Hellmuth, Ivey & Brunson Make for Exciting WSOP Event #15

Phil HellmuthPhil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey are right in contention to add to their respective World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet collections event #15 in Las Vegas.

Eleven-time champion Hellmuth and Ivey – who has eight bracelets – sit in seventh and sixth places respectively and only 1,000 chips apart. California-based Hellmuth holds 233,000 chips, while Vegas’ Ivey sits on 234,000.

Ivey, of course, sat out last year’s series in protest at the troubles encountered by Full Tilt Poker customers in relation to accessing their frozen accounts after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) closed down numerous poker websites on Black Friday.

Phil Ivey Back In Contention

But the 36-year-old returned this year, although he has so far struggled to make any great impact on the festival – with his only cash being $5,295 for taking 118th place in the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event #14.

The poker legend will certainly be eyeing up a ninth bracelet, as well as $269,037, but he’ll face some tough opposition in what will surely be the most memorable event so far staged at the 43rd annual WSOP.

Certainly, Wisconsin’s Hellmuth has not had the best series yet either, but he has managed two in-the-money finishes this year – $7,204 for 61st in the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #2 and $4,817 for exiting in 52nd during the $1,500 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better event #8 – to move on to 87 WSOP cashes.

Phil Hellmuth Eyeing Up 12th Bracelet

The 47-year-old will, like Ivey, be aiming to add to his jewellery collection, but he will also have to best the likes of chip leader Adam Friedman (323,500), from Ohio, as well as California’s John Monnette (second on 314,500), eighth-placed Long Beach native Bryn Kenney (162,000), British star Zimnan Ziyard (11th on 143,500) and Vegas’ Todd Brunson (12th on 139,000).

Unfortunately, Todd’s father, the legendary Doyle Brunson, won’t be back for the Day 3 as he fell short of the cash after playing all of the second day in the Amazon Room with Todd seated nearby at the same table.

Doyle Brunson Bows Out

‘The Godfather of Poker’ definitely enjoyed his 2012 WSOP debut, savouring time with his son while playing the game he loves so much. Hopefully the 76-year-old – who has 10 bracelets to his name – will be back for more action before the greatest poker festival on the planet reaches a conclusion.

The tournament began with 212 entries at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, but only 137 survived to Day 2. However, after 10 levels, only 19 players were left in contention, including short stacks but dangerous pros Eli Elezra (17th on 50,500) and Allen Bari (18th on 20,000).

Chip Leader Chris Tryba Collapses

With 24 players paid, many would have expected Chris Tryba – who began the day as chip leader – to be among that two dozen. However, the Vegas-based player just didn’t manage to find the cards as he struggled from pot to pot. This carried on for a few hours before Tryba finally succumbed in a hand to Kenney far short of cashing.

The money bubble was burst eventually, when renowned well pro Joe Tehan exited in 25th place to join the likes of Jason Mercier and Daniel Negreanu in failing to cash.

Bryan Devonshire Makes the Money

Three players busted out but also made the money – and they were Arizona’s Yarron Bendor (22nd), Maryland’s James Newberry (23rd) and Nevada’s Bryan Devonshire (24th) – all for $9,675.

It should certainly be a thrilling final day as the field chases down Friedman, who famously broke down when losing flush to flush during the 2005 main event that ultimately saw him exit in 43rd for $235,390.

Maybe there is some redemption coming Friedman’s way as the WSOP regular aims to add to his six cashes.

WSOP 2012 Event #15 Final 19 Chip Counts

1. Adam Friedman (USA) – 323,500

2. John Monnette (USA) – 314,500

3. Brian Twete (USA) – 284,500

4. Sven Arntzen (USA) – 273,500

5. Nikolai Yakovenko (USA) – 256,500

6. Phil Ivey (USA) – 234,000

7. Phil Hellmuth (USA) – 233,000

8. Bryn Kenney (USA) – 162,000

9. Jesse Martin (USA) – 150,000

10. Alexander Krapivinsky (Canada) – 146,000

11. Zimnan Ziyard (UK) – 143,500

12. Todd Brunson (USA) – 139,000

13. Tuan Vo (USA) – 131,500

14. Christopher George (USA) – 82,500

15. Marco Johnson (USA) – 70,500

16. Nicholas Verkaik (Canada) – 64,500

17. Eli Elezra (USA) – 50,500

18. Allen Bari (USA) – 20,000

19. Ben Yu (USA) – 10,400