2012 WSOP, Day 25: Joe Marzicola Final Tables $1000 NLHE, Erik Cajelais Makes Stunning Run To $2500 Mixed Hold’em Final Table


It was a great day for the Canadians in the field of the tournaments at the 2012 World Series of Poker, with one of Canada’s sons making the final table and another making a stunning run from a short stack to be in contention for a bracelet on Wednesday.

  • Event #33 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Final Day

Fourteen players came back on Tuesday from the 2795 players who began the tournament on Sunday to determine a champion in Event #33. At the start of action, Nelson’s Joe Marzicola was in third place behind Vitaly Meshcheriakov and Dylan Horton, looking to take down Canada’s fourth bracelet of the 2012 WSOP.

Marzicola got off to a nice beginning, battling against an active Max Steinberg and Matt Stout, to take down a nice 400K chip pot that pushed him over the million chip mark. He then decided he wanted some more chips from Stout, winning a hand moments later when he had hit Aces up against Stout’s missed flush draw, to push his stack to 1.75 million. By the time the final table was determined with the elimination of Mikhail Timoshin in tenth place, Marzicola was the chip leader.

For an hour, the players shuffled the chips around to each other before significant action occurred. First Christopher Shaw and then Meshcheriakov would depart, pushing Samuel Gerber (who was responsible for the knockout of Meshcheriakov) into the chip lead. Marzicola couldn’t seem to get any traction going, missing everything on an A-5-4-9-4 board with his K-Q while David Nicholson rebuilt his stack with his A-J. He would then go to battle against Gerber in a hand that was extremely intriguing.

After Nicholson pushed out a bet, Gerber three bet the pot to 130K and Marzicola made the call. Nicholson got out of the way and Gerber and Marzicola saw a 10-7-5, two heart flop. Gerber laid out 165K on the flop, only to see Marzicola re-raise him to 375K. At this point, Gerber moved all-in, forcing Marzicola to a decision for his tournament life. After a long time in the tank, Marzicola opted to drop his pair of black Jacks into the muck, dropping down under the million chip mark.

The rollercoaster ride for Marzicola would continue as he doubled up quickly, his pocket Queens hitting a set on the flop against Dylan Hortin’s A-Q. Just as quickly, however, he would give some chips to Nicholson on the next hand. Just before the dinner break, Marzicola would have two hands that would eliminate him from the tournament.

Marzicola would call pre-flop, post-flop and turn bets from Max Steinberg that eventually would lead to a massive pot. The board finished off 7-8-6-Q-3 and Steinberg moved all in on the river; Marzicola once again paused to recreate the hand in his head and, although he commented to the table that he had missed straight and flush draws, he believed he was ahead. Still, with his tournament mortality on the line, he decided to drop his cards in the muck again.

On his final hand, Marzicola called the all-in of Stout, showing a pair of deuces against Stout’s suited K-7. Barely holding the edge, it disappeared for Marzicola when the flop came K-A-10 rainbow, leaving Marzicola looking for a deuce or a runner-runner straight to chop the pot. After a six on the turn and an eight on the river, however, Joe Marzicola was out of the event in fifth place.

After Steinberg eliminated Hortin in fourth place, the three remaining players went to a dinner break with Steinberg holding a nice 1.3 million chip lead over Gerber and over two million over Stout. After the dinner break, Stout began to get back in the match, doubling through Steinberg to take the lead, only to see it disappear just as quickly when Gerber used three successive double-ups against him to put Stout back in the basement. Stout would eventually be the third place finisher.

Gerber and Steinberg were virtually equal in chips at the start of heads up play, but Steinberg would slowly grind down Gerber. After an hour and a half of play, Steinberg caught Gerber in a semi-bluff when, on a 4-3-K board, Gerber moved all in and Steinberg called. Steinberg’s pocket tens were way ahead of Gerber’s 10-4, leaving Steinberg to dodge two outs to take the bracelet. After an Ace on the turn and a nine on the river, the tournament was done with Max Steinberg taking the title.

Joseph "Joe" Marzicola

1. Max Steinberg (Oakland, CA), $440,238

2. Samuel Gerber (Brugg, Switzerland), $273,385

3. Matt Stout (Las Vegas, NV), $192,813

4. Dylan Hortin (Anthem, AZ), $139,258

5. Joe Marzicola (Nelson, British Columbia), $101,802

6. David Nicholson (Perkinston, MS), $75,314

7. Ryan LaPlante (Brainerd, MN), $56,372

8. Vitaly Meshcheriakov (Voronezh, Russia), $42,688

9. Christopher Shaw (Charlotte, NC), $32,702

  • Event #34 – $5000 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha – Day Two

Only 42 of the 72 players who came back on for Tuesday’s Day Two action would get any of the prize pool and, with Canada’s Sam Chartier (36th) and Lasell King (47th) well down the leaderboard, it was thought that Canada would take an blank for this event. The duo did an outstanding job, though, making it to the money after a bizarre circumstance popped the bubble.

Erick Lindgren and Daniel Hindin clashed on a flop and turn that read K-Q-2-J (two hearts, two diamonds) and, after a bet from Lindgren, Hindin sat in thought. Other tables wrapped up their hand-for-hand play, but Hindin remained motionless. After a great deal of time, Lindgren called the clock and it was counted down. As the pot began to move to Lindgren, Hindin all of a sudden woke up, claiming he had said all in and that he won the pot.

