Coming back today most of the eyes, and probably a lot of money in the Rio Sportsbook, were on first-time bracelet hunting David Baker and Shawn Buchanan. Layne Flack and Josh Arieh have enjoyed their spills; surely one of these two renowned players would close the deal. It wasn’t to be as Benjamin Lazer and Randy Ohel were the ones to make it to head-up.
Then began one of the most epic duels in World Series of Poker History. Their battle lasted for six and a half hours including a dinner break. The chip lead changed sides so many times we lost count. Both players had 90% of the chips in play at least twice each, but both somehow managed to fight their way back from fumes on each occasion. Something, or someone, had to give and it turned out to be Lazer. He got down to less than one big blind at nearly 2:00 AM and that situation, even for him, was too much to come back from. Ohel had a rail full of fans with him for hours upon hours and they, as he, were just as full as relief, as well as joy, come the end of the match.
He takes over the championship mantle left by these esteemed fellows:
|Year||Player||Prize||# of Entrants|
Back to the beginning of the day and nine players returned. One was a lot shorter than the rest, and it came as no surprise to see Arieh first out. He got to showdown all-in versus Buchanan who fanned an eighty-six, and Arieh mucked his hand before heading to the rail. He was followed soon after by Flack who was called all-in on the last betting round versus Von Altizer, who opened . Flack mucked and looked very disappointed in defeat.
The remaining seven players all joined together on the secondary feature table in the Pavilion room and it didn’t take long for official final table of six to be set. Altizer had played this whole tournament with a big smile on her face and she continued to smile even when she fell to Lazer’s smooth eighty-five.
There was a lot of chip movement after this as most of the remaining players were keen to be in the action. None more so that Buchanan but his up-and-down day ended when he paired on the last draw when all-in to lose his chips to Lazer. It was Ohel who pushing a lot of the action at this pot and that helped him into a clear chip lead. That being said it was Lazer who took another scalp, that of the quiet Jason Lavallee. Lazer fanned a seventy-six, besting Lavallee who called all-in for just a few chips with .
Baker and Farzad Bonyadi were, by far, the two short stacks at this stage but they continued to play a brave and aggressive game with their eyes seemingly on the gold rather than the money jumps. The cards didn’t fall for them though, and it was Bonyadi who went in fourth when his eighty-six was beaten by Baker’s . That was the last thing that went right for Baker and the final nail in his coffin came when his caught a pair on the final draw to lose out to Ohel’s .
On a final note, here’s how much all today’s players took home for three days, or less, work: