John Monnette Takes the WSOP 2011 $2,500 Eight-Game Mix Crown

WSOP 2011John Monnette is fast making a name for himself in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas after last night lifting the $2,500 eight-game mix event for $278,144.

The Californian also picked up his first WSOP gold bracelet with his heads-up victory over Eric Buchman, with his fellow American from Valley Stream in New York leaving with $171,855.

The eight-game mixed event is made up of limit hold’em, Omaha hi-low split-8 or better, seven-card Razz, seven-card stud, seven-card stud hi-low split-8 or better, no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and 2-7 triple draw lowball – and is a particularly difficult event to master, so making Monnette’s victory all the more impressive from a starting field of 489 players.

The third and final day started with 25 players still in, but Irvine’s Monnette outlasted them all – including many of the world’s most skilled players in Max Pescatori, Ylon Schwartz and Nikolay Evdakov – as the field shrunk quickly.

In fact, such was the swiftness of the eliminations that midway through the day we had the final eight.

Florida’s John Racener went out in eighth place for $24,797 when his pocket kings ran into Eric Buchman’s flush in stud 8/b, while Vermont’s Adam Kornuth followed soon after in no-limit hold’em when his pocket eights lost out to Michele Limongi’s 10s.

Las Vegas-based pro John Juanda ($42,897) was eliminated in sixth place as Buchman’s 8d-6d flopped an open-ended straight flush draw in limit hold’em. Juanda held king high, but Buchman made his straight on the turn with the 10s.

Desmond Portano, of Chicago, fell to Monnette in a razz hand to leave in fifth, before the winner then eliminated Brent Hanks, of Vegas, in fourth place, during a stud 8/b hand.

Limongi was his next victim as Monnette picked up aces to take the last of the Italian’s chips in limit hold’em in the Amazon Room.

That left Buchman and Monnette heads-up – and it was all over after a six-hour final table in stud 8/b as the clock counted down into the last 20 minutes of the day.

Final standings and payouts from the WSOP 2011 $2,500 Eight-Game Mix event:

  1. John Monnette (USA) – $278,144
  2. Eric Buchman (USA) – $171,855
  3. Michele Limongi (Italy) – $109,245
  4. Brent Hanks (USA) – $78,774
  5. Desmond Portano (USA) – $57,692
  6. John Juanda (USA) – $42,897
  7. Adam Kornuth (USA) – $32,373
  8. John Racener (USA) – $24,797
  9. Richard Geyer (USA) – $19,268
  10. Rami Boukai (USA) – $19,268

WSOP 2011: Elie Payan leaves it late to win $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event

Frenchman Elie Payan might have been a late arrival for the last day’s play in the $1,500 pot-limit Omaha event, but that didn’t stop him from taking the bracelet and $292,825 in cash in last night.

Payan started the third and final day with the fourth largest chip stack. Now, he was either so relaxed he felt it was OK to turn up a bit behind schedule or maybe he had a late night. Whatever the reason, Payan missed the whole first round of play before taking his seat at the final table.

However, that was unimportant as he eventually saw off Illinois’ Rafe Kibrit in a hard-fought heads-up clash to take the title.

In what turned into an almighty battle, Payan started their head-to-head as chip leader, before Kibrit moved into pole position.

But Payan wasn’t for giving in easily and fought back in front to then apply the required pressure to finish off Buffalo Grove’s Kibrit.

The final hand saw Kibrit, holding 1,025,000 in chips, raise to 180,000 after Payan had limped in from the button. Payan called and the flop showed 4h-3h-2c. Kibrit fired in a pot-sized bet for 360,000, before Payan re-potted to put Kibrit all-in.

Kibrit showed Ad-As-Qd-6c, while Payan revealed Qh-9h-8d-7s. The turn brought the Ah and, although that gave Kibrit trip aces, Payan had secured a heart flush. All was not lost for Kibrit, however, as he could still double-up if the board paired on the river.

That was not to be, though, as the 10d came on the river. Payan’s flush held up to eliminate Kibrit in second place for $181,222.

Top 10 finishers and payout from the WSOP 2011 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event:

  1. Elie Payan (France) – $292,825
  2. Rafael Kibrit (USA) – $181,222
  3. David Sands (USA) – $113,383
  4. Juha Vilkki (Finland) – $82,297
  5. Stephen Wolfe (USA) – $60,754
  6. Emil Patel (USA) – $45,544
  7. Cody Munger (USA) – $34,642
  8. Jeffrey Sarwer (Canada) – $26,704
  9. Roland Israelashvili (USA) – $20,863
  10. Benjamin Palmer (USA) – $16,511

WSOP 2011: Sean Getzwiller makes second final table with place in $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout last 10

The $5,000 no-limit hold’em shootout tournament is down to the final 10 after event No.24 completed its penultimate day’s play at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

The 387-strong field was chopped down to 40 on Tuesday to set up 10 four-handed tables last night, before we lost another 30 players to guaranteed a payday of at least $28,447 for those at this evening’s final table.

