2012 World Series of Poker Day 13: Schaefer and Friedman Win, Hellmuth Goes to Day 2 in Razz

  • Lavanya Desai
Phil Hellmuth

At the 2012 World Series of Poker on Friday, two more bracelet winners were crowned in Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout and Event #15: $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better. Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed played down to the final nine, which includes Mike "the Mouth" Matusow. Phil Ivey is among 69 players who made it through Day 1 of Event #17: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em. Finally, Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz got under way with 306 runners, finishing the day with 136 including Phil Hellmuth, still looking for his first non-hold'em bracelet.

Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

The final 12 players returned on Friday to crown a winner. The field boasted six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack as well as recent birthday boy and two-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen vying for the top prize of $311,174 and the gold bracelet. But in the end, it was former poker pro-turned Army officer trainee Brandon Schaefer who outlasted the field of 1,138 over three days to take down his first WSOP win.

The remaining players started out at two tables, but after the elimination of Zachary Korik, Jarred Solomon, and Dylan Horton (each taking home $17,544), play were down to the official final table that was streamed live on WSOP.com. Flack entered as the overwhelming chip leader with 1,400,000, with Schaefer just behind him with 908,000.

Justin Schwartz was the first to be eliminated. He lost most of his chips when Adam Kagin open-shoved from the big blind and Schwartz called, having Kagin slightly covered. Schwartz was ahead with {8-Spades}{8-Clubs} to the {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds} of Kagin. But the board ran out {a-Spades}{4-Spades}{9-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and Schwartz was crippled. He was finished off by Brandon Steven who called Schwartz’s open shove from the small blind. Steven had {q-Spades}{7-Spades} to Schwartz’s {j-Spades}{3-Diamonds} and the board ran out {10-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{4-Clubs} to send Schwartz out in ninth place for $22,168.

But Steven quickly followed Schwartz to the exit, falling to Flack. With blinds at 6,000/12,000, Steven opened to 27,000 from middle position. David Chase reraised to 75,000 in the cutoff and action folded around to Flack in the big blind who raised to 212,000. Steven immediately moved all-in, Chase folded and Flack called, turning over {a-Hearts}{k-Clubs} to the {q-Spades}{q-Diamonds} of Steven. The board ran out {3-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{a-Spades}{j-Spades}{5-Hearts} and Steven was the eighth place finisher, taking home $28,375.

Madsen fell short of his goal of a third bracelet, moving all-in from the big blind for his last 264,000 with {k-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. He was called by Jonathan Cohen who had min-raised on the button with {5-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}. The board gave Madsen some glimmers of hope along the way, but nothing by the end as it ran out {6-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{9cs}{q-Clubs}{a-Diamonds} and Madsen had to satisfy himself with a seventh place finish and $36,308.

After a few hands with the remaining six taking turns stealing the blinds and antes, Cohen opened for 33,000 and it folded around to Michael Corson who moved all in for around 200,000. Cohen called immediately and flipped over {k-Spades}{k-Hearts}. Corson showed {a-Diamonds}{j-Hearts} and he was looking for help. But none came as the board ran out {5-Hearts}{6-Spades}{4-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} and Corson was the sixth place finisher, leaving with $43,393.

Cohen dispatched the next player, Chase, when his pocket fives hit a set on the {5-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} board and Chase’s {a-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} came up short. Chase was out in fifth place for $64,555 and it was down to four handed with Cohen and Flack virtually tied for the chip lead.

It took just a few hands for Flack to go from the front of the pack, to the next one out. In the first, Schaefer opened to 46,000 and was three-bet to 120,000 by Flack. Schaefer came over the top, shoving in his last 818,000. Flack called and cards were revealed. Schaefer had {9-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} and was slightly ahead of Flack’s {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}. Schaefer called for "Just one black nine" and the dealer complied, peeling off {j-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{2-Clubs}. The turn and river ended up improving Schaefer to a full house, coming {2-Spades}{7-Clubs}, and Flack was down to just over 1 million.

