This year’s World Series of Poker has seen both newcomers and proven professionals taking their fair share of money from the events. Somewhere in between are the emerging stars of the poker world, the ones who are well on their way to cementing their status as tough customers at the poker table. If there is a theme to be found in WSOP Event 28, it could be that of the rising star making a big splash.
As usual for the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em events, the field was quite large. 2,500 players came out for Day 1, creating a $3,375,000 prize pool with $599,153 for first place.
Day 3 began with just 28 players remaining. The field included a ton of talent, including some from the online poker world. Mickey “mement_mori” Petersen, Matt “mattg1983” Graham, and Owen “ocrowe” Crowe are all examples of online superstars that were still alive at the beginning of Day 3.
Graham unfortunately wound up on the wrong side of a coinflip, busting with 66 against AK before the final two tables were reached. Petersen was able to make the final two tables, but with just 25 big blinds remaining, his margin for error was small. Crowe had a similar stack, and both of them had their work cut out for them if they endeavored to make that final table.
Peterson made his move first. The online pro from Denmark decided to get in the last of his short stack with 77 preflop. He was unfortunately called by Steven Merrifield who had TT. To make matters even worse, Merrifield flopped a set which left Peterson hoping for runners. The miracle cards did not come and Peterson was busto in 15th place.
This was only the beginning of a run of good luck for Merrifield. For example, he was lucky enough to get dealt AA and get it in against someone else’s AK. He kept building his stack, and when the final table formed, he had 2,895,000 chips. This was good for 100 big blinds and the chip lead stack.
The run hot had to stop sometime, however, and unfortunately for Merrifield, things cooled down at the final table. He got it in with QQ versus Robert Shortway’s KK all-in preflop to create the biggest pot of the tournament so far. He wasn’t able to spike his two-outer, and watched as the 2 million chip pot got shipped to Shortway. He eventually got eliminated by Shortway a few hours later in 6th place for $102,600.
Andy Frankenberger, one of the aforementioned rising stars, began to dominate the final table as it shortened. Frankenberger has been on a tear lately, winning World Poker Tour Season 9 Player of the Year in 2010. As play reached the final three, Frankenberger was catapulted to the top after doubling up with JJ versus Shortway’s AT.
Shortway would be the recipient of a rather unfortunate beat from Joshua Evans just a short time later. Shortway flopped bottom two pair against the top pair of Evans. The turn and river brought a running pair, however, counterfeiting Shortway’s hand and eliminating him in 3rd place for $263,655.
This left Evans and Frankenberger heads-up with 6,500,000 and 4,700,000 chips respectively. With the blinds at 25K/50K with a 5K ante, this meant that there was plenty of room for a good battle. After a short while, however, Frankenberger found himself on the wrong end of a few pots and got down to just under 2 to 1 in chips.
Heads-up is a swingy game, however, and things can change in a matter of one hand. Sure enough, the two players found themselves creating the biggest pot of the night in a hand that saw a series of raises and reraises. When the chips were finally in the middle, Frankenberger turned over AK and Evans AT. The QTJ rainbow flop was a bad one for Evans, and the two players essentially traded chip stacks.
Frankenberger kept his foot on the gas, collecting several small pots before the final hand. The final hand turned out to be a bit of a cooler as Frankenberger flopped top two versus Evan’s top pair. Evans couldn’t find any miracle cards and was eliminated in 2nd place for $372,498.
Congratulations to Frankenberger for winning his first bracelet! Not to mention the cool $599,153 that came along with it.
Please see below for the list of final table cashes and stay turned to FTR for more WSOP coverage!
1 – Andy Frankenberger – $599,153
2 – Joshua Evans – $372,498
3 – Robert Shortway – $263,655
4 – Owen Crowe – $190,147
5 – Tyler Kenney – $138,847
6 – Steven Merrifield – $102,600
7 – Thao Nguyen – $76,747
8 – Sidney Hasson – $58,083
9 – Bret Hruby – $44,482