Action from the floor
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The first-ever $25,000 Heads-Up Championship is two rounds old, and we've reduced our 128 starting players down to just 32. As you'd expect with an event with this kind of price tag, the field was small and elite and mostly made up of familiar faces. David Williams, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Laak, Jason Mercier, and Michael Mizrachi all fell to their first round opponents. Dan Cates, Erick Lindgren, Scott Seiver, David Baker, Vanessa Rousso, Jonathan Duhamel, Shaun Deeb, and Scott Clements advanced through one round before succumbing in the second round of the night. Just to name a few.
That's a pretty solid crew of already-eliminated players, but we're still flush with talent in this thinning field. John Duthie finished second (to Leo Wolpert) in the $10,000 Heads-Up event here in 2009, and he's still alive with his sights set on Carlos Mortensen in Round 3. In the European version of this event, Gus Hansen took home a bracelet for shipping the £10,000 Heads-Up event at the WSOP-E last fall, and he'll face off against Daniel Alaei in tomorrow's afternoon battle. We've also got Chris Moorman, Olivier Busquet, John Juanda, David Benyamine, Andrew Robl, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, and the Tom Dwan. Told you it was a stacked field.
Here's how the rest of the bracket draws out for tomorrow's money round:
David Benyamine vs. Anthony Guetti
Chris Moorman vs. Richard Lyndaker
Dani Stern vs. Jake Cody
Isaac Haxton vs. Jonathan Jaffe
Ashton Griffin vs. Tom Dwan
Daniel Alaei vs. Gus Hansen
Steve Billirakis vs. Trevor Pope
Matt Marafioti vs. Maxim Lykov
Eric Froehlich vs. Steve Zolotow
John Duthie vs. Carlos Mortenson
Jason Smirnov vs. Darren Elias
Erik Cajelais vs. Nikolay Evdakov
Yevgeniy Timshenko vs. Amritraj Singh
Oliver Busquet vs. Andrew Robl
Kunimaro Kojo vs. Nick Shulman
David Paredes vs. John Juanda
That's all we have from the Rio for tonight, but we want to thank you for joining us today to kick off this 2011 WSOP. There's plenty more tomorrow (and for the next seven weeks), so keep your browser pointed here as we tick bracelets off the list bit by little bit. We've still got three more days of play before we crown a champion in this event, and play resumes at 3:00 P.M. tomorrow with a TBD number of rounds -- possibly even just one.
Until tomorrow, all that's left is goodnight.
Almost a full 45 minutes after the previous elimination John Juanda and Kenny Tran finished a back and forth battle. Tran was short-stacked several times but never gave up. Tran scored a key double holding by rivering trips.
The last hand saw Tran raising to 18,000 on the button and Juanda went all in. Tran had 100,000 behind and put it in holding . Juanda tabled and watched his lead disappear when the flop came . The turn fell and the river came , delivering the final knockout of the evening and sending Juanda to Day 2.
John Juanda and Kenny Tran have been battling it out for a long while with Tran dangerously short on chips. He's held on strong level after level, though, and Juanda is getting squirmy in his chair as he tries to finish off this match here in the first wee-morning-hour session of the 2011 World Series of Poker.
Eric Froehlich made it 12,000 to go from the button, and Scott Clements three-bet shoved with something like 45,000 chips left. Froelich made the call with , and Clements' was an underdog to keep him alive.
The board kept Froehlich in front, and that pot gives him Clements' bounty and a ticket to Round 3 tomorrow.
Raj Singh got it all in before the flop with Alex Kravchenko.
The board fell and Kravchenko was eliminated.
Perhaps motivated by the recent increase in blinds to 3,000/6,000 Benjamin Tollerance shoved his remaining stack with and was quickly called by Steve Billirakis, who held . The final board of gave Billirakis the winning flush and the former youngest bracelet winner in history moved on to the Round of 32.
On a flop of , Bryn Kenney checked and Tom Dwan checked behind to see a turn card. The fell and Kenney led out for 14,500, which Dwan eventually called. The river came and Kenney again fired out, this time for 33,000 and change. Dwan thought things over for several minutes before announcing he was all in. Kenney called off the remainder of his chips and Dwan revealed the for the rivered straight.
"Nice one," Kenney said before mucking his hand.