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Day 1 of Event #22, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Has Come to an End
After a full ten hours of Pot-Limit Omaha action here in Event #22, a field of 1,021 runners was decimated by the wrap draws, re-sucks, and random variance so common in this wildly popular poker variant. In the end, a rare feat for three-day WSOP events was achieved, as we reached the money on the first day of play with only 117 players surviving the onslaught.
Brandon Crawford is our chip leader, after amassing a stack of 125,400 despite failing to eliminate Tom Cipriano in a memorable bubble hand.
Joseph Cheong of 2010 "November Nine" fame also built a sizable stack by the end of Day 1, gaining momentum when he bricked on a flush draw but found a runner-runner straight to more than double up. With 52,400 chips entering play tomorrow, Cheong is in position to make yet another deep run here in a WSOP event.
The story of the day, however, was not about players earning chips. Instead, the saga of Ben Tollerene's missing chip stack captured the attention of players, reporters, and tournament officials alike, as the online super-stakes sicko returned from the dinner break to find his table broken, and his stack absconded with. Despite a brief delay while the issue was sorted out, Tollerene managed to make the money here tonight, but with only 5,300 chips entering Day 2 he will need to make things happen in a hurry.
Among the other notable names who will be returning tomorrow at 1pm PST for their shot at a WSOP bracelet are Keven Stammen (100,200), Paul Volpe (67,200), Tommy Le (67,000), Leif Force (40,000), Hoyt Corkins (36,200), Lee Watkinson (26,100), and Barry Johnston (20,300).
Keep it here with PokerNews throughout the day as we bring you continuous live coverage of Day 2, here at Event #22 of the 2013 World Series of Poker, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament.
For now, we'll leave you with Lynn Gilmartin who has the highlights from all corners of the 2013 World Series of Poker today:
Official End-of-Day Chip Counts (complet)
Kramer Finishes as Bubble Boy to End Day 1
In what would be the final hand of Day 1, Germany's Ismael Bojang raised from the cutoff and then called when Cape Town's Darren Kramer three-bet all in for 7,900 from the cutoff.
Kramer was out in front with aces and didn't look to be in too much trouble on the flop. The turn seemed safe enough, and all Kramer needed to do was to survive the river. The dealer burned and out out the . Bojang came from behind to spike two pair and send Kramer home as the bubble boy.
The Sickest Sweat of His Life
The bubble of a WSOP tournament can be an excruciating experience for short-stacked amateurs simply hoping to accomplish their dream of cashing on poker's grand stage. Experienced pros have devoured their chips at every opportunity, seemingly without a care in the world as they focus on the reaching the final table. Meanwhile, throngs of onlookers and supporters have crowded around, anxiously anticipating that you will be the next one to hit the rail. All in all, having to play through the bubble is something most poker players would rather avoid, either through busting or building in the tournament's early stages.
For Tom Cipriano, a small stakes grinder from Floral Park, New York, today's protracted bubble play has provided the full spectrum of emotions: anxiety, anticipation, terror, and finally, exhilaration.
Cipriano saw a flop of hit the board, and he decided to lead out for 5,000, hoping the bubble would convince the table to fold around. Unfortunately for him, Brandon Crawford held one of the largest stacks in the room, and he could easily afford the chance to knockout our final player of the night.
Crawford raised enough to put Cipriano all-in, and with a growing crowd of players, tournament officials, railbirds, and reporters now crowded around, he decided to gamble it all on his . With a massive draw, Cipriano was in good shape against Crawford's , but the latter's pair of kings still put him in the lead.
The dealer delivered a on the turn, and Cipriano was down to his last chance to avoid being eliminated in the most painful way a poker player can imagine.
In a single stroke Cipriano had found the perfect card, and his flush gave him the win... much to the chagrin of 117 other players in the room.
"I've Bubbled Worse..."
With the remaining 118 players standing in anticipation of the next elimination, which would officially burst out money bubble and guarantee the survivors a WSOP cash for their ten hours of hard labor, we just watched an all-in hand worthy of the ESPN cameras.
Dean Hamrick, a WSOP bracelet winner with over a million dollars in live cashes to his credit, shoved his last 14,000 or so chips forward in a highly unexpected development, as he could easily have folded his way to the cash. As Hamrick told his tablemates, however, he has bubbled in bigger spots before during his decorated poker career.
As the man with the ignominious distinction of having been the first player to bubble the "November Nine," Hamrick showed no fear in a situation that would buckle the knees of most amateurs. Holding , Hamrick moved all-in before the flop, telling the table and assembled onlookers "well, we're either going on break or I'm going home, better pack up my stuff either way."
Sitting on one of the largest stacks in the room, fellow pro Keven Stammen elected to look Hamrick up with his , and the two stood to watch the dealer fan the flop, one which likely meant much more to others in the room desperately trying to ride their short stacks to a min-cash.
While the classic aces vs. kings situation so common in Hold'em is fairly straightforward, with only two outs separating the victor from the vanquished, both players knew that Pot-Limit Omaha was not so simple.
Hamrick had survived the first three board cards, even finding a flush draw to solidify his position, but the on the turn changed things entirely.
Stammen now held an open-ended straight draw, adding outs to his arsenal, but the on the river was not one of them. Hamrick retook his seat with more ammunition to make a final table run, while Stammen was left shaking his head at having been left on the short end of this cooler situation.
Hand-for-Hand Play Begins
We're down to 118 players, and that means the money bubble is in full effect. Given WSOP rules, we'll play until it's burst. Hand-for-hand play is now underway.
Smith Sends Affleck Home Short of the Money
Action folded around to Matt Affleck on the button and he raised to 3,500, which constituted half his stack. Micah Smith then three-bet it from the small blind, the big folded and Affleck called off.
The table admired Affleck's hand, and it was looking even better on the flop when he hit top pair. The dealer quickly ran out the turn and river prompting Affleck to legitimately ask, "Did I win?"
The answer was no as Smith had spiked a third seven on the turn to steal the pot. With that, a disappointed Affleck hit the rail.
Likewise, Ludovic Lacay was eliminated in 120th place, which means we're just two away from the money.