The 2012 World Series of Poker continued on Thursday as the final 31 runners of a 526-player field returned to battle it out for the Event 58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better title. Unfortunately, the fate of the gold bracelet and $330,277 first-place prize would not be determined until an impromptu Day 4, where Viacheslav Zhukov ultimately captured both.
On Day 3, which occurred on Thursday, Felicia Johnico began the day as the chip leader with 397,000, which helped her early on, as the eliminations came at a rapid pace, but it would not carry her to the final table. After 20 eliminations, only 11 players were left when a monster pot developed. The preflop action remains unknown, but on a flop of with 200,000 already in the pot, Roch Cousineau ended up being all in for 513,000 and at risk against Johnico.
Cousineau had flopped top two pair and the nut low, which was ahead of Johnico's top and bottom pairs with the second-nut low. The turn gave Cousineau a full house, but it'd be the on the river that would secure him the entire pot, worth a whooping 1.3 million; meanwhile, Johnico was devastated and left with just 30,000. Needless to say, she was the next player to go. After Daniel McNally was eliminated in tenth place, the final table was set.
It didn’t take long for the first elimination of the final table to occur, and it happened when Juan Ramirez fell to Cousineau, who was the massive chip leader.
From there, David “ODB” Baker went on a bit of a tear quartering the chip leader, eliminating Scotty Nguyen in eighth place, and then vaulting into a big chip lead after eliminating Jack Ward in seventh place.
As if that wasn’t enough, Baker went on to eliminate Yuval Bronshtein in sixth place, though Chris Bell would score the next elimination when his beat Randy Ohel’s after the board ran out . Ohel, who won Event #22 $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball earlier in the series, fell short of his second bracelet of the summer, instead taking home a $75,662 consolation prize.
Four-handed play was an extended affair, but eventually a big hand developed when Cousineau opened for 115,000 under the gun and Baker defended from the small blind. The latter checked the flop, but then check-raised Cousineau's 180,000 bet the size of the pot. Cousineau simply said, "All in," and Baker got in for around 900,000 total.
It was a bad spot for Baker as Cousineau held the better heart draw, an open-ended straight draw, and low outs if it came runner-runner. The turn was a dagger through Baker's heart as it gave Cousineau the said straight, while the sent Baker out the door in fourth place and putting an end to his dreams of a second bracelet.
The three remaining players battled out for another hour or so on Day 3, but the chips were eventually bagged up, with Bell, Cousineau and Zhukov forced to take the night to dream about securing the bracelet. Here is how the chip stacks looked heading into the fourth and final day.
Bell, who started the day as the short stack, would succumb to the rail in third place early in the day. Bell's last hand saw him all-in preflop holding against Zhukov's . The board ran out and it was over for Bell.
Zhukov would start the heads-up battle with almost a 2-1 chip lead, but it wouldn't be an easy ride from there. The lead would exchange hands multiple times, but inevitably the last hand of the night would play out around three hours after heads-up began.
Cousineau fought gallantly to finish in second place, making this his second final table of the summer after being on the final table of Event 47: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better.
Zhukov can now call himself an Omaha Hi-Low specialist, with today being his second bracelet in this form of poker after winning the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship in 2011.
Final Table Results
|4th||David "ODB" Baker||$100,820|
That does it for our coverage from Event 58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better, but there are still a few events left in the 2012 WSOP. Be sure to visit our Live Reporting Section to learn which ones are happening now and be sure to follow along with this year’s Main Event!