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WSOP Main Event Final Table 2010 Wrap-Up

Wow.

As we sit here on the stage absorbing what we’ve just seen, it’s hard to find words to close this day out properly. But we’ll try.

It was just after high noon when our November Nine filed onto the stage and into their seats under the bright lights of the made-for-TV set. They were soon engulfed by a crowd of close to 2,000 spectators all decked out in matching shirts, patched up like your grandfather’s trousers, and screaming multi-lingual cheers in unison at full throat. Bruce Buffer soon took the stage to utter the most famous words in poker, and suddenly a poker game broke out amidst all the madness and pomp.

It took 28 hands to find our first casualty of the day, and it was the amateur to fall first. Soi Nguyen was content to flip his {Q-Diamonds} {Q-Spades} against Jason Senti’s {A-Diamonds} {K-Clubs}, but a third queen on the flop was all she wrote for Nguyen.

The second victim was also sent packing on a coin flip, albeit an exciting coin flip. Michael Mizrachi’s {A-Diamonds} {Q-Diamonds} loved the {Q-Spades} {8-Diamonds} {Q-Diamonds} flop, but Matthew Jarvis’ {9-Clubs} {9-Hearts} liked the {9-Spades} turn a little bit better. It looked like he’d just saved his tournament life, but the {A-Spades} river gave the pot back to The Grinder and sent Jarvis off in eighth place.

Seven-handed play dragged on for an eternity, and Michael Mizrachi took advantage of the table to build himself a fairly sizable chip lead with more than 60 million. There were still seven when they broke for dinner just before 7pm. When they returned, yet another exciting (and similar) coin flip broke out. Jason Senti’s {A-Diamonds} {K-Spades} out-flopped Joseph Cheong’s {10-Clubs} {10-Spades} in a big way as the dealer rolled out {K-Diamonds} {K-Hearts} {Q-Clubs}. The turn {J-Diamonds} was a little sweat for Senti, and the river {9-Diamonds} was a total disaster. Cheong’s straight pushed his opponent straight out the door, and Senti collected seventh-place money on his way to the bar.

John Dolan fell next in sixth place, his {Q-Diamonds} {5-Diamonds} unable to win a race (imagine that, a race) against Jonathan Duhamel’s {4-Diamonds} {4-Clubs} despite turning 16 outs to survive.

The demise of Michael Mizrachi began when his {A-Diamonds} {8-Diamonds} doubled up John Racener’s {A-Spades} {K-Diamonds} to knock him out of the chip lead. A few minutes later, he doubled up Jonathan Duhamel on a big coin flip, and it all came crashing down a few minutes later. Jonathan Duhamel played his {A-Diamonds} {A-Clubs} slow, and he lured Mizrachi into a shove when his {Q-Diamonds} {8-Hearts} flopped top pair on the {5-Diamonds} {4-Spades} {Q-Clubs}. The chips went in, and there was no further help for Mizrachi, ending his near-legendary run in fifth place. That officially gives Frank Kassela the title of 2010 WSOP Player of the Year, incidentally.

Three hands later, the volatile Italian (who was surprisingly un-volatile today) fell in fourth place. Filippo Candio got his chips in with {K-Diamonds} {Q-Diamonds}, but he could not get there against Joseph Cheong’s {A-Clubs} {3-Clubs}. Cheong flopped an ace and made a wheel by the time it was all said and done, and Candio took just over $3 million for his efforts.

When they began three-handed play, Cheong and Duhamel were running away with the show. They were each approaching 100 million while John Racener sat patiently by with his 20-ish million. Cheong, however, was in no mood to sit patiently. He went to work quickly and was the first player to crest that magical 100-million-chip mark. He and Duhamel proceeded to wage all-out war hand after dramatic hand while Racener folded his buttons, sat on his hands, and waited for the fireworks.

