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2012 43rd Annual World Series of Poker

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 to Friday, June 01, 2012

Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $1,500
  • Prizepool: $862,650
  • Entries: 639
  • Remaining: 0


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Friday, June 1, 2012 9:13 PM Local Time

Champion Nick Jivkov

Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em is in the books after nine hopefuls played down to a winner Friday night. It looked to be a relatively short day 3, that is, until heads up began. After two grueling levels of back-and-forth action, it was Nick Jivkov who would take home the coveted WSOP gold bracelet.

Day 1 began with a healthy field of 639 players. We had no shortage of poker pros in attendance, to be sure. Among those who showed up for day 1 included Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Little, Barry Greenstein, Shaun Deeb, Gavin Smith, Antonio Esfandiari, John Juanda, Nam Le and none other than Phil Ivey – who made his return to this year's WSOP after being absent for all of 2011's WSOP.

Of those players, only Negreanu, Le, Juanda and Esfandiari would survive into day 2. Esfandiari, who is commonly referred to as "The Magician," came in as chip leader and looked to make a deep run. Eliminations ran rampant and of the 71 players who started day 2, only 22 remained within the first six levels of play.

Esfandiari was unable to work his magic this time, as he busted in 44th place. Action slowed considerably as the final three tables fought their way to day 3, however, just nine would remain after Thom Werthmann busted in 10th place on the very last hand scheduled for play. Other notable eliminations on day 2 included Terrence Chan (38th), John Juanda (18th) and Nam Le (16th).

All eyes were on Negreanu going into day 3, who would come into the final table 6th in chips. Joining him were notable pros Tommy Vedes, Jonathan Aguiar and day 2 chip leader Bryan Pellegrino.

When the final table began, seven of the nine remaining players had under 20 big blinds, which made early all-ins inevitable. Even chip-leader Bryan Pellegrino, who began the day with 790,000, could be considered relatively short-stacked with 50 big blinds.

Keanu Tabali would be the first victim after finding himself all in with    preflop against the    of Pellegrino. Pellegrino paired up on the flop and would spike two-pair on the river to seal Tabali's fate and eliminate him in 9th place.

Next to go was John Eames, who found himself all-in preflop with    against the    of Nick Jivkov. It was a grim situation for Eames, who was nearly a 19-1 underdog going to the flop. No miracle occurred for Eames and he was eliminated in 8th place.

Busting out in 7th place was Brant Hale. Hale was unable to get any momentum going and he quickly found himself critically short-stacked. His fate was sealed when he opted to get all-in blind against Vedes. Hale's    would lose out to Vedes'    and he was sent to the rail.

Mike Allis was scrappy, to say the least. He was able to double through his opponent's several times before finally succumbing the Jivkov on a failed bluff. With a board reading    , Allis shoved all in over a bet from Jivkov with    and was snapped off by Jivkov's   . The turn and river were no help to Allis and he was eliminated in 6th place.

The man of hour, none other than PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu had to settle for a 5th place finish when his    could not hold up against Jivkov's    all in preflop. Jivkov would spike a straight on the river to eliminate Negreanu as the board ran out      .

Tommy Vedes met his end after getting all in on a     flop with    against Jivkov's   . Jivkov spiked a   on the river to seal Vedes' fate – knocking him out in 4th place.

When three-handed play began, Aguiar and Pellegrino would take turns taking chips from each other as Jivkov sat back and watched. Pellegrino would cripple Aguiar after his    held up against Aguiar's   . Shortly after, Jivkov delivered the finishing blow when his    won a race against Aguiar's   , eliminating Aguiar in 3rd place.

Jivkov enjoyed a near 3-1 chip lead going into heads-up play after steamrolling much of the final table, which included five eliminations on his own. However, Pellegrino would not go down without a fight. Pellegrino fought his way up to as much as 900k against Jivkov's 2 million after doubling through him early in level 26. In the end, however, Livkov would not be denied. Down to his last 300k, Pellegrino decided to make a stand with    by going all in preflop after Jivkov raised from the button. Jivkov's held    and it held up as the board ran out       – eliminating Pellegrino in 2nd place.

Congratulations to Nick Jivkov, who will take home his first WSOP bracelet and a cool $189,818 for his efforts.

Event #5 Final Table Payouts

1stNick Jivkov$189,818
2ndBryan Pellegrino$117,199
3rdJonathan Aguiar$76,189
4thTommy Vedes$55,960
5thDaniel Negreanu$41,683
6thMike Allis$31,452
7thBrant Hale$24,007
8thJohn Eames$18,529
9thKeanu Tabali$14,449
Friday, June 1, 2012 8:52 PM Local Time

Bryan Pellegrino-Your Runner Up

Bryan Pellegrino seemingly had nine lives in this heads up battle, but his luck has finally run out. Nick Jivkov raised pot, and Pellegrino went all in. Jivkov snap called him, and the cards were flipped up.


