$1.5k NLHE – LeFrancois Proves Unbeatable

$568k buys a lot of poutine!
$568k buys a lot of poutine!

It seemed almost inevitable but French-Canadian Pascal LeFrancois has indeed won the latest $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event at the 2010 WSOP.

Although the day began with Phil Hellmuth as one of the chip leaders, it was all LeFrancois as the tournament approached the final table.

Once he made it to the final table LeFrancois was never in any real danger of busting and he essentially ran everyone else over.

In the final hand of the tournament LeFrancois completed and Steinberg checked his option.

The flop came K J 4. Steinberg bet 140,000 and LeFrancois made the call.

The turn came 5 and Steinberg bet 360,000. LeFrancois called and that brought the river of T.

It didn't take long for Steinberg to move all-in. LeFrancois asked for a count and after thinking for a minute he decided to make the call.

Steinberg flipped up 4 3 and LeFrancois jumped up from his seat cheering as he showed the winning J 6.

LeFrancois defeats Steinberg and wins the 2010 WSOP Event 8 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event. He takes home a whopping $568,974 while Steinberg will have to settle for tidy consolation prize of $352,916.

Thanks for tuning in!

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$1.5k NLHE – LeFrancois Busts Howe

Howe did this happen?
Howe did this happen?

Chip leader Pascal LeFrancois just busted the second biggest stack at the table and looks poised to take down this tournament heads-up.

LeFrancois has been the story of this final table and could potentially be second Canadian to take down a bracelet at the 2010 WSOP.

Here's a look at the action leading to heads-up play:

Steinberg's Triple Barrel Fails

Max Steinberg opened a pot for 200k and Pascal LeFrancois called from the small blind.

The flop came K 4 2 and Steinberg bet 180,000. LeFrancois called to see a turn of Q.

Once again Steinberg bet, this time 400,000. LeFrancois called and the river fell Q.

Steinberg opted to fire one final bullet worth 650,000.

LeFrancois thought for a couple minutes and then quietly announced he was all-in.

Steinberg let out a large sigh of disgust and then stared and the ceiling for a minute thinking about his decision.

Steinberg laid it down and LeFrancois raked a giant pot.

"I thought he might have A-T," we later heard Steinberg tell his friends on the rail.

LeFrancois Smashes Howe

Pascal LeFrancois bet 180,000 from the button and Howe raised to 400,000. LeFrancois re-raised and Howe decided to ship it.

LeFrancois snap-called and threw down K K. Howe shook his head as he showed A T.

The board came 8 5 3 7 2 and that spelled doom for Howe.

Howe will receive $249,351 for coming in third place.

We are now heads-up. Here are the chip counts:

LeFrancois - 9.1 million
Steinberg - 1.3 million

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$1.5k NLHE – Two More on the Rail

What the Wjuniski just happened?
What the Wjuniski just happened?

Players continue to drop here at the final table of Event 8 No-Limit Hold'em as we approach heads-up play.

It's nearing 1 a.m. so perhaps the fatigue factor is beginning to come into play or players are just feeling aggressive.

Here's a closer look at the latest action:

Wjuniski Worked Over

Brazilian Daniel Wjuniski was one of the most popular players at the final table but all the cheering in the world couldn't save him from his recent elimination.

Kevin Howe bet 140,000 from early position Wjuniski moved all-in for 830,000 from the button.

Max Steinberg re-shoved from the small blind to isolate and everyone else got out of the way.

Steinberg showed J J to Wjuniski's 7 7 and the Brazilian's position looked precarious.

The board rolled out A T 3 2 6, which sent Wjuniski packing.

The Brazilian will receive $179,286 for coming in fourth place.

Aue About That?

David Aue has been eliminated after playing a big hand against Kevin Howe.

Howe bet 140,000 and Aue moved all-in from the small blind for about 500,000. Howe made the call and flipped over 9 9.

Aue showed T T and looked primed for a double up.

The flop came 7 6 4, which changed nothing. The turn brought a ten, which gave Aue a set but also gave Howe some outs to a straight.

That's just what happened when the river fell 8.

Aue could only shake his head as he headed for the exit.

He will receive $130,000 for coming in fifth place.


Pascal LeFrancois - 4.2 million
Max Steinberg - 3.8 million
Kevin Howe - 2.5 million

Level 28

Blinds: 40,000/80,000 Ante: 10,000

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$1.5k NLHE – The Pace Picks Up

It's getting crazy out there!
It's getting crazy out there!

We've made it through the first full level of the final table and, dare we say, it's getting fast and furious out there.

There have been three eliminations and LeFrancois continues to build on his status as chip leader.

