Event 43, the $1 500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Low competition at the World Series of Poker showcased a name that several poker pros believe will become increasingly familiar in big tournaments – that of 21-year-old German student Martin Klaser. This aspiring pro not only survived an entry field of 720 players in the event, but went on to dominate and demolish the final table and win his first WSOP bracelet.
Looked at in the round, the event was fast-paced to say the least, with an average of just under a hundred players an hour sent to the exit before the field was whittled down to the final. Nevertheless, the action was spread over three days before Klaser emerged victorious, claiming the main prize of $216 249 after a scintillating heads up performance against second placed Casey Kastle, who took home $137 985.
Klaser, who hails from Rheinbach in Germany was the sole foreigner on a final table of Americans that featured Joseph Haddad from Portland, Oregon; Tom Chambers and Casey Kastle from Chicago; Larry Wright of McQueeney, Texas; Chad Burum from Grants Pass, Oregon; Michael Fetter from California; Jon Maren out of Massachusetts and 8 bracelet holder Erik Seidel of Las Vegas, Nevada.
With the elimination of Fetter in third place, Klaser faced off against Kastle, taking a 3 to 1 chip lead into the heads up and dominating play for the 20 hands it took to finalise the issue. Klaser became the third German to pick up a bracelet in this year's (2008) WSOP.
Attention was still focused on the $50 000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. World Championship – Event 45 – as we went to press Saturday, with 26 players remaining from the entry field of 148 that started the star-studded tournament on Day 1. By the end of Day 2 the field was down to 67.
Among the casualties are Freddy Deeb, Bruno Fitoussi, Andy Black, Annie Duke, Tony G, Chris Ferguson, Alex Kravchenko, Ted Forrest, Howard Lederer, David Benyamine, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, Tom Schneider, Todd Brunson, Mike Matusow and David Singer.
Young gun James Mackey is still in contention (see previous InfoPowa report), although his chip lead had slipped away to WPT founder Lyle Berman in the battle for the almost $2 million main cash from a prize-pool of $7 million, but the top ten players are closely bunched.
Top ten players include Berman, Patrick Bueno, Barry Greenstein, Minh Ly, Chris Reslock, Joseph Michael, Erick Lindgren, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Negreanu and Doyle Brunson, but with so many accomplished players still very much in the game, anything could happen.
Among the better known names still jockeying for position are Ralph Perry, Scotty Nguyen, Huckleberry Seed, Phil Ivey, Andy Bloch, Michael Mizrachi, David Bach and Michael DeMichele.