Today At The 2011 WSOP, Day 21: Four Canadians In The Mix In $1500 NLHE; Christopher McClung Atop Leader Board Of $1000 NLHE


It was a quiet Sunday for Canadians at the WSOP yesterday, but there is the potential for several Canadian players to make an impact on Monday and perchance take down Canada’s fourth bracelet of this year’s WSOP.

Event #29 – $2500 Ten Game Mixed Event – Wrap-Up

Chris Lee

The suspended Event #29 came back on Sunday with three men – chip leader Chris Lee, Brian Haveson and Travis Pearson – still in contention for the title. Lee held slightly more than 425K chips than Haveson and more than 600K over Pearson, giving Lee the inside shot at taking home the crown in this first ever event at the WSOP.

Lee did, in fact, outlast his two opponents as Pearson dropped from the tournament in third place and Haveson was eliminated in second. For his efforts, Chris Lee would take home the first ever Ten Game Mixed Event WSOP bracelet and $254,955 in first place prize money. The highest Canadian finisher, North York’s Septimu Popescu, was eliminated during play on Saturday in twelfth place.

Event #30 – $1000 Seniors No Limit Hold’em Championship – Final Day

Sunday action saw the lone Canadian of the 37 players remaining in the field of the Seniors’ Event – Welland’s Donald Belanger – drop from the tournament in 28th place. In fact, the entirety of the final three tables in the tournament, save for one Frenchman, were from the United States.

Early on Monday morning, James Hess was able to vanquish Richard Harwood to win the tournament. After flopping trip sixes, Hess was able to get Harwood to commit the remainder of his chips with two pair. Once the board failed to give Harwood a two-outer for a full house, James Hess was crowned the champion of the Seniors Event.

Although not officially counted in the race for the WSOP Player of the Year, it is quite likely that James is still pretty happy, now holding a WSOP bracelet and a $557,435 addition to his bank account.

Event #31 – $3000 Pot Limit Omaha – Final Day

Sam Stein

At the start of play on Sunday, 26 players were left to determine the champion of the $3000 Pot Limit Omaha event. One Canadian remained in the field, Mississauga’s Andrew Chen, but he was unable to improve on his 13th place starting position and finished there during action on Sunday.

Running up against the WSOP curfew, Sam Stein held a 2-1 chip advantage over Day 1 leader Ben Lamb, and the duo wasted little time in deciding a champion. On the final hand early Monday morning, Stein turned a Broadway straight and got Lamb to commit the remainder of his chips with the second nut straight and a redraw to Broadway for a chop. When the King failed to appear on the river, Sam Stein had won the championship, the WSOP bracelet and the $420, 802 first place bounty.

Event #32 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em – Day 2

By the end of play on Monday morning, only 35 men were remaining from the massive 2500 player field. When play begins this afternoon, there are a host of Canadians that will be looking to make a run at Canada’s fourth bracelet of this year’s WSOP.

The highest ranking Canadian currently is Vancouver’s Michael Whitfield, who will begin play on Monday in fourth place with 624,000 in chips. Quebec’s Marc McLaughlin (8th, 588K), Orangeville’s Kirk Caldwell (15th, 356K) and Edmunston’s Marco Long (29th, 200K) are all still in contention for the title. All four Canadian players are looking up at Dror Michaelo, who holds the chip lead with 876,000 in chips.

The champion will be determined in this tournament late this evening, with the champion taking home a $668,276 payday and the WSOP bracelet.

Event #33 – $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo World Championship – Day 2

After two days of play, there hasn’t been any money handed out in the latest World Championship event at this year’s WSOP. With 178 players starting the tournament, only sixteen players will earn money for their efforts. The eighteen players who come back on Monday will have this task to decide first before potentially determining the champion later this evening (in all likelihood, the tournament will be suspended short of a champion tonight).

Sitting atop the leader board is Eric Rodawig who, although is sitting on a 695,000 chip stack, has to be concerned with those in pursuit of him. David Benyamine, Ali Eslami, Phil Hellmuth, Joe Tehan, John Racener, Ted Forrest, Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, Erik Seidel and Cyndy Violette are just a few of the names in the hunt for this World Championship.

If the champion of the tournament is determined tonight (or even if it is determined on Tuesday!), that player will earn the title of World Champion, a WSOP bracelet and $442,183 in prize money.

Event #34 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Day 1

The smaller, $1000 buy in events during the WSOP are always very popular and Event #34 was no different. An astounding field of 3144 players came out for Day 1 festivities in the Amazon Room, with only 323 of those players able to say they survived the carnage to come back on Monday for action.

Canada is represented by three players in the Top 15. Christopher McClurg ended up Sunday’s play in the second position on the leader board, holding 114,100 in chips. He is joined in the Top 15 by Toronto’s Joshua Norris (10th, 75,600) and Eric LeMarquand (14th, 71,400). They will be joined by approximately another fifteen Canadians in attempting to take down Douglas Gibson, who leads the pack with 146,600 in chips.

Befitting the massive field, when the champion is crowned on Tuesday, that player will walk off with a $488,283 bankroll boost and the WSOP bracelet.

STARTING TODAY:  Event #35 – $5000 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha

Only one tournament is scheduled to start today, the tremendously difficult $5000 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha tournament. It is likely that the field will exceed last year’s 460 players, given the midrange buy in and the continued popularity of Omaha Hold’em. Last year, the aptly named Chance Kornuth outlasted Kevin Boudreau to win the championship and the $508,090 first place check.

There is plenty for Canadian fans to watch on the felt at the WSOP today, with multiple players with an opportunity to take home the gold. As the fourth week of the 2011 World Series of Poker begins today, there are still several more opportunities for history to be made…and Canada to take more of the rewards!



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