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World Series of Poker 2010 Part III — The Final Countdown

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Oct 01, 2010


In the final part of our comprehensive overview of the World Series of Poker 2010 we look at the last few days of poker action before the main event got underway. This provided a final, lucrative payday for a number of European players.

Event 50: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha — Gardner Can’t Take Chance

Success in poker requires skill, but it’s still a game of some chance.

And early on a Thursday morning in event No. 50 ($5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha) it was all about “Chance”.

Chance Kornuth had to overcome a field of 460 players and a dangerous final table on his way to his first World Series of Poker title and the hefty $508,090 first-place prize.

The finish was Kornuth’s second WSOP cash of his career, and to earn it he had to outlast 2002 WSOP main event runner-up from the UK Julian Gardner and Robert Mizrachi, who had already cashed five times at this year’s WSOP.

When Kornuth got heads up with Kevin Boudreau he won a massive pot in a straight-over-straight situation to take a nice chip lead, then Chance took a chance and hit trip eights on the final hand.

Boudreau earned $313,792 for his runner-up finish.

Final-Table Results

First Chance Kornuth $508,090
Second Kevin Boudreau $313,792
Third Danny Smith $226,923
Fourth Edward Martin $165,825
Fifth Scott Mandel $122,455
Sixth Julian Gardner $91,387
Seventh Eric Liu $68,902
Eighth Robert Mizrachi $52,471
Ninth Jose Barbero $40,364

Event 51: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Triple Chance — France and Italy Fall to Welch

Ryan Welch won event No. 51 ($3,000 No-Limit Hold’Em Triple Chance) at the 2010 World Series of Poker after a three-hour, heads-up match against Jon “sketchy1” Eaton. He outlasted the fellow online pro in a back-and-forth match that saw the two exchange the lead multiple times.

Ryan ‘gutshtallin’ WelchIt was Welch’s first bracelet and he took home $559,371 for the biggest live score of his career. The victory was also Welch’s first live title and it increased his lifetime earnings to just under $2 million.

The final day had 12 players return to play down to a champion. It took two hours for them to reach the final nine players and it was a table full of talent. Welch had nine online titles under his belt while Eaton held four.

Tad Jurgens, Tommy Vedes, and Will “The Thrill” Failla made it to the final nine.

Jurgens scored his seventh cash of the 2010 WSOP and Failla scored his 12th career cash at the WSOP, reaching his second career final table. Vedes nailed down his fourth cash of the 2010 WSOP.

Welch entered the final table in the middle of the pack while Eaton was the chip leader. Jurgens was the first to fall at the final table, but he had company in the name of Noel Scruggs as Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt knocked them both out on the same hand.

Vedes was next to bust as he could not crack the pocket eights of Italian Sergey Lebedev. After the players returned from dinner, it took just a couple of hours to get down to heads-up play. Eaton entered the heads-up match with a chip lead just under 2 million.

But Welch clawed back and took the lead and it appeared that Welch had Eaton dead to rights. Eaton moved in with AHeart Suit JHeart Suit and was called by Welch and his KHeart Suit QHeart Suit. Welch flopped a queen but Eaton was able to hit a straight on the river to double up and retake the chip lead.

But Welch would not be denied his claim to the top spot and, on the last hand of the night, Welch got Eaton to call off his entire stack when Welch held the nut straight.
Eaton took home $344,830 for his second-place finish.

Here are the official final-table results:

First Ryan Welch $559,371
Second Jon Eaton $344,830
Third Guillaume Darcourt $223,459
Fourth Will Failla $163,532
Fifth Bradley Craig $121,451
Sixth Sergey Lebedev $91,407
Seventh Tommy Vedes $69,647
Eighth Noel Scruggs $53,694
Ninth Tad Jurgens $41,842

Event 52: $25,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’Em — Kelly Eyes The Big One

Dan KellyAs online poker phenoms have proven themselves in the live arena, everybody likes to take their pick at the next up-and-coming, 21-year-old, online star to win a bracelet.

