As play progresses at the 2012 World Series of Poker, there will be more and more of a build up of key stories to follow. PokerNews has you covered in our What To Watch For series and in this edition we have two events to cover. First is Event 3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha, which has reached the elite eight. Second is Event 4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better.
Event 3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha
Koon Takes On Obrestad
Easily the most marquee matchup of the elite eight is the one between Jason Koon and Annette Obrestad. The two have quite the following in both the online and live realms, and it's going to be a very interesting match with what we would guess would be plenty of aggression.
Prior to this result, Koon's best WSOP result was a 17th-place finish in the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em in 2009 for $20,400. He's cashed at the series nine times, but never been closer to a gold bracelet. Obrestad, on the other hand, already has a bracelet. She won the £10,000 World Championship at the 2007 WSOP Europe for a cool £1,000,000. That win ignited her poker career and she's become one of the biggest names in the game. After going zero for 15 last year in Las Vegas at the WSOP, Obrestad can just taste this one on the tip of her tongue.
Frankenberger Eyes a Second Bracelet
Andy Frankenberger scooped up his first WSOP gold bracelet last year in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event to the tune of $599,153. He's now only three match wins away from getting his second just a year later and will first have to square off against Leif Force. Outside of his gold bracelet victory a year ago, Frankenberger only has one other WSOP cash coming from 2010.
Event 4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better
Kassela and Mizrachi Battling Again
Two years ago, Frank Kassela and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi were jockeying for position all summer in the battle for WSOP Player of the Year. This year they've started things early once again: both have reached the final 23 players in Event #4. Kassela will enter Day 3 eighth in chips while Mizrachi is slightly behind him in 11th. Both have played very well to make it this deep and will be looking to add another WSOP gold bracelet to their collections.
Liu Breaking Out
Every so often, a player puts up a decent result that gets some attention from the media. With that there's always the question of whether or not the player in question is a one-hit wonder or not.
In April 2011, Xuan Liu took third at the European Poker Tour San Remo Main Event for €360,000. Her result seemed to be validated when she went on to finish fourth at this year's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for $600,000. Now Liu is the chip leader of a WSOP event with just 23 players left and she's charging hard. Making the third WSOP cash of her career and the largest one at that, we'll be keeping a close eye on Liu in her quest for the title.
As always, you can find PokerNews' coverage of the 2012 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. We look forward to having you follow along and stay tuned for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.