And the fireworks, they came. In Hand #213, 25 hands into the three-way, a battle of the big-stacked blinds broke out. It started with Cheong opening the pot, and the betting action ended with him six-bet shoving all in with {A-Spades} {7-Hearts}. Duhamel probably didn’t like the idea of playing a 180-million-chip pot, but he didn’t waste any time calling with {Q-Clubs} {Q-Diamonds}, putting himself at risk in the process. There was no ace for Cheong, and he was crushed from 95 million all the way down to just ten. It was, as far as we can tell, the largest pot in the history of the WSOP!

Cheong doubled up once in the meanwhile, but six hands after the blowup, he was gone in third place. That’s good for more than $4 million, but it doesn’t come with a ticket to Monday’s finale.

There are only two of those, and they belong to Jonathan Duhamel and John Racener. For handicapping purposes, it’s Duhamel with the big chip lead, but don’t sleep on the short stack. Racener has been playing some fine poker of late, and his short-stack abilities were certainly on display here today.

There are 13 minutes, 52 seconds left in the current level, and the button was awarded to the big stack; Jonathan Duhamel will begin with position on Monday. We’re scheduled for an 8pm start here in Las Vegas.

It’s Duhamel. It’s Racener. It’s $8.9 million and the 2010 WSOP Main Event gold bracelet. Who ya got? Find out how the final chapter plays out right back here on Monday night.

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WSOP ME Final Table Heads Up, Duel in the Desert Racener vs Duhamel

DUEL IN THE DESERT:  DUHAMEL AND RACENER TO BATTLE FOR 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

It’s Jonathan Duhamel vs. John Racener!

Note:  Press Conference with final two players is scheduled for the Rio Masquerade Stage, starting on Sunday at 1:00 pm.

Las Vegas, NV (November 7, 2010) — It’s taken four months, two days, and seven hours to reach poker’s ultimate showdown.

The two final green-felt gladiators in the quest to become the undisputed 2010 Wold Poker Champion are:

SEAT 1:  Jonathan Duhamel (Boucherville, Quebec) — 188,950,000 in chips

SEAT 2:  John Racener (Port Richey, FL) — 30,750,000 in chips

The crescendo of the November Nine reached its near-final furious finale when Jonathan Duhamel eliminated Jospeh Cheong on what turned out to be the final hand of Final Table — Day One.  The last hand was dealt at 1:49 am on Sunday AM.  The long 13-hour session included the elimination of seven players, leaving only Duhamel and Racener to compete in a heads-up duel for the world title.

Third-place finisher Joseph Cheong, from San Diego, CA collected $4,130,049 in prize money — a nice consolation prize, but a painful exit nonetheless from what was close to a nearly insurmountable chip lead at one point in at the final table.

The fourth-place finisher was Filippo Candio, from Sardinia, Italy.  As the first Italian player ever to make it to the Main Event Championship final table, Candio proudly collected $3,092,545.

The fifth-place finisher was Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, from Miami, FL.  Undisputedly the most famous and most accomplished of the final nine, Mizrachi suffered a blistering final hour when he went from chip leader to the rail, losing every key late hand of importance.  Mizrachi took some consolation in his payout, which amounted to $2332,992 in prize money.

The sixth-place finisher was John Dolan, from Bonita Springs, FL.  He ran card dead at the worst possible time, hopelessly falling victim to a bad run of cards in the later stages of play.  Dolan busted out when his bluff failed.  Nonetheless, he managed to scoop a monster-sized check from his initial $10,000 investment.  Dolan received $1,772,969 in prize money.

The seventh-place finisher was Jason Senti, from St. Louis Park, MN.  He began final table play with the shortest stack, but moved two spots up the money ladder.  Senti collected $1,356,720.

The eighth-place finisher was Matthew Jarvis, who took a terrible beat en route to a disappointing end result.  Jarvis was the victim of one of several astounding final table hands which resulted in a cyclone of emotional twists and turns and ultimately, chip lead changes.  Jarvis received $1,045,743 in prize money.

