06/21/11 07:21:53 AM PDT
Three days ago 2,828 people put up $1,500 in an attempt to take down a WSOP tournament and win a shiny, gold bracelet. Today only one man remains. Kirk Caldwell was able to best Ben White heads up and win Event #32: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, taking home $668,276 in prize money.
The $1,500 buy-in events are always an interesting investment, as they are among the smaller buy in tournaments that the WSOP offers, so the fields are always quite large. With many people playing in the event, there were casualties every day that ranged from first-time WSOP participants to seasoned professional. On day one of play, we saw many notable players get sent to the rail, including Tom Dwan, Zachary Gruneberg, Jerry Yang, Randy Lew, Phil Laak, Joe Cada, and Allen Cunningham. While these players' chips were taken from them, other players were able to absorb chips to make their stacks grow and progress to day two. Among the latter was day one chip leader Adam Lippert, who finished the first day with an impressive 144,800.
After the chaos of day one in this massive event, 362 players returned for the second day of play. Among the players who hit the rail during day two: Chino Rheem, TJ Cloutier, Layne Flack, Brett Jungblut, and Eddie Blumenthal. In the end, 35 players were able to best the field and survive on to the final day of play, their sights on the gold bracelet and the $4,242,000 prize pool.
Play on day three went at a breakneck pace, whittling down from 35 players to the final nine in just under five hours. Once play at the final table began, the pace seemed to quicken. Within the first forty minutes of play the final nine had become the final four. The first four players eliminated were lost in the first six hands of final table play. Once four-handed play began, the play slowed down immensely. Kirk Caldwell and Mark McLaughlin led the way through most of four-handed play, the latter of which sending his housemate, Gabriel Morin to the rail in fourth place.
Caldwell managed to win a huge pot off of McLaughlin during when play was three-handed, his beating McLaughlin's on a flop. McLaughlin staged a comeback from this hit but was unable to make anything materialize, which brought us to heads up play between Kirk Caldwell and Ben White. Caldwell began head to head play with the most chips and never relinquished his chip lead. After roughly an hour of heads up play, Caldwell managed to push White all in holding against White's . Five cards later White failed to improve and Caldwell became the next WSOP champion.
PokerNews extends its congratulations to Kirk Caldwell who will be taking home his first WSOP bracelet as well as $668,292 in prize money!
Thanks for following along and stay tuned to PokerNews throughout the rest of the series for the most current updates!
06/21/11 06:50:48 AM PDT
Kirk Caldwell had the button and opened to 300,000. Ben White three-bet to 900,000 from the big blind, Caldwell moved all in for effectively 3.5 million, and White called.
Caldwell stood up and walked away from the table, his friends screamed from the rail, and the flop fell down .
"DEUCE!" someone shrieked.
The on the turn was an interesting card. It didn't give White the best hand, but it gave him three more outs to a jack, which would counterfeit Caldwell's wired eights.
Only a handful of people were railing, but the yells were deafening when the spiked on the river. For the first time all evening, Caldwell let out all of his emotion, throwing his hands in the air.
White somberly shook Caldwell's hand, but we're sure he'll be smiling somepoint later tonight when he realizes he's just banked $414,918!
06/21/11 06:31:30 AM PDT
Ben White had the button and raised to 250,000. Kirk Caldwell called, and the flop came down . Caldwell checked, White continued for 310,000, and Caldwell check-raised to 1.31 million. White tank-folded, and Caldwell took down the pot.
|Kirk Caldwell||8,955,000||205,000 |
|Ben White||3,745,000||-205,000 |
06/21/11 06:25:33 AM PDT
Kirk Caldwell and Ben White have become the last two men standing (or sitting, rather). Caldwell has a strong chip lead but anything can happen in heads up play. 42 minutes remain in this level and if they do not finish by the level's conclusion, the two men will return to play tomorrow.
|Kirk Caldwell||8,750,000||1,400,000 |
|Ben White||3,950,000||480,000 |
06/21/11 06:22:35 AM PDT
In a raised pot, the flop came down . Marc-Etienne McLaughlin led out for 200,000 only to be raised to 500,000 by Kirk Caldwell. McLaughlin responded by moving all in and Caldwell made the call.
McLaughlin's fives were ahead at the time, but Caldwell jumped to the lead when the struck the turn. The river bricked out for McLaughin, coming and he was sent to the rail in third place.
06/21/11 06:10:11 AM PDT
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin has been open-shoving frequently from both the button and the small blind for the last 30 minutes or so. He hasn't been called once, and has chipped up above 1.7 million.
06/21/11 06:05:42 AM PDT
06/21/11 05:57:48 AM PDT
Kirk Caldwell completed from the small blind, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin checked in the big, and the flop came down . Caldwell check-called 110,000 from McLaughlin.
Both players checked the on the turn, and the on the river, and Caldwell opened up for a pair of eights. McLaughlin flashed a before mucking, and Caldwell picked up the pot.
