After defeating JC Tran and Al Decarolis respectively in the heads-up semifinals of Event #2: $25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold'em, Jason Mo and Vanessa Selbst are set to face off for $871,148 and the coveted gold bracelet on Friday. Mo will enter the Thunderdome with a near two million-chip advantage, with 5.86 million to Selbst's 3.96 million.
Both Mo and Selbst were the short stacks at the start of the semifinals - Selbst was a near seven-to-one dog - but Mo won a big flip against Tran and Selbst chipped away at Decarolis. In the end, Selbst flopped top pair against Decarolis' ace-king, and he was willing to risk his tournament life with the overcards. Neither the turn nor the river improved his hand, and he was eliminated.
Selbst, who has over $9.6 million in career live tournament earnings, is already a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, while Mo has never captured WSOP gold. He did finish runner-up to Brian Hastings in the 2012 $10,000 Heads-Up Championship, earning $229,722.
Ironically enough, Mo called Selbst "so bad" on Twitter after she put a bad beat on his friend Ryan Fee earlier in the day:
Day 3 began with 16 players, and half of the field hit the rail in an hour. Barry Hutter was all in and at risk with two kings against Decarolis, who had a pair and a flush draw on the flop. The turn was a brick, but the river was the , completing Decarolis' flush. Calvin Anderson ran pocket queens into Darren Elias' pocket aces on a paired flop. Nick Schulman lost a race, as did Kevin Song, and Elias was eliminated when Decarolis called a three-bet preflop with nine-deuce suited and turned drip deuces.
Aaron Jones ran ace-queen suited into Tran's ace-king suited, exiting in eighth place. Fee was bounced in seventh when he called a four-bet shove from Selbst with and she rolled over . Selbst made a pair of nines, and Fee was off to the cage. Robert Tepper exited in sixth place, and then the final five players battled it out together for 78 hands. Finally, Matt Giannetti open-shoved with , and Decarolis looked him up with . The dominant hand held up, and Giannetti hit the rail.
Selbst and Mo will return on Friday at 2 p.m. PDT to battle it out for the gold bracelet. Be sure to check back then for hand-for-hand updates straight from the final table right here on PokerNews!