$2.5k PL Mixed - Chicken Dinnarrr!


The $2,500 Mixed Pot Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha tournament has finished. Rami Boukai ended up on top after beating second place finisher Najid Bennani into submission.

Boukai, was at one point in his life considering a career in mixed martial arts fighting. He holds a lifetime 2-1 fight record.

Luckily for him, he decided to hand out beatings in a different manner and chose a career playing poker instead. 

Known for years online as "arbianknight", Boukai was a fixture all the way back to the early Party Poker days when he was playing the biggest cash games they offered.

He has shown he can hang in the cash games, but tonight he has proven that he has what it takes to hang in live tournaments as well.

Boukai took home a handsome $244,862 to go along with his shiny new bracelet.

Kid Barred

Najib Bennani raised it from the button to 125,000. Ben Grundy took one look at his hand and pushed in his entire stack. Rami Boukai folded and it was back to Bennani who tanked it.

"Come on, put me out of my misery. I've got the funniest hand," Grundy said. Bennani decided to make the call.

"This is all I've got," Grundy said and flipped over A A A 7.

"You don't even have a suit," said the always helpful Boukai.

Bennani turned up K J Q 4. The flop was a Grundy Friendly 7 5 T. The J turn brought a few 'oh no's' from the peanut gallery.

Grundy leaned into the table to see what the river would bring. It was the K! Bennani had made two pair to beat Grundy's aces. Grundy stared in disbelief for a moment before separating himself from the table. Someone was there to escort him to the pay out line.

"Do I really have to do it now," sighed Grundy.

Bennani Boukai'd

Rami Boukai didn't waste time in grounding and pounding on Bennani. Just a few minutes into the match Boukai had already ground down Bennani to a 3-1 chip deficit.

Surprisingly the final hand came in the Pot Limit Hold'em rotation. Most of the big hands throughout this event were during the PLO rounds.

It all started when Bennani made a pot sized raise from the button. Boukai reraised pot and Bennani called. Bennani must have been pleased to see Boukai turn over pocket nines. He was fortunate to be in a coin flip situation with his Q J.

Bennani was even more thrilled when he flopped a queen. A brutal 9 on the turn had Bennani singing a different tune. A devastating and cruel board for Bennani, the double up was dangled right in front of his face before being snatched away.

Najib Bennani didn't win a bracelet but he did win himself $151,335.

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Back To Even

Diamond on the river?!?!
Diamond on the river?!?!

Things have evened up a bit. All of the players are within striking distance of each other.

In order to ease a bit of the pressure, they decided to take $40,000 off of the first place money and divide it equally between second and third place.

Bennini joked that now that there was less money to play for the tournament would be over in two hands. His predictions aren't as spot on as Grundy's - the bracelet clearly means a lot to all of them.

Big Ben

Rami Boukai hit a bit of a rough patch where he dipped from being chipleader all the way down to last place.

Boukai made it 200,000 to go from the button and Ben Grundy reraised it to 460,000. Boukai repotted it and all the chips went in. Grundy turned over A K 8 6 while Boukai tabled A 9 8 7.

Grundy's tournament life was on the line. The flop was a scary (for both players) 8 Q 6. Grundy flopped two pair while Boukai had flopped a straight draw. The K gave Grundy three pair and a 4 river gave him the pot.

The pot brough Grundy up to 950,000 while Boukai was knocked down to 625,000.

A Close Shave

Things looked a lot worse for Boukai a few minutes later.

Boukai limped from the small blind and Najib Bennani checked from the big blind. The flop was the A 9 4. Boukai led out for 60,000 and Bennini made it 200,000 to go. Boukai shoved all in and was quickly called.

Boukai turned over Q 5 for a flush draw while Bennine was ahead with his A 5. The 3 turn changed nothing.

"Diamond, diamond," willed Boukai's girlfriend from the rail.

The dealer obliged and rivered the T! It was a close shave for Boukai, but the lucky river card brought him back to chip leader position with 1.25 million.

Bennini looked like a little kid that had just been robbed of his candy. For him it was back to the drawing board.

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$2.5k PL Mixed - The Soothsayer

Ben Grundy makes predictions on day 2.
Ben Grundy makes predictions on day 2.

Some progress was finally made during the last level in the $2,500 HA. We lost two players in the form of Dan Makowsky and Cornel Simpan.

