Tonight John Phan did something that has only happened a select few times: he won his second WSOP bracelet in one week. In addition to Phan, David Sklansky, Ben Ponzio, Shun Uchida, Gioi Luong and Robert Mizrachi had all shown up today to play out the final table in the $2,500 2-7 Triple-Draw tournament.
Sklansky came in at the bottom of the chip ladder and made a quick exit out in sixth place. Ponzio was quick to follow, with Mizrachi right on his heels.
The real fun started three-handed. John Phan wanted to make things interesting at one point by making it a winner-take-all battle. At the time it may have seemed like a good thing for Phan, because he had started to slide. There were no takers, though.
Shun Uchida started with nearly no chips but still battled back to a playable stack. Though Uchida was expected to go out in third place due to his chip situation, instead Gioi Luong couldn't hang on and went out in third.
Phan is a fearless gambler and he proved it yet again tonight when his relentless aggression helped power his stack through to victory. He never slowed down and he never gave up.
During the final hand, Phan drew three cards and made a 7-6. Uchida bet with one draw to go and Phan raised; Uchida put in the rest of his stack, and Phan pushed in all his chips in dramatic fashion, burying his hand under the mound of chips. Phan demanded to see Uchida's hand.
"He's drawing dead!" cried Phan when he saw Uchida was drawing to an 8-7. Phan pocketed $151,896 for the bracelet, of which, according to Phan, 30-40% will go to help his extended family living in Vietnam.
Uchida carved out a solid $95,795 for second place, not bad for someone who was on life support several times during the tournament.
A bracelet was also handed out in Mixed Hold'em today. Frank Gary had the honor of taking it down along with $219,508. Nick Binger was the chip leader when they were three-handed, with more than half the chips in play, but in the end it would be Jonathan Tamayo and Frank Gary to fight it out heads-up.
Tamayo had a 2-1 chip lead against Gary going into the heads-up but it wasn't long before things started to go south for Tamayo.
The heart-wrenching hand for Tamayo came during the Limit segment when he flopped broadway on a Q-J-T board. Tamayo fired and Gary called.
A ten on the turn paired the board and Tamayo fired again. Gary thought for a long time before making the call.
The river was a nine for a final board of Q-J-T-9-9. Tamayo bet again, but this time Gary raised. Tamayo's worst fears were realized as Gary turned over pocket nines for a rivered boat.
After losing that pot, Gary was up with $1.7 million to Tamayo's $400,000. From that point on it was just a few minutes before Gary had secured the victory. Tamayo took home $143,093 for his second-place finish and at just 22 years old, has plenty of time left to win a bracelet.
The geriatric generation was back in the house today. These guys showed they can still hang with the rest of them, staying up playing until after 4 a.m. before setting the final table.
Dale Eberle maintained the chip lead for most of the homestretch and will start with that advantage when they reconvene for play at 2 p.m. Eberle will sit with about $1.4 million but Dan Lacourse is right behind him with just $50,000 less chips.
Marc Fluss wears his emotions on his sleeve and it might be interesting to see if he puts on a show tomorrow; he sits at third on the totem pole.
Along with those three, Jerry Yamachika, Fred Berger, Peter Silverstein, Martyn Wilson, Ed Clark and Charlie Wood all have a shot at the Seniors World Championship bracelet.
Ronald Puleo was the final-table-bubble senior when he ran his A-J into pocket aces. Puleo took home $22,202 for his effort, surely not what he had in mind.
The $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha H/L split tournament started today and they worked down from 720 players to a mere 68.
Bad play coupled with the volatility of the game had people dropping at a rapid rate from the very beginning. Over one player per minute fell all day long until the bubble was burst and play concluded a little bit after midnight.
Layne Flack won't be coming back - his day was a roller-coaster ride. Shannon Shorr served him two horrendous beats that were the primary reason he'll be able to sleep in tomorrow if he so chooses. Shannon Shorr will be back; he's sitting in second place with $87,000. Ed Smith is at the top with $119,500.
Make sure to come back tomorrow at high noon when the $1,000 w/Rebuys event starts. The Seniors start at 2 p.m. as do the Omaholics. The $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. starts at 5 p.m. and the entire poker world will be keeping an eye on that one.