WSOP Mid-Day: Koon and Force to meet heads-up, ladies make a bracelet run

Xuan Liu is one of two women at the $1,500 Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo final table. (Heather Borowinski photo)

The $3,000 Heads-up No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha event is down to a final two players, two women are in contention for the first open event win by a female since 2008, and the much-hyped Mixed Max format made its debut as Day 5 of the 2012 World Series of Poker rolls on.

$3,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha

Jason Koon and Leif Force will face off for the title in the $3,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha at 7 pm Thursday.

In the semi-finals Force defeated Julian Powell for the first spot at the final table and shortly after Jason Koon eliminated Simeon Naydenov for the remaining seat.

To make things a bit more interesting in the second to last match up, Powell and Force had decided to show one random hole card pre-flop until one of them needed to use a lammer after losing their starting stack. The unusual style of play was short lived, but added a different element to the round.

Annette Obrestad was the first elimination of Day 3 when her A T failed to hold up against Koon’s Q Q in Round 7.

Obrestad, who became the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet when she took down the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, bested her first six opponents and was the lone female to advance to Day 3.

$1,500 Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo

If the four-year streak of no bracelets for a female poker player is going to be broken during the 2012 WSOP, it might very well happen in the $1,500 Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo. Two of the final eight players are ladies. Those two women, Xuan Liu and Bonnie Rossi, were not the first two females to sit down at a final table together, but their accomplishment is very rare.

Marsha Waggoner was eliminated in ninth to bring play down to an official final table of eight players. Liu, Rossi, Todd Brunson, Cory Zeidman, Brandon Shack-Harris, Michael Mizrachi, Chris Bjorin and Yarron Bendor will play until one emerges victorious.

Mike Sexton was one of the mid-day casualties. The Poker Hall of Famer,who finished second in this event in 2011, ran his sevens into Michael Mizrachi’s jacks and was eliminated from the tournament. Although Sexton is no longer in contention for a bracelet he did tally his 51st WSOP career cash and his second cash at the 2012 WSOP.

$1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em

Terrence Chan earned his second cash of the 2012 WSOP, bringing his career total WSOP cashes to an even 20. Chan Tweeted he was positive he was running into aces more than anyone else and it was in fact that very hand that severely crippled the Limit hold’em specialist.

Holding A Q and four-betting to a little over 30,000, Chan called an opponents five-bet all-in. The opponent opened up A A and a board of 9 9 6 2 6 left Chan with a tiny stack of just 28,000. The limit specialist was eliminated soon after.

John Eames is currently leading the field of 28 players which also includes Daniel Negreanu, James Mackey, Nam Le, Tony Vedes and John Juanda.

The top five current chip counts are:

  1. John Eames – 310,000
  2. Jonathan Aguiar – 210,000
  3. Jack Ellwood – 175,000
  4. Bryan Pellegrino – 134,000
  5. Tommy Vedes – 120,000

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em Mixed Max

The $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Mixed Max made its debut at the World Series of Poker, being played for the first time in Las Vegas after being introduced during the WSOPE in 2011. The event will test players players ability to play No Limit Hold’em in three formats with players playing traditional nine-handed tables on Day 1, six-handed tables on Day 2 and then heads-up matches on Days 3 and 4 until a winner is crowned.

Dalla said the tournament will be a test of skills across forms of No Limit Hold’em and until the event was introduced in Cannes in October, there was no live tournament which challenged players to prove themselves in all three styles of the game.

“Those three types of No Limit Hold’em really require very different skills,” Dalla said. “And the luck factor is really reduced during the heads-up play.”

The event in Cannes drew only 125 players but the buy-in was €10,000, about $12,000. Nonetheless, Dalla said it was very popular among the players.

“The players really seemed to love it,” he said.

Today’s event drew 409 players.

Jason Somerville, Brian Rast and Marvin Rettenmaier are still in the field.

Bertrand “Elky” GrospellierGuillaume Darcourt, and Davidi Kitai did not make it to the end of Day 1.

$1,500 Seven-card Stud

The $1,500 Seven-card Stud event got underway just after 5 pm PT and the current number of registered players is just over 260. Notables in the field so far include Frank Kassela, Andy Bloch, Brett Richey, Daniel Idema, Barry Greenstein and David Singer. Eugene Katchalov, who won this event in 2011, has not made an appearance in the field as of yet.


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