WSOP round-up: Vanessa Selbst heads-up for gold in the $25k Mixed-Max

Event 2 – $25k Mixed-Max

Before the 2014 WSOP there were a few pros who predicted that this year would be the ‘Series of Selbst’. And the female phenom has kicked things off in the best possible way, making it to the heads-up final-table in the $25k Mixed-Max tournament, the first open even of the WSOP. It could have been a dream final as well, with JC Tran losing to Jason Mo in the other bracket.

Day 3 started with 16 players and four tables of four duking it out. Noah Schwartz was the first to fall in a blind v blind battle with Selbst. Selbst shoved with Q-2 in the small blind, was looked up by A-4, but ran out a flush on the K-8-K-Q-3 board. This was the first in a raft of eliminations which saw the action down the to the final two tables in a little over an hour. Restaurant owner Al Decarolis was the big chip leader with almost double the stack of Selbst in second.

JC Tran and Selbst eliminated another player each to take the action to two tables of three before Robert Tepper was taken out by Tran. Tepper moved all-in from the button with A-7 and Tran called with K-J. The board of 3-8-9-7 meant that Tran had to hit a non-diamond King or Jack, or any Ten, and the river obliged with the 10 to give Tran a straight flush.

Five-handed, Selbst held the chip lead with JC Tran in second, but the next elimination – Matt Giannetti – took 78 hands. He was taken out with a dominating Ace held by Al Decarolis, who took a narrow chip lead to the heads-up stage. The Mixed-Max format meant that he took on the short-stacked Selbst for a place in the final and also mean that the winner of the JC Tran v Jason Mo leg would go into the final with a two-million chip advantage.

As it was Decarolis couldn’t force his chip advantage home and Selbst battled back from around 12 big blinds to triumph when she flopped top pair with 8-9 and held on to beat Decarolis’ A-K. The WSOP was denied a stellar heads-up final when JC Tran was crippled in a huge flip against Jason Mo. Tran held Tens against Mo’s A-K and a King on the flop left Tran with ten big blinds. He got them in good soon after but lost.

It leaves Jason MO and Vanessa Selbst facing off for the first open bracelet of the 2014 WSOP. There’s $871,148 for the winner and $538,808 for second but Selbst will only be thinking about the gold. You can watch the epic battle live at, with action expected to start around 10pm. The stream will be shown with hole cards on a 30-minute delay.

[table id=76/]

Event 3 – $1k Pot-Limit Omaha

106 players started Day 2 and 100 players would be eliminated to leave Steve Billirakis in pole position to claim his third bracelet. The UK made a charge towards the final table but fell short, with Stephen Chidwick going out in 10th and Peter Charalambous in 11th. Both picked up $11,593 by way of consolation. Other notable names to make it deep were Greg Merson (14th), Jason Somerville (18th) and Phil Laak (39th).

The remaining six players reconvene at 9pm UK time and you can catch a live stream of this tonight without hole cards at

[table id=77 /]

Event 4 – $1k No-Limit Hold’em

The first monster field of the 2014 WSOP gathered for the first of the low buy-in NLHE events, with 2,224 players creating a first prize of $360,435. The action was fast and furious and the bubble burst easily, leaving the 186 players who are returning tonight all guaranteed at least $1,981.

Notable names still in with a shot at the bracelet include Olivier Busquet (41k), Niall Farrell (33k), Jimmy Fricke (26k) and Faraz Jaka (13k). They’ve all got some way to go to catch the overnight chip leader, Canadian Miguel Proulx who bagged up 120,500 chips.

Event 5 – $10k Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship

The first of the $10k Championship events saw a small and tough field of 120 players assemble. The most welcome participant was Doyle Brunson, who has put off his tournament retirement for at least another year. Brunson lost a big pot towards the end of the day but is still in with 54 players left, albeit with a short stack of 22,200.

Tom Schneider (155.3k), Huck Seed (137k), Eli Elezra (125.6k) Barry Greenstein (104k) and David Benyamine (71.7k) are all up at the business end of the tournament, along with the overnight chip leader Mike Peltekci (171k). Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu both busted – something that will please the people who took them on in their quest for a bracelet.

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