Australian-born Jeff Lissandro won $124 959 and, perhaps more importantly, his second WSOP bracelet this week in Event 16 – the $1 500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud competition against a final table that included experienced and skilled players such as Nick Frangos and John Juanda. Lissandro's previous bracelet was won back in 2007 in a seven card stud event.
On this occasion Lissandro survived a field of 359 players before he reached the heads up with seven card stud expert and two-time bracelet holder, Rodney Pardey, who took bracelets in the event in 1991 and 1994.
Lissandro went into final table play with the chip lead and never really relinquished it as he powered through the opposition to ultimately face Pardey in the heads up. This was a brief affair, ending when Pardey put all his chips in on fourth street, and managed to make a Broadway straight only to see Lissandro take the first-place prize with a flush.
In forming the final table, it was once again necessary for the tournament director to approve play beyond the 3am limit required by the WSOP rules, although in this case it took a mere further fifteen minutes to decide the table, which included Lissandro in the chip lead, followed by Steven Stencil, John Juanda, Rodney Pardey, Eric Pardey, Nick Frangos, Mitch Schock and Daniel Struder.
Big name poker ace Daniel Negreanu had the disappointment of being pipped at the post in the heads up as he tried for his fifth WSOP bracelet in Event 14 – the $2 500 buy-in Limit Hold'em Six-Max contest.
There was no disgrace in the defeat as Negreanu worked his way through a field of 367 entrants to the final table, besting names such as Jordan Cairns, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Ylon Schwartz, Chau Giang, Jean-Robert Bellande, Chip Jett and Marco Traniello.
But it was none of those whom the Canadian ace faced in the heads up; Brock ‘TSoprano' Parker – a highly respected Internet player who is a formidable Limit Hold'Em expert – was the man to beat. Most observers had their eye on Negreanu and that fifth bracelet, but the cards just were not with him following the departure of third placed Tommi Horkko, which set up the heads up with Parker.
Negreanu initially held the chip lead with 400 000 chips ahead of his opponent, but Parker's cards were hot and he used his considerable talent to exploit that to the full as the heads up flowed first this way and then the other in an exciting end to a great tournament. Parker just hammered away at Negreanu's stack until he held a considerable advantage, and then moved in to bust the Canadian just one tantalising spot short of his third limit hold’em bracelet. Parker's flopped pair of aces beat Negreanu's flopped second pair with all of the money getting in on the turn, and Kid Poker couldn't better it.
Negreanu's second placing was worth $138 280 while Parker claimed his first WSOP bracelet along with $223 688.
Parker was gracious in victory, paying Negreanu compliments and saying: "He's a nice guy and I hope he wins more bracelets. He was definitely one of the best players at the table and one of the players I least wanted to have to face, but it turned out to be easy because of the cards."
There's still plenty of Negreanu steam left in this WSOP – he's currently playing in the $10 000 buy-in Omaha 8 World Championship.
Another WSOP bracelet ‘first' was achieved in Event 13 – the $2 500 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tourney, which saw Ohio poker pro Kevin ‘Stammdog' Stammen take home his first WSOP bracelet.
Stammen collected a check for $506 786 for his first placing after a heads up against Angel Guillen, who earned himself $312 800 as the runner-up.
The duo bested a field that included big name players like Phil Ivey, Kirill Gerasimov and Roland De Wolfe, although none of the trio made the final table, which looked like this:
Seat 1 – Oktay Altinbas (480 000)
Seat 2 – Shawn Glines (1 092 000)
Seat 3 – Antoine Berube (477 000)
Seat 4 – Keven Stammen (1 400 000)
Seat 5 – Gregg Merkow (495 000)
Seat 6 – Bahador Ahmadi (1 786 000)
Seat 7 – Matthew Lynn (348 000)
Seat 8 – Torrey Reily (380 000)
Seat 9 – Angel Guillen (1 500 000)
The heads up was decided when Stammen eliminated Shawn Glines in third place for a $202 694 payday, leaving Stammen and Guillen to fight it out after only 70 hands of final table action. Stammen held a 2-to-1 chip lead which he grew to almost 6-to-1 as the final game progressed, leading to the elimination of his opponent.