Dan Kelly was one of the names prominently thrown around this year and this 21-year-old proved he’s the real deal.

Kelly took down one of the most prestigious events at the 2010 World Series of Poker, the $25,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’Em event.

Kelly bested a final table full of young, Internet-groomed talent, along with the year’s only double bracelet winner. He netted himself $1,315,518 and his first career bracelet for the win.

Kelly went to the final table as the overwhelming chip leader and from the moment the first hand was dealt, it was apparent his plan was to put those chips to good use.

The Potomac, Maryland native was constantly raising and putting his opponents in tough situations.

After eliminating Russian Eugene Katchalov and Swede Mikael Thuritz very early on the final table, Kelly seemed to just tread around the 6,000,000 chip count that he came to the table with. Shawn Buchanan took care of Jason Somerville and Frank Kassela, leaving the two young online superstars heads up.

After a few pots that went Kelly’s way in the heads-up battle, one of the most dramatic hands of this year’s Series took place. There were a flurry of raises preflop which led to Buchanan calling off the last of his chips and showing pocket jacks against Kelly’s A-10.

The flop and turn were safe for Buchanan, but Kelly rivered an ace to take the title and the prize money.

Kelly plays as “djk123” online and before his victory, was already very well known throughout the poker community and has amassed millions in tournament earnings with a grand total of $3,983,036 to his name.

There was a competition between David Sands, Faraz Jaka, Michael Martin, and Kelly during this year’s WSOP to see who would be the next addition to the team of online superstars, and this win helped him to cement a place in the “Brunson 10”.

The final-table results were:

First Dan Kelly $1,315,518
Second Shawn Buchanan $812,941
Third Frank Kassela $556,053
Fourth Jason Somerville $386,125
Fifth Mikael Thuritz $272,084
Sixth Eugene Katchalov $194,559

Event 54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em — Dutch Vonk No Donk

Dutchman Marcel Vonk topped a huge field to win the last $1,000 No-Limit Hold’Em event of the 2010 World Series of Poker.

Marcel VonkVonk emerged victorious from a field of 3,844 to take home his first bracelet and $570,960 in event No. 54 while Briton Paul Kerr took third place and $255,076 in prize money.

This was just Vonk’s second career cash at the WSOP — he cashed in the 2009 WSOP for $2,745 in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event.

Vonk and David Peters went to the final table with most of the chips in play and as many would have predicted, those two went heads up. Peters took control early on in the heads-up match and got out to the early lead. It looked like Peters was going to run away with it, but Vonk found a couple hands and was able to grind back to just a short chip deficit.

Then Vonk picked up pocket kings when Peters picked up pocket jacks. All the money got in the middle and Vonk took a massive chip lead. Shortly after, Vonk’s A-3 trumped Peters’ K-8 and Vonk took the title.

The final-table results were:

First Marcel Vonk $570,960
Second David Peters $350,803
Third Paul Kerr $255,076
Fourth Nathan Jessen $186,818
Fifth Henrik Tollefsen $138,107
Sixth Matthew Lupton $103,061
Seventh Mehul Chaudhari $77,633
Eighth Espen Moen $59,020
Ninth Dustin Dorrance $45,286

Here are the key elimination hands as seen on’s live updates.

Dustin Dorrance Eliminated in Ninth Place ($45,286)

The action folded to David Peters who raised in the hijack to 66,000. Henrik Tollefsen called in the cutoff and then Brit Paul Kerr moved all-in from the button for 880,000. Dustin Dorrance was in the big blind and went into the tank for quite a while as he was covered by just a few chips by Kerr.

Finally Dorrance made the call and tabled 10Heart Suit 10Club Suit and was up against Kerr’s AHeart Suit QDiamond Suit.

The flop came ASpade Suit 5Spade Suit 4Club Suit and Dorrance was in a world of hurt.

The turn was the 8Spade Suit and the river was the 9Spade Suit and Dorrance was the first casualty of today’s final table, while Kerr chipped up to 1,900,000.

