21st of June 2010 Author: Glo Wood
Four more bracelets awarded
Four more World Series of Poker events have been decided in Las Vegas over the weekend.
Event 30 - the $1,500 buy-in No-limit Hold'em contest has sent another WSOP bracelet to the United Kingdom - the fourth so far in this 2010 series which has just passed the halfway mark.
A three hour heads up between Brit player Mike Ellis and Christopher Gonzales decided an event that attracted an entry field of 2,394 players, many of them international aces. It was an exciting contest with impressive skills on display from both players, but in the end the British player prevailed in the early hours of the morning Saturday to collect the bracelet and the main prize of $581,851.
Earlier in the event 21 players started the final day, which proved to be long and arduous - all cashing but all with their eyes on the really big money in the main prize.
For Ellis it was his first bracelet, and his biggest win yet, although he is no stranger to WSOP cashes or tournament success. In 2007 he won the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Grand Final, and he has five World Series cashes to his credit
Christopher Gonzales's second placing gave him a payday of $360,906.
Event 31, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.competition entered its third day with 24 players remaining from an original field of 827. The initial action was fast and furious as elimination came in quick succession until the final table of eight was reached.
Players became more cautious at that point and a drawn-out six hours were needed before the heads up between little known Russian player Konstantin Puchkov and Al Barbieri was formedâ€¦and that took a further three-and-a-half hours to decide as both players struggled masterfully for supremacy.
In the end it was the Russian who took the honours, his first WSOP bracelet and the $256,820 main prize. Barbieri's paycheck for second place was $158,647.
An epic heads up clash between Men 'The Master' Nguyen and New York law student Jeffrey Papola decided event 32, a $5,000 No-limit Hold'em Six-max affair which pulled in an original field of 568 international players, many of them top names like Erick Lundgren, 'Devilfish' Ulliot, Christian Harder, Tom Marchese, Matt Graham, Tony Dunst, and Shannon Shorr,
Only 12 players went into the third and final day of play Saturday afternoon, guaranteeing some hectic action, as only six would qualify for the final table.
Papola was confident, having recently finished second in a field of 1,243 in another WSOP six-hand event, and showed his talent in reaching the heads up with Men Nguyen despite a formidable array of opponents on the last day.
The clash between veteran and young gun lasted four hours and was brim full of suspense and excitement as the two went after the $667 443 main prize. There could be only one winner despite the great poker on display, and that winner turned out to be Papola, giving him his first bracelet and the big money, which boosts his WSOP career winnings to over $1.1 million.
Men Nguyen took home a still-impressive runner up prize of $412,746.
Jose-Luis Velador claimed his second World Series of Poker gold bracelet (his first was back in 2008) in event 33 - the $2,500 buy-in Pot-limit Hold'em/Omaha, for which 482 top players including Phil Ivey registered.
By Day 3 Velador was chip leader, a position he rarely relinquished for the rest of the competition leading to his heads up with David Chiu and a victory that gave him $260 517; Chiu's second placing was worth $160 902.
WSOP organisers reported a record entry field of 3 142 for event 34, the $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-limit Hold'em Championship which played down through the weekend.
By Day 2 only 428 remained with Tom Schneider leading the field, and by the end of play Day 2 he was still the best known name in actionâ€¦but lagging fourteenth in chip counts among the 23 players who survived a tough day.
By late night Saturday Vegas time Michael Minetti was in the lead, chased by Carlos Pianelli and Preston Derden.
Event 35 - the $10,000 Heads-up No-limit Hold'em Championship boasted a 256-strong initial field chock-full of well known poker names including Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi, Victor Ramdin, Josh Arieh, Scott Clements, Terrence Chan, Bertrand Grospellier, Vanessa Rousso, Jonathan Little, Faraz Jaka and Sorel Mizzi.
By Day 2 the field was down to 64 players and when the chips were bagged at the end of a day full of fast-paced heads up action only 8 remained, with youthful Russian ace Alexander Kostritsyn vs. Ludovic Lacay; Jason Somerville vs. Thang Pham; Faraz Jaka vs. Ayaz Mahmood and Ernst Schmejkal vs. Vanessa Rousso coming back for a final day to decide who gets the bracelet and the main prize of $625 682.
There are no real losers in this last series of confrontations; each player is already assured of a $92 580 payday for coming this far.
Day 1A of event 36 - the third of the $1,000 buy-in NLHE competitions started Saturday afternoon in Vegas with a massive entry field of 2,559 strewn with familiar names like Kathy Liebert, Theo Tran, Paul Wasika, Scott Montgomery, Shannon Shorr, Eric Baldwin, Adam Junglen, Carter Phillips, Marco Traniello, Leo Margets, Jan Skampa, Tom Dwan, David Baker, Chris Ferguson, JJ Liu and Andy Black.
By day's end only 287 remained with the departure list featuring Tom Dwan, Sorel Mizzi, Jason Mercier, Alexandre Gomes, Hevad Khan, Shaun Deeb, Eric Baldwin, Dennis Phillips, Paul Wasicka, Humberto Brenes, Arnaud Mattern and Andy Black.
Leading the field was Scott Montgomery, with Bernard Ko, Mark Leonard, Neil Channing, Edwin Chang and Tim West all within striking distance.
Last year's entry field of 452 players was eclipsed by this year's 478 registrations for event 37 - the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. which kicked off over the weekend, attended by the likes of Mike Matusow, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Shannon Elizabeth, Scott Clements, Michael Binger, Dario Minieri, Katja Thater, George Danzer, Noah Boeken, Marcel Luske and Annie Duke.
By the wee small hours of Sunday morning 219 players were still in the running after eight levels of play after a generally slow day when Day 1 was completed, with the promise of more action when the tables reconvene Sunday afternoon.
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