Day 9 of the 2013 World Series of Poker concluded early Friday morning. One more champion was crowned, as Levi Berger conquered a WSOP final table for the first time in his career, besting a high-caliber field in Event #11: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Six Handed). Elsewhere in the Rio, one event played down to a final table, one event played down to a final 22 players, and one more got started and is already near the money bubble.
Levi Berger won his first WSOP gold bracelet just before midnight Thursday night. Berger scored every bustout, eliminating every other player from the final table on his way to a first-place prize of $473,019.
Final Table Payouts
Fourteen players survived the first two days of Event #11 and returned Thursday afternoon to play down to a winner. After over four hours of play, only six remained and the players moved to the ESPN Stage for the official final table. Levi Berger, who started the day with the chip lead, was second in chips behind two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements, who more than doubled Berger’s stack when final-table play began.
It didn’t take long for the first final table bustout. David Gonia was eliminated in sixth place on just the fifth hand of the final table when his couldn’t catch up to Berger’s . He earned $57,282 for his efforts.
It was nearly another two hours before the next elimination. Jacob Bazeley finished in fifth place for $82,297 when he flopped top pair to Berger’s bottom set. Then Berger took Eddy Sabat’s last chips. With less than five big blinds remaining, Sabat called Berger’s pre-flop raise with , putting him all-in and ahead against Berger’s . Two threes fell on the flop, though, putting Sabat behind, and neither the turn nor river were help. Sabat walked away with $121,711 for his fourth-place finish.
When three-handed play began, Clements held the chip lead with nearly half the chips in play. However, Berger took the chip lead en route to his fourth elimination of the final table. He and Ben Palmer had nearly identical stacks to start the hand, and Berger flopped bottom two pair to best Palmer’s top pair. When all the chips were counted, Berger had doubled up and Palmer was left with just one 5,000 chip, only enough to post an ante. Berger eliminated Palmer on the next hand.
Berger had a slight chip lead when he and Clements began heads-up play. The heads-up battle was short, but intense. Berger struck first, extending his lead to over 1 million in chips, but Clements battled back and took the lead away. It didn’t last long though, as Berger regained over a million chips in a single pot. Just five hands later, Berger eliminated his last opponent, just as he’d done the previous four. On a flop, the players got into a raising war, which ended when Clements shoved all-in and Berger instantly called with . Clements held for an open-ended straight draw, but he received no help on the turn or river. He lost the hand and finished in second place, while Levi Berger walked away with his first piece of WSOP hardware.
On Wednesday, 535 players started Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em. Only 62 returned for Day 2. This event is popular among pros, many of whom feel the pot-limit format requires more skill than the more common no-limit, so the field was filled with recognizable names such as Allen Cunningham, Jason Mercier, Matt Stout, Melanie Weisner, and 2012 Main Event final tablist Jeremy Ausmus, among others.
By the end of play, only nine players remained. They’ll return Thursday for the final table to compete for the $166,136 first prize.
Final Table Chip Counts
Eric Crain heads into the final table with a substantial chip lead. This is Crain’s second final table in as many events—earlier this week he finished fourth in Event #8: $2,500 Eight-Game Mix. Despite Crain’s run of success at this year’s WSOP, his lead can’t be safe with five-time bracelet winner Allen Cunningham second in chips. Jean-Nicolas Fortin enters the final table with the short stack, sitting with fewer than five big blinds.
Players will return on Friday to play out their final table at 1:00 PM PDT. Be sure to stay tuned as PokerNews.com is on hand to provide you with all of the updates from this exciting final table!
On Wednesday, 210 players ponied up the entry fee for a shot at the first prize of $266,503 in that star-studded Event #13. Among the 130 who advance to Day 2 were Daniel Negreanu, Hasan Habib, David “Gunslinger” Bach, Owais Ahmed, 2007 WSOP player of the year Tom Schneider, and last year’s champion in this event, Adam Friedman.
Twenty-two players will return Friday and play until a winner is awarded. Highlighting the returning field is Yuval Bronshtein, who will return Friday as the chip leader with 433,000, over 100,000 more than second place. He will be facing some stiff competition from a bevy of experienced pros, including bracelet winners Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith, Eugene Katchalov, and David “Bakes” Baker, who already has a final table appearance at this year’s World Series.
Top 10 Chip Counts After Day 2
|3||David “Bakes” Baker||226,000|
The third and final day will kick off at 2 p.m. PDT on Friday. Join us at PokerNews.com for live updates as the players look to crown a new champion.
Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em kicked off on Thursday. The tournament attracted 1,819 players, generating a prize pool of nearly $2.5 million. After 11 levels of play, only 204 remained. With 198 players being paid, the money bubble will likely burst early when play resumes on Friday.
Late on Day 1, an early “Table of Death” emerged with 2006 Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka and three bracelet winners, Steve Zolotow, Dan Kelly, and Erick Lindgren. The concentration of talent at this table shows the high quality of this field. All four of those players will return Friday for Day 2, and they’ll be joined by a number of other skilled and experienced players, including bracelet winners Eric Baldwin, Frank Kassela, Andy Frankberger, Nick Schulman.
Grant Curnow finished the day as chip leader with 138,000, followed closely by Kassela with 121,800.
Play will resume Friday at 1:00 PDT here at the Rio, so check back with us here at PokerNews.com for live updates as Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em continues.
On Friday, Day 10 of the 2013 World Series of Poker will feature five events. Two more bracelets will be awarded, as Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em and Event #13: $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better will play down to a winner. Players in Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em will return for Day 2, and Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. will begin play at noon.
But all eyes will be on the first day of action in one of the WSOP’s most prestigious events, Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em.
Video of the Day
Jason Mercier ran deep in two events on Thursday, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em tourney and the $5,000 Seven-card Stud Eight-or-Better event. Lynn Gilmartin spoke with him about playing more than table at the same time.
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