Scott Seiver ran away with Event 21 – the $5 000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tourney, holding an impressive lead for most of the action as he closed in on the first prize of $755 856 this week.
He accounted for most of the final table eliminations before entering the heads up with Dave Seidman and sending him home with a $482 372 runner-up prize.
It's been a proftable WSOP for Seiver this year so far; the Las Vegas poker pro has enjoyed two money finishes, one of them just short of the final table lineup in the $1 500 Pot Limit Hold'em event.
Seiver entered the final table with a more than two to one chip count advantage over his nearest opponent, Rajesh Vohra from Florida, and he managed to maintain his lead with skilled and bold play leading to the 40 hand long heads up challenge. Other competitors at the table were Jacobo Fernandez, Adam Geyer, Ben Sprengers, Chuck Sklar, Scott Freeman and Anders Henriksson.
In Event 22 – the $5 000 H.O.R.S.E. – Marcel Luske looked good at the final table but just missed making the heads up, which eventually saw Jens Voertmann facing Doug Ganger with a 2 to 1 chip lead after almost four hours of tough three handed poker.
The original entry field of 414 had been narrowed down to 16 players by the start of Day 3 of the much anticipated multi-poker-style tournament, and that finally resolved into a final table with a wealth of talent and experience that included Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Jared Davis, Rostislav Tsodikov, Steve Zolotow and Hoyt Corkins.
Voertmann took the bracelet and the almost $300 000 main prize in the end, a final hand of stud/hilo that left second placed Ganger pocketing a check for $182 822.
The name Hinkle will have a familiar ring following Grant Hinkle's $1 500 No-Limit Hold'em bracelet win early in this year's events. This week it was brother Blair who added another WSOP bracelet to the family trophy cabinet in Event 23 – the $2 000 No-Limit Hold'em event.
Among the chipleaders going into the final table, Blair Hinkle took out six of the eight eliminations before romping home after a heads up with Canadian player Mark Brockington to win the first prize of $507 563 and make a new record book entry – the first siblings to win bracelets in the same WSOP.
For a first time bracelet win, or by any other standard, it was an impressive performance with Hinkle calling the shots almost from start to finish of the final table action and maintaining a strong lead with skilful and aggressive playing.
Brockington was outclassed in the heads up, not winning a single hand and despatched in second place on the eighth hand by Hinkle. His second placing was worth $326 552.
Respected pro Max Pescatori truimphed in Event 24 – the $2 500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha, besting an entry field of 457 to add another WSOP bracelet to his cv, together with a first placing check for $246 471. This was the second occasion on which Pescatori has won the event – the last time in 2006.
To defeat final tablers of the quality of Allen Cunningham and Minh Ly required experience and talent, both demonstrated in abundance by the "Italian Pirate" as Pescatori is nicknamed.
In the heads up, Pescatori was faced by Kyle Kloeckner, a relative newcomer and former philosophy major turned poker pro from St. Louis. Although he held the chip lead going into the heads up, a WSOP debut with a bracelet win was not to be for Kloekner, who fell to Pescatori's talented play in the 30 minute finale. His reward for an exciting second place finish to a great event was a check for $152 410.
As we went to press, the final four had been reached in the exciting Event 25 – the $10 000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em World Championship, which saw a last minute rush of entries for the limited 256 entry field. The oversubscribed field played down to 32 contestants in the first three rounds of action, which took some time to decide.
Those who made it through included Venessa Selbst, who is enjoying a successful WSOP thus far, Robert and Mike Mizrachi whom she was subsequently to eliminate, Brandon Adams, Sammy Farha, Kenny Tran, Erick Lindgren, Gavin Griffin, Andy Black, Alex Jacob, David Williams and Lyle Berman. Beating this sort of talent was never going to be easy as the survivors moved forward over the weekend to three more rounds to decide the final four.
The ultimate winner will collect a useful $539 056 in this championship, inducing a highly competitive atmosphere that saw Round 5 deliver the final eight, all of whom qualified for payouts of $36 096:
Vanessa Selbst vs. Michael Mizrachi
Robert Mizrachi vs. Jonas Entin
John Patgorski vs. Gavin Griffin
Michael McNeil vs. Jonathan Jaffe
Alec Torelli vs. Scott Montgomery
David Williams vs. Lyle Berman
Brandon Adams vs. Emil Patel
Roman Paradiso vs. Kenny Tran
Winners of this round were as follows, and they advanced to the final four matchups which stood poised to decide the matter as we went to press, with each player qualifying for $54 144 payouts:
Vanessa Selbst vs. Robert Mizrachi
Jonathan Jaffe vs. Gavin Griffin
Kenny Tran vs. Brandon Adams
Lyle Berman vs. Alec Torelli
Vanessa Selbst maintained her magnificant run, eliminating both Michael and Robert Mizrachi to join the Final Four:
Vanessa Selbst vs. Alec Torelli
Kenny Tran vs. Jonathan Jaffe