Two more bracelets were handed out on Day 16 of the 2013 World Series of Poker. The first went to Calen "Big Wheel" McNeil, who took down Event #20: $1,500 Omaha High-Low Eight-or-Better after returning for an unscheduled Day 4 to determine a winner. McNeil, who owns several restaurants in Canada, became the sixth Canadian player to win gold already at the 2013 WSOP.
Also playing down to a champ on Friday morning was Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed). Martin Finger emerged as the winner after a drawn-out heads-up match against Matt Stout, who, for the third time, fell painfully short of a WSOP bracelet.
It took an extra day than originally scheduled, but Calen McNeil emerged victorious in Event #20: $1,500 Omaha High-Low Eight-or-Better on Thursday afternoon. After McNeil and Can Kim Hua agreed late Wednesday night to return on Thursday to complete their heads-up match, MacNeil defeated Hua in a lengthy heads-up duel to claim his first WSOP bracelet and the $277,274 top prize.
Hua began the day with less than six big bets and at a huge chip disadvantage but quickly won a handful of pots to take a 2-to-1 chip lead over McNeil. From there, the two exchanged the lead numerous times for the next three hours until McNeil was able to pull away. On the final hand of the tournament, McNeil raised, and Hua called to see a flop of . Hua led out, McNeil raised, and Hua called. The turn brought the , and the rest of Hua's chips went in the middle.
McNeil celebrated prematurely when he saw the cards, thinking Hua was drawing dead against his set of kings; however, Hua still had a chance to catch a six or a jack on the river for a straight. But when the river was the , McNeil's rail erupted in celebration.
McNeil bested a field of 1,014 players, including a final table that included Todd Brunson, Stephen Chidwick, John Monnette, and Tony Ma. Rather than go out and celebrate his win, McNeil hopped right into the 5 p.m. $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Event to go after his second bracelet of the series.
FINAL TABLE RESULTS
|2||Can Kim Hua||$171,577|
German poker pro Martin Finger added a second leg to his Triple Crown hopes on Friday, taking down Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) after a come-from-behind win against Matt Stout heads-up. Finger, who won the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event for $964,023 in 2011, added another $506,764 to his career earnings plus his first WSOP bracelet.
|4||David "The Dragon" Pham||$131,679|
Day 3 began with only 13 of the original 906 entrants left vying for the title. Among them were three accomplished professional players who ran into enough unfortunate circumstances to bust before the final table. Dan Kelly, who scored his sixth cash at the 2013 WSOP with his deep run in this event, was unable reach his third final table of the summer Kelly when Matt Berkey came from behind with an inferior ace, busting Kelly in 10th place. Next to hit the rail was eight-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel. Finally, the field combined to the unofficial final table of seven when two-time WSOP bracelet winner Nick Schulman was eliminated from play in eighth place.
Finger took the biggest stack into the unofficial final table, but Matt Stout quickly took control by taking most of Andrew Dean's stack in a pocket pair vs. pocket pair confrontation before the flop. Dean was eliminated soon after in sixth place. Next to fall was Nikolai Sears, who came into the final table as one of the shorter stacks. Despite a double up and getting it in as a favorite with pocket kings against Berkey's pocket tens, his higher pair was run down when Berkey turned a straight.
David "The Dragon" Pham became the next victim of the final table, and again it was Finger who played executioner. Finger opened with a raise during four-handed play, which folded around to Pham's big blind. Pham moved in and Finger tanked before calling. The two were flipping for Pham's life and in the end it was Finger who came out on top.
Berkey fell soon after in third place when he put his tournament life on the line in a coin-flip situation. This time, it was Stout's ace-king that defeated Berkey's nines to score the knockout.
Stout had a huge chip lead going into heads-up play, but Finger battled back over the course of the 98-hand match. Finger eventually reclaimed the lead, and the match finally came to a head when Stout opened with a button raise. Finger came over the top with a three-bet, and Stout four-bet all in for his tournament life. Finger called instantly.
The board ran out and Finger's queens held up, locking up his first title in Las Vegas. Stout, a three-time WSOP finalist, was eliminated in second-place and will have to wait to attain his first bracelet.
After two days of play, Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha reached a final table early Friday morning. The original field of 1,021 has been trimmed to nine, and leading the way after a dominating performance on Day 2 is Noah Schwartz, who is seeking his first gold bracelet.