Mehul Chaudhari and Matthew Lupton Eliminated on the Same Hand

Marcel Vonk raised to 100,000 from the cutoff and Mehul Chaudhari moved all in from the button for 680,000. Matthew Lupton was in the big blind and moved all in over the top of that and Vonk made the call pretty quickly.

Lupton showed ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit, Chaudhari showed 4Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit, and Vonk showed QSpade Suit QDiamond Suit.

The board came out JClub Suit 10Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit 8Club Suit 6Spade Suit and Vonk won both the side pot between him and Lupton and the main pot for all three players. Vonk now had 4,200,000 and was the new chip leader.

Chaudhari finished in seventh place since he had less chips than Lupton and earned $77,633. Lupton finished in sixth place and earned $103,061.

Henrik Tollefsen Eliminated in Fifth Place ($138,107)

David Peters raised to 110,000 from the button and Swede Henrik Tollefsen made it 270,000 from the small blind. After Paul Kerr folded his big blind, Peters thought for a half-minute before moving all in.

Tollefsen thought for a few moments before making the call. Peters showed KHeart Suit 10Spade Suit and was slightly behind Tollefsen’s ASpade Suit QHeart Suit.

Peters moved into the lead on the flop of JHeart Suit 10Heart Suit 2Spade Suit and Tollefsen got out of his seat and got ready to leave. The 10Diamond Suit on the turn gave Peters trips and left Tollefsen drawing dead.

The 7Club Suit on the river was meaningless and Tollefsen left the tournament area, while Peters was up to 5,500,000.

Nathan Jessen Eliminated in Fourth Place ($186,818)

Marcel Vonk raised to 150,000 on the button and Nathan Jessen pushed all in from the small blind for 1,080,000.

Vonk made the call and showed ADiamond Suit JHeart Suit and was ahead of Jessen’s KClub Suit QHeart Suit.

The flop came 10Spade Suit 9Spade Suit 4Spade Suit and any paint would give Jessen the lead. Unfortunately for Jessen, the dealer peeled off the AHeart Suit on the turn and 7Diamond Suit on the river to give the pot to Vonk.

Jessen took home $186,8181 for his deep run in the tournament and Vonk vaulted his chip stack to 5,500,000.

Paul Kerr Eliminated in Third Place ($255,076)

David Peters and Paul Kerr saw a flop of JSpade Suit 9Spade Suit 5Club Suit in an unopened pot. Peters bet 115,000 and Kerr made the call.

The turn was the QClub Suit and Peters bet 270,000. Kerr moved all in and Peters made the call.

Kerr showed JClub Suit 6Club Suit, giving him a pair and a flush draw, while Peters showed QSpade Suit 9Diamond Suit, giving him two pair and the lead. The river card was the 9Club Suit, which gave Kerr a flush, but filled up Peters.

Kerr was the third-place finisher leaving David Peters and Marcel Vonk heads up for the bracelet.

David Peters Eliminated in Second Place ($350,803), Marcel Vonk Wins ($570,960)

David Peters was crippled and down to just 1,000,000 in chips after picking up pocket jacks against the pocket kings of Marcel Vonk.

With just 1,000,000 left, Peters moved all in preflop and was called by Vonk.

Vonk showed AHeart Suit 3Heart Suit and was slightly ahead of Peters’ Ks 8c. The flop was AClub Suit 8Heart Suit 7Diamond Suit and kept Vonk in the lead.

The turn was the 4Spade Suit, and the 9Diamond Suit fell on the river. Peters was unable to improve and Vonk took home the bracelet and $570,960 while Peters lifted $350,803.

Event 55: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship — Alaei Crushes Euro Hopes

Daniel AlaeiThe $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship saw some of poker’s finest come out to compete for WSOP glory. Among the 346 entrants Daniel Alaei quietly played his way into the final day, arriving at the final table, which featured a Finn, a Frenchman, and two Russians, ranked third in chips.

He took the chip lead with four players left and never relinquished it.

By beating Miguel Proulx heads up Alaei won the $780,599 first-place prize and his third WSOP bracelet.