Najib Bennani who, at one point during the final table, was down to just 50,000 chips has surged into first place. Rami Boukai got knocked down to second place but isn't far behind.

In other news, Ben Grundy can see the future.

Dan Makowsky (5th)

"We need someone to get like Ace-Jack against two eights or something, then someone will be eliminated," Ben Grundy said.

Five minutes later, Dan Makowsky raised from under the gun. It folded to Najib Bennani who re-potted it. Makowsky shrugged and looked toward the ceiling before pushing all in. Bennani called.

Makowsky turned over A J while Bennani turned over pocket eights! The dealer ran an all brick board and Makowsky was sent to the payout line.

Most of the table was amazed that Grundy had called out the two exact cards just minutes before but it wasn't any surprise to Grundy, he can see the future.

Ben Prophecy, Cimpan (4th)

"I'll bet anyone even money that someone gets eliminated before the end of the level," Ben Grundy announced. There were about thirteen minutes left in the level. Nobody seemed too eager to make the bet but PL.com was thinking about it.

Before PL.com even had a chance to book some action, a family pot developed. All players limped and it was up to Cornel Cimpan in the big blind. He potted it and everyone folded all the way around to Najib Bennani.

Bennani asked for a count and Cimpan reported that it would be 120,000 more to call and he had an additional 265,000 behind.

Bennani elected to call and the dealer produced a board 5 J 7. Bennani insta-shoved and Cimpan tanked it for a minute or so before nodding his head and pushing in his stack.

Bennani: 6 6 5 8
Cimpan: A A 3 7

Cimpan was ahead with his aces while Bennai had an open ended straight draw.

The dealer burned and turned the 2. Cimpan was still in the lead with one card to come.

The dealer knocked the table and produced the 4!

Bennani had his straight draw.

"I knew if you had a big hand you check," Cimpan said dejectedly. Cimpan will take home $69,546 for his efforts.

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Still Five Handed

Limping with aces.
Limping with aces.

The last level went by incredibly slowly. Not much progress was made by any of the players in either direction. The mountains of 1,000 chips were raced off which should make some of the betting a little more efficient.

Check, Check All Night Check

Najib Bennani raised it from early position and Cornel Cimpan called.

"Maybe I can bluff this one too," Cimpan said as he slipped in his 60,000.

There was no bluffing from Cimpan as both players checked it down the whole way.

The board was 2 4 6 3 9.

"Set of nines," Cimpan said when it was checked to him on the end.

Bennani turned over A A A 5! He had not only turned the wheel but he had also picked up the nut flush draw. Shockingly Cimpan decided to check on the end with his set of nines.

"So sick check. You don't value bet there?" Rami Boukai asked Cimpan.

"I was going to, but I thought he might have ace-five," replied Cimpan.

"What the $%@# is going on here," laughed Bennani. Surprised that he didn't get a cent of value out his hand.

Sneaky, Sneaky

Rami Boukai limped from the cutoff and Ben Grundy checked from the big blind. Both players checked the 7 7 5 flop. The turn was a 7 and Grundy woke up with a bet of 40,000. Boukai called and then called another 60,000 from Grundy when the 9 came on the river.

"Aces," said Boukai matter of factly.

"Aces?!?" exclaimed Grundy, his eyes nearly popping out of his head. Boukai turned over aces for sevens full of aces.

Grundy flashed two kings before mucking his hand.

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$2.5k PL Mixed - The Slowness

Still five handed? Seriously?
Still five handed? Seriously?

The $2,500 HA tournament is playing by smokers rules. Rather than taking a break every two hours, they are breaking once an hour so the players can go out and get their nicotine fixes.

During the last break Cornel Cimpan confided in us that he in fact held a set of sixes in that hand against Ben Grundy. He did a good job taking the low variance route by talking Grundy into laying down his wrap.

It's looking like tonight is going to be a long one, especially if the players continue to take naps during the Pot Limit Holdem rounds.

Paul Parked (6th)

Paul Parker played very well today but had a devastating judgement error that bounced him from the tournament.

He potted it preflop and it folded to Rami Boukai who re-potted it. Parker made the big call with the rest of his chips and turned over A 6. Boukai was well ahead with his A K.

Five bricks later and Parker was sent to the rail.

The rest of the table was pretty surprised that Parker decided to call off in that spot but what is done is done and Parker will have to sell for his $39,904 payday.

