It had been going pretty well so far today for Niall Farrell from the U.K. who had built his stack up and was maintaining around the 40 to 50k mark. Until this hand that just happened against Erik Cajelais.
There was betting on the turn and now they faced a board on the river of . Farrell checked and then called a bet of 10,000.
Cajelais flipped over . Farrell nodded, mucked his cards and slid over his hard won chips to Cajelais.
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Natasha Barbour has been gathering chips quietly all day. She has been playing aggressively in position, her demure demeanour befuddling her opponents and belying an obviously keen poker mind. The player to her left asked how long she had been poker and she told him 10 years, since she was seventeen?
Robert Williamson III was at her table earlier and was regaining her with tales of where to get great meals in Vegas. She admitted she had no idea who he was, but if she had to guess he was probably, “Some old school really bad poker player?” Charming.
There's little doubt Steven Hensley has built a massive stack in this event through some aggressive play.
But proving discretion is often the better part of valor, no one could accuse the early chip leader of recklessness. In fact, we watched as he made it 1,300 from under the gun plus one only to fold when the small blind shipped it in for 16k or more.
He then picked up the blinds with an under the gun raise before folding his big blind to a raise from the same player. But when the shorty got a little too active once more, making it 1,800 from under the gun, he joined a chorus of callers from the button, including both blinds.
Following the flop, checks from the blinds and the original raiser, Hensley couldn't help but fire away, pushing 4,200 across the line.
Aggression worked this time as all three opponents folded and our big stack bully continued to build.
Quite a few players are going broke around the room, but Jonathan Duhamel is going in the othger direction. The button opened for 1,200 and from the cut-off Duhamel made it 3,100. The binds folded and the button raiser laid it down.
On the next hand it was three-way to the flop of . Duhamel led for 1,500 and the button raised him to 3,500. Duhamel had the bigger stack and announced all in, which got a call.
Duhamel had against the flush draw .
The turn and river added a few more thousand to Duhamels stack.
Jason Mercier just picked up a big hand in a big spot and managed to double up yet again.
Following a 1,200-chip bet under the gun and a call from the cutoff, Mercier made it 3,200 on the button.
The player in the small blind went deep into the tank at this point and emerged shoving, putting his last 21,600 on the line. The player under the gun let it go, and after a minute or two in the tank himself, the cutoff threw his holdings in the muck as well.
It was down to Mercier, who made the quick call for his last 19,150 felting and soon found out he would need only fade two outs as the small blind held .
Fade it he did as the board ran out and just like that, Mercier is sitting on more than 40k and in contention.
The credits have rolled and the curtains have drawn on Frank Coraci’s tournament.
As he exited the tournament he told PokerNews that it was his nemesis, David "Bakes" Baker, who managed to get most of his stack in a series of hands. But in the end, he was short and hit the flop when he was holding ; his opponent had hit holding as well.
Coraci said he had a great time, was naturally disappointed to have fallen short of the money but was seriously considering playing some more events at the WSOP this year.
There was an open for 800 from seat three and seat four made the call. Itay Bavly squeezed from the button for 1,800. The small blind folded and Jason Mercier decided to super squeeze all in for 10,675. It quickly folded back round to Bavly who took his time to make a decision before making the call.
Bavly tabled and Mercier had the pair .
The cards ran out . Mercier dodged the lot and his eights held to give him a double up.