Thursday, June 24, 2010 4:08 AM Local Time
Last year was the year of the multiple bracelet winner, and it took forty long events to find our first one at the 2010 World Series of Poker.
Frank Kassela, a husband and father of five from Memphis, Tennessee has just completed his climb to the top of the pack for the second time this year, besting a field of 365 runners to take the only razz bracelet in the display case. Kassela is your champion of Event #40, and this $2,500 Razz event pays him nearly a quarter-million dollars along with a bracelet to go on his other wrist.
Kassela came into the final table third in chips, one spot behind eventual runner-up Maxwell Troy. The two men picked their spots carefully, and some twelve hours after play began on Day 3, they were heads up for the title. The battle was a long one; it's always a grind to close out a short-handed razz table. Kassela finally started to gain some momentum as the increasing antes and limits forced the play, though, and he was able to close out Troy just before the clock struck five in the morning.
It should be noted, for all you short-stack ninjas out there, that Kassela was a long way away from this spot at the end of Day 1. He bagged up just 5,100 chips on Monday night, putting him in 105th position out of 105 returning players. No matter for him though; Kassela had a great Day 2, and he was able to put himself into a position to win during the early stages of this Day 3.
Frank Kassela is the toast of the town tonight, and his accomplishment is one of the highlights of the WSOP thus far. We send him our congratulations on another fine run this summer, and he's still got a few events to try and put him in the elite tier of triple bracelet winners.
That's all we have for you tonight, but we'll be talking about this one for a long time to come. Until the next one, goodnight and good morning from the Rio!
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:51 AM Local Time
Maxwell Troy brought-in for 20,000 only to have Frank Kassela complete to 80,000.
Troy two-bet to 180,000 only to have Kassela announce "raise!"
Troy found his last 310,000 in the middle of the pot with Kassela making the call as both player's boards ran out as follows:
Troy: / /
Kassela: / /
With Kassela making a seven-five low to best Troy's seven-six, Troy hit the rail in 2nd place for a $132,229 payday as Frank Kassela is crowned a WSOP champion for the second time this series!
"Always a bridesmaid!" uttered Troy as he walked passed the PokerNews blogging desk in reference to his recent runner-up finish just a week ago in Event #27: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:46 AM Local Time
Maxwell Troy completed with a up, and Frank Kassela defended his bring-in with a in the door.
Troy: (X)(X)/ /(X)
Kassela: (X)(X)/ /(X)
Kassela led the betting on fourth, and Troy called him quickly. On fifth, Kassela checked, and Troy fired out the bet of 160,000. Kassela called. On sixth, Kassela took the back the lead with a bet, and Try called. Kassela checked in the dark on seventh, and Troy looked squeezed his cards before shaking his head and checking behind.
"I got a made jack," Kassela said, and Troy nodded with a frown on his face.
"It's good," he said, turning his cards face-down into the muck. That one hurt, knocking Troy all the way back to just 430,000.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:37 AM Local Time
Frank Kassela brought it in with a , and Maxwell Troy completed with a . Kassela called.
On fourth street, Troy bet and Kassela called, and the action repeated on fifth. Kassela picked up the lead on sixth street and he bet it, and Troy could not continue, pulling the ol' tuck-and-muck to drop back to about 750,000.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:33 AM Local Time
Maxwell Troy brought it in with a , Frank Kassela completed with a , Troy raised, and Kassela called the extra bet.
Troy drew a and a on the next two streets, betting both times. Kassela pulled a and called on fourth, but the he got on fifth signaled the end of the hand.
Kassela is still in front, but he's slipped back to about 1.6 million.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:27 AM Local Time
Maxwell Troy brought it in with a , and Frank Kassela completed with the same card. Troy raised to two bets, and Kassela called.
Troy bet when he pulled a on fourth street, and Kassela called after peeling a . Kassela bet out when he drew an on fifth, and Troy paired his and was forced to fold his way down to 580,000.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:24 AM Local Time
Maxwell Troy had the bring-in with a showing, and he defended when Kassela completed with his .
Troy: (X)(X)/ /(X)
Kassela: (X)(X)/ /(X)
Kassela bet his lead on fourth street, and Troy called. On fifth, both players check-checked, and Troy led out with a full bet of 160,000 on sixth street. Kassela called, and seventh street went check-check again.
"Seven-six," Kassela said, and he exposed his .
"That's good," Troy responded, folding his cards under and mucking them back to the dealer. That's officially the biggest pot we've seen in eons, and it gives Kassela a pretty significant chip lead. He's up to 1.85 million now, knocking Troy down to 890,000.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:02 AM Local Time
The clock has been paused while the players take a twenty-minute break.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:47 AM Local Time
Frank Kassela brought it in with a nine showing, and once again he defended to a completion from Maxwell Troy and his up four.
Kassela fired bets on fourth, fifth, and sixth streets, and Troy called the first two of those. Just like Kassela in the last hand, though, he paired up on sixth and decided a fold was in order.
