Apocalypse Nigh as Kessler Nears Bracelet
Day 11 at the 2011 WSOP saw the apocalypse approach as Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler closed in on his first bracelet and Phil Hellmuth neared his 12th.
Also: Tyler Bonkowski came back from an 11-1 chip deficit to win the $3,000 Limit Hold'em bracelet and Andrew Badecker claimed gold in the NL Hold'em Shootout.
Andrew Badecker Wins NL Hold'em Shootout
Sixteen players returned on Friday to play for the bracelet in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shoout.
The format was a two-table Sit-n-Go with the winner taking the bracelet.
Nearly half the field of this final table were big names. Vitaly Lunkin, David Pham, Erik Cajelais and Dan Kelly all started a final table led by Andrew Badecker.
Badecker would make heads-up play in this match, but instead of facing a big named player he faced Robbie Verspui.
Verspui was behind nearly 3:1 in chips but he stayed competitive and even held the lead for a short time.
In the end, Badecker regained control of the match and led going into the final hand. Badecker shoved with Kh-2h and was actually behind the As-Jh of Verspui.
A deuce on the flop gave Badecker the lead and ultimately he took home $369.371 and the bracelet.
Bonkowski's Comeback Caps $3,000 Limit Hold'em Victory
Heading into the final table of the $3,000 Limit Hold'em Event, Brandon Demes held the chip lead against a somewhat unremarkable final table lineup.
Demes faced Tyler Bonkowski heads-up for the bracelet with Bonkowski trailing by just 20k in chips.
As the battle progressed, Bonkowski had dropped to 250,000 in chips and Demes held an 11:1 chip lead. Bonkowski hung tough and slowly built his stack back up.
Eventually he not only pulled back within even but took a 6:1 chip lead.
The final hand saw Demes check-raise the turn all-in on a 6-5-5-10 board. Bonkowski made the call and found himself ahead with K-10 against K-Q.
The river blanked and Bonkowski's comeback victory was complete to take the $3,000 Limit Hold'em title and $220,817 in prize money.
Phil Hellmuth Chases 12th Career Bracelet in Lowball Championship
The 2-7 Lowball World Championship is down to its last nine players.
Richard Ashby leads, but most of the world will be watching Phil Hellmuth.
At present, Hellmuth is seventh in chips but only slightly below average. He is seeking his 12th career WSOP bracelet and his first in an event other than Hold'em.
John Juanda, Greg Raymer, Steve Sung, and David "Bakes" Baker are all also in contention for the bracelet.
Allen Kessler Makes $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Final Table
It is a running gag that if Allen Kessler ever wins a bracelet, the end of the world would occur.
The scary part about this joke is the day after he made a huge bluff at the Indiana WPT Main Event, Black Friday hit.
Allen Kessler heads into the unofficial final table of 10 players in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Event second in chips behind Brian Rast.
Ted Lawson is also at the final table but is among the short stacks.
First HORSE Event of WSOP Exceeds Expectations
Compncards tweeted earlier that the schedule makers of the 2011 WSOP should get a bonus.
The $1,500 HORSE Event is a prime example why they have earned a bonus.
This year's event drew a field of 963 players, an increase of 135 players from the 2010 edition.
Part of this is due to the fact that the event had a Noon start time.The other reason is that it was the only new event to start Friday. Brilliant work by the WSOP organizers.
By the end of the day, 196 players were left in the field.
Eli Elezra has the chip lead going into Day 2 with Victor Ramdin and Svetlana Gromenkova joining him at the top of the leaderboard.
For more coverage from the WSOP, check our WSOP blogs from PokerJunkie blogger compncards.