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2012 43rd Annual World Series of Poker

Friday, June 22, 2012 to Sunday, June 24, 2012

Event #42: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better

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  • Buy-in: $2,500
  • Prizepool: $894,075
  • Entries: 393
  • Remaining: 0


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Monday, June 25, 2012 1:55 AM Local Time

Bracelet Winner Oleksii Kovalchuk and supporters

Day 3 of Event 42: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better began with 22 players in search of a WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $228,014. In the end, only one player could be crowned champion, and his name is Oleksii Kovalchuk.

Jeff Lisandro, who won the 2009 WSOP Player of the Year award, entered the day as the chip leader, and was in search of his sixth career bracelet. He remained among the leaders through Level 20, and by that point, we had already lost Charles Kassin, Anthony Bellino, Allen Bari, Daniel Harmetz, and Dale Phillips. When we entered Level 21, Norman Chad shot up the charts, and took the chip lead. Chad scooped a massive Omaha-8 pot from Tom Schneider, where he made the nut-flush and the nut-low, and Schneider bowed out soon after.

Following Schneider out the door were Bryan Devonshire, Perry Friedman, and then the five-time bracelet winner himself, Lisandro. Lisandro lost a handful of small pots, and then was done in by Mark Gregorich in a hand of Omaha-8. The two got it in on a board of     , and Lisandro was at risk with     . Gregorich had a massive draw with     , and was freerolling for the scoop. The river was the  , giving Gregorich the nut-flush, and eliminating Lisandro from the tournament.

We then moved to the stage in the Pavilion Room, and formed an unofficial final table. Brandon Guss was severly short stacked, and quickly exited.

Here's how the final table looked:

1Oleksii Kovalchuk335,000
2George Danzer517,000
3Wing Wong184,000
4Daniel Ratigan150,000
5Tim Burt152,000
6Mark Gregorich677,000
7Yuval Bronshtein340,000
8Norman Chad590,000

Danzer scooped two huge Stud-8 pots to rocket into the chip lead, and Chad's stack began slipping. It was Tim Burt who busted first at the official final table though, when Danny Ratigan had a seventy-six low and three hearts in Stud-8. Sixth and seventh street both brought hearts for Ratigan, giving him a flush and eliminating Burt in eighth place. Wing Wong followed him out the door next, busting in an Omaha-8 hand against Danzer.

The remaining six players then went on a dinner break, and when we returned, Chad was the next to go. He was unable to get anything going at the final table, and slid down the counts until he was the shortest stack at the table. He became so desperate, that at one point he tried to use a fortune cookie to help with his decision-making. On his final hand, Chad not only committed the rest of his chips, he reached for his wallet and tossed both his Visa credit card and his AAA card onto the felt. It's a good thing they really weren't at risk, because Gregorich busted him in sixth place.

Yuval Bronshtein was relegated to the short stack when Chad busted. He tried to make a comeback, doubling through Kovalchuk in a hand of Stud-8 right after Chad was eliminated, but he couldn't string together multiple pots. Bronshtein committed the remainder of his chips with a pair of queens in Stud-8, and Ratigan had him at risk with a monster draw. Ratigan made a straight and a low on sixth street, and held as Bronshtein bricked on seventh, eliminating him in fifth place.

Kovalchuk began climbing the charts four-handed, and crossed the million-chip mark after a big Stud-8 pot against Ratigan. He then eliminated Ratigan a few hands later with the wheel, sending Ratigan home in fourth place. Danzer and Kovalchuk began wrestling the lead back and forth three-handed, while Gregorich began to slide. Eventually, Gregorich was quartered by Kovalchuk, and then eliminated.

When heads-up play began, Kovalchuk captained an almost 2:1 chip lead. Danzer quickly evened the match however, and the two began passing the lead back and forth once again. Eventually, Danzer gained a 2:1 advantage for himself, but Kovalchuk came roaring back, winning three of four Omaha-8 pots at the end of Level 27. Kovalchuk never looked back, and on the final hand, the two were all in preflop in Omaha-8.

