Event 45 – $50,000 Poker Players Championship
After a long 5 day war the dust settled and Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi was victorious for the second time in 3 years at this event. It is the 3rd bracelet for Mizrachi and with the win moves him into 4th place on the all time money list at the WSOP. The Poker Players Championship is a test to every player’s all around poker skills. There were 108 players this year all wanting to get that elusive bracelet and Chip Reese memorial trophy. The tournament features a rotating game of several poker variants including: limit hold ‘em, Omaha hi/low, razz, 7-card stud, 7-card stud hi/low, no-limit hold ‘em, pot-limit Omaha and 2-7 triple draw lowball.
Mizrachi started the final table off with a flurry of knockouts when he eliminated two players in a row during the NL hold ‘em round. He wasn’t done from there as he got the next player too. Stephen Chidwick lost during the Pot-limit Omaha round. By the time it got to heads up, Mizrachi held nearly a 2.5 to 1 chip lead on Chris Klodnicki. Mizrachi stayed aggressive the entire match and eliminated Klodnicki in the Omaha hi/low round when his Q-J-8-9 made a straight, securing the win. Mizrachi took home $1.4 million in prize money.
Event 46 – $2,500 No-Limit Hold ‘em
There were 1,607 players at the beginning of this one and after 3 days, only 1 was able to keep all their dreams and aspirations in check. That was Joey Weissman. When many play in the WSOP it can be overwhelming and easy to lose concentration. Weissman was able to keep all of that in order and claim his first WSOP gold bracelet. On the final day of play 26 players were reduced to the final table in little over 2 levels. The final table consisted mostly of Weissman playing just about every hand and double ups from every player. Weissman basically got the better of everyone and was dominant until heads up play began when he relinquished the chip lead at one point to Jeremy Quehen. However, Weissman would regain the lead and the grab the title when his A-Q of hearts made the nut flush on the river. He always managed to get his opponents all-in while holding the best hand. Something very hard to do in poker. Weissman also took home $694,609 in prize money.
Event 47 – $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Low Split 8-or better
Hi/low tournaments are a hybrid between hi poker and low poker. Sometimes you will find hi poker players mixed in with low poker players. However, 100% of the time the winner is one that understands how to play both. In Event 47, it was Steven Loube. He navigated his way through 978 players to take home the title. This was his first event he ever entered and it proved to be a good investment. The attorney from Atlanta, GA played through the fast and furious final table to win his first bracelet. When heads up play began Loube held a 3 to 1 chip lead over Tim Finne and it only took two hands to seal the victory. Loube made a flush on the river and there was no low hand, sending Finne home in 2nd. Loube, who’s biggest win before this was a $50 gift card, took home $267,345 in prize money.
Event 48 – $3,000 Limit Hold ‘em
There were only 247 players in a Hold ‘em event? What the hell? Oh, it was a Limit Hold ‘em tournament. No one likes limit hold ‘em. That is except for Kenny Hsiung. He remained patient all tournament long, which is key to winning poker, but especially true in limit hold ‘em as many premium hands you find in the no limit version are not quite as strong in limit. The 2010 World Champion, Jonathan Duhamel, played well but fell short of the final table, bowing out in 17th. Hsiung cruised to the final table and pulled away from everyone, taking a gigantic chip lead into heads up against Robert Hwang. Hwang wouldn’t go away easily as he battled Hsiung for two hours before finally succumbing. In the final hand Hsiung held K-9 against the 6-5 of Hwang. It held and Hsiung took home the coveted bracelet and over $165,200 in prize money.
Event 49 – 1,500 Ante-Only No-Limit Hold ‘em
This was the first time in WSOP history that an ante-only tournament would be held. It was just like any other standard hold ‘em tournament with one exception. There were no blinds. From the beginning to the end every player would be in the pot with an ante. Many poker analysts thought it might be a slower pace, but it was just the opposite. The field of 939 players was down to 110 in a little over just 10 levels. When the final table was reached it was Greg Hobson who would win the first ever event of its kind. Hobson and Mike Sowers started nearly dead even in chips going into heads up. Shortly after their dinner break Sowers went all in with A-7 and was immediately called by Hobson with pocket 7′s. The 7′s held and it was all over, giving Hobson the title and the $256,691 in prize money. It was an exciting new format hopefully to continue for years to come.
Plenty more to come at the 2012 WSOP.
Mike “Daggum” Krisle – Beat Writer – AGP