Sometimes the World Series of Poker can feel like a Stanley Cup playoff game that just runs and runs. Event #4 lived up to this and then some as Cory Zeidman and Chris Bjorin played on into the Vegas morning amidst an empty room. Zeidman was the victor as he bettered Bjorin at around 3:30 local time to take the bracelet and $201,559 prize for first place. The bracelet winner led at the start of the final table; the same position in which he sat last year. It was a packed final table with the likes of Michael Mizrachi and Xuan Liu looking for a bracelet but none were a match for Zeidman who won through.
Leif Force took his first WSOP title as he negotiated three final day match-ups to win Event #3. The Heads Up NLHE/Pot Limit Omaha championship is one of the early big draws and gives the best in poker the chance to showcase their head-to-head game. Force had arguably the most difficult quarterfinal opponent in the shape of Andy Frankenberger and it was when he easily beat the past WSOP bracelet winner that the Force was strong with this one. In the other quarterfinals Jason Koon outlasted the remaining female contestant Annette Obrestad and Simeon Naydenov made sure David Benefield wasn’t going any further. Julian Powell defeated Gregg Merkow just 15 minutes inside the three-hour time limit.
In the semis the Force was too much for Powell and it wasn’t long until the other finalist was confirmed when Koon outmuscled Naydenov. This was still Force’s to lose and he made quick work of Koon to confirm his first bracelet win. It was only apt that a man named Force won the last bracelet to be awarded in the month May. May the Force be with you and all that. No? Alright I’ll get my coat.
Event #5 – $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em – picks up for the final table on Saturday afternoon with Daniel Negreanu in the hunt for a fifth bracelet. The Canadian sits in sixth place with a stack of 212,000 and is some way behind chip leader Bryan Pellegrino’s stack of 790,000. Day two chip-leader Antonio Esfandiari could only manage 44th and there remain players with real championship pedigree on the final table as WPT title holder Jonathan Aguiar, EPT title holder John Eames and two-time WPT champ Tommy Vedes will all be there.
Two more events got underway on Thursday with WSOP veteran Joe Tehan taking a substantial lead into day two of Event #6 with 112 of the 409 entrants still able to turn up. Seven Card Stud is the order of the day in Event #7 with the 110 remaining players from the 367 that started being led by Kevin McGuinness.