He won his first WSOP bracelet in no-limit deuce-to-seven draw lowball in 2006, and last year he took down the $10,000 Omaha Eight-or-Better World Championship.

The final-table results were:

First Daniel Alaei $780,599
Second Miguel Proulx $482,265
Third Ville Mattila $354,218
Fourth Ludovic Lacay $262,208
Fifth Trevor Uyesugi $195,631
Sixth Stephen Pierson $147,138
Seventh Dmitry Stelmak $111,524
Eighth Alexander Kravchenko $85,180
Ninth Matthew Wheat $65,568

Key elimination hands included:

Kravchenko Falls in Eighth ($85,180)

Ville Mattila raised to 110,000 and Alexander Kravchenko raised the last of his 225,000 in from the big blind. Mattila called and they showed down:

Mattila: JSpade Suit 7Club Suit 6Spade Suit 4Heart Suit
Kravchenko: ADiamond Suit 9Spade Suit 8Club Suit 8Heart Suit

Kravchenko was in the lead and stayed that way on a QDiamond Suit QHeart Suit 3Spade Suit flop. The turn was the 7Diamond Suit, giving both players straight draws but keeping Kravchenko ahead. The 5Heart Suit river was a bad card for the Russian, as it gave Mattila his straight and eliminated Kravchenko in eighth place. He made $85,180.

Alaei KO’s Stelmak in Seventh ($111,524)

Dmitry Stelmak opened for 175,000 and Daniel Alaei moved all in, having Stelmak covered. Stelmak called and saw he was behind. Their hands:

Stelmak: AHeart Suit KHeart Suit QClub Suit 6Spade Suit
Alaei: AClub Suit ASpade Suit QDiamond Suit 9Heart Suit

The flop missed everyone, running JHeart Suit 8Spade Suit 4Diamond Suit, but the 7Heart Suit on the turn gave Stelmak the flush draw. The river brought the 2Diamond Suit and Alaei’s aces held up to boot Stelmak in seventh place, for $111,524.

Lacay Busts in Fourth ($262,208)

Ludovic Lacay put his last 415,000 all in preflop and Daniel Alaei called. After some long consideration and confusion from Ville Mattila, he folded and Alaei and Lacay showed their hands:

Lacay: KSpade Suit JHeart Suit 9Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit
Alaei: AHeart Suit KClub Suit QDiamond Suit JSpade Suit

The board ran out QClub Suit 5Club Suit 2Diamond Suit 10Club Suit 3Heart Suit, giving Alaei two pair and eliminating Lacay in fourth place, for which he made $262,208.

Mattila Finishes in Third ($354,218)

Ville Mattila raised the pot from the button and Daniel Alaei reraised the pot from the small blind, enough to put Mattila in. He called. Their hands:

Mattila: AHeart Suit KDiamond Suit 7Diamond Suit 2Club Suit
Alaei: KSpade Suit KHeart Suit 6Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit

The flop ran ASpade Suit JClub Suit 6Club Suit, giving Mattila the best hand going into the turn. That’s when things started looking grim for Mattila, as the KClub Suit fell to give Alaei a set. The river was the 10Spade Suit and Mattila was gone in third place, making $354,218.

With that, Alaei and Miguel Proulx were heads up and Alaei held a dominating chip lead.

Alaei Wins Event No. 55 ($780,599), Proulx Gets Runner-Up ($482,265)

In a quiet limped pot, the flop ran 10s 9h 5c and Miguel Proulx checked, allowing Daniel Alaei to bet 250,000. Proulx called and again checked on the 2Club Suit turn. Alaei bet 900,000 and Proulx raised all-in. Alaei called quickly. Their hands:

Alaei: 7Club Suit 6Club Suit 5Spade Suit 5Heart Suit
Proulx: AClub Suit KHeart Suit 10Heart Suit 2Heart Suit

Alaei held a set and Proulx was in trouble. The river brought the JHeart Suit and Alaei eliminated Proulx in second place ($482,265) to win event no. 55 and his third WSOP bracelet. He also earned $780,599.