He lost half that stack in a hand against Cohen then the rest to Kagin. Flack called Kagin’s big blind all-in holding {k-Hearts}{q-Spades} to the {a-Hearts}{3hs} of Kagin. The board ran out {2-Spades}{5-Spades}{9-Clubs}{7-Spades}{j-Diamonds} and Flack’s chance for another bracelet was flushed down the river. For his fourth place finish, Flack collected $87,446. The chips Flack sent over to Kagin weren’t enough to keep him afloat for long, and he was out in third place for $120,329 after losing a flip {8-Spades}{8-Hearts} versus Schaefer’s {a-Hearts}{10-Spades} with the board running out {5-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{a-Clubs}{10-Hearts}.

After Kagin’s elimination, Schaefer and Cohen were heads up with almost identical chips stacks. Schaefer stayed in the lead for the rest of the match, but it took over three hours for him to finally put away Cohen. After folding to a number of Cohen’s all-in bets, Schaefer made an all-in move of his own that worked like a charm.

With blinds at 20,000/40,000, Cohen opened the pot to 90,000 and Schaefer called. Schaefer check-called a 105,000 bet after the {q-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{6-Clubs} flop. The turn brought the {2-Diamonds} and Schaefer checked again. Cohen led out for 230,000, and Schaefer check-raised all-in. Cohen made the call for 1.8 million and was ahead with top pair, {q-Hearts}{j-Hearts}, against the open-ended straight draw of Schaefer with {7-Clubs}{8-Spades}.

Schaefer’s semi-bluff turned into the winner when the river came the {5-Diamonds} to complete his straight. Cohen took home $192,559 for second place, but Schaefer emerged victorious, taking down the top prize of $311,174 and the gold bracelet. Schaefer said after his win that this was the only event he had planned to enter. The former poker pro had all but given up on poker last year, enlisting in the army to become a helicopter pilot. He'll be heading back right after he picks up his WSOP gold.

To see how all the eliminations went down on the final day, make sure to check out the live reporting blog.

Event #15: $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better

Friday began with the final 19 players remaining to vie for a bracelet in the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better event. Leading the pack was Adam Friedman with 323,500. Following close behind him was John Monnettewho won his second bracelet in Event #10: Seven Card Stud. And the field had two famous Phils in it — Phil Ivey with 234,000 chips and Phil Hellmuth with 233,000. But in the end, Friedman ended the day where he started it — on top.

The first player eliminated on Friday was popular pro Eli Elezra and he was followed shortly to the rail by Marco Johnson, Allen Bari and Tuan Vo. Hellmuth was eliminated next, in 15th place, again denied that elusive non-hold'em bracelet. Hellmuth was sitting on slightly more than 100,000 chips, but lost it all in two hands against Adam Friedman. In the first, the two were in a three-way hand with Ivey. Hellmuth: {x-}{x-} / {6-Spades}{10-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}{10-Spades} / {x-}, Friedman: {x-}{x-} / {5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{a-Spades}{k-Diamonds} / {x-}, Ivey: {x-}{x-} / {a-Hearts}{q-Spades}{k-Spades} (FOLDED).

After Hellmuth bet on sixth street, Friedman needled him, "I don't think you understand the concept of hi-lo games." He continued with the gibes betting on seventh street, telling Hellmuth, “If you call you're the next one out." Hellmuth called, and Friedman turned over {6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} then his last card, the {q-Diamonds}. Friedman gave a little fist pump, while Hellmuth tabled {7-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{4-Clubs}, and began incorrectly pulling his bets back.

Friedman asked, "What are you doing?" and then Hellmuth realized that Friedman won both halves. Jack Effel apparently had to step in to stop the verbal jabs from Friedman, but after a few hands Friedman finished off Hellmuth.

