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2012 World Series of Poker Day 37: Esfandiari Leads One Drop, Trickett Close Behind

Posted at 06:00 2012-07-04 by Shari Geller

Monday was another action-packed day at the World Series of Poker. No bracelets were awarded, but three tournaments came very close. In Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, players got all the way to heads-up play before they stopped for the night. Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em played from 265 players all the way down to 15, near the top of the pack is David "Bakes" Baker who won a bracelet earlier this year. Event #55: $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop is down to its final table. Finally, Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em began Monday with 2,798 players, and by the end of the night, only eight more need to fall to break the money bubble.

Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Twenty-eight players returned for Day 3 of Event #53 and planned to play down to a winner, but at the end of the day, the final two players decided to bag it up and return for a fourth day of play on Wednesday. Eyes were on Victoria Coren and Lee Childs as the final table loomed, but they were eliminated in 17th and 16th, respectively.

Coren fell to a cooler hand after she flopped top pair, top kicker against bottom set. Action folded around to the hijack where Coren opened the pot to 45,000. Randy Ashe called from the cutoff and one other player called from the small blind. The flop fell {8-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{k-Spades} where it checked to Coren, who bet 150,000. Ashe then decided to bump it up to 300,000, the small blind folded and Coren responded by saying, “Wow. I guess I'm all-in.” Ashe quickly called and Coren showed {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts}, but Ashe showed {8-Spades}{8-Hearts} for a flopped set. The turn was the {3-Clubs}, which left Coren drawing dead, and the river was the meaningless {Q-Diamonds}. She hit the rail in 17th and collected $26,414 for her finish.

Childs fell shortly after that when he got his money in preflop with {5-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} against an opponents {A-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}. The flop came down {8-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{k-Spades} and Childs never caught up. He hit the rail in 16th and also collected $26,414 for his efforts.

From there, action moved quickly to the final table where Sylvain Gonon was the final table bubble boy. Ryan Hughes opened the pot to 65,000 preflop and received four callers. The flop was {8-Clubs}{5-Spades}{k-Spades}, which was checked to Gonon who bet 175,000. Neil Willerson was the only caller. The turn was the {6-Hearts} which Gonon bet for 500,000. Willerson called yet again. The river was the {9-Spades} and Gonon finally slowed down with a check. Willerson quickly moved all-in; Gonon called even more quickly Willerson showed {A-Spades}{7-Spades} for the nuts, and Gonon frustratedly turned over {8-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} for a flopped set. Gonon was the final table bubble boy but still collected $42,656 for his finish.

From there, action slowed until Ryan Hughes was eliminated in ninth place when his {a-Hearts}{j-Spades} flopped two pair, but Vladimir Mefodichev turned the nut straight with {A-Diamonds}{K-Spades}. Next to go, Randy Ashe, whose top pair couldn't beat bottom set, a situation he found himself in earlier when he eliminated Coren. And in seventh place, Bryan Piccoli, whose {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds} couldn't outrun {A-Clubs}{k-Spades}, was eliminated shortly when he ran into pocket kings.

After the dinner break, Hai Chu was eliminated in sixth when he opened shoved {K-Spades}{8-Spades} into {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}. Next to go was Matthew Graham, when he got his money in nearly drawing dead with an over pair against Vladimir Mefodichev's flopped flush. Zachary Humphrey was eliminated in fourth, and last out the door on Monday was Hugh Henderson. He was eliminated in third place for $322,866, and Neil Willerson and Vladimir Mefodichev moved on to heads-up play.

After the 10th level of play ended, the two players bagged up their chips and will return Tuesday to finish off their heads-up match. Willerson is currently in the lead with 8,920,000 to Mefodichev's 5,335,000. Action will resume at 1400 PDT (2200 BST) on Tuesday when the two will finally determine a bracelet winner, as well as who will take home the $737,248 first prize.

To make sure you don't miss who walks away as a champion, make sure you check out the live reporting blog for all the updates.

Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 2 began with 265 players, most of whom dropped like flies until only 15 remained at the end of the day. The bubble burst Sunday night, so players no longer feared leaving without a cash. Huck Seed and Tom McCormick were both quickly eliminated at the start of the day. Others to hit the rail on Day 2 included Dutch Boyd, Alexander Kravchenko and Ray Foley. Meanwhile, David “Bakes” Baker was building a huge stack.

Also eliminated on Day 2 was two-time World Series of Poker final tablist John Eames who looked as if he would make a third final table. His hopes were crushed, however, when he was eliminated in 18th place. On his final hand, Eames raised to 140,000 preflop, leaving only a few chips behind. He was called by Ken Fishman and it was off to the flop. The flop fell {Q-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} and Eames put his last few chips into the middle of the pot. Fishmann called holding {7-Clubs}{7-Spades}, and Eames was well behind with the {A-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}. The board completed with the {4-Spades} and the {8-Clubs} eliminating Eames, who collected $17,915 for his efforts.

David Baker looked as if he would run away with the tournament, but on one of the last hands of the night, he ran into a massive cooler against Will Jaffe. With the board reading {Q-Spades}{3-Clubs}{5-Spades}{j-Clubs}, Jaffe bet out 33,000. Baker made it 83,000 and Jaffe called to see the river. The river was the {7-Diamonds} and on that card, Baker bet 156,000. Jaffe responded with a min-raise to 365,000, which Baker called. Jaffe showed {J-}{J-} for a set of jacks, and Baker turned up {Q-}{J-} for top two pair. Fortunately, Baker was able to bounce back and finished the day with 574,000 in chips.

The final 15 players will return Tuesday at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) and all the players will be aiming to get their hands on the gold bracelet and first-place prize money. Leading the way at the end of Day 2 was Will Jaffe who bagged up 1,947,000 chips.

