WSOP 2011: Bertrand Grospellier Secures ‘triple crown’ with $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Event Win

WSOP 2011Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier survived a marathon heads-up clash with Steve Landfish to lift the $10,000 seven-card Stud championship, his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet, $331,639 – and the ‘triple crown’.

The win gave Grospellier the ‘triple crown’ as he added to his 2008 World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship success for $1,411,015 and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) win on the European Poker Tour (EPT) for $2 million from the same year.

Grospellier, who is this year’s second WSOP ‘triple crown’ winner following Englishman Jake Cody’s success, is just the fourth overall to attain such a prestigious accolade.

Landfish’s near-four-hour match-up at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas was truly incredible as Grospellier overcame a 24 to 1 chip deficit when holding under 200,000 as the blinds hit 50,000 and 100,000.

Grospellier somehow managed to fight back as he and American Landfish swapped the lead several times thereafter – only for the French pro to leave with the title.

The day began with 14 players, although the likes of Ville Wahlbeck and Jason Mercier, Men Nguyen and Sorel Mizzi were swiftly eliminated, while Nick Schulman emerged as the final table bubble boy in ninth place for $32,488.

Chris Tryba was first to go at the final table, to be followed Kevin Tang, Chad Brown and Russian Alexander Kostritsyn.

John Hennigan started the final table with a small lead over Landfish, but finished fourth after taking big hits from the Vermont-based pro and Maxwell Troy in successive hands.

When heads-up play started, Landfish held a 2,260,000 to 1,520,000 lead over Grospellier. Landfish built on that lead to leave Grospellier exceptionally short. Remarkably, though, the Frenchman battled back to take the lead without ever having to go all-in.

They then traded the chip lead – until Grospellier caught a dramatic double-up, when finally all-in on fourth and leading with two pair, 10s and eights. Landfish had two kings, but did not improve as Grospellier survived.

The final hand saw Landfish all-in with As-4s/3s while Grospellier held Jc-5c/9d. Grospellier made a pair of fives on fourth, but Landfish had a flush draw.

Grospellier stayed in the lead on fifth as Landfish made two fours. Grospellier made two pair on sixth, while Landfish failed to improve. However, when Grospellier hit a full house on seventh, Landfish was done.

Final placings and payouts at the WSOP 2011 $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship:

  1. Bertrand Grospellier (France) – $331,639
  2. Steve Landfish (USA) – $204,924
  3. Maxwell Troy (USA) – $128,341
  4. John Hennigan (USA) – $92,928
  5. Alexander Kostritsyn (Russia) – $72,627
  6. Chad Brown (USA) – $57,917
  7. Kevin Tang (USA) – $47,032
  8. Chris Tryba (USA) – $38,812
  9. Nick Schulman (USA) – $32,488
  10. Men Nguyen (USA) – $32,488

WSOP 2011: Foster Hays blasts way to $1,500 no-limit hold’em crown

Foster Hays blasted his way through his final five opponents to lift the $1,500 no-limit hold’em title.

Arriving at the table for the fourth day – one more than scheduled – of the tournament as chip leader, Hays proceeded to eliminate four of his five opponents to deservedly pick up his first gold bracelet and $735,400.

Hays, of Dallas in Texas, battled through the 3,157-player field, before then disposing of Robert Koss ($126,409) in sixth place, Allan Le ($233,043) in fourth and Jeffrey Lavelle ($321,947) in third.

Lavelle’s departure left massive chip leader Hays – with 10,965,000 – facing a heads-up battle against Casey Kelton, of Wickenburg in Arizona, who held 3,235,000 chips.

Kelton did, however, fight back to take a 9,020,000 to 5,180,000-chip lead at one point in the match, although that didn’t last very long and Hays was never far behind.

The final hand was extra thrilling as they were so close that it required a second and then a third count of the stacks to ensure Hays had Kelton covered.

On the button, Hays raised to 500,000, only for Kelton to re-raise to 1.5 million from the big blind. Hays called and the flop showed 9d-7d-4c flop. Kelton immediately fired in another 1.5 million.

Hays considered his hole cards for quite some time before raising to 3.6 million to leave him with just 2.195 million in reserve. Kelton also thought for a couple of minutes and then moved all-in. Hays quickly called with his Jh-9s to be faced by Kelton’s As-Jc.

