It took two days of play, but the final table of the 2013 World Series of Poker Event #22, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha is set. From the original field of 1,021 just 117 players, the amount that would be taking home a payday, returned to action on Day 2. In just eight levels of play, that number was whittled down to the final nine. Leading the way with 1.162 million in chips is Noah Schwartz, who is seeking his first gold bracelet.
The day began with a horde of notable eliminations including those of Kevin Boudreau (117th - $2,618), David Sklansky (114th - $2,618), Ben Tollerene (106th - $2,618), Max Pescatori (104th - $2,618), Leif Force (99th - $2,839), Lee Watkinson (96th - $2,839) and Joseph Cheong (93rd - $2,839).
Cheong’s final hand came in Level 12 when he opened for 2,800, and 1986 WSOP Main Event champ Berry Johnston raised the pot. Cheong four-bet all-in for his remaining 12,300, and Johnston made the call with . Cheong then tabled the . The flop gave both players an ace, but Johnston's king kicker kept him in the lead. The on the turn solidified his position, and the on the river sent Cheong to the rail.
From there the eliminations continued to mount and included Johnston (81st - $3,432), Paul Volpe (80th - $3,432), Alan Keating (61st - $4,396), Nick Binger (60th - $4,396), Alexander Kostritsyn (57th - $4,396), Ben Yu (53rd - $5,086), Richard Ashby (52nd - $5,086), Jeremy Ausmus (44th - $5,954) and Ana Marquez (34th - $7,043).
It was about that time that Schwartz began to build a monster chip lead. It began when he won a monster pot against Christopher Brammer, and then eliminated the Brit, along with Tue Phan, a short time later. That gave Schwartz over 20% of the chips in play with 28 players left and he never looked back.
While he holds a significant chip lead, Schwartz won't have an easy time capturing his first bracelet as some stiff competition stands in his way including Shawn Silber (808,000), Eddie Blumenthal (560,000), Josh Pollock (543,000), Eric Shanks (425,000), KT Park (361,000), James Park (323,000), Brandon Crawford (248,000) and David Greene (163,000).
The final table will play out at 13:00 PST on Friday, and of course we’ll be there to bring you all the action and eliminations on the way to crowing the Event #22 $1,500 PLO champion. For now, we'll leave you with Lynn Gilmartin who has all the highlights from around the Rio.
The final nine players are bagging and tagging for the night, which is nearly two levels shy of the usual ten levels played on Day 2. That's the magic of pot-limit Omaha. Stay tuned for official chip counts and a recap of the day's action.
On the very first hand of the "unofficial" final table of ten, Eric Shank opened for 20,000 from early position only to have Shawn Silber call from late position. Michael Genovese then raised the pot from the big blind and made it 85,000. Shanks got out of the way, Silber repot and Genovese called off for 117,000 total.
The flop was fairly dry, but the turn wasn't as it gave Genovese a set and Silber a flush draw. Wouldn't you know it, that flush came in when the peeled off on the river. Just like that, we're down to the final table of nine.
Eric Shanks and David Colin were in the cutoff and button respectively when they engaged in a raising war that resulted in the latter being all in for 135,000.
The flop made things interesting by giving Colin a pair of eights and a straight draw, but it also gave Shanks draws to both a straight and flush to go with his pair of tens. The turn didn't change much, and neither did the river. That meant Shanks' lowly pair of tens held and Colin was eliminated in 11th place.
With that, the final ten players will redraw to a single table.
Players are now on their last 20-minute break of the day. When they return they'll play either two more levels or down to the final table of nine.