A record-setting 6,000 players turned out for Event #4 of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP), the $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Stimulus Special. In the end, 24 year-old professional poker player Steve Sung banked $771,000 for the win.
The nine-handed final table in Event #4 was originally scheduled to play out on Tuesday night. However, a last-minute decision by WSOP officials to hold the final table on Wednesday set up a mid-afternoon showdown featuring Dan Heimiller and Sung holding dominating chip leads over the rest of the table. In fact, the duo held nearly half of the chips in play. First to hit the exits in the No Limit Hold’em tournament was Danny Fuhs, the short stack entering Wednesday’s play. After a board of 10-A-J-2, Phong Huynh pushed over the top of a raise by Fuhs, leaving Fuhs calling for his tournament life. He flipped over A-J for top two pair, but watched as Huynh revealed pocket tens for a set. Every member of the final table earned a six-figure payday, as Fuhs took home $114,168.
Huynh was the next to go, coming out on the short end of a set over set situation against James Matz. Heimiller then saw his lead take a dive after dropping a 2.5 million chip pot to Pete Vilandos. In the hand, Vilandos rivered a six-high straight, trumping Heimiller’s flopped set. Jeff Oakes was then ousted in seventh place by Sung. Oakes was all-in pre-flop holding pocket fives in a race against A-Q. However, the flop came ace-high, sending Sung into the lead in the hand for good. Sung then caught fire, as over the next hour, he’d grow his stack to well over six million.
During the heater, Sung sent Heimiller to the rails in sixth after Heimiller’s A-K of spades could not hold up against Sung’s A-Q. The flop came 3-Q-6, sending Sung into the lead for good. Heimiller banked $145,000 for his efforts and was gunning for his second WSOP bracelet. He won his first in 2002 in a $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em and Seven Card Stud event for $108,000. In that event, he bested Ram Vaswani heads-up in the finale of the 144 player field.
Sung was also the executioner of Nathan Mullen, who was eliminated in fifth place for $175,851. Mullen was all-in pre-flop with J-10 against Sung’s A-7. The flop came K-Q-J, giving Mullen the temporary lead in the hand, but also giving Sung a straight draw. Sure enough, one of the three remaining tens in the deck hit on the river, and Mullen was sent packing in shock. According to official WSOP coverage, the hand gave Sung 60% of the chips in play. Shortly thereafter, Larry Sidebotham was eliminated in fourth place for $227,254 by Matz, whose A-7 held against Q-J.
Sung sent Matz out in third place. Matz pushed over the top of a bet by Sung with 5-4 after a flop of Q-5-10. Sung flipped over K-J for an open-ended straight draw, which promptly hit when an ace fell on the river. Sung held a 5:2 chip margin heads-up and won his first bracelet within an hour. On the final hand, Sung’s hot run of cards continued. Vilandos called Sung’s all-in for his tournament life with pocket eights, only to see he was up against Sung’s pocket kings. The cowboys held and Sung banked $771,000; Matz earned $473,283 for his runner-up showing.
The $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #7) wrapped up Day 2 on Wednesday. When the final cards were dealt, Craig McConville was the only player with over one million chips. Hot on his heels are Steve Karp (957,000 chips) and Jacob Kalb (894,000 chips). Still in contention is Jeremy Joseph, who ESPN followed religiously throughout last year’s $10,000 buy-in Main Event. Joseph took 57th in the tournament for $115,000 and now sits with a stack of 493,000 entering the final day of play. Thirty-three players remain; falling during Wednesday’s action were Justin “looshle” Pechie (42nd place for $11,505) and Sandra Naujoks (61st place for $7,390). In March, Naujoks became only the second female to win a European Poker Tour (EPT) event.
Finally, David Fox leads the way in the $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event after Day 1. A sold out field of 1,459 players entered and 105 survived to see Day 2. Among those still in the hunt for the bracelet are David Daneshgar (27th with 77,700 chips), Bill Chen (40th with 68,700), Todd Witteles (45th with 64,600), Rafe Furst (63rd with 47,400), Justin Young (72nd with 33,300), Joe Awada (74th with 32,900), Carlos Mortensen (89th with 25,600), and Isaac Haxton (95th with 21,700). Play resumes at 2:00pm PT. (Credit: Poker News Daily)
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