When the official final table of eight was set, Friedman was in the lead with 707,000 followed closely by Monnette. Ivey was still in the running, though near the back of the pack with 230,000. But Ivey went out in seventh place ($34,595) by Todd Brunson who hit a wheel to scoop the pot on seventh street. Brunson was also responsible for the next knockout, hitting a straight to dispatch Zimnan Ziyard in sixth place for $44,967.

After two more eliminations, Sven Arntzen in fifth for $59,395 and Nikolai Yakovenko in fourth for $79,831, we were down to the final three. For much of the early go, Friedman had more than half the chips, about 1.6 million, with Brunson and Monnette, pretty evenly splitting 1.5 million between them.

The three battled for over two hours, with Friedman staying in the lead for most of it until Brunson started making his move, courtesy of a full house that pushed his stack over the million chip mark for the first time. Brunson surpassed Friedman and took the lead three-handed when his trip fours beat Friedman’s two pair just after the start of Level 27.

While Brunson was chipping up, Monnette continued to fall, eventually leaving in third place ($109,444) when his two pair, aces and nines, lost to Friedman's trip fours. But with his third place finish in this event, Monnette moved to the top of the standings for the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Heads-up, Brunson was the overwhelming chip leader, with a 2:1 chip advantage. Brunson had his famous family sweating him and the audience seemed in his corner as well, but Friedman was not going down. Brunson moved out to almost a 3:1 lead, but in a quick succession of hands Friedman turn it around.

Three hours after their heads-up match began, Friedman emerged victorious and Brunson had to settle for second place. Friedman's fortunes changed when he hit a wheel to take a massive pot and pull to nearly even with Brunson. He followed that up with back-to-back wins with a better pair.

On the final hand, Brunson was dealt split tens, but was behind Friedman's concealed jacks. Friedman held and Brunson had to settle for second place and $166,269. Adam Friedman won his first live tournament since March of 2009, the top prize of $269,037, and his first WSOP bracelet.

To follow all the exciting final day action, check out the live reporting blog.

Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed

Just 137 players of the original starting field of 1,604 returned for Day 2 of Event #16: $1,500 NLHE 6-Handed. Everyone who began the day was already in the money, guaranteed a minimum payout of $2,706. But all eyes were on the top prize of $454,835 and the gold bracelet.

When the day began, Nick Maimone was in the lead with 175,900 chips followed by Mark Radoja with 172,500 chips. The field was packed with notables, and so as the day wore on both the leaderboard and the list of bust outs was crammed with familiar names. Kenna James, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Matt Hawrilenko, Andy Frankenberger, Tony Dunst, Erik Cajelas, Kathy Liebert, James Akenhead, Chino Rheem, Steve Zolotow, Adam Junglen, Tristan Wade, and Robert Williamson III were among the pros who failed to make it out of Day 2.

Just before the dinner break, Mark Darner took down a huge hand from Mike Matros to soar into the chip lead. The preflop betting kept escalating between the two until Matros seven-bet all-in. Darner snap called and Matros asked if his opponent had aces as he turned over {k-Spades}{k-Diamonds}. He didn’t. Darner had gone all-in with {a-Hearts}{k-Clubs}, causing tablemate Mike Matusow to exclaim, ”I've seen a lot of things in poker, but never that many bets with ace-king." He added, "This is for the tournament right here."

Darner had over 300,000 behind when he made the all-in call and Matros watched on as the dealer spread a safe {8-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{2-Diamonds} flop. Matros had to dodge two more cards to rake in over a million in chips. The turn was a meaningless {10-Diamonds} and then the river brought the {a-Spades}. Matros shipped his chips to Darner who was now sitting on 850,000, while Matros slipped to 195,000, a still healthy stack with blinds at 3,000/6,000, but not what he nearly had.

