The mood in the Caesars Palace poker room continues to be a somber and focused one. Matches that seemed like they would be full of table talk, like the Phil Hellmuth vs. Annette Obrestad feature table-worthy battle, turned out to be subdued affairs. The lone exception came from the one match we expected to be kind of quiet, that of Jennifer Harman and Jerry Yang. Apparently one of Yang’s railbirds and Harman exchanged words that can’t be uttered in a PG-rated movie after the supporter stepped out on the set and cheered rather vociferously when Yang won a big pot early on.
For all the drama on the felt, check out the breakdown of each of the Round 2 Hearts and Diamonds pairings below as well as the Round Three match-ups that will run later tonight:
Barry Greenstein def. Sammy Farha
This match between two “old schoolers” got down was a roller coaster back and forth affair that lasted as long as the 1K/2K blind levels. In the end, Greenstein prevailed. He got it all-in on a Q42 flop holding AA to a shorter-stacked Farha’s KQ. The turn brought the 9 and the river the 8 to advance Greenstein into the money.
Jerry Yang def. Jennifer Harman
Harman got this match off on the wrong foot early on and found herself short on chips. She doubled through Yang once when her AT held up against Yang’s J7, but Yang got the best of her the second time all the chips were in the middle. Harman held Q-8 to Yang’s Q-10 and the board ran out K-7-3-J-10 to eliminate Harman and send a sixth former WSOP Main Event winner to the round of 16.
Annie Duke def. Darvin Moon
Poor Darvin Moon had to wait for a good ten minutes before he was able to turn him hand face up and confirm his elimination, as his all-in against Annie Duke was at the tail end of a backlog of action caused by Phil Hellmuth’s lengthy time in the tank (more on that below). Duke and Moon got it all-in on the river with the board reading Q83TK. Duke held kings-up, Moon showed QT for an inferior two pair and Moon headed off into the sunset while Duke advanced to the next round.
Paul Wasicka def. Gus Hansen
This match ended up being the longest one of the session, just outlasting the Farha v. Greenstein showdown. The two battled for a while and the end looked imminent when the two got it all-in, but there was a straight on the board and it was a chopped pot. In the end, the match came down to an all-in preflop showdown with Wasicka holding A9 to Hansen’s K7. The 985 was great for Wasicka, but the T on the turn did give Hansen an open-ended straight draw. The river 7 made a pair for Hansen, but it wasn’t enough and Paul Wasicka moved on to the Sweet Sixteen.
Eli Elezra def. Allen Cunningham
The back and forth battle between Elezra and Cunningham culminated in a coin flip to decide which of them would advance to the next round. Cunningham held AT to Elezra’s 66 and the K85JK favored Elezra, who held the bigger stack at the start of the hand and, in turn, advanced to Round Three.
Dennis Phillips def. Chris Ferguson
These two men with equally memorable hats squared off in this battle and it was the Cardinals cap that emerged victorious. Phillips held KK to Ferguson’s 8T on an A]95J board. Ferguson was hoping to make a straight, Phillips was hoping to hold. The 9 on the river gave the hand and the match to Phillips, while Ferguson just missed out on the money.
Doyle Brunson def. Don Cheadle
Once again, Brunson made quick work of his opponent in his match, dispatching with Cheadle before any of the other matches. The two got it all-in on after the T94 flop with Cheadle holding 25 for a flush draw while Brunson showed AT for top pair. The K on the turn and J on the river sent the pot Brunson’s way and he defeated the actor to advance to a Round 3 match against Annette Obrestad.
Annette Obrestad def. Phil Hellmuth
The highlight of this much-anticipated showdown came when Phill Hellmuth tanked for well over five minutes after Obrestad shoved all-in on a Q92T8 board. Hellmuth stood, paced and pondered and, because he was taking such a long time with his decision, he created a back log of all-ins waiting to be filmed once the big hand drew to a close. Eventually Hellmuth elected to call with A-9 for third pair. Obrestad showed pocket jacks for a rivered straight and knocked off the Poker Brat to advance another round.
Round Three Pairings:
Barry Greenstein vs. Jerry Yang
Annie Duke vs. Paul Wasicka
Eli Elezra vs. Dennis Phillips
Doyle Brunson vs. Annette Obrestad