Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:23 PM Local Time
A field of 643 came out for the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event, and when all was said and done Tomas Alenius of Sweden had claimed all of the chips, one bet at a time. This marks Alenius' second WSOP cash this summer -- and fifth overall -- and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
There were 15 players left standing after the first two days and 20 levels of play, at which point Al "Sugar Bear" Barbieri held the chip advantage. When play began today, escalating stakes quickly caught up with half of the field, and in just two levels the field had shrunk to six players.
With six left, Barbieri was still the clear leader with nearly 1.2 million chips, with Glenn Engelbert his nearest competitor at the time with 465,000. However, after the shorter-stacked players, Dominik Kulicki and Demetrios Arvanetes, went out in sixth and fifth, respectively, Engelbert found himself on the slide. Unfortunately for him, Engelbert found it necessary to commit the last of his chips on a hand when Alenius held pocket aces, and he went out in fourth.
The three remaining players -- Barbieri, Alenius, and Jason Tam -- were nearly even in chips when three-handed began, but Sugar Bear quickly lost ground and was out in third. When heads-up play began, Tam had a 3-to-1 chip advantage with 2.175 million to Alenius' 720,000. But with limits of 40,000/80,000 -- and eventually 50,000/100,000 -- a couple of good hands could change things quickly.
And change they did. After over an hour of back-and-forthing, Alenius had the big advantage, and eventually all of the chips. Congratulations to Tomas Alenius, champion of Event No. 26!
Thanks for following our coverage here on PokerNews.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:18 PM Local Time
Jason Tam raised from the button, Tomas Alenius three-bet, Tam raised all in and Alenius called.
Alenius' railbirds were clapping and cheering for their man as the cards were turned over, and they erupted as the board ran out
to give him the win a career-high score of $197,488 and his first WSOP bracelet.
For his runner-up finish, Jason Tam earned $122,000.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:09 PM Local Time
Jason Tam raised from the button, and Tomas Alenius called. The flop came
. Alenius checked, Tam bet, Alenius check-raised, and Tam called. The turn was the
. Alenius bet, and Tam called.
The river was the
. Alenius bet again, and with a wincing expression Tam made the call. Alenius turned over
for the rivered full house, while Tam showed
for the beaten flush. "Sick," said Tam, as the pot was pushed his opponent's way.
Alenius has taken the upper hand again with 2.2 million to Tam's 500,000.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:02 PM Local Time
Neither player is giving up easily in this heads-up battle. Though Tam swung as low as 870,000 after dropping two consecutive pots to Alenius, he was able to recover within only a few hands and currently holds 1.1 million to Alenius' 1.7 million.
With the blinds up to 50,000-100,000, a typical pot is in the 400,000 range and there are only 28 big bets in play at present. From where we stand, it looks like whomever can go on a good run first is going to take down this bracelet.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:54 PM Local Time
Jason Tam opened with a raise on the button, and Tomas Alenius called. The flop came
. Alenius checked, Tam bet, and Alenius called. Both checked the
on the turn. The river brought the
. Alenius checked, Tam bet, and Alenius paused for a few beats, then called. Tam showed
for the rivered straight, and Alenius mucked.
That pot plus a couple of others brings the pair back close to even again, with Tam at 1.4 million and Alenius 1.5 million.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:43 PM Local Time
Jason Tam raised from the button and Tomas Alenius called. The flop came down
. Alenius checked, Tam bet, Alenius put in the check-raise and Tam called. The turn was the
and Alenius led out. Now Tam raised and Alenius made the call. The river was the
and both players checked.
but Alenius had him one better with
, taking down the pot with a pair of fives.
Two hands later, Tam raised again from the button and Alenius called. Alenius check-raised the
flop and Tam called. The turn was the
and Alenius check-called a bet from Tam. The river fell the
and both players checked.
and Tam mucked. He's down to around 875,000 while Alenius has about 2 million.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:33 PM Local Time
It's a relatively tranquil scene here in our corner of the Amazon Room as Tomas Alenius and Jason Tam battle it out to decide who will claim the next WSOP gold bracelet.
With the other tourneys all on break and just a few heads-up matches going on nearby, there is not a lot of noise surrounding the two competitors. They are keeping mostly quiet as well, only occasionally sharing brief exchanges about recently folded hands.
The pair are just about even in chips at the moment, with both having approximately 1.45 million.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:31 PM Local Time
After a series of small victories, Tomas Alenius has chipped up enough to overtake the lead from Jason Tam.
