Day 20 at the World Series of Poker saw another first timer take home a coveted bracelet, another frantic re-buy period, and the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers seeking a different sort of championship gold. In Event #31 ($2,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em/Six Handed) the ladies loved Dario Minieri as he became the second Italian to capture a bracelet at this year’s WSOP. Frantic re-buys were the story in Event #34 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha with Re-buys) as Tony G and Josh Arieh headed a table that threw down 44 re-buys in less than two hours. Finally, less than 24 hours after his team was blown out in Game Six of the NBA Finals, Lakers owner Jerry Buss entered Event #35 ($1,500 Seven-card Stud) hoping for a better result than what Kobe was able to deliver last night.
Here is a brief rundown of the events from Day 20:
Event #35 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud)
Day one kicked off with many of the superstars from Event #33 still in contention for the Seven Card Stud World Championship. However, those who made it to the rail early or those who sought a smaller buy-in had a chance for redemption in Event #35. Perhaps the most notable player to sit down for Event #33 was Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Less than 24 hours after his team lost their chance at a World Championship, he will seek to avenge that loss and bring home a different form of hardware to Los Angeles. In early action Buss showed no signs of the emotional loss and is currently standing strong in the top 10 in chip counts. Players who cannot consider themselves as lucky as Buss include Huck Seed, Andy Bloch, Phil Hellmuth and Max Pescatori - all have extra time to watch last night’s game on their TIVO. The current chip leader is Leonardo Ebeling who hopes to hold on to his lead and collect the winners share ($649,986) of the $2,490,390 total prize pool.
Event #34 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha with Re-buys)
Day one of the last Omaha re-buy tournament of the 2008 WSOP produced more "No Look Poker" as several players were seen going all-In pre-flop without even taking a peek at their cards. Those actions resulted in a total of 1350 re-buys including one table which had 44 re-buys at the first break. A total of 320 players helped grow the total prize pool of this event to $2,407,105, creating a top payout of $577,725. Players who will not be receiving that money include John Juanda, Lee Watkinson, Phil Gordon and Nenad Medic. Daniel Makowsky leads the pack while other top contenders include Frank Vizza, Thomas Wahlroos, Jerrod Ankenman, Layne Flack, Ted Forrest, Tim West, Clonie Gowen and Erick Seidel.
Event #34 Chip Counts and Live Updates
Event #33 ($10,000 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-better)
When Day 2 action began fans swamped the Brasilia Room and lined up six deep on the stage to catch their glimpse of the 136 players that survived Day 1 of this star studded field. Unlike most events where players depart seemingly every minute, eliminations with these experts were fewer to come by. A couple of stars to be knocked out of day two play included Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, Shawn Sheikhan, Mike Sexton and John Juanda. Only the best of the best will be at the final table tomorrow with a shot at the $328,756 first place prize. Sebastian Ruthenberg currently holds the chip lead, followed by Chris Ferguson and Alessio Isaia. Marcel Luske and Annie Duke are also at the final table.
Event #32 ($1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em)
The watch to see if Phil Hellmuth could secure his 12th bracelet in Event #32 ended so early in Day 2 that Hellmuth still had an opportunity to run back to the Amazon Room and enter Event #35 for another shot at WSOP history. While Hellmuth was off seeking other chances Jose Luis Velador emerged as the Day 2 chip leader and methodically built his stack to nearly double that of his closest opponent, Joseph Georges. All nine players taking a seat at the final table will be making their first trip to the Milwaukees Best Light Stage as no player in the group has yet made a WSOP final table.
Event #31 ($2,500 No Limit Hold 'em/Six Handed)
Italian Dario Minieri came into the final table with a commanding chip advantage over his rivals. The first two hours of play saw Minieri build his stack to over three million and record an impressive knockout of Kevin Song, the only previous bracelet winner at the final table. After a series of unlikely bad beats Minieri found himself heads-up with Seth Fischer and "Lady Luck" came through as the Italian flashed pocket queens to take home his first WSOP bracelet.