The flop brought a ton of paint, but it was still safe for Jivkov, coming    . Pellegrino could now grab a ten for a straight to win, and the jack would still do for him. The   on the turn didn't help, and we were down to the river one more time. There were no more miracles for Pellegrino, as the   hit the river.

Pellegrino fought valiantly to last as long as he did in heads up play, and he walks away with a well deserved payday of just under $120,000.

Nick Jivkov2,800,000300,000
Bryan Pellegrino0-275,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 8:44 PM Local Time

Bryan Pellegrino is almost down to the felt now.

Nick Jivkov2,500,000280,000
Bryan Pellegrino275,000-385,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 8:35 PM Local Time

Action began on Nick Livkov, who raised the pot to 180,000. Pellegrino mulled his decision over and decided to flat call, leaving himself just 300,000 behind.

The flop came     and Pellegrino announced he was all in.

Livkov fell deep into the tank. He checked an re-checked his hole cards several times and cut out a call, however, he would not commit them to the middle. After a few minutes, Pellegrino called for the clock and Jivkov was given one minute and ten seconds to make a decision. Livkov continued to tank and the announcer began a ten-second countdown. Livkov finally folded his hand as the tournament announcer reached a "one" count and the pot was shipped to Pellegrino - who now has 660,000.

Nick Jivkov2,220,000-230,000
Bryan Pellegrino660,000250,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 8:23 PM Local Time

Nick Jivkov raised it up to 120,000, and Bryan Pellegrino called. The flop came down    , and Pellegrino led out for 150,000. Jivkov went into the tank, going back and forth with the chips from his stack to the table and back, before ultimately putting out a raise to 300,000. Pellegrino snap folded, and Jivkov took down the pot.

Nick Jivkov2,450,000140,000
Bryan Pellegrino410,000-125,000
Gorilla Gaming
Friday, June 1, 2012 8:15 PM Local Time

Our two remaining combatants have returned to their seats and play has resumed. Lets crown us a champion!

Friday, June 1, 2012 8:14 PM Local Time
Level: 27
Blinds: 30000/60000
Ante: 0
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:53 PM Local Time

The players have decided to make their 60 minute dinner break a standard 20 minute break. We will be back shortly. Here are the updated counts.

Nick Jivkov2,310,000310,000
Bryan Pellegrino535,000-325,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:45 PM Local Time

Nick Jivkov completed from the button and Bryan Pellegrino checked his option.

Both players checked the     flop. When a   fell on the turn, Pellegrino led out for 75,000 and Jivkov called. The river brought the   and Pellegrino fired again - this time for 190,000. Jivkov called again and Pellegrino mucked. Jivkov revealed    for a turned set and scooped the pot.

Nick Jivkov2,250,000250,000
Bryan Pellegrino600,000-260,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:37 PM Local Time

Nick Jivkov

Up and down we go on the roller coaster that is this heads up battle. Pellegrino was back down to 400,000, but he has just secured anohter double up against Jivkov.

Action started with Jivkov raising to 100,000. Pelegrino thought for about 10 seconds before announcing pot, and Jivkov snap called and showed    assuming Pellegrino was all in. Problem was, the raise was only to 300,000, so Pellegrino actually had 100,000 behind. So as they went to the flop, Pellegrino knew what Jivkov was holding. The flop came down    , and Pellegrino checked to Jivkov, who tossed in the last 100,000. Pellegrino called, and was in great shape when the cards were flipped.


Pellegrino went from miles behind before the flop to miles ahead after, and he was in great shape to double up. The   on the turn gave Jivkov a straight draw, adding four more outs on top of the ace that he could catch. Neither one came on the river thought, as the dealer peeled off the  . Pellegrino is now back up to 860,000, and is somehow still fighting it out in this heads up.

Nick Jivkov2,000,000-350,000
Bryan Pellegrino860,000310,000
Gorilla Gaming
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:23 PM Local Time

Bryan Pellegrino has been down throughout the heads-up play - but don't count him out yet.

In a recent hand, Nick Jivkov completed from the button and Pellegrino checked his option to see a flop, which came    . Both players checked and the turn brought the  . Pellegrino bet 50,000 and Jivkov made the call.

When an   landed on the river, Pellegrino counted out a 150,000 bet and slid it into the middle. Jivkov thought it over and eventually called.

Pellegrino turned over    for a rivered straight and Jivkov mucked his hand.

Pellegrino is back up to 550,000.