To make sure you don't miss any of the action, check back into the live reporting blog tomorrow where we will bring you the winner of the tournament and all the eliminations from the final table.

Event #55: $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop

It was a big day in the Big One for One Drop as 37 players were reduced to just eight, and so much happened in such a short time. The day started off quickly with the elimination of Chamath Palihapitiya.

Soon after, a massive hand developed between Tom Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, and Mikhail Smirnov. The three managed to get all of the chips in preflop with Dwan holding {A-Spades}{A-Diamonds}, Negreanu holding {A-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} and Smirnov holding {9-Spades}{9-Clubs}. It looked really good for Dwan preflop, but that all changed when the {9-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} flop fell. Then, Negreanu got excited as the {8-Hearts} on the turn gave him a massive draw to triple up. Unfortunately, for Negreanu and Dwan, Smirnov managed to make quads on the river when the {9-Diamonds} fell, and he eliminated both players.

Phil Galfond was the next player eliminated, and he was followed out the door by Noah Schwartz, Tobais Reinkemeier, Paul Ruffin, and Gus Hansen. Phil Ivey was also among the group to fall Monday when his {Q-Hearts}{Q-Clubs} were cracked by Phillipp Gruissem's {A-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}. Ivey made a straight on the turn, and it looked good for a double up, but a runner-runner flush sent him to the rail in 26th place. Falling after Ivey was Dan Shak, Rick Salomon, and Ben Lamb.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Antonio Esfandiari and Jason Mercier decided to play the biggest pot of the tournament up to that point. After the two players put in seven bets preflop, Mercier dejectedly turned up {K-Hearts}{K-Spades}, and Esfandiari showed {A-Diamonds}{A-Clubs}. The board bricked out, and Esfandiari picked up a chip lead he wouldn't release for the rest of the day.

Several players fell after Mercier including Tom Marchese, Roland De Wolfe, Bill Perkins and Haralabos Voulgaris. Phillip Gruissem fell in 11th, and then the players were suddenly on the biggest bubble in tournament poker history. When it finally happened, Ilya Bulychev shoved all-in with {Q-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} and was called by Sam Trickett, who was holding {K-Clubs}{7-Hearts}. The flop was a dangerous one as {7-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} gave Bulychev a flush draw, but the {3-Spades} on the turn was a brick, as was the {2-Spades} and Bulychev became the biggest bubble boy in poker history.

Action continued until one more player was eliminated, and that last player to fall was Mike Sexton. In the hand, Esfandiari raised to 900,000 preflop from the small blind, and Sexton called out of the big blind. The flop fell {A-Spades}{J-Spades}{3-Diamonds} and both players checked. The turn was the {6-Diamonds}, and this time Esfandiari decided to lead out for 1,115,000. From there, Sexton moved all-in, and Esfandiari called. The dealer first thought that Esfandiari had folded and put his hand face down in the muck, but Esfandiari jumped right away and the floor man corrected the situation. When all was sorted, Esfandiari held {6-Spades}{3-Clubs}, but Sexton was behind with {J-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. The river was the {8-Clubs} and no help to Sexton, who collected $1,109,333 for his finish.

Tuesday, the final eight players will return to play for $18 million. Leading the way is Antonio Esfandiari with 39,925,000 chips, and he is followed closely by Sam Trickett with 37,000,000. Here is a look at the seat draw and chip counts going into day three:

SeatPlayerCountryAgeChip Count
1Guy LalibertéCanada5221,700,000
2Brian RastUSA3011,350,000
3Phil HellmuthUSA4710,925,000
4Antonio EsfandiariUSA3339,925,000
5Bobby BaldwinUSA627,150,000
6Sam TrickettUK2637,000,000
7Richard YongChina547,475,000
8David EinhornUSA438,375,000

Action will resume at 1200 PDT (2000 BST) Tuesday with ESPN cameras locked and loaded ready to broadcast.

PokerNews will be bringing you all the action, payouts, and bust outs so make sure you stay tuned into the live reporting blog for all the updates.

Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Event #56 began on Monday and attracted 2,798 players. By the end of the day, players were only eight spots off the money and Donald Vogel was leading the pack with 145,200 chips. Like any Day 1, several notables came and went, and some climbed to the top of the pack. After being eliminated from the One Drop, Daniel Negreanu joined the Event #56 field and will return Tuesday with an above-average stack.

Some of the notables who hit the rail Monday include Matt Affleck, Freddy Deeb, Vanessa Rousso, Joe Cada, Liv Boeree, Terrence Chan and Vanessa Selbst. But there are still several players surviving and thriving going into day two including Will Failla, Jennifer Leigh, Peter Eastgate, Jeff Madsen, and Negreanu. Also returning on Tuesday is PokerNews' Rich Ryan who is bringing 19,300 into Day 2.

Players will return at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) on Tuesday and players will aim to burst the bubble quick or go home trying. Only eight players will be eliminated before the bubble is burst and PokerNews will bring you all the great bust out hands from the day.

To make sure you find out who the bubble boy is and who makes the money, make sure you check into the live reporting blog Tuesday.

On Tap

Three events will conclude on Tuesday: Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em, and \URL="http://www.pokernetwork.com/live-reporting/2012-world-series-of-poker/event-55-the-big-one-for-one-drop-no-limit-hold-em/"+]Event #55: $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop[/URL], where players will play all the way down until one man is $18 million richer.

Finally, Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em will also play down past the money bubble to the final few tables. Beginning on Tuesday is Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed and Event #58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better.

PokerNews will bring you complete coverage of every event tomorrow, so to make sure you don't miss a single thing, check into the live reporting blog for all the updates.

Video of the Day

You just read he highlights from Day 37 at the 2012 World Series of Poker, now watch them. Here's Kristy Arnett's July 3 update.

Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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