It has already been one of the most dramatic and event filled World Series of Poker tournaments ever but there has still been plenty of activity going on over the past two weeks in the 2011 WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The tournament has been eclipsed by the recent events of Full Tilt Poker having its licence suspended and the fate of the second largest poker site online hanging in the balance. However, at the end of the day, the quality of poker has still managed to shine through.
Since the last update, things have only become more intense. Event number 36 saw Russian Mikhail Lakhitov come through a field of 1,734 players to win the $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em. The win saw Lakhitov win $749,610.
The $10,000 HORSE Championship was up next and Fabrice Soulier managed to fend off a strong set of participants in the closing stages that included Britain’s Ram Vaswani, Canada’s Shawn Buchanan and America’s own Tom Dwan to take home the $609,130 first place prize.
Wins for Arkadiy Tsinis ($540,136), Mitch Schok ($310,225), Matt Jarvis ($808,538) and Justin Pechie ($167,060) soon swiftly followed in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, $2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha, $5,000 No Limit Hold’em/Six Handed and $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout respectively.
The $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha then saw Ben Lamb win his first WSOP bracelet as he swept 360 competitors aside to take home the $814,436 first prize. It was a memorable win for Lamb who dug deep to prevail victorious.
Event number 43 saw an historic moment for Brazil as Andre Akkari emulated his compatriot Alexandre Gomes, who sealed Brazil’s first WSOP bracelet back in 2008, to win the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. Akkari was present for Gomes’s win back then and in a magical moment, Gomes was present to celebrate Akkari’s victory. Akkari earned $675,117 for his win but the scale of his victory in his home nation will far exceed any value prize money could offer.
The $2,500 Seven Card Razz event saw the Americans dominate with the final four players coming from the US. In the end, Robert Williamson III, Tommy Chen and Stephen Su were powerless to stop Rep Porter winning the $210,615 first prize and his second WSOP bracelet.
Events number 45 ($1,000 No Limit Hold’em) and 46 ($10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship) saw Ken Griffin and Joe Ebanks win massive sums. Griffin sealed a $455,356 win but Ebanks was made an instant millionaire as he took the first place prize fund of $1,158,481. Brit Chris Moorman and Frenchman Bertrand Grospellier both pushed Ebanks close but neither could prevent the Ohio man from storming to victory.
Owais Ahmed set tongues wagging as he put “The Grinder” Michael Mizrachi to the sword in the heads up for the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 Or Better. The manner in which Ahmed closed the match had many predicting a bright future in poker for the player who is still in his twenties. The fact that poker legend Scotty Nguyen was also eliminated from that very final table shows the calibre of player Ahmed had to defeat to get the win.
Athanasios Polychronopoulos ($650,223) not only won the award for the most incomprehensibly pronounced name but he also swept to victory in event 48, the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. Wins for Leonard Martin ($189,818) in the $2,500 2-7 Triple Lowball (Limit), Antonin Teisseire ($825,604) in the $5,000 Triple Chance No Limit Hold’em, David Singontiko ($268,235) in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 Or Better and Card Player columnist Matt Matros ($303,501) in the $2,500 Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No Limit) saw the tournament progress smoothly into its closing stages.
Over the weekend the most recent final result came from the $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold’em Championship that saw Marsha Wolak secure the $192,344 first prize and the honour of being rated as the best current female poker player in the world.
There are still five events left and Phil Hellmuth is still chasing that record breaking 12th bracelet. There is also the climax to the 2011 WSOP which will see thousands of players congregate at the Rio in Las Vegas for the 13 day $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship that will determine who will make up the 2011 WSOP November Nine. The clock is ticking.