Alenius now has about 1.5 million to Tam's 1.4 million.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:19 PM Local Time
After a few hands of heads up, Jason Tam had Tomas Alenius down to about 420,000. Then Alenius took three small pots in a row. Next came a hand in which Tam raised from the small blind/button, and Alenius called.
The flop came
. Alenius checked, Tam bet, and Alenius called. The turn was the
, and again Alenius check-called Tam.
The river was the
, and Alenius again checked in same fashion as he had on the previous streets. Tam touched his chips, but then looked at Alenius and decided to check behind.
Tam turned over
, but Alenius had
for the rivered pair of aces. Alenius has inched back up to 920,000 to Tam's almost two million.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:12 PM Local Time
The bracelet is on the table and cards are in the air. Jason Tam enters heads-up play with a 3-1 chip lead over his opponent, Tomas Alenius.
Jason Tam 2,175,000
Tomas Alenius 720,000
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:08 PM Local Time
Al Barbieri raised from the button, Jason Tam three-bet from the small blind and Barbieri made the call. The flop came down
and Tam led out. Barbieri raised, Tam three-bet, Barbieri four-bet and Tam called. The turn came the
. Tam led out and Barbieri called all in for 15,000.
The river was the
and the ever-colorful "Sugar Bear" hit the rail in third place, leaving Tam and Tomas Alenius heads-up for the bracelet.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:04 PM Local Time
Jason Tam is on a brief rush here after the dinner break, and with the blinds and limits this high, things can change rapidly in just a couple of hands.
After taking a couple of hands off of each of his opponents, a hand came up where Tomas Alenius raised his button, and Tam called from the big blind. The flop came
. Tam checked, Alenius bet, Tam check-raised, and Alenius called. The turn was the
, and once again Tam checked, Alenius bet, Tam check-raised and Alenius called.
The river was the
and both checked. Tam showed
for the flopped two pair, and Alenius
. Tam is way up over 1.8 million now, Alenius down to 720,000, and Barbieri down to 290,000.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 5:52 PM Local Time
Players are back in their seats and cards are in the air.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:53 PM Local Time
Play will resume at 6:50 p.m. local time (PDT).
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:52 PM Local Time
Tomas Alenius -- 1.32 million
Jason Tam -- 945,000
Al Barbieri -- 455,000
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:48 PM Local Time
Jason Tam opened with a raise from the small blind, Tomas Alenius three-bet from the big blind, Tam made it four, and Alenius called.
Alenius called Tam's bets on all three streets as the board came
, taking some time before making that last call. Tam turned over
, and Alenius mucked.
Tam back up around one million now, Alenius has about 1.2 million, and Barbieri is still sitting at approximately 550,000.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:44 PM Local Time
Jason Tam raised from the button, Tomas Alenius folded, and Al Barbieri called from the big blind. The flop came
, and Barbieri immediately bet. Tam called. The turn was the
. Barbieri quickly tossed out chips to bet, Tam raised, and Barbieri again with zero hesitation three-bet. Tam called.
The river was the
. Barbieri put his last 40,000 in the middle, and as Tam called he asked "You got two pair?" "I do have two pair," said Barbieri, turning over
. Tam showed his pocket kings and mucked. "That's the second time," he said, alluding to the earlier hand when Barbieri flopped a straight to crack Tam's kings.
Barbieri bounces back to 550,000 on that one.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:38 PM Local Time
Al Barbieri raised from the button and Tomas Alenius made the call from the big blind.
The flop came down
. Alenius check-called a bet from Barbieri. The turn was the
. Alenius checked again, Barbieri bet, and Alenius came back with a raise. Barbieri called and they saw the
on the river. Alenius bet and Barbieri folded
Alenius showed only the
as he raked in the pot. He's up to 1,175,000 while Barbieri is down to 300,000.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:25 PM Local Time
As happens in limit hold'em, hands go by at a particular rhythm -- for the most part -- with players generally not taking all that long to decide what they are going to do.
Jason Tam had the button, and when he was taking a little longer than usual to examine his hole cards, Al Barbieri tossed his reading glasses to him across the table to help out.
A smiling Tam made as if to put them on, then went ahead and checked his cards without them. He liked what he saw, and put in the raise. Tomas Alenius then three-bet from the small blind. That caused Barbieri to put on his glasses and take a closer look at his hand. He decided to call the three bets from the big blind, and Tam called as well.
No one seemed to have any trouble seeing the
flop. Alenius bet, and neither Barbieri nor Tam took very long before letting their hands go.
Each of the three can also see that the chip stacks of his two opponents are close to even with his own.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 4:16 PM Local Time
Our three remaining players are all neck-in-neck:
Jason Tam 970,000
Tomas Alenius 930,000
Al Barbieri 850,000