Today At The 2011 WSOP, Day 37: Two Canadians Final Table Event #54, Professional Minh Ly Leads $50K Poker Players Championship Final Table

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The final four preliminary events leading up to the start of the $10,000 Championship Event on Thursday are all in action this afternoon, with two Canadian men looking to take the country’s sixth bracelet of the WSOP and a stacked final table, headed by professional Minh Ly, ready to determine a champion in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.

Event #54 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Day 3

Quebec's Sebastien Roy started 4th in Chips at the Final Table of Event 54
Quebec's Sebastien Roy started 4th in Chips at the Final Table of Event 54

Surprisingly, the 45 men who came back for action on Tuesday were able to work down to the nine handed final table before the WSOP Ten Round Rule took effect. While four Canadians came back for the festivities on Tuesday, only two will be around today to determine the champion.

The two Canadians eliminated during action on Tuesday were Laval’s Nahabedian Raffi and St. John’s Jason Bigelow, although both took down impressive money for their finishes. Nahabedian, who started play on Tuesday in seventh place, was the first Canadian to go, leaving the Amazon Room with a 26th place finish for $20,303. Jason would last a bit longer, driving to a fifteenth place finish for a nice payday of $32,370.

Russia’s Max Lykov will lead the final table when it begins this afternoon, holding a massive 3.875 million in chips. His closest competitor, Dror Michaelo, sits with 1.98 million, while Quebec’s Sebastien Roy will begin the day with 1.4 million in fourth place. The most difficult task falls on Edmonton’s Ren Ho Zhang, who will be the short stack at the final table with only 785,000 in chips.

The champion should be crowned this evening – so players can prep for the start of the Main Event on Thursday – with the champion earning a WSOP bracelet and $648,880 in cash.

Event #55 – $50,000 Poker Players Championship – Day 4

With no Canadians to pull for in the Poker Players Championship, interest may be a bit down, but the final table is shaping up to be one of the most star-studded assembly of players in recent memory.

29 men came back on Tuesday to work down first to the money, where sixteen of the players would take a bit of cash home for their labor. Robert Mizrachi – the brother of the defending champion of this event Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi – could not earn the Mizrachi clan another $50K title, bowing out on the bubble in seventeenth place. Sebastian Ruthenberg, Barry Greenstein, Michael Binger, Day 3 chip leader Josh Arieh, Yan Chen, Jeff Lisandro and Vladimir Shchemelev would bow out in sixteenth through tenth places, respectively, bringing the table down to nine handed.

The final nine men attempted to work down to the official WSOP final table for this event – eight players – but were unable to do so, playing until after 5AM (Pacific Time) in the effort. A decision was made by WSOP officials to stop the play for the night and it is unknown whether the group will come back to eliminate one more player using the eight game mix or continue the final table in a nine handed format and change over to No Limit Hold’em, as is the plan for the tournament.

Professional Minh Lee is Leading in Chip Count
Professional Minh Lee is Leading in Chip Count

When the tournament – however it will be played – finishes off action today, professional Minh Ly will be at the helm of the event, sitting on 5.2 million of the chips in play. There are a couple of interesting subplots as former World Champion Phil Hellmuth will start the day in fifth place with 2.24 million. Hellmuth is not only looking to earn his twelfth WSOP bracelet (and his first in a non-NLHE event), he is also in the battle for the WSOP Player of the Year race. Another subplot involves 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Ben Lamb, who is looking to become the (thus far) only double bracelet winner of this year’s WSOP. He will begin the day in seventh place with 1.18 million in chips.

The remainder of the field is quite talented and could provide some challenges. Brian Rast, Matt Glantz, George Lind, Owais Ahmed, Jason Lester and Scott Seiver round out the nine man table, with hopes the event can be concluded tonight. The champion of the tournament will take home the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, the WSOP bracelet and a little bit of cash…$1,720,328!

Event #56 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em – Day 1

It seems the draw of earning one of the final bracelets of the 2011 WSOP is much like Gollum’s desire for The Ring. An astonishing 3389 turned out on Tuesday for Day 1 of Event #56 but, by the end of the action early this morning, the field had been whittled down to only 465 players. The prize pool built for this tournament – $4.575 million – is one of the larger prize pools of the 2011 WSOP.

After Day 1, Benjamin Volpe leads the field with his 156,200 in chips with pros Bryn Kenney and Dan Kelly in pursuit. Topping the list of Canadian players is Toronto’s Dave Anderson, who is sitting in 36th place with his 69,600 in chips. There are only two other Canadians in the Top 100 – Quebec’s Vincent Jacques (55th, 59,700) and Longueuil’s Linda Huard (92nd, 49,500).

342 players will take away cash from this tournament, meaning there is some work to do on Wednesday for the remainder of the field. The final table will take place on Thursday, the first Day 1 of the Championship Event, with the victor taking $777,928 and the WSOP bracelet.

Event #57 – $5000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo – Day 1

Perhaps because of its proximity to the start of the Championship Event on Thursday, Event #57 “only” drew a field of 352 runners. By the end of action Tuesday night, that number had been reduced to 189 survivors.

Gary Bolden emerged as the leader from Day 1 with 98,300 in chips, but he has a host of top professionals chasing him. Max Pescatori, Alexandre Gomes, Joe Tehan, Ali Eslami and Dan Shak are all in the Top Ten and could emerge as a challenger to Bolden. Vancouver’s Chris Back (31st, 42,500) and Dublin’s Eoghan O’Dea (43rd, 38,400) are the top two Canadian players among the 189 players who come back on Wednesday.

The final preliminary event bracelet will be awarded in this tournament on Thursday, with this champion earning said jewelry and a $397,073 first place prize for their efforts.

Although it could be called the “calm before the storm,” there will be nothing sedate about Wednesday’s action around the Amazon Room. Two bracelets and the $50K Poker Players Championship’s Chip Reese Memorial Trophy will be awarded, while the other two events will have to wait until Thursday to complete their activities. This is all ahead of the minions who will descend on the Rio beginning Thursday, when the first of four Day Ones will take place for the $10,000 Championship Event.

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Earl Burton is a veteran journalist in the poker industry, having covered the game since 2004. He has played the game much longer, however, starting out playing in family games at a very early age. He has covered tournaments across the United States, including the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker and various charitable events. Earl’s background includes writing for some of the top poker news sites in the industry as well as other poker media outlets that include Poker Player Newspaper and Canadian Poker Player Magazine. Earl keeps an unblinking eye on the poker world, offering coverage of news from the industry, tournament action, player interviews, strategy and his opinions on the game. Whenever possible, Earl will also step to the tables to demonstrate that there’s more than just writing talent behind his poker game!

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