In Event 10 – the $2 500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha contest – Californian player Rami Boukai took the honours, the bracelet and the winner's prize of $244 862 after a heads up against Najib Bennani, the climax of a final table that took 13 hours to play out.
The starting field of 453 went against the trend so far at this year's WSOP, being slightly smaller than last year's turnout for this event. The structure of the event, which calls for a change between pot-limit Hold'Em and pot-limit Omaha every nine hands, appealed to the pros, and the field included Surinder Sunar, Amit Makhija, Dan Shak, Katja Thater, Bryan Devonshire, Hevad Khan, Jordan Morgan, Daniel Negreanu, Scott Fischman, David Ulliott, Erik Seidel, David Sklansky, Robert Williamson III, and Andy Black.
Phil Hellmuth made his usual late entrance and suffered an equally early elimination, along with fellow aces Alexander Kostritsyn, Surinder Sunar and Amit Makhija. Internet and live tournament poker star Hevad Khan lasted a little longer and went out on the third day in position 11.
The final table came down to Rami Boukai, Najib Bennani, Ben Grundy, Cornel Cimpan, Daniel Makowsky, Paul Parker, Pawel Andrzejewski, John Kabbaj and Sigi Stockinger
The heads up between Boukai and Bennani was not decided until the early hours of the morning, when third placed Ben Grundy headed for the exit and a payday of $99 574.
Bennani had the chip lead, but at only 100 000 it was not a sufficiently large one to feel safe. His fears were justified as Boukai won the first big pot and less than a half-hour later was up by 3 to 1. Ten minutes later it was all over as Boukai sashayed into the winner slot and his first WSOP bracelet, along with the main prize of $244 862. For his second placing Bannani picked up $151 355.
For Boukai it was his second WSOP cash this year – the Saudi Arabian-born pro placed 147th in the Stimulus Special, winning $3 571 last week and adding to his career winnings at that point of $320 000.