6/17/2011 4:05:08 PM PST
Chris Viox Wins Event #25: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo! ($200,459)
Four days ago, 606 players put up the $1,500 buyin to play this $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo event. It was supposed to be wrapped up within three days, but our final two players tangled up in a tug of war last night that couldn't be called one way or the other. They were summoned back to the ropes today, and it took just less than an hour for Mike Sexton and Chris Viox to settle the score.
The crowd was certainly pro-Sexton here today, but now that they've cleared out, we can see a pretty stout contingent of Chris' Viox cheerleaders still standing in a huddled mass. They're chanting something we can't quite make out at the stage, and flash bulbs are popping as Viox is holding tight to his first gold bracelet, posing for photos that will become WSOP history.
This event was the first event since the November Nine to see play halted heads-up as the hard stop forced the two players to return to the felt today to crown one of them champion. Mike Sexton held a significant chip disadvantage as they restarted, and he was whittled right down to the nubs early on. Viox had Sexton down to just 240,000 at one point but couldn't close it out as Sexton rivered two pair to double back to life. He doubled again to get close to a million chips a few hands later, but that's as close as he'd get. Just a few hands after that double, it was Viox rivering the two pair to crush Sexton's comeback bid.
So then, it's Chris "PiMaster" Viox who claims this 25th bracelet of the 2011 WSOP. Outlasting a field of 606 players is worth more than $200,000 and the bragging rights that have no price. Viox is a new bracelet winner, and we join Sexton in congratulating him on that achievement.
Here are the final table payouts:
6/17/2011 3:51:23 PM PST
Mike Sexton Eliminated in 2nd Place ($123,925)
Mike Sexton brought it in with the , and Chris Viox completed with the . The raises came deliberately, but all of the chips ended up in the pot, Sexton committed for his last ~500,000. Cards up, gents:
Sexton: () /
Viox: () /
Sexton was ahead with his buried eights, and things came pretty clean through sixth street:
Sexton: () / / (x)
Viox: () / / (x)
Both players had a low draw with one to come, and Sexton's pair of eights were still ahead. There was a quick discussion about who should peel first, and Viox ended up flipping over the to take the lead with two pair. Sexton needed to make a low to catch half, or make two pair or better to scoop the double. He squeezed carefully for just a second, but once he saw paint, he knew it was over. The landed on the felt for Sexton's seventh street, and it's not going to do it. Viox slammed his fist down on the felt and took a moment to huddle inside his own arms and soak in what just happened. The two men shook hands, and Sexton congratulated the new champ on joining the bracelet winners' club.
With that, Sexton has been cut down in second place, good for $123,000.
6/17/2011 3:42:41 PM PST
Going Viox's Way Now
Mike Sexton has folded on third street three consecutive hands, and he's been forced out on fourth street in at least three more. He's been reduced down to about 520,000 in that attrition.
6/17/2011 3:39:54 PM PST
After repeated folding before fourth street during the last few minutes, Mike Sexton has shown Chris Viox a few nines while mucking his cards. After yet another useless nine, Sexton jokingly asked the Tournament Announcer "can we make nines wild from now on?"
With a short stack, Sexton will need those nines to start turning into eights soon if he hopes to capture his second WSOP Seven Card Stud-High Low Eight or Better bracelet here today, some 22 years after winning his first.
6/17/2011 3:36:07 PM PST
Sexton Takes a Big Bite
Chris Viox showed the for the bring-in, and he called the completion from Mike Sexton and the .
Viox: (x-x) / / (x)
Sexton: (x-x) / / (x)
Sexton bet his lead on fourth street with two diamonds showing, but he checked on fifth. Viox checked it back, and Sexton checked again on sixth. Viox took his cue to bet, and Sexton called. On seventh, Sexton check-called one last bullet, making sure for a just a couple moments before he plunked most of his chips into the pot.
Viox could only reveal for a pair of threes, and Sexton flipped over for the winning pair of sevens. He may have been a bit surprised to scoop that one up, but it's done his stack well, boosting him to 930,000 and back into the fight once again. He's still down about 2:1 in chips, though.
6/17/2011 3:32:29 PM PST
Fifth Street to Sexton
Chris Viox brought it in with the up, and Mike Sexton completed with the .
Viox: (x-x) /
Sexton: (x-x) /
Viox check-called a bet on fourth street, but he couldn't call a big bet. The 120,000 on fifth street was enough for Sexton to take it right there, clawing back to 520,000 after dropping a few small pots previous.
6/17/2011 3:22:59 PM PST
Sexton Saved on Seventh
Chris Viox brought it in with the showing, and Mike Sexton completed with the . This was the one. Viox raised, Sexton reraised, and the last 240,000 of his chips ended up in the pot.
