Going into Day 30 of the 41st World Series of Poker, the latest bracelet winners are Dean Hamrick, who bubbled last year's main event final table, and Ian Gordon, who started low but staged a remarkable comeback in his event.
Starting the day against 24 other survivors, Hamrick won event 42, the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em competition after a long 15 hour final day of poker that included a three hour rollercoaster of a heads up against Thomas O'Neal.
It was the culmination of a three day battle through a field that originally numbered 2,521, many of them well respected names in the game.
The young player from Michigan's reward was his first bracelet and a substantial first prize of $604,222, boosting his career earnings above $1.5 million whilst his very worthy opponent's second place was worth $375,627.
Ian Gordon was not especially high on the winner-radar when the final day of event 43 - the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship started with 23 survivors from an initial entry field of 241.
British player Richard Ashby was among the favourites, having a good stack and already claiming one bracelet this series, and by the time Eugene Katachalov was busted out in 3rd place for a $248,341 take-home it was Ashby who faced Gordon in the heads up.
The two contestants showed good sportsmanship in toasting each other with glasses of champagne before getting down to business, and the grand finale was surprisingly just one hand long.
Gordon emerged with the bracelet and $611,666 main prize, with Ashby having the consolation of a $378,027 runner-up's check.
The final table of event 44, a $2,500 Mixed Hold'em contest, was reached in only two days despite a star-studded entry field of 507 players. Jarred Solomon and Gavin Smith led the remaining survivors into Day 3 action, and this is how the eliminations occurred:
Mike Santoro in 9th place ($21,304)
Dwyte Pilgrim in 8th place ($27,438)
Daniel Idema in 7th place ($35,601)
Jarred Solomon in 6th place ($46,562)
Jamie Rosen in 5th place ($61,441)
Michael Michnik in 4th place ($81,871)
Timothy Finne in 3rd place ($110,324)
Finne's departure set the scene for a lengthy heads up between Gavin Smith and Danny Hannawa in which the pair battled for two hours through the alternating limit and no-limit rounds before Smith prevailed to collect his first bracelet and $268,238, leaving Hannawa with a second-placing payday of $166,005.
Early morning Sunday there were still 35 players struggling for supremacy in event 45, the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em competition, an event which attracted 3,097 registrations.
Going into Day 2 Saturday afternoon barely 400 players remained, led by Will Failla, but with players of quality still in the field, including Chino Rheem, Dutch Boyd, Theo Tran, John Phan, John Juanda, Jonathan Little, Victor Ramdin, and Adam Junglen.
Early morning Sunday when the Day 2 chips were bagged it was UK player Sam Trickett in the lead on 922,000, closely pursued by Larry Wilder on 916,000.
Day 2 of event 46, the $5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split contest came to a close without reaching a final table in the early hours of Sunday morning with 21 players still standing from an original entry field of 310, which had been reduced to 130 in Day 1 action.
Colin Burton held the chip lead as Day 2 action commenced, but there was some serious competitors still in the game that included James Dempsey, Mike Matusow, Barry Greenstein, Alexander Kravchenko, Vladimir Shchemelev, Dan Heimiller, Phil Hellmuth, Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer and Kathy Liebert.
Chips were bagged at level 18 with 21 players remaining and Sergey Altbrechin in the lead on 486,000, chased by Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliot on 415,000. Further back in the field but still very much in contention were Erik Seidel, Rob Hollink, Allen Kessler, Andy Black and Dan Heimiller.
Event 47, another of the popular $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em competitions started off Day 1a Saturday afternoon with 1,759 players and completed the day down to 310 hopefuls, who will combine Monday with the survivors of Day 1b.
Justin Brickner has a comfortable lead on 86,000, ahead of Antonio Esfandiari on 35,000, Chau Giang, Michael Mizrachi, Tom Dwan, Jerry Yang, Chris Ferguson, Billy Baxter, Dennis Phillips and Bernard Lee all failed to survive the day.
Among the survivors going into Day 2 Monday will be Antonio Esfandiari, Matt Glantz and Scott Montgomery.
Also starting Saturday afternoon was event 48, a $2,500 buy-in Mixed competition in which 453 players entered.
By late Saturday night, when the chips were bagged after 8 hours of play, there were 192 players at level 8 with Jared Jaffe just ahead of Justin Smith in chip counts.
It could be another long road to a final table with a field that still contains experienced and talented players like Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harman, Alex Kravchenko, Michael Mizrachi, Bill Chen, Justin Bonomo, Chris Ferguson and Andrew Robl.
Players return to the felt late Sunday afternoon Vegas time.
Source: InfoPowa News