Although no tournaments reached their conclusion during Tuesday’s action at the 2011 World Series of Poker, three events will be wrapped up over the course of the day on Wednesday. Among those in contention for the bracelets are several Canadian newcomers who are making a significant impact on the first week of action inside the Rio.
Event #8 – $1000 No Limit Hold’em – Day 3
Stunning many of the observers in the Amazon Room at the Rio, the $1000 No Limit Hold’em tournament – which had been scheduled to finish up play today – very nearly completed play last night before falling short with three players remaining.
Sixty players stepped back to the baize on Tuesday, in theory to work down to the final table. Early in the proceedings, defending World Champion Jonathan Duhamel was ushered from the competition in 54th place and he wasn’t very pleased about it. Commenting over his Twitter feed, Jonathan informed his followers, “Lost a huge pot to a guy who flop the nuts to start the day, then lost 2 all-ins in a row to bust in 54th place..feeling like ch*t right now.”
Following Duhamel from Event #8 were several other sons of Canada who played excellent poker over the span of the massive, 4178 player field. Montreal’s Gabriel Rouleau (45th), Thunder Bay’s Franco Cupello (36th), Toronto’s Marcus Mizzi (20th), Calgary’s Chase Olsen (16th) and Blainville’s Jonathan Driscoll (10th, just shy of the final table) all took home five figure cashes for their efforts.
Following Driscoll’s departure, Jon “PearlJammer” Turner continued to hold the chip lead he picked up during Day 2 play. Contrary to what had been previously thought, however, the final nine decided to continue on with play and attempt to wrap up Event #8 a day early. With play down to the final six players, there was a slight commotion that caused a delay that may have prevented the tournament from being concluded on Tuesday evening.
Turner brought to the attention of WSOP officials that the intense lighting of the WSOP final table stage (called the Mothership by some, the Thunderdome by others and whose popularity is still in question) was revealing a flaw in the cards being used on the table. After examination, it was shown that the four of spades (and other cards) displayed an irregularity that would allow the observant player to know what the cards were. It took approximately 35 minutes for the entire entourage to move to an outer table, where the more diffused lighting didn’t reveal the flaw.
Once at the new table, Turner continued his aggressive style until he ran up against Sadan Turker. Turker, who had started the final table in the second place spot behind Turner, faced a difficult decision on a four heart board that Turner bet 1.2 million chips on. After a deep thought, Turker made the call and tabled his pocket eights for a flopped set. It turned out that Turner was on the bluff as he said, “Good call,” and mucked his cards. With the hand, Turker catapulted to the chip lead and Turner went to the bottom of the standings.
When play resumes on Wednesday afternoon, Turker will sit atop 7.9 million in chips, well ahead of Sean Getzwiller (3 million) and Turner (1.68 million). If Turker is able to win the championship, it would mark the third win by a player from the United Kingdom. Up for grabs is the ultimate prize of $611,185 and the all-important WSOP bracelet.
Event #10 – $1500 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em – Day 2
188 players came back on Tuesday for Event #10, with the task of determining just who would cash only the first item on their agenda. With only 180 players taking home the minimum of $2954, eight players would be denied something to show for their efforts. Within the first half hour of action, the money bubble burst at the expense of 2010 WSOP Main Event final tablist Matt Jarvis and fellow pro Eric Froehlich, who went away from the Amazon Room empty handed.
The remaining 180 wasted little time shrinking the field, with the thought of making the six handed final table for tomorrow’s play a possibility. By the time the 10 Level Rule was put into effect, however, the field was only able to work down to the final fifteen players. Leading the way is Jeffrey Papola, sitting on a 1.08 million mountain of chips.
For the first time at this year’s WSOP, there is the possibility of multiple Canadians making the final table. Continuing what has been an outstanding 2011 for him, Alexander Wice currently sits in second place, with George Jalkotzy (3rd) and Sean Grover (10th) potentially looking at seizing three of the nine final table slots. Whoever takes home the championship today will be $544,388 richer and also can call themselves a WSOP champion.
Event #11 – $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo World Championship – Day 2
In arguably what is one of the best debuts at the WSOP since Jeff Madsen in 2006, Lorraine’s Guillaume Rivet will lead the final 22 players to the felt on Wednesday to determine the second World Champion of a WSOP event in the $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo.
Rivet, who earned his first ever cash at the WSOP only five days ago in the $1500 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event, sits on a 809,000 chip stack, vastly outpacing his closest competitor, Italy’s Allesio Isaia, by almost 300K in chips. The remainder of the field is fraught with peril; such players as Richard “Chufty” Ashby, World Poker Tour announcer Mike Sexton, Kirill Gerasimov and Freddy Deeb sit back in the pack. Rivet is the lone Canadian remaining in the tournament and will be the only Canadian casher in the event.
Up for grabs this evening in the Amazon Room will be the bracelet crowning the latest World Champion of Omaha Hi/Lo and a $465,216 first place prize.
Event #12 – $1500 Triple Chance No Limit Hold’em – Day 1
By the time registration was completed in the tournament on Tuesday, 1340 players had plunked down the $1500 buy in for a shot at a WSOP bracelet. The unique “triple chance” format – where players had up to three bullets for use – provided for aggressive play throughout the early rounds and, by the time action ended early Wednesday morning, only 160 players would earn the right to return for Day 2.
As with Event #10 on Tuesday, the survivors of Day 1 will have some distasteful work to take care of during early action on Wednesday. With only 144 players earning a cashing spot, there will be sixteen players who will have nothing to show for their efforts. Among those in the bottom 20 slots are Canadians Simon Charette and Joel Bullock.
The leading Canadian at this point is Philippe Plouffe, who sits in 20th place with 64,800 in chips, and a host of other Canadians are in the mix, including Justin Chan, Gaetano Buda, Gabriel Alarie, Ahn Van Nguyen, David Cairns and Pascal LeFrancois. These gentlemen are all looking up at chip leader Peter Hernandez, who currently holds 124,700 in chips.
Plans are for the $1500 Triple Chance to play down to a final table this evening and award the $352,808 first place bounty and the WSOP bracelet on Thursday.
STARTING TODAY: Event #13 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout and Event #14 – #3000 Limit Hold’em
The $1500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout steps to the felt at noon on Wednesday, capped at a 2000 player field. This may be a bit audacious as, for the tournament last year, 1397 players came to the tables. The defending champion of the tournament is Steven Kelly, who defeated Jeffrey King in 2010 to take home the $382,725 winner’s prize.
The $3000 Limit Hold’em tournament begins at 5PM and should draw a quality field for one of the few mid-buy in events on the 2011 WSOP schedule. There was no such tournament as this in 2010, with the closest comparable event being the $2500 Six Handed Limit format. That tournament drew in a field of 384 players and featured the second ever bracelet win by pro Dutch Boyd, who defeated Brian Meinders to win the championship.
By Saturday of this week, one third of the tournaments on the 2011 WSOP schedule will either have been completed or in action. Still, there is about six weeks of action remaining on the 2011 agenda, with history to continue to be made on the tables of the 42nd Annual World Series of Poker.