FINAL TABLE CHIP COUNTS
The day began with 117 players returning, but it wasn't until there were four tables left that Schwartz began to build a monster chip lead. He picked up steam when he won a monster pot against Christopher Brammer, and then eliminated the Brit, along with Tue Phan, a short time later. That gave Schwartz over 20% of the chips in play with 28 players left, and he never looked back.
Schwartz will headline a relatively unknown final table when action resumes at 1 p.m. PST on Friday, and PokerNews will be on hand to bring live coverage until the $1,500 PLO champion is crowned.
Event #23 played down to 10 players early Friday morning, and a stacked final table is on the horizon. Of the 10 returning Friday afternoon, seven have World Series of Poker bracelets, including chip leader Frank Kassela who will enter the final day with 331,500.
CHIP COUNTS AFTER DAY 2
One hundred and six players returned for Day 2 action. Only 32 would make the money. The bubble burst in Level 14, when Terrence Hastoo was all-in for just the ante. He started with three to a flush, but Kenn Wittock had split kings and held. Once the players were in the money, they started hitting the rail in rapid succession. Among the min-cashers were Andrey Zaichenko, Marco Traniello, Andrew Kelsall, Joseph Cappello, Calvin Anderson, Konstantin Puchkov, and Daniel Negreanu.
At the three-table redraw, Scott Seiver and Chiu started to climb up the charts. Seiver made a timely spade flush against Jesse Martin, while Chiu knocked out Ashly Butler. Kassela's ascent to the top of the counts began in Level 17 against Gary Benson, and continued in Level 18 against The Grinder. The 2010 WSOP Player of the Year will attempt to win his first bracelet since that year when he won two.
The 10 survivors will return on Friday at 2 p.m. local time to battle it out for a bracelet. Be sure to check back then for all of your exclusive live updates straight from the tournament floor.
Day 1 of Event #24 began with 1,731 players, and after more than 11 hours of play, only 198 remained still alive. Play concluded early Friday morning when the money bubble burst, and the remaining players are guaranteed a minimum cash of $2,640. Leading the way is Ashton Holmes with 126,300, but it's former WSOP Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka leading the headlines. He bagged 126,100 when the night ended. Those two are followed by notables such as Mohsin Charania (122,800), Huy Nguyen (116,100), Daniel Strelitz (97,400), and Victor Ramdin (74,900).
Among the casualties on Day 1 who hit the rail empty-handed were Antonio Esfandiari, Melanie Weisner, Kevin Saul, Faraz Jaka, Carlos Mortensen, and Mario Ho.
The final 198 will return Friday at 1 p.m. PST to play down to a final table. Be sure to follow the PokerNews updates to see who emerges victorious in this $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Event.
Event #25: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low 8-or-Better kicked off Thursday evening with a hard-hitting field of 241 seeking to win the most prestigious O/8 event of the summer. After eight levels, Hal Klein was leading the way with 77,100 in chips. He was followed by Luis Velador (59,100) and Pat Pezzin (58,400). The starting field of 241 has been winnowed down to an unofficial count of 162, all of whom are looking to with the first-place prize of and a World Series of Poker gold bracelet.
Also in contention for the WSOP bracelet and $277,519 top prize are Phil Ivey (23,800 in chips), Erik Seidel (12,200), Andy Bloch (30,100), Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier (25,400), Tom Schneider (23,400), and 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (16,700). Calen McNeil, the WSOP’s most recent Omaha Eight-or-Better bracelet winner, finished the day with 14,400.
Several other big names weren't as fortunate and were eliminated on Day 1. Among them were Jason Mercier, Brian Rast, Nick Schulman, David Bach, “Johnny World” Hennigan, and current player of the year leader Daniel Negreanu.
Play resumes at 2 p.m. Friday in the Amazon Room. PokerNews.com will be there all day to bring you live updates until the conclusion of the event on Saturday.
Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha and Event #23: $2,500 7-Card Stud will both play down to winners on Day 17. Two events are scheduled to played down to a winner: Event #24: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em and Event #25: $5,000 Omaha Eight-or-Better. Meanwhile, Event #26: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship and Event #27: $3,000 No Limit Hold'em (Mixed Max).
Video of the Day
Calen McNeil told Kristy Arnett that all his friends had WSOP bracelets, so he decided to win one on Thursday to keep pace.