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Grundy, Grundy, Grundy

Looks 16 but is actually 31.
Looks 16 but is actually 31.

Ben Grundy must have eaten his Wheaties for dinner. He came back and was dominating the show splashing around left and right. It was a pretty wild ride for him but, somehow, he made it through the end of the level. 

Upon their return, they played a round of Pot Limit Holdem. They saw only one flop throughout the ten hands. It looks like Omaha is probably the game that all of the chips will be going in on.

Grundy seems to think so as well, he foreshadowed that someone would be busted in the first round of PLO at the 10,000/20,000 level. 

Cimpan Harasses Kid

"Check raise 'em all day. You got the wrap but I got the queen too," Cornel Cimpan said.

He had just started laying into Ben Grundy after checkraising him on a 6 4 Q flop. Grundy was agonizing over the situation. The bet was 80,000 which represented about a quarter of Grundy's stack.

"Ben, you're not calling buddy. Just fold," Cimpan said. This must have set something off in Grundy's head - he called immediately.

"Wow," said Cimpan. The dealer turned over the T and Cimpan moved all in instantly.

Grundy went back into the tank.

"Think long, think wrong buddy. Can I have a clock," Cimpan continued.

The floor man came over and gave Grundy his sixty second warning. Grundy thought until he had four seconds left before he pushed his cards into the muck.

Grundy Again

Grundy didn't take long before he was back at it. On the very next hand he potted it and was called by Paul Parker. The flop was the 7 J 2. Grundy continued by betting 80,000.

Paul Parker insta-shoved and it was back into the tank for Grundy.

"I'll tell you one thing for sure, you were better off in the last one," laughed Parker.

Grundy thought while Parker continued trying to get Grundy to call.

"Will you show me if I fold?" Grundy asked.

"I will, but you have to show me," replied Parker.

Grundy nodded and turned over his hand.

Grundy: J 6 9 7

Parker: A A 9 8

Grundy winced when he saw Parker's cards.

"If he had showed me his hand I would've called instantly! It was like the one hand that I could go against," said Grundy.

More Grundy

Grundy, pretty much the star of the table, was at it yet again on the very next hand. Three big hands in row for the Milkybar Kid.

Grundy potted it and it was Paul Parker who wanted a piece. He called and the flop came down 9 2 6.

Grundy insta-shoved.

"If I have a pair I'm with you. I have to look, honestly I don't remember what I have," Parker said.

Parker liked what he saw, he immediately called.

Grundy tuned up A A 3 T while Parker turned over A 5 9 6. Parker was well ahead with his two pair. The 5 turn was a pretty rough card for Grundy.

"Four," pleaded Grundy, one of the five cards left in the deck that could give him a winner.

The dealer obliged and a miraculous 4 came on the river! Grundy had made a runner runner wheel to take down the pot and remain in the action.

After a wild three hands, Grundy is back to 344,000.

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Back in the Game!

Mange mange mange.
Mange mange mange.

The dinner break is over and the cards are back in the air in the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha/Hold'em Mixed event.

Next stop, a champion!

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Dinner Time!

Dinner will be that much better with Cimpan's chips.
Dinner will be that much better with Cimpan's chips.

We're down to seven players in the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha/Hold'em mixed event and the field is on a quick hour-long dinner break.

Here's the action from the last hour of play:

Kabbaj Patched (8th)

In Pot Limit Omaha, John Kabbaj limped-in from first position and Rami Boukai called before Cornel Cimpan raised on the button.

Kabbaj called and Boukai got out of the way and the flop came 8 5 3.

Kabbaj potted it and Cimpan raised, putting the Brit all-in. The Brit called, turning up A J 7 4 for straight and flush draws.

Cimpan, meanwhile, had A A K Q for the overpair and better flush draw, and when the 9 hit on the turn Kabbaj was drawing to the 6 to stay alive.

John Kabbaj
In the soup!

But the river was the J, busting Kabbaj in eighth place for $28,006.

Grundy Doubles!

Just before Kabbaj's elimination, Ben Grundy limped from under the gun in Omaha action and Kabbaj and Paul Parker made the call before Pavel Andrzejewski and Cornel Cimpan joined the party in the blinds.

The flop came A K 3 and Andrzejewski checked to Cimpan, who bet the pot. Grundy re-potted almost enough to put himself all-in and everyone else folded to Cimpan, who called.