Kelton required an ace on the turn or river to take the hand, but only saw the 7c and Qc hit the felt. The tournament staff took a few minutes to calculate the precise count before it was announced that Hays had Kelton covered for victory.

Kelton left with $454,920 for his runner-up finish.

Top 10 finishers and payouts at the WSOP 2011 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event:

  1. Foster Hays (USA) – $735,400
  2. Casey Kelton (USA) – $454,920
  3. Jeffrey Lavelle (USA) – $321,947
  4. Allan Le (USA) – $233,043
  5. Stanley Tavanese (USA) – $170,648
  6. Robert Koss (USA) – $126,409
  7. Tristan Wade (USA) – $94,700
  8. Philippe Vert (France) – $71,728
  9. Jordan Young (USA) – $54,936
  10. Andrea Vezzani (Italy) – $42,534

WSOP 2011: Jason Somerville takes down $1,000 no-limit hold’em event

American Jason Somerville arrived at the third and final day of the $1,000 no-limit hold’em event as chip leader and then battled through a highly competitive field to secure the title, a bracelet and $493,091.

Having started day one with 3,175 players, the New York State pro held off New Jersey’s Yashar Darian in heads-up play to take down the big money and finally take that top spot after previous finishes of second, third, fourth and fifth in WSOP events.

Day three started with 27 players, but that was down to 18 within 40 minutes and further reduced by nine just over two hours later for an all-action final table – with numerous chip leaders and countless double-ups to entertain the railbirds.

Somerville – supported throughout by good friend Daniel Negreanu – won some vitally important hands on his way to victory, including a massive all-in coin flip against Darian when four-handed.

Hungarian Richard Fridvalszki – who finished in fourth for $156,248 – raised to 140,000 under the gun, while Darian, on the button, re-raised to 500,000 and Jason Somerville re-raised all-in for 2,500,000.

Darian held Ad-Kd and Somerville showed 9c-9h. The flop came Jh-Jc-Jd to give Somerville a full house. The turn came Qc to leave Darian drawing to an ace or a king to gain his own, better, full house.

But the river was the 5c and Somerville doubled up to 5,100,000 to possess more than half the chips in play as Darian fell to just 1.5 million.

When the first hand of heads-up play arrived – just five minutes after Travis Atkins’ Kc-7s lost out to Somerville’s Kd-10d on a 8d-9d-6c-Kh-Jd board to be eliminated in third – the chip leader raised his button to 125,000 and Darian three-bet to 350,000. Somerville paused for a few moments before raising to 950,000. But, as he was moving his chips in, Darian announced that he was all-in.

Somerville snap-called to show Ac-Ah against Darian’s Ks-4h for a pot that accounted for approximately 90% of the chips as the former had 5,200,000 and the latter 4,250,000. This hand was likely to determine who would be champion – even if Darian won the hand.

The flop came 7d-Qh-Kd to give Somerville something of a sweat. The 2c arrived on the turn, but Darian still had five outs. However, the 6h on the river gave Somerville the title to leave Darian second for $305,009.

Top 10 finishers and payouts at the WSOP 2011 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event:

  1. Jason Somerville (USA) – $493,091
  2. Yashar Darian (USA) – $305,009
  3. Travis Atkins (USA) – $215,855
  4. Richard Fridvalszki (Hungary) – $156,248
  5. Alexander Martin (UK) – $114,414
  6. Gian Oliveri (Spain) – $84,753
  7. Diana Allen (USA) – $63,493
  8. Shane Rose (USA) – $48,091
  9. James Schaaf (USA) – $36,833
  10. Brett Shaffer (USA) – $28,517

WSOP 2011: Violette and Novick share top spot on day one of $1,500 seven-card Stud hi-low 8 or better event

Day one of event No.25, the $1,500 seven-card Stud hi-low 8 or better tournament, is over – and we’ve seen 606 entrants chopped down to 172 as Hevan Novick and Cyndy Violette share the top spot on 43,400 chips.

