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Eric Froehlich Wins 2006 WSOP Omaha/Rebuy Bracelet

Froehlich Takes Home Second Bracelet in Two Years


The impromptu formation of a second pot-limit Omaha event on Monday (one with rebuys) garnered fewer entrants than the previously scheduled tournament without rebuys on the same day (158 players versus 526). Despite this, the 472 rebuys purchased in the event catapulted its prize pool such that the winner of the event made over $90,000 more than his counterpart. At the beginning of the day, 18 players took their seats to compete for the almost $300,000 first prize and the WSOP Bracelet that went with it.

Some notable players busted before the final table was formed including Tony G, Peter Costa, Jeffrey Lisandro, and Davood Mehrmand. Once the field was down to nine players, those remaining took to the main stage to play out the event.

The final table seating assignments were as follows:

Seat 1 - Eric Froehlich
Seat 2 - Rafi Amit
Seat 3 - Bruno Fitoussi
Seat 4 - Kevin O'Donnell
Seat 5 - Ayaz Mahmood
Seat 6 - Matt Overstreet
Seat 7 - Richard Freire
Seat 8 - Sherkhan Farnood
Seat 9 - Chau Giang

The first elimination occurred 45 minutes after they hit the main stage, when Ayaz Mahmood limped under the gun and Matt Overstreet raised from mid-position. Kevin O'Donnell called in the big blind. Mahmood also called and the flop was 9club 6spade club3. O'Donnell checked and Mahmood put himself all in. Overstreet folded and O'Donnell called, showing 7club 7spade 5club 4club for a pair of sevens with a straight and flush draw, while Mahmood showed Adiamond Jclub 9diamond 6heart for two pair. The turn was the Qspade and the river was the 5diamond, giving O'Donnell a straight and sealing Mahmood's fate. Mahmood took home $18,162 for his ninth-place finish.

The next elimination occurred when Rafi Amit moved all in on a board of Jheart 4diamond 2club 3spade and was called by Kevin O'Donnell. O'Donnell showed Adiamond 7club 4club 3diamond for two pair, while Amit flipped up 8spade 6heart 5heart 2spade for the nut straight. The river was devastating for Amit when it brought the 3club and gave O'Donnell a full house and the pot, eliminating Amit in eighth ($27,243).

Richard "Knucklehead" Freire prophesied his own demise when he claimed that he was on tilt from his previous few hands and that someone should raise his big blind. Chau Giang did just that and Freire made the call. The flop came 8heart 4club 2heart and Freire bet the pot. Giang repotted and Freire called, putting himself all in. Freire showed Qdiamond 5spade 3diamond 2spade while Giang had Qclub Qheart 6club 4heart. The turn and river brought the 7club and the Qspade and Giang won with a set of queens, eliminating Freire in seventh. Freire earned $36,324 for his finish.

Just 10 minutes later, Chau Giang called when Matt Overstreet pushed all in preflop and showed Qclub Qdiamond 9diamond 3spade. Giang turned up Kdiamond Kclub Jdiamond 5spade for the lead with a pair of kings as the board came Adiamond Jheart 2spade Aspade Jclub. The board offered Overstreet no improvement and he was eliminated sixth ($45,405).

Things cooled down for almost an hour until Bruno Fitoussi pushed all in on the turn with a board showing Jclub 9diamond 5diamond 6club and was called by Kevin O'Donnell. Fitoussi flipped up Kspade 8spade 7diamond 5club for the nut straight while O'Donnell had AdiamondJ diamond 8heart 3club for the nut-flush draw. The river brought the 4diamond, completing O'Donnell's flush and sending Fitoussi packing with $54,486 for his fifth-place finish.

The players then dug in their heels for another two hours until Kevin O'Donnell moved from chip leader to elimination in the span of a few hands. Sherkhan Farnood doubled through O'Donnell after going all in preflop against him, effectively halving O'Donnell's stack. Not too long after, O'Donnell limped from the button, Farnood called from the small blind, and Chau Giang checked his option. The flop came 10club 8diamond 7diamond and all three players checked. The turn was the 4club and Farnood bet the pot. Giang folded and O'Donnell reraised the pot. Farnood repotted and O'Donnell called all in. O'Donnell showed Kheart Qclub Jclub 2diamond and Farnood flipped up Aspade 9diamond 6club 5diamond. The river was the 8spade and Farnood's straight was enough to eliminate O'Donnell in fourth place ($72,648).

Only 10 minutes after that, on a flop of Aheart 5spade 4diamond, Chau Giang bet and Eric Froehlich reraised the pot, putting Giang all in. Giang made the call with Adiamond 8heart 4club 2heart. Froehlich showed 10club7heart6spade4spade for a straight draw. The 3club on the turn gave Froehlich his straight and left Giang drawing to an ace or a four for a full house. However, the river was the 8diamond, eliminating Giang in third for $90,810.

The heads-up match between Eric Froehlich and Sherkhan Farnood took almost three-quarters of an hour, and Froehlich was forcing a lot of folds on Farnood. Froehlich's aggression paid off when he raised Farnood on a flop of 10club 7heart 5club and Farnood reraised all in. Froehlich called and showed Qdiamond 7diamond 7heart 6spade for a set of sevens and Farnood turned over Kheart Kdiamond 6club 3heart for a pair of kings needing improvement. The turn brought the Jdiamond and the river the Jheart, eliminating Farnood in second place, earning him $165,274.

Froehlich took home $299,675 and the coveted golden WSOP bracelet for his win in the event, defeating 158 opponents and 472 of their rebuys to take first place and his second bracelet in two years.

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