
$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed
Another 2010 attendance figure was shattered on Wednesday in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event. At the end of registration, 1,378 players had taken their seats. This was a 133 player jump over last year. The field did not disappoint as both the format and the slightly higher buy-in drew in some of poker's best.
Those participating in this action-fest were Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Jennifer Tilly, Faraz Jaka, Gavin Griffin, Michael Mizrachi, Vanessa Rousso, Humberto Brenes, Chino Rheem, Jeffrey Papola, Isaac Haxton, Men Nguyen, Sorel Mizzi, and Lex Veldhuis.
By the end of the day, Tyler Cornell had soared to the chip lead holding 172,600 in chips. Poker's "lovable loser" Jean-Robert Bellande is currently second with 144,700. The field was cut to 189 players on Wednesday, and those players will return on Thursday to play to the money and toward the final table.
To find out more how player survived Day 1, read our blog of the event.
$10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship
The $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship kicked off on Wednesday evening and drew a solid field of 152 runners. Limit Hold'em specialists and other big names were in the field looking to make a run at the title. Some of those names included Justin Bonomo, Jeff Lisandro, Phil Hellmuth, Eli Elezra, Lisa Wagoner, Johnny Chan, Bill Chen, Richard Brodie, Ted Forrest, Michael Mizrachi, Jennifer Harman, Brock Parker and Barry Greenstein.
After Day 1, 111 players still remain. Daniel Negreanu leads the field after Day 1 action with 118,800. Josh Arieh, Shawn Buchanan, Maria Ho, and Barry Greenstein are all at the top of the leaderboard.
Follow all the Day 2 action of this event in our live reporting blog.
Bracelets are scheduled to be awarded in both the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout and the $1,500 Stud 8 or Better on Thursday. The $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed and $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship will play through the money and start their march toward the final table. Last, the next $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Event kicks off at 1200 PDT (1900 GMT) on Thursday, followed by the 10-Game Mix in the evening. The 10-Game Mix will be the first time that Badugi will be dealt in a WSOP tournament.
On Wednesday, Mark "Poker Ho" Kroon joined the PokerNews Podcast to discuss poker in Wisconsin, his relationship with Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke, and of course, UB.
You definitely don't want to miss the PokerNews Podcast, so why don't you subscribe on iTunes.
Video of the Day
On Tuesday, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier finally won his first WSOP bracelet by taking down the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. Lynn Gilmartin spoke with ElkY following his bracelet win. He talked about his victory and revealed that this was his first stud tournament.