Another $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event is playing to conclusion Thursday, and so far Luis Velador has been running the table. Plus, when action gets started in the $5,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better event, there will be plenty of stars to watch battle for a bracelet as well.
Luis Velador had the chip lead when the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event started its final table Thursday, but by no means would anyone have thought of him as a clear favorite to win. He was up to $1.8 million in chips, but Dany Georges was also up over $1 million to start Thursday.
However, Valedor came into the game swinging away and has nearly doubled his stack and put himself way out in front of the pack. Some might say this is his event to lose, but as poker fans know, just about anything can happen, even if a player has nearly $2 million more in chips than his nearest opponent.
Play began after 2 p.m. Thursday and two players have already been sent from the table to claim their cash prizes. The first to go was Justin Hoffman in ninth place.
On Hand 18, Hoffman had moved all-in for $79,000 and he got a call from Dean Bui. Hoffman showed J♥ 8♥ to Bui's K♥ 3♠, and they saw a flop of A♠ T♦#7 with a four and a five to follow on the turn and river, giving Bui the hand.
Just a few hands later Utsab Saha was eliminated as well when he ran into Velador. The action had folded around to Velador on the button, and he proceeded to raise to $60,000.
The small blind folded, but Saha reraised to $120,000 from the big blind. Velador reraised again to make it $250,000, and Saha eventually moved all-in.
After making the call, Velador showed Q♣ Q♦ to Saha's A♥ T♦. The board came K♦ J♦ J♠ 2♠ 6♥, and Velador added to his mountain of chips as Saha headed to the rail.
See the action for yourself in the Event 36 live updates.
Action will get under way shortly for the $10,000 World Championship Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better event. Because of the buy-in and the poker variation being played, this is expected to be a very high-caliber playing field.