With the World Series of Poker going into its 32nd day in Las Vegas, three more players claimed gold by winning their events. For Jesse Rockowitz it was the excitement of a first bracelet when he took down event 45, a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em contest with a main prize of $721,373 after a heads up with Raymond Coburn that ended at four in the morning.
Coburn, who gave a very good account of himself throughout the see-saw final confrontation thoroughly, deserved his runner-up prize of $446,274.
The two had battled through a field of almost 3,100 over three tough days of competitive poker before third placed Thiago Nishijima busted out for $315,828, setting the scene for the final confrontation.
Event 46 - the $5,000buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better competition also came to a conclusion after three days and the elimination of an entry field of 284 players, reduced to 130 and then 21 on the final day.
Despite formidable opposition from the likes of multiple bracelet holders like Erik Seidel, Perry Green, Dave Ulliott and Rob Hollink, it was Chris Bell who ended up in the heads up against Dan Shak, managing to prevail although the chip lead changed several times.
Bell's win was worth $327,040 and his first WSOP bracelet, whilst Shak's second placing delivered a take-home of $202,142.
Already a respected pro, Bell now adds to an impressive record that includes three WSOP final tables.
With two Day Ones necessary to handle a huge entry field of 3,128 players, event 47, the fifth of the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em affairs, was fast and competitive with many international poker aces competing.
A total of 476 players made it through to Day 2, led by Sergey Chernykh with Tom Braband and Olivier Busquet among those in the top ten. Further back in the field was Jeff Madsen, four-time WSOP bracelet winner Mickey Appleman, and 2003 Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker. Scott Montgomery, who had take down an earlier $1000 event, was also trying for a second bracelet, and a chance to at least cash once the field was down to 324 players.
By late Monday night the field was down to 33 with Manuel Davidian bagging the most chips at 889,000 for the night, and average chip stacks at 284,363.
Event 48, the $2,500 Mixed Event, pulled in 453 players, but by he end of Day 1 action just 192 remained, and that was down to 20 by the end of Day 2. Despite a dynamic start, Vitaly Lunkin crashed out, along with Frank Kassela, who had also enjoyed a promising start.
Going into Day 3, which started about an hour late Monday afternoon, Nikolai Yakovenko led the field on 310,000, but there was still some impressive star-power in the field, including Mike Matusow, Dario Minieri, Bill Chen, Alexander Kravchenko, Jennifer Harman, Scott Seiver, Daniel Negreanu and Steve Sung. The plan was to play nine more levels of eight-game action.
All 20 starters on Day 3 were in the money, and set to earn at least $7,585 in prize money.
By the early hours of Tuesday morning after 14 hours of action poker it was all over.and none of the international names had taken the bracelet. Instead, it was a first bracelet for Sigurd Eskeland, ia 36-year-old former teacher from Oslo, Norway. He's previously cashed in two WSOP events, including the Main Event back in 2008.
Eskeland faced Steve Sung in the heads up, starting with over a million chips more and turning the advantage into a victory, but only after a real battle with his determined opponent. Eskeland won the day, however, to take home the bracelet and $260,000, leaving Sung to collect the runner-up prize of $160,952.
Event 49, the last of the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em events (barring a Shootout still to come) started 12 noon Monday with a field of 2,543 players, generating a prize pool of $3,433,050, with $609,493 of that earmarked for the winner.
Another star-studded field was registered, including: Phil Hellmuth, Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Eric Baldwin, Chino Rheem and Vanessa Rousso - none of whom won through to the end of Day 1.
Aces who did manage to survive were Allen Kessler, Andy Bloch, Liv Boeree, David Pham and Roland De Wolfe.
315 survivors will gather again for the Day 2 start Tuesday, all with a chance at the money, which starts on position 270.
Leading the field is Guiseppe Zarbo on 156,500, comfortably ahead of Andrew Gillis (120,500) and Roberto Stamerra (120,100). Average chip stacks are 36,328.
Event 50, the $5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha attracted a field of 362 opponents in 2009, a field that was eclipsed this year with 460 entries, all geared up for a format of eight levels, with 20-minute breaks after the first two and before the last two and a 60-minute dinner break in the middle.
At stake is a prize pool of $2,162,000 which will see 45 player cashing and a minimum payday for them of $10,226. The victor in this event will collect a cool $508,090.
By the time play was completed Monday night over half the field had been eliminated, with famous players like Daniel Negreanu, Chad Brown, Vanessa Selbst, Marco Traniello and Erick Lindgren among the fallen.
207 players will be starting Day 2 Tuesday, including Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Jason Mercier, Lex Veldhuis, Phil Hellmuth, and Bertrand Grospellier, with Kevin Schaffel in the lead on 178,900. Day 2 just started
WSOP Tournament of Champions
By the end of Day 1, five of the 27 champs in this event had been eliminated, namely John Juanda, Greg Raymer, Barry Shulman, Sammy Farha and Phil Ivey. Erick Seidel held the lead at the end of Day 1.
Another four levels of play kicked off Monday afternoon, with play ending that night on level 8 with 17 players left and average chip stacks at 47,648. Mike Matusow stole the show on Day 2, building his stack to 85,500. He was chased by Huck Seed (73,000) and Johnny Chan (68,600).
Day 2 casualties included Doyle Brunson, Doyle Brunson, who was followed soon after by reigning Main Event Champion Joe Cada, Internet qualifier Andrew Barton, Mike Sexton and Dan Harrington.
Day 2 survivors will reconvene for Day 3 action on Saturday, July 3rd at 7 p.m. to play to a final table.
Source: InfoPowa News