The first week of play at the 2012 World Series of Poker wrapped up on Sunday with one of the more bizarre situations playing out in the Amazon Room. A battle for a bracelet was delayed, one was awarded, the monstrous “re-entry” event lumbered along and one Canadian made some noise in a big non-No Limit Hold’em event.
Event #6 – $5000 “Mixed Max” No Limit Hold’em – Day Four
The Final Four in the “Mixed Max” event came back to the felt on Sunday, looking to crown a champion in the first-ever battle for such a tournament on the grounds of the Rio (the event was first contested last year during the WSOP Europe). Instead of bestowing a bracelet on a very deserving individual, however, there was a bizarre chain of occurrences that will require a fifth day for the event to be played.
The Final Four lined up as such at the 1PM (Pacific Time) start:
Warwick Mirzikinian (1,547,500 in chips) vs. Aubin Cazals (1,475,000)
Joseph Cheong (1,567,000) vs. Hugo Lemaire (1,545,000)
It would take Cheong slightly less than three hours to dispatch of Lemaire, but the struggle between Mirzikinian and Cazals was the driving force behind one of the more bizarre situations to this point of the 2012 WSOP. Over a nearly ten hour fight, Mirzikinian and Cazals jousted on the felt, with neither seemingly willing to depart the Amazon Room. While this was going on, a patient Cheong decided to jump into the Day 1B running of Event #9, the $1500 “Re-Entry” tournament.
Cazals would eventually dispatch of Mirzikinian as the evening grew late and there was discussion between the two survivors and WSOP officials as to how to continue the match. Cheong had built a good stack in Event #9 and didn’t want to abandon it to pick up the fight against Cazals. With Day Two of Event #9 today, Cheong also wanted to be able to continue that tournament without the “Mixed Max” bracelet battle hanging over his head.
The duo, along with WSOP officials, originally decided to pick up the tournament on Tuesday. After review by WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, however, that plan was ditched (according to Effel, Nevada Gaming Commission rules dictated that the tournament couldn’t be postponed that long). Faced with either beginning the tournament late Sunday evening or coming back on Monday to pick up the fight, Cazals and Cheong decided to play the final heads up match in the “Mixed Max” today beginning at 9AM.
Event #8 – $1500 Omaha Hi/Lo – Final Day
The hubbub of the “Mixed Max” event drew some attention away from the other tournament that would crown a champion on Sunday. The $1500 Omaha Hi/Lo tournament brought back 20 players for the final day and they were able to get down to a champion by the close of action last night.
With the highest placing Canadian out in 30th place (Whitby’s Matthew Wood), there were nothing but Americans left for Sunday’s play. Still, some notable names were at the final table, determined after five hours of Omaha action in the Amazon Room. John Racener, Raymond Davis, Can Kim Hua, Thayer Rasmussen and Gavin Griffin were looking up at chip leader Bryan Jolly, but it was the second place stack of Herbert Tapscott who would emerge victorious after a heads up showdown with Griffin that lasted until early Monday morning.
For his efforts, the 72-year old Tapscott took his first WSOP bracelet (Griffin, in contrast, won his first at 22 and was looking for a second) and the winner’s payday of $264,400.
Event #9 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry – Day 1B
Coming off of a nice 1696 player turnout on Saturday, the $1500 No Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event played its Day 1B action on Sunday. The popular format – which allows players who were eliminated on Day 1A to re-enter the tournament on Day 1B (with a second $1500 pop) – brought out a slew of players who were unfortunate on Saturday as well as some single-shot entries on its way to building up a 3404 entry field.
Between the two Day Ones, 505 players have survived to come back for Day Two this afternoon, with 342 of those runners earning a WSOP cash for their resumes. Leading the way is Giorgio Medici’s 106,500 chip stack, with Day 1B leader Adam Kornuth (94,700) sliding into the third place slot behind Day 1A runner-up David Miscikowski (105,100). The highest ranking Canadian at this point is former World Champion Jonathan Duhamel, continuing his excellent 2012 tournament poker season, in 29th place with 65,700 in chips. Terrence Chan (33rd, 65,100) and Ryan Hall (46th, 60,400) are also in the Top 50 heading into Day Two play.
The eventual champion of this tournament will walk away with the biggest payday to this point of the 2012 WSOP, $781,398, and the WSOP bracelet.
Event #10 – $5000 Seven Card Stud – Day One
One of the biggest non-Hold’em events on the WSOP is the $5000 Seven Card Stud event, which didn’t disappoint in the quality of the field buy may have come up short as to size. Last year’s tournament (a $10,000 buy in event) drew in a field of 126 players and was won by Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier; this year’s event, with the reduced buy in, only drew 145 players but the caliber of player was definitely there.
By the time the action closed on the Stud masters, Bryn Kenney had emerged at the top of the 91 players remaining with his 59K in chips. Former WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela was in fourth, while David Singer and Huck Seed held down the fifth and sixth place slots. The top Canadian player is Mike Leah, sitting in eighth place with his 45,700 in chips, and he alone will carry the Canadian flag to battle when Day Two begins this afternoon.
Event #11 – $1500 Pot Limit Omaha – STARTING TODAY
Adding into the organized chaos that will be the start of the second week of the 2012 WSOP will be the $1500 Pot Limit Omaha event. In 2011, this event drew in 1071 players, with France’s Elie Payan taking down the bracelet over Rafael Kibrit for a $292,825 payout. The non-No Limit Hold’em tournaments have been doing quite well over the first week of the WSOP and it is expected that this one will bring the “more adventurous” (re: gamblers) poker players for a tournament filled with action.