$1.5k H.O.R.S.E. - Van Alstyne is the Champion!

James Van Alstyne entered this heads-up match with a huge chip lead over opponent Tad Jurgens and he simply bullied his way to the title.

The victory will feel especially sweet, given Van Alstyne was pipped at the post five days ago in the $3k H.O.R.S.E. event by Canadian Zac Fellows.

This time round he made no mistake and dominated Jurgens to get his hands on the title.

Van's The Man!

The final hand saw Jurgens with less than three big bets in his stack on the Stud round and when he looked down at split deuces, he went with his hand.

It took till sixth street for Van Alstyne to make a pair but when he hit a pair of tens, Jurgens was deep in trouble and he never recovered, losing the hand and collecting $152,654 for his second place finish.

Van Alstyne however is the champion!

He wins $247,033 for his performance, as well as exorcising any demons that a bracelet might elude him having come so close just five days ago.

We send our congratulations to Van Alstyne for what was an excellent victory over a tough final table.

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$1.5k H.O.R.S.E. - Heads-Up for the Bracelet!

Two more bustouts mean there are just two H.O.R.S.E.s left fighting for the title as we reach the dramatic finale to this tournament.

For news of those eliminations, plus the current state of play, keep reading.

Magic Micon Disappears In Puff Of Smoke (4th)

Brian Micon was perhaps the best supported of the remaining players so it is with some sadness we wish farewell to the red-jacketed, hyperactive entertainer.

His demise came in the Stud-8 round, his sevens-up hand with no low, no match for James Van Alstyne's aces-up by seventh and Alstyne takes another victim, leaving Micon to draw consolation from his abundent rail, winning $69,505 in the process.

Life's a Mitch (Schock - 3rd)

Mitch Schock was the next man to perish, also a victim of the Stud-8, and also a victim of the increasingly big-stacked  Van Alstyne.

This time Schock held buried jacks, but Van Alstyne hit a six on sixth street to make both his low and a straight and send Schock to the rail in 3rd with $100,165 in his back pocket to re-invest in poker, or spend on the myriad entertainments available to him in Vegas.

That left the play heads-up with Van Alstyne, who came 2nd just a week ago in the $3k H.O.R.S.E event, holding a huge chip lead over Tad Jurgens.

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$1.5k H.O.R.S.E. - Two H.O.R.S.E.s Down!

The last hour has seen two more H.O.R.S.E.s crash at the fences, their bracelet hopes and dreams lying in tatters. Just four remain in contention now.

Here is news of those eliminations.

Malcolm Put Out To Stud (6th)

Brian Malcolm was the first of the six to falter, a victim of the Stud round.

He had fives in the hole, which he bravely stuck with through all seven streets, only to find himself well behind the split jacks of Mitch Schock.

We lose Malcolm in 6th place, as he collects $39,183.

Shannon Washed Up On The Shorr (5th)

Shannon Shorr found himself pretty short and decided to go with his Razz hand, showing the A.

It looked strong but Schock again took him on, showing just the K and once they flipped their cards, it turned out he was in the lead - his 8 7 in the hole pipping the K J in Shorr's.

The board ran out to complete a queen-low for Schock whilst Shorr could only improve to a king-low, meaning he busts in 6th place, winning $50,881.

#img: brian-micon_31704.jpg:left: Gathering magic from the bracelet. #

The Magic Bracelet

During pauses in play, Brian Micon is proving an excitable character, chatting enthusiastically to the rail and at one point, picking up the bracelet in the middle of the table as if to draw inspiration from the piece of WSOP gold.

Micon's arrayment is equally eye-catching, his jacket an iridescent red affair with a 'Binion's Horseshoe: Hall of Fame Poker Classic' logo emblazoned onto the back.

If he's pumped now, it's hard to imagine what his reaction will be to getting his hands on the bracelet for good. The cleaners may just have to sweep up an exploded Brian Micon come tomorrow!

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$1.5k H.O.R.S.E. - The Sick Six

We join the $1.5k H.O.R.S.E. with just six players still in contention for the bracelet, but there is a fiercesome line-up facing off through the various rounds of Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Stud/8.

Players will often say that the mixed poker events are the most skilful as the players are forced to show aptitude at a number of different poker disciplines and so all these players can be rightly proud of having run so deep.

There's only one WSOP bracelet to play for though and it will be one of these six men who take it down.

The Lay of the Land

Mitch Schock
Bryan Micon
Shannon Shorr620,000
James Van Alstyne
Brian Malcolm
Tad Jurgens

Stay tuned as we bring all the twists and turns of the run-in to the bracelet to you.

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Event Name Event 31 - $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
Venue Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 14 June 2009
Final Day 16 June 2009
Buy In $1,500
Entrants 770
Prize Pool $1,155,000
First Prize $247,033

James Van Alstyne

Event 31 - $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. James Van Alstyne $247,033
2. Tad Jurgens $152,654
3. Mitch Schock $100,165
4. Bryan Micon $69,505
5. Shannon Shorr $50,881
6. Brian Malcolm $39,183
7. Fabrice Soulier $31,657
8. Ronald Schiffman $26,780
9. Farzad Rouhani $19,265
10. Lana Maier $19,265