Yesterday saw the crowning of another two brand new WSOP Champions as Brian Meinders & Austin Scott took the bracelets in their respective events.
Meinders overcame a very strong final table to be crowned $1500 Limit Hold'Em Shootout Champ whereas Scott bested a 589 strong field to walk away with the $3000 PLO title.
Meinders was able to take down the title which, in spite of its low buy in, attracted a lot of talent, by winning three consecutive shoot out tables. At his final table he had the likes of former WPT Champ Victor Ramdin and multiple bracelet winner Brock Parker to contend with - both of whom made a good showing at the final table, reaching fourth and fifth places respectively. Matters at the final table were slow to unravel with tentative play the order of the day. Finally however, after three long levels the players started to fall thick and fast - and Meinders was with a fair few of them at their demise. In fact Meinders was responsible for the elimination of six of the nine that had to fall before he was crowned champion as he combined great play with great hands and a fair helping of luck, beating Ian Johns KK with JJ (hitting a set on the river), taking a bit chunk from Brock Parker when his AK found two aces on the flop to best Parker's KK and even rivering a flush on the final hand of the match to beat Darin Thomas's flopped pair.
Take nothing away from Meinders however as it was his constant aggression throughout the days play which allowed to him to take control of proceedings. After demolishing the final table Meinders walks away WSOP champion and $116k better off.
Event 26 ($3k PLO) started the day with two tables of nine including major talent such as John Racener, Dutch Boyd, Brett Richey, Erik Seidel, Robert Williamson III and Vadzim Kursevich all looking for the $362k payday and of course the bracelet.
It was Kursevich who lead at the start of play, and in much the same way Phil Ivey did in the $5k Omaha Hi-Low he held on to that lead for the vast majority of the play. In a similar fashion the EPT Deauville winner also ended up crashing out in third spot. Kursevich fared a little better than most of the big name playes in the final eighteen however, especially Seidel who, after flopping the nut straight found himself out of the tournament one card later as Khiem Ngyuen turned a hearts flush to send Seidel to the rail. Racener and Williamson III also fell before the final table, and when the final table was set Kursevich was in a commanding chip lead with a greater than 2:1 advantage over his nearest rival, Austin Scott. Scott however slowly chipped up and eventually took the lead when play was four handed (completely crushing Kursevich in the process) getting all his chips in with a turned top set of 10's to beat Kursevish's flopped set of 9's.
After this hand it was all about Scott who proceeded to eliminate the last three players on his way to his first gold bracelet and a $362k payday.
Event 27 ($1.5k HORSE) played down to 18 players yesterday after starting 2 days ago with close to 900 entrants. Chip leader at the end of Day 2 is Ylon Schwartz, probably most remembered for his 4th place finish in the 2008 Main Event where he took home a huge $3.7 million for his efforts. With multiple bracelet winners David Chiu and Allen Cunningham still in contention however there is 9 bracelets worth of talent out there looking for more gold, although both players are sitting towards the bottom of the pack as play started today.
Yesterday also saw the start of an interesting new format at the WSOP as the first ever $2.5k NLHE four handed event started. A fast paced and fun format for sure we saw 750 entrants reduced to just 86 during the first 10 levels of play, six from the bubble.
As we go into day 2 bracelet winners Brian "tsarrast" Rast, Sam Stein, Jake Cody, Gavin Smith, Nick Schulman and Annette Obrestad are all in with a fighting chance with Rast the highest among them in second spot with 168k chips to leader Steven Weiss's 171k.
Find more of the latest news and articles relating to the World Series of Poker in the 2012 WSOP-section.