Kovalchuk's      was a slight favorite over Danzer's     , and the     flop kept him in the lead. The   on the turn left Danzer with just four outs to a straight, and the   bricked on the river. Kovalchuk's supporters mobbed him when it was all over, grabbing him, and tossing him into the air several times.

The 22-year old Ukranian native is now a two-time bracelet winner – he won the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed event last year, earning him $689,739. Congratulations to Kovalchuk on winning number two, and thank you for joining us during these last three days of grueling poker. Be sure to stay tuned to for all of your up-to-the-minute updates from the 2012 WSOP.

Thank you, and goodnight from Las Vegas!

Monday, June 25, 2012 1:40 AM Local Time

George Danzer - 2nd place


Danzer battled through the last Stud-8 round gamely, grabbing a few chips back from Okeksii Kovalchuk. But when the game changed back to Omaha-8, two hands swiftly spelled the end of Danzer's Event 42 run.

The first began with a Kovalchuk raise, Danzer three-betting, and Kovalchuk calling. The flop came    . Danzer bet, Kovalchuk raised, and Danzer called. Danzer then check-called both the   turn and   river. Kovalchuk turned over      for nines full of tens, and Danzer mucked, his stack depleted to about 230,000.

Soon after Danzer was raising from the button, Kovalchuk reraising, Danzer putting in four bets, Kovalchuk reraising again, and the German calling with what he had left. The pair both rose from their seats as they turned over their hands.


The flop came    , giving Kovalchuk nines, then the   turn brought him a second pair. Kovalchuk's many supporters were now all standing as well, the noise starting to build in anticipation. No low was possible, and only a ten could snatch the hand away from Kovalchuk to give Danzer a gutshot.

The dealer then burned and turned over the river — the  ! The crowd erupted... Kovalchuk had won!

The Ukranian was instantly surrounded by two dozen supporters who soon were lifting him off the ground and tossing him into the air here on the Pavilion stage while Danzer left having come one step shy of the gold.

Monday, June 25, 2012 1:28 AM Local Time
Oleksii Kovalchuk2,200,000-300,000
George Danzer740,000300,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 1:23 AM Local Time


George Danzer raised, Oleksii Kovalchuk called, and the flop came    . Kovalchuk checked, Danzer bet, and Kovalchuk called. The turn was the  . Kovalchuk checked again, and when Danzer bet this time Kovalchuk raised, with the German making the call.

The river was the  . Kovalchuk bet, Danzer called, and Kovalchuk showed his      — the nut low and nines and fours — and after lingering a moment Danzer mucked his hand.

Oleksii Kovalchuk2,500,000700,000
George Danzer440,000-700,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 1:10 AM Local Time

Oleksii Kovalchuk


George Danzer had won a couple of pots to push back in front, then came a hand in which Oleksii Kovalchuk raised from the button, Danzer called, and the flop came    . Danzer checked, Kovalchuk bet, Danzer raised, and Kovalchuk called. The turn was the  , and once more Danzer check-raised Kovalchuk, with the Ukrainian calling again.

The river brought the   and a bet from Kovalchuk, and with a bit of a wary look Danzer called. Kovalchuk quickly turned over     , separating out those two diamonds to show he'd made the nut flush, and Danzer folded.

Oleksii Kovalchuk1,800,000283,000
George Danzer1,140,000-290,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:57 AM Local Time
Level: 28
Blinds: 0/0
Ante: 0
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:55 AM Local Time


  • George Danzer had the button, and raised. Oleksii Kovalchuk made it three bets, and Danzer called. The flop was    , and Kovalchuk led out. Danzer called. Both players checked when the   turned, and the   completed the board. Kovalchuk check-called a bet, and Danzer showed two nines. Kovalchuk tabled     , and won the pot.

