Another day at the 2013 World Series of Poker is in the books. Two more champions earned bracelets on Thursday, including online poker legend Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, who claimed victory in Event #9: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout to earn his first WSOP bracelet since 2005. The other winner was Brent Wheeler, who overcame a bumpy heads-up match to win Event #10: $1,500 Limit Hold'em.
A hard-hitting final table loaded with online poker superstars took place at the ESPN stage on Wednesday. When it was all over, online poker great Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy claimed his second WSOP bracelet and the top prize of $299,486.
Josephy had to win three tables in the shootout format to land in the winner's circle. His final table included top pros Chris Klodnicki, Tim West, Steven Silverman, and two-time bracelet winners David "Bakes" Baker and Ryan Hughes. Josephy found himself heads-up with Evan Silverstein, a high-stakes cash games player from Pennsylvania, and disposed of him in 46 hands.
|6||David "Bakes" Baker||$51,997|
The final table began with 10 of the original 477 players who put up the $3,000 buy-in. Each began with similar starting stacks, allowing for a lot of play early on, but it took only 34 hands for the first knockout to occur. A short-stacked Simeon Naydenov moved all-in for less than 10 big blinds with ace-queen and lost a flip to Silverstein's pocket jacks, sending Naydenov out in 10th place.
The next to go was Hughes, who lost his own race to David Baker, and then poker pro Chris Klodnicki exited in eighth place. Josephy raised to 28,000, Klodnicki three-bet to 65,000, and Josephy moved all in. Klodnicki called for 348,000 total and the cards went on their backs.
The board rolled out , giving Josephy two pair and the chip lead.
2012 WSOP bracelet winner Max Steinberg busted in seventh place when he flopped top-pair top-kicker against Josephy's set of sixes. Josephy held through the river and his lead grew further.
Fellow bracelet winner David Baker busted in fifth place. Despite owning the chip lead early on, Baker's stack dwindled and he eventually got the last of his chips in with against pocket aces. Although he flopped a queen, Baker was unable to improve and his bid for a third bracelet ended.
Alessandro Longobardi (fifth) and Tim West (fourth) followed Baker to the rail, and the final three players headed off to dinner before returning to complete the tournament. Within a few hands after the break, Silverman took a bad beat when his ace-queen was run down by Silverstein's ace-ten. That set up a heads-up match between Josephy and Silverstein, with Josephy holding a slight lead.
Josephy never relinquished control, and the match ended on the 217th hand of the final table. Josephy raised to 60,000 from the button and Silverstein reraised all in. Josephy asked for a count, then made the call for 680,000 total.
The flop was huge for Silverstein, making him the favorite, with two cards yet to come. According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator Silverstein was a 66% favorite to win the hand. But the kept Josephy in front, and the on the river sealed his first WSOP bracelet since 2005.
Another lengthy heads-up match took place in the corner of the Amazon Room early Thursday morning. One night after the marathon between Matt Waxman and Eric Baldwin, Brent Wheeler and Mark Mierkalns played 121 hands of heads-up limit hold'em, and it was Wheeler who emerged victorious to claim his first WSOP bracelet and $191,605.
The third and final day began with 19 players and two-time bracelet winner Eric Froehlich leading the way. After nine players, including Jeff Shulman, busted rather quickly, the unofficial final table lasted longer than an hour until finally Ahmed Mohamed busted in 10th place. Mohamed got into a flip with ace-king against Malissia Zapata's pocket queens, and the queens held up.
The first player to bust at the official final table was Froehlich. After taking a few hits, including one hand where Chiduziem Obi ran down a wheel, Froehlich was in for less than a big blind and was unable to survive against two opponents, busting in ninth place.
Alex Queen, Brian Nichols, and William James were the next three players to hit the rail. Queen and Nichols were very short stacked when they exited, while James lost a series of pots at the start of Level 24. Finally, James was all-in against two opponents, and lost to Mierkalns who rivered a pair of tens.
Grayson Scoggin, who was playing in his first WSOP event, finished in fifth, and Obi busted in fourth. Zapata, who as looking to become the first woman other than Vanessa Selbst to win an open bracelet since (Annette Obrestad) in 2007 took her leave in third place.
