WSOP Mid-Day: Main Event Anticipation Builds as Final Events Wind Down

Daniel Negreanu Leading No Limit Deuce-to-Seven event (Heather Borowinski Photo)

It’s the calm before the storm at the 2012 World Series of Poker as Saturday is Day 1A of the Main Event. However, with the anticipation for the looming Main Event there is still a handful of events to wrap up before the massive crowds for the Championship event flood the Rio.

Two bracelets were awarded after Day 4 re-starts thanks to hard-stops the night before. Play continues in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event with Day 2 passing the bubble. The star-studded field in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven event is winding down as the money bubble is in sight and the invite-only WSOP National Championship got underway at noon.

$10,000 Six-Max No Limit Hold’em

With a winner not decided on the third day of play, another day was needed to see who would be the next owner of a bracelet. Heads-up play between Gregory Merson and Keith Lehr continued at 1 pm PT on Friday and lasted one hand. Minutes into the restart Merson eliminated Lehr to win $1,136,197 along with the coveted bracelet.

Merson’s K9 made two pair on the flop of T9T, a Q on the turn put Lehr’s AQ ahead but a J on the river completed Merson’s straight which ended the day in a blink of an eye.

The final table results were:

  1. Greg Merson – $1,136,197
  2. Keith Lehr – $701,757
  3. Shannon Shorr – $455,362
  4. Eddy Sabat – $300,753
  5. Christopher Brammer – $200,502
  6. Andrew Lichtenberger – $140,351

$3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

A conclusion was also not reached on Day 3 of the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event forcing another Day 4 restart on Friday. Chris Bell, Roch Cousineau and Viacheslav Zhukov returned to resume play at 2 pm PT. After the quick elimination of Chris Bell, heads-up play carried on for over three hours before Zhukov won the bracelet.

Zhukov entered the day with a sizeable lead but the day has witnessed numerous chip lead changes but eventually Zhukov held them all.

Bell was eliminated by Zhukov after a little over 30 minutes of play to finish in third place for $135,858.

Here are the final results:

  1. Viacheslav Zhukov - $330,277
  2. Roch Cousineau - $204,426
  3. Chris Bell – $135,858
  4.  David “ODB” Baker – $100,820
  5. Randy Ohel – $75,662
  6. Yuval Bronshtein – $57,339
  7. Jack Ward – $43,840
  8. Scotty Nguyen – $33,789
  9. Juan Ramirez – $26,235

$1,000 No Limit Hold’em 

Cards were back in the air at 1 pm PT on Friday with 726 players returning as play will continue until 10 levels are completed. The bubble burst when the field reached 468, the min-cash being $1,830.

Konstantin Puchkov has continued his impressive 2012 WSOP by recording a baby cash and breaking the record for most cashes in a single WSOP. Puchhov has recorded 11 cashes, the previous record was held by Nikolay Evdakov at 10. The record books do not stop there as Humberto Brenes still in the field guarantees his 67th career WSOP cash, enough to be in the top five all-time.

The notables still alive in the field are Phil Ivey, Greg Ostrander, and Roland Israelashvili. Terrence Chan busted before the bubble exiting with no money but Jeff Madsen, Mohsin Charania and Tony Dunst were ousted, earning min-cashes. The field is now down to 318 players with play continuing until 10 levels are played.

$10,000 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven 

The last non-hold’em event of the Series restarted Day 2 at 2 pm PT with a field of 54 players remaining. The bubble is nearing as only 14 will finish in the money out of the 101 entrants. The field is now down to 35 players with play ending after 10 levels of play.

Matt Matusow, Phil Ivey, and Todd Brunson hit the rail on Day 2. Players who have still been spotted in the field include Jason Mercier, David “Bakes” Baker, Jean-Robert Bellande and John Monnette.

The top chip counts are:

  1.  Daniel Negreanu - 225,000
  2. Benjamin Parker – 185,000
  3. Justin Bonomo – 170,000
  4. Mike Wattel – 140,000
  5. John Juanda – 116,000
  6. Rep Porter – 112,000
  7. Hertzel Zalewski – 107,700
  8. Ali Eslami – 104,000
  9. David Bakes Baker – 103,000
  10. Nick Schulman – 100,000

$10,000 WSOP National Championship

A total of 200 players qualified to play; 100 from WSOP POY points while the other 100 come from WSOP circuit events. The WSOP POY qualifiers have to pay the $10,000 entry fee whereas the players from the circuit events get a freeroll. Registration ended after four levels with the final field size set at 157 and the prize-pool at $1,570,000, first place getting $416,051.

David “ODB” Baker showed his excitement for playing in the event by tweeting, “Thanks @WSOP for the opportunity to play in this National Championship. What a great event!”.

Another has an opposite view as David Bach tweets, “Skipping the @WSOP National Championship due to poor scheduling. This tourney REALLY conflicts with main event. Broken Record, BUT”

Although running good, Phil Hellmuth tells of his need for a power nap when he tweeted “Won a big pot, then decided I need sleep! Headed back to Aria to sleep 2 1/2 hours, figure my nap will cost me 7K Or 8K in chips…”

Chris Moorman, Brian Rast, Frank Kassela, John Dolan, and Chris Tryba are found near the top of the chip leaders. Early day exits include Tristan Wade, Freddy Deeb, Michael Mizrachi.

There are 137 players left and play will continue Friday until the completion of Level 15.

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