Short-handed tables generally provide fast action, and that was certainly the case last night as the chips flew in. Of course, that meant disappointment for three players at each table as among those to fall short included Jordan Young in 14th place, James Akenhead (15th), Gavin Smith (16th), Erik Seidel (17th), JP Kelly (18th), Justin Bonomo (21st), Toby Lewis (23rd), Jason Young (28th), Dan O’Brien (29th), Jeff Williams (32nd), Tommy Vedes (37th), Maxim Lykov (38th) and James Dempsey (39th).

But it was good news for Las Vegas-based Sean Getzwiller, who has now made his second final table of the WSOP after winning $611,185 and a bracelet in last week’s $1,000 no-limit hold’em event.

Online players Todd Terry, Dan Smith, Tom Marchese and Adam Junglen will also return tonight, as will Mark Radoja, as the top 10 return to action with starting stacks of 600,000 each – and their eyes on the $436,568 prize.

The last player to qualify during a gruelling, back-and-forth heads-up clash was Mark Radoja, who knocked Japanese player Yasuhiro Waki in 11th place for a $13,368 payday.

Canadian Radoja, on the button, opened their final hand for 16,000, only for Tokyo native Waki to three-bet to 48,000. But Radoja then announced he was all-in and Waki called for his remaining 230,000 chips to show 4h-4s against his opponent’s Qc-Ks.

With the excitement and anticipation reaching a new high, both players stood up to see a flop of Jh-6c-5d. Waki shouted: “Yes! Yes! Yes!” as neither hand was improved.

The turn came Ah, which changed little. However, the Kh on the river paired Radoja to send the Japanese pro out – and also elicited a scream of: “King! King! Let’s go!” from the Ontario player.

Waki showed great composure and grace in defeat to shake Radoja by the hand as he headed to the rail.

Final table qualifiers for the WSOP 2011 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event:

  1. Mark Radoja (Canada) – 600,000
  2. Nikita Lebedev (Russia) – 600,000
  3. Scott Baumstein (USA) – 600,000
  4. Todd Terry (USA) – 600,000
  5. Jeffrey Gross (USA) – 600,000
  6. Daniel Smith (USA) – 600,000
  7. Tom Marchese (USA) – 600,000
  8. Adam Junglen (USA) – 600,000
  9. Nicolas Fierrogottner (Chile) – 600,000
  10. Sean Getzwiller (USA) – 600,000

WSOP 2011: Tyler Cornell leads $2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event

American Tyler Cornell has emerged as the front-runner after the conclusion of the first day of the $2,500 six-handed no-limit hold’em event.

The starting field of 1,278 has been reduced to 189 in the chase for a gold bracelet and the $689,739 first prize, with Cornell sitting on 172,600 chips to be followed by 40-year-old nightclub owner Jean-Robert Bellande with 144,700, Victor Shuchleib (137,900), Illinois’ Steve Barshak (132,700), and Washington State’s Alexander Fitzgerald (132,600).

As 126 get paid – starting at $5,235 – in event No.26, it surely won’t be too long tonight before the money bubble is burst and the real action gets going.

It’s rare to have many big-name pros left in such a large no-limit hold’em – particularly after day one – but the likes of Jake Cody (70,000), David Baker (80,000), Melanie Weisner (80,000), Lex Veldhuis (82,300), Ayaz Mahmood (86,000), Dan O’Brien (87,200), Chris Moorman (90,000), Olivier Busquet (109,100), Mohsin Charnia (126,000) and Tuan Le (126,000) will be back this evening.

However, numerous others failed to make the cut last night and include Lauren Kling, Dan Kelly, Dwyte Pilgrim, Jeffery Papola, Joseph Cheong, Andrew Lichtenberger, Shannon Shorr, Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Sam Stein, Chad Brown, Humberto Brenes, Vanessa Rousso, Erick Lindgren, Michael Mizrachi, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Gavin Griffin, Tony Dunst, Phil Laak, Liv Boeree, Faraz Jaka, David Williams, Vanessa Selbst, Tom Dwan, Cody Slaughbaugh, and Jennifer Tilly, among others.

Cornell took down a massive pot near the end of the night to move on to 172,000 at the top of the leaderboard.

An early position player checked on a flop of 9s-Jd-Qh and Cornell followed suit, before and a late position opponent bet 3,600. The early position player called, but Cornell raised it to 10,200.

The late position opponent folded, while the early position player re-raised all-in and Cornell called to table Qd-9d for top two pair.

His opponent was obviously shocked and couldn’t help saying: “Man, oh man, oh man, oh man”. He was reluctant to show his cards, but eventually did reveal Jc-9c. His chances of success were not great and became even more unlikely when the original raiser said he also had J-9.

The turn and river provided the Kh and 7d for Cornell to score a knockout and take the chip lead.

