A mere 24 hours after Mark Radoja emerged victorious in the $5000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout on Thursday, Vancouver’s Daniel Idema wasted little time in claiming Canada’s third bracelet of the 2011 World Series of Poker, winning the $10,000 Limit Hold’em World Championship exactly one year to the day after finishing second in the event.
Event #25 – $1500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo – Wrap-up
The battle for the WSOP bracelet in Event #25 was down to two men – popular online player Chris “PiMaster” Viox and legendary WPT announcer Mike Sexton – when play was called on Thursday due to the WSOP ten level rule. With Viox holding 2.1 million in chips to Sexton’s 640K, it was figured that the conclusion of the tournament would come fairly quickly on Friday, and it did.
Although Sexton was able to stave off elimination for approximately thirty minutes, the inevitable conclusion of this mano y mano battle was for Viox to take the crown. Still, the crowd received a jolt every time Sexton would take a hand. On the final hand, Mike held hidden eights against Chris’ gated sixes, but was unable to improve on his hand. Chris, however, was able to find a second pair of deuces by Seventh Street to make two pair and defeat Sexton. For his efforts, Chris Viox takes home the honor of defeating one of the ambassadors of poker in Mike Sexton, the WSOP bracelet and a $200,459 payday.
Event #26 – $2500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em – Final Day
22 players from the massive starting field of 1378 runners came back on Friday to determine a champion in Event #26. At the start of the day, Anthony Ruberto and Chris Moorman both sat above one million each in chips to lead the field and there were no Canadians in the mix for the title.
The survivors played until the dinner break to determine the six-handed final table, then came back after the sustenance to play down to the champion. Oleksii Kovalchuk began the final table with the chip lead and would never look back, motoring through the final table as Ruberto fell in sixth place and Moorman would drop in third. After defeating Ionel Anton in heads up play, the Ukraine’s Oleksii Kovalchuk was crowned the champion of the $2500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament, capturing the $689,729 first place prize and the WSOP bracelet.
Event #27 – $10,000 Limit Hold’em World Championship – Final Day
Starting Friday with fourteen men in contention, the Limit Hold’em World Championship had all the indications of being one of the better final tables of the 2011 WSOP. Vancouver’s Daniel Idema came to the felt with an excellent chance at being one of those final table combatants, sitting in second place at the start of play Friday afternoon.
Once Hoyt Corkins was eliminated on the final table bubble, Daniel had claimed the chip lead but faced a contingent of opponents that, at the minimum, was daunting. Joining Daniel at the final table were such notables as Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, Barry Greenstein, Nick Schulman and Isaac Haxton, truly one of the more noteworthy final tables during this year’s play.
Although Steve Landfish (fresh off his runner up performance in the $10K Seven Card Stud World Championship) would take the lead for a period, Daniel would surge back into the lead when play was down to five handed action. Matthew Gallin made a run at seizing the lead from Daniel, knocking out Landfish (fourth) and Greenstein (third) to reach heads up action but, by that time, Daniel had built a 4-1 chip lead over Gallin.
With such a chip advantage, it was over fairly quickly as it took roughly fifteen minutes following Greenstein’s elimination for Daniel to take home the title. On the final hand, Gallin’s remaining chips went to the center on a J-7-3 flop and he tabled pocket Queens. Daniel, however, had out-flopped him with his J-3 for two pair. Although there were five outs that Daniel had to fade (plus a potential for runner-runner pairing), nothing materialized for Matthew and Daniel Idema had won the World Championship of Limit Hold’em.
The victory by Daniel is sweet on several levels. In this very same event a year to the exact day, Daniel had finished as the runner up to Matt Keikoan for the championship. Daniel was able to move “one step beyond” this year in winning the championship and Canada’s third bracelet of the WSOP. For his victory, Daniel earned the WSOP bracelet, $378,642 in cash and the congratulations from all of us at CanadaPoker.com for a well-deserved World Championship!
Event #28 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em – Day 2
349 players returned to action on Friday with the audacious task of working down to the final table of this event. While they didn’t make it all the way, the 28 survivors who will come back on Saturday to crown a champion shouldn’t face a huge amount of labor in their championship efforts.
