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Aldridge and Boukai win WSOP fame

Two more bracelet winners collected big checks at the 40th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas over the weekend, with the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em and $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha events decided.

In Event 9 - the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em competition - a final table of six players came together after 2 days of action that saw an original field of 1,459 whittled down to only 105 by the end of Day 1. Among those registered on the long entry list were aces from both the online and live poker sectors including: Jon Turner, Maria Ho, Chad Batista, Jeff Madsen, Eric Froehlich, Clonie Gowen, Joe Sebok, Jeff Williams, Justin Bonomo, Peter Eastgate, Kathy Liebert, Ivan Demidov, TJ Cloutier, Chau Giang, Men Nguyen, and Jimmy Fricke.

Celebrity player and rapper Nelly, Justin Bonomo, Kevin Saul, Jeff Madsen, and Bryan Micon were all gone by the end of the first day, and the surviving six who gathered at the final table included few easily recognisable names.

Bryce Yockey held the chip lead over opponents Ken Aldridge, Peter Gould, Charles Furey, Carman Cavella and Manny Minaya, with Praz Bansi eliminated just short of the final.

Initially it looked as if the day would belong to Yockey, but he was eliminated in fourth place by Cavella, with Aldridge coming through in a series of well played clashes to eliminate Gould and set up the heads up with Cavella.

Cavella held a 650,000 chip lead as the duo went into the heads up and early play was very cautious on both sides of the table, but eventually Aldridge's grinding style of play told and Cavella was eliminated with a $264,814 check for his time and trouble.

Ken Aldridge collected his first WSOP bracelet and the $428,259 top prize.

In Event 10 - the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha contest - Californian player Rami Boukai took the honours, the bracelet and the winner's prize of $244,862 after a heads up against Najib Bennani, the climax of a final table that took 13 hours to play out.

The starting field of 453 went against the trend so far at this year's WSOP, being slightly smaller than last year's turnout for this event. The structure of the event, which calls for a change between pot-limit Hold'Em and pot-limit Omaha every nine hands, appealed to the pros, and the field included Surinder Sunar, Amit Makhija, Dan Shak, Katja Thater, Bryan Devonshire, Hevad Khan, Jordan Morgan, Daniel Negreanu, Scott Fischman, David Ulliott, Erik Seidel, David Sklansky, Robert Williamson III, and Andy Black.

Phil Hellmuth made his usual late entrance and suffered an equally early elimination, along with fellow aces Alexander Kostritsyn, Surinder Sunar and Amit Makhija. Internet and live tournament poker star Hevad Khan lasted a little longer and went out on the third day in position 11.

The final table came down to Rami Boukai, Najib Bennani, Ben Grundy, Cornel Cimpan, Daniel Makowsky, Paul Parker, Pawel Andrzejewski, John Kabbaj and Sigi Stockinger

The heads up between Boukai and Bennani was not decided until the early hours of the morning, when third placed Ben Grundy headed for the exit and a payday of $99,574.

Bennani had the chip lead, but at only 100,000 it was not a sufficiently large one to feel safe. His fears were justified as Boukai won the first big pot and less than a half-hour later was up by 3 to 1. Ten minutes later it was all over as Boukai sashayed into the winner slot and his first WSOP bracelet, along with the main prize of $244,862. For his second placing Bannani picked up $151,355.

For Boukai it was his second WSOP cash this year - the Saudi Arabian-born pro placed 147th in the Stimulus Special, winning $3,571 last week and adding to his career winnings at that point of $320,000.

Source: InfoPowa News

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