2012 WPT Legends of Poker Final Table Set

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The final table bubble burst right around midnight PT at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event in Bell Gardens, California, giving six players one more nervous night as they try to win the half million dollar first prize. Josh Hale is the overwhelming chip leader with 7.325 million chips – almost 40 percent of the chips currently in play. His total is more than double the amount of anyone else at the table.

This would be the win of a lifetime for Hale, who has yet to win a major live poker tournament title. According to the TheHendonMob.com tournament database, he has just six live cashes dating back to 2007 for a total of $44,300. The vast majority of that sum came from a single score: a fifth place finish in the $125 No Limit Hold’em $1,000,000 Guaranteed Event at last year’s Legends of Poker which earned him $35,000.

Hale grabbed the bulk of his chips on two hands. The first came before dinner when after a flop of J-T-8, Hale check-raised David Marshall, only to see Marshall follow-up with an all-in for another 2 million chips. Hale called, flipping over 8-8 for bottom set. Marshall was in bad shape, with just A-T for middle pair, top kicker, needing some sort of combination of running cards to avoid elimination. Two more 3’s on the turn on river were not those cards and Marshall was out of the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event in 11th place.

At that point, Josh Hale was up to 4.835 million chips.

The other big hand determined the final table’s composition. Max Steinberg raised pre-flop to 150,000, after which Jim Willerson moved all-in for 1.025 million. Hale shoved over the top of Willerson and Steinberg bowed out. Willerson had to have been loving it, as he had two black Kings, but Hale did him one better, turning over Aces. The board improved neither players hand, allowing the Aces to hold, and Willerson was sent to the rail in 7th place.

The final table has the potential to shrink rather quickly, as there will be almost an hour left with blinds and antes at 30,000/60,000/10,000 and two players – Max Steinberg and Jeff Madsen – have barely over a million chips each. Greg “FBT” Mueller and Raouf Malek, despite being way behind Hale, still have fairly comfortable stacks of 3.49 million and 3.13 million, respectively. It will take some work to catch up to the chip leader, but they also aren’t at risk of being eliminated, unless they get cold decked or make a bad move against Hale.

The final table of the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event will commence at 4:00pm PT. Every hand will be streamed nearly live with hole cards on WPT.com with just a 30 minute delay.

WPT Legends of Poker Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

1.    Josh Hale – 7,325,000
2.    Greg Mueller – 3,490,000
3.    Raouf Malek – 3,130,000
4.    Ali Eslami – 2,900,000
5.    Jeff Madsen – 1,030,000
6.    Max Steinberg – 1,020,000

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