Kassela - 1,215,000
Troy - 1,525,000
Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:41 AM Local Time
Ladies and gentlemen, we have fifth street.
Frank Kassela had the bring-in with a , and he defended when Maxwell Troy completed.
Troy was betting the whole way, getting us deeper into a pot than we've been since heads-up play began. "Looks like we're finally going to play a big pot," Kassela said on fourth street. He called Troy's bets on fourth and fifth, but he could not call on sixth after catching an open pair.
That's the most chips we've seen pushed in either direction in an hour, and that one moves Kassela back down under one million chips.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:11 AM Local Time
With both the players not opting for a break, here are the updated counts.
Maxwell Troy - 1,750,000
Frank Kassela - 990,000
Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:08 AM Local Time
Melville Lewis brought-in and Maxwell Troy completed for 60,000. Lewis called, and also called a bet on fourth street before raising all in on fifth with Troy calling.
Lewis caught another on sixth followed by a on seventh while Troy found a and then a to see eliminate Lewis in 3rd place for a $85,284 payday.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:55 AM Local Time
Maxwell Troy brought it in with a king up, and Melville Lewis completed showing a six. Troy defended.
On fourth street, Lewis bet his board, and Troy raised with his . Lewis mucked immediately.
Troy - 1.4 million
Lewis - 450,000
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:50 AM Local Time
"I don't think we've made it past fifth street since then," Frank Kassela said, talking about the elimination of Vladimir Shchemelev.
He's right. We don't remember a pot going past fifth in the last half hour. Not even one. There's just not much going on right now, and most of these three-handed pots are ending before fourth street, for that matter.
We're finding ways to kill time now, including ordering copious amounts of coffee from the cocktail server and writing senseless haikus:
When you're playing razz
You want to make the worst hand
Oh my god, Shaun Deeb
There's a hand developing now... so we'll quit. Plus Kassela is taking over the stand-up comedy: "I wonder how much I finished with," he said, still talking about the other tournament he's in. "That's the tighest I've ever played a H.O.R.S.E. tournament."
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:50 AM Local Time
The mood has lightened considerably since we moved over here to the main arena, and everyone's here having a good time.
There is a group of about a dozen spectators meandering around the table, and nobody seems to mind them just sort of milling about on and off the stage. Shaun Deeb is here serving as a go-between cocktail server for the players, occasionally setting a bottle of water or a Red Bull down on the side tables. He's also holding a scrolling marquis that says, at the moment, "This needs to be on PokerNews". The last message said, "What about Bob?" in honor of emcee and floorman Bob Smith.
The mood is good, and the spirits light, but things are getting a little boring in here. The players just asked to change the game for a little while. "How about a round of PLO?" Frank Kassela suggested. "Shake it up a bit."
Right now, the conversation has switched to the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament which all three of our finalists are also registered in. That event is bagging up for the night on the other side of the room, and our three players are extremely curious to know how many chips they've been whittled down to while they sit over here playing for a bracelet.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:38 AM Local Time
With the power being knocked out here at the Rio and also on most of The Strip in Las Vegas, there's been some technical difficulties we're experiencing now so we please ask that you bear with us on this one. The video page isn't loading any of the videos properly and just displaying a blank screen. Hopefully the issue can get resolved shortly, so please sit tight as we're working on fixing the videos.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:22 AM Local Time
Frank Kassela completed for 50,000 only to have Vladimir Shchemelev make it 100,000 to go. Kassela put in the third-bet and Shchemelev committed his last 35,000 as both player's boards ran out as follows:
Kassela: / /
Shchemelev: / /
With Shchemelev making quad eights against Kassela's nine-seven, he hit the rail in 4th place for a $61,795 payday as Kassela climbs to 720,000 in chips.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:13 AM Local Time
Melville Lewis was the bring-in with the , and Vladimir Shchemelev raised with a . Frank Kassela made it two bets showing a , and Lewis made the call. Shchemelev raised again, Kassela called all in for 150,000 total, and Lewis called the third bet to proceed to fourth street.
Lewis: (X)(X)/ --muck--
Shchemelev: (X)(X)/ /(X)
Kassela: (X)(X)/ /(X)
Shchemelev fired on fourth street, and Lewis called, but he would fold to one more bet on fifth. Kassela was at risk, and the cards were turned up. Shchemelev had buried, and he pulled an on seventh street to make his ninety-eight. Kassela started with , and he still needed to catch a card to stay alive. His last card was a friendly , and he wins the main pot with a ninety-seven. That triples him up to 450,000, knocking Shchemelev down to 400,000 on the dot.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:02 AM Local Time
Our tournament has been moved over to the main featured table, and everything appears to be returning to normal. The lights are flicking back on one at a time, and our internet is blinking green lights at us again.
The players have returned from their scheduled break, and we're now back in action with Level 27 just about to begin.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:50 AM Local Time
There's been a power outage in the Amazon Room and at the Rio. Internet is out, tournament clocks are out, and emergency generators are providing limited lighting. The tournament is playing on and we'll be back as soon as possible.