Here's a look at all the action:

Steinberg Busts Wilf and Brikis

Max Steinberg just found won perhaps the most important coin flip of his tournament.

Josh Brikis, Saar Wilf and Steinberg got it all-in preflop with Brikis holding A K, Wilf with A K and Steinberg with J J.

With Steinberg covering both players the entire table took a deep breath as the board ran out Q 7 5 6 8.

Steinberg dodged all the aces and kings in the deck and essentially doubled up to more than 1 million chips.

Wilf finishes in ninth place for $41,843 while Brikis lands in eighth for $54,578.

Howe Dissects Disessa

Short-stack Kurt Disessa open-shoved for his last 410,000 from the small blind and Kevin Howe decided to look him up from the big blind.

It was the right choice as Disessa could only muster Q 9 while Howe held A 2.

The board came A J 5 Q A and not even a pair of queens or a flush draw could save Disessa. He's headed to the payout booth in seventh place.

He will receive $72,087 for his efforts in this event.

Wjuniski Boots Andersen

It's apparent the players at the final table want to get this over with.

James Andersen opened a pot for 150,000 and Brazilian Daniel Wjuniski retorted by moving all-in.

Andersen snap-called with A A, which had Wjuniski's T T crushed.

It looked like Andersen would double up but the flop changed everything when it came T 5 3 to give Wjuniski a set and put him firmly in the lead.

The Brazlian fans at this point could barely contain there excitement as they cheered their hero's good fortune.

The board finished with K and then the 4, which finished Andersen's tournament.

Andersen will receive $96,422 for coming in sixth place.

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$1.5k NLHE – Final Table Set!

The glory! The drama! The WSOP final table!
The glory! The drama! The WSOP final table!

The clock just ticked past 10 p.m. PST and we have ourselves a final table.

Jose Gatmaitan bet 110,000 and Pascal LeFrancois raised to 280,000.

Gatmaitan moved all-in for a total of 820,000 and LeFrancois decided to make the call.

The players revealed their cards:

Gatmaitan: T T

LeFrancois: 9 9

It looked like Gatmaitan was headed for the easy double up but the poker gods had other ideas as the board came 9 8 4 3 K.

The flopped set of nines was enough to extinguish Gatmaitan's tournament life and the already inebriated LeFrancois fans went crazy.

LeFrancois is starting to run this table over and now has nearly 5 million chips.

The final nine players remain at the same table but we now have our official final table.

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$1.5k NLHE – It’s Gonna Be a Late One!

Remember this? Neither do we.
Remember this? Neither do we.

It's about 9:30 p.m. PST and we still haven't reached a final table of nine players.

We're not sure what's going to happen over the next few hours but, barring some changes by the tournament staff, this event could go late. Very late.

The cards are once again in the air and it's time and it's time to get serious about winning a WSOP bracelet.

Here are the after dinner chip counts:

Pascal LeFrancois - 4 million
Kevin Howe - 1.7 million
David Aue - 1.3 million
Max Steinberg - 900,000
Saar Wilf - 855,000
James Andersen - 655,000
Kurt Disessa - 651,000
Jose Gatmaitan - 640,000
Josh Brikis - 375,000
Daniel Wjuniski - 350,000

Level 25

Blinds: 20,000/40,000 Ante: 5,000

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$1.5k NLHE – Tight is Right

David Aue
David Aue

Action has almost grinded to a halt at the 10-person $1.5k No-Limit Hold'em final table.

Ten-handed tables are usually very conservative and this one is no exception.

No one wants to go home and players are waiting for good cards to come their way before they commit much to the pot.

Here's the latest from the tournament floor:

A Good Time for Aces

Daniel Wjuniski open-shoved from the small blind and Jose Gatmaitan, who was covered by Wjuniski, insta-called from the big blind.

It was easy to see why as Gatmaitan showed A A while Wjuniski could only muster K T.

The board ran out A 8 5 J 6 to secure Gatmaitan's double up.

Gatmaitan now has nearly 640,000 while Wjuniski is down to 320,000.

Howe About that Double?

Chip leader Pascal LeFrancois opened a pot for 70,000 and Saar Wilf called from the small blind. Kevin Howe changed the hand dramatically by shoving all-in from the big blind for about 650,000 chips.

LeFrancois thought it was a good time to get out of the way and he did just that. Wilf, on the other hand, opted to make the call.

The players flipped over their cards:

Howe: J J

Wilf: T T

Wilf missed all his outs on the board and suddenly Howe was up to more than 1.2 million.