Several players claimed to have heard Hindin, with some hearing an all-in declaration (not possible as he had more chips than the pot) and others that he pot bet, but the dealer had not heard him nor had Lindgren (nor had Hindin moved any chips). After consultations with WSOP officials, it was determined that a pot bet would stand for Hindin, Lindgren moved all in and Hindin called. Although Lindgren was down with his A-A-10-9 (two diamonds) he had draws to the straight and flush; Hindin’s Q-Q-8-5 (two hearts) was strong as well, with a made set and a draw to a flush. The deuce of diamonds on the river gave Lindgren his flush but filled up Hindin’s boat, eliminating Lindgren in one of the more controversial hands of this year’s WSOP.

Following this excitement, both King and Chartier would depart the Amazon Room rather quickly. King earned a 41st place finish, while Naoya Kihara eliminated Chartier in 32nd place, leaving today’s Day Three action with no Canadian players. Kihara will hold the lead when play begins this afternoon, with Davidi Kitai, Jason DeWitt, Kevin MacPhee and Joseph Cheong in pursuit of him and the $512,029 first place prize.

  • Event #35 – $2500 Mixed Hold’em – Day Two

By far the best performance of a Canadian player during Tuesday’s action was that of Erik Cajelais. When the 88 players came to the tables yesterday, Cajelais was in 65th place (joining Michael Malm and Guang Lu, who were in the Top Ten) and looked to have little chance of finishing in the money, let alone be around for Day Three. Defying all, Cajelais stormed from his short stack (19,100 chips, to be exact) to be at the final table when it begins this afternoon.

Erik Cajelais

Cajelais’ chip stack started upward by taking over 70K in chips from Bryan Devonshire in Limit, then finishing him off during the next No Limit segment to hit 178K in chips. The mountain of chips continued to grow for Cajelais as he held 285K by the time dinner had arrived.

For their part, Malm and Lu battled valiantly but couldn’t find the cards when they needed them. Lu would be knocked out in 31st place ($5195), while Malm fell at the hands of James Dempsey (when his pocket fours were counterfeited by a bigger two pair on the board) in 22nd place ($6437).

The Cajelais Express continued to roll late into the Vegas night. He eliminated Huck Seed to bring the tournament down to 18 players and eliminated Andre Akkari to boost his stack over 390K. After Jeremy Ausmus was knocked off in tenth place, the final table was set for today’s play:

Seat 1: Chris Tryba, 347K

Seat 2: Salman Behbehani, 253K

Seat 3: Michael Foti, 105K

Seat 4: Michael Gathy, 418K

Seat 5: Joep van den Bijgaart, 605K

Seat 6: Erik Cajelais, 368K

Seat 7: Phil Ivey, 169K

Seat 8: Samuel Golbuff, 526K

Seat 9: Brent Wheeler, 158K

While Cajelais is holding down the fourth place position, you had to notice who will sit on his left. This final table is Ivey’s fifth of the 2012 WSOP schedule and, while short on chips, the Mixed Hold’em format might allow him to work some of the “Ivey Magic.” Cajelais has an excellent shot at his second WSOP bracelet, notwithstanding Ivey, and the $210,107 first place prize would be something anyone would like.

  • Event #36 – $3000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout and Event #37 – $2500 Eight Game Mixed – Day One

Two Day Ones were in action on Tuesday in the Brasilia Room at the Rio, with the NLHE Shootout drawing 587 players. 60 of those folks will be back in action today for Day Two, all guaranteed the minimum $9086 payday.

As it is a Shootout event, pretty much all the players have the same stack (only thirteen players who played on nine-handed tables on Day One will have a bit less) and Canada is well represented. Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Jonathan Driscoll, Matt Jarvis, Steven Kerr and Dmitry Vitkind will join other notables such as Antonio Esfandiari, Melanie Weisner, Joe Tehan, Steve Billirakis, Kevin Saul and Jean-Robert Bellande for Day Two today, which will feature ten six handed tables to set up for tomorrow’s ten handed final table. The eventual champion will take down the WSOP bracelet and $368,593 in cash.

The $2500 Eight Game Mixed event also was in play, with 477 players stepping up for battle. The big scare, however, was Doyle Brunson’s abandonment of his stack during play after he experienced some chest pains. Apparently Brunson had been playing cash games for about eight hours right up to the start of the $2500 Mixed, regretting his decision to play in Event #37. “Can’t play cash and tourneys (in same day). Too long,” Brunson commented over Twitter after he exited the tournament with a stack on the table.

By the end of Day One, 209 players were remaining in the tournament with Chris McClung in the Top Ten. McClung’s 38K in chips is good for eighth place, while Daniel Idema, Sorel Mizzi, Greg Mueller, Daniel Negreanu, Terrence Chan, Mark Brockington, Guang Lu, Shea Thomas Monson, Sean Grover, Gavin Smith, Zachary Fellows, Mike Watson and Adam Coviensky will also be on hand on Wednesday to help McClung represent Canada.

  • Event #38 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em – STARTING TODAY

Another of the $1500 NLHE events will take to the Brasilia Room at noon today, which will draw out many of the amateurs looking to make their mark on the WSOP as well as the pros who aren’t already preoccupied with something else. The big thing to watch on Wednesday, however, will be to see if Erik Cajelais can complete his stirring run at his second WSOP bracelet and the fourth for Canada during the 2012 WSOP.



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Earl Burton
Earl Burton is a veteran journalist in the poker industry, having covered the game since 2004. He has played the game much longer, however, starting out playing in family games at a very early age. He has covered tournaments across the United States, including the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker and various charitable events. Earl’s background includes writing for some of the top poker news sites in the industry as well as other poker media outlets that include Poker Player Newspaper and Canadian Poker Player Magazine. Earl keeps an unblinking eye on the poker world, offering coverage of news from the industry, tournament action, player interviews, strategy and his opinions on the game. Whenever possible, Earl will also step to the tables to demonstrate that there’s more than just writing talent behind his poker game!


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