Today At The 2011 WSOP, Day 36: No Canadians Remain In Poker Players Championship; Final Two Preliminaries Begin Today

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It was a day of disappointment for the four Canadians who were involved in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship on Monday, as each of them was eliminated over the span of the day. With the massive $1000 NLHE tournament ongoing, the final two preliminary events of this year’s WSOP will hit the felt this afternoon.

Event #54 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Day 2

For the first time since the tournament started on Saturday, the remainder of the massive 4576 player field gathered in the Amazon Room to contest the final $1000 NLHE event of this year’s WSOP. Although there were 638 players to start the action on Monday, only 45 will return this afternoon when the tournament enters Day 3 play.

Four Canadian men will be a part of that action on Tuesday and all of them are massed within the Top 20. Leading the way for the Canadian contingent is Laval’s Nahabedian Raffi, who currently sits in seventh place with 477,000 in chips. He is joined by countrymen in St. John’s Jason Bigelow (8th, 476K), Quebec’s Sebastien Roy (16th, 326K) and Edmonton’s Ren Ho Zhang (19th, 306K) in the first half of the leaderboard. They will all be chasing Argentina’s Anibal Andres, who is currently stacked with 799,000 in chips.

Forty-five Canadians have taken down money for their participation in this event (current WSOP statistics are updated through 67th place as of press time). Leading the cashers in the tournament is Woodbridge’s Michael Maltese, who took home $7248 for his 67th place finish and top Vancouver pro Terrence Chan came home in 96th place ($4241).

The plan on Tuesday is to reach the final table of this tournament so it can be concluded on Wednesday and prior to the start of the $10,000 Championship Event on Thursday. Up for grabs between our 45 survivors are the WSOP bracelet and a nice chunk of the $4.1 million prize pool, $648,880.

Event #55 – $50,000 Poker Players Championship – Day 3

What started out on Monday to be a good day for the Canadians remaining in the field turned out to be disastrous by the close of business early Tuesday morning. Of the four men who came back to the felt – Vancouver’s Greg Mueller, Lorraine’s Guillaume Rivet, Toronto’s Sorel Mizzi and Abbotsford’s Shawn Buchanan – none of them were around when the last card flew early this morning.

One of the more painful hands went down the wrong way for Sorel Mizzi. Battling during the No Limit Hold’em segment of the eight game mix, Sorel got his chips to the center against Brian “tsarrast” Rast in what was a large, six figure pot. Sorel popped up his pocket ladies (Q-Q) but was hit with a cooler by Rast’s pocket Aces. An Ace on the flop for all purposes ended the tournament for Sorel and, once a trey peeled off on the turn, he was out of the event.

After the brutal cooler, Sorel was understandably a bit dismayed. “Got up to 460k at my peak and was down to 350k when I lost with QQ vs Rast’s AA SB vs BB all in preflop,” Sorel lamented over his Facebook page. “Simply not fair.”

Guillaume Rivet went out soon after Mizzi’s departure after a difficult defeat at the hands of Raymond Dehkharghani. With a board showing J-7-A-2-6 during Limit play, Guillaume was down to his last 20K and turned up Q-J for second pair. Dehkharghani had him outpipped, however, when he turned up his K-J to take down the pot. All Guillaume could do was order a good stiff drink and, soon afterwards, head for the door of the Amazon Room.

Josh Arieh is the end of day 3 chipleader of the 50k PPC
Josh Arieh is the end of day 3 chipleader of the 50k PPC

Rast has used those chips he took from Sorel to currently sit in the second slot on the leaderboard behind Josh Arieh, who leads the tournament with 1.819 million chips. The rest of the leaderboard reads like a Who’s Who of poker, with Phil Hellmuth – who has two runner-up finishes this year at the WSOP while on the hunt for his twelfth bracelet – Scott Seiver, Jon “PearlJammer” Turner, Shaun Deeb and Gus Hansen among those players in the first eleven slots.

Play today will whittle the field down to the nine men who will contest for the title, with the final table ditching the eight game mix and switching to a No Limit Hold’em format. One of the most respected awards in the poker world, the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, is at stake, along with a WSOP bracelet and a $1.72 million in first place cash.

STARTING TODAY:  Event #56 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em and Event #57 – $2500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo

The final two preliminary events for the 2011 World Series of Poker will kick off this afternoon and are expected to draw huge fields as players seek that elusive WSOP bracelet. The $1500 NLHE tournaments have routinely drawn around 2000 players for each running and, when the cards fly at noon today, you can expect that the tables will be swarming with players.

The $2500 PLO Hi/Lo event might be a bit more specialized, but it should be just as popular (if not more) as other $2500 events on the 2011 WSOP schedule. This tournament will start at 5PM this afternoon and will be the final chance for a player to take an open bracelet during the 2011 WSOP.

These two tournaments are scheduled to be three day events, meaning that if a player went deep, they would miss out on the first Day 1 of the $10,000 Championship Event. That shouldn’t be an issue for the players, however, as they can accordingly adjust any schedules with WSOP officials should the need arise.

We’ve entered the homestretch of the 2011 World Series of Poker, with chances for a sixth Canadian bracelet optimistically still within reach. Then again, defending World Champion Jonathan Duhamel can repeat as Main Event champion and that issue would be moot! It promises to be an exciting final two weeks (or so) as the 42nd WSOP comes to a close.

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