We're an hour deep at the final table of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and though no players have been eliminated, we've had no shortage of fireworks.
Ville Wahlbeck needs a first-place finish here to regain the lead in the World Series of Poker's Player of the Year race and the 33-year-old Finn seems to be playing for the win and not just to climb up the payout ladder.
Wahlbeck entered the final table with the short-stack but has been active, playing a number of pots and watching his chip stack fluctuate like a Sine curve.
He lost a substantial pot to Vitaly Lunkin in a Razz hand when he fired on every street with 7-5-2-A showing and got calls from Lunkin on every street despite Lunkin's showing 5-10-4-9.
On Seventh, Wahlbeck didn't even look at his last card, choosing to fire instead. Lunkin deliberated momentarily before making the call and turning up 8-6-2 for an 8-6.
Now the gig was up for Wahlbeck, who turned up his first two cards (5-2) and needed to peel a three, four or six to win the pot. But he peeled paint instead and shipped the pot to Lunkin.
Wahlbeck would recover some chips, however, winning a number of small pots in the Stud round before taking a decent pot from fellow Scandie Erik Sagstrom when he bet every street in Stud-8 with (x-x) 2♠ 4♣ 6♣ 6♦ (x) to Sagstrom's (x-x) 5♣ K♦ A♥ J♠ (x) and got Sagstrom to lay it down on the river.
Wahlbeck is now on 900k.
Meanwhile, Lunkin's Razz round wasn't all roses, as he lost a big pot to John Hanson before winning the chips back in the above hand with Wahlbeck.
I knew you had nothing, that's how.
It was a three-way pot that saw Hanson make it three bets on Third Street after Chau Giang had brought it in. Lunkin and Huck Seed called and Lunkin bet out on Fourth Street.
Both players called and Hanson took the initiative on Fifth after Lunkin made a pair of jacks. Both players called again, but when Hanson bet Sixth with 5-K-2-7 and Seed made a pair of eights, neither Seed nor Lunkin wanted to continue and Hanson took the pot.
UPDATE: Seidel Sore!
As we type this update, Erik Seidel has been eliminated. Seidel was left short-stacked after a hand with David Bach and lost another pot to Huck Seed before finally succumbing in eighth place.
Seidel's climactic hand came in Stud-8 at the hands of Bach and Lunkin, who took it to Seventh Street with Seidel calling all-in on the river.
The hands were as follows:
Lunkin: (4♣ 3♣) 3♥ A♠ J♦ 7♠ (2♠)
Bach: (8♦ 8♥) 8♣ Q♣ 6♥ 5♦ (T♣)
Seidel: (x-x) J♥ 9♦ 3♠ 8♠ (x)
Bach's rolled-up eights were good enough to take the high and Lunkin's seven-perfect low was more than enough for the low.
Seidel couldn't beat either and was thus eliminated, busted in 8th place and earning $162,382 for his time.