A host of Canadians were among the 248 players who have already earned their share of the $3.375 million prize pool. Toronto’s Phillip Nguyen (36th), Calgary’s Joel Bullock (37th), Toronto’s Jeremy Saunders (42nd), Brossaud’s Martin Gaudreault (98th), Calgary’s Dorey Livneh (107th), Langley’s Ken McKay (111th), Toronto’s Justin Oliver (113th), Toronto’s Maxwell Greenwood (126th), Calgary’s George Jalkotzy (135th), Lorraine’s Guillaume Rivet (143rd), Dublin’s Eoghan O’Dea (155th), Maple Grove’s Steven Daoust (172nd), Calgary’s Scott Serwa (239th), New Westminster’s Joseph Vallee (246th), Pefferlaw’s John Tamai (265th) and Toronto’s Joshua Norris (267th) can add a WSOP cash to their tournament poker resumes.
When the final day plays out on Saturday, two Canadians have a shot at the championship in this event, as Montreal’s Gabriel Rouleau (7th, 638K in chips) and Halifax’s Owen “ocrowe” Crowe (9th, 462K) both sit in the Top Ten. They are looking up at the plentiful stack of Steve Merrifield, who is currently the only player above the one million chip mark. Whichever gentleman walks away with the title tonight will be $599,153 richer and also the proud new owner of a WSOP bracelet.
Event #29 – $2500 Six Handed Ten Game Mixed Event – Day 2
Nineteen players will come back on Saturday to potentially crown a champion in this tournament, with none of them carrying the Canadian flag into battle. The highest Canadian finisher in the tournament was Abbotsford’s Shawn Buchanan, who added his third cash of the 2011 WSOP by finishing in 22nd place.
When the cards fly on Saturday, top online/live pro Shaun Deeb will hold a slight edge on Brian Haveson, with the remainder of the field tightly bunched behind them. To the winner of this event will go the spoils, in this case meaning $254,955 in first place moolah and the WSOP bracelet for winning arguably one of the most difficult formats seen in WSOP history.
Event #30 – $1000 Seniors’ No Limit Hold’em Championship – Day 1
3752 of the best of the over-50 crowd came to the felt for Day 1 of the Seniors’ Championship on Friday, with 529 of them coming back on Saturday to continue the festivities.
Several players who will not be back on Saturday include former World Champions “Amarillo Slim” Preston and Berry Johnston, ESPN announcer Lon McEachern, former CFL standout T. J. Cloutier, Tony Ma and the defending champion of the tournament, Harold Angle. Although these gentlemen will not be around, players such as Susie Isaacs, Shirley Williams (David’s mother) and Paul “X22” Magriel will be back for action. Ackonvale’s Andre Boyer will be playing as well, sitting with a 35,600 chip stack.
396 players will earn cash for this event, which is not counted towards the WSOP Player of the Year race. Still, the Seniors’ Championship will award somebody with $557,435 and an official WSOP bracelet, so maybe it should!
Event #31 – $3000 Pot Limit Omaha – Day 1
A robust field of 685 runners came to the line for Day 1 of the inaugural running of the $3000 Pot Limit Omaha event, with 138 remaining from the carnage of Friday’s play.
Canadians are doing quite well to this point, with three players in the Top 25 in chips. Mississauga’s Andrew Chen (15th place, 87,200 in chips), Millbrae’s Preston Lee (20th, 75,800) and Kamloops’ Chris Back (21st, 73,600) will be looking to go much further than the money bubble, which should pop this afternoon when the 64th place finisher is determined. Ben Lamb will lead the field to the pole when play continues this afternoon at 4PM, with the hopes of determining a final table for the championship to be completed on Sunday.
STARTING TODAY – Event #32 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em and Event #33 – $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo World Championship
At noon in the massive Rio poker complex, the running of another $1500 No Limit Hold’em event will take place. These tournaments have proven to be a popular part of the weekend festivities at the WSOP, drawing fields in the 3000s; this one should be no different.
At 5PM, the World Championship of Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo will begin, with the world’s finest Stud players taking their shot at WSOP immortality. In 2010, Frank Kassela used his championship in this tournament over Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler towards winning the WSOP Player of the Year Award. 170 players showed up for this event last year and, although the earlier Seven Card Stud World Championship only drew 126 runners, it is still conceivable that close to 200 players might take their shot in this tournament.
Canada has been on a roll the last two days, with Mark Radoja and Daniel Idema taking home bracelets in Canada’s honor. With just around a month of play left in the 2011 World Series of Poker, how many more can the Canadian contingent grab for themselves?