On Tuesday night, the field of the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event was trimmed from 27 to 18 as part of ESPN’s continuing coverage of the $10,000 buy-in tournament. New episodes air on Tuesdays at 9:00pm ET and repeat throughout the week.
Day 8 of the Main Event kicked off with 27 players seated across three tables. Two players were above 20 million in chips, while five of the nine largest stacks in the field congregated around the feature table. PokerStars pro Johnny Lodden was the first casualty of the day after he ran pocket eights into the A-10 of Matt Affleck. Lodden was safe on the flop, but a 10 on the turn gave Affleck a better hand.
Filippo Candio knocked out Michael Bucaric in 26th place after Bucaric picked up pocket nines and didn’t realize that Candio had raised before the flop. Bucaric pushed all-in, seemingly on tilt, on a 7-J-8 flop with two hearts and Candio called with 8-6 of the suit for a flush draw and middle pair. The turn was another heart, filling Candio’s flush and sending Bucaric to the exit.
Also at the feature table, Hasan Habib doubled up to 2.5 million through Matt Jarvis, while out in the field, John Dolan survived an all-in against Scott Clements after spiking a flush on the river to best Clements’ straight. Mads Wissing was ousted in 25th place and, shortly thereafter, Ronnie Bardah was bumped in 24th. Bardah had threatened to run around the Rio in his birthday suit if he had made the November Nine.
Rob Pisano was crippled in a hand against Jonathan Duhamel. Pisano was all-in with A-K on a board of 3-7-2-A, but Duhamel called all-in with 5-4 for the nuts. Pisano was drawing dead to the river and was eliminated shortly thereafter. John Racener scooped a three million chip pot off Brandon Steven after finding a set of aces on the flop, while Duy Le also moved up the leaderboard after making a higher full house than Soi Nguyen.
To close out the first one-hour episode, Thor Hansen 3bet all-in before the flop with J-10 of diamonds in a squeeze play only to receive a taker in Racener, the original raiser in the hand. Racener showed pocket kings and watched in agony as Hansen flopped a flush draw to improve to a 2:1 underdog. However, running black cards secured Thorson’s destiny and he was eliminated from the Main Event in 22nd place. Racener’s cheering section actually called both the turn (“a black deuce”) and river (“the five of clubs”) in an amazing display of fortune telling.
Affleck dropped two-thirds of his stack to Jarvis to open the second episode, which began at 10:00pm ET on ESPN. However, he later rebounded by doubling up through Jarvis to get back to 9.5 million in chips. Meanwhile, Redmond Lee and Patrick Eskandar were bumped in 21st and 20th places, respectively.
The hand of the night came between Candio and Joseph Cheong. The former check-raised to 4.4 million on a flop of 5-6-6 with 7-5 for two pair. Cheong moved all-in with pocket aces for a better two pair and Candio called. A massive pot of 28.6 million was up for grabs and Candio hit a runner-runner straight to claim it. Whereas the Italian had been relatively quiet after receiving a penalty earlier in the Main Event for excessive celebration, he danced around the stage in glee this time around. Cheong would have had over 40 million in chips if his better two pair had held.
Candio later shipped about five million chips to Jason Senti to fuel the Bluefire Poker instructor’s WSOP Main Event run and, in the final hand of the night, Michiel Sijpkens was bumped in 19th place. Sijpkens was the lone player left in the field that could have broken Joe Cada’s record as the youngest Main Event champ ever, but his pocket jacks could not withstand the K-Q of Racener when his tournament life was on the line.
Next week, the 2010 WSOP November Nine will be determined. Catch the WSOP Main Event on ESPN every Tuesday at 9:00pm ET.