2010 WSOP Main Event Reflection Part 14 – From 27 players to 18
In the 2009 Main Event, the play down from 27 players to the final table of the November 9 lasted just about 12 hours. The November 9 bagged their chips up and did interviews for the media at a little after midnight. This year would last longer.
Knowing that there were only going to be 3 tables full of players, 18 players were going to have really bad days, and 9 players would emerge poker superstars. The biggest part of the tournament was this day, Day 8. Our November 9 was within reach, and if you had chips, you had a shot. Even Hasan Habib, who entered the day as the shortest stack had an opportunity. But the players that had the best opportunities were Soi Nguyen and Joseph Cheong, each holding roughly 10% of the total chips in play with over $20 million each.
The Rio had just about completely finished their turnover of the WSOP, as the banners in the hallways were removed, and most of the vendors had packed up and left. The “Poker Kitchen” was long gone, and the Pavillion Room next door was now playing host to an MMA fight. Jack Effel took to the mic to get things going, acknowledging the even and introducing MMA Fighter Kevin “The Monster” Randleman, who was a former UFC Heavyweight Champ. He announced “Dealers, Shuffle up and Deal” and the march to the November 9 continued once again.
The first casualty of the day belonged to Johnny Lodden. He moved his last 1.4 million with 8d-8h and Matt Affleck made the call with Ac-Th. The board ran out Ks-Qs-2s-Tc-7s, and the pair of Tens would bust Lodden, who would take $317,161 for the finish.
Matthew Bucaric would take claim to the 26th place finish. The money went in on a flop of Jh-8c-7h with with Candio calling with 8h-6h to Bucaric’s 9c-9h. We didn’t have to sweat too many cards as the turn hit the 3h to complete the flush, and send Bucaric out the door to collect his $317,161.
Right around that time, it was two doubles that got the attention of everyone. First, John Dolan doubled through Scott Clements. The money got in preflop with Dolan in the lead holding Kh-Qh to Clements’ Tc-9c. The board ran out Ah-8h-Qc-Jc-4h giving rise to huge emotional swings for everyone as we saw Dolan flop the pair of Q’s and flush draw, to losing with a straight, to rivering the winning flush and ultimately find his double. Dolan moved up to 3.3 million, while Clements slipped to 6 million. Then Hasan Habib began the run of the day doubling as well, when his 4-4 held against Matthew Jarvis’ K-Q. Habib moved up to 2.4 million in chips and held onto the hope that the bracelet winner and one time short stack could actually make the November 9.
After the doubles, Mads Wissing fell short. He’d just lost a big pot blind vs. blind against Michael Mizrachi, and go the rest of his chips in good against William Thorson. In another blind vs. blind battle, Wissing checked his big blind to take a flop of 6c-3h-Th. Thorson checked, and Wissing led 175k, to which Thorson moved all in. Wissing made the call with the best hand Ts-8s, and Thorson tabled Jc-3c for bottom pair. Things improved for Thorson on the turn as the Jh hit, and Wissing was sent packing in 25th place for $317,161 in prize money.
Ronnie Bardah would follow Wissing out the door when he moved all in preflop with Big slick. But his Ah-Kh was in terrible shape against Fillipo Candio’s As-Ad. Bardah was eliminated in 24th place for his $317,161 as Candio continued to run his stack up.
Jonathan Duhamel took the opportunity just before the break to pad his stack with a double through Robert Pisano. Duy Le opened the pot and Duhamel and Pisano came along to a flop of 3s-7c-2d. Pisano was the aggressor with a flop bet chasing Le away, but Duahmel made the call. The Ac on the turn sparked action as Duhamel led with 1.8 million, and Pisano responded by moving all in. Duhamel wasted no time in calling with 4s-5s for the wheel, and Pisano tossed over As-Kh for top pair and drawing dead. Duhamel became the most recent member of the $20 million chip club with the win, and Pisano went into the break obliterated with just $320k left. The last of Pisano’s 2 big blind stack would go in vs. Pascal LeFrancois who tabled Q-8 to Pisano’s J-9, and a Queen on the flop eliminated Pisano in 23rd place for his $317,161.