Here's how it all shakes down at the last table of the tournament:

Pascal LeFrancois - 3.1 million
Kevin Howe - 1.4 million
David Aue - 1.3 million
Saar Wilf - 1 million
Max Steinberg - 850,000
Kurt Disessa - 750,000
Jose Gatmaitan - 630,000
Josh Brikis - 400,000
Daniel Wjuniski - 325,000
James Anderson - 260,000

Level 24

Blinds: 15,000/30,000 Ante: 4,000

Players are now on a 60-minute dinner break.

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$1.5k NLHE – The Final 10

Max Steinberg
Max Steinberg

It's just about 7 p.m. PST and we just set our pseudo final table of 10 players.

Although we won't be down to the actual final table until nine players remain the remaining 10 players have been consolidated to one table.

Phil Hellmuth is out of the running there are still several compelling storylines with

Here's the action leading up to the final table:

Pascal LeFrancois Crushing

Pascal LeFrancois has emerged as the dominant chip leader and looks unstoppable right now.

Matthew Ezrol open-shoved with K Q and LeFrancois called him with A Q.

The board came 9 4 3 2 3 and was enough to eliminate Ezrol and give LeFrancois another huge pot. He now has over 3 million of the 10 million chips in play.

LeFrancois' fans, who are all dressed in V-neck T-shirts for some reason, went wild after the hand cheering loudly and high-fiving each other.

The Busterati

Scott Vener was eliminated  in 13th place after losing a race with queens versus David Wjuniski's big slick while Darin Utley found himself on the rail after getting his pocket kings cracked by Pascal LeFrancois' 8 8.

Moral of the story? Big pocket pairs are actually bad. Remember that the next time you're playing $1/$2 at the Orleans.

From the Felt

"Wooo. That's all I got. I can't get excited until you actually drag a pot."

-Kurt Disessa fan


Here's how it all stacks out up as the final 10 players enter battle:

Pascal LeFrancois - 3.06 million
David Aue - 1.6 million
Saar Wilf - 1.4 million
Max Steinberg - 1 million
Kevin Howe - 720,000
Josh Brikis - 650,000
Jose Gatmaitan - 618,000
Daniel Wjuniski - 600,000
Kurt Disessa - 500,000
James Andersen - 234,000

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$1.5k NLHE – Disaster for Hellmuth

'Honey, look at what they did to me now."
'Honey, look at what they did to me now."

Everyone was watching Phil Hellmuth as he entered Day 3 of Event 8 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em but that story has come to an abrupt close.

Hellmuth, who has more in lifetime tournament winnings than the entire remaining field, was in the top 10 chip counts to start the day with 556,000 chips but it took him very little time to burn through his stack.

The Poker Brat got involved in several significant pots with Max Steinberg and ended up the loser in every one.

Down to just 80,000 chips Hellmuth decided to open-shove from the button with Q 9 and Scott Vener looked him up with A 6.

The board ran out J 5 2 2 3 and that put the finishing touch on Hellmuth's bad day. Surprisingly Hellmuth was calm and collected following his defeat.

On the bright side his 15th place finish for $25,472 is his record-setting 76th WSOP cash.

His record-setting 12th WSOP bracelet will have to wait for another day, however.

Lehr Jetted

Charles Lehr has nearly $1 million in lifetime tournament earnings but didn't help him survive the latest level.

Lehr opened for 40,000 and Pascal LeFrancois moved all-in on top of him. Lehr insta-called for his tournament life and flipped over KK to LeFrancois A-K.

The board ran out J 9 6 Q T and both players had made a straight but LeFrancois' was better. Lehr leaves in 14th place for a $25,472 consolation prize.


Here are the top 10 chip counts as we close in on the final table:

Pascal Lefrancois - 1.8 million
Saar Wilf - 1.2 million
David Aue - 1.2 million
Max Steinberg - 1 million
Kevin Howe - 875,000
Daniel Wjuniski - 670,000
Josh Brikis - 650,000
Darin Utley - 625,000
Jose Gatmaitan - 618,000
Matthew Ezrol - 600,000

Level 23

Blinds: 12,000/24,000 Ante: 3,000

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$1.5k NLHE – The Two Tables

There's a new sheriff in town.
There's a new sheriff in town.

We're down to two tables in the $1.5k No-Limit Hold'em event with only 18 players still in the hunt for a shiny WSOP bracelet.

Hellmuth is within nine eliminations of making his record 42nd final table but he faltered in the last level.

Here's a closer look at how it all shakes down:

Geary Ganked

Raymond Geary started the day with a ton of momentum but it's all ran out as he was eliminated by Kevin Howe.

Geary got all-in with K Q and Howe called with J J.

Geary missed all his outs on the board and he's left to contemplate what might have been.

Cohen Cracked

Andrew Cohen, one of the only WSOP bracelet winners in the field today, has seen his last flop.

