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A star-studded final table was on display last night at the Rio with the completion of Event #35, the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (with re-buys) championship.  The tournament used quite an unusual structure, as only two re-buys were allowed during the first few levels, a change from last years tournament, won by Phil “OMGclayaiken” Galfond.

A big name in online poker, Isaac “Menlo” Baron, took the unenviable spot of “bubble boy”, busting in 10th place when his AJT8ds failed to improve against Richard Austin’s KK96.  While Baron was perhaps the biggest name left, the final table was still full of firepower. Here’s how the chip counts stood entering the final 9:

Seat 1: Felipe Ramos (452,000)
Seat 2: Cliff Josephy (1,027,000)
Seat 3: Richard Austin (563,000)
Seat 4: Rifat Palevic (989,000)
Seat 5: Sorel Mizzi (869,000)
Seat 6: Dan Hindin (282,000)
Seat 7: Van Marcus (544,000)
Seat 8: Samuel Ngai (182,000)
Seat 9: Peter Jetten (430,000)

The three more well known players all have strong roots to online poker including Sorel “zangbezan24” Mizzi, Peter “Apathy” Jetten, and Cliff “Johhnybax” Josephy.  All three players can be found playing the highest stakes cash game and tournaments online.

While Jetten’s early success was online, he is no stranger to big cashes in live tournaments.  Last year he finished 2nd in the $10,000 PLO World Championship for over $528,000 and 4th in the European Poker Championship High Roller EVent for nearly $350,000.  All in all he has amassed more than $1,000,000 in live tournament earnings in quite a short time.  While Jetten has proven himself to be quite the PLO master, his final table experience in Event 35 was short-lived, as he busted in 8th place when he combo-draw failed to improve against Richard Austin’s turned set.

The other two known professionals made it down to three-handed play where they were joined by relative unknown Richard Austin.   Austin has not had a huge amount of success in live tournaments; his best cash a $76,380 score for finishing in 6th place in a WSOP Circuit Event in 2007.

Austin was facing quite a tough task, trying to beat two of the world’s best online tournament players.  Josephy a.k.a. Johhnybax, finished 2nd in the Aruba Classic in 2006 for over $446,000.  He has three more six figure scores including a bracelet win in Seven Card Stud at the 2005 WSOP. Mizzi, who is known as zangbezan24 or imper1um, finished 2nd in the WSOPE PLO Championship last year for over $262,000.  His lifetime live earnings are just over $1,500,000 while he has made even more than that in his online career.

The final hand of the tournament will go down in WSOP history as Richard Austin eliminated both Mizzi and Jospehy in the same hand.  Austin would limp the button and Mizzi completed the Small Blind.  Josephy then made it t150,000 from the Big Blind and after Austin called, Mizzi decided to re-raise, putting in t750,000.  Josephy only had approximately 200,000 more chips and put them all-in.  Because this was not a full-raise Mizzi and Austin could only just call, leaving a pot of nearly 3,000,000 before the flop was shown!

The flop fell Kc 9d 3c, and Mizzi shoved his remaining 700,000 chips and was called quickly by Austin.  The showdown:

Mizzi: Ah As 5d 3d

Josephy: Ad Kh Ks 8d

Austin: Qh Js 8c 5c

Josephy flopped top-set while Mizzi had a naked overpair.  Austin flopped a gut-shot straight draw and a flush draw.  The turn blanked (8s) but the river fell the 7c, giving Austin the flush and the WSOP bracelet.  Mizzi had Josephy covered and took 2nd place while Johnnybax had to settle for 3rd place.  Congratulations to all who made the money in Event 35 including the final 9:

WSOP Event #35 $5k Pot-Limit Omaha

363 Entrants; $1,706,100 prize pool

1. Richard Austin $409,484
2. Sorel Mizzi $253,048
3. Cliff Josephy $166,771
4. Dan Hindin $116,748
5. Rifat Palevic $86,516
6. Felipe Ramos $67,663
7. Van Marcus $55,687
8. Peter Jetten $48,112
9. Samuel Ngai $43,539