Annette Obrestad Eyes Second WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 NLHE Shootout

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Full Tilt Poker pro Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad is within inches of capturing her second World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. Obrestad famously took down the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event, the first ever running of the £10,000 buy-in tournament, and banked £1 million. She’s making her Las Vegas WSOP debut this year and a bracelet win would be the icing on the cake for the 21 year-old.

Fourteen players remain in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout, the 39th event of the 2010 WSOP. Among them is Obrestad, who, prior to the tournament series, jumped from Betfair to the USA-friendly Full Tilt Poker. Now, she’s vying to become the first woman to win an open event at the 2010 WSOP and the latest in a string of pros to capture hardware this year, a list that includes Phil Ivey, Men “The Master” Nguyen, and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.

The field of 14 survivors will split into two tables of seven. The tournament began with 1,400 competitors and, in a shootout format, players must win their tables in order to advance. Tuesday’s finale saw Obrestad compete against a starting group that included Scott Sitron and Fatima Moreira de Melo, whom she beat heads-up to move on to Wednesday’s finale. The top 14 players are guaranteed $7,000, with a grand prize of $382,000 on the line.

Poker pro J.C. Tran is one major obstacle that stands in Obrestad’s path to her second WSOP bracelet. Tran won the Main Event of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker in 2006 for nearly $700,000. One year later, he took down the World Poker Tour’s World Poker Challenge for $683,000. Tran has two WSOP bracelets, which came in 2008 in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event and last year in a $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha contest. All told, Tran has over $2 million in career WSOP and Circuit Event earnings. The action picks back up at 2:30pm PT today.

The lone bracelet awarded on Tuesday went to Hungary’s Valdemar Kwaysser, who took down the Pot Limit Hold’em Championship (Event #38) for $617,000. Kwaysser outlasted a field of 268 and edged out Canadian Matt Marafioti heads-up. Five countries were represented at the final table; the only bracelet winner in contention, Blair Rodman, finished in eighth place.

Kwaysser joined Peter Gelencser and Peter Traply as the only residents of Hungary ever to take down WSOP events. Kwaysser, 26, lives in Budapest and has been playing poker for five years. On the Hungarian poker community, he told WSOP officials, “We help each other a lot. I truly believe that why Hungary has done so well, considering the size of the country which is small, is because we all stick together, and we learn together, and discuss poker together.”

DoylesRoom Brunson 10 member Dani Stern took fifth in the Pot Limit Hold’em Championship and cashed for $161,000. Stern finished one spot on the leaderboard ahead of PokerStars North American Poker Tour Venetian winner Tom Marchese, who banked $123,000 for his sixth place showing. The man who Marchese defeated in the televised Venetian tournament, Sam Stein, was the final table bubble boy in Event #38.

The Pot Limit Hold’em Championship marked the second in the money finish of the 2010 WSOP for Marchese and the first for Stern. Here’s how the final table cashed out:

1. Valdemar Kwaysser – $617,214
2. Matt Marafioti – $381,507
3. James Calderaro – $284,845
4. Konstantin Bucherl – $214,106
5. Dani Stern – $161,934
6. Tom Marchese – $123,264
7. Peter Jetten – $94,394
8. Blair Rodman – $72,754
9. Alexander Kuzmin – $56,404

Two events fire up today from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. At Noon PT, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament will begin. Five hours later, the cards hit the air in the $10,000 HORSE World Championship. Keep it tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest WSOP results.

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