Event 56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’Em – Russian Revolted By Big Berda Comeback

Tomer BerdaAt his second final table of the 2010 World Series of Poker, Tomer Berda didn’t just go deeper, he went all the way.

Rebounding from a fifth-place finish in event No. 5 ($1,500 No-Limit Hold’Em) a few weeks previously, Berda sat down at the final table of event No. 56 ($2,500 No-Limit Hold’Em) ranked second in chips.

After getting heads up and trailing Russian Vladimir Kochelaevskiy nearly 2-1 in chips, Berda battled back and just after midnight he claimed his first ever WSOP title and the hefty $825,976 first-place prize money.

To claim the crown he had to outlast former WSOP bracelet winner Mike Wattel, who also finished second in event No. 14 this year, as well as the day’s starting chip leader Salvatore Bonavena from Italy.

The final-table results were:

First Tomer Berda $825,976
Second Vladimir Kochelaevskiy $510,939
Third Bryan Porter $353,260
Fourth Salvatore Bonavena $254,777
Fifth Mike Wattel $186,250
Sixth Hungcheng Hung $137,946
Seventh Ali Alawadhi $60,580
Eighth Joseph Curcio $78,705
Ninth Alfonso Amendola $60,580

The key elimination hands were:

Amendola Knocked Out in Ninth Place ($60,580)

Not too long after he doubled up Mike Wattel, Italian Alfonso Amendola got his last 490,000 all in against Joseph Curcio. Their hands:

Amendola: AHeart Suit 10Diamond Suit
Curcio: AClub Suit KClub Suit

The flop ran KHeart Suit 9Spade Suit 2Club Suit, pairing Curcio and putting him far ahead in the hand. The 7Heart Suit turn left Amendola drawing dead and the QSpade Suit river finished the hand. Amendola was the first elimination from the final table, making $60,580.

Curcio Falls to Aces in Eighth Place ($78,705)

Vladimir Kochelaevskiy opened to 190,000 and Joseph Curcio moved all in from the small blind. When action folded back to him, Kochelaevskiy had an easy decision. He called and they showed their hands:

Kochelaevskiy: ADiamond Suit ASpade Suit
Curcio: JClub Suit JHeart Suit

The flop didn’t bring any help for Curcio, running KSpade Suit 2Club Suit 2Spade Suit. The 9Spade Suit turn left him drawing to two outs but the river was the 8Spade Suit and Kochelaevskiy hit the unnecessary flush to eliminate Curcio in eighth place, for which he took home $78,705.

In Same Hand, Wattel ($186,250) and Bonavena ($254,777) Bust in Fifth and Fourth

Mike Wattel pushed all in for 685,000 only to have Italian Salvatore Bonavena move all in over the top for 915,000. Bryan Porter also went all in, having both opponents covered, and the three players showed down. Their hands:

Wattel: ASpade Suit JDiamond Suit
Bonavena: 8Heart Suit 8Club Suit
Porter: JClub Suit JHeart Suit

The board missed everyone, running 5Club Suit 2Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit 6Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit to give Porter the best hand and eliminate Wattel in fifth place ($186,250) and Bonavena in fourth ($254,777).

Berda Wins Event No. 56 ($825,976), Kochelaevskiy Finishes Runner-Up ($510,939)

Vladimir Kochelaevskiy moved all in from the button and was called by Tomer Berda. Their hands:

Berda: ADiamond Suit 4Club Suit
Kochelaevskiy: 10Club Suit 6Club Suit

The flop was best for Berda, running AHeart Suit 6Heart Suit 2Club Suit to give him a pair of aces and Kochelaevskiy a pair of sixes. The turn brought the 3Heart Suit and Kochelaevskiy needed to see a ten or six on the river to stay alive.

The 7Club Suit fell instead, and Kochelaevskiy was eliminated in second place, winning $510,939. Berda took down the event, the $825,976 first-place prize, and his first career WSOP bracelet. Spade Suit