William Thorson would be the next elimination of the night as he picked the wrong time to squeeze. John Dolan opened to 375k, while John Racener and Brandon Steven both called in position. Thorson then shoved 5 million from the blind, and it chased both Dolan and Steven, but not Racener who called with Ks-Kd. Thorson tabled the Jd-Td and got a sweat with a 2h-6d-Ad flop for the flush draw. But the turn and river ran clean for the Kings as the 2s was followed by the 5c and Racener eliminated Thorson in 22nd place, and in so doing moved over the $17 million chip mark.
Adam Levy had played a relatively quiet Main Event to this point despite racking up a good sized stack. Players were really reluctant to get tangeld in pots with Roothlus, so he was often able to win a lot of small pots to gain his stack. This time he received action however and he did so with the best of it tabling a set of 4’s ona 9h-4c-2c flop to Benjamim Statz’s Ad-%c for a just a straight draw. The turn was a safe card of a Ts and the river was better for Levy with the Th. The double took Roothlus to 10 million, and gave some more hope for the named pro’s that Levy a shot at the November 9.
Redmond Lee was KO’d in 21st place, but I didn’t get a chance to see the hand that did the damage. Michiel Sijpkens had done the trick with the KO, and in doing so, increased his stack to 13.5 million, which gave rise to the possibility that Joe Cada’s record as the youngest World Series of Poker Champion might be in peril. Sijpkens was just a few months younger than Cada was when he set the record as the youngest champ in WSOP History the prior year. But the hope was pretty short lived as Sijpkens got tangled in a big pot with Brandon Steven on a 3d-5d-7s flop. The money went all in there and Sijpkens tabled top pair top kicker with Ac-7h, but was crushed by Steven who had flopped a straight with 4s-6s. The double took Steven to 11.5 million, and left Sijpkens with just 4.5 million.
The loudest hand of the tournament came from the Main Featured Table and included Joesph Cheong and Fillipo Candio. Both players took a flop of 6c-6h-5c and Cheong led with 1.5 million. Candio raised it up to 4.4 million. Cheong applied the pressure moving all in over the top and putting Candio at risk. Candio had 12.1 million left and decided that this was the time to go with it, and called off his stack with 7s-5s creating a massive 25 million chip pot while holding nothing but bottom pair. Cheong had Candio in a world of hurt turning over the Ace of clubs and the Ace of spades, leaving the Italian drawing dead to either a 2-out 5, or running cards for a ridiculous straight. The fans went nuts when the dealer flipped over the 8s, giving Candio a straight draw now, but they absolutely EXPLODED when the 4c was delivered on the river and Candio spiked the miracle. Candio began running around the Main Featured table embracing his friends, and jumping around in celebration. Meanwhile, Cheong counted out his chips and shipped them Candio’s direction leaving him with just 13 million, while Candio became the new chip leader at 27 million.
After the exciting double, it was bad news for Patrick Eskandar as he was all in versus Soi Nguyen on a flop of Qd-9d-Tc. Eskander tabled Ah-7h and was perilously behind Nguyen’s Kh-Qc. The turn was the Th and the River the Kd, and Eskandar was eliminated in 20th place just before the 2nd break of the day.
Ending the roller coaster of a day, Michiel Sijkens finally got it in good, but was up against a flip. Sijpkens moved his last 2.5 million with J-J against John Racener’s K-Q, and the flop basically ended it when it produced another Q. Joe Cada’s record would remain intact as the youngest player in the field was eliminated in 19th place for $317,161 and give the players a pay raise, as well as consolidate the tournament down to just 2 tables. The tables were re-drawn, and the play continued.
We were now just 1 table away from the November 9. I’ll capture the play down to the final table in the next post.