Phil Ivey Eyeing Up Ninth Bracelet in WSOP Event #35

Phil IveySuperstar Phil Ivey is in with a shout of his ninth World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet after making his fifth final table in Las Vegas this summer.

The 35-year-old Phil Ivey will, obviously, be making all the headlines as he aims to close the gap on all-time series leader Phil Hellmuth’s 12 bracelets. But it is quite an amazing feat to have even made the final table of the $2,500 buy-in Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No-Limit) event #35 – particularly as he started late due to his fourth final table appearance just hours earlier.

Monday night saw Ivey battle it out with some of the best in poker to claim fifth place and $99,739 from the $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event #32, so meaning he began this latest tournament slightly late.

However, Ivey – who has already garnered $551,234 in prize money from the 43srd annual WSOP – ran his stack up to finish the second day in seventh place on 169,000 chips at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Eight-Time Winner Way Behind Leader

Ivey will, though, start way behind the chip leader, Joep van den Bijgaart, of the Netherlands, as he holds 605,000 entering the final day. Still, if there’s one player who knows how to play a short stack, it is Ivey – so, with the extra motivation of trying to win bracelet number nine, expect a cracking finale to this tournament as nine players eye up the $210,107 first prize.

Certainly, Ivey will have to fear Belgian pro Michael Gathy – who is in third place on 418,000 chips – as he will be aiming to collect a second gold bracelet of this series after winning the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #21 for $440,829 in his first ever WSOP cash.

Just 87 players started Day 2 after the field was cut back from its original 393 – who created a prize pool of $894,075 – with another 78 entries hitting the rail. However, 45 places are to be paid, so – after almost 90 minutes of bubble play – we finally had our unfortunate bubble boy in Dario Sammartino.

Dario Sammartino Exits as Bubble Boy

The Italian lost out to Michael Malm when the Canadian’s tens came from behind to beat the jacks of Sammartino. The first player to cash was Santa Monica’s Daniel Harrington in 45th place for $4,229, while Frenchman Gabriel Nassif (43rd for $4,229), Jeff Lisandro (38th for $4,229), Randy Lew (36th for $5,195), Russian Leonid Bilokur (32nd for $5,195), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (33rd for $5,195), David Williams (30th for $5,195), Huck Seed (19th for $6,437), Shannon Shorr (16th for $8,056) and start-of-day chip leader Andre Akkari (15th for $10,219) also made the money.

Brazilian Akkari – a one-time bracelet winner – exited after three-bet shoving with 8h-8c into Canadian Erik Cajelais’ {Kd] K, which held for the knockout, while another bracelet winner, Englishman James ‘Flushy’ Dempsey, hit the rail in 11th place for $12,964 when his K♠ J failed to overcome the A♠ K of UK-based American Salman Behbehani.

Jeremy Ausmus Falls in 10th Place

The final elimination of Day 2 saw Vegas-based Jeremy Ausmus also pick up $12,964 in 10th place. Ausmus had been left crippled when losing a huge pot to the trip kings of New Mexico’s Samuel Golbuff, before exiting in the very next hand to Vegas’ Chris Tryba.

Day 1, of course, witnessed many notable eliminations, with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Seiver, Jean-Robert Bellande, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, David Sklansky, Jeff Madsen, John Juanda, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, Lex Veldhuis, Ryan D’Angelo, Tommy Vedes, Kyle Julius, Mike Leah, Brett Richey, Martin Jacobson, Victor Ramdin, Sorel Mizzi, Ryan Julius, Shawn Buchanan, Brad Booth, Rep Porter, Allen Kessler, Scott Montgomery, Jonathan Duhamel, Matt Hawrilenko and Galen Hall all failing to last.

WSOP 2012 Event #35 Final Nine

1. Joep van den Bijgaart (Netherlands) – 605,000 (seat 5)

2. Samuel Golbuff (USA) – 526,000 (seat 8)

3. Michael Gathy (Belgium) – 418,000 (seat 4)

4. Erik Cajelais (Canada) – 368,000 (seat 6)

5. Chris Tryba (USA) – 347,000 (seat 1)

6. Salman Behbehani (USA) – 253,000 (seat 2)

7. Phil Ivey (USA) – 169,000 (seat 7)

8. Brent Wheeler (USA) – 158,000 (seat 9)

9. Michael Foti (USA) – 105,000 (seat 3)