The excitement is building up at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open as the final tables of the two marquee events were set yesterday. In the $5,250 Championship $5 million guaranteed, where the winner will walk away with $1,000,000, defending champion Dan Colman is trying to win back-to-back titles. Unfortunately no woman made it to the final table of this massive event; Karen Onheiser was last woman standing, and her deep run ended when she was eliminated in 38th place for $22,500.
Fortunately it looks much better in the $2,650 NLH $1 million guaranteed, where Canada’s Xuan Liu made the 9-handed final table yesterday. It’s pretty ironic that Colman was actually the player that sent Liu out of the Championship, when she ran her AK into his AA on Day 2. Liu wasted no time and immediately hopped into the 1 Milly, and it certainly proved to be a good decision.
At the start of Day 2 and with 97 players left (out of 502 players), Liu began the day with 69,000 in chips and in the lower end of the chip counts. It didn’t take long before the money bubble burst and approaching the dinner break, they were down to three tables. Just before the break Liu sent Paul Hyden to the rail, when he was all in with versus Liu’s . Hyden was well in front, but the board came to give Liu trip eights and eliminate Hyden in 24th place.
Ryan Chamas didn’t last to the dinner break either as Liu went on to eliminate him in 22nd place. The action started with Chamas limping from the small blind and Liu raising from the big blind to 27,000. Chamas called, and the flop came . Chamas checked, and Liu bet 32,000, which Chamas called. When the fell on the turn Chamas lead out for 47,000 and Liu called. The river brought the and Chamas checked. Liu bet 125,000, and Chamas responded with a check-raise to 300,000, which saw Liu move all in for 692,000. According to the tournament blog Chamas tanked for a very long time before finally calling with , eights full of aces. But Liu had in the hole for aces full of eights. The pot saw Liu’s stack grow to 1,588,000 (159 bb) and give her the chip lead with 21 players left.
After dinner Liu was responsible for another elimination, when she sent Andrew Hinrichsen to the rail with versus Hinrichsen’s . Liu rivered a queen, and Hinrichsen was eliminated in 13th place. Liu was now sitting with over 3 million in chips. Unfortunately Liu went on to double up Fabrizio Gonzales in a hand, where she flopped a pair of aces and Gonzales rivered a straight.
After hours of play on the final table bubble, the final table was eventually set with:
Seat 1: Seth Davies, 355,000 (8 bb)
Seat 2: Fabrizio Gonzales, 1740, 000 (43 bb)
Seat 3: Chris Hunichen, 1,220,000 (30 bb)
Seat 4: Jon Brenstein, 930,000 (23 bb)
Seat 5: Darryl Ronconi, 925,000 (23 bb)
Seat 6: Xuan Liu, 3,150,000 (78 bb)
Seat 7: David Diaz, 665,000 (16 bb)
Seat 8: Casey Yontz, 220,000 (5 bb)
Seat 9: Daniel Fuhs, 920,000 (23 bb)
Going into the final Liu is in great shape with 3,150,000, nearly double the stack of Fabrizio Gonzales, who’s second in chips with 1,740,000. The players are all guaranteed $23,150 at this point, but with $236,400 up top Liu will certainly have her eyes fixed on a much bigger payday.
Play will resume 2 p.m. local time. The final table will be live streamed on a 30-minute delay.
PokerWomenNews wish Xuan Liu the best of luck!
Photo: Xuan Liu, Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open