Day 4 of the 2012 World Series of Poker was a packed one, with five separate events taking place. The first open event bracelet was awarded to Brent Hanks in Event #2, $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. This was Hanks’ first bracelet after some close calls in the past, and he had to outlast a very talented final table to capture the gold. Elsewhere, Event #3, the first ever $3,000 Heads-Up NLHE/PLO played down to the elite eight. Event #4, $1,500 Stud/8 got past the money bubble and down to the final XX players. Finally, Event #5, $1,500 PLO, got underway, though with fewer players than last year’s event.
Event #2: $1500 No-Limit Hold'em
There were 15 left to battle for the gold, when the third and final day began. It took just over two hours to get down to the official final table. The chip leader going into the final day was also the chip leader at the start of the final table, Jacob Bazeley (1,960,000). He was followed by Hanks (1,558,000), Andrew Badecker (1,553,000), Vanessa Selbst (1,327,000), Ryan Schmidt (1,200,000), JP Kelly (610,000), Michael Kaufman (437,000), Abdyl Konjuhi (388,000) and Richard Park (383,000).
One of the most watched players at the final table was JP Kelly, but his run for a third bracelet was cut short when Hanks put the short-stacked Kelly all-in versus . The board ran out and Kelly was out in 8th place with $49,621.
Kaufman was the next one sent to the rail in 7th place with $65,377 after it looked like he was going to win a coin flip against Selbst. Kaufman took against Selbst’s and was looking good on the flop, but the turn gave Selbst additional outs, one of which came on the river—in the form of the .
Selbst did not fare as well against Hanks, losing a third of her stack when she took against his . The two went all the way to the end on a board reading and Selbst saw her turned straight lose to his rivered full house. By the time it was 5-handed, Selbst was the short stack.
But it was Schmidt who was next to exit, pushing all in with second pair while his opponent Badecker had top two. Schmidt took home $117,921 for his 5th place finish. Then it was the end of the line for Selbst, who had a great run that stopped just a few spots short. With just ten times the big blind, Selbst moved all in from the cutoff with only to be called by Badecker in the small blind with . The board ran out and Selbst was on her way to pick up her $161,345 payout for 4th place.
Badecker’s fortunes reversed shortly after Selbst’s elimination and he lost two huge pots to Bazeley before being knocked out in 3rd place ($224,029) by Hanks, whose queens held up over Badecker’s tens. Bazeley and Hanks were close in chips going heads up and battled back and forth for hours, staying neck and neck, until one monumental hand.
Preflop, Hanks raised to 160,000, Bazeley three-bet to 420,000, Hanks four-bet to 780,000, Bazeley five bet all in and Hanks called. Hanks had as was behind Bazeley’s . That was until the flop came . Bazeley found no miracle in the turn or river and he was down to his last big blind which he tossed in holding to the of Hanks. The board ran out and we had our first open bracelet winner of the 2012 WSOP. For his second place finish, Bazeley takes home $322,294. But Hanks gets $517,725 to go along with his shiny new bracelet.
For more on the final day of action, check out our live reporting blog.
Event #3: $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha
The 64 survivors of the first three heads-up matches returned to play down to the elite eight There were some notable matches during the first round, including the “ambassador of poker” Mike Sexton against one of the great young players, Justin Bonomo. Sexton got the better of that match and proceeded to the next round.
Annette Obrestad was one of the first to move on from her match when she dispatched Ryan Franklin. First, she four-bet all in with just and beat Franklin's . Then she called his all-in shove holding to his and the board ran out .
In the second round, David Benefield was the first to win his match, quickly dispatching Victor Ramdin. Leif Force and Sexton soon joined Benefield as part of the sweet 16 moving on to the last round of the day, later followed by Obrestad, Andy Frankenberger, David Williams and Josh Arieh, among others.
Arieh was in a close battle with Bryce Yockey when they got all the chips in the middle after a flop. Arieh tabled for middle set; Yockey showed for flush and straight draws. The board ran out to fill Arieh up and send Yockey packing.
