In Event 47, $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em, the final table played out in the cloistered secrecy of the Box. Nine players went in and when the dust had cleared, just one was left standing.
This tournament was decided by the heads-up match between Blair Rodman and Amato Galasso. After the third place finisher was sent on his way, these two warriors proceeded to check-fold their way to one of the longest one on one matches we've seen thus far.
Although we weren't able to observe the proceedings on our own, we could hear the muffled voice of the tournament director repeating the words, "He checks, he bets, he folds," as if stuck on repeat. Eventually the blinds caught up with their stacks and they were forced to make a move.
Everyone who's played even a little poker is familiar with the sting of being on the losing end of a suck-out, but most of us can only imagine what it feels like when it happens during the heads-up match of a World Series event. That's how this tournament concluded, with Rodman taking the bracelet thanks to a lucky turn of the cards.
Blair Rodman did have a commanding chip lead at the time but Amato Galasso got unlucky, eliminated rather than doubling up. Galasso was all-in with A-K dominating Rodman's A-J but the flop turned the tables coming jack-high. Neither the turn nor the river changed things and the epic heads-up match was finally over.
The second tourney concluding today was Event 48, $1,000 Limit Triple Draw, pretty much the most lowballingest event around. Played out in the open for everyone to see, it was Rafi Amit and Lenny Martin duking it out for the cash and the bracelet.
Well actually it was only for the bracelet as a chop of the first and second place cash occurred part of the way into the match. Amit had his opponent on the ropes a few times during the battle but it took a couple of tries before he could seal the deal.
On the final hand Rafi stood pat on each drawing round and managed to get all of Martin's chips in the middle. Come showdown Amit turned over 2-3-4-6-7, number two! Martin's 8-7 was no good and he was out in second.
It turned out that the bracelet wasn't everything Rafi had hoped it would be. Being the proud owner of a bracelet from 2005, before Corum introduced the new and decidedly less balling version of the trophy, Amit showed little enthusiasm for the jewelery itself.
On the matter of the victory, Amit was markedly more enthused. Keyed up during the winner shots and interview, he was a pleasant change of pace from some of the other, less excited winners we've met along the way.
He was simultaneously playing in the $10,000 PLO World Championship across the tournament room and somehow managed to make it over there to play his blinds. A known PLO specialist, Amit won his bracelet in this category as well as making two other final tables.
The center of attention for most of the day was said PLO tournament. Packed to the gills with big names at each and every table, the field was narrowed down to just 55 by the end of the day. For an idea of the kind of table draws one could expect, consider these selections taken from one of my live updates today:
Michael Binger, Fabrice Soulier, Todd Brunson, Paul Jackson and Mel Judah are on the same patch of felt. As are Jani Sointula, Scotty Nguyen, Bill Gazes, Barny Boatman and Huck Seed. Last but certainly not least are Allen Cunningham, Robert Mizrachi, David Grey, Sam Grizzle and Daniel Alaei.
Now I know what you're thinking, how can I get in there and snag some of that dead money?
Elsewhere in the Amazon room, and outside in the generously named Poker Pavilion, was Event 51, $1,000 SHOE. In addition to a cheap opportunity to play this mixed game, this tournament was a favorite since it gave us a chance to make an endless number of unforgivable SHOE jokes.
Bringing up the rear was Day 2 of Event 48, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em. Reaching the final nine by around 2am, everyone will be back tomorrow at 2pm for the conclusion. Greg Mueller had an especially pleasant Canada Day as he is entering the final table in the top half of the chip counts.
And just like that another day is done here at the World Series. But don't worry, there's another one just around the corner, packed full of all the unparalleled poker action that can only be found at the WSOP. Here at PokerListings.com we do all the hard work, bringing you your fix of vicarious high-stakes action so keep it locked right here. I'm just talking about poker! Can you dig it?