Grundy still had 12,000 behind, but both players turned up their hands as Grundy was very obviously moving all-in on the turn.

TheMilkyBarKid turned up A A 7 2 for top set and Cimpan showed 7 4 3 3 for bottom set.

The turn was the Q and the river the 9 and Grundy doubled up to just under 500,000.

See you in an hour!

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Final Table Time!


We're nine-handed at last on Day 3 of the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha and our final table has thus been established.

Hevad Khan, however, is not a part of the festivities.

The Team PokerStars Pro was eliminated in eleventh place after playing short-stacked for most of the day.

His climactic hand saw him raise on the button during a hold'em round holding A 8 and call all-in when Najib Bennani re-raised from the small blind with A T.

Khan was utterly dominated and needed an eight or some freaky combination to survive, but the board came Q 6 3 2 9 and that eight never showed, busting Khan for an $18,170 score and reducing the field to the final ten.

A few rounds after the final table kicked off, Cornel Cimpan came from behind to take down another huge pot, busting Gary Do in the process and taking over the chip lead.

Cornel Andrew Cimpan
Coming from behind!

You might recall that Cimpan, master of the single overcard, was the root of Jamie Rosen's demise earlier in the day when his K-J turned a king to crush Rosen's pocket queens.

This time, Cimpan re-raised with A 7 over the top of an opening raise from Rami Boukai in hold'em action, only to see Gary Do move all-in for his last 131,000.

Boukai folded out but Cimpan made the call and found himself way behind again when Do turned up a pocket pair of cowboys.

The flop kept things civil, coming T 8 5, but again Cimpan spiked the miracle turn card with the A to take the lead.

Do couldn't recover as the river brought the 3, shipping a nice pot to Cimpan and shipping himself out of the tournament. 

He'll take $18,170 as well.

Update: Stockinger Plummets (9th)

Sigi Stockinger just didn't want to wait until the next update and we're now eight-handed as a result.

Stockinger was eliminated in an Omaha hand after getting all-in against Dan Makowsky on a A 7 5 Q board holding A K K 8 to Makowsky's A Q T 4.

Makowsky's two pair trumped Stockinger's top pair and after the river was the 7, aces and queens took the pot, sending Stockinger to the yard in ninth place for $25,151.


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$2.5k PL Mixed - Brutal Beats!

Brutal Beats!
Brutal Beats!

We're down to the final eleven players here at the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha mixed event and the field is awaiting one more elimination before redrawing for seats at a ten-handed final table.

Here's how the last hour played out in the Amazon Room:

Rosen Crantz'd (16th)

Jamie Rosen was crippled by Cornel Cimpan when his queens failed to hold against Cimpan's K-J and would find himself all-in for his last 80,000 a few hands later.

Rosen had pocket treys and was up racing against A-K, but after the flop came K-K-9 the marijuana scholar was drawing slim to stay alive.

Turn and river were bricks and that was the ballgame. Rosen takes $10,293 for his 16th-place finish.

Entin Ended (15th)

Jonas Entin doubled up Najib Bennani in an all-in preflop confrontation in Pot Limit Omaha, A A 9 9 against 8 7 6 4 when the board came 7 6 3 5 T to give Bennani the straight.

Crippled, Entin got all-in the next hand in a three-way all-in that saw Hevad Khan all-in against Surinder Sunar for the side pot.

Jonas Entin, Surinder Sunar and Hevad Khan
Battlefield Rio!

The hands were as follows:

Entin: Q 8 3 2

Khan: K Q Q 2

Sunar: J 6 5 4

(Khan and Sunar got all-in on the flop)

The board ran T 9 3 8 9 and Khan's queens-up took the pot, doubling him through Sunar and busting Entin.

Sunar Pinged (14th)

Sunar was eliminated shortly thereafter when he got all-in during hold'em play with A-Q against Bennani's pocket tens. 

Sunar would flop a gutshot straight draw, but couldn't get there on the turn or river and was thusly eliminated.

He'll take $13,534 for his time.

Makhija Makhammered (13th)

Amit Makhija was next to go, doubling up Ben Grundy when his A-9 failed to improve agianst TheMilkyBarKidd's pocket queens and then shipping his last 100k all-in preflop over the top of a raise by Rami Boukai in hold'em action.

Amit Makhija
So sick!

