6/9/2010 4:26:47 AM PST
Congratulations to Frank Kassela, Event #15 ($10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo) Champion!
At around this time last night, Frank Kassela ended Day 2 with the chip lead, as play was paused two spots before the money. Today, those 18 players returned to whittle their way down to a winner and Kassela was able to ride that lead all the way to his first WSOP bracelet.
Kassela is truly a self-made man. After getting out of the army, he borrowed $7,000 from his parents to start a business. Now he's a multi-millionaire. Kassela made a WSOP final table before, back in 2005 when he was four-handed in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event. He picked up pocket aces and got his money in against Johnny Chan, who spiked a queen to take him out. Chan went on to win his tenth bracelet that night while Kassela would have a five-year wait to earn his first.
Kassela also noted in his post-game interview that while this event was starting, he was still playing in Event #12, $1,500 Limit Hold'em. He bubbled off the final table in 10th place and had he not busted then and there, he would not have played this tournament.
Tonight's final table was one of the 2010 WSOP's toughest. Kassela had to get past Dario Minieri, POY points leader Vladimir Schmelev, Kirill Rabstov, John Juanda, Steve Zolotow, Jennifer Harman and runner-up Allen Kessler in order to claim the $447,446 first-place prize. That's nine WSOP bracelets right there, and now Kassela is proud to call himself a member of that fraternity.
Congratulations to Frank Kassela, truly one of the good guys of poker, on his first WSOP bracelet. It's been a long time coming and is certainly well-deserved.
6/9/2010 4:08:48 AM PST
Cheering for Chainsaw
Despite the late hour, Allen Kessler has a small but vocal contingent of young players sweating him on the rail. We've never seen anyone get the cheers Kessler gets for simply winning the antes!
"C'mon SAW!!!" screamed one.
"RRRRRRRRRRRAWWWR!" cried another as he imitated a chainsaw.
Their man is fighting hard, but still has only a bit more than two bets left in his stack.
6/9/2010 3:56:35 AM PST
Updated Chip Counts
Frank Kassela - 4,435,000
Allen Kessler - 665,000
6/9/2010 3:41:39 AM PST
Kessler Smacks a Double
Allen Kessler: ()() /
Frank Kassela: ()() /
Kessler brought in, Kassela completed, Kessler raised and then Kassela called. On fourth street, Kessler bet, Kassela raised, Kessler moved all in for 10,000 more on a reraise and Kassela called.
On fifth street, Kassela picked up a and Kessler a . On sixth, Kassela added the and made a low while Kessler picked up the . It was now time for seventh. Kassela picked up the and only had the low at the current moment. Kessler could still pull a low and was already freerolling with the high. Everyone in the room chanted for him to hit his card and then Kessler squeezed and squeezed hard. He slammed over the and never showed as much emotion as just then, making his low and scooping the entire pot.
Kessler's now got 840,000 chips while Kassela dropped to 4.26 million.
6/9/2010 3:28:32 AM PST
Kassela Folds Kings
Allen Kessler: (X)(X) /
Frank Kassela: (X)(X) / - fold
Kessler brought in, Kassela completed and then Kessler called. On fourth, Kassela bet and Kessler called. On fifth, Kassela checked and Kessler asked how much the bet was. After being informed that the big bet had to be 200,000, Kessler fired it. Kassela folded and Kessler picked up the pot to move to about 1.3 million chips.
6/9/2010 3:21:58 AM PST
Heads-Up Chip Counts
Frank Kassela - 4,070,000
Allen Kessler - 1,030,000
6/9/2010 2:56:31 AM PST
Updated Chip Counts
Frank Kassela - 2.9 million
Allen Kessler - 1.5 million
Jennifer Harman - 700,000
6/9/2010 2:51:19 AM PST
Chainsaw Cuts Down Zolotow
Steve Zolotow (X)(X) / / (X)
Allen Kessler (X)(X) / / (X)
Zolotow brought it in on third street and called Kessler's completion. Zolotow check-called on fourth street, then led out on fifth. Kessler raised and Zolotow called. Zolotow check-called another bet on sixth street, then checked the river. Kessler bet and after a very long tank, Zolotow folded. He's down to 250,000 while Kessler is up to 1.5 million.
6/9/2010 2:34:23 AM PST
John Juanda Eliminated in 5th Place ($97,989)
John Juanda has finally succumbed here at the final table, finishing in 5th place for nearly $100,000. He got involved in a hand with chip leader Frank Kassela and here's how the boards looked.
Kassela: (X)(X) / / (X)
Juanda: (X)(X) / / (X)
After Jennifer Harman brought in with the , Kassela completed and then Juanda called. Harman folded. On the next street, Kassela check-called a bet from Juanda. On fifth street, Kassela check-called again. Both players wound up checking sixth and then Kassela checked to Juanda on seventh. The multi-bracelet winner bet his last 135,000 and Kassela called.
"I think I got a scooper," said Juanda as he turned up the for kings up.
"Three aces," responded Kassela, turning up the . That was good enough to best Juanda and send him to the rail. Kassela moved up to about 2.5 million chips.
6/9/2010 1:57:44 AM PST
Steve Zolotow just asked the tournament staff if they reach 3:00 a.m., if they'll come back tomorrow and continue. The director laughed and shook his head.
"How about 3:05?" tried Zolotow.
6/9/2010 1:42:44 AM PST
Chainsaw Chips Up Through Harman
Allen Kessler (X)(X) / / (X)
Jennifer Harman (X)(X) / (?) / (X)
Kessler completed on third street, Harman raised and Kessler called. Both players checked on fourth street. Kessler led on fifth and sixth streets and Harman called in both spots. Kessler bet the rest of his chips in the dark on the river and Harman folded.
"Aces up and an 8 low," revealed Kessler after the hand.
He is up to 1 million in chips while Harman slipped to 775,000.