With only four tournaments in action and one bracelet handed out, Tuesday at the 2011 World Series of Poker was a bit calm.
Around the tables on Wednesday, however, the action will once again ramp up, with two top Canadian pros set to battle it out in their respective events.
Event #34 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Final Day
27 men came back on Tuesday to vie for the championship of the latest $1000 NLHE tournament, with two Canadians in action. Unfortunately, neither New Westminster’s Glen Bertelsen nor North Vancouver’s Jonas Mackoff could mount a sustained charge to reach the final table, with the players going out in 27th and 20th places, respectively.
It was an American dominated table, with only two Europeans making it to the final nine players. The final table itself wasn’t determined until after the dinner break, when the elimination of Steven Davidsson on the final table bubble. With Mark Schmid in the lead, the action then ground to a halt, as several players put their tournament lives on the line, only to see them double through their opponents.
Schmid maintained his lead over Trevor Vandeveen and Justin Cohen for much of the final table play but, after Cohen busted two players to bring the action to three-handed, gave up that lead. Once Cohen eliminated Andrew Rudnik in third place, he had extended his lead to nearly a 3-1 advantage, setting up for an exciting heads up showdown.
Schmid had meticulously worked his way through the final table minefield and he used the same approach to heads up play. The pivotal hand in the tournament was a stunning hand, with Schmid committing the remainder of his chips to the pot on a K-8-6-J flop and turn and turning up K-9 for top pair. Cohen turned up a J-8 for a turned two pair and was one card from taking down the title. Unfortunately for Cohen, the final card came up a 9, giving Schmid a better two pair and allowing him to seize the chip lead.
After thirty more minutes of heads up play, Mark Schmid was able to dispatch Justin Cohen from the tournament. On the final hand, four spades came on the board (with two sevens) and Cohen turned up a J-7 for trips. Schmid was able to show pocket Queens, with the all-important Queen of spades for the flush and the championship. For his victory, Mark Schmid was able to take home $488,283 and, perhaps most importantly, the title of WSOP champion.
Event #35 – $5000 Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha – Day 3
110 runners came back to take on Day 3 of the Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha event on Tuesday, with only 48 of those players being able to say they earned some cash from the tournament. Two of those players were Canadian, with Beloiel’s Ryan Dellazizzo (33rd) and Toronto’s Jordan Cairns (40th) taking down $13,248 and $11,652, respectively.
Carrying the Canadian flag into the action on Wednesday will be two notable Canadian professionals. Sitting in third place is Waterloo’s Mike “Timex” McDonald, who is making an impressive debut on the WSOP stage. He currently sits with 827,000 in chips. Joining Mike will be fellow professional Peter Jetten, who is stacked with 310,000, good for 12th place among the fifteen men left in the tournament.
They both are in pursuit of Gregory Brooks, who is the only player above the one million chip mark with his 1.27 million in chips. Other top names appearing on the leader board include David Chiu (2nd, 891K), Jason Mercier (5th, 619K) and David “Devilfish” Ulliott (8th, 415K). The champion of this tournament will be determined on Wednesday, with the ultimate survivor taking down a tidy $619,575 and the WSOP bracelet for his efforts.
Event #36 – $2500 No Limit Hold’em – Day 1
By the conclusion of the registration period for Event #36, 1734 players would come out for the latest $2500 NLHE event on the 2011 WSOP calendar. Many of those in attendance would leave the Rio disappointed, as only 308 players will come back on Wednesday to divvy up the lucrative $3.94 million prize pool.
A few names leap out from the Day 2 table draw. One of the top performing Canadians on Tuesday was Gavin Smith, who sits with 103,900 chips, which is good for a ranking in the Top 15 at this point. Mike “SirWatts” Watson is still in the mix in the tournament, sitting with 28,500 in chips at a table that includes Jason Newburger and Randy Dorfman. Anh Van Nguyen is in a bit more difficult spot, holding 11,700 in chips at a table that includes Swedish poker star Chris Bjorin.
Someone who slept well on Tuesday night was Marvin Rettenmaier, who ended Day 1 play as the chip leader with his 174,100 stack. The plans for Wednesday are to get into the money (only 171 of the 308 will cash in the tournament) and to potentially get to the final table and decide the championship on Thursday. Up for grabs are a piece of WSOP gold and a payday of $749,610.
Event #37 – $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship – Day 1
An outstanding field of 240 players came out for the first day of play in the H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, with popular – and dangerous – professionals lurking around every corner. One of those pros, Canada’s Daniel Negreanu, is looking for a reversal of fortune for his 2011 WSOP.
Negreanu, who has only one cash to show for his month of play at the Rio to this point, has had extremely difficult luck in previous tournaments. In the Limit Hold’em World Championship, for example, he turned a full house, only to have his opponent river him with a royal flush. This caused Daniel to smash a prized set of headphones at the tables, an uncharacteristic but completely understandable reaction from “Kid Poker.” If there is one thing to know about Negreanu, however, is that he will be undaunted in his pursuit of WSOP history.
When action begins on Wednesday, Ron Ware holds down the chip lead with 122,300 in chips. Negreanu currently sits in fourth place with 99,900 and is joined by other professionals such as Barry Greenstein, Chau Giang, Robert Mizrachi and Michael Binger among those in the Top 20. With a good day, the players can put a dent into the 173 combatants still alive and convene a final table on Thursday to decide the championship.
STARTING TODAY – Event #38 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em and Event #39 – $2500 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha Split
Two events will step to the forefront of the WSOP on Wednesday, with another running of a $1500 No Limit Hold’em tournament kicking off at noon. The last $1500 event just wrapped up on Monday, with Canadians taking three of the top four finishing spots and Kirk Caldwell winning the title. That tournament drew 2828 players and, even with a midweek starting day, should still eclipse the 2500 player mark.
The unique $2500 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha tournament takes to the felt at 5PM. This tournament – which alternates between rounds of Texas and Omaha Hold’em – is not for the faint of heart, as an inadequacy in Omaha will be exploited by those players who are adept at both forms. This event drew 482 players in 2010, with Luis Velador defeating David Chiu for the championship.
In a little more than two weeks, the $10,000 Championship Event of the 2011 WSOP will be ready to take center stage. There is still a great deal of action remaining over the next fortnight, however, and many more chances for players to seize their WSOP moment!