Day 23 saw the conclusion of three events, with the feature being the final table of the $2,500 No Limit Hold’Em Shootout. Charles Sewell and Jeff Heiberg jumped out to an early lead, however Heiberg ran into trouble against David Pham and he was the first to be eliminated. Adam Kagin was next to go, followed by Dustin “Neverwin” Woolf, David Bach and Jason Dewitt.
Chad Layne was the short stack and departed when his AT couldn’t hit against David Pham’s JJ. Pham continued to apply pressure with the big stack and busted Jerald Williamson in fourth place when Williamson’s Q9 couldn’t overcome Pham’s A9.
Pham then showed his class and experience when he made a massive call holding only ace high against Charles Sewell’s bluff to take down a huge pot. This left Sewell rattled and shortstacked, but he hung around long enough to see Pham bust out Roland De Wolfe in third place, leaving Pham and Sewell heads up. Pham held an 8:1 chip lead and it was soon over when Sewell pushed all-in with A8 but once again Pham had pocket jacks and they held up. David Pham won his second WSOP gold bracelet and $240,222 in prize money.
The $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event also reached a conclusion as overnight leader Rafael Perry continued to overpower his opponents and increase his chip lead. However when it came down to the final five, George Abdallah jumped out in front when he knocked out Ray Lynn in fifth place. Zhang Luzhe was eliminated in fourth, and when Brian Kocur busted out in third it left Rafael Perry and George Abdallah heads up. They started even in chips, but it was Perry who took the ascendancy by winning a large pot early on. Abdallah continued to fight back, however the end came when Perry rivered a straight against Abdallah’s two pair. Rafael Perry takes home $207,817 and of course the gold bracelet.
The third final of the day was the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys event. Australia’s hopes were with Tony G who was well placed, and he started the day off brilliantly when he held quad aces to knock out the first player of the day. Eric Froelich took an early hit and slipped down the field, but he held firm and managed to double up. Australian-born Jeff Lisandro was also doing well, but unfortunately he clashed with Tony G and was eliminated in 15th place. Tony was well placed until, on a board of KT76J Richard Freire pushed all-in and Tony made the call holding KK94 for top set, but unfortunately Freire held AQJJ for the ace high straight. Tony was crippled and eliminated next hand in 13th place for $10,897.
At the final table Kevin O'Donnell was the early aggressor, while Eric Froehlich was able to double up off Bruno Fitoussi. With five players remaining Kevin O'Donnell held a nice lead, with overnight leader Chau Giang doing well also. O'Donnell knocked out Bruno Fitoussi in fifth and looked good, but the other players began to make a stand against his aggression. Sherkhan Farnood doubled up through O’Donnell, and then knocked him out next hand when he held a straight against O’Donnell’s busted straight and flush draws.
Eric Froehlich and Chau Giang then clashed in consecutive hands with Froehlich winning both to knock Giang out in third. The heads up battle saw Froehlich apply aggression that caused Farnood to fold several hands. Froehlich gained the lead and on a flop of T75 the money went all-in with Farnood’s KK63 behind Froehlich’s Q776 for middle set. The turn and river brought a pair of jacks, leaving Froehlich with a full house to win the pot and the title. Eric Froehlich captured his second WSOP bracelet and pocketed $299,675.
Meanwhile a huge field of 2126 players crammed the casino floor to take part in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em Event. 121 players survived the day to make it into the money with Eric Mizrachi as chip leader. However there is still a long way to go, with the likes of Hoyt Corkins, JC Tran and David Sklansky also well placed in the field.
Two new events will kick off on Day 24 with the $5,000 Seven Card Stud and the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold’Em events, as well as the second day of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em event.