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2012 World Series of Poker Day 8: Cheong Heads Up, Kenney Crushing, and More

Cheong, Cazals

Play went deep into the night at the Rio on Sunday as Event #8: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better saw Gavin Griffin and Herbert Tapscott play down to a winner. Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry Day 1b played down to 260 players. Day 1 of Event #10: $5,000 Seven Card Stud brought out a star-studded field, and shining brighter than the rest at the end of the day was Bryn Kenney. Finally, Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mix-Maxed played down to heads-up play.

Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mix-Maxed

Sunday began with Joseph "subiime" Cheong and Hugo Lemaire finishing their match quickly. Aubin Cazals and Warwick Mirzikinian, however, battled for over six hours. In the end only two men were left standing — Cheong and Cazals — but controversy plagued the final heads-up match of the day.

Cheong's match got off to a rather quick start when Cheong flopped a set of threes against Lemaire's pocket aces. From there it was smooth sailing for Cheong. Soon after, Cheong flopped two pair with {K-Hearts}{3-Hearts} to gain a commanding lead over his opponent.

On the final hand of the match, Cheong raised to 19,000, and Lemaire three-bet to 55,000. Cheong called and the flop fell {7-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. Lemaire bet out for 52,000, and Cheong called. The turn was the {8-Hearts} and Lemaire checked. Cheong bet out 89,000, and Lemaire moved all-in. Cheong quickly called and it was all over as Cheong had flopped a flush with {6-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} and Lemaire was already drawing dead with the {J-Hearts}{J-Spades} The {3-Diamonds} on the river was meaningless and Lemaire was eliminated in fourth place for $162,443.

Cazals' match was not so easy. From the beginning of the match, Mirzikinian employed the same strategy he was using from Saturday night's match — limping blind on the button. For several hours the match was back and forth with the players doubling each other up several times. On the final hand of the match Cazals raised to 70,000. Mirzikinian reraised to 200,000, and Cazals moved all-in with a covering stack. Mirzikinian called off with the {K-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} and Cazals turned over the {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}. The board ran out {9-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} and the safe board gave Cazals the win and eliminated Mirzikinian in third place for $162,443.

It was then that the controversy began. The two players decided that they wanted to return on Tuesday to finish their final match since Cheong was still alive in Event #9 with a healthy stack, but tournament directors ultimately decided that this wasn't possible because of an issue with the Nevada Gaming Commission. The players then decided that they would come in 9 a.m. on Monday to finish their match, but Cheong was eliminated from Event #9 before the end of day, so the players decided they would return at noon Monday to play for gold.

To see all the hands that brought Cazals and Cheong to heads up play check out the live reporting blog.

Event #8: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better

At the end of the day on Saturday, 20 players remained in Event #8, with Allen Bari, Dutch Boyd, and Gavin Griffin near the top of the counts. One man emerged from the field on Sunday to capture his first bracelet, and he had to get through one of the aforementioned players. That man was Herbert Tapscott. With Bari and Griffin leading the pack, Tapscott began the day near the middle, with 182,000 in chips. Tapscott was able to navigate his way to the final table, and he eventually found himself heads-up with Griffin.

Bari had a rough start on Sunday, and could never really gain much traction. Eventually he was eliminated just after break when Tapscott raised under the gun, and Bari three-bet from the hijack seat. Tapscott called, then put Bari all-in in the dark before the flop fell {3-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}. Bari showed {a-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{8-Hearts} for a two pair, and Tapscott showed {A-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{8-Spades} for a pair of eights and a flush draw. The turn was the {9-Hearts} to keep Bari ahead, but the {q-Hearts} on the river gave Tapscott a higher two pair and the elimination.

The final table started slow and steady for Tapscott but he eventually pulled into the lead and was able to eliminate John Racener in sixth place and Ashly Butler third place. When heads-up play began, Tapscott had the lead with 2,650,000 in chips to Griffin's 1,705,000. That lead was exchanged a few times before Tapscott finally got the better of Griffin and crippled him with a flopped set that turned into a rivered flush.