After 10 more levels of play, just nine players remain. They will return on Saturday to play down to a winner. The final nine are lead by Robert Muzzatti with 1,445,000, followed closely by Darner with 1,412,000. Just below them are, three-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow, with 816,000 and Matt Glantz, who is looking for his first win after six WSOP final tables. He will begin Day 3 with 774,00. But don’t count out bracelet winners Radoja (621,000) and Matros (542,000) who will also be returning with the rest of the field at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) to the Amazon Room to see if they can collect their second bracelets.

To follow all the action as we play down to a winner, make sure to check out our live reporting blog.

Event #17: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em

On Friday, 179 players ponied up the $10,000 buy in for the Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship. Last year, this event was won by Amir Lehavot, who returned to try for a repeat. Some of the well known names who entered Event #17 included Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Allen Cunningham, Eric Froehlich, Nick Binger, Jon Turner, Brock Parker, David "Viffer" Peat, Davidi Kitai, David “Doc” Sands, Andy Bloch, Dan Shak, Tony Cousineau, Jason Somerville, Isaac Haxton, and, after busting out of Event #16, Kathy Liebert and Viktor Blom. Unfortunately for them, each of these players exited out of the money.

After 10 levels of play, 69 players remain. They will return on Saturday to play down first to the money and then continue onto get down to the final table. The top 18 will cash a minimum of $23,876. But, their goal is the top prize $445,899 and the shiny gold bracelet.

Chip leader going into Day 2 is Steve Landfish with 224,500. He is followed by Farzad Bonyadi with 184,600 and Sean Dempsey with 170,200. Other notables near the top of the leaderboard include Chris Moorman, David Benyamine, Liv Boeree, Erik Seidel, Kevin Saul, Shaun Deeb, JP Kelly, Sorel Mizzi, Bertrand Grospellier, and 2011 November Niner Matt Giannetti. Further back in the pack, but still in the running, are multiple bracelet winners Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Jeff Lisandro, Steve Billirakis, and Humberto Brenes. Last year's winner Lehavot is still in it, but with a below-average chip stack.

To read all the exciting Day 1 action, and to follow the field as it plays down to the final table, check out the live reporting blog.

Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz

On Friday, 309 players enter the $2,500 Seven Card Razz event, a 15 percent drop from last year’s 363 person field. Last year’s event was won by Rep Porter who claimed the top prize of $210,615. This year’s winner will take home $182,793 along with the gold bracelet.

Razz may not be the most popular form of poker, but it still manages to bring out some of poker’s best known players. In the field on Day 1 were such notables as Lisandro, Ivey, Mercier, Negreanu, John Racener, Jan Fisher, Chad Brown, Annie Duke, Dutch Boyd, Bryan Devonshire, and Huck Seed. Sadly, none of them will be returning on Saturday.

There will be 136 players coming back for Day 2, and they will be led by Tommy Vedes, with 44,600 in chips. Also returning, with above-average chip stacks are Bryan Micon, Tom McEvoy, Joe Tehan, Phil Hellmuth, Allen Bari, Ted Forrest, Berry Johnston, Max Pescatori, Jen Harman, Greg Raymer, and Barry Greenstein.

To see how the Day 1 eliminations took place and to follow all the exciting Day 2 action, make sure to follow the live reporting blog.

On Tap

On Saturday, action will start at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) as Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed will play down to a winner.

Event #17: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em and Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz will continue with Day 2 action at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) and 1400 PDT (2200 BST) respectively.

Finally, two more events will get under way. Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em will kick off at 1200 PDT (2000 BST) and play 11 levels and Event #20: $5,000 Limit Hold'em will start at 1700 PDT (0100 BST) and play through eight levels.

To make sure you don't miss any of Saturday's action, keep your eyes peeled on our live reporting blog.

Video of The Day

Sarah Grant talks to recent birthday boy Jeff Madsen about making the final table in Event #14, why he likes the shootout format, how he celebrated his birthday, and what his top three music jams would be (hint: not One Direction).

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