The action continued Saturday at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as the hotly contested $1,500 No Limit Hold'Em event came to a close with Canada's Pascal LeFrancois holding off a heads up challenge from Max Steinberg to win the event and the $568,974 main prize.
On the last day only 10 of the original 2,341 entry field remained, competing for the lion's share of the $3,160,350 prize pool, but it took until 10pm Vegas time to reach a final table. After that the action became a little more dynamic as LeFrancois dominated play and three eliminations took place.
Max Steinberg took down Saar Wilks and Josh Brikis with the former finishing in ninth place for $41,843 while Brikis claimed the eighth spot for $54,578.
Next out in seventh place was Kurt Disessa, who fell foul of Kevin Howe and headed for the cashier and a $72,087 payday.
All the way from Brazil, Daniel Wjuniski outplayed James Andersen and sent him to the rail in sixth place and a $96,422 payout.
David Aue and Kevin Howe found themselves in a tense exchange which resulted in Aue headed for the exit in fifth place for a $130,000 pay check, and this was followed by another Steinberg victim as Dan Wjuniski was eliminated, earning himself $179,286 for fourth place.
Down to three handed action it was Steinberg, Howe and LeFrancois, but the latter busted Howe out for a third placing $249,351 to set up a Steinberg vs. LeFrancois heads up, with the Canadian player continuing to dominate the action with a nine to one chip lead over his opponent.
LeFrancois was simply too overwhelming and although Steinberg gave a good account of himself it was soon all over, leaving Steinberg with a second placing payday of $352,916, and the winner a massive first prize of $568,974.
Men Nguyen is the new $10,000 buy-in Seven Card Stud world champion after a marathon Day 3 session in which 12 remaining players slugged it out, with the leaders including players of the calibre of Sirious Jamshidi, Vladimir Schmelev and Mike Mizrachi among the leaders and Dan Heimiller and Men "The Master" Nguyen further back.
Six hours in, there had been three eliminations: Schmelev saw off Eric Buchman in 12th place; Brandon Adams dispatched Ray Dehkhargani in the 11th spot, and Todd Barlow was bundled out in 10th spot by Joe Cassidy.
Evening eliminations included Dan Heimiller, who fell to a rampant Men Nguyen in 9th spot to officially bubble the final table, and Sirious Jamshidi was sent to the exit by Adams in position number 8.
It was Nguyen again when Vladimir Schmelev headed for the rail in the number 7th place, and the hopes of Mike Mizrachi of another bracelet were dashed when he exited in position 6 after clashing with Brandon Adams.
Joe Cassidy went out in fifth after a clash with Nikolay Evdakov, but the Russian player was himself the next to go, busted out in fourth by Men Nguyen, who was definitely in the ascendant as the game progressed. Evdakov's payday was the first of the six-number checks in the event at $110,629.
The Nguyen rampage continued with the third place elimination of Steve Billirakis, who earned himself $152,788 in setting the scene for what promised to be an epic heads up between Men Nguyen and Brandon Adams, with Men holding a one million chip lead on his opponent.
What subsequently transpired will go down as one of the more unusual finishes to a WSOP event as Nguyen, who appeared to have had one beer too many, still managed to dominate the exchanges and widened the advantage gap he held. Then, in an astonished turn of events, the exuberant Nguyen challenged Adams to a series of raises and all-ins which culminated in him taking the honours.
Short stacked Adams looked surprised, but pleased enough to collect a second placing check for $243,958, whilst the excited Men Nguyen collected the main prize of $394,800, but more importantly the WSOP bracelet - his seventh and the first one he has taken home in seven long years.
Day 2 of event 9 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'Em - saw James Dempsey holding a major chip lead, a position he continued to occupy as play progressed, and which saw him ultimately finish the day within striking distance of leader Steve Chanthabouasy on the leaderboard.
The final nine met Saturday in a final table that ended up in a hard-fought 2 hour heads up between Dempsey and Chanthabouasy.
Dempsey had to work hard for his $197,470 first prize which doubles his live tournament career earnings, although it falls short of his biggest win to date - a second place $211,000 in the last SCOOP online NLHE tournament.
The two men had managed to survive an original field of 650 players and three days of hectic action, with Dempsey dominating much of it but Chanthabouasy chasing him hard and at one stage overtaking his lead.
JJ Liu's elimination in third place by Dempsey set up the heads up clash, and Chanthabouasy's second placing was worth $121,963. Other final tablers included (in finishing order) Mark Babekov, Scott Haraden, Armen Kara, Joseph Williams, Edward Brogdon and Gregg Wilkerson.
Another 2,563 player ponied up $1,500 in Event 11 - the $1,500 NLHE competition, with a mere 297 surviving to the end of Day 1. Venkatesh Gupta ended the day as chip leader.
625 players signed in for event 12, a $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold'Em competition which ended Day 1 with only 177 survivors, among them Phil Ivey, David Williams, Jeff Madsen, Jeff Shulman, Sorel Mizzi, Marco Traniello, Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein, John Juanda, and Ted Forrest.
Source: InfoPowa News