David "Bakes" Baker (23) has taken the honours in event 19 at the World Series of Poker - the $10,000 buy-in 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship - after a tough three days against some of the best players in the business. The final table included pros of the calibre of John Juanda, Erik Seidel and Eric Kesselman.
It was Baker's first WSOP bracelet, enhanced with the main prize check of $294,321 after he beat Eric Cloutier in the heads up. Third place was taken by George Danzer.
Remarkably, Baker has only been playing this genre of poker for five months.
"It makes me feel pretty good that I could develop basically a world-class Deuce game in five months," he said. The young player is enjoying a successful tournament thus far, having placed sixth in the $50,000 buy-in Player's Championship at the beginning of this year's World Series.
On his way to victory Baker knocked out five of the six other players at the final table, and demolished Daniel Negreanu in eighth place.
Tex Barch bested an original field of 885 to take event 20, the $1,500 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha competition on Saturday night; it was his third WSOP final table since 2005 and his first WSOP winner's bracelet.
On the final day of a hectic 3 day contest Barch was the closest rival to chip leader Nenad Medic but quickly built up his stack as the day's play progressed, eventually taking the lead and amassing over 2 million in chips, which enabled him to dominate the action.
In some truly exciting poker he eliminated Nenad Medic, Trai Dang and Klinghammer Thibaut in three consecutive hands to claim the $294,314 first place prize, boosting his career earnings to over $3 million.
Barch started the heads up against Thibaut with a 7 to 1 chip advantage, quickly winning the game and leaving his opponent with the runner-up's prize of $256,919.
Trai Dang's third placing enabled him to take home $102,306.
It initially looked as if Sorel Mizzi was least likely to dominate going into event 21, the $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud tournament as he started the day with one of the low stacks, but the indomitable internet and live tourney player used skill and good cards to end Day 2 as the chip leader.
In doing so he bested top quality players like Richard Ashby, Dan Heimiller, Pat Pezzin and Jon Turner after a long, hard day at the tables.
Day 3 saw Alex Kravchenko crushed and eliminated at tenth, forming the final table. By 10.40pm Vegas time Saturday, Mizzi's dream of a WSOP bracelet had been shattered and he had been eliminated by level 25.
Instead it was Richard Ashby and Christine Pietsch battling it out in the heads up, with the former holding a considerable 4 to 1 chip advantage and the end in sight.
Earlier, the departure of Darren Shebell in third place for $55,955 had set the scene for the heads up.
The original entry field numbered 408.
The ladies were still going strong Saturday night in event 22 - the $1,000 buy-in Ladies No-limit Hold'em Championship as second day action saw a reduced field of 138 survivors from an original field of 1,054 take to the felt, with La Sengphet in the lead, chased by 2008 champ Svetlana Gromenkova, Eveyln Ng, Liv Boeree, Lacey Jones, Michele Lewis, Wooka Kim, Linda Johnson and Maria Ho.
By late Saturday night at level 18 the field was down to 22 and La Sengphet was still leading on 380,000 with nearest rival Kami Chisholm on 375,000 and Sidsel Boesen on 360,000, making for a close and exciting contest.
Event 23, a $2,500 buy-in Limit Hold'em Six-handed competition, attracted an entry field of 384 when it started Saturday afternoon, but this was soon reduced to 100 after only eight levels of play in a whirlwind of action across most of the tables.
Some familiar, fast-playing internet aces were in the field, which included names like Justin Bonomo, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, George Lind, JJ Liu, Phil Gordon, JC Tran, Erick Lindgren, Matt Hawrilenko and Joe Sebok.
By late Saturday night and level 16 only 25 players were left, with the chip lead held by Brian Meinders on 320,000, followed by Rafe Furst on 270,000 and Christopher Vitch on 240,000.
Another $1,000 event started Saturday afternoon as a Day 1a field of 1,931 hopefuls gathered for
event 24 - another of the popular $1,000 buy-in NLHE contests.
Seen at the tables as Day 1a cards hit the air were Kathy Liebert, Hevad Khan, Shannon Elizabeth, Eric Baldwin, Jeff Madsen, Dennis Phillips and Antonio Esfandiari, among others. These were destined to bust out, however, and did not survive the first day's action.
Attrition rates were high, and by late Saturday just 290 players remained when play was halted. These players will now combine with the survivors of Day 1b as the competition progresses.
The top three Day 1a players were Leon Yanovski (58,275), Valdemar Kwayser (49,600) and Arnaud Mattern (39,950)
At 212 registrants this year's event 25, the $10,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship, topped last year's equivalent field of 179, and predictably brought a stellar field to the tables.
Spotted in the room were defending champion Daniel Alaei and 2008 champion David Benyamine, along with Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Nikolay Evdakov, Mike Sexton, Scotty Nguyen, Andy Bloch, Abe Mosseri, Josh Arieh, Jimmy Fricke, Eugene Katchalov, Erik Seidel, Eric Baldwin, Allen Kessler, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond, Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi and Jason Mercier.
By 11pm Saturday, play was at level 16 and only 12 players had been eliminated, with Phil Hellmuth in the chip lead at 72,000 on his continuing hunt for another record-breaking bracelet. He's pursued closely by Eli Elezra, John Monette, Jeffrey Lissandro and Jean-Robert Bellande.
Source: InfoPowa News