  • Kovalchuk had the button and raised. Danzer called, and the flop came    . Danzer check-called a bet, and the turn was the  . Danzer check-called another bet, and the river brought the  . Danzer check-folded this time, and Kovalchuk raked in the pot.

  • A few hands later, Kovalchuk had the button and raised again. Danzer defended, and the dealer fanned    . Danzer check-called a bet. The turn was a third six - the   - and Danzer check-called another bet. The   completed the board, and Danzer check-called one last bet. Kovalchuk tabled      for sixes full of queens, and Danzer released.
Oleksii Kovalchuk1,517,000592,000
George Danzer1,430,000-592,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:46 AM Local Time

Oleksii Kovalchuk and George Danzer battle for the Event 42 bracelet


It appeared at first that once they switched back to Omaha-8, the momentum was going to switch back to Oleksii Kovalchuk, as the Ukrainian grabbed the first three hands — all relatively small pots. But then came a big one that resulted in George Danzer extending his advantage.

The hand began with Kovalchuk raising from the button, Danzer three-betting, and Kovalchuk calling. The flop came    . Danzer bet, and Kovalchuk called. The turn was the  , and Danzer fired again. Kovalchuk responded with a raise this time, and Danzer shot right back with a three-bet which Kovalchuk called.

The river was the  . Danzer bet one more time, and when Kovalchuk called, Danzer quickly tabled his      — the nut flush and a 7-low. Kovalchuk looked back and forth between his hand and Danzer's for a few moments, then mucked.

George Danzer2,022,000355,000
Oleksii Kovalchuk925,000-355,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:37 AM Local Time


Oleksii Kovalchuk   /      /  
George Danzer   /      /  

Kovalchuk brought it in, Danzer completed, and Kovalchuk raised. Danzer called. Danzer check-called bets on fourth and fifth street, and on sixth, he led out. Kovalchuk was very baffled by this, and gave Danzer an unpleasant look before calling.

On seventh, Danzer led again, and Kovalchuk called. Danzer tabled     for aces up, and Kovalchuk mucked.

George Danzer1,667,000217,000
Oleksii Kovalchuk1,280,000-220,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:30 AM Local Time


George Danzer has picked up the first three hands of heads-up play, essentially evening things up with Oleksii Kovalchuk.

In the first, Kovalchuk raised and Danzer called, then the pair both checked the     flop and   turn. Danzer fired a bet after the  , and Kovalchuk folded.

In the second, Danzer raised and Kovalchuk called, and the flop came    . Kovalchuk checked, Danzer bet, and Kovalchuk called. The turn was the  . Kovalchuk bet this time, Danzer raised, and Kovalchuk called. The river then brought the   and a check from Kovalchuk. Danzer fired again, and Kovalchuk folded.

The third hand went much like the first, with a Kovalchuk raise and Danzer preflop, then checking through the     flop and   turn. Danzer then bet the   river, and Kovalchuk folded.

Oleksii Kovalchuk1,500,000-397,000
George Danzer1,450,000400,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:13 AM Local Time

The players are on a short break. Here are the counts heading into heads-up play:

Oleksii Kovalchuk1,897,000947,000
George Danzer1,050,000-470,000
Monday, June 25, 2012 12:12 AM Local Time

Mark Gregorich - 3rd Place


George Danzer had the button, and raised. Mark Gregorich called from the small blind, and Oleksii Kovalchuk made it three bets from the big. Both players called. The flop came    , and Gregorich led out. Kovalchuk raised, Danzer folded, and Gregorich moved all in for less than three bets. Kovalchuk called.


The turn ( ) and river ( ) were both bricks, and Kovalchuk scooped the pot, eliminating Gregorich in third place.

Mark Gregorich0-325,000
Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:59 PM Local Time

George Danzer takes the chip lead.


Oleksii Kovalchuk raised on the button, George Danzer three-bet, and Kovalchuk four-bet. Danzer called. The flop was    , and Danzer check-called a bet. The turn was the  , and Danzer checked again. Kovalchuk bet, and Danzer check-raised. Kovalchuk called.

