WSOP What to Watch For: Merson Challenging in Six-Max; Schneider, Ahmed With Stacks in Omaha/Stud
Yesterday there was so much going on at the 2014 World Series of Poker, at times it was a challenge just to know which way to look. Three different final tables played out, with all three full of twists and turns to make for a memorable day at the WSOP.
Today things slow down a bit as just three events total are taking place, none of which will reach a final table. However, there will still be plenty to watch for with a number of big names jockeying for position atop the counts in Event #24: $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, a huge field full of notables returning for Event #25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low, and the start of Event #26: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
Just 129 remain from the 541 starters in Event #24, with a returning top 10 full of recognizable names led by Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen. Hunichen hopes to continue what has been a hot start for him in this year’s WSOP with three cashes and a final-table appearance in Event #9: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
Bryn Kenney, Freddy Deeb, Kevin Saul, Andrea Dato, Calvin Anderson, and Greg Merson are among the tough customers who will be sitting just behind the lead pack when play starts back this afternoon.
Besides winning the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, Merson also won the $10K version of the six-handed NLHE event that summer to secure the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year.
There’s a big prize pool of $2,542,700 for this one, with only the top 60 players making the money. First gets $622,998, one of the bigger prizes of the summer.
They’ll be playing 10 more one-hour levels today. Click over to the Event #24 live updates starting at 1 p.m. to follow along and see who is left for tomorrow’s finale.
Cameron Tahmasebi won the last hand of the night to sneak past Fu Wong and Brian Nichols into the chip lead among the 139 survivors from yesterday’s big starting field of 470 in Event #25.
Those three have a lot to deal with close behind in the rearview mirror, though, with Tom Schneider sitting nearby in the counts to lead a formidable pack of followers that includes John D’Agostino, Mike Leah, Thomas Butzhammer, Matt Glantz, Dutch Boyd, and Event #18: $10,000 Seven-Card Razz Championship winner George Danzer.
Schneider was the only multi-bracelet winner at the 2013 WSOP, managing the feat after having previously won two in a single summer in 2007 on his way to becoming that year’s WSOP Player of the Year. Schneider’s very first bracelet win was in this same $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low event seven years ago, and all four of his bracelets have come in non-hold’em variants, including two H.O.R.S.E. titles last year.
Owais Ahmed, who won this event in 2011, also returns to an above average stack today, as does Shirley Rosario who finished fourth last week in the Event #10: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Championship.
They’ll again play 10 one-hour levels today, with the game switching back and forth between Omaha hi-low and stud hi-low every eight hands. The money bubble will burst once they’ve played down to the final 48, at which point the dividing up of the $1,069,250 will begin with everyone eyeing the $267,327 first-prize.
After last night’s late finish, this one gets going at 2 p.m. PST today, which is when the Event #25 live updates will start back up as well.
So far, we’ve seen a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em shootout (Event #6) and a six-handed tournament (Event #11). But there has been only one $1,500 full-ring no-limit hold’em multi-table tournament thus far (outside of the Millionaire Maker) with Ted Gillis topping a field of 2,086 in Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
Today brings players the second of six such tournaments during this year’s WSOP, with a seventh “monster stack” version also still to come. The field size for this event should rival that of Event #19, although with a relatively sparse schedule today, it may attract more than it would have otherwise.
One player likely to appear among the field for this one is last night’s headliner, Dominik Nitsche, who won his third career WSOP bracelet in Event #21: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em and a $335,659 first prize.
Last night Remko Rinkema asked Nitsche after his big win, “What’s next for you?” The young German had a ready reply:
“Whatever no-limit hold’em tournament is next at the World Series... I’m guessing it’s a $1,500 or something tomorrow.”
“I’m looking forward to chasing number four,” Nitsche also said, who at 23 is the youngest player ever to win three bracelets. “Maybe I one day can catch [Phil] Hellmuth. If we can keep this up, we can get him.”
Tune in starting at noon to see if Nitsche indeed takes a seat, and if so, who else he’ll have to contend with when the Event #26 live updates begin.
Here once more is today’s scaled-back schedule, with all times PST:
- 12:00 p.m. — Event #26: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 1 of 3)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #24: $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2 of 3)
- 2:00 p.m. — Event #25: $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low (Day 2 of 3)