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William Chen Wins Second 2006 WSOP Bracelet

Omaha Eight-Or-Better and $3,000 Limit Hold'em Kick Off, $2K No-Limit Reaches Final Table

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$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Short-Handed Final Table

As the final table of players gathered together around 2:30 p.m. at the Amazon Room's featured table, it was very clear that there was a great variance in both personalities, as well as playing styles.

The chip counts for the final table were as follows:

Seat 1 - William Chen - $175,000
Seat 2 - Alex Bolotin - $280,000
Seat 3 - Harry Demetriou - $378,000
Seat 4 - Mike Guttman - $587,000
Seat 5 - Nath Pizzolatto - $102,000
Seat 6 - Dan Hicks - $321,000

The short-handed final table became even more short-handed very early in play. On one of the first hands of the day, Harry Demetriou's Jheart Jspade ran into Mike Guttman's Aheart Aspade. Demetriou finished in sixth place ($58,719), while Guttman acquired a considerable chip lead over the remaining five players.

Nath Pizzolatto started the day playing very aggressively, firing out all-in raises and reraises on sequential hands. He maintained this method throughout the day, creating constant fluctuations in his stack size.

Guttman continued to increase his stack, and for most of the final table hovered right around $1 million.

The next two players to exit were Alex Bolotin in fifth ($78,292) and Dan Hicks in fourth place ($107,226).

Nath Pizzolatto seemed to be involved in most of the action throughout the day, while Mike Guttman took a more conservative approach. Bill Chen chose his involvements wisely and slowly but surely increased his stack size.

Heading into three-way action, Guttman had almost a 2-to-1 chip lead on Chen, who was followed closely behind by Pizzolatto. After losing several hands to raises and reraises by Pizzolatto, Guttman's stack steadily declined.

Midway through level 18, as his stack became surmountable, Chen and Pizzolatto began to make moves on Guttman.

The momentum really began to shift for Guttman and Pizzolatto when the board showed Aheart Qdiamond 4heart. After a $30,000 bet and call, the turn brought the 9heart. After Guttman check-raised Pizzolatto's $40,000 bet to $100,000, and Pizzolatto called, the river brought the Qclub. Pizzolatto, holding Kheart 2heart, fired $150,000 into the pot and Guttman called with Jheart 6heart. Pizzolatto raked the giant $600,000 pot with his nut flush.

Shortly thereafter, Guttman and his suited A-K were eliminated by Chen's pocket jacks. Guttman, at his second final table of the 2006 WSOP, finished in third place, taking home $139,564.

Heads-up play, ironically enough, came down to the two short stacks from the start of the day battling it out for the bracelet. Interestingly enough, Chen had only a mere $33,000 chip lead over Pazzolotto.

On the second hand of heads-up play, Pizzolatto limped from the button and Chen raised $25,000 from the big blind. Pizzolatto called and the flop came Jclub 7spade 5spade. Chen led out with $40,000 and Pizzolatto called immediately. The 10heart on the turn induced checks from both players. Chen fired $70,000 at the 9diamond that fell on the river. Pizzolatto quickly raised it to $200,000 and before he could finish announcing the raise, Chen pushed all in. Pizzolatto asked, "Really?" and called the raise. Pizzolatto turned over 6-8 for a jack-high straight and Chen flipped over Kclub Qdiamond for the nut straight.

Second-place finisher Nath Pizzolatto took home $238,280.

This was Chen's second bracelet of the 2006 WSOP and he is currently ahead on the WSOP points leaderboard. Chen also won a bracelet in the $3,000 limit hold'em event earlier in the series. With this being his fifth cash, taking home $442,511, his 2006 WSOP earnings are now over $800,000.


$3,000 Limit Hold'em - Day 1

The $3,000 limit hold'em event attracted 341 players today, including some who traded time between the Omaha eight-or-better event. Those who concentrated solely on the limit event seemed to perform much better, and 35 were rewarded when the bubble burst and the money was reached.

In early action, T.J. Cloutier flopped a straight flush when, in a limped pot, the flop came 6spade5spade3spade. Cloutier bet $200, and the player last to act called. The turn was the Jspade and both players checked. When the Aclub fell on the river, Cloutier bet and the other player folded. Cloutier tabled his hole cards, showing the 7spade 4spade for the flopped straight flush.

Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi tried to push all in during the first few minutes of the limit event, which got a good laugh out of the table. He went on to win the pot, but was eliminated at 2:45 p.m. The Grinder appeared anything but upset, saying, "I'm going to Omaha." (There was no word if he tried to push all-in during that event.)

Action ended early into round 11 where they stopped once the field reached the 35 players who were in the money. Notable players that are left include Carlos Mortensen, Barry Greenstein, Matt Mantros, and Marco Traniello. Play will continue tomorrow at 2 p.m. PDT.

Omaha Eight-Or-Better - Day 1

The Omaha eight-or-better event was so enticing to players that some could be spotted running over from today's other events to split their time. Erick Lindgren, Josh Arieh, Jeff Lisandro, and Michael Mizrachi all played in the limit event, while Ernie Sherer and Dave Colclough came from the $2,000 no-limit event. Including those who were involved in multiple events today, 352 players were playing for the $301,175 first-place prize. Many pros entered and plenty of stacked tables emerged throughout the day.

Play ended at the end of Level 10 with 47 players remaining. Unfortunately, 11 will be going home with nothing, finishing out of the money. Action will resume at 4 p.m. tomorrow and play down to a final table.


$2,000 No-Limit Hold'em - Day 2

Play began at 2 p.m. today, with 101 players vying for a final table appearance. One of the boldest bluff attempts at this year's WSOP was spotted in today's action when Francois Charles reraised Mats Gauatin all in for $62,000. When Gauatin called with pocket tens, Charles was forced to show his 7spade 2heart bluff. No help came on the board and Charles was eliminated later in 28th place.

Once the tournament broke into the final table, 10 players remained. Only nine would make it until tomorrow and play was extremely tight. During the last level of play, only three flops were seen by the players. The third flop brought an end to Efrain Lopez's night when Julian Gardner eliminated him in 10th place.

The final table is now set, and familiar foes will be facing each other again. Julian Gardner and John Shipley have met before - at the 2002 WSOP main event. Shipley placed seventh in that event, while Gardner went on to finish second. No doubt that Gardner and Shipley are looking for redemption with their chance at another bracelet, but they will be joined by seven other players, all with the same goal.

Going into the final table, the seating assignments and chip counts are the following:

Seat 1: Troy Parkins $451,000
Seat 2: Robert Bright $365,000
Seat 3: Billy Duarte Jr. $102,000
Seat 4: Matt Madsen $413,000
Seat 5: Julian Gardner $628,000
Seat 6: Michael Chow $125,000
Seat 7: Robert Cohen $419,000
Seat 8: John Shipley $166,000
Seat 9: Paul Sheng $569,000

Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos, and for new episodes of "The Circuit" and the "The Series."

For more information on bracelet winners and other WSOP news stories, please visit http://www.cardplayer.com/tournaments/wsop/2006s.

- by Tom Bostic and John Stapleton