POKER

WSOP: Fourth time lucky for Hanks; Event #3 down to last eight; Liu in charge of Event #4; It’s a kinda magic in Event #5

TAGs: Andy Frankenberger, Annette Obrestad, Antonio Esfandiari, brent hanks, Daniel Negreanu, JP Kelly, Vanessa Selbst, world series of poker, WSOP, Xuan Liu

wsop-world-series-of-poker-2012The World Series of Poker’s first “top tier” event has crowned a new champion as hometown boy Brent Hanks walked home with the Event #2 bracelet. Hanks, who won a tidy $517,725, bossed an impressive final table that included Vanessa Selbst and JP Kelly. You’d have forgiven Hanks for giving up as his first three trips to a WSOP final table had seen him lose out. This time there was no beating him and the $1,500 NLHE title is now his.

Knockout competition is less common in the poker world and that’s what makes Event #3 all the more interesting. Eight players remain in the Heads Up NLHE/Pot-Limit Omaha heads-up event as it enters the quarterfinal stage. Annette Obrestad remains the lone standing woman in the event with bracelet winner in 2011, Andy Frankenberger, still in with a chance. They face Jason Koon and Leif Force, respectively, as the latter pair look for their first bracelets. The other two matches pit Simeon Naydenov against David Benefield and Julian Powell faces Gregg Merkow.

Event #4’s second day has concluded with girl power the order of the day with Canadian Xuan Liu hanging onto the lead. The $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better event saw a number of poker luminaries, such as Phil Ivey and Scotty Nguyen, fall by the wayside on day two as Liu’s stack of 330,500 was enough. She is closely followed by both Chris Tryba (307,500) and Cory Zeidman (261,500) and will be among the 23 that return on Thursday.

Antonio Esfandiari (112,600) was busy weaving his magic in Event #5 as he leads the field of 71 that remains in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event. 639 players entered meaning the prize pool sits at an impressive $862,650 and some of poker’s big names again fell off the radar on the first day. Ivey is still finding it hard at this year’s WSOP and Shaun Deeb, Scott Seiver and Shannon Storr all failed to ake the second day. A number the big boys are still there though and Daniel Negreanu was chief among these in fourth place with a stack of 94,000.

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