Viox: () /
Sexton: () /
Sexton was in front with his pair of sevens, and Viox was beginning a low draw. Things got bad for a hurry for Sexton as Viox paired up with the on fourth street, and Sexton pulled a blank . By sixth street, it looked pretty bad for Sexton:
Viox: () /
Sexton: () /
Viox peeled his seventh card first, the , and Sexton needed to make two pair or better to stay alive in this thing. He didn't waste any time, ripping it over like a Band-Aid: the .
That's queens up for Sexton, and it's his double up. He's back to 570,000 -- not done yet.
6/17/2011 3:19:34 PM PST
Viox Puts the Pressure On
Chris Viox brought in with his up, Mike Sexton completed with the , and Viox made the call.
Viox: (x-x) /
Sexton: (x-x) /
Sexton checked and called a bet by Viox on fifth street. On sixth street Viox led out for 120,000 and Sexton went into the tank before eventually mucking his cards.
6/17/2011 3:15:36 PM PST
Viox Strikes Back
With the up, Chris Viox was the bring-in, and he called the completion from Mike Sexton and the .
Viox: (x-x) /
Sexton: (x-x) /
On fourth street, Sexton bet his lead, and Viox called. When the pair came on fifth, Sexton bet it again, and Viox was right there with another call. On sixth, Sexton slowed down with a check, and Viox fired the big bet of 120,000. His bet sent Sexton deep into the tank, shaking his head and turning the gears. He double-checked his down cards, then counted down what's left of his stack. It's about 360,000, and Sexton eventually decided this wasn't the spot, tucking them under and laying them down.
Viox is in control now, reducing Sexton to just a couple bets.
6/17/2011 3:12:50 PM PST
A Complete Fold
Chris Viox brought it in with the , and Mike Sexton completed the . Viox raised, and Sexton quickly tucked and mucked.
6/17/2011 3:11:26 PM PST
Sexton Snags One On Fourth Street
On fourth street, with his board reading (x-x) / , Chris Viox checked and Mike Sexton bet 120,000 with his (x-x) / . This was enough to force the fold and Sexton has chipped up slightly to begin this heads-up contest.
6/17/2011 3:06:11 PM PST
First One to Sexton
On the first hand, Chris Viox brought it in with a deuce, and Mike Sexton's completion with a king won him the first pot of the day.
6/17/2011 3:05:26 PM PST
Go, Go, Go
Play is under way.
6/17/2011 3:05:12 PM PST
Level 29 started
6/17/2011 3:05:06 PM PST
Switch it to Hold'em
"Hey, how can we get the cards on the monitor?" someone from the crowd yelled. The camera overhead is a tight shot of the flop area of the table -- not exactly helpful for this game.
Viox tried, "We could switch it to hold'em."
6/17/2011 3:03:14 PM PST
Mike Sexton and Chris Viox have taken the stage, and they're unbagging their chips right now. The introductions are under way, and this battle is just about to fire off.
6/17/2011 2:55:59 PM PST
Sexton, Viox Set to Duel For the Bracelet
For the first time in this 2011 World Series of Poker, heads-up play was suspended at the hard stop, and just two players will return today for this fourth and decisive day. Perhaps it was for the better anyways; this event deserves a proper stage here in the Amazon Room.
On a day in which the members of the Seniors' Hall of Fame were honored on the Pavilion stage, Hall of Famer Mike Sexton will take to the felt in search of his second gold bracelet. Sexton has accomplished nearly everything there is to accomplish in this game, and the carryover over this battle should ensure a properly robust crowd filling the seats of the main featured table arena. It should be fairly pro-Sexton in the bleachers today, we'd guess. Mr. Sexton is in the Top 100 on the all-time money list with more than $4 million in winnings to his name. He's got the fifth-most Main Event cashes of anyone in poker history, and his name and face are iconic in televised poker. He has a Wikipedia page. Apart from his accolades on the felt, Sexton is truly one of the good guys of the game, beloved by the masses for his calming drawl and his genuine smile. Twenty-two years ago, Sexton won tasted WSOP gold for the first time. The game? $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo.
Across the felt from Sexton will sit Chris "PiMaster" Viox, a stud from the online tables looking to make a lasting mark on this live Stud event. His WSOP resume boasts 13 cashes over the past five years, but none have come close to matching this one in both money to be won and drama to be found.
Viox has the upper hand with about a 3:1 chip lead as play resumes, and Sexton is going to have to grind it out early. The stacks are getting shallow, but the stage is set perfectly for a long afternoon battle if we can manage it. We could be on the verge of a very grand scene at the 2011 WSOP.
We're just a few minutes away from our scheduled starting time, but things appear to be moving a bit slowly right now. There's a few last-minute loose ends to tie up, and we'll be back with a status update in just a few minutes.
Don't wander away from this one!