Event 18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz
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Cantu Leads Final 18; Hellmuth In Great Shape to Make Run at Bracelet #12

Chad_Holloway • Level 18: 5,000-0, 1,000 ante
Phil Hellmuth

Yesterday, the 2012 World Series of Poker continued with Event #18 $2,500 Seven Card Razz, which attracted 309 players and created a prize pool of $702,975. Over the course of eight levels of play, 174 players hit the felt, leaving just 136 looking to make the money at the top 36; what’s more, each have their eyes set on the $182,793 top prize.

The man best positioned to make a run at the gold bracelet is Brandon Cantu, who finished as the Day 2 chip leader with 298,500. However, he’ll have to contend with some stiff competition such as Phil Hellmuth, who is looking for his 12th bracelet; the 2008 winner of this event, Barry Greenstein; and online pro Jared Bleznik.

Day 2 saw 118 players hit the rail including the Day 1 chip leader, Tommy Vedes; last year’s runner-up, Stephen Su; PokerNews’ own Mickey Doft; 1997 Razz champ Linda Johnson; Kami “Dr. Kamikaze” Chisholm, who started Day 2 second in chips; 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider; recent bracelet winner Andy Bloch; and former Main Events winners Greg Raymer, Berry Johnston and Tom McEvoy.

While each of those players exited at various points throughout the day, no one experience more heartache than Event #4 $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better final tablist Xuan Liu. With 33 players remaining, just one more needed to hit the rail to make the money.

It was at that point Hellmuth completed with an {8-} and Scott Clements raised his {2-}. Liu, who was showing {A-} made the call, as did Hellmuth, and it was three-way action to the turn. Clements fired another bet, both his opponents called, and then it went check-check after Liu took the lead on fifth. This opened the door for Clements to bet for a third time, and again both his opponent called.

Liu kept the lead on sixth, but this time instead of checking she bet. Hellmuth got out of the way and Clements called.

Liu: {7-}{3-} / {A-}{6-}{K-}{5-} / {10-}
Clements: (x-x) / {2-}{3-}{2-}{8-} / (x) ({A-}{4-}{5-})
Hellmuth: (x-x) / {8-}{5-}{5-}{10-}

Little did Liu know that Clements had made a wheel, and she proceeded to bet her last 5,900 on seventh. Clements made the call and took down the pot, eliminating Liu on the money bubble.

Speaking of the money, 14 players made their way to the payout desk on Day 2 including Ted Forrest (30th-$4,885), Sam Grizzle (27th-$4,885), Allen Bari (26th-$4,885), Yarron Bendor (24th-$5,904), Joe Tehan (23rd-$5,904) and Vladimir Shchmelev (19th-$5,904).

Here’s a look at the players who’ll be returning on Day 3 with their respective chip counts:

Final 18 Chip Counts

PlayerChips
Brandon Cantu298,500
Brendan Taylor288,500
Phil Hellmuth287,500
Chris Viox189,000
Michael Chow183,000
Jeff Misteff155,000
David Rosenau149,000
Don Zewin115,500
Jeff Mervis111,500
Barry Greenstein94,500
Scott Abrams93,000
Jared Bleznick91,500
Scott Fischman57,500
Gerald Ringe54,500
Chris Wallace54,000
Dan O’Brien50,500
Calvin Anderson28,000
Scott Clements20,000

Who will be the next to add their name to the list of Razz Champions?

$2,500 even Card Razz Champions

YearPlayerEntrantsPrize
2012???309$182,793
2011Rep Porter363$210,615
2010Frank Kassela365$214,085
2009Jeff Lisandro315$188,390
2008*Barry Greenstein453$157,643
2007*Katja Thater341$132,653
2006*James Richberg409$139,576
2005*O’Neil Longson291$125,690

*Featured $1,500 buy-in.

Tomorrow the remaining 18 players will return at 2 PM PST to battle down to a champion. Check back then for all the latest from Event 18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz.

Tags: Brandon CantuPhil Hellmuth