The river was the  , and Danzer led out. Kovalchuk thought for a second, then raised.

"Call," Danzer said immediately.

Kovalchuk mucked his hand in disgust, and Danzer showed      for kings and tens.

The very next hand, Danzer had the button and raised. Kovalchuk defended, and the flop came    . Kovalchuk check-raised Danzer, who called. The turn was the  , and Kovalchuk led out. Danzer called.

The river was the  , and Kovalchuk slowed down, checking the Danzer who bet. Kovalchuk folded, and Danzer scooped the pot.

George Danzer1,520,000615,000
Oleksii Kovalchuk950,000-665,000
Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:52 PM Local Time

Oleksii Kovalchuk


Mark Gregorich raised from the small blind, Oleksii Kovalchuk reraised from the big blind, and Gregorich called. The flop came    . Gregorich checked, Kovalchuk bet, Gregorich raised, and Kovalchuk called. The turn was the  , Gregorich bet, and Kovalchuk called. The river was the  , and again Gregorich bet and Kovalchuk called.

"Ace-deuce," said Gregorich, tabling     . Kovalchuk also had the nut low with     , plus two pair for the high as well. Gregorich had been quartered, and Kovalchuk increased his lead.

A small rail of supporters cheered in support of the Ukrainian, with 2011 WSOP Main Event November Niner Anton Makiievskyi among them.

Oleksii Kovalchuk1,615,000160,000
Mark Gregorich325,000-262,000
Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:43 PM Local Time
Level: 27
Blinds: 0/0
Ante: 0
Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:27 PM Local Time
Oleksii Kovalchuk1,455,000290,000
George Danzer905,00060,000
Mark Gregorich587,000-308,000
Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:17 PM Local Time

The players are now on a 20-minute break, and the tournament staff is coloring up the yellow T1,000 chips.

Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:17 PM Local Time


Oleksii Kovalchuk   /      /  
Mark Gregorich   /      /  

Gregorich brought it in, Kovalchuk completed, and Gregorich called. Gregorich check-called a bet on fourth street, both players checked on fifth, and Kovalchuk led out on sixth when he paired his jack. Gregorich called.

Kovalchuk checked on seventh, and Gregorich looked at his downcard.

"You're good," he announced, folding his hand.

Kovalchuk showed    , and scooped with a pair of jacks.

Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:06 PM Local Time


Oleksii Kovalchuk raised from the small blind, George Danzer three-bet from the big blind, and Kovalchuk leaned over to see how much Danzer had left before making it four bets to go. Danzer called, and the pair watched the flop come    . Kovalchuk bet, Danzer raised, and Kovalchuk called.

The turn was the  , and Kovalchuk checked this time, calling when Danzer bet. The river brought the   and another check from Kovalchuk. Danzer fired once more, and Kovalchuk took over a minute before finally calling.


Two pair for Danzer (kings and sixes) for the high, put together with the nut low (6-4-3-2-A), meant a scoop for the German.

Oleksii Kovalchuk1,165,000-357,000
George Danzer845,000315,000
Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:00 PM Local Time

Daniel Ratigan


Oleksii Kovalchuk:    /      /  
Danny Ratigan:    /      /  

Kovalchuk brought it in, Ratigan completed, and Kovalchuk called. Ratigan check-called a bet on fourth street, and when Kovalchuk made a better board on fifth, he led out. Ratigan tanked for quite some time before he raised, committing all but 1,000 chips. Kovalchuk re-raised, putting Ratigan all in. He called.


Kovalchuk was dealt the   on sixth street, giving him the wheel, and ending the hand. Ratigan's last two cards - the   and   - were meaningless, and he was eliminated in fourth place.

Oleksii Kovalchuk1,522,000372,000
Mark Gregorich895,000-305,000
George Danzer530,000105,000
Danny Ratigan0-160,000