Hand-for-hand play is underway at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event and the next time you hear from us, we’ll be reporting on who is getting paid. There are a lot of big names who just missed out on the money, including two past winners. We’ve got the details on their exits, as well as which big names managed to double up just in time in Level 16 (Blinds 2,500/5,000 ante 500):
Hellmuth and Johnston Miss Out on the Money
During each Day 1 WSOP, staff members go around the tables and introduce former Main Event winners over the PA system. As the field dwindles down, the focus becomes which one of the winners from past years will last the longest. The day started with three in contention; Phil Hellmuth, Berry Johnston and Robert Varkonyi. Over a 15-minute span during the last hour, two of those were eliminated. On the ESPN feature table Hellmuth was sent home and only minutes later Johnston, who saw his streak of consecutive years cashing in the WSOP end at 29, was eliminated when his pocket tens couldn’t improve against pocket aces. That leaves Robert Varkonyi as the last former Main Event champion in the field of 701 players.
WSOP staff then took to the microphone and announced Hellmuth’s elimination which was greeted with a Bronx cheer. The announcement of Johnston’s elimination was met with a round of sympathetic cheers and aws.
Jake Cody Doubles
With a payday of at least $19,000 on the horizon, some player tighten up and muck every hand until the money comes, but for other players, just making the money isn’t enough.
Jake Cody, the winner of the 2011 WSOP $25,000 Heads-Up Championship, started the day with 121,000, but was down to 27,000 when the action folded around to him in late position. Cody moved all-in and Matt Kay called out of the small blind.
Cody had woken up with KK, while Kay had A8. The door card was the A, but the rest of the flop was KQ, giving Cody a set of kings. Kay would need to go runner-runner to bust Cody, and the turn brought one of the best cards in the deck for Kay, the 2, giving him a flush draw. Cody would need to dodge a spade to stay alive.
Cody would not dodge the spade, but it happened to be the one spade in the deck that paired the board, the K, which just so happened to give Cody four kings to double him up to 64,000. Kay still had 320,000 at the end of the hand.
Ben Lamb Bounces Back
His chip stack keeps waivering, but Ben Lamb appears to be on an upward climb so far on Day 4. He took down a huge pot early in the Level 16 action to boost his stack to 795,000.
Lamb raised to 11,000 from middle position and the player in the cutoff called. Jamie Kerstetter called on the button and the three saw the flop come K82. Lamb checked, the player in the sutoff bet 20,000, and Kerstetter folded. Action was back on Lamb and he check-raised to 50,000 total. The player in the cutoff called.
The turn brought the Q and Lamb bet 80,000. His opponent thought a minute or two, then called. The river was the 3 and Lamb deliberated a minute or so before betting 140,000. Lamb’s opponent had around 240,000 remaining in his stack going into the river and the bet comprised over half his remaining chips. He deliberated for several minutes, then folded.
After the hand, Lamb climbed to 795,000.
Freddy Deeb Drops a Pot
Freddy Deeb is one of the most recognizable faces left in the Main Event field and he is looking like a safe bet to make the money. He did drop a pot early in Level 15 action that saw his stack dip below 500,000 chips though.
Deeb raised to 11,000 from middle position and Daniel Skolovy defended from the big blind. The flop came down Q62 and Skolovy checked. Deeb bet 18,000 and Skolovy called. The turn brought the A and Skolovy checked a second time. Deeb bet 35,000, then Skolovy check-raised to 115,000 total.
Deeb folded and Skolovy took the pot, chipping up to 340,000. After the hand, Deeb was down to 465,000.
Robert Iler Staves Off Elimination
Former Sopranos star Robert Iler was left with less than 25,000 after posting his big blind. Sandra Naujoks raised from the cutoff to 11,000, and Iler put his remaining chips at risk, which totaled 28,500. Naujoks called.
Iler was ahead with AQ against Naujoks’ KT. The board ran out 97524. and Iler avoided going out near the bubble. Both players are now short, however, as Naujoks has 70,500 while Iler doubled to just 63,000.
Tweet of the Level
It’s never fun to bust just outside of the money, and $19,000 is nothing to sneeze at for most people. Despite the fact that it may not mean as much to Phil Hellmuth, losing the opportunity to contend for another Main Event title or a 13th bracelet still has to sting. Mike Matusow watched his as Hellmuth was eliminated from the 2011 WSOP Main Event, and had this to say
Notable Chip Counts
Daryl Jace – 1,790,000
Daniel Retallick – 1,400,000
Marc Andre Ladouceur – 1,250,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg – 1,250,000
David Barter 1,200,000
Amanda Musumeci – 1,123,500
Aleksandr Mozhnyako – 1,110,000
Ben Lamb – 854,500
Vanessa Rousso – 840,000
Chris Kwon – 780,000