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What to watch today at the WSOP – November Niner’s eyeing bracelets

November Niners Matt Jarvis and Champion Jonathan Duhamel headline the $5k NLHE 6-max event.

The two tournaments affected by the hard stops yesterday completed in relatively short time, and within about an hour of each other.  Fabrice Soulier polished off Shawn Buchanan (who came into the day with just 4 big bets) in just a few hands to claim the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship bracelet and collect $609,130 for the win.  And in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Mikhail Lakhitov started out on fire, and blitz-Krieged his way through his final 4 opponents, knocking out all but one of them.  Lakhitov scored his first career bracelet as well and won $749,610 in the process.

One other tournament complete yesterday as well as Mitch Schock completed the quest for his first WSOP Gold Bracelet and winning the $310,225 first place prize by winning the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha mixed event.  So, congratulations to Soulier, Lakhitov, and Schock.  Not exactly the names that make great headlines, but that happens in poker sometimes.

Here’s the action that will be underway at the Rio today:

Event #38 – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

This one was affected by the hard stop when action got to heads up.  It’ll be Arkadiy Tsinis vs. Michael Blanovsky in a battle between two people I’ve never heard of before trying for their first bracelets.  I yawned when I read it, and honestly, I’ll wait to catch the news on this one.   I’m not watching.

Event #40 – $5,000 No Limit Hold’em (6-max)

20 players remain in this slugfest and the November Niner’s from last year’s final table really headline the event.  Matt Jarvis (who finished in 8th place last year when he lost a dramatic flip with Michael Mizrachi) starts off with 995,000 chips, good for 3rd of the remaining 20 players, and 2010 Main Event Champ Jonathan Duhamel bagged 347,000 so put him in 14th.  I love seeing these guys play and prove to the world that they’re anything but a fluke.  They’re damn good players demonstrating that it’s a skill game, and I’ll be rooting for both.  Also still with a stack is Daniel Negreanu who managed to get through the day despite also playing the $10k Pot-Limit Omaha event.  He survived very short with 217k chips, 18th of 20 remaining.  But I wouldn’t count out “Kid Poker” who still has more than 20 big blinds left.

The Event # 41 ($1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout) completed their round 1 and there are now 60 players remaining who are all in the money.  But they’ll need to win a few more tables before a bracelet is given away, and that isn’t happening today.  I’ll be interested to see who makes the final table here before I decide if I’m interested in this event or not.

Also, Event #42 played down from 361 entries and 170 bagged chips and will return for day 2.  Tom Dwan and Vanessa Selbst are both in the top 10 of the chip counts, and Daniel Negreanu managed to get a short stack through the day as well.  I’ll be curious to see how he balances the play in both of these events.  36 players get paid in this one, so play will likely complete today with players being in the money, but the tournament will really take its shape tomorrow.

Event #43 ($1,500 No-Limit Hold’em) and Event #44 ($2,500 Razz) get underway today.  They should draw pretty good sized fields.   But that will wrap up the action from Rio today.

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