Boukai snap-called with tens and Makhija was racing with A-J. The flop brought an ace, but it also brought a ten to give Boukai the set.

The turn brought a third ace, however, and Makhija had outs heading to the river, but Fifth Street bricked and so did Makhija, who was eliminated in 13th place.

Collado Collated (12th)

Finally, Jan Collado was eliminated in another race situation in hold'em action. This time it was Collado's A-K battling Paul Parker's pocket eights, and after the flop came 6 4 3 the turn was the A to give Collado the lead.

The river, however, was the dagger 8 to give Parker the set and bust Collado in painful fashion. He'll take $18,170 to soften the blow.

Check out the updated chip counts here

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$2.5k PL Mixed - Day 3!


Welcome to the third and final day of the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha tournament here at the 2009 World Series of Poker.

Eighteen players returned to the tables an hour ago to begin the long grind down to a champion, led by chipleader Dan Makowsky and joined by Ben Grundy, Surinder Sunar and Jamie Rosen, among others.

Tony Cousineau was also in the house but he was eliminated in the first hour of play, busting out in 18th place after raising from the small blind with J 5 and then calling all-in after big blind Paul Parker re-raised.

Parker had J 9 and after the board came Q-7-6-3-10, Cousineau was out in 18th place for $10,293.

Tony Cousineau
Outkicked, kicked out!

Chris Chang was next to go, busting with A J T 8 against Rosen's A A 2 7. Chang would turn a straight draw, but Rosen filled-up on the river and Chang was thus eliminated, out in 17th place and also earning $10,293.

Sixteen players remain, with Jamie Rosen having just taken a big hit at the hands of Cornel Cimpan, who got his stack in on the button during a hold'em round holding K-J offsuit to Rosen's pocket queens.

The flop came rags, but Cimpan binked a king on the turn and rode it through the river, taking the 400,000 pot and knocking Rosen down to 80,000.

As we proceed....

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Event Name Event 10 - $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha
Venue Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 3 June 2009
Final Day 5 June 2009
Buy In $2,500
Entrants 453
Prize Pool $1,041,900
First Prize $244,862
Level Ante Blinds
Level 1 0 50/75
Level 1 0 25/50
Level 2 0 50/100
Level 2 0 50/75
Level 3 0 75/150
Level 3 0 50/100
Level 4 0 75/150
Level 4 0 100/200
Level 5 0 150/300
Level 5 0 100/200
Level 6 0 200/400
Level 6 0 150/300
Level 7 0 250/500
Level 7 0 200/400
Level 8 0 250/500
Level 8 0 300/600
Level 9 0 400/800
Level 9 0 300/600
Level 10 0 500/1000
Level 10 0 400/800
Level 11 0 600/1200
Level 11 0 500/1000
Level 12 0 600/1600
Level 12 0 800/1600
Level 13 0 1000/2000
Level 13 0 800/1600
Level 14 0 1200/2400
Level 14 0 1000/2000
Level 15 0 1200/2400
Level 15 0 1500/3000
Level 16 0 2000/4000
Level 16 0 1500/3000
Level 17 0 2500/5000
Level 17 0 2000/4000
Level 18 0 3000/6000
Level 18 0 2500/5000
Level 19 0 3000/6000
Level 19 0 4000/8000
Level 20 0 5000/10000
Level 20 0 4000/8000
Level 21 0 6000/12000
Level 21 0 5000/10000
Level 22 0 6000/12000
Level 22 0 8000/16000
Level 23 0 10000/20000
Level 23 0 8000/16000
Level 24 0 12000/24000
Level 24 0 10000/20000
Level 25 0 15000/30000
Level 25 0 12000/24000
Level 26 0 15000/30000
Level 26 0 20000/40000
Level 27 0 25000/50000
Level 27 0 20000/40000
Level 28 0 30000/60000
Level 28 0 25000/50000
Level 29 0 40000/80000
Level 29 0 30000/60000

Rami Boukai

Event 10 - $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Rami Boukai $244,862
2. Najib Bennani $151,335
3. Ben Grundy $99,574
4. Cornel Cimpan $69,546
5. Daniel Makowsky $51,313
6. Paul Parker $39,904
7. Pawel Andrzejwski $32,653
8. John Kabbaj $28,006
9. Sigi Stockinger $25,151
10. Gary Do $18,170