It was a big day at the 2008 World Series of Poker on Thursday as this year found its first female winner in an open event. Vanessa Selbst took down the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event, and Daniel Negreanu added a fourth bracelet to his collection in the $2,000 Limit Hold'em event.
Selbst became the first woman to win an open WSOP event in 2008 on Thursday, besting a field of 759 players to win her first WSOP gold bracelet in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event. She seemed to be on a mission as she powered her way through the field and entered the final table as the clear chip leader and favorite to win.
It seemed like smooth sailing as player after player began to fall at the final table too, but then heads-up play began between Selbst and Jamison Pickering, a club owner from Queensland, Australia.
Pickering started every pot pre-flop without even looking at his cards, making things difficult for Selbst despite her still having a tremendous chip lead.
"I was pretty scared. I had no moves; I called a pot bet and then check-raised all-in," Selbst said in her post-game interview. "At that point, I thought it was great. I wasn't 100% at all, but I thought, 'You know what? You're gambling, my queens are beating a random hand,' which is what he had."
The uncertain playing conditions did eat away at Selbst's chip stack, and at one point Pickering even took the lead. But sanity prevailed and Selbst was eventually able to pick up the win.
On the final hand, she limped in from the button and Pickering checked. The flop came T♥ 8♣ 7♣ and Pickering checked to have Selbst bet out $90,000 behind him.
Pickering shoved all-in and the players flipped over their hands: J♣ J♠ 9♦ 2♣ for Selbst and A♠ Q♠ T♠ 9♥ for Pickering. With a 5♠ on the turn and an A♥ on the river, Selbst had her bracelet win.
The final table played out as follows:
|3rd||Stanley "StanDman" Statkiewicz Jr.||$88,063|
"It's unreal, this is like my fourth final table and I keep getting so close, and it's not just the bracelet, it's the money too, I've never made it past third before. I can't believe it," Selbst said after her win.
The win makes Selbst one of 12 women in WSOP history to win an open event - one of 19 if you include closed events such as the Seniors, Casino Employees and Mixed Doubles events, but not the Ladies event.
See how it all played out in the Event 19 Live Updates.
Kid Poker already has plenty of sparkle and pizzazz on his own, but now he's got a fourth WSOP gold bracelet to enhance that. Negreanu won the $2,000 Limit Hold'em event on Thursday after conquering a field of 480 players.
In the end it came down to Negreanu versus Ugur Marangoz, a Turkish-born poker player now living in Las Vegas.
On the final hand Negreanu limped in on the button and got a check from Marangoz in the big blind. The flop came K♦ 5♦ 5♠, and both players checked.
The turn brought a Q♥ and two more checks, and the 2♥ hit on the river. Marangoz bet it, Negreanu raised and Marangoz called all-in.
When Negreanu turned over 9♠ 5♥, Marangoz mucked his hand, and Negreanu had a shiny new bracelet and more than $200,000.
The final-table results were:
According to WSOP officials, Negreanu cited Mike Matusow's victory in the No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball championship the previous night as a motivating factor in this tournament. With that win, Matusow moved up into a tie with Negreanu with three career WSOP wins.
Negreanu half-jokingly said he could not stand for Matusow to be in the same gold bracelet category and promptly "went out tonight and did something about it."
Other poker players with four wins to their names include Huck Seed, Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson, Scotty Nguyen, Tom McEvoy, Lakewood Louie, Allen Cunningham, David Chiu, Bobby Baldwin and Mickey Appleman.
Check out what Negreanu had to say after his win in his post-game interview.
The $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event played down to its final nine on Thursday, ending the day with Scott Seiver, a Las Vegas resident, in the driver's seat coming into the final day today.
Seiver begins play today with $2.5 million in chips, more than double what his nearest opponent has. While it doesn't guarantee him a win, it certainly doesn't hurt him any to have a big lead on the final day of play.
The players returning to final table play at 2 p.m. today are:
There was a lot of girl power in this event that made it into the money. Kathy Woo was the highest casher in 18th place, and behind her were Kathy Liebert in 24th, Anna Wroblewski in 39th and Sarah Bilney in 61st.
Check out all the action in the Event 21 live updates when play begins again today.
The second event that will find a winner today is the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. It started with 414 players on Wednesday, and those who returned to play down to the final nine on Thursday fought a tough battle - so tough that they had to end play at the end of the day with the final two tables instead of one.
The 16 players returning to play at 3 p.m. today are:
Check out all the action when the cards are in the air again in the Event 22 live updates.
After its first day of play, the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event has shrunk from the initial 1,344 registrants to just 134 returning today.
Dustin Dirksen will begin the day with the chip lead, albeit a slim one. He'll be facing down a field of relatively unknown players today as they play down to the final table.
Play resumes this afternoon and PokerListings will be there with all the action in the Event 23 live updates.
The $2,500 Mixed Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha event also got started on Thursday, drawing in 457 participants. Eighty-five of those players will return today, with the top 45 getting paid.
Among those fighting for some money and a place at the final table today are Shawn Buchanan, Max Pescatori, Erik Seidel, Minh Ly, Howard Lederer, Ted Forrest, Joe Hachem, Sorel Mizzi, Ross Boatman, Rolf Slotboom, Johnny Chan, Allen Cunningham, Allen Kessler and more.
Play, as well as our live coverage of the event, resumes at 3 p.m. today.
Event 25 and Event 26
Two more events get under way today with the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit World Championship starting at noon and the $1,500 Razz tournament starting at 5 p.m.
Stay tuned to the PokerListings Live Tournaments section for all the live updates, videos, interviews, photos and reports you can handle and then some.