WSOP Day 21: Cantu Leads Deuce-to-Seven, 32 Seniors Vie for $600K+

Brandon Cantu holds the chiplead in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven going into the final table, hoping to win his third WSOP bracelet. (Ryan Lucchesi photo)

With the two events that started Saturday at the World Series of Poker, we’ve officially crossed the halfway mark of bracelet events this Summer. The $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event was the 31st and the $10,000 HORSE event the 32nd different bracelet event, with the Main Event representing the 61st and final bracelet that will be awarded in Las Vegas in 2012.

It was a busy day in general, starting with three players returning to play a fourth day in the $1,500 HORSE, with Ylon Schwartz grabbing his first career bracelet. A second champion was crowned Saturday night in the $2,500 Four-handed No Limit Hold’em, while the $1,000 Seniors’ No Limit Hold’em event and the $1,500 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven each wrapped up their respective Day 2’s before midnight PT.

$1,500 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven

When we left you in this event, there were 25 players left and Brandon Cantu was leading. The $1,500 No Limit Deuce-to-Seven continued to bust players at a speedy clip and the final table of seven was set before midnight, with Cantu still sitting on the top of the counts. The second and third largest stacks at that time are still contending for this bracelet as well, with Michael Mizrachi looking for his second bracelet and Andrew Lichtenberger his first.

The final several hours of play on Day 2 were a bit more chaotic, as just one other player in the top ten at mid-day is among the final seven, as Rep Porter goes for bracelet number three. Erick Lindgren managed to make a late run to finish the day in fourth place, the first final table of 2012 for the 2008 WSOP Player of the Year. The field is rounded out by short stacks Larry Wright and Ryan Tepen, each making their first career appearance at a WSOP final table.

Cantu continued to accumulate chips throughout the day, and feels very confidently about his chances of taking home his third bracelet Sunday.

“I feel great,” said Cantu, “It’s my best chance in a while, and it’s a great event to have chips in. I knew I was going to make the final table of this event before it started, I was trying to cross-book with a bunch of people and I couldn’t get any action. I said this event was my best chance to win a bracelet, and I still think it is.”

Some heavy hitters fell in the latter stages of the day, including Scott Fischman (25th), Hasan Habib (20th), Jen Harman (19th), Erik Seidel (13th), and former bracelet winner Konstantin Puchkov (11th). Bryan Devonshire recorded his fourth cash of the Summer, but for the second time finished one table away from the final in ninth place. John Phan made it to the combined table of eight, but was eliminated on the official final table bubble in eighth to end the night.

Play will resume at 2 pm PT on the Pavilion Room stage and will be live-streamed without commentary. Here’s how the chip counts stand heading into Day 3.

  1. Brandon Cantu – 336,100
  2. Rep Porter – 233,400
  3. Michael Mizrachi – 206,800
  4. Erick Lindgren – 185,600
  5. Andrew Lichtenberger – 161,100
  6. Larry Wright – 116,200
  7. Ryan Tepen – 51,100

$1,000 Seniors Event

An 11 am start time put the Seniors Event a little ahead of everything else happening in the Amazon Room. The dinner break came in the late afternoon, and the end of the tenth level of the day, signifying the end of the day, came far earlier as well. Just over 100 players came back after the dinner break, but only 32 would survive to play for the bracelet on Sunday.

Some notable pros took advantage of their age and made deep runs in this tournament. Hal Lubarsky (416th), Toto Leonidas (326th), Tom McCormick (298th), Kevin McBride (292nd), Humberto Brenes (244th), and Chris Bjorin (97th) were just a few of the players who took home a little something in this event. CK Hua fought all day, but went out in 48th, while Marcel Luske’s run took him all the way to 40th in this 4,000+ player field.

A pair of familiar faces are indeed still alive, however, and both in the top ten of the chip counts when play resumes Sunday morning. Dennis Phillips previously finished 3rd in the Main Event and hopes to join fellow 2008 November Niner in winning his first bracelet, while Hoyt Corkins looks to add the Seniors title to his two previous WSOP bracelet wins.

Play will resume at 11 am PT, with the final 32 players fighting it out until just one player remains. The winner will get one of the biggest first place prizes of the Summer, taking home $603,713. Here are the top ten chip counts heading into Sunday.

  1. Kevin DeTienne – 1,325,000
  2. Radwan Khuri – 686,000
  3. John Freemon – 678,000
  4. William Stabler – 671,000
  5. Allyn Jaffrey Shulman – 646,000
  6. Dennis Phillips – 576,000
  7. Hoyt Corkins – 541,000
  8. Martin Fitzmaurice – 530,000
  9. Harold Kruger – 507,000
  10. Bob Phelps – 443,000

$2,500 Four-handed No Limit Hold’em

The inaugural Four-handed No Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP is now in the books, with Tim Adams defeating Brendon Rubie heads-up for the bracelet and $392,476.

$10,000 HORSE

The big buy-in Seven-card Stud events were reduced from a $10,000 buy-in to a $5,000 buy-in this year in order to potentially attract more players, but the biggest HORSE event of the Summer maintained its five-figure buy-in in 2012. It might be a different story in 2013, though, as the field saw another marked downturn compared to last year’s field, with 178 players compared to 240 in 2011. There will still be a hefty payday for first, however, with the winner receiving $451,779 and the gold bracelet. A total of 24 players will make the money in this tournament, with a min-cash worth $16,246.

Fabrice Soulier was the $10,000 HORSE champion in 2011, and he’s off to a strong start in his effort to retain his title. He bagged up 146,300, good for the chiplead, but Soulier’s obviously got some serious work and serious competition in the way, with Phil Ivey, John Monnette, and Allen Bari as just a few of the names breathing down his neck after strong starts. Some of the late Day 1 casualties in this event include Eli Elezra, Xuan Liu, Jonathan Duhamel, and Luke “_FullFlush_” Schwartz.

Play will resume at 2 pm PT, with ten levels of play on the schedule.

$1,500 No Limit Hold’em

It’s common to see a player end the day as chipleader in one of the $1,500 or $1,000 No Limit Hold’em events with a count solidly within the 100,000-150,000 range, but every once in a while a player will simply crush the competition. Cherish Andrews falls squarely into that category, finishing Day 1 of this $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event with an astounding 225,900 from a starting stack of just 4,500, holding nearly twice as much as her nearest competitor.

Other big names to cruise onto Day 2 in this tournament include Soi Nguyen, William Reynolds, Eric Cajelais, Mike McDonald and JC Tran. They are among the 331 of 2,811 that started the day to make it on to Sunday. The money bubble looms early in the day, with 297 players making money and just 34 unfortunate souls leaving empty-handed. Dan Harrington, Faraz Jaka, Andy Frankenberger, David Sands, Kara Scott, and Jon Aguiar were just a few of the almost 2,500 players to be eliminated on Day 1.

Play will resume at 1 pm PT and there are ten levels of play scheduled on Sunday.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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