06/21/11 05:51:13 AM PDT
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin made it 200,000 to go and was called by Ben White from the big blind. The flop fell . McLaughlin checked and White fired out 225,000. McLaughlin made the call and the turn brought the . Once again McLaughlin checked and once again White fire out, this time making the magic number 450,000.
The river brought and McLaughlin checked one last time. White also checked. McLaughlin flipped over but was behind the top pair of White's
|Ben White||3,670,000||1,120,000 |
|Marc Mclaughlin||1,110,000||-1,300,000 |
06/21/11 05:38:26 AM PDT
In the first hand, Kirk Caldwell forced Marc-Etienne McLaughlin all in, and he snapped it off.
There wasn't even a sweat as the board ran , doubling McLaughlin to 540,000 chips.
The very next hand, Caldwell was in the small blind and raised to 275,000. McLaughlin moved all in, and Caldwell called.
Caldwell flopped a sick sweat - . The on the turn was a brick though, and so too was the on the river. McLaughlin was now up above a million.
McLaughlin's next double came when he shoved from the small blind. Ben White instantly called with the , and McLaughlin needed help for the first time, holding a very modest .
The snuck right through the window though, and was followed by two tens - . The turn and river came , , and just like that, McLaughlin was back over 2 million chips.
|Kirk Caldwell||8,250,000||-700,000 |
|Ben White||2,550,000||-600,000 |
|Marc Mclaughlin||2,410,000||2,160,000 |
06/21/11 05:29:26 AM PDT
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin began the action by raising to 160,000. Kirk Caldwell made the call and we were off to see a flop. The flop came . Caldwell fired out first, betting 200,000.
McLaughlin decided to make it 600,000 total and Caldwell fired right back, three-betting to 1,600,000. McLaughlin announced a four-bet all in and Caldwell made the call.
The turn brought the , keeping Caldwell in the lead. McLaughlin needed either a heart or a king to scoop the pot. Unfortunately for him, the river brought the and Caldwell was able to scoop the pot. McLaughlin could do nothing but stare at the board, emotionless for about a minute straight while the chips were being counted out.
|Kirk Caldwell||8,950,000||3,800,000 |
|Marc Mclaughlin||250,000||-4,025,000 |
06/21/11 05:12:21 AM PDT
06/21/11 04:49:01 AM PDT
The players are now on their last 20-minute break of the evening.
06/21/11 04:47:55 AM PDT
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin raised to 150,000 in the small blind, Ben White moved all in for 1.55 million, and McLaughlin called.
The flop came down , eliminating McLaughlin's straight outs. He would only eliminated White with an ace or a ten, and found neither on the turn ( ), nor the river ( ).
White doubled to over 3 million chips, while McLaughlin now finds himself down near 4 million.
|Marc Mclaughlin||4,275,000||-1,275,000 |
|Ben White||3,150,000||1,200,000 |
06/21/11 04:36:28 AM PDT
|Marc Mclaughlin||5,550,000||900,000 |
|Kirk Caldwell||5,150,000||-200,000 |
|Ben White||1,950,000||-45,000 |
06/21/11 04:33:36 AM PDT
Kirk Caldwell completed in the small blind, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin checked his option, and the flop came down . Caldwell check-called 100,000, and the turn was the . Caldwell checked, McLaughlin fired 210,000, and Caldwell called.
The river was the , and Caldwell led for the first time. The bet was 475,000, and after a pause for thought, McLaughlin called. The Montreal native opened up for nines and sixes, Caldwell mucked, and McLaughlin raked in the pot.
06/21/11 04:27:58 AM PDT
Kirk Caldwell made it 180,000 from the button and Ben White called from the big blind. The flop came and White checked to Caldwell.
Caldwell counted out a bet of 180,000 and pushed it out into the middle. White made the call and we were off to the turn. When the turned, both players checked. The river came and White checked one more time. Caldwell fired out 250,000 and White quickly called only to muck his cards when Caldwell flipped up .
White is now down to around 1,950,000.
06/21/11 04:07:04 AM PDT
We haven't seen a single showdown this level. Most of the action has been preflop, and very few hands have even reached the river.
The average stack is now 4,242,000 - which is 70 big blinds.
06/21/11 03:50:20 AM PDT
06/21/11 03:50:14 AM PDT
Ben White opened the action from the button, making it 125,000. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin made the call from the big and we were off to the flop.
The flop fell and both players checked. The turn came and McLaughlin checked once again. White fired out 155,000 and McLaughlin popped it up to 500,000 total.
After much deliberation, White made the call and the river fell . McLaughlin slowly counted out chips before pushing out 1,000,000. White folded his cards and McLaughlin was able to scoop a sizable pot.
|Marc Mclaughlin||4,650,000||1,450,000 |
|Ben White||1,995,000||-605,000 |