The Rio was jammed packed on Wednesday as four different events played out in the convention center, including Event #2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, which came to it's epic conclusion with Brent Hanks winning his first bracelet at a stacked final table, and Event #3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha, which played down to the final eight players. Event #4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Low 8-or-Better is down to the final 23 players, and Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em burst the money bubble on the first night, finishing the day with 71 players.
Event #2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
After three final tables and no wins, Brent Hanks finally solved the bracelet riddle. At a stacked final table with the likes of Vanessa Selbst, JP Kelly, and Andrew Badecker, Hanks was able to pull through and take home the gold — an impressive feat when you consider that in the middle of Day 2, Hanks was down to less than 10 big blinds.
JP Kelly was crippled early when he shoved all-in with and was called by Michael Kaufman who was holding . Kelly whiffed the flop, turn, and river and was knocked down to just 10,000 chips. He had just started to regain moment when he was finally eliminated by Hanks. Kelly walked away in eighth place with $49,621.
Selbst looked like she was off to a fast start to bracelet No. 2 but lost momentum and was eliminated when she shoved all-in from the cutoff with and was quickly called by Andrew Badecker with . Selbst was sent to the rail in fourth place for $161,345.
Andrew Badecker was the last remaining bracelet winner but couldn't close the deal either after he got coolered twice and finally eliminated by Hanks. First, Badecker got his full house destroyed Jacob Bazeley's higher full house. A few hands later, Badecker five bet shoved all-in with and was called by Brett Hanks who was holding . Badecker couldn't catch and out and was eliminated in third place for $224,029.
In the end, Hanks was the last man standing. He took out Jacob Bazeley and was able to win his first bracelet, the second bracelet of the series, and $517,725. Hanks got all the money in with against Bazeley's , and hit an ace on the flop for the commanding chip lead. On the very next hand, Hank's took out Bazeley with against . Bazeley wasn't able to catch up and was sent to the cage with a ticket for $322,294.
To read in-depth coverage from Event #2's final table, be sure to check out the live reporting blog.
Event #3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha
Sixty-four players returned on Wednesday to play down to the final eight in the $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha tournament. We saw a stacked field of players including Anette Obrestad, Justin Bonomo, David Williams, John Racener, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Andy Frakenberger, of which only Frankenberger and Obrestad survived.
Some of the other players to hit the rail were WPT commentator Mike Sexton, Josh Arieh, Victor Ramdin, Guillaume Darcourt, and PokerStars Team Pro Max Martinez.
Obrestad had to get through three tough matches on Wednesday to make it to the round of eight. Her first match was against Ryan Franklin. She was able to quickly dispatch Franklin when she four-bet all-in with and beat Franklin's . Shortly after that, a short-stacked Franklin shoved all-in with and Obrestad woke up with . The board bricked and she moved on to her match with Tres Davis. Obrestad had a very rough start to that match and was down to one lammer at one point, but she was able to battle back and close the deal to move on to a final match with Sebastion Saffari. Obrestad was able to get Saffari very short when her out ran his . She eliminated him shortly after and will be moving on to the round of eight on Thursday for her shot at her second WSOP bracelet.
Mike Sexton had a busy day because he not only played three matches but also was moving back and forth across the room to Event #4 as well. First he defeated Justin Bonomo in a matter of minutes, then he decimated Andy Seth. Sexton was finally run down by Andy Frankenberger who will return on Thursday to face Leif Force. Sexton's cash earned $9,644 and he is still alive in the Event #4, which will earn him at least $3,921.
To see all of the match ups, check out the live reporting blog for this event.
Event #4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8-or-Better
On Wednesday, 198 players returned for the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8-or-Better tournament, including Michael Mizrachi, Owais Ahmed, Jimmy Fricke, and Mike Sexton, among others. Leading the final 23 players is Xuan Liu with 330,500 chips. Right on her heels, though, is Chris Tryba with another huge stack of 307,500.
Players ground down past the money bubble, which was broken when Jaime Kaplan moved all-in on fourth street with /(X)/against Vladimir Schmelev's //. Kaplan couldn't improve against Schmelev's aces and was sent to the rail as the last player to walk away empty handed.
Some of the notable players who hit the rail on Wednesday were Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, David Bach, Chau Giang, Dutch Boyd, and Dan Shak. The final 23 players will return Thursday and play down to a winner.
Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews' live updates, as we will have all the info you need to rail the event from your home computers.
Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em
The $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em tournament played down to the money thanks to a new rule in the WSOP. The rule is that if a tournament is within one table of the money at the end of the night, then the event will continue play until the bubble is broken. So the players took a 10-minute break and played down from 79 players to 71.
Leading at the end of the day: Antonio Esfandiari with 112,600 chips. Jonathan Aguiar and Daniel Negreanu are hot on his heels with 100,900 and 94,000, respectively. The bubble was burst when two players were eliminated on the same hand. Gordon Vayo went all-in preflop with and Clayton Mozden called with . Mozden flopped a king, and turned an unbeatable full house. On another table Barry Wiedemann moved all-in with and couldn't outrun his opponent's pocket eights. Because both players were eliminated on the same hand during hand-for-hand play, they chopped up 72st place money for $1,216 each. Everyone returning on Thursday will earn at least $2,432
To begin the day, Jonathan Little, Shannon Shorr, Allen Kessler, and Phil Ivey were all seated at the same table, and within the first two levels, they were joined by the likes of Gavin Smith, Sean Getzwiller, Vitaly Lunkin, and Faraz Jaka. Unfortunately for all of these players, none of them survived the day. Other victims included Dan Kelly, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Scott Seiver, and Shaun Deeb.
Along with grinding out the largest stack in the room, Esfandiari was also making multiple prop bets with all the players at the table. Players were setting over/unders on some of the most random questions they could come up with, including "What's the longest (in minutes) non-business call Seat 5 has made this past year?" and "How much you would need to pay Daniel Negreanu to not play in the Main Event?"
Along side this, Esfandiari was quietly building his chip stack. One of the bigger pots he played was when he made a huge call against his opponent's all-in turn bet holding on a board. When Esfandiari made the call, his opponent said “You got me” and turned over for a stone cold bluff.
To see more hands from today's play, check out the PokerNews live reporting blog.
Restarting at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) on Thursday in the Amazon Room will be Event #3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha. Players will play three more rounds of heads-up matches before a winner is crowned. Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em will also restart at 1300 PDT (2100 BST). Finally, Event #4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8-or-Better will restart at 1400 PDT (2200 BST) with Xuan Liu leading the way. Be sure to stay tuned tomorrow to see who is crowned winner.
Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed-Max will kick off at 1200 PDT (2000 BST) and Event #7: $1,500 Seven Card Stud will be Thursday's late event, with play scheduled to start at 1700 PDT (0100 BST).
To make sure you don’t miss any of the action, check out all of the action from all the events in our live tournament reporting blog.
Video of the Day
Sarah Grant caught up with Shaun Deeb recently to get him to explain a few things. Grant did some excellent snooping of Deeb's Facebook and Twitter accounts and found some interesting photos. What does Deeb have to say for himself? Find out in the video below.