Cohen was crippled when his pocket queen's cracked by Daniel Wjuniski's 8-7 and then decided to shove with Q-9 against David Aue's A-5.

The board provided no help and Cohen, winner of the last year's WSOP Casino Employee's event, was sent packing.

Hellmuth Watch

Just two levels into Day 3 and Phil Hellmuth is in trouble.

The Poker Brat's stack dipped below the average for the first time of the day and after several lost pots Hellmuth is down to about 380,000.

Top 10 Leaderboard

Here are the players with the best shot at making the final table:

Charles Lehr - 653,000
Daniel Wjuniski - 639,000
Jared Michelizzi - 610,000
Scott Vener - 576,000
Josh Brikis - 547,000
Saar Wilf - 500,000
Pascal LeFrancois - 483,000
David Aue - 479,000
Max Steinberg - 478,000
Looney Devin - 447,000

Level 22

Blinds: 10,000/20,000 Ante: 3,000

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$1.5k NLHE – Hellmuth Traps Himself

The star of the show.
The star of the show.

It's the first level of the day and Phil Hellmuth is already fuming.

The UB pro traded bets with Max Steinberg down a K Q 7 6 J board. Hellmuth made a 70,000 bet on the river and Steinberg called.

Hellmuth looked like he expected to win the hand so when Steinberg flipped over Q J he exploded in his chair throwing off his glasses.

"Come on man, what is that?" he said. "You were dead the whole way. You five-outed me. If a queen hit, I would have gotten out of the way. I trapped you."

After the hand Hellmuth sunk down to approximately 400k.

Kollman Crushed

There aren't many players wearing online poker room patches in this event (right now anyways) and now there is one less.

We saw Full Tilt Poker patch-wearing Eric Kollman double up with a jack-high club flush but we were told shortly afterwards that he had been eliminated shoving A-K into pocket nines. The nines held and Kollman was given his walking papers.

Geary Gears Up

Raymond Geary was fighting form the short stack and picked the right time to pick up some decent cards.

Geary managed to convince Max Steinberg to four-bet shove all-in with A 7 and Geary called with A K

The board came A T T 8 5 and that gave Geary the definitive checkmark. After the hand he was up to approximately 420,000.

Geary who has just one recorded tournament cash, a third place in a $1,500 Borgata event, he's looking to hit his first WSOP final table today.

From the Felt

"When they I call, I have the goods. They better get used to it."

-Phil Hellmuth

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$1.5k NLHE – All Eyes on Phil Hellmuth

Lord of the donkeys.
Lord of the donkeys.

There are 25 players left in Event 8 $1.5k No-Limit Hold'em but none loom larger than Phil "Poker Brat" Hellmuth.

The event initially drew 2,341 players but somehow Hellmuth was able to navigate the field and now finds himself within striking distance of his record-setting 42nd final table.

Originally the plan was to play down to a final table last night but as the night wore on it became apparent at 3 a.m. that 25 players was as close as they were going to get.

Although Hellmuth is by far the most well-known player in the field there are a few names on the verge of breaking through.

Andrew Cohen, who won the Casino Employees event in 2009, is second in chips with 848,000. Charles Lehr has nearly $1 million in life-time tournament winnings including a $172,120 score at the $40k Anniversary event last year. Finally Israeli Saar Wilf, who has three WSOP cashes, has the chip lead with 1.2 million chips.

Hellmuth will have some work to do as he only has 556,000 chips to work with.

Get your Jolt cola ready because today could a long one as we attempt to go all the way from 25 players to a winner.

The tournament director just instructed the dealers to shuffle up and deal so we are once again live from the Rio.

Here's a look at the top 10 chip counts to start the day:

Saar Wilf - 1.2 million
Andrew Cohen - 848,000
Charles Lehr - 653,000
Scott Vener - 576,000
Phil Hellmuth - 556,000
Joshua Brikis - 547,000
Daniel Wjuniski - 490,000
Pascal LeFrancois - 483,000
David Aue - 479,000
Jared Michelizzi - 479,000

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Event Name Event 8 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
Venue Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 2 June 2010
Final Day 4 June 2010
Buy In $1,500
Entrants 2341
Prize Pool $3,160,350
First Prize $568,974

Pascal LeFrancois

Event 8 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Pascal LeFrancois $568,974
2. Max Steinberg $352,916
3. Kevin Howe $249,351
4. Daniel Wjuniski $179,286
5. David Aue $130,617
6. James Andersen $96,422
7. Kurt Disessa $72,087
8. Joshua Brikis $54,579
9. Saar Wilf $41,843
10. Jose Gatmaitan $32,456