On the final hand of the night, Griffin raised to 200,000 and Tapscott called. The flop came down {Q-Hearts}{A-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} Gavin went all-in blind and the cards were shown. Tapscott was holding {Q-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{10-Spades}{7-Spades} against Griffin's {A-Spades}{3-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}. The turn brought the {9-Diamonds} and the river was the {J-Hearts} giving Tapscott the winning hand with a straight. Griffin was eliminated in second place for $163,625, and Tapscott was awarded the bracelet and the $264,400 prize.

To see what else happened on the way to a winner, make sure you check out the live reporting blog.

Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry Day 1b

The day began with over 1,000 entrants either entering the field for the first time, or buying in for a second time. At the end of the day though, several pros sat atop the leaderboard including John Juanda, Jason Mercier, Tony Dunst, Liv Boeree, Greg Mueller, Men Nguyen, and Mike Matusow. Some of the notables who did not make it to Day 2 were Andy Frankenberger, Gavin Smith, Eric Froehlich, Steve O'Dwyer, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Dwight Pilgrim, and Maria Ho.

John Juanda was one of the stars Sunday as he was able to climb toward the top of the field finishing with a stack of 70,600 chips. One of the biggest pots of the day happened just after dinner break for Juanda. With the board reading {9-Spades}{4-Spades}{K-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}, two players checked, and a third bet out 1,600. Juanda then raised to 4,800. The first two players folded, and Juanda's opponent raised to 9,600, which he quickly called. The river was the {J-Diamonds} and Juanda's opponent then bet 10,000, only to have Juanda move all-in. His opponent called, and showed {K-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} for two pair on the flop, but Juanda showed {J-Spades}{10-Diamonds} for a turned straight. From there Juanda had 59,000 chips and never looked back.

There was also some controversy in this event when it was discovered that some players were being allowed to re-enter more than once on Day 1b, which wasn't allowed. After finding this out, the players were removed from the tournament and refunded, as some players admitted that they thought they could re-enter for the first four levels. Any players that they eliminated were also refunded their buy-ins. Day 2 will commence on Monday and will combine the remaining fields from Days 1a and 1b.

To see more hands from the top players, make sure to check out the live reporting blog for this event.

Event #10: $5,000 Seven Card Stud

A star-studded 141-player field entered Event #10, but at the end of the day, only 91 players still had chips to return for Day 2. Bryn Kenney sits at the top of the leaderboard with 59,000 chips. Betrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Jason Mercier, Cory Zeidman, Chris Reslock, and Andy Bloch have all moved on to Day 2. Among those eliminated were Dan Kelly, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Smith and both Michael and Robert Mizrachi.

Kenney amassed most of his chips in a four-way pot against Jennifer Harman, Chad Brown, and Tom McCormick. Harman was holding (x-x)/{q-Spades}{8-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{8-Hearts}/(x), Brown had (x-x)/{K-Clubs}{3-Spades}{K-Hearts}{3-Clubs}/(x), Kenney held (x-x)/{6-Clubs}{9-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}/(x) and McCormick folded on sixth street with his board showing (x-x)/{10-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{4-Clubs}. When the PokerNews Live Reporting Team made it to the table, Brown and Harman were all-in on third street with Kenney and McCormick playing heads-up. Kenney bet the whole way until McCormick folded on sixth street, then showed his {J-Diamonds}{j-Spades}. On the river Kenney caught the {A-Diamonds} to make aces up, which was good enough to eliminate both Harman and Brown.

The players will return Monday to play 10 levels with the hopes of reaching a final table but will halt play after the last level if they have not yet reached the final eight players.

Make sure you stay tuned in to the live reporting blog to keep and eye out on all the action throughout the day.

On Tap

Event #6: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mix-Maxed will conclude Monday when the final two players duke it out starting at 1200 PDT (2000 BST). Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry Day 2 will resume at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) when the Day 1 fields merge to create a 514-player field. Event #10: $5,000 Seven Card Stud will attempt to play down to a final table, and Event #11: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha will kick off at 1200 PDT (2000 BST).

To make sure you don't miss a thing from any of these tournaments, keep a close eye on our live reporting blog.

Video of the Day

Make sure you check out Sarah Grant's interview with William Reynolds as she catches up with him before his dinner break. In the interview Reynolds tell Sarah about his lack of tournament success, then proceeds to talk about Sunday's tournament where he got coolered, tilted, folded quads, then got quads again.

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