Another busy day at the 2012 World Series of Poker saw poker pro Andy Bloch take down his first bracelet as winner of Event #7: $1,500 Seven Card Stud. Elsewhere, Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed-Max played down to the final four, and a winner will be crowned on Sunday. Day 2 of Event #8: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better saw the field shrink from 220 to the 20 who will come back Sunday to play for a bracelet. Finally, the brand new Event #9: #1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry got underway.
Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed-Max
The third day of this four-day event started with 31 players pitted in heads-up battles. After three rounds on Saturday, four will return on Sunday to duke it out for the prize of $480,564 and the coveted gold bracelet. Warwick Mirzikinian (1,547,500) will play Aubin Cazals (1,475,000), and former November Niner Joseph Cheong (1,567,000) will face off against Hugo Lemaire (1,545,000).
The first round had one bye (start-of-day chip leader Mirzikinian) and 15 heads-up matches. Due to the seeding, Fabrizio Baldassari, number two in chips coming into the day, quickly dispatched his severely out-chipped opponent Tom McCormick. A similarly short-stacked Victor Ramdin was eliminated quickly by Aaron Jones despite getting it all in with the best hand with versus . Jones rivered a queen to end Ramdin's day.
Having better luck with his first round match was Brock Parker, who overcame a 2.5-to-1 chip disadvantage against Nicolas Levi to move on to the Sweet 16. The last player to move on to the next round was Matthew "Freddie Prinze Jr." DeLuca who had been trailing 365,000 to 20,000 before coming back to beat Sergey Tikhonov.
In the next round, Jones was eliminated when he was outdrawn with against after the board ran out . The last person to be knocked out during the second round was Anthony Gargano. The Michigan native was ahead in chips when, with the board reading, he moved all in holding and was reluctantly called by Adam Geyer who had flopped two pair with but didn't have a heart in his hand. The board ran out , improving Geyer's hand to a full house, and Gargano was out. He and the others eliminated between 8th and 16th place cashed for $24,390.
The most well-known player remaining was Cheong (738,000) who was set to face off against Baldassari (827,000) in the quarterfinals. The other matchups were Mirzikinian (805,000) vs. Marvin Rettenmaier (742,500); Cazals (743,000) vs. Geyer (732,000); and Randy Haddox (752,000) vs. Lemaire (793,000).
Geyer was the first eliminated after finding himself in a bit of a cooler, calling Cazals’ all-in holding Big Slick only to find Cazals holding pocket kings. After the board ran out uneventfully, Geyer was crippled and soon hit the rail. He was soon joined there by Haddox. After a flop of , Haddox pushed with for top pair-top kicker, but was way behind Lemaire’s flopped flush with . No miracle runner-runner saved Haddox and the field narrowed to six.
Cheong moved on to the final four by eliminating Baldassari. He took most of the Italian’s chips after flopping a straight, and in the last hand he rivered a better two pair than his opponent to take the rest of his chips. The $68,151 payout for this round was Baldassari’s first U.S. cash. Mirzikinian rounded out the final four with his elimination of Rettenmaier after a marathon, five-hour long heads-up match.
The final four will play down to a winner on Sunday.
To see how all the eliminations went down and to follow the final two rounds, be sure to stay tuned to our live updates blog.
Event #7: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
There were a number of exciting story lines going into Saturday's final table of Event #7. Could final table chip leader David Williams repeat his 2006 win in this event? Would Caroline Hermesh become the first woman to win an open bracelet event since 2008? Would the MIT and Harvard Law School-educated Andy Bloch finally take his name off the list of the best who’ve never won a bracelet?
When the dust cleared, it was Bloch’s story to be told as the affable pro finally added “WSOP bracelet winner” to his list of poker accomplishments.
Day 3 began with an unofficial final table of nine players led by Williams, Bloch and pro Barry Greenstein. Hermesh came into the final day of play with fewer than six bets and dropped down to fewer than three after an early hand against Greenstein. She hit one milestone after Joseph Ranciato was eliminated in ninth place, as she became the fourth woman to make an official final table in this year's WSOP. But, her final table run fell short as she was eliminated in 7th place for $15,435.
Williams built up a huge lead after dispatching Lee Goldman in 6th place ($20,001) and seemed poised for victory. But back-to-back losses, twice, caused his chip stack to dwindle. He fought back just long enough to watch Bloch knock out Huu Vinh in 5th place ($26,813).
