Photo Caption: Monday was a thrilling day at the WSOP, with several notable developments. The biggest news was Aubin Cazals’ surprise victory over Joseph Cheong in the Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold'em championship. Also, the Seven-Card Stud World Championship entered a second day, while the largest $1,500 buy-in tournament at the WSOP in four years played through the conclusion of Day Two. To see more photos from the 2012 WSOP, please visit the official WSOP PHOTO BLOG.
Aubin Cazals Upsets Joseph Cheong in Final Mixed-Max Heads-Up Showdown
France Joins the Ranks of Gold Bracelet Nations – Frenchman Aubin Cazals Interrupts the All-American WSOP Party
The Longest Day – Mixed-Max Raises the Bar of “Poker Marathon” to New Heights
Seven-Card Stud World Championship Includes All-Star Lineup Entering Final Day – 2009 WSOP "Player of the Year" Jeffrey Lisandro Among the Leaders
Both Seven-Card Stud Events Up from Last Year
Marathon Man: Aubin Cazals
Aubin Cazals likes to run. Sometimes, he runs long distances – like 10K races. What does this have to do with poker and winning a WSOP gold bracelet?
Well – maybe everything.
Cazals won Event #6 – the $5,000 buy-in debut of a new tournament called No-Limit Hold’em Mixed Max, which ended with one of the toughest tests of any poker competition in recent memory. Cazals entered the history books on Sunday as one-half of the dynamic duo that ended up playing the longest heads-up poker match in poker tournament history.
The duel between Cazals and Australian Warwick Mirzikinian officially clocked in at 9 hours and 25 minutes, obliterating all previous records relating to heads-up action. Moreover, the match took place following three previous 12-hour days of competition, which left most of the finalists weary and worn out.
The tournament ran so long that an unscheduled fifth day had to be added – which tagged on five more hours to the schedule. It’s one thing to play poker at a full table for many hours, but in the pressure cooker of an extended heads-up No-Limit Hold’em format, when a player’s stake is at peril every second, the strain of making tough decisions repeatedly can easily wear down even the most battle-tested of poker warriors.
After he collected what amounted to nearly half-a-million dollars in prize money in his first-ever WSOP cash, Cazals was asked about the sustaining influences that enabled him to endure a record-busting epic.
“I think my youth and endurance prevailed in the end,” Cazals said afterward. “I used to run long distance races and that helped me well with my endurance at the table.”
Cazals went on to explain in some detail that his long-distance running helped keep him mentally alert when others would be inclined to crumble under the duress of incessant decision-making – where one mistake could cost the fatigued player the chance at a gold bracelet. He added that he saw other players in the tournament get tired and start to make bad decisions. So, perhaps there is something to be said for staying as physically fit as possible.
No study has ever been done which shows a possible correlation between physical health and poker performance. Many years ago, virtually all of the top poker players were older and out-of-shape. But things have changed dramatically during the last decade. Which leads to a question -- are younger people doing disproportionally better at the WSOP in recent years because they are young and skillful, or might there be an added reason?
In the grand scheme of things, perhaps fitness and exercise is just as important to winning -- especially the more grueling multiple day events like at the WSOP -- as the more common factors normally associated with poker success. While no fitness guru would ever a favorite to win, hitting the gym or running a mile or two certainly won't hurt, either.
France Interrupts American WSOP Victory Parade
Americans won the first seven gold bracelet events at this year’s WSOP. However, the victory chain was broken on Monday by Aubin Cazals, from France. He now lives in the Mediterranean island-nation of Malta. But Cazals considers himself a Frenchman.
Cazals' victory interrupts the string of consecutive American winners at seven. Oddly enough, French poker players have performed far better inside the U.S. than back in their homeland. At last year's WSOP Europe for instance, held in Cannes, France for the first time, French players were completely shut out. The best finish by any French player was fifth place, But now, with Cazals' big win on Monday, players from France have now seized four gold bracelets since June 2011 -- all of them won in Las Vegas.
Freddie Ellis Bubbles Seven-Card Stud World Championship (But He's Still Going to Get Some Love).
Everybody who knows Freddie Ellis seems to cheer for him. Now 77-years-old and walking around the Rio with the aid of a cane, Ellis won the Seven-Card Stud World Championship back three years ago -- which was the first time he had ever played at the WSOP. His victory was as memorable as any over the past ten years.
Ellis's gold bracelet victory was just one of the highlights of what has been a fascinating life. He moved to New York City during the 1950s to pursue a career as a singer. Ellis sang in many popular nightclubs. He mostly sang show tunes, and popular music. Ellis even cut a number of records on the Decca music label. His dream to become a popular singer ended when he married his wife Barbara (now deceased). He was not thrilled with traveling around the country and living the life of a struggling musician. So instead, he decided to invest in New York real estate - which turned out to be a wise decision.
Ellis made a fortune in the New York real estate market for over the past 50 years. He is semi-retired now. However, he continues to pursue deals and is a regular poker player in Atlantic City on weekends. Ellis usually plays in the $600-$1,200 limit Mixed Game, at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. The typical game is an mix of Seven-Card Stud, Eight-or-Better, and No-Limit Hold'em.
It's not often that the bubble finisher of a tournament deserves publicity. But in this case, we are going to salute Freddie Ellis, who unfortunately was eliminated at the end of Day Two from the Seven-Card Stud World Championship. He may have barely missed making the money. But if good friends and well wishers were the currency, Ellis is a very rich man, indeed.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
This 71-year-old man still has a thing or two to prove. Some of us old folks can flip it up on the young folks, too.
