Andy Frankenberger has secured event #17 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) – and in the process spoiled Phil Ivey’s chance of more bracelet glory in Las Vegas.
In what was a fantastic $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament, the final table was stacked with quality players, while the event-ending heads-up also didn’t disappoint as New York’s Frankenberger ultimately overcame eight-time WSOP champion to pick up his second bracelet, as well as $445,899.
Many poker fans and commentators have been critical of Frankenberger’s play, but it is hard to argue with two gold bracelets – especially after producing a brilliant heads-up display to win the title after he had started three-handed play with only eight big blinds!
New Yorker Bests Brilliant Field
The 39-year-old would not have been favourite to emerge victorious from a final table that included, not just Ivey, but Ali Eslami (third for $199,623), Shaun Deeb (sixth for $84,668), Matt Marafioti (seventh for $65,840) and Hoyt Corkins (ninth for $41,829).
However, once Ivey had sent Hollywood’s Eslami to the rail in third place when the former’s 8♥ 8♣ held on a A♠ 4♠ 9♣ 6♥ A♦ board to beat the latter’s K♥ Q♣, heads-up play began with the rivals’ chip stacks almost even.
Ivey held a slight advantage with 2.6 million to Frankenberger’s 2,550,000, but – with the blinds at 50,000 and 100,000 – there was only once small blind of a difference. Nothing at all to write home about.
Having battled hard to stay alive when three-handed, Frankenberger now took on Ivey as the latter attempted to secure his ninth WSOP bracelet in front of a packed Amazon Room of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Frankenberger Doubles Up On Bracelets
Of course, the majority of the gathered railbirds were there to see if 36-year-old Ivey could stay in touch with record-setting Phil Hellmuth – who took down event #18 for his 12th bracelet – but it was not to be as former stocks trader Frankenberger showed his skill to make it two WSOP titles.
The final hand saw 39-year-old Frankenberger raise to 300,000 and Ivey make the call. The flop came A♠ 5♦ 4♥ and Ivey checked, only for Frankenberger to bet 130,000. However, Ivey then raised the pot and Frankenberger swiftly called in what was becoming a defining moment on the event.
Ivey showed 7♦ 6♦ for an open-ended straight draw, while Frankenberger revealed A♥ J♦ for top pair. Frankenberger – who pocketed $599,153 for winning last year’s $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #28 – was on the verge of his second bracelet in successive years.
The turn came 5♠ to change nothing, while the 5♣ river confirmed Frankenberger as champion. How will his critics react now? That’s two bracelets in two years, with this one coming against the man many believe to be the greatest poker player of all time.
Ivey will be disappointed, of course, but he played brilliant poker throughout an event that attracted 179 players to create a prize pool of $1,682,600, with $275,559 going to the runner-up.
2011 Champ Amir Lehavot Out on Day 2
Day 2 started with 69 players still in contention, although that was chopped back to 17 by the close of play as the likes of defending champion Amir Lehavot, Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald, Matt Stout, Liv Boeree, Noah Schwartz, Humberto Brenes, Andrew Lichtenberger, Olivier Busquet, Robert Mizrachi, Jason Senti, Tom Marchese, Steve O’Dwyer, Jon Aguiar, Erik Seidel, Kevin MacPhee, John Juanda, Shannon Shorr, Erick Lindgren, Gavin Smith and Matt Giannetti exited without cashing.
However, after 10 levels of play, the money bubble did burst, with WSOP regular Farzad Bonyadi the unfortunate bubble boy in 19th place. One more elimination arrived after that as French Triple Crown winner Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier cashed in 18th place for $23,876.
Meanwhile, Day 1 witnessed other notable eliminations, including Josh Brikis, Guillaume Darcourt, Mickey Petersen, Nick Binger, Nicolas Levi, Jon Turner, Allen Cunningham, Erich Froehlich, Mori Eskandani, Dan Kelly, Kathy Liebert, John Duthie, Brock Parker, Ludovic Lacay, Cliff Josephy, Marvin Rettenmaier, David ‘Doc’ Sands, Daniel Negreanu, George Lind III, Josh Arieh, Roberto Romanello and Bill Chen.
WSOP 2012 Event #17 Top 10 Payouts
1. Andy Frankenberger (USA) – $445,899
2. Phil Ivey (USA) – $275,559
3. Ali Eslami (USA) – $199,623
4. Alexander Venovski (USA) – $147,345
5. Manuel Bevand (France) – $110,731
6. Shaun Deeb (USA) – $84,668
7. Matt Marafioti (Canada) – $65,840
8. Daniel Weinman (USA) – $52,059
9. Hoyt Corkins (USA) – $41,829
10. Ryan Julius (USA) – $34,139