History on the Line for Scotty Nguyen, Others, at the WPT World Championship
Level 26: 60,000-120,000, 15,000 ante
The final table is set for the WPT World Championship:
Elky Grospellier, Scotty Nguyen, Shannon Shorr, John Phan, Tournaments, Bellagio, Season VII, WPT World Championship, Featured Blog
Seat 1 - Elky Grospellier - 5,955,000
Seat 2 - Scotty Nguyen - 3,275,000
Seat 3 - Shannon Shorr - 1,330,000
Seat 4 - Yevgeniy Timoshenko - 13,300,000
Seat 5 - Christian Harder - 7,425,000
Seat 6 - Ran Azor - 2,525,000
Scott Nguyen has a below-average chip stack, but he is going for history tomorrow. If he wins this event, he'll be the second player in history (after Carlos Mortensen) to win the two most prestigious events (the WSOP Main Event and the WPT World Championship). Nguyen would also be the first to win those two, plus the WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship. Nguyen is also getting a head start on his public proclamation that he would retire from poker if he didn't earn $4 million by the end of the WSOP. (Yes, he changed the wording a bit, but he's definitely counting this event.)
Oh, one more thing. If Scotty Nguyen wins this event, he will pass Jamie Gold on the all-time money list with more than $12.5 million. (Even a worst-case scenario -- sixth place -- would move Nguyen into fourth place on the all-time list.)
Meanwhile, Elky Grospellier just needs to outlast one more player to tie John "The Razor" Phan in the Season VII WPT Player of the Year race. A fourth-place finish for Grospellier would clinch the title outright.
Both Nguyen and Grospellier have a shot at tying another record if they can finish second or higher. To this point, Carlos Mortensen and Dan Harrington are the only two players in history with three million-dollar cashes on their resume. Nguyen and Grospellier currently have two apiece. (Second place in this tournament is worth $1.44 million.)
Want another storyline? How's this -- Shannon Shorr wasn't invited to the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, and blogged that his results warranted serious consideration. If he wins this event, it'll definitely increase his profile and his chances, but the WPT World Champion does not get an automatic invite to that event. The WPT Player of the Year (which will be either Phan or Grospellier) does get an automatic invite to the NBC invitational.
There is plenty to watch for, so be sure to return to WorldPokerTour.com tomorrow (Saturday) at 4:00 pm PT for complete hand-by-hand coverage, with updated chip counts for every hand.
10:30 PM, 04/24/09
Elky Grospellier Season VII Player of the Year?
Level 26: 60,000-120,000, 15,000 ante
Video description: Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier enters his second WPT Final Table (of Season VII) third in chips with 5,995,000
Amanda Leatherman, Elky Grospellier, Featured Blog, Tournaments, Bellagio, Season VII, WPT World Championship
09:23 PM, 04/24/09
Hands #57-59: Elky Grospellier vs. Justin Young
Level 25: 50,000-100,000, 10,000 ante
Hand #57 - Justin Young raises under the gun to 275,000, winning the blinds and antes.
Elky Grospellier, Justin Young, Tournaments, Bellagio, Season VII, WPT World Championship
Hand #58 - Shannon Shorr raises from late position to 260,000, Yevgeniy Timoshenko calls from the cutoff, and Christian Harder reraises from the button to 900,000. Shorr and Timoshenko both fold.
Hand #59 - Justin Young raises from the small blind to 300,000, and Elky Grospellier calls from the big blind. The flop comes J72, Young checks, Grospellier bets 330,000, Young check-raises to 830,000, and Grospellier reraises to 2,130,000. Young folds, and Grospellier takes the pot.
Elky Grospellier - 4,850,000
Justin Young - 1,650,000
03:22 PM, 04/24/09
Four Bellagio Millionaires Still Alive
Level 24: 40,000-80,000, 10,000 ante
There are four players among the remaining ten who have earned over $1 million in Bellagio tournaments in their career.
Eugene Katchalov, Shannon Shorr, Elky Grospellier, Justin Young, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Featured Blog, Tournaments, Bellagio, Season VII, WPT World Championship
Eugene Katchalov won the 2007 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic, earning $2.48 million, and has a Bellagio career total of about $2.8 million.
Shannon Shorr won the 2006 Bellagio Cup II (a non-WPT event) for $960,000, and he also won a $1,000 no-limit event in that same tournament. He also made two final tables in the 2008 Bellagio Cup IV, with a first and a third. His total Bellagio earnings are about $1.9 million.
Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier won the 2008 WPT Festa al Lago, earning $1.4 million, and his career Bellagio earnings are around $1.5 million.
Justin Young finished second in the 2008 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic, earning $936,000, and he also has a victory in a $2,500 no-limit event in the 2006 Fest al Lago. His career Bellagio earnings are around $1.4 million.
It's also worth noting that Yevgeniy Timoshenko is playing in his first-ever WPT event at Bellagio, because he just turned 21 a few months ago.
01:42 PM, 04/24/09