Today At The 2011 WSOP, Day 29: Several Near Misses For Canadians In Bracelet Events; Jonathan Driscoll Heads Event #45 Final Day

Ben Lamb Event #42 Winner 2011WSOP

On Monday at the 2011 World Series of Poker, several Canadians were in position to challenge for the bracelet, but came up a bit short. Although there wasn’t a Canadian at any of the final tables on Monday, Blainville’s Jonathan Driscoll has set himself up to turn that trick on Tuesday.

Event #42 – $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha World Championship – Conclusion

Not able to crown a champion on Sunday night, four men came back to the final table on Monday to tie up the loose ends of the Pot Limit Omaha World Championship. After falling short by finishing second in last week’s $3000 Pot Limit Omaha event, Ben Lamb climbed that final rung by taking down the victory in Event #42.

Leading the final table, Lamb was never seriously challenged. He eliminated Christopher King and, after Sami Kelopuro knocked off John Shipley in third, still held an approximate two million chip lead over Kelopuro. Although Kelopuro did experience some time as the chip leader during heads up play, Lamb would not be denied, coming back to take the championship. For his efforts, Ben Lamb can now be called the Pot Limit Omaha World Champion, resplendent with the WSOP bracelet and $814,436 in cash.

Event #43 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em – Final Day (Suspended)

Starting with 34 players on Monday, it was hoped that Event #43 would be wrapped up before the WSOP Ten Round Rule took effect. Alas, that was a feat that could not be achieved, as two players – Nachman Berlin and Andre Akkari – will have to come back on Tuesday to settle the score.

Three Canadians had a shot to make the final table in this tournament but all three would come up just a bit short. The highest Canadian finisher, Windsor’s Sherif El Messiri, dropped out from the tournament in eleventh place, still pulling in a nice $38,839 score. Saint Augustin’s Jonathan Gagnon (18th, $24,105) and Meadow Lake’s Brian Kulczyzki (33rd, $15,659) were the other Canadian players in action on Monday.

The final two men will decide the championship at another suspended tournament on Tuesday, with the WSOP bracelet and $675,117 to be awarded to the victor.

Event #44 – $2500 Seven Card Razz – Final Day (Suspended)

This suspension was almost to be expected. After ten rounds of play couldn’t whittle the field from the 23 men who came back on Monday to a champion, Event #44 was suspended as well. Coming back on Tuesday to finish up the festivities will be Stephen Su and Rep Porter, with Su holding a slim 3:2 lead over Porter. The winner of the tournament will get the WSOP bracelet and a nice payday of $210,615.

Starting the day in third place, North York’s George Lewis was unable to gain any traction at the tables on Monday. He gradually slid down the leaderboard until he was eliminated in tenth place, two places short of the final table. For his three days of labor, George will take home a tidy $15,079, or roughly $5026 per day…not a bad wage!

Event #45 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Day 2

Of the 304 players who began the fray on Day 2 in Event #45, only 21 would survive to come back on Tuesday for final day action. A Canadian who has quietly had a nice WSOP with two cashes, Blainville’s Jonathan Driscoll, will start the final day atop the leaderboard in the tournament with 1.24 million in chips. He is the only Canadian remaining in the field and looks to have a decent shot at the final table and potentially the sixth Canadian WSOP bracelet of 2011.

Taking the top honor of highest cash in the tournament to this point is Winnipeg’s Jonathan Zaczek, who finished in 56th place on Day 2. He was joined by 23 other Canadians in taking down at least a $1898 cash for their performance in the event.

Driscoll has a chance to earn his career high cash in this tournament. By finishing in the top two, he would earn more than he did for his 39th place in last year’s Championship Event, where he took down $206,395. The eventual champion of Event #45 will take home the WSOP bracelet and $455,356 of the $2.6 million prize pool.

Event #46 – $10,000 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em World Championship – Day 1

A solid field of 474 players ventured into the Rio on Monday for Day 1 play in the latest World Championship event at the 2011 WSOP. After a full day of play, 162 of those players will come back on Tuesday to work their way down (close?) to the final table.

After winning the Pot Limit Omaha World Championship, Ben Lamb scooted over to this tournament and emerged at the end of the day in third place, holding 223,000 in chips. Leading the field is 2011 WPT Shooting Star champion Alan Sternberg, sitting atop a mountain of 260,000 in chips, and noted online (making the transition to live) pro Kevin Saul, who has gathered 242,600 in chips. Former World Champion Joe Cada, veteran pro Farzad Bonyadi and 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Fabrice Soulier are all in the Top 20.

Leading the list of Canadian players still in the mix for the Six Handed World Championship is Mississauga’s Andrew Chen, who has already accumulated two cashes during the 2011 WSOP. He will start Day 2 in fourteenth place with 168,700 in chips, while Fredericton’s Russell Carson (25th), Toronto’s Matt Marafioti (36th), Burlington’s Timothy Adams (41st), Boucherville’s Jonathan Duhamel (68th), Richmond’s Elliot Smith (77th), Guelph’s Gabriel Frank (82nd), Toronto’s Alexander Wice (88th) and Burnaby’s Jason Mann (128th) will have some work to do on Tuesday to make the money.

48 players will earn the minimum cash of $19,159, meaning that many of our Canadian contingent are currently on the outside looking in. For the player who is able to defeat such a difficult field as this, the World Championship WSOP bracelet awaits along with a $1.158 million payday, the largest to this point in the 2011 WSOP.

Event #47 – $2500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo – Day 1

For a split game event such as this, where games are rotated between Omaha Hi/Lo and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, the 450 players who showed up for Day 1 activities was outstanding.

Shawn Buchanan and Daniel Negreanu were two of the Canadian victims of Day 1 of this tournament and currently there isn’t a Canadian player above 59th place, Whitby’s Matthew Wood. Matthew will be joined by ten other Canadians among the 201 who start play on Tuesday, and they all have a difficult task ahead of them. Current chip leader Abe Mosseri is sitting on 64,200, good for an approximately 17K lead over Kevin Iacofano.

It will be a difficult Day 2 for the players coming back on Tuesday. First off, they must work their way down to the 48 players who will cash in the tournament (conceivable) and, secondly, must get to a final table (not likely). The plan currently is for the final day of this tournament on Wednesday (which will probably end up in another suspended final table) and the awarding of the WSOP bracelet and $255,959 in first place moolah.

STARTING TODAY:  Event #48 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em and Event #49 – $2500 Limit Deuce To Seven Triple Draw Lowball

Time waits for no one and, even with five tournaments already in action, two more will join the battlefield on Tuesday. Another $1500 NLHE tournament is set to open up action at noon; expect that, like many of the other $1500 NLHE events, there will be a massive outpouring of players attempting to claim a WSOP bracelet.

Another, more specialized tournament – Deuce to Seven Triple Draw – will open for business at 5PM this afternoon. As one of the more complex variations of poker, it will draw the true specialists in the tournament poker world, even with a smaller buy in of $2500. 291 players were in attendance for this tournament in 2010, with Peter Gelencser defeating Raphael Zimmerman to take home his first WSOP bracelet.

All Canadian eyes on Tuesday will be locked on Jonathan Driscoll as he attempts to take down Canada’s sixth bracelet in Event #45, but there is plenty of action around the Rio with seven tournaments in play. With only nine days remaining until the start of the $10,000 Championship Event, time is running out for players to claim their piece of the hardware (and their piece of the cash) at the 2011 World Series of Poker.


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