Wheeler, who entered the final table seventh in chips, started heads-up play with a small lead, and began to run away with it. Then, after Mierkalns built a more than 2-to-1 chip lead, Wheeler came storming back. On the final hand of the tournament, Wheeler raised on the button, Mierkalns three-bet, and Wheeler called. The flop rolled out , Mierkalns led out, Wheeler made it two bets, Mierkalns made it three, Wheeler made it four, and Mierkalns moved all in. Wheeler called.
Mierkalns' kicker had been outrun by Wheeler, and the turn and river spelled the end for Mierkalns, who earned $118,300 for his runner-up finish.
Day 2 of the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event began with 122 of the original 924 players competing for a bracelet and top prize of $473,019. After 10 levels of play on Wednesday, only 14 players remained, with Levi Berger holding a massive chip lead with 1,420,000. He's followed by Tuan Le and two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements.
Top 10 Chip Counts after Day 2
With only 108 players making the money, 14 returned on Thursday only to leave empty-handed. Amongst the unlucky 14 were Mike Leah, Corey Burbick, and John Beauprez, who won the $1,500 Six-Max a few days ago.
From there, several notables were eliminated in the money, including Erick Lindgren (102nd), JC Tran (83rd), David Peters (41st), David Randall (31st), Chino Rheem (28th), Chris Moorman (25th), and Jeff Lisandro (17th).
Berger will enter the final day atop the leaderboard, but he's only still in the tournament because of a cruel two-outer he handed to James Carroll. Berger was all-in with queens against pocket aces, and a queen on the river gave Berger the double. He continued to run his stack up during the final level and capped off the night by sending Thad Smith packing in 15th place.
The remaining 14 will return at 1 p.m. on Thursday, and one player is expected to collect a WSOP bracelet. Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for all of the highlights from Event #11.
Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em began with 535 players, and after 10 levels of play only 62 were able to advance to Day 2 on Thursday. With only the top 54 receiving money eight will take home nothing for their efforts on Day 2.
Two players crossed the 100,000 mark on Day 1: Robert Corcione (144,600) and Mike Carson (110,000). Both players have some history at the WSOP. Corcione finished in 21st place in last year's Main Event for $294,601, and Carson won a bracelet in 2000 in a $3000 Pot-Limit Hold'em event for $222,000.
Top 10 Chip Counts After Day 1
|8||Pim de Goede||74,500|
Gavin Smith, Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Hoyt Corkins, Victor Ramdin and Kathy Liebert were among the casualties on Day 1, but several notables were able to survive, including Jason Mercier, Allen Cunningham, Martin Stazko, Adam Geyer, Melanie Weisner and defending champion Nick Jivkov.
Play resumes at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Amazon Room. Follow all the action right here as PokerNews.com as players approach the bubble and continue to battle for the first-place prize of $166,136 and a WSOP bracelet.
The $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better event kicked off Wednesday evening with 210 players, two less than last year's event. After eight levels of play, 130 were left standing with Matt Woodward leading the way with 59,700.
Top 10 Chip Counts After Day 1
George Danzer was the first elimination of the day, though he certainly wouldn't be the last. Among those who hit the rail on Day 1 were Frank Kassela, John Monnette, Chris Tryba, Greg Raymer, Mike Gorodinsky, Alexander Kostritsyn, Calvin Anderson, Scott Seiver, Chino Rheem, Layne Flack, Vanessa Selbst and Phil Ivey.
Among the notables who will return for Day 2 include Maria Ho (44,400), Paul Volpe (31,300), Jason Mercier (29,800), Mike Matusow (19,300), Barry Greenstein (18,100), Andy Bloch (12,000) and Phil Hellmuth (2,600).
Day 2 action will commence at 2:00 p.m. PST on Thursday. Stay tuned to PokerNews.com as we bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of Event #13.
Event #11: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) is expected play down to a champion on Thursday, and Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em and Event #13: $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better are scheduled to reach a final table. The new event on Thursday will be Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em beginning at noon PST.
Video of the Day
The Straddle is back! Kristy Arnett's first behind-the-scenes look at the 2012 WSOP features Jason Mercier, Blair Hinkle, and the one and only Danny "Miami Boss" Suied.