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Event #48 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better

Day 1
Buy-in: $1,500
Players: 762
Prize pool: $1,040,130 for the top 72 finishers

In Event #48 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better, each player will have 1500 in beginning chips with two "value chips" given to them. Should they lose the 1500, they can be replaced by using the value chips. Or they can just redeem them both to start off with 4500 from the gate, their choice. (If we know some of the players the way we think we do, most will get 4500 and just go for it.) Some names in the field are Mel Judah, Jim Meeham, Mike Sexton, Perry Friedman, Marcel Luske, Kathy Liebert, Chris Reslock, back to back WSOP bracelet holder Thang Luu, Clonie Gowan, Brandon Cantu, Nenad Medic, Berry Johnston, Lisa Parsons, Allen Cunningham, Robert Williamson III , Katja Thater and Roland De Wolfe. Even Phil Hellmuth Jr. decided this was worth showing up for when he came to the tables 3 1/2 hours after the event start.

Two hours into play, Thang Luu who has 2 WSOP bracelets in Omaha Hi/Low had busted out of the tournament. Mike Sexton also left the building after losing to the diamond flush and low made by the other player. Others who followed them are Toto Leonidas, Victor Ramdin, Michael Mizrachi, Chris Ferguson, Marco Traniello and Jimmy Fricke.

Hellmuth actually was able to catch the right cards to stay in the game. He finished the day with 41,400 in his stack after Day 1. Others who made the Day 2 cut were Noah Boeken with 64,300, Aaron Kanter 52,000, Ben Roberts 29,000, Stewart Yancik 25,700 and Travis Erdman 22,200. These were part of the 87 person field that will take to the tables tomorrow.
  1. Perry Friedman -- 144,500
  2. Tommy Vedes -- 119,300
  3. Barry Craig -- 114,500
  4. Brandon Cantu -- 105,000
  5. Ray Bonavida -- 104,600
  6. Don Harris -- 95,900
  7. Rodeen Talebi -- 93,000
  8. Jacqmin Mathieu -- 71,500
  9. Sean Getzwiller -- 71,000

Day 2

It was 2:00 PM when the dealers began to deal, starting Day 2 for the tournament. Padraig Parkinson was among those making an early exit after losing an all-in to Jeremiah DeGreef. In a 3 way with two other players, Paul Darden got caught between the pocket A's of one player and the A 7 3 2 of another, which squeezed him out towards the rail. Perry Friedman also lost to Brandon Cantu and went outside of the event. In a bout between Noah Boeken and Brandon Cantu, Noah lost to the A A 7 3 of Cantu and finished 27th. Randy Holland with his two pair (A's and K's) could not survive the low made by another player and went to the cashier's cage in 19th.

Hellmuth made quad Queens at one point chugging along before busting in 14th place, but he did add to the record number of WSOP cashes with this tournament. By the time 1:20 AM the next day rolled around, the 10th place elimination got up to get his cash and the final table was determined. Tomorrow, a new champion will be born!

Payout Schedule for Final Table:

  1. $228,867
  2. $141,873
  3. $92,946
  4. $64,727
  5. $47,617
  6. $36,893
  7. $30,028
  8. $25,618
  9. $22,862
This field will only have 9 to slug it out for the bracelet on Day 3. Here are the final table players:
  1. Brandon Cantu -- 1,025,000
  2. Jacqmin Mathieu -- 552,000
  3. Lee Watkinson -- 412,000
  4. Aaron Sias -- 353,000
  5. Tommy Vedes -- 334,000
  6. Steve Jelinek -- 260,000
  7. Ted Weinstock -- 250,000
  8. William McMahan -- 168,000
  9. Ronnie Hofman -- 76,000

Day 3 -- Final Table

Here is the WSOP summary:

The 2009 World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha High-Low Split champion is Brandon Cantu. Cantu started playing poker seriously in 2003. Chris Moneymaker’s stunning upset victory ignited his history in the game. After seeing Moneymaker win the 2003 WSOP Main Event on television, Cantu became part of the wave of new players which flooded into the game. Cantu started playing online and did well enough to build a bankroll. He started playing in live tournaments starting in 2006. Since then, Cantu has won 4 major poker tournaments and as accumulated more than $3 million in tournament earnings worldwide. Cantu collected $228,867 for first place. He was also awarded his second WSOP gold bracelet.

Phil Hellmuth’s 14th-place finish in this event gives him 73 in-the-money finishes for his career.

Brandon Cantu came to the final table on Day Three with the chip lead. He lost his advantage about midway into play and was the shortest stack when play was four handed. Cantu survived several all-in confrontations en route to victory. When heads-up play began, Lee Watkinson enjoyed nearly a 3 to 1 chip advantage over Brandon Cantu. The heads-up match between Cantu and Watkinson was one of the most exciting of this year’s WSOP. Several hundred spectators crammed around the final table and made the atmosphere resemble a heavyweight prizefight. Cantu was all-in at least six times, but managed to either scoop or split the pot, which prolonged his survival. In Watkinson’s defense, he was just one card away from victory a few times, but was unable to close out the victory. Watkinson had his opponent covered and held the best hand two times, but could not knock out the persistent Cantu. Then, after about an hour of heads-up play, the duel came to an abrupt end when Cantu won a series of late, critical hands and busted Watkinson with trip-fours on the final hand.

The final table lasted about eight hours – just slightly below average in duration. Most final tables this year have been running 9-10 hours.


Brandon Cantu

  1. Brandon Cantu -- $228,867
  2. Lee Watkinson -- $141,873
  3. Jacqmin Mathieu -- $92,946
  4. Ted Weinstock -- $64,727
  5. Tommy Vedes -- $47,617
  6. Steve Jelinek -- $36,893
  7. Aaron Sias -- $30,028
  8. Ronnie Hofman -- $25,618
  9. William McMahan -- $22,862