The last round of the day saw more great heads-up battles and more casualties as Williams, Arieh, John Racener, Sexton, and George Lind were among the notables sent packing. When the dust cleared, eight were left standing. They will come back tomorrow to play three more rounds to crown a champion. The first matchups are—Simeon Naydenov v. Benefield, Julian Powell v. Gregg Merkow, Jason Koon v. Obrestad and Leif Force v. Frankenberger.
For complete coverage of the day's action, check out our live reporting blog.
Event #4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better
The 210 players who made it past day one returned to play down to the money bubble and then move on to the final day of play. Out with about eight to go before the money was Phil Ivey, courtesy of David Singer. Ivey brought it in with the and Singer limped showing the . Ivey got it all in and was ahead: / (X)(X) / (X) , but by the time the hands played out Singer had caught back-to-back cards for winning trips: / / .
The unlucky bubble boy was Jaime Kaplan who could only a muster a pair of sixes, and no low, against the aces of Vladimir Shchmelev. The top 60 finishers are guaranteed a payout from the minimum of $2,754, up to the top prize of $201,559.
By the conclusion of level 18, there were 23 players remaining. Last year’s winner, Chris Viox, will not be repeating, as he busted earlier in the day. Topping the leaderboard goining into day three is Xuan Liu with 330,500 chips. Also near the top are such notables as Cory Zeidman (261,500), Chris Bjorin (220,500) and Frank Kassela (159,000)
To read up on all the action from the day, check out our live reporting blog.
Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em
Last year’s winner of this event was Brian Rast, who defeated Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler heads up for the bracelet. Rast outlasted 764 players to take home $227,232, and his first gold bracelet. This year’s event showed a decline in attendance of 16%, with just 639 registering. The top 72 will be in the money, with payouts ranging from $2,432 to the top prize of 1$89,818.
While attendance is down, the event does not lack high profile players. Though Rast missed the change to defend his crown, Kessler was back to try again as was Barry Shulman, Daniel Negreanu, Eric Baldwin, Jonathan Little, Scott Clements, Kathy Liebert, Isaac Haxton, Vitaly Lunkin, David Pham, Kevin Saul, Jonathan Duhamel, Humberto Brenes, Chad Brown, Shannon Shorr and, bouncing between this event and Event #4, Phil Ivey.
Ivey was not able to make a deep run in this tournament either. With his chip stack slowly blinded off for a few levels, and dwindling further after dinner, he moved all in preflop with against his lone opponent's . The board ran out and Ivey’s day was over.
After ten levels of play the tournament was only a few places from the money so the decision was made to play until the bubble was burst. Right at the death two players, Gordon Vayo and Barry Wiedemann busted out simultaneously so when Day 2 resumes 71 players will return and they are all in the money. Among the big names still in the field are overall chip leader Antonio Esfandiari (112,600), Jonathan Aguiar (100,900), Daniel Negreanu (94,000) and recent WPT winner Tommy Vedes (58,800).
To check out the first day’s fast and furious action, check our live reporting blog.
Tomorrow, two new winners will be crowned. In Event #3, the remaining eight players will vie for the gold bracelet in three more heads-up matches beginning at 1300 PDT (2000 GMT). In Event #4, the final XX players will return at 1400 PDT (2200 GMT) in search of gold. Event #5: $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em, will play ten levels, breaking the money bubble along the way. Play gets underway at 1200 PDT (2000 GMT). Two new events will start. First is Event #6, $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Mixed Max. That will start at 1200 PDT (1900 GMT) with nine-handed play. Last is Event #7, $1,500 Seven Card Stud, which gets underway at 1700 PDT (0000 GMT).
To make sure you don’t miss any of the action, check out all of the action from all the events in our live tournament reporting blog.
Video of the Day
Today’s video has our own Kristy Arnett talking with Vanessa Selbst during the final table of Event #2. Selbst discusses her rollercoaster ride the first two days, being at the final table in her first WSOP event of the year, and sizing up the strong field remaining.
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