Variety, action and the imminent reward of more World Series of Poker bracelets are keeping interest high in poker's biggest spectacle unfolding at the Rio in Las Vegas. By late Sunday night event 34 - the $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-limit Hold'em Championship was nearing a conclusion and the award of another bracelet as Harold Angle, John Woo and Michael Minetti fought it out three handed to decide who gets the main prize and the jewellery.
They are all that was left of an original field of 3,142 that assembled three days ago. On the final day, 23 players remained with Minetti holding the chip lead, but by Sunday night he was the low stack on the three-handed final table, with the count as follows: Harold Angle 4,205,000, John Woo 3,715,000, Michael Minetti 1,315,000.
Jason Somerville's elimination in third place sent opponent Ayaz Mahmood forward to the grand denouement of event 35 - the $10,000 buy-in Heads-up No-limit Hold'em Championship, where by late Sunday night he was holding an impressive lead over his final opposition, Ernst Schmejkal and the prospect of a $625,682 victory.
It was the culmination of three exciting final rounds of heads up action Sunday between Somerville, Thang Pham, Faraz Jaka, Mahmood, Alexander Kostritsyn, Ludovic Lacay, Schmejkal and Vanessa Rousso.
Unlike the first seven rounds, the final is being played as a best-of-three match, with each player starting with 3.84 million in chips and playing 40 minute levels.
As InfoPowa went to press Mahmood (38) was over a million chips ahead of his determined opponent. The Texas poker pro has a wealth of experience behind him, with numerous WSOP cashes that have included final tables. To reach the final he had to best John Duthie, Nathan Doudney, James Collopy, Kevin Saul, Brian Rast, Faraz Jaka, and Jason Somerville.
Mahmood's last obstacle on the way to wealth is German poker pro Ernst Schmejkal (24), who is currently resident in Britain. He's an internet ace of note, using the handle 'Trader', and in order to face Mahmood in the final he had to triumph over Nikolay Evdakov, Joao Barbosa, Juan Ramirez, David Williams, Alexander Kravchenko, Vanessa Rousso, and Alexander Kostritsyn.
Day 1B of the well-supported event 36, a $1,000 No-limit Hold'em competition kicked off on Sunday afternoon as the organisers attempted to bring massive entry fields down to more manageable numbers.
Day1A of this event saw almost 2,000 hopefuls whittled down earlier in the week to just 298 players led by Scott Montgomery, and these will face the survivors of Day 1B as the contest moves into a second day.
Day 1B Sunday afternoon saw a 1119 entry field, with name-spotters reporting Antonio Esfandiari, Shannon Elizabeth, Allen Kessler, Ylon Schwartz, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Michael Mizrachi, Ryan D'Angelo, Victor Ramdin and Men Nguyen among those present and raring to go.
By late Sunday night when play ended and the chips were bagged, it was Ryan D'Angelo holding the Day 1B lead after eight-and-a-half levels of play. With 165 players left, it means that Day 2 will see around 450 contestants taking to the felt in the combined survivors field, with the money bubble at the 324 mark and an enticing first prize of $481,760.
There were 49 players still in contention late Sunday night as event 37, a H.O.R.S.E. contest with a $3,000 buy-in battled through Day 2 and approached the money bubble. The event attracted an initial entry field of 478, generating a prize pool of $1,319,280.
The Russian who is rapidly making a name for himself in this 41st WSOP, Konstantin Puchkov, was doing well and had eliminated several top players, among them Tobias Wahlbeck.
After the dinner break the action slowed, with only 15 players busting out in the subsequent hour-and-a-half of play. Among those out of this event are Mike Matusow, Steve Zolotow, Kristy Gazes, Andy Bloch and Sorel Mizzi.
Late Sunday afternoon also saw the start of event 38, the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship, which was taken down last year by Londoner John Kabbaj. His luck is out this year, however, as he was eliminated before Day 1 ended.
The field consisted of 268 players, among them stellar names like Amnon Filippi, Justin Bonomo, Joe Hachem, Vitaly Lunkin, David Benefield, Christian Harder and Kevin Saul - all at one table!
Others seen in action included Phil Hellmuth, Humberto Brenes, Annie Duke, Alexander Kostritsyn, Barry Greenstein, Erick Lindgren, Erica Schoenberg, Roland de Wolfe, Ludovic Lacay, and Todd Brunson, along with a slew of young-gun internet heroes like Andrew Lichtenberger, Ashton Griffin, Dan Kelly and Tom Dwan.
By late Sunday evening Vegas time there were still 225 players in action, with eliminations including David Bach, defending champ John Kabbaj and Greg Raymer,
Leading the top ten scorers was Tom Marchese, pursued by Martin Kabrhel and Blair Rodman, with Daniel Negreanu, Eric Baldwin, Arnaud Mattern and Ludovic Lackay a little further down the top score list.
Source: InfoPowa News