Top 5 Moments of the 2011 WSOP Thus Far

Posted by James Guill on Jun 28, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

We are around two weeks away from the 2011 WSOP Main Event. A lot of big moments have happened so far, and I thought I would give my top 5 moments of the 2011 WSOP so far.

#5. Phil Ivey Sits Out 2011 WSOP

Some of you will question why this goes on a Top 5 list, but for the first few days of the WSOP, Phil Ivey’s lack of prescience this year was the big story. That lack of Ivey in the events is definitely felt by those that love the game, and if stories are true, the impact of the lawsuit may have long lasting effect on Full Tilt’s ability to repay funds to U.S. players.

#4. Eugene Katchalov Epic Comeback for $1,500 Stud Bracelet

At one point during heads-up play with Alessio Isaia, Katchalov was behind 6:1 in chips and had just over 6 big bets remaining in his stack. He then proceeded to go on a run that not only saw him regain the chip lead, but ultimately pull off his own monster chip lead before he pulled off the comeback victory. This was the first WSOP bracelet for Katchalov.

#3. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier Wins Stud World Championship

Much like Eugene Katchalov, Bertrand Grospellier had to pull of his own comeback against Steve Landfish. There were a couple of differences. First, Landfish had a 14:1 chip lead over Grospellier at one point during heads up play and the next was that Grospellier had just over 2 big bets remaining.

Grospellier went hot at exactly the right moment to make the comeback and he rode that wave until he captured his first bracelet. Ironically, this was the first ever stud tournament in Grospellier’s illustrious poker career.

#2. Jason Mercier Wins 2nd Bracelet

Going into the final table of the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Max Event, Jason Mercier held the chip lead. He was able to make it to heads-up play, but was behind Hans Winzeler to start the match-up. The two exchanged the chip lead for a while before Mercier pulled away and finally took down his second bracelet.

This was Mercier’s second bracelet in PLO. He won his first bracelet in 2009 after winning the $1,500 PLO Event. Mercier continues to show the poker world why he is among the best in the world at tournaments.

#1. John Juanda Comes Back From 3:1 Down to Deny Phil Hellmuth 12th Bracelet

Phil Hellmuth looked to have his 12th bracelet locked up as he entered heads-up play with John Juanda in the $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Event. Juanda faced a 3:1 chip deficit and proceeded to catch good hands and make some hero calls at the right time to come back and take the chip lead. Hellmuth did give up and put up a fight, but in the end, Juanda was not to be denied.

John Juanda now holds five WSOP bracelets with his recent win. This is his second in lowball as he took down the $1,500 Triple Draw A-5 Lowball Event in 2002. Juanda also won the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event.

With two weeks of prelims still ahead as well as the 2011 WSOP Main Event, there is still plenty of time for many more memorable moments. How many will trump the ones above? Time will tell, but one thing is for certain and that is that it will be a great ride.

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