There were plenty of WSOP bracelet winners on show, including Tom Schneider, David Slansky, Mel Judah, Scotty Nguyen, Mike Sexton and Men Nguyen, while the online stars who paid the $1,500 entry fee included Sean Nguyen, Jon Turner and reigning main event champ Jonathan Duhamel.

Violette and Novick don’t hold much of a chip lead, however, with Michael Sigel (41,500) close behind, while Tom Dwan (35,500), Norman Chad (35,400), Frank Kassela (32,100) – the 2010 WSOP Player of the Year – and Sexton (27,100) all enjoying a good opening day.

As always, some big-name pros won’t be back for day two – and that list includes the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Chad Brown and Daniel Negreanu, as well as Huck Seed, Bill Chen, Ted Forrest, Todd Brunson, Allen ‘The Chainsaw’ Kessler and David Benyamine.

Top 10 chip leaders at the WSOP 2011 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better event:

  1. Cyndy Violette (USA) – 43,400
  2. Hevan Novick (USA) – 43,400
  3. Michael Sigel (USA) – 41,500
  4. Tom Dwan (USA) – 35,500
  5. Norman Chad (USA) – 33,400
  6. Frank Kassela (USA) – 32,100
  7. Kristy Gazes (USA) – 31,400
  8. Bryan Micon (USA) – 27,200
  9. Mike Sexton (USA) – 27,100
  10. Karina Jett (Vietnam) – 25,300

WSOP 2011: Tough line-up at $5,000 no-limit hold’em shootout cut to final 40

Yet another opening day came to a close, with the 387-strong field – 29 more than last year – being reduced to 40 as they chased the $436,568 top prize in the $5,000 no-limit hold’em shootout event.

Joshua Tieman picked up his first bracelet at this event last year, but could not complete back-to-back successes as he crashed out late in the day as numerous well-known pros, Internet giants and tournament veterans fought it out.

Those 40 survivors are guaranteed at least $13,368, although they will – as always – be gunning for a gold bracelet glory and a six-figure cheque.

The American and British entrants are faring well so far, with the likes of Justin Bonomo, Jordan ‘Jymaster11’ Young, Tom Marchese, Sean Getzwiller – who lifted the $1,000 no-limit hold’em crown seven days ago – Dan Smith, Tommy Vedes, Gavin Smith and Erik Seidel representing the stars and stripes of the host nation.

The Brits again provide a strong challenge, though, with Tony Lewis, James Dempsey, JP Kelly and James Akenhead starting day two on 150,000 chips, as will Russian Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov and South African Darren Kramer.

WSOP 2011: Finland’s Yuka Vilkki on top at $1,500 pot-limit Omaha tournament

Finland’s Yuha Vilkki maintained his chip lead after two days of the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha tournament as the field was cut down from its original 117 players to a final nine in the Amazon Room.

The action was fast and furious right from the go as day one chip leader Vilkki continued to dominate play to become the only player with a seven-figure chip count at 1,235,000.

The night ended in spectacular fashion as Vilkki and Las Vegas resident Benjamin Palmer got all the chips in before the flop with a seat at today’s final table on the line.

Vilkki showed Ad-Ah-6h-Qd against Palmer’s As-Ac-10h-2d. With both holding pocket aces, the young Finn gave a devilish smile when holding up a 6h to say: “I’m playing this one – this is my card.”

The dealer spread out a flop of 5c-6d-7c to change nothing. However, the 8d on the turn gave Palmer four outs to pilfer the pot as he needed any nine to complete his gutshot straight draw.

But Vilkki seemed confident as he still held his six up – and he was rewarded when the rivers showed the 6s.

American Roland Israelashvili virtually shot up out of his chair to ask Vilkki in amazement: “How do you know? How can you know this?” It was a dramatic moment and one to savour.

Final nine players for the WSOP 2011 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event:

  1. Juha Vilkki (Finland) – 1,235,000
  2. Rafe Kibrit (USA) – 667,000
  3. Cody Munger (USA) – 652,000
  4. Elie Payan (France) – 545,000
  5. Stephen Wolfe (USA) – 523,000
  6. Jeff Sarwer (Canada) – 480,000
  7. Roland Israelashvili (USA) – 310,000
  8. David Sands (USA) – 250,000
  9. Emil Patel (USA) – 147,000