The ninth-place finisher was Soi Nguyen, from Santa Ana, CA.  The only amateur player among the final nine, Nguyen collected $811,823 in prize money — an incredible accomplishment considering this was his first time to cash in a major poker tournament.

The final duel of the Main Event is set to begin on Monday night.  Heads-up play will resume November 8th at 8 pm PST, when the final two survivors will play down to a winner.  Coverage of the final table will air in a two-hour telecast on Tuesday at 10 pm ET on ESPN.

The winner of this year’s WSOP Main Event, the second largest in the 40-year history of the WSOP with 7,319 entrants, will take home a staggering $8,944,310 in prize money.  He will also be presented with the most coveted achievement in all of poker — the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship gold bracelet.

So, who will become the 2010 world poker champion?

WSOP Main Event 2010 Michael “the grinder” Mizrachi its out in 5th place!

GRINDER GONE!  MICHAEL MIZRACHI TAKES FIFTH IN WSOP FINALE
My personal favorite its out. 

The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event final table — otherwise known as the “November Nine” — has crossed the midway point.  There are now more players out on the rail watching and wishing, than still remain seated in poker’s richest game.

The latest player to bust out was Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, from Miami, FL.  He was the most well-known and most highly-accomplished player of this year’s finalists.  Mizrachi busted out when his top pair (queens) fell to Jonathan Duhamel’s pocket aces.

The Grinder unwillingly joined former fellow finalists Soi Nguyen (9th), Matthew Jarvis (8th), Jason Senti (7th), and John Dolan (6th) as outsiders all looking in – along with a capacity crowd packed inside the Penn and Teller Theatre and a worldwide audience following all the action from Las Vegas.

The last 90 minutes has included a flurry of action, resulting in three chip-lead changes.  Mizrachi lost a huge pot when he came out on the wrong end of a coin flip holding pocket threes versus Jonathan Duhamel’s A-9.

Two nines hit the board, giving Duhamel more than 50 million in chips for the first time in several hours.  He had been the chip leader coming into the final table, then went south the last several hours.  Duhamel’s good fortune catapulted him into second place, behind Joseph Cheong, who regained his chip lead at Mizrachi’s expense.

With four players remaining, the chip leader is Joseph Cheong, from La Mirada, CA.

Play will continue all night until only two players remain.  Last year’s final table (first day) followed a similar pattern and concluded at 5:00 am.

WSOP ME 2010 Dinner Break Chip Count

Even poker-playing millionaires have to eat sometime.The seven remaining players still alive in their quest for the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship went on a 90-minute dinner break.  Play is scheduled to resume at 8:15 pm on Saturday night.

All remaining players are guaranteed to receive at least $1,356,720 in prize money.  So far, only two players have been eliminated after six hours of play.  Soi Nguyen was the first player to exit in ninth place.  Matthew Jarvis was the eighth-place finisher.  Based on what’s taken place so far, including a few astounding hands, the final stages of the world championship should be both thrilling and unpredictable.
Incredibly, the top two chip leaders are separated by a single chip.  Micheal “the Grinder” Mizrachi leads by the slimmest of margins — 50,525,000 to Johnathan Duhamel’s 50,500,000.  When players took their dinner break, the chip counts were as follows:
SEAT 1:  Jason Senti — 22,775,000
SEAT 2:  Joseph Cheong — 30,350,000
SEAT 3:  John Dolan — 19,250,000
SEAT 4:  Jonathan Duhamel — 50,500,000
SEAT 5:  Michael Mizrachi — 50,575,000
SEAT 6:  John Racener — 25,675,000
SEAT 7:  Filippo Candio — 23,525,000
Play will continue all night until only two players remain.

Heads-up play will resume on Monday, November 8th at 8 pm PST when the final two will play down to a winner.  Coverage of the final table will air in a two-hour telecast on Tuesday at 10 pm ET on ESPN.