Poker News

It was moving day Tuesday at the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship, as the money bubble was finally burst and the field inched ever closer to the final table.  Galen Hall will be the chip leader when play resumes Wednesday, sitting with a stack of 3,438,000 chips, well ahead of Sam El Sayed, the leader to start Tuesday, who is in second place with 2,774,000 chips.  Only two other players, Roger Teska and Scott Seiver, have over 2,000,000.

Fifty-two players were still alive as Day 4 play began at noon at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  Five blind levels and more than nine hours later and we are down to just fifteen, sitting around two tables.  The final 27 players made the money about half way through the day when Hafiz Khan had the unfortunate dishonor of becoming the bubble boy.  Play was hand for hand to prevent stalling and Khan moved in with pocket Aces against Justin Young’s pocket Jacks.  In an “of course it had to happen to me” moment, a Jack fell on the turn, sending Khan home $25,000 poorer.

Interestingly, the WPT staff supplying live updates noted that the bubble hand came and went without much fanfare.  In contrast, at the WSOP Main Event, everyone is on pins and needles when play is hand for hand and the room goes into full celebration mode when the bubble boy is finally shown the door.  The live update chalked it up to (and rightfully so) the fact that those remaining in the WPT World Championship are pros who are not simply looking for the thrill of a min-cash.  The WSOP, on the other hand, is full of online qualifiers and those playing for the “once in a lifetime” experience.  For them, making a few thousand dollars and getting to say they cashed at the WSOP is tremendous.

Had a coin flip gone another way just a few minutes earlier, Khan would have made the money.  Will Failla pushed his last 100,000 chips into the middle with pocket 9’s and was called by Sam El Sayed, who had K-J.  The flop helped El Sayed, as he paired his King, but it helped Failla more, as he hit his set.  The turn and river were inconsequential and Failla survived.  Failla has actually made it to Day 5, currently sitting in 14th place.

With just ten eliminations remaining until the television final table is determined, there are still some names remaining that many poker fans will recognize.  Scott Seiver and Shannon Shorr sit in fourth and fifth place, respectively, Nenad Medic is in ninth, Daniel Alaei is in thirteenth, and last year’s WPT World Champion, David Williams, is the shortest stack of the bunch, currently in fifteenth place.

Sam El Sayed and Shannon Shorr are also in a battle for the WPT Season IX Player of the Year award.  The two are in a multi-way tie for twelfth in the POY standings, but each can nab a share of the title with a fifth place finish in this tournament.  If either finishes fourth or higher, he will stand alone atop the leaderboard.  Of course, if both finish fourth or better, whoever survives the longest will be Player of the year.

Play will resume at noon on Wednesday as the field is narrowed to the final table.

Eliminated Money Finishers (Place/Prize)

16. Josh Bergman – $42,276
17. Christian Harder – $42,276
18. Tom McCormick – $42,276
19. Abe Mosseri – $37,167
20. Kwinsee Tran – $37,167
21. Haralabos Voulgaris – $37,167
22. Dave Ulliott – $37,167
23. Alan Sternberg – $37,167
24. Doyle Brunson – $37,167
25. Jonathan Layani – $37,167
26. Kenny Tran – $37,167
27. Matt Hyman – $37,167

Current Chip Standings

1. Galen Hall – 3,438,000
2. Sam El Sayed – 2,774,000
3. Roger Teska – 2,194,000
4. Scott Seiver – 2,001,000
5. Shannon Shorr – 1,786,000
6. Steven Kelly – 1,674,000
7. Tony Gargano – 1,577,000
8. Ashton Griffin – 1,474,000
9. Nenad Medic – 1,282,000
10. Justin Young – 1,249,000
11. Freddy Bonyadi – 700,000
12. David Peters – 633,000
13. Daniel Alaei – 530,000
14. Will Failla – 393,000
15. David Williams – 318,000

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