2013 World Series of Poker: Veteran David Chiu Wins Fifth Bracelet, Josh Pollock Takes Down PLO Gold



The third weekend of the 2013 World Series of Poker got off to a big start on Friday as veteran poker professional David Chiu, playing a tournament in honor of a longtime friend of the poker world, took down his fifth bracelet and Josh Pollock earned his first WSOP bracelet in Pot Limit Omaha.

Event #22 – $1500 Pot Limit Omaha

The final nine men came back on Friday to settle on who would take down the PLO crown, with Noah Schwartz holding a sizeable lead over the remainder of the field. Schwartz’ 1.162 million chips made him the only man over the million chip mark, but such strong competition as Eddie Blumenthal (who made the final table of the $1500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament last week) and Josh Pollock (final tablist in the “Millionaire Maker“) lurked in the pack behind him.

Schwartz would keep his foot on the gas in the early going, dumping Brandon Crawford from the tournament in ninth place to extend his chip lead after only six hands of play. That would be the most significant action as, stunning many on the rail, the rapid pace of PLO actually slowed down after that. It would be another 60-plus hands before anyone else would take the long walk out of the Rio.

After a raise from Schwartz, David Greene moved in a bet totaling 170K and Pollock would pot him, creating a huge kitty in the middle. After Schwartz let his hand go, Greene made the call and tabled a J-10-9-7 for an intriguing draw possibility. Pollock held the lead with his K-K-A-2 and maintained that lead on the A-4-8-8-8 board, eventually ending with a boat. In eliminating Greene in eighth place, Pollock would garner enough ammunition to move into the lead as Schwartz faltered a bit.

Both Pollock and Schwartz would continue to dominate the table, with Schwartz knocking off Blumenthal in seventh and Pollock ending the run of Eric Shanks in sixth. Still in second at this point, Schwartz would ramp up his aggression, going on a run that would eventually see him retake the lead and push his stack over the two million mark. As the dinner chimes rung, he held a 3:1 chip lead over James Park, with Pollock holding steady in third.

After the dinner break, the PLO action resorted back to its normal frenetic pace. Pollock would eliminate Shawn Silber in fifth, but Park would stay in front of him by taking out Michael “KT” Park in fourth to crack the million chip mark. It seemed inevitable that the big stacks would clash at some point and, when it happened, it changed the course of the tournament.

Schwartz would raise from the button and called a three bet out of Pollock for 275K to see a 4♣ 9♣ 10♣ flop. Pollock bet out from out of position and, after Schwartz potted him, pushed his final chips to the center, which Schwartz called. When the cards were revealed, the hand was already over; Pollock’s A♣ K♣ 10♠ 8♠ had flopped the nuts over Schwartz’ A-J-Q-4 and, in taking the pot, was able to push past Park for the second place slot.

After Pollock eliminated Park a few hands later, Schwartz still held a sizeable lead (3.4 million to 1.2 million) and he would maintain that lead over the first 40 hands of heads up action. The action nature of PLO would show up over the span of two hands, in which Pollock would double up twice to flip the table in his favor. It would take another 17 hands but, in what would prove to be the finale for the tournament, Pollock called a Schwartz raise to see the 4-3-2 flop. Pollock would then pot a 200K Schwartz bet, pushing Schwartz to play for the remainder of his stack, and turned up his 9-7-6-5 (six high straight) against Schwartz’ A-K-J-5 (wheel straight). Already drawing dead, Schwartz could only watch the final two meaningless cards come down as Josh Pollock took down the PLO WSOP bracelet.

1. Josh Pollock (Las Vegas, NV), $279,431
2. Noah Schwartz (Sunny Isles Beach, FL), $172,931
3. James Park (Birmingham, the United Kingdom), $108,196
4. Michael “KT” Park (Belvidere, IL), $78,532
5. Shawn Silber (Henderson, NV), $57,974
6. Eric Shanks (Santa Monica, CA), $43,460
7. Eddie Blumenthal (Verona, WI), $33,057
8. David Greene (Germantown, MD), $25,483
9. Brandon Crawford (Los Angeles, CA), $19,909

Event #23 – $2500 Seven Card Stud

As the largest buy in Stud tournament on this year’s WSOP schedule, 246 players came out for Event #23 back on Wednesday for what was an emotional tournament. The WSOP and the players paid tribute to the late Dr. Jerry Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and a longtime Stud aficionado, before heading to work. On Friday, ten men would restart the battle to determine the Stud champion.

Former WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela was at the helm of the ship as play began on Friday, but behind him were such pros as David Chiu, Michael Mizrachi, Scott Seiver and Gary Benson. Within an hour and a half, Jesse Martin and Helmut Koch would be whittled off the felt to set up the eight-handed final table that had Benson in the lead after some missteps by Kassela.

The action was intense for the normally sedate game of Seven Card Stud as the players rammed and jammed to earn an advantage. Chiu would take over the lead from Benson soon after the official final table started, then Seiver would take over the top slot. Seiver would eventually extend that lead to more than 500K over Chiu and increased that with his elimination of Matthew Ashton in seventh place.

Benson’s run towards a second Stud bracelet (his first came 17 years ago) was ended by another veteran pro, Freddie Ellis, in sixth place, while Seiver halted Kassela in fifth in his run at a third WSOP bracelet. After Seiver bested Mizrachi in fourth and Chiu knocked off Ellis in third, Seiver entered heads up play against Chiu with more than a 200K chip lead.

It was at this point that the wheels came off for Seiver. He would lose the chip lead on the very first hand after trying to power Chiu out of the pot, then ship more chips over to him over the course of the next two hands to push Chiu out to a 2:1 lead. Although it would take some work (and a dinner break) to knock off the strong Seiver, Chiu was able to do it. On the final hand, the chips were in the center on Sixth Street with Chiu showing (J-10) 8-J-3-7 and needing to catch up against Seiver’s (4-3) 8-9-4-3. Looking for another Jack, a ten, nine, eight, seven or trey, Chiu unveiled a magical ten on Seventh Street to make a bigger two pair than Seiver (who blanked on Seventh with an Ace) and capture a well-deserved championship.

1. David Chiu (Las Vegas, NV), $145,520
2. Scott Seiver (Las Vegas, NV), $89,980
3. Freddie Ellis (Brooklyn, NY), $59,127
4. Michael Mizrachi (Miramar, FL), $43,188
5. Frank Kassela (Las Vegas, NV), $31,978
6. Gary Benson (Kangaroo Point, Australia), $24,003
7. Matthew Ashton (Liverpool, the United Kingdom), $18,266
8. Adam Friedman (Gahanna, OH), $14,086

The win by Chiu earns him his fifth WSOP bracelet, placing him in some rarefied air. He joins a group of men (the late Stu Ungar and Gary “Bones” Berland, Berry Johnston, Ted Forrest, Layne Flack, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Jeff Lisandro, Allen Cunningham, Scotty Nguyen and Chris Ferguson) in the “Five Bracelet Club.” Only 22 men have won five or more WSOP bracelets, led by Phil Hellmuth’s 13 WSOP bracelet victories.

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