With the World Series of Poker Main Event playing down to the November Nine, Lee Davy gives you a blow-by-blow account of all the action of the final day level-by-level and here is Level 34.
Welcome to the round-up of the fourth level of Day 7. Blinds will be 200k/400k Ante 50k.
Four players lost their tournament lives in the previous level: Jeff Hakim, Matthew Moss, Kakwan Lau, and Thomas Miller. Each of them received $269,430. The person unfortunate enough to lose their way in 18th position will get a pay jump to $338,288, and I don’t think any of them will care.
Cliff Josephy ended the level as the chip leader; James Obst ended it as the short stack.
Let’s get to it.
Kenny Hallaert opened to 1m in late position; James Obst moved all-in for 5m, and Hallaert made the call. When the cards were on their backs, Obst couldn’t have liked what he saw as his pocket deuces looked incredible feeble against the pocket Aces of the Belgian. However, the flop gave Obst hope when it came down Kc6c5c offering him a flush draw, and he hit it on the Jc turn to double up to 10.65m. Hallaert moved down to 20.575m.
The next all-in and call saw Gordon Vayo trying to stave off elimination at the hands of Jerry Wong after the pair got it in pre-flop. It was a flip with Vayo holding pocket tens, and he managed to fade the ace-queen of Wong to move up to 13.6m in chips. Wong was cut down to 15.95m.
The all-in bug was infectious.
Kenny Hallaert opened to 1m in midfield, Vojtech Ruzicka three-bet to 2.925m, and Hallaert shut him down with a four-bet jam. Hallaert ended the hand with 24.45m, and Ruzicka had 28.55m.
And then Gordon Vayo was at it again, this time playing for stacks with Andrew Christoforou. Once again all the action was pre-flop, and Christoforou was in terrible shape when the dealer moved his A9hh alongside the pocket Aces of Vayo. A single heart came down on the flop, nothing on the turn and Christoforou was our 18th place finisher. Vayo moved up to 22.55m
It didn’t end there.
Starbucks must have done something to the coffee during dinner.
Griffin Benger opened to 875k from the first position, William Kassouf three-bet to 2.3m from the hijack seat, Benger sent a 5.6m four-bet back over the net, Kassouf moved all-in for 13.45m and Benger called. It was the cooler of all coolers. Kassouf turned over pocket Kings, and Benger turned over pocket Aces. There was no ace-cracking of any kind and Kassouf was out in 17th place. Benger moved up to the fifth spot with 32,275,000.
And then there were 15.
Jared Bleznick moved all-in for 5.7m in midfield and Kenny Hallaert made the call from the next chair. Bleznick showed KTo; Hallaert showed AJo, Bleznick flopped a ten, but Hallaert turned a Jack, and just like that Bleznick was out in 16th place. Hallaert moved into the third spot with 39.4m.
It was all kicking off.
We even had a new chip leader.
Fernando Pons opened to 900k in the cutoff, Gordon Vayo three-bet to 2.6m from the button and Michael Niwinski moved all-in for a little over 7m in the big blind. Pons folded, Vayo called, and we had a showdown with Niwinski at risk of elimination, and boy was he in trouble. Niwinski was holding AJo, Vayo held AKo, and five community cards later Niwinski was out in 15th place, and Vayo moved into the second spot with 44.7m.
Second became first when Vayo clashed with Cliff Josephy. Vayo opened to 900k from the hijack and Josephy called from the cutoff. The action checked to the river on a board of AdJs5c4s6d, and Josephy called a 600k Vayo river bet. Vayo showed A3o for a pair of aces and Josephy mucked. Vayo stacked 47m in a neat pile in front of him; Josephy had 43m.
Vayo didn’t keep the chip lead for too long.
Vayo opened to 900k on the button; Josephy called in the small blind as did John Cynn in the big blind. The flop was 8d7c2c; Josephy took the betting lead for 1.5m, Cynn called, and Vayo folded. The Ad appeared on the turn. Josephy bet 2.2m, Cynn raised to 5.175m and then folded when Josephy put him all-in for his tournament life. That little clash saw Cynn drop down the pecking order with 5.175m; and Josephy zoom to the summit with 51m.
Then we had two huge eliminations.
The action folded to Qui Nguyen in the small blind and he opened to 1.4m. Tom Marchese called in the big blind. The flop was 9d8d3c, and both players tapped the felt. The turn was the 5c; Nguyen bet 1m, Marchese increased the pot by another 3m, and Nguyen made the call. The river was the 4c; Nguyen checked, Marchese moved all-in for 7.075m, and Nguyen snap-called. Marchese tabled JcTc for the flush, but Nguyen held AcKc for the nut flush. And with that elimination, everyone on the final two tables breathed a huge sigh of relief. Marchese was one of the most feared competitors in the event, and he leaves us in 14th place. Nguyen moved into the third spot with 46.37m.
And then the November Nine lost another potential star in the very next hand. James Obst open shoved for 4.1m in midfield and Nguyen was on hand to look him up. Obst showed pocket fives; Nguyen showed pocket tens and despite picking up a straight draw on the turn, the Australian’s adventure ended in 13th place. Nguyen had taken out two of the best in two consecutive hands.
It didn’t take long for the next elimination.
Vojtech Ruzicka opened to 1m on the button, and Mike Shin defended the big blind. The dealer laid the Ac5h2h onto the flop; Shin checked, Ruzicka bet 1.15m, and Shin called. The turn was the 8c, and Shin check-called a 3.425m Ruzicka bet. The river was the Qc; Shin checked for the third time, Ruzicka put him all-in, and Shin mucked his hand.
That hand left Shin with around 35bb.
Then Ruzicka opened to 800k from the cutoff, and Shin called from the small blind. Qui Nguyen was in the big blind and he three-bet to 2.7m. Ruzicka called, but Shin then moved all-in for 14.1m. Nguyen made the call, and Ruzicka folded. It was a classic coin flip with Nguyen holding pocket queens, and Shin searching for an ace or a king. Neither of them arrived. Nguyen rivered trips, and Shin was out in 12th place whereas Nguyen took a chip lead of 68.35m into the break.
Level 34 Eliminations
18. Andrew Christoforou – $338,288
17. William Kassouf – $338,288
16. Jared Bleznick – $338,288
15. Michael Niwinski – $427,930
14. Tom Marchese – $427,930
13. James Obst – $427,930
12. Mike Shin – $427,930
Full Chip Counts
1. Qui Nguyen – 68,350,000
2. Cliff Josephy – 64,525,000
3. Gordon Vayo – 45,500,000
4. Kenny Hallaert – 38,475,000
5. Michael Ruane – 30,250,000
6. Griffin Benger – 29,500,000
7. Vojtech Ruzicka – 25,325,000
8. Fernando Pons – 12,300,000
9. Jerry Wong – 11,175,000
10. Joshua Weiss – 7,150,000
11. John Cynn – 5,125,000