WSOP Mid-Day: Baldwin and Baker Contend for Bracelets
The World Series of Poker has hit its full stride, with six different events in play on Tuesday. There are two bracelets to be won at strong-looking final tables, in the first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event and the $2,500 Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw. Day 2 of the $3,000 Six-handed No Limit Hold’em is mowing down players at a frenetic pace, while the $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event slowly moves ahead.
Two new events started today as well, with the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout kicking off the day at noon and the second strictly Pot Limit Omaha event just getting underway.
- $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
In what has become a fairly common occurrence thus far in the 2012 WSOP, the $1,000 price tag and massive field size did little to dilute the level of talent that made the final table. Eric Baldwin, Dan Smith, John Esposito, Josh “JJProdigy” Field, and Jamie “pokerjamers” Armstrong each made the unofficial final table of ten. This was Smith’s second deep run in a big No Limit Hold’em field this year, but he once again missed out on the official final table, going out in tenth. Smith would have been in contention to challenge Jonathan Duhamel’s BLUFF Player of the Year lead with a better result, but he did not get enough points with this cash to do so and thus remains in second.
Field is known to have had a checkered past in online poker, getting in trouble for multi-accounting and playing while underaged. While he is trying to put those mistakes behind him and make a go at being a live pro, this final table would not be his breakthrough performance, as he finished in ninth place.
There are currently five players left in this event, with Armstrong leading but Noah Vaillancourt close behind. Esposito, Baldwin, and Michael Gathy are each a ways back but still in contention for this bracelet.
Here are approximate chip counts for the final five players in this event.
- Jamie Armstrong – 3,050,000
- Noah Vaillancourt – 2,850,000
- Eric Baldwin – 1,100,000
- John Esposito – 1,100,000
- Michael Gathy – 175,000
- $2,500 Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw
One of the more pro-heavy fields of the Summer had just nine players come back for Day 3 to contend for this bracelet. Josh Arieh had a rough end to his evening on Day 2 and was left short-stacked going into Day 3; he could not recover and exited in ninth. Layne Flack is the owner of six career WSOP bracelets, but he wouldn’t add his first Triple Draw bracelet and went out in eighth.
Von Altizer is the latest woman to make a run at ending the female bracelet-less streak, but she bubbled the official final table of this tournament, eliminated in seventh place. Shawn Buchanan has been very close to a bracelet on numerous occasions, and he carries the the torch in the eyes of many as the best player never to win a bracelet, especially after Andy Bloch finally won his first this year. Buchanan would not be able to close in this tournament either, making the official final table of six but unable to go any farther.
Farzad Bonyadi went out in fourth place just before this article went to post, leaving just three players. Randy Ohel holds more than half the chips in play, with Benjamin Lazer in second and David “ODB” Baker trying to overcome the massive deficit. Here are the approximate chip counts for the final three.
- Randy Ohel – 940,000
- Benjamin Lazer – 570,000
- David Baker – 220,000
- $3,000 Six-handed No Limit Hold’em
Just 140 of the 924 players to enter this event survived Day 1, meaning it would be a short path to bursting the money bubble of 108 on Day 2. It happened just after 2 pm PT, about an hour into play on Tuesday, and the eliminations have yet to slow down since. Tristan Wade and David “Doc” Sands were among the small group who couldn’t quite make it into the money and exited empty-handed. Players who have busted in the money so far today include Jason Mercier, Kyle Bowker, David Benyamine, Dan O’Brien, Kevin Saul, and William Reynolds.
Gavin Smith is among the big stacks in the room, and he’s just one of many familiar faces filling out the rest of the remaining field. Others still in contention include Freddy Deeb, Bertrand Grospellier, Daniel Alaei, Steve Gross, Todd Terry, Jason Senti, Ryan Fair, Eugene Katchalov, Andrew Lichtenberger, Liv Boeree, and Galen Hall, amongst others. There are approximately 50 players remaining, with the field playing down as close to the final table of six as possible in the time allotted.
- $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo
Despite the elevated limits in the first six levels this year in the $5,000 events, the majority of the field came back on Day 2. 184 of the 256 who started on Day 1 may have bagged chips, but there’s been a steady flow of players hitting the rail throughout. Annie Duke, Allen Bari, John Racener, Tom Schneider, Erick Lindgren, Scott Clements, and Jason Mercier have each gone out in the early stages of Day 2, with roughly 120 players currently remaining.
It’s going to be a long night, and the money bubble may even be out of reach. Just 27 players are going to make it into the money, meaning there’s a ton of play to be had before anyone makes any money.
Vanessa Selbst, Shannon Shorr, Justin Smith, Vitaly Lunkin, and David Bach are just a few of the players cruising through the field so far on Day 2. Elie Doft holds quite a few of the chips and appears to be the current chipleader at this early stage. Players will go on dinner break at approximately 8:40 pm PT.
- $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout
Certain events at the 2012 WSOP have been down compared to last year, but none have had as precipitous a drop as the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout. There were 538 entries in 2011, but when registration closed Tuesday afternoon there were only 366 registered for this year’s running of the tournament. That represents a 32% drop year to year.
The defending champion is Justin Pechie, who won $167,060 in 2011 along with his first career WSOP bracelet. He won’t be repeating his performance This year will see 50 players making the money, with each player required to win their first table to earn at least a min-cash, which is worth $3,088. Round 2 will be played out as ten five-handed tables, and by winning your second table you guarantee yourself $7,164. The top prize is $116,118 and, of course, the bracelet.
Pechie won’t be repeating in this event, as he went out early in the day, and there won’t be repeat of several nights ago as Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth have each busted as well. Other early casualties included Daniel Negreanu, Almost all of the tables are still in play, but several players have already advanced to Round 2, including Justin Bonomo, Jesse Yaginuma, and Jim Geary are each in the money and still in the mix for the bracelet. Matt Matros, JJ Liu, Todd Witteles, and Viktor Blom are each still fighting to move on, as is Terrence Chan, who looks to lock up his seventh cash of the 2012 WSOP already by winning his table.
Round 2 of this event will be played out on Wednesday afternoon.
- $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha
The second Pot Limit Omaha event of the 2012 WSOP is underway, with the clock reading 504 players registered so far. Familiar faces already spotted in the field include defending champion Sam Stein, Erick Lindgren, Jeff Madsen, Matt Stout, Randal Flowers, and Scott Clements. The volatile nature of the game would seem to favor a lot of early bust-outs, but there has yet to be many players sent to the rail as of yet on Day 1.
Stein won $420,802 and his first career WSOP bracelet in this event last year, defeating Ben Lamb heads-up to finish the job. While Stein got the better of that heads-up match, Lamb would start an unbelievable run after this finish and eventually clinch the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year award. 685 players entered last year, so it will be interesting to see how many more players late register and how close it gets to last year’s total. Registration is still open in this tournament until approximately 9:45 pm PT.
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