Day 15 of the 2013 World Series of Poker featured four events on the schedule. Day 3 of Event #20: $1,500 Omaha High-Low Eight-or-Better reduced the field from 22 to two. The WSOP schedule originally indicated that this event would conclude on Day 3, but the final table was so competitive that a winner had not yet been determined by the end of play early Thursday morning, and Calen “Big Wheel” McNeil and Can Kim Hua are still locked in a heads-up battle.
At the conclusion of Day 3, two players were still standing in Event #20. Calen McNeil leads with 3,470,000 in chips to Can Kim Hua’s 1,100,000.
Twenty-two players survived the first two days of competition and returned Wednesday with the intention of playing down to a winner. Nearly five hours later, Dale Beaudoin, who started the day with the chip lead, was eliminated in 10th place, and the official final table was set.
The top two places are yet to be decided. Here are the final table payouts for places three through nine:
The final table saw its first elimination less than 15 minutes later, as Calen McNeil crippled Dao Bac, who was eliminated by two-time bracelet winner John Monnette two hand later.
The next player to go was Won Goag, who ran into Tony Ma’s pocket aces. Both players made a full house, but Ma’s was higher, and Goag was left without any chips.
Monnette finished in seventh place. He got all his money in with , but was behind McNeil’s higher pocket pair. He failed to improve, and the board didn’t allow for a possible low.
The next casualty was Stephen Chidwick. The only British representative at the final table had been one of the shorter stacks for most of the way. He lost the last of his chips when his pocket kings ran into McNeil’s pocket aces.
Tony Ma fell next. Ma lost a lot of chips to Todd Brunson during a series of hands, then doubled up twice, then lost almost all his chips in an all-in confrontation with Joe Ford. Ma was then all in for his last big blind. His pocket queens lost to Ford’s flush, and his hand didn’t qualify for a low.
The next player eliminated was Joe Ford. Ford was crippled in a hand against McNeil, and soon afterwards got all his chips in the middle against Can Kim Hua. This hand was a rarity in Omaha, as the board almost missed both players completely. Hua, however, paired one of his hole cards, and his pair of fives was enough to knock Ford out of the tournament.
Three-handed play lasted nearly two hours, but eventually Todd Brunson was eliminated in third place. He was crippled in a hand against C. K. Hua when Hua made the nut flush, and was eliminated a few hands later. Brunson was ahead on the flop when the last of his chips went in the middle, but McNeil ended up turning a wheel to take both high and low, knocking Brunson out of the tournament.
Heading into heads-up play, Hua held a significant chip lead over McNeil, 3,200,000 to 1,300,000. The players engaged in a tough, back-and-forth battle, and after an hour McNeil had reversed his initial chip disadvantage. However, a winner was not decided. After the conclusion of the scheduled 10 levels of play, tournament staff gave the players the option to play an 11th level (on the condition that both players agree) or to bag up their chips and return on Thursday. Hua did not wish to continue for the night, and play was halted.
Hua and McNeil will return Thursday at 1 p.m. to continue their fight for the bracelet and the $277,274 first-place prize. Join us here at PokerNews as we bring you live updates from the conclusion of this heads-up battle.
On Tuesday, 807 players started Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’Em (Six Handed). By end of play on Wednesday, only 13 players remained. Matt Stout is the chip leader with 1,268,000, and his lead is substantial. Benjamin Pollak, Stout’s nearest rival, returns Thursday with 756,000. Dan Kelly sits fifth in chips with 545,000. This is Kelly's sixth cash at the 2013 WSOP, and he has already made two final tables. Other notables returning for Day 3 include David "The Dragon" Pham (748,000), former EPT champion Martin Finger (467,000), Nick Schulman (421,000) and eight-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel (465,000)
The money-bubble burst with the elimination of Michael Malm who busted at the hands of Pham. Although Malm was disappointed to finish outside of the money, he cannot feel too sorry for himself as he won a bracelet a few days ago in Event #8.
Day 3 commences at 1 p.m. and continues until just one player has won all 7,263,000 chips that are currently in play. Who will that winner be? Keep your browsers locked to PokerNews.com to find out.
Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha kicked off Wednesday, and it provided non-stop action from the get-go. The day started with 1,021 players, and 688 of them were eliminated before the dinner break. By the end of the night, the money bubble had burst and only 117 players remained.
Brandon Crawford is the chip leader after Day 1. He amassed a stack of 125,400 despite failing to eliminate Tom Cipriano in a memorable bubble hand.
2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong also built a sizable stack by the end of Day 1, gaining momentum when he bricked on a flush draw but found a runner-runner straight to more than double up. With 52,400 chips entering play on Thursday, Cheong is in position to make yet another deep run in a WSOP event.
Event #22 also saw its share of controversy. High-stakes online superstar Ben Tollerene returned from the dinner break to find that most of his chips were missing. The potential fiasco was eventually sorted out. Tollerene missed some hands, but his chips were returned. Tollerene deserves a lot of credit for his poise and professionalism. He remained calm the entire time he was waiting for news from the tournament staff. Many players, both professional and amateur, would surely have made quite a scene had they been in his shoes.
Among the other notable names who will be returning Thursday at 1 p.m. PDT for their shot at a WSOP bracelet are Keven Stammen (100,200), Paul Volpe (67,200), Tommy Le (67,000), Leif Force (40,000), Hoyt Corkins (36,200), Lee Watkinson (26,100), and Barry Johnston (20,300).
Stay with us here at PokerNews throughout the day as we bring you continuous live coverage of Day 2 of Event #22.
The other tournament that started Wednesday was Event #23: $2,500 Seven-Card Stud. Play began with 246 entrants in a highly competitive field. By the end of eight levels of play, Adam Friedman had established himself as the chip leader. Friedman, who won the $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event last year, bagged up 48,300 in chips.
With this event’s tough field, Friedman has a difficult challenge ahead of him as he tries to hold onto that lead. Following not too far behind him are Freddie Ellis, winner of the $10,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud in 2009, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, winner of the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship in 2011, Rex Clinkscales and Mike Leah. Outside of that group of players, Gary Benson, David Chiu, Greg Raymer, Daniel Negreanu, David Bach, Bill Chen, Andrey Zaichenko and Cyndy Violette are also still in contention.
Before this event began, the World Series of Poker honored the late and great Dr. Jerry Buss with a some touching words from WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel and poker pro Chad Brown. A special "shuffle up and deal" announcement was given via video by none other than Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to kick things off. A special framed photo of Buss was placed behind an honorary stack next to Phil Ivey's seat to begin the day, and there were a lot of warm feelings in the room as the players exchanged stories throughout the day about Buss and his love for the game of poker.
With just over 100 players remaining, the action will resume on Thursday at 2 p.m. local time. Be sure to head right back here to PokerNews for all the live coverage.
Day 16 of the 2013 World Series of Poker will feature five events. Event #20: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low 8-or-Better and Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Six Handed) will continue play until a bracelet is awarded. Event #22: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha and Event #23: $2,500 7-Card Stud will both return for day 2. Two events will commence play. Event #24: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em begins at noon, and Event #25: $5,000 Omaha Eight-or-Better is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Video of the Day
PokerNews' Kristy Arnett was back Wednesday with more behind the scenes from the WSOP. This time, her friend and colleague Lynn Gilmartin was the star! Check that out, plus more from the Miami Boss, in this edition of The Straddle.