-- Herbert Tapscott speaking at his gold bracelet ceremony on Monday, after winning the largest Omaha High-Low Split tournament in poker history.
THE WSOP TODAY
The first tournament of the day is a $75 buy-in TURBO MEGA-SATELLITE.
EVENT #12, the $10,000 buy-in HEADS-UP NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP tournament begins today with the first of three playing sessions begins. There is no late registration for this event, as the draw for seats begins promptly at 12pm. Action will take place inside Brasilia. The Pavilion White and Black sections will be used for overflow. This event will be capped at 512 players.
EVENT #12 UPDATES can be followed at WSOP.com. Coverage includes almost-live chip counts as well as written updates supplied from the tournament floor by our friends at PokerNews.com.
The official Structure Sheet for EVENT #12 can be viewed HERE.
EVENT #9, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with the play of Day Three. Today’s session begins with the survivors from the Monday's playing session. There are 33 players remaining. Action will take place inside Amazon.
EVENT #11 the $1,500 buy-in POT-LIMIT OMAHA tournament continues with the play of Day Two. Today’s session begins with the survivors from the Monday's playing session. There are 117 players remaining, all of which are already in the money. Action will take place inside Amazon.
EVENT #10, the $5,000 buy-in SEVEN-CARD STUD tournament continues with the play of Day Three -- including the final table. There are16 survivors who will return for today’s action, with former "WSOP Player of the Year" Jeff Lisandro atop the leaderboard. Play will take place inside Amazon. Dinner break is expected to take place around 7:40 and will last one hour.
The first daily DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins. The entry fee is $235. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 4:20 pm.
Today’s gold bracelet ceremony will be postponed until Wednesday. This is due to the Heads-Up matches being held inside Brasilia. Aubin Cazals will collect his gold bracelet at that time.
The first MEGA-SATELLITE begins. The entry fee is $330
EVENT #13 is a $1,500 buy-in LIMIT HOLD'EM tournament. The first of three playing sessions begins today. Registration will be open for the first four levels of play (plus two 20-minute breaks). This means registration will close at approximately 9:40 pm. Action will take place inside Amazon. The Pavilion White and Black sections will be used for overflow. There will be a 60-minute dinner break. This is a three-day event.
The second DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins. The entry fee is $185. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 8:20 pm.
The second MEGA-SATELLITE of the day begins. The game is SEVEN CARD STUD 8 OR BETTER. The entry fee is $550.
The third and final DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins at 10 pm. The entry fee is $135. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 12:20 am.
All WSOP gold bracelet tournaments end for the night.
On Monday, Brian Rast enjoyed a monster day. The two-time gold bracelet winner (2011) rocketed into the chip lead in the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament, for which $781,398 goes to the winner. Rast is playing as well as anyone at the moment, and will be the player to watch during Day Three.
Cash game action continues to expand and is now close to the height of number of games from last year. This means, in coming weeks, the number of cash games is likely to surpass the busiest times at last year’s WSOP. There are 82 poker tables dedicated to cash games inside Pavilion, plus an additional 14 poker tables dedicated to cash games inside the Rio (Main Casino). Right now, the most popular game spread is $1-3 No-Limit Hold'em. However, games of virtually all limits are being spread – including a monster-sized $100-200 blind Pot-Limit Omaha game that has now lasted for two days.
Single-table satellites are being held 24/7 inside the Pavilion. All satellite winners receive $500 buy-in tournament chips.
THE WSOP YESTERDAY
Aubin Cazals, from Vallesvilles, France (now residing in Malta) won EVENT #6, the $5,-00 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM MIXED MAX tournament. He collected his first gold bracelet. First place amounted to $480,564.
The NEWS FLASH of Aubin Cazals' victory can be seen here.
The runner up was Joseph Cheong, from La Mirada, CA. He is best known for his third-place finish in the 2010 WSOP Main Event – worth $4.1 million. This time, Cheong added $296,956 to his WSOP career earnings. The Korean-born poker pro now has eight WSOP cashes, and 4 WSOP Circuit cashes, along with a gold ring won at Harrah’s Rincon in 2010.
Six former WSOP gold bracelet winners cashed in this event. They were Brock Parker (14th), Johnny “World” Hennigan (20th), Brian Rast (24th), Konstantin Puchkov (26th), Eric Froehlich (28th), and Gavin Smith (38th),
On Day Two, in EVENT #9, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM (RE-ENTRY) tournament, played from 514 starters down to 33 survivors. Brian Rast currently leads the pack. Remaining players and chip counts can be viewed HERE.
EVENT #9 entries totaled 3,404 players – the largest field size for such an event in four years. The prize pool amounts to $4,595,400. The top 342 finishers will collect prize money. The winner will collect a whopping $781,398 -- plus a WSOP gold bracelet.
On Day Two, in EVENT #10, the $5,000 buy-in SEVEN-CARD STUD tournament, played from 91 starters down to 16 survivors. Jeffrey Lisandro currently leads the pack. Remaining players and chip counts can be viewed HERE.
EVENT #10 entries totaled 145 players. The prize pool amounts to $681,500. The top 16 finishers will collect prize money. The winner will collect $190,826 -- plus a WSOP gold bracelet.
On Day One, in EVENT #11, the $1,500 buy-in POT-LIMIT OMAHA tournament, played from 970 starters down to 117 survivors. Chuck Tonne currently leads the pack. Remaining players and chip counts can be viewed HERE.
EVENT #11 entries totaled 970 players. The prize pool amounts to $1,309,500. The top 117 finishers will collect prize money. The winner will collect $265,211 -- plus a WSOP gold bracelet.
* Please note that all listed times are estimates and subject to change
-- by Nolan Dalla