All eyes yesterday were once again on Phil Ivey who sat down at his 5th WSOP final table in a little over two weeks yesterday to see whether this time he could bring home his 9th WSOP gold bracelet. Unfortunately for Ivey 5th time was certainly not a charm as his fate was sealed by what can only be described as a pretty appalling beat.
Sitting in 7th place at the $2500 Mixed Hold'Em Event with about 180k in chips during a round of No Limit Ivey raised to 20k from the cut off - he was re-raised all in to 159k chips by Samuel Golbuff who had the button. Once the blinds had got out of the way Ivey snap called and must've been pleased to see just how far ahead his 88 was to Golbuff's 6 2 off suit. The flop of 5 3 2 gave his opponent a pair and a gutshot straight draw, the K turn changed nothing, but the 4 on the river filled Golbuff's straight and totally crippled Ivey who fell just a few hands later as he was left with less than two big blinds (less than one big blind for the LHE round). Had the pot fallen Ivey's way as was expected he would have been very much in contention with the chip leaders with over 350k.
Golbuff's luck continued as he then eliminated Brent Wheeler who got it in good with AK against Golbuff's KQ until a Q on the river sent Wheeler packing. The luck soon ran out however as Golbuff was next to fall as this time his dominated A 9 couldn't outdraw the days early chip leader Joep van den Bijgaart's A 10 and he was sent to the rail in 6th spot. Next Salman Behbehani put paid to Michael Gathy's hopes of becoming the first double bracelet winner this years WSOP as his QJ couldn't outdraw Behbehani's pocket 6's. Van den Bijgaart was next to fall as his pocket 3's fell to Eirk Cajelais J 9, followed soon after by Behbehani who unluckily met his maker against Chris Tryba. Behbehani's KQ hit top pair on the flop but his bet on the flop and the turn (2s) were both called by Tryba who held just A2. Another 2 hit the river and Behbehani pushed his last 300k into the pot thinking that surely his top pair with K kicker was good for the million chip pot only to see Tryba snap call with his runner-runner trips!
Heads up play between Tryba and Erik Cajelais lasted precisely one hand - and it was a hell of a hand at that. Once again Tryba called bets from his opponent on the flop and turn (Qd9c4s) (Jd) before firing a 250k bet on the river as the 8d completed the board. Surely Tryba couldn't believe his luck when Cajelais shoved all in over the top of his river bet as the river had completed the stone cold nut straight flush for him as he held the 10d9d. Cajelais could only offer a King high straight and the bracelet and the $210k first prize went to Chris Tryba.
The WSOP made a bit of history yesterday as the first ever Japanese WSOP Champion was awarded a gold bracelet after Naoya Kihara took down the $5k PLO Six Handed title. Naoya started the day with a pretty decent chip lead after controlling the action for much of the previous day. The final 11 had to play down to 7 before the official final table could be moved to the Pavillion and among the unlucky four not to make the FT we saw former November Niner and 2nd place finisher in the $5k NLHE Mixed-Max Event, Joseph Cheong who was very unlucky after flopping top set to go out to the rivered flush of Davidi Kitai. The other big name to fall before the final table was Kevin MacPhee whom Cheong had already eliminated. Once Scott Bohlman and Tommy Le were knocked out the table found itself with five players with relatively even stacks and a half million dollar first place prize at stake.
Things soon became a one man show however as Kihara took out each of the remaining four players, the onslaught triggered by the slightly unexpected elimination of Davidi Kitai. Both players got all their chips in on a flop where they both had open ended straight draws, with Kitai leading as he also had a pair of aces in his hand. The turn made the straight for both players but Kitai also had a re-draw to a 10 to make a higher straight. And the 10c fell on the river! After this Kihari disposed of Daniel Hindin and Hanz Winzeler on the way to meet Chris De Maci heads up. Kihari had almost a 3-1 chip lead over De Maci and De Maci never made a dent in that lead and all too soon got his last million or so chips in with a low wrap and bottom pair against Kihara's middle pair, flush draw and gutshot straight draw. The board blanked to hand the title and the $512k prize money to Japan's Naoya Kihari.
Event 36 ($3k NLHE Shootout) played down to the final table today. Out of the ten players who still remain we see two bracelet winners in Antonio Esfandiari and one of last years $1500 NLHE champs Athanasios Polychronopoulos as well as EPT and WPT champion, Welsh pro Roberto Romanello and former NAPT champion Joe Tehan. On the way to the final table we bade farewell to the likes of Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo, Steve Billarikis, Melanie Weisner and Jason Koon.
It was also day 2 of the $2.5k 8 game mix and we now have 27 players remaining with USA's Joseph Couden leading the way with 303k chips. Also in the field we see the likes of Matt Hawrilenko, Freddy Deeb, Jeff Madsen, Steve Sung, Greg Mueller, David Baker and Scott Siever. The 27 will play to a finish this evening.
Event 38 is yet another $1500 NLHE tournament and again we saw a pretty decent turnout with over 2,500 players registering. After one days play we have seen nearly 90% of the field elminated as there are just 277 players remaining. Current chip leader is 6 times bracelet winner Layne Flack with 230,000 chips - a pretty big lead with second placed H Borovetz on 147k. Among those still in contention we see; Jordan Morgan, David Pham, Tommy Vedes, Scott Clements and Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton.
Find more of the latest news and articles relating to the World Series of Poker in the 2012 WSOP-section.