The final sixteen players in Event #5: €10,450 Mixed Max - No-Limit Hold'em took their seats today to engage in the final stage of the Mixed Max format: Heads Up. At the end of two rounds of play the final four emerged. Leading the way is Brandon Cantu who will be matched up with second largest stack Roger Hairabedian. The second match will see Jonathan Aguiar against Faraz Jaka.
Each player moved into the heads up portion of this tournament with the same chip stack that they earned throughout the rest of the levels. This led to many interesting draws that put small stacks up against large stacks with the hope of a major upset. Jason Mercier and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier were the two shortest stacks coming into today and they were unable to run their stacks up to find a win in the round of sixteen. Mercier came close to accomplishing this task with an early double up. Unfortunately for Mercier, his pocket kings were cracked by Aguiar and he was forced to the rail.
After the fireworks that occurred between Cantu and Phil Hellmuth on Day 2, it was inevitable that their heads up match would be the center of attention on Day 3. Hellmuth scored a double up early on in a dramatic fashion when he was all in and behind with to Cantu's . The door card was the and Hellmuth heaved a sigh of relief. However, as the dealer spread the flop, the next visible card was the , pairing Cantu's second card as well. The dealer moved the jack to reveal the third card of the flop- the . This sent Cantu out of his chair in disbelief and he failed to improve on subsequent streets, earning Hellmuth the double up.
However, Cantu would eventually wear Hellmuth down and get him to commit all of his stack before the flop with . Cantu called with and Hellmuth failed to improve, ending his tournament and securing Cantu a spot in the round of eight.
The other players to see their exits in the round of sixteen include: Joe Keuther, Mike Watson, Jennifer Tilly, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, and Paul Tedeschi. Each of these players received €20,443 for their efforts.
The round of eight saw the following matches:
Martin Jacobson was able to give Cantu a run for his money and was actually able to overtake the chiplead from Cantu. However, the two got it all in in a race situation where Cantu held against Jacobson's . Jacobson failed to improve and the two were back to square one in chips. After roughly one more hour play, Cantu finally sealed the deal and eliminated Jacobson.
Also to advance to the final four is Roger Hairabedian. Hairabedian won his first WSOPE bracelet earlier in the series in Event #3: €5,300 Pot-Limit Omaha. By winning that event Hairabedian became the first French player to win a WSOPE bracelet. If Hairabedian can rise to the top of this field as well, he will also set the record as the first player to ever win two WSOPE bracelets in one year. Hairabedian will play Cantu in the round of four.
Aguiar was able to defeat Marvin Rettenmaier in his second match of the day to secure the third spot among the final four. The match came to a head when Aguiar min-raised from the button and Rettenmaier three-bet all in. Aguiar snapped with and was out in front of Rettenmaier's . The flop came , allowing Aguiar to scoop up the chips and take the third largest stack into the final four.
Finally, rounding out the final four is Faraz Jaka. Jaka was able to defeat Konstantin Puchkov in a match that saw Jaka riding the short stack early. However, Jaka was able to double up three times against Puchkov before finally putting him to rest.
The bracket for the final four is as follows:
The final four will take their seats at 1:00PM CET on Saturday to resume play. We will play down until one player has all of the chips and a gold WSOPE bracelet snugly fit around their wrist. Make sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for all of the latest updates!