Top 10 chip leaders at the WSOP 2011 $2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event:

  1. Tyler Cornell (USA) – 172,600
  2. Jean-Robert Bellande (USA) – 144,700
  3. Victor Shuchleib (Mexico) – 137,900
  4. Steve Barshak (USA) – 132,700
  5. Alexander Fitzgerald (USA) – 132,600
  6. Mohsin Charania (USA) – 126,000
  7. Tuan Le (France) – 126,000
  8. Vladimir Mefodichev (Russia) – 124,000
  9. Christian Jeppsson (Sweden) – 114,100
  10. Nicholas Griopo (USA) – 112,700

WSOP 2011: Daniel Negreanu believes $10,000 Limit Hold’em title is his to win

Daniel Negreanu aims to prove his doubters wrong as he strives to collect his third limit hold’em WSOP bracelet.

The Canadian superstar of poker picked up the $2,000 limit hold’em titles in 2004 and 2008 and reckons he is in with a great chance of completing a treble in that particular version of the game – although this time it will be in a $10,000 event.

‘Kid Poker’ ended the first day’s play atop the leaderboard on 118,800 chips and will look to lift his fifth WSOP crown – as well as $378,642 and a gold bracelet – over the next few days.

The 36-year-old from Toronto is certainly feeling confident, as witnessed by his decision to take to microblogging website Twitter to write: “Those that doubt the secret solution will doubt no more. It works. Time to win this.”

Negreanu might be confident, but players such as Josh Arieh (107,000), Shawn Buchanan (92,000), Maria Ho (75,700) and Barry Greenstein (74,400) will undoubtedly have massive says in the destination of the championship.

Matt Keikoan – the defending champ – was knocked out by Buchanan close to the end of the opening day, although only after one of the other players at the table noticed that the dealer had mistakenly given the pot to Keikoan when his opponent had his flush beaten by a full house.

As is expected, numerous big-names pros crashed out. These included Scott Seiver, Johnny Chan, Dan Heimiller, Justin Bonomo, Shaun Deeb, Phil Hellmuth, Jeff Lisandro and Phil Laak.

A relatively small field of 152 was only reduced by 41 as 111 players now chase the top prize, although the top 18 will be paid a minimum of $20,274.

Top 10 chip leaders at the WSOP 2011 $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship:

  1. Daniel Negreanu (Canada) – 118,800
  2. Josh Arieh (USA) – 107,000
  3. Michael Pickett (USA) – 103,100
  4. Mikhail Smirnov (Russia) – 95,100
  5. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 92,000
  6. Matthew Gallin (USA) – 84,500
  7. Marwan Abdel-Al (USA) – 79,800
  8. Maria Ho (Taiwan) – 75,700
  9. Barry Greenstein (USA) – 74,400
  10. Greg Debora (Canada) – 69,800

WSOP 2011: Cory Zeidman in front after day two of $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better event

Day two of the $1,500 seven-card Stud hi-low 8 or better event saw some brutal play as the field was hacked down from 172 to just 23 survivors in 12 hours.

Cory Zeidman holds 217,500 chips as the leader, while American sportswriter and syndicated columnist Norman Chad – who also stars in ESPN show Pardon The Interruption – sits on 179,000 in fourth place.

Other players worthy of note still in with a hope of taking home the $200,459 winner’s prize include Kristy Gazes, Cyndy Violette, Karina Jett – who made last year’s final table – Mike Sexton, defending champ David Warga, Kirill Gerasimov and Frank Kassela – last year’s WSOP Player of the Year.

As you will no doubt be aware, some well-known faces also departed yesterday, including bubble boy Jim ‘Mr_BigQueso’ Collopy, Thor Hansen, Jason Mercier, Barry Greenstein and Allen Cunningham.

Final 23 players at the WSOP 2011 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better event:

  1. Cory Zeidman (USA) – 217,500
  2. Sean Urban (USA) – 208,000
  3. Hernan Salazar (USA) – 186,500
  4. Norman Chad (USA) – 179,000
  5. Marc Fluss (USA) – 156,500
  6. Brian Twete (USA) – 156,000
  7. Chris Viox (USA) – 154,000
  8. Tyson Marks (USA) – 147,000
  9. Tony Ma (Vietnam) – 144,000
  10. Filippos Stavrakis (USA) – 139,500
  11. Kirill Gerasimov (Russia) – 130,500
  12. Frank Kassela (USA) – 123,500
  13. Hakon Lundberg (Norway) – 102,000
  14. Christopher Mchugh (USA) – 100,000
  15. Cyndy Violette (USA) – 94,500
  16. James Wheatley (USA) – 93,000
  17. David Warga (USA) – 89,000
  18. John Pappas (USA) – 67,000
  19. Mike Sexton (USA) – 54,000
  20. Gerard Rechnitzer (USA) – 46,500
  21. Karina Jett (USA) – 42,000
  22. Kristy Gazes (USA) – 40,000
  23. Ming Reslock (USA) – 40,000