But Williams’ chance for a second stud bracelet came to an end in 4th place. In his final hand, Williams got it all in the middle with a gut-shot straight draw on fifth street. Stephen Su, who had him covered, had two pair. Nothing changed on sixth street, but on seventh Su improved to a full house and Williams was eliminated, taking home $36,470.
After Su went out in 3rd place ($50,332), Bloch and Greenstein went heads up for the bracelet. Bloch had a nearly a four-to-one chip lead at the start of heads-up play which he quickly extended to ten-to-one. Their final hand began with Greenstein bringing in with and Bloch completing. Greenstein called and then called Bloch's bet on fourth street. On fifth street, all of the money went in as the two bet and raised back and forth. Greenstein was ahead with an eight-high straight and Bloch had two pair, queens and tens.
Bloch: / /
Greenstein: / /
Bloch picked up the on sixth street giving him a gunshot Broadway draw and then the on seventh street gave him the long-elusive win. Greenstein took home $78,038 for his second place finish. But, after nine previous WSOP final tables, including two very close runner-up finishes, Andy Bloch was now a WSOP bracelet winner and $126,363 richer.
To see all the knockouts and the exciting final table action, check out our live reporting blog.
Event #8: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better
The first order of business on Day 2 was bursting the money bubble. Then the focus changed to who would come back to compete for the bracelet. A number of big named pros started Day 2 including Jason Mercier, Leif Force, David Chiu, Dario Alioto, Erik Seidel, and Mike Matusow, but they all left short of the money. In fact, Matusow was eliminated just before hand-for-hand play began. When Huaiyan Wang and Daniel Santoro were eliminated at the same time on the bubble, they chopped the $2,480 that 118th place received.
Phil Hellmuth earned his 87th WSOP cash ($4,817) and had one of his famous mini-blowups before being eliminated earlier in the day. Also cashing, but not returning for Day 3, were such notables as Robert Mizrachi ($2,480), Men Nguyen ($2,689), Jeff Madsen ($3,250), Daniel Negreanu ($5,639), Chad Brown ($6,670) and Jeff Shulman ($7,989).
On Sunday, the final 20 players will return to crown a winner, beginning at 1300 PDT (2000 GMT). The chip leader going into the final day is Tyler Schwecke with 452,000, followed by Allen Bari with 417,000 and Gavin Griffin with 346,000. Also still in the field are pros Dutch Boyd and John Racener.
To see all the exciting day 2 action and to follow the action on Sunday, make sure you're checking in on the live reporting blog.
Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry
Sunday marked Day 1a of the inaugural $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event. This new event is played just like a standard no-limit hold'em tournament, with the one significant exception that those players who bust on Day 1a will have the ability to re-enter on Day 1b. The 1,696 who entered were spread out between the Brasilia Room, the Pavilion Room and the Amazon Room.
Most of the biggest names in poker entered the event, including Phil Ivey, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Vanessa Selbst, Jeff Shulman, Sorel Mizzi, Bryan Devonshire, Isaac Haxton, Kathy Liebert, and Justin Bonomo. While they were all knocked out, each will have another shot at it on Sunday.
Play continued on Day 1a until just 15 percent of the field remained. Those 254 players will return on Monday for a combined Day 2 with the survivors of Day 1b. The chip leader at the end of Day 1a is Giorgio Medici with 106,500 in chips. Some notable pros ending the day in the top ten were Brian Rast, Ari Engel, Jonathan Duhamel, Kevin MacPhee, Terrence Chan and David Benyamine. Other well-known players moving on to Day 2 are Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Seiver, Erik Seidel, Barry Shulman and Eli Elezra.
To see who else survived the Day 1b field and follow all the eliminations throughout the day, check out our live reporting blog.
On Sunday, Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mix-Maxed will play down to a winner. Event #8: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split Eight-or-Better will see which of the remaining 20 players will take down the prize. Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry will start Day 1b and we will see just how many players are interested in second chances. Finally, Event 10: $5,000 Seven Card Stud will get underway.
To make sure you don't miss any action from the World Series of Poker, make sure to check in to the live reporting blog.
Video of the Day
Our Lynn Gilmartin had a chance to talk to the newest gold bracelet winner, Andy Bloch, right after he defeated Barry Greenstein in the $1,500 Stud 8/b Event #7. Bloch talked about what it feels like to finally own a piece of WSOP hardware and he gave some advice for other players interested in trying stud.