Day 28 at the World Series of Poker saw fans cram themselves inside the walkways of the Amazon Room to catch a glimpse of their favourite poker superstars as they battled it out in Day 2 of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. On the other side of the Amazon Room on the ESPN Main Stage, fans also turned out in droves hoping to catch a bit of history as Erik Siedel was seeking to capture his ninth WSOP bracelet which would put him within two of the overall lead held by Phil Hellmuth.
In other action, two new events kicked off, including one event that offers close to a million dollar prize pool. Event #46 ($5,000 Six Handed No Limit Hold ‘em) filed up whatever free space remained in the Amazon Room while Event #47 (Seven Card Stud 8 or Better) occupied all but the back corner of the Brasilia Room. Hanging out in that back corner of the Brasilia Room were the last combatants seeking a seat at the final table in Event #44 - $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘em W/ Re-Buys.
Here is how the action from Thursday went down:
Event #47 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud 8-or-Better)
The nature of the game in which players can either seek a high hand or a low hand ends up resulting in many spilt pots and thus eliminations were few and far between. With a field of 543, there were quite a few exciting names that entered the event. One of the hottest players in the event is John Phan, who has picked up two bracelets in less than two weeks. If Phan can perform the hat trick in this event he would join an elite list of players to win three bracelets in three different games in the same year. Other top professionals who entered this event included early H.O.R.S.E. bust-outs Hellmuth, Tony G, Chris Ferguson and Hoyt Corkins. Of that group only Hellmuth and G survived the first night of action. The early chip leader is Alessio Isaia who will be seeking the top payout of $182,997.
Event #46 (Six Handed $5,000 No Limit Hold ‘em)
Providing railbird’s entertainment while the H.O.R.S.E. event was on break inside the Amazon Room, Event #46 featured a top prize of $911,830 action and knockouts were fast and furious as only 99 players out of the original 805 entrants survived the first night of play. Notable professionals who busted out early and had the opportunity to go cheer on their favourite peer on the other side of the room included Joe Hachem, Hevad Kahn, Gavin Smith, Phil Laak and David Williams. Day one chip leader is Jasper Peterson with 204,000 in chips. Notables right on his tail are 2008 bracelet winner Davidi Kitai and Nick Binger, brother of Michael Binger, who seeks to better his third place finish in Event #41.
Event #45 ($50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship)
The popularity of this event with poker fans made navigating anywhere inside the Amazon Room nearly impossible. Spectators gathered to see some of the greatest poker players in history assembled in one small group battling for a top prize of $1,989,120 and the rights to be the first owner of the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy. On the first night of action we only had eight eliminations bringing the field down to 140. Thursday we lost more than half the field as only 67 players remained. Leading the pack of this elite group was Patrick Beuno, who has amassed 600,000 in chips. Nipping at his heels are veterans Barry Greenstein, Erick Lindgren and Doyle Brunson.
Event #44 ($1,000 No Limit Hold‘em w/rebuys)
Occupying the back corner of the Brasilia Room were the remaining players in the last rebuy event of the 2008 WSOP. Experienced professionals ran into roadblocks in day two as J.C. Tran, Humberto Brenes, Alan Jaffray and Mark Seif all saw their run at the final table come up just short. Ironically, on the night of the NBA Draft, a player by the name of Al Iversen would find his way to the final table. Joining pokers version of “The Answer” at the final table will be chip leader Jesse Chinni, Rene Mourtisen, Jamie Rosen and five other players gunning for the top prize of $693,444.
Event #43 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Eight-or-better)
But the other main attraction to the Amazon Room on Thursday was Seidel’s attempt at history and his ninth career WSOP bracelet. Standing in his way though was a field of hungry final table first timers Michael Fetter, Martin Klasser and Casey Kastle. Seidel played a quiet final table, mostly staying out of the way on any major battles and as a result found himself in the final four. For a complete recap on Seidel’s pursuit of #9 read Hat Trick for Germany.