The Brits have notched up their third bracelet of the 2009 WSOP following the victory of John Kabbaj in the $10,000 World Championship Pot Limit Holdâ€™em event. Kabbaj, known as â€œlargeâ€ to his London poker pals, had already gone close in two previous events this year. An 8th and an 18th in the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha/Holdâ€™em and $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha events respectively saw Kabbaj â€œin the zoneâ€ and he capitalised on his good form by taking down the $10k Pot Limit Holdâ€™em tournament for $633,335. Russiaâ€™s Kirill Gerasimov was the unlucky runner up, for $391,369, in what was a European laden event. Davidi Kitai, from Germany took 4th place for $183,638. Further down the money list saw Swedes Ken Lennaard and Thomas Pettersson in very creditable 13th and 14th places.
The bracelet ceremony for Kabbaj was somewhat marred during the playing of the national anthem. Organisers decided to play the Sex Pistolâ€™s version of God Save the Queen instead of the normal British national anthem. Following complaints, Jeffery Pollack apologised to Kabbaj and a new ceremony, with the correct anthem, was hastily arranged.
One player who has caught the eye in the WSOP side events this year is Jeff Lisandro. The Italian, with a suspiciously Australian sounding accent, has won three bracelets already in this Series and chalked up a total of six cashes. Lisandroâ€™s latest success came in the $2,500 Razz event. The big Aussie-Italian banked $188,390 for that success and looks likely to be The Player of the Series at this rate. So for the purposes of the WSOP Standings Table is he Australian or Italian? Asia Pacific or European? Over to you, Dan!
Elsewhere Fabio Coppola kept the Italians in high spirits with a 4th place finish in the $2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo event for $65,094. Britainâ€™s James Dempsey took a respectable 14th for $12,667.
The $1,500 Limit Holdâ€™em Shootout event has just been completed and it was Canadaâ€™s Greg Mueller who once again took the honours. Mueller appears to be a Limit Holdâ€™em specialist, having won the $10,000 Limit Holdâ€™em event only two weeks previously. In 2nd place in the $1,500 tournament was Hollandâ€™s Marcus Naalden. Naalden almost added a second bracelet to his $2,000 Limit Holdâ€™em victory from earlier in the Series. The professional from Antwerp had to settle for a $120,614 consolation prize this time around.
The $50,000 H.O.R.S.E event is currently in full swing. John Kabbaj could win Britainâ€™s 4th bracelet of the Series in that event. â€œLargeâ€ is currently in 9th place with just 19 players remaining. Finlandâ€™s Ville Wahlbeck has gone deep once again and he is also in the last 19. A frightening list of the worldâ€™s top professional players are currently fighting it out for the H.O.R.S.E bracelet. Some of the players remaining include; Tony G, Gus Hansen, Freddy Deeb, Vitaly Lunkin, Todd Brunson, Huck Seed and Erik Seidel. Swedenâ€™s Erik Sagstrom is also well positioned in what looks like a fascinating conclusion to what many consider the truest test of a poker playerâ€™s tournament abilities.