Harold Angle, a seventy-eight-year-old veteran who has been playing poker for sixty years, is the new World Series of Poker seniors champion, picking up his first bracelet in event 34: the $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-Limit Hold'em World Championship after three tough days of competitive poker against a large field.
Angle, playing in a major live tourney and the Word Series of Poker for the first time, bested an initial field of 3,142 to take home a gold bracelet, the Golden Eagle and $487,994 when runner-up Michael Minetti fell in second place in the event.
Angle's big day started with 23 survivors on the third day of the competition, and his controlled aggression and disciplined style of play saw him navigate skillfully to the final table, where at one time it appeared that John Woo would take the honours.
However, Angle managed to almost even the chip counts and in one memorable hand turned the game in his favour. Woo held pocket queens and was up against the ten-jack of Angle, who had flopped two pair. Woo couldn't improve and Angle doubled to over 8 million, leaving the Woo and Minetti stacks decimated and seeing Woo off.
When heads up play started, Angle had an almost 10 to 1 chip lead, and although Minetti was able to last for over an hour of heads up action, thanks to a double up at one point, the result was perhaps inevitable.
Minetti's runner-up prize was a respectable $301,839.
In event 35 - the $10,000 buy-in Heads-Up Hold'em Championship - Ayaz Mahmood and Ernst Schmejkal, the sole survivors of an original star-laden field of 256, were still fighting for supremacy as play halted for the night 5am Monday Vegas time.
With the average chip stack at 3,840,000, Mahmood currently has a 5 to 1 advantage on 5,830,000, with Schmejkal trailing on 1,850,000 in a match that has turned into a marathon with the two remaining players' fortunes fluctuating over six hours of heads up action.
Play restarted on Monday evening Vegas time and by the early hours of the morning was still ongoing. Mahmood has taken the first of three matches, putting pressure on his opponent to win the second one if he is to remain in contention for the $625,682 main prize.
Only 165 players of an original Day 1B field of 1,119 made it through to Day 2 in event 36 - the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em contest.
On Monday afternoon they joined the survivors of Day 1A to make up a combined Day 2 field of 451 players when cards hit the air and the action recommenced, with Scott Montgomery holding the chip lead, trailed by Bernard Ko and with Neil Channing, Liv Boeree and Marco Traniello not far behind.
By late Monday night there were 94 players left from an initial total field of 3,102, led by Jeff Frye, who was being chased by Peter Dufek and Ryan D'Angelo, who had held the chip lead for much of the day.
The casualty list at that point included Fabrice Soulier, Marco Traniello (just after the money bubble burst) and Shawn Buchanan.
478 players registered for event 37- the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. competition, but only 219 of them lasted into Day 2, among them David Benyamine, John Juanda, Phil Ivey and Jeff Lisandro, who all made the money bubble at the 48 player cut-off.
By the end of Day 2, only 25 players remained with John Juanda in the chip lead, and by the end of Day 3 late Monday night the contestants had reached a final table stage.
And what a truly stellar final table it is, with five bracelet winners - several of them multiple bracelet holders: Phil Ivey (7), Bill Chen (2), Ken Aldridge (1), John Juanda (3, and one WSOP-E bracelet) and Jeff Lisandro (4).
Even the player who bubbled the final table, Ryan Hughes, has 2 bracelets.
Late Monday night in Vegas, play was in level 26, and there were only five finalists left, with Bill Chen leading in a star-studded table that looked like this:
Bill Chen 2,025,000
John Juanda 910,000
Jeffrey Lisandro 700,000
Phil Ivey 400,000
Kenneth Aldridge 365,000
Earlier final table eliminations included:
David Baker Eliminated in 6th Place ($50,871)
Albert Hahn Eliminated in 7th Place ($38,391)
Chad Brown Eliminated in 8th Place ($29,406)
Event 38 - the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship saw more than half the entry field of 268 fall on Day 1, including Jennifer Tilly, Tom Dwan, John Juanda, Sorel Mizzi, Kathy Liebert, Justin Bonomo, Greg Raymer, Chris Ferguson and Annette Obrestad.
Tom Marchese took the chip lead into Day 2, where the 122 survivors were further refined down to only 43 still playing by late evening Monday.
Early Day 2 eliminations included Alex Kravchenko, David Peters, Humberto Brenes and Andy Bloch.
Peter Jetten led the pack on 713,000 late night Monday, with Clement Thumy (645,000), Tom Marchese (295,000) and Blair Rodman (293,000) all still in the game.
Average Chip Stack at that stage was 186,976.
In event 39, a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, Monday night saw the completion of Day 1, which started with a field of 1,400 - way up on last year's 999 - and ended with only 140 players still standing.
There will be three heats and hopefully a final table sometime Wednesday.
In the Day 1 "look who's here" list was Phil Ivey, Erik Cajelais, Matt Graham, Dennis Phillips, Jeff Madsen, Joe Sebok, Barny Boatman, Shannon Elizabeth, David Pham, Dwyte Pilgrim, Kirk Morrison, Tom Dwan and Brandon Cantu.
As InfoPowa went to press late Monday night Vegas time Adam Schoenfeld had the chip lead, followed by Adam Levy, Terrence Chan and Robert Mizrachi.
Early eliminations featured Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Harman and internet phenoms Tom Dwan and Bertrand Grospellier.
Day 2 play will include Fatima de Melo, Victor Ramdin, Tristan Wade, Adam Levy, Robert Mizrachi, Ylon Schwartz, Terrence Chan, Adam Schoenfeld, Tony Dunst and Annette Obrestad
Monday saw the Day 1 start of event 40 - the $2,500 buy-in Seven Card Razz which last year attracted 315 players, a number surpassed with ease by this year's registered field of 365. That field has generated a prize-pool of $839,500 that'll be paid to the top 40 finishers, with the winner taking home $214,085 and the runner up $132,229.
Seen taking their seats Monday afternoon were Erik Seidel, Jerry Buss, Barry Greenstein, Billy Baxter, Greg Raymer, Isaac Haxton, Justin Bonomo, Huck Seed, Dutch Boyd, Annie Duke, Jennifer Tilly, Matt Hawrilenko, Thor Hansen, Lacey Jones, Eric Froehlich, David Bach and Shawn Sheikhan.
By late Monday night there were 280 survivors still battling on, with the average chip stack at around 9,780. Jennifer Harman was in the lead on 25,000, just ahead of rivals Randy Kas (24,800), Steven Diano (20,500), David Chiu (20,000) and Eli Elezra (20,000).
Casualties at that point included Tom Dwan, Bernard Lee, Carlos Mortensen and Paul "Eskimo" Clark.
Source: InfoPowa News