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Top Ten Moments of the 2012 WSOP Main Event: Koroknai's Blunder and Baumann's Bust Out

Posted at 20:25 2012-10-31 by Rich Ryan

In this fifth and final edition of the top 10 moments from the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event, we take a look at two hands which, if reversed in any way, could’ve had a huge impact on the history of the WSOP.

At the start of Day 3, Gaelle Baumann was the overall chip leader with over half a million chips. For the better part of the next few days, she remained above average, but during the last level of play on Day 5, she and Hungarian Andras Koroknai played one of the strangest pots of all time.

2. Koroknai Moves All In, Then Folds

This hand rocked the poker world. In the aftermath, some felt that Koroknai’s stack should’ve been forfeited, while others thought that the correct ruling was made. You decide:

Gaelle Baumann opened for a min-raise to 60,000 from under the gun, and the action folded to Andras Koroknai, who moved all in for what looked like 2 million from the small blind. Gavin Smith folded from the big blind, and thinking that the action was completed, Koroknai mucked his hand.

When he realized his mistake, he pulled back one of his cards, but the other was irretrievable. A floor person was called to the table, and the dealer explained what had happened. Tournament Director Dennis Jones was called over to make the ruling, and upon hearing the story, he stood silent for half a minute.

Smith, who was standing next to him, began laughing at the difficulty of the decision.

After a moment for thought, Jones informed the table that Koroknai would have to forfeit 60,000 chips to Baumann, but that he wouldn't be eliminated completely.

"Really?" Smith blurted.

Baumann was also confused with the ruling, so Jones pulled out his iPhone and called vice president of the World Series of Poker Jack Effel.

After a two-minute conversation, Jones hung up, and announced to the table that the original ruling would stand.

"You're not losing your tournament life," Jones told Koroknai.

In Jones' explanation to the table, he cited the "integrity of the tournament" as the major factor in the decision.

According to Smith, Baumann showed two kings.

The hand was featured on ESPN:

Ironically, on the bubble of the final table, the two butted heads again. Unfortunately for Baumann, it was her elimination hand.

1. Baumann Busts

Barbara Enright is the only woman to ever make the final table of the WSOP Main Event. She finished fifth in 1995, earning $114,180, and every year since we’ve kept a close eye on the “last woman standing.” This year, both Baumann and Elisabeth Hille reached the top 11, but busted in 10th and 11th respectively.

This was the final hand of the Main Event that was played in July, establishing the Octo-Nine:

Gaelle Baumann moved all in for 5.2 million from the hijack seat, Andras Koroknai called in the small blind, and Michael Esposito folded from the big blind.

Baumann: {a-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}

Koroknai: {a-Hearts}{j-Spades}

Chants of "Nine! Nine! Nine!" filled the mothership before the flop fell {3-Hearts}{q-Clubs}{q-Hearts}. Baumann could now chop with a three or any running pair cards.

The crowd erupted at the sight of the {8-Spades} on the turn, even though it didn't pair Baumann. The last woman standing could only be saved by a nine (win), a three (chop) or an eight (chop).

The {k-Diamonds} completed the board, and the rail exploded. Those who made the official final table celebrated, while Baumann's French contingent fell momentarily silent.

Then, for one last time, the crowd serenaded her with chants of "Gaelle Baumann."

This concludes our look at the top-10 moments of the 2012 WSOP Main Event. Don’t forget to follow our Live Reporting blog.

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