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2011 World Series of Poker Day 18: Viox, Kovalchuk, and Idema Win Bracelets

Chris Viox

Day 18 of the 2011 World Series of Poker saw three bracelets awarded. The $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event and the $10-Game Mix event both played through the money and toward the final table. Also, the largest single-day field in the history of live poker assembled in the $1,000 Seniors World Championship. Finally, a solid field of poker elite and degenerates took the felt in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event.

Event #25: $1,500 Stud 8 or Better

Mike Sexton and Chris Viox resumed their heads-up battle for the $1,500 Stud 8 or Better bracelet on Friday. Viox started with around 2 million and Sexton just 640,000. Sexton tried to make a match of it, but he could never gain any traction.

He put his last 500,000 into the pot with buried eights against the split sixes for Viox. On sixth, Sexton picked up and eighty-seven low while Viox picked up an eighty-six low. On seventh street, Viox turned over a deuce for sixes-up and Sexton needed to improve. Sexton turned over the {j-Clubs} and Chris Viox was the champion.

Chris Viox took the $1,500 Stud 8 or Better bracelet and $200,459.

For more about this heads-up battle, check out our live reporting blog.

Event #26: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed

The final day of the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event began with 22 players looking to make the final table. Once the field was trimmed down to the final six, Oleksil Kovalchuk led with 3.97 million and his closest opponent had 2.37 million. British pro Chris Moorman started the final table fourth in chips.

Moorman made a solid showing at the final table, but eventually finished in third place. This left the way for Oleksii Kovalchuk and Ionel Anton to square off in heads-up play. Kovalchuk led 8 million to just 2.3 million to start the match. Anton managed to double-up into the chip lead and pulled out to almost a 2:1 lead before Kovalchuk took down a couple of big pots to regain the lead and pull out to a 5:1 lead.

The final hand saw Anton all-in for around 1.5 million with {a-Clubs}{6-Spades} and Kovalchuk made the easy call with pocket sevens. A flop of {9-Spades}{5-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} gave Kovalchuk a set, but now Anton had a gutshot. The turn fell the {10-Hearts} and river the {10-Diamonds} to fill up Kovalchuk and make Anton our runner-up.

Oleksii Kovalchuk won Event #26 taking home the bracelet and $689,739.

Read more about this final table in our live coverage pages.

Event #27: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship

Only 18 players advanced to Day 3 of the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship. By the time the final table of nine players was reached, Daniel Idema held the chip lead at a strong final table that included Steve Landfish, Justin Smith, Barry Greenstein, Isaac Haxton, Richard Brodie, and Nick Schulman.

Barry Greenstein was looking for his fourth career bracelet in this event and his first in a Hold'em event. He made a strong run at this final table, but ultimately fell in third place when his {q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} fell to the {10-Spades}{5-Spades} of Matthew Gallin when Gallin spiked a five on the river.

At the start of heads-up play, Daniel Idema held a 4:1 chip lead over Matthew Gallin. He held 3.66 million to just 900,000 of Gallin. Gallin was crippled when his pocket eights were outflopped by Idema's {a-Spades}{9-Diamonds}. This left him with 300,000 going into the final hand. In that final hand, Gallin was all-in on a {j-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{3-Hearts} flop holding pocket queens. Idema held {j-Clubs}{3-Clubs} and Gallin needed a queen or the board to pair a seven. The turn {8-Clubs} gave him three more outs, but the river {5-Diamonds} would seal his fate.

Last year, Daniel Idema finished runner-up in this event. This year, he bettered his position by one to take the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship and $378,642.

Find out more about how the champion was crowned in our live coverage of the event.

Event #28: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 2 of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event started with 349 players looking to make the money in this event. Two men were knocked out on the bubble to send everyone into the money. Joe Gualtieri was all-in with kings versus pocket jacks of another player. That player turned a set of jacks to eliminate Gualtieri. William Vincent was the victim of set over set as his set of sixes were trumped by another player's set of seven.

Play was suspended in this event after 10 levels with 28 players remaining. Steven Merrifield leads with just over 1 million in chips. Frederik Jensen and Andy Frankenberger are both in the top five. Two-time bracelet winner Matt Graham also remains, but currently has about half the average stack.

To find out who made the money in this event and more, read our coverage on the event.

Event #29: $2,500 10-Game Mix

A field of 162 players returned for Day 2 action of the $2,500 10-Game Mix. As is customary with these small field events, most of the day was spent trying to get to the money. When the bubble was finally reached, no time was wasted in busting it. Stefan Rapp was the bubble boy but chose not to stick around to recount his ill-fated finish.

Those finishing in the money before the end of Day 2 action were "Miami" John Cernuto in 40th, Cyndy Violette in 38th, Marco Traniello in 34th, Freddy Deeb in 27th, Daniel Alaei in 23rd, and Brandon Adams in 21st. Only 19 players remain to battle for the bracelet on Saturday. Shaun Deeb leads with 321,700. David Benefield, Tad Jurgen, John D'Agostino, and Matt Vengrin all remain in this field.

Find out more about how players advanced to Day 3 of this event in our reporting blog.

Event #30: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship

Day 1 of the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship drew the largest Day 1 field in the history of the World Series of Poker. A field of 3,752 players took the felt on Day 1, shattering the record set last year in the same event by 610 players. Not everyone playing in this event were rank amateurs. Some of the notables in the field included Dennis Phillips, Bruce Buffer, T.J. Cloutier, Thor Hansen, Amarillo Slim Preston, Berry Johnston, Dr. Max Stern, Susie Isaacs, Paul Magriel, and ESPN's Lon McEachern.

By the end of the day, the field had been trimmed to 529 players and John Bovin leads the field with 113,000. Paul Magriel is fourth in chips with 56,100, and Susie Isaacs is sitting ninth with 26,500. The remaining players will return on Sunday to play to the bubble and start the grind to the final table.

Respect your elders and see how they did in our live coverage blog.

Event #31: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha

The $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha kicked off on Friday and drew a field of 647. This was a 51-player jump from last year's comparable event, the $2,500 Omaha Event. As expected, this field was a virtual all-star event of pros and Omaha degens. Matt Glantz, Jeff Williams, T.J. Cloutier, Noah Schwartz, Jason Mercier, Chad Brown, Humberto Brenes, Jeffrey Lisandro, Vanessa Selbst, Phil Laak, Eli Elezra, Joe Hachem, Daniel Negreanu, and Josh Arieh were among those looking to gamble it up.

Ben Lamb is the chip leader to finish Day 1 action. He will start with 169,800 in chips, followed by Paul Volpe with 125,200. Jeff Lisandro and Tex Barch are both in the top 10. The remaining 138 players will return on Sunday to play to the money and the final table.

How did your favorite player fare? Find out in our blog.

On Tap

Bracelets will be awarded on Saturday in $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max event and the $2,500 10-Game Mix. The $1,000 Seniors Championship and the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha will play through the money and are scheduled to play to the final table. Finally, two new events will get under way. Another large field is expected for the latest $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event. The evening event will draw another world class field as the $10,000 Stud 8 or Better World Championship kicks off.


Friday saw the Seniors Event assemble the largest field for a Day 1 in history. Tim Peters joined the PokerNews Podcast to talk with them about the event, his strategy, and the importance of the event.

To find out what Peters had to say to the crew, listen here.

Video of the Day

Every year, Lon McEachern of ESPN flies into Vegas to play in the $1,000 Seniors Event. Kristy Arnett caught up with him during Day 1 and talked with him about how he is doing and his work with ESPN on this year's WSOP broadcasts.

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