2008 WSOP Day 11: Amateurs prevail

Greg Mueller narrowly missed his first World Series of Poker bracelet again on Sunday in Event 11, and Vinny Vinh made his presence known in Event 12 but missed a win despite actually showing up to play this time around.

That's just a taste of the action that took place in Day 11 of the 2008 World Series of Poker. Two bracelets were awarded, two more final tables were found and two more events got their start for another busy day at the Rio on Sunday.

Event 11

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride is the story for Greg Mueller at the WSOP. Once again he went deep in a tournament to come out in second place, this time in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout.

"If they gave away gold bracelets for finishing high but not winning, I'd be Erik Seidel," Mueller said after the event.

The person who did get the gold bracelet was Philip Tom, a 55-year-old financial advisor and investor who lives in Las Vegas. Tom is a serious poker player, but not a professional player, making him the second amateur to win an event this year.

"I really think this sort of format fit my playing style," Tom said. "I have to eliminate players as I go along, and the seats are not re-filled. So, you can concentrate on the task at hand, which is focus on your opponents who are actually at the table."

Tom and Mueller had actually faced each other before in a tournament. He told PokerListings in his post-game interview that he had busted Mueller in the World Poker Tour Championship last year.

"He's an incredibly good player and really just very dangerous," Tom said of Mueller. "I had to be really patient because we had a few wild men at the table. I tried to be cautious and pick my spots and just play the percentages when I could."

That strategy paid off when the final hand was dealt. Mueller limped in from the small blind and Tom checked. They saw a flop of 9 J 3 and both players checked again.

The turn brought a 5, and Tom bet $150,000. Mueller came over the top of him to make it $350,000, sending Tom into the tank to think for a little bit before he shoved all-in.

Mueller called and turned over J 8 to Tom's A J. The river bricked and Tom won it with his pair of jacks and the ace kicker.

The final table played out as follows:

Place Name Prize
1st Philip Tom $477,990
2nd Greg Mueller $298,638
3rd Leo Wolpert $187,812
4th Sirous Jamshidi $118,440
5th Timothy West $63,450
6th Thomas Roupe $38,070

Event 12

The second event to play down to a winner on Sunday was the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event. After starting with 880 players, two days of play had weeded out the field to leave 18 players for the final day.

Among them were Erick Lindgren, Ali Eslami and Vinny Vinh, but it was Jimmy Shultz, a 37-year-old mortgage broker who is also a part-time poker player, to whom the spoils went.

This was Shultz's first time ever playing in a WSOP event, and he plans to donate 25% of his tournament win to a special fund set up for firefighters in the Charleston Fire Department in South Carolina.

Shultz's friend Louis Murkey was a Charleston fireman who died in an accident in 2007 along with eight other firemen. During the tournament Shultz wore the firemen's T-shirts and hats to honor their memory.

"It's not about me. It's all about them. I said that coming in," Shultz said. "I prayed about it, and I am just thrilled to death that I can do something for my community to make it a little bit better for those folks in Charleston County."

The final-table results were:

Place Name Prize
1st Jimmy Shultz $257,049
2nd Zac Fellows $165,165
3rd Vinny Vinh $99,099
4th Teddy Monroe $82,883
5th Brendan Taylor $67,868
6th Markus Golser $53,453
7th Ali Eslami $41,441
8th Christoph Niesert $32,432
9th Chung Law $23,423

Read more about how this event played out in the Live Tournaments section, or see what Shultz had to say in his interview.

Event 13

The $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em event was a big draw over the weekend. Starting with 1,397 players on Saturday, two days of play have brought it down to a manageable top nine players to return to play today.

Leading those players is Duncan Bell, a player from Duluth, Ga., who has cashed in some Canadian events and in the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but so far has no major wins.

Right on his heels is Shawn Buchanan, who at this time last year had added a World Poker Tour win to his name at the Mandalay Bay Poker Championship before heading to the WSOP to cash in three more events. This will be his first WSOP final table.

The players at the final table today are:

Player Name Chip Count
Duncan Bell 1,966,000
Shawn Buchanan 1,133,000
Steve Merrifield 1,109,000
Jason Sanders 1,099,000
Brent Hanks 755,000
Brent Ditzik 384,000
Nicolas Levi 233,000
Ariel Soffer 191,000
Nathan Doudney 113,000

Play resumes today at 2 p.m., and you can catch all the action here.

Event 14

The $10,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud event promised to draw some big names, and it didn't disappoint. With 158 players who signed up, the prize pool came out to more than $1.4 million with the top 16 players walking away with some cash.

Some of the players who made it into the money include Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreano, Alexander Kravchenko, Robert Mizrachi, David Levi and Jacobo Fernandez.

The players returning today to figure out who will walk away with the champion title are:

Player Name Chip Count
David Oppenheim 508,000
Alexander Kostritsyn 495,000
Fu Wong 429,000
Minh Ly 424,000
Jim Paluszek 413,000
Eric Brooks 359,000
Erik Seidel 273,000
Vassilios Lazarou 259,000

Erik Seidel is already decorated with eight WSOP bracelets and is hunting for his ninth in this event.

David Oppenheim enters the final table with a small chip lead, and he has momentum from already making a final table in the Series this year.

The players will head back to the tables at 3 p.m. today with PokerListings providing full coverage.

Event 15

The $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em World Championship kicked off on Sunday with 1,190 women taking seats in the Amazon Room of the Rio in Las Vegas.

After a tough day of play that saw former champs Susie Isaacs, Mary Jones, and Barb Enright eliminated, the field was pared down to 61, who will return to play at 2 p.m. today.

Shavonne Mitchell is leading the way today with the chip lead, and other top contenders still in the mix are Olga Varkonyi, Evelyn Ng, Van Nguyen and Kathy Liebert.

Event 16

The second event to get its start on Sunday was the $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better, drawing 553 players to create a more than $1 million prize pool.

Some of the players who busted in Day 1 are Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Greg Raymer, Tom Schneider, Phil Hellmuth, Jeff Madsen, Jeff Lisandro, Shannon Elizabeth and Allen Kessler.

Among the 169 players who survived to return for Day 2 today are Josh Arieh, David Williams, Scott Clements, Dutch Boyd, David Chiu, Marc Goodwin, Barry Greenstein, Victor Ramdin, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Mel Judah, Max Pescatori, James Van Alstyne, John Juanda, Barny Boatman and more.

Play resumes at 3 p.m. today.

Event 17 and Event 18

Today's action brings another shootout event, this time the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout event. In 2007, this WSOP event brought in more than 900 players.

Daniel Negreanu and Thomas Fuller were two of the players who made it to the final table of the event, but it was Don Baruch who took home the top cash prize and the gold bracelet.

Event 17 will start at noon, and at 5 p.m. Event 18, the $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Triple-Draw Lowball with Rebuys, will begin. Erik Seidel turned in a win in this event last year.

PokerListings has a top-notch reporting team at the Rio to bring poker fans the best interviews, updates, photos, videos and more. Check it all out in the Live Tournaments section.

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