Frank Kassela is enjoying a great World Series of Poker, this week becoming the first player in the current series to win two bracelets, and there are still plenty more events to be played.
Plagued by a power outage, event 40, the $2,500 Seven-Card Razz competition, started its third hard day Wednesday afternoon with just 15 players from an initial field of 365 and Kassela lying third in chip counts, a disadvantage he was to skillfully address to eventually claim the bracelet in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The Memphis, Tennessee player made a memorable comeback after finishing the first day of the contest with a short stack and facing a remaining field of 205, many of them aces. Yet he managed to not only survive but build his stack, entering the final table of the event third in chips, one spot behind eventual runner-up Maxwell Troy.
It took 12 grueling hours on Day 3 to reach the heads up, where Kassela faced Troy in an epic if grinding heads up that lasted until 5am, when Kassela claimed his second bracelet and the top $214,085 payday, and Troy had the consolation of the $132,229 runner-up's prize.
21-year-old (just) Steven Kelly bested some of the biggest names in the game to win his first WSOP bracelet in event 39 - the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, emerging top dog in two ten-handed tables, and two seven-handed tables that were consolidated into one as players were eliminated.
A poker pro from Camarillo, California, Kelly is an experienced and successful online poker player under the handle "PokerMaestros", with career earnings prior to his first bracelet win of $387,646, now enhanced with event 39's main prize of $381,922.
In the final 14 survivors of an original field of 1,397, Kelly faced the likes of Annette Obrestad, J.C. Tran, Chau Giang, Robert Mizrachi, Justin Scott and Randy Holland on his way to the last heads up against the highly experienced Jeffrey King, who took home the runner-up prize of $236,819 after the 15 hand heads up.
Speculation that Phil Hellmuth was about to claim extra WSOP jewellery came to naught in event 41, the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better competition, when the high profile ace managed only a seventh placing that gave him $30,633.
The final day of the event re-started play Thursday afternoon with15 players left from the initial entry field of 847, and by late that night only four player remained as level 29 started. Leading the field was Steve Jelinek on 2,500,000 and John Gottlieb on 1,511,500 as InfoPowa went to press.
Final table eliminations included:
Anders Taylor in 3rd place ($97,913)
Michael Chappus in 4th place ($71,728)
Ben Lamb in 5th place ($53,319)
Mandy Thomas in 6th place ($40,169)
Phil Hellmuth in 7th place ($30,633) taken out by John Gottlieb
Ryan Karp in 8th place ($23,635)
Joel Ettedgi in 9th place ($18,432)
Late night Thursday there were 28 players left from an original field of 2,521 players after two days of action in event 42, the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em contest.
High attrition rates saw the large initial field thinned out to 278 by the end of Day 1, with Day 2 starters Thursday afternoon led by Jackson Zheng and Humberto Brenes. Other strong players in the field were Carter Phillips, Shannon Shorr, Nam Le and Arnaud Mattern.
Level 20 leaders as we went to press were Ryan Hemmel (915,000); Andrew Rosskamm (895,000) and Humberto Brenes (750,000).
One of the toughest fields came out to play in event 43, the $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, where 241 experienced and talented players took their places for some highly competitive poker and big money on Wednesday afternoon, and by the start of Day 2 twenty four hours later there were still 169 players in contention.
Among them were seven WSOP main event champs: Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Chris Ferguson, Scotty Nguyen, Huck Seed, Carlos Mortenson, and Doyle Brunson, along with other high recognizable aces like Daniel Negreanu, Freddy Deeb, Jennifer Harman, Erik Seidel and Allen Kessler.
By late night Thursday Vegas time play had reached level 17 and the Day 2 field was down to only 25, with an average chip stack of 289,200 and Brandon Adams holding the lead on 560,000 with Carlos Mortensen (520,000) and Brian Townsend (483,000) treading on his heels.
When InfoPowa went to press the money bubble was imminent, with the last 24 players qualifying for a payday of at least $21,997; unfortunately, players like Annie Duke, James Mackey, Phil Galfond and Scott Seiver will not share in the bonanza, having been eliminated a few spots prior.
Last year's field of 527 in event 44, the $2,500 buy-in Mixed Hold'em competition was not beaten this year, with registrations at 507 when cards hit the air Thursday afternoon.
In this event, players have to move back and forth between no-limit and fixed-limit hold'em every half hour, with 60 minute levels.
The 2010 field may be smaller, but there was no shortage of star-power, with the following seen taking their seats as Day 1 kicked off Justin Bonomo, Issac Haxton, Kevin Saul, Terrence Chan, Erica Schoenberg, Dwyte Pilgrim, Alexander Gomes, Andy Black, Ylon Schwartz, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertrand Grospellier, Sorel Mizzi, Joe Sebok and Phil Ivey.
By late night Thursday Day 1 has been declared complete at level 10, with 70 players still battling for position and Eli Elezra in the lead on 181,000, chased by Jim Collopy (113,000).
Early casualties included Allen Cunningham, Antonio Esfandiari, David Williams, Joe Sebok, Michael Mizrachi, Sorel Mizzi, Tom Dwan and David Benyamine,
Source: InfoPowa News