Nick Jivkov2,350,000-150,000
Bryan Pellegrino550,000200,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:13 PM Local Time

Jivkov isn't letting his foot off the gas, and Bryan Pellegrino isn't getting the cards to fight back. Most of the pots have ended with folds preflop, and Pellegrino is back down to under 400,000.

Nick Jivkov2,500,000500,000
Bryan Pellegrino350,000-550,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:07 PM Local Time

So close....but no cigar for Nick Jivkov. That's all that can really be said at the moment, as Bryan Pellegrino just caught a miracle river to double through Jivkov. Jivkov called on the button, and Pellegrino made it 150,000 to go. Jivkov called, and the flop came down    . Pellegrino bet the rest of his chips, about 250,000, and Jivkov quickly made the call.


Jivkov was miles ahead with middle pair, as Pellegrino could only catch a five for a straight, or running pairs to double up. The turn came the  , giving Jivkov trips, though it didn't really change much, as Pellegrino still needed a five. Pellegrino leaned down to take a very close look at the bracelet on the table, likely thinking "this is as close as I'm getting to this". But.....

The river:  

Jivkov was stunned in his seat, while Pellegegrino let out a huge sigh of relief. Pellegrino doubled up to 900,000, but he still has a ways to go to make the comeback.

Nick Jivkov2,000,000-500,000
Bryan Pellegrino900,000440,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 7:01 PM Local Time

Since heads-up play began, there have not been too many large pots, but Nick Jivkov has been wearing Bryan Pellegrino down.

In a recent hand, Pellegrino raised to 80,000 from the button and was called by Jivkov in the big.

The flop came     and Jivkov check-called a 80,000 c-bet from Pellegrino.

The turn brought a   and Jivkov checked again, prompting a 200,000 bet from Pellegrino. Jivkov check-raised enough to put Pellegrino all in and Pellegrino quickly folded.

Pellegrino is down to his last 460,000.

Nick Jivkov2,500,000400,000
Bryan Pellegrino460,000-300,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 6:50 PM Local Time
Level: 26
Blinds: 25000/50000
Ante: 0
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Friday, June 1, 2012 6:49 PM Local Time
Nick Jivkov2,100,000200,000
Bryan Pellegrino760,000100,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 6:47 PM Local Time

Jonathan Aguiar-3rd Place

Jonathan Aguier was first to act, and he announced pot, which was most of his chips. Nick Jivkov was in the small blind, and he too announced a pot sized raise. Bryan Pellegrino quickly folded, and Aguiar committed the rest of his chips.


The flop was safe for Jivkov, coming down    . Jivkov wanted the hand to end, so he called for a nine, and sure enough, the dealer obliged, bringing the   on the turn. It couldn't have been better for Jivkov, as the river brought the  , but it was no good for Aguiar, who takes home over $76,000 for his efforts.

Jonathan Aguiar0-250,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 6:42 PM Local Time

Bryan Pellegrino and Jonathan Aguiar found themselves in yet another confrontation while chip leader Nick Jivkov sat back and watched.

Aguiar raised from the button and action folded to Pellegrino on the big blind, who announced a pot-sized raise to 275,000. Aguiar raised enough to put Pellegrino's remaining chips in the middle and Pellegrino called.


The board ran out       and Pellegrino doubled through Aguiar with a full house.

Bryan Pellegrino660,000460,000
Jonathan Aguiar250,000-545,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 6:30 PM Local Time

Bryan Pellegrino has been card dead ever since we restarted, folding nearly every hand, showing the occasional six three offsuit. He was down to his last 100,000 when he put it in the middle on the button. Jonathan Aguiar made the call in the small blind, and Nick Jivkov folded his big blind. The cards were flipped, and Aguiar was out in front.


The flop kept Aguiar out in front, coming down    . However, Pellegrino spiked the   on the turn to give him the lead. The river was the  , and Pellegrino doubled up to 200,000, which is still extremely short at the moment.

Jonathan Aguiar795,00045,000
Bryan Pellegrino200,000-50,000
Friday, June 1, 2012 6:25 PM Local Time

Nick Jivkov folded from the button and Bryan Pellegrino called from the small blind. Jonathan Aguiar checked his option and the two would see a flop.

Both players checked the     flop. When a   fell on the turn, Pellegrino checked, prompting a 45,000 bet from Aguiar. Pellegrino called.

The river came the   and Pellegrino checked a final time. Aguiar cut out a bet of 110,000 and placed it in middle. Pellegrino didn't take long to call and Aguiar turned up the    for two-pair. Pellegrino mucked without showing.

Pellegrino is down to his last 250,000. Aguiar is sitting on 750,000.

Jonathan Aguiar750,000110,000
Bryan Pellegrino250,000-190,000
Gorilla Gaming