Hand #47: Kirk Morrison Eliminated in 5th Place ($168,924)
Level 28: 50,000-100,000, 10,000 ante
John Racener raises from the cutoff to 255,000, Kirk Morrison calls from the button, and Andrew Robl calls from the small blind. The flop comes A105, Robl and Racener both check, Morrison bets 225,000, and Robl raises to 550,000. Racener folds, and Morrison calls.
The turn card is the 9, and Robl thinks for a few moments and says, "I'm all in." Morrison calls with AJ (pair of aces), but Robl turns over 55 for a set of fives. Morrison is drawing dead. (The meaningless river card pairs the board with the 10, giving Robl a full house, fives full of tens.)
Andrew Robl wins the pot as Kirk Morrison is eliminated in fifth place, earning $168,924.
As Morrison reaches his friends on the rail, he jokingly yells, "Rebuy!"
Seat 1. Antonio Esfandiari - 2,915,000
Seat 2. Vanessa Rousso - 3,745,000
Seat 4. John Racener - 2,985,000
Seat 5. Kirk Morrison - Out in 5th Place ($168,924)
Seat 6. Andrew Robl - 8,010,000
Hand #40: Antonio Esfandiari Takes a Big Pot Against Kirk Morrison
Level 27: 40,000-80,000, 10,000 ante
Antonio Esfandiari raises from the cutoff to 205,000, and Kirk Morrison calls from the big blind. The flop comes Q76, Morrison checks, Esfandiari bets 330,000, and Morrison calls. The turn card is the 8, Morrison checks, Esfandiari bets 650,000, and Morrison says, "That big, huh? C'mon, you're the one who wanted to yap. What, do you have a big hand?"
Yesterday, Morrison was very talkative, and Esfandiari was really enjoying it. Earlier this evening, when Morrison was quiet, Esfandiari was asking him when he was going to start talking. Morrison seems to think that now is a good time.
Morrison counts out the bet from his own stack to see what he'd have left, and says, "That'll leave me with just enough chips to bluff the river. Or I might lay it down." Morrison notices that his stacks are a little less than 20 chips high and says, "Well that's a bad start. I short-stacked myself."
Morrison looks across the table to Rousso and says, "This hand, I needed to be in your seat, Vanessa." She has the button. "Can we tag-team on this?"
Morrison goes back into the tank, and he tells the other players, "This is Kirk, actually doing math right now. Which is a first." After a little more thought, Morrison asks Esfandiari, "If I call, and then bet all in on the river without looking, are you going to call?" Esfandiari remains silent.
After another minute or so in the tank, Morrison says, "Six-hundred-and-fifty. That is a great bet. That is a great bet."
After a total of eight minutes in the tank, Morrison tells Esfandiari, "If I fold this hand, I want your family to scream and yell as loud as possible, so I don't feel so bad." Morrison folds, and Esfandiari's friends cheer. But it's hardly the loudest cheer of the night, so take that for what it's worth.
Antonio Esfandiari takes the pot.
Seat 1. Antonio Esfandiari - 2,835,000
Seat 2. Vanessa Rousso - 4,135,000
Seat 4. John Racener - 3,835,000
Seat 5. Kirk Morrison - 1,770,000
Seat 6. Andrew Robl - 5,080,000
Photo Recap: Day 5 of WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Level 25: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
The final 15 players battled for the right to sit at Wednesday's televised WPT final table, and with a tough field, it wasn't an easy task. Sorel Mizzi was hoping to improve on his seventh-place finish from our last stop on the tour (Foxwoods), but fell short in ninth place, just missing two televised WPT final tables in a row. Kia Mohajeri, who had a shot at catching WPT Player of the Year points leader Andy Frankenberger with a third-place-or-higher finish, was the unfortunate "Bubble Boy," finishing seventh.
But enough about those who fell short. It's time to take a look at the players who went the distance, and it's one of the most interesting final tables the WPT has had in recent years. Here are the official seating and chip counts:
And now, a photographic look back at how those six final tablists made it down the home stretch:
Royal Flush Girl Melanie Iglesias (standing, right) checks out the players at the final two tables early on Day 5, including Kia Mohajeri (left) and Antonio Esfandiari (center).
With the board showing 88487 and nearly 900,000 already in the pot, Antonio Esfandiari moves all in against Vanessa Rousso. Rousso removes her sunglasses to talk to Esfandiari, saying, "You don't look scared at all Antonio. I have the weirdest feeling you have aces. I don't think you have an eight."
Charles Caris (left) and Chris DeMaci (center) wait for Vanessa Rousso (right) to decide whether to call or fold to Antonio Esfandiari's all-in bet on the river. Rousso says, "What do you think I have? Anything?" Rousso says, "You think I can make a tough call," and repeats that phrase to herself a few times. Rousso spent a long time in the tank, but none of the other players dared to call the clock on her, because it was obviously a crucial point in the tournament for both Rousso and Esfandiari.
Antonio Esfandiari waits for Vanessa Rousso to make a decision. Rousso eventually apologizes to the rest of the table and calls the clock on herself. About 30 seconds later, Rousso calls and turns over 1010 for a full house, eights full of tens. Esfandiari silently mucks his cards, and Rousso wins the pot.
Vanessa Rousso pulls in the pot after making one of the toughest and more important calls of her career, saying, "Oh my god, that was the hardest thing ever." Rousso is visibly giddy and jittery as she stacks her chips, saying, "I need a break, I need a break. That's all I can say. I need a break." The double up catapults Rousso into the chip lead, and knocks Antonio Esfandiari out of that position for the first time in three days.
Kirk Morrison (left) doubles thru Amit Makhija in a cooler -- Makhija has QQ to Morrison's KK, and they reraise each other back-and-forth from the blinds until Morrison six-bets all in. The board comes nine-high and misses them both completely, sending Morrison near the top of the leaderboard and knocking Makhija down. Makhija was eliminated in 13th place a short while later after running flopped top pair and a gutshot straight draw into Vanessa Rousso's set of deuces.
Ray Dehkharghani plays a hand against John Racener with 12 players remaining.
After Luis Velador's elimination in 11th place, the final 10 players redraw for seats at a single table. Vanessa Rousso (left) still holds the chip lead, while Kirk Morrison (right) has increased his stack to third in chips.
The final 10 players, in seat order: (1) Antonio Esfandiari, (2) Vanessa Rousso, (3) Ted Lawson, (4) Kia Mohajeri, (5) Andrew Lichtenberger, (6) John Racener, (7) Ray Dehkharghani, (8) Kirk Morrison, (9) Sorel Mizzi (not pictured), and (10) Andrew Robl.
Ted Lawson (left) turns to update his wife Michelle (right) on the status of his chip count with 10 players remaining. At that point, Lawson was ranked seventh in chips, and he knew he'd need to move up if he was going to reach the six-handed WPT TV final table.
John Racener (right) studies Andrew Lichtenberger (left) as they battle over a pot that extends into the break.
Antonio Esfandiari describes his up-and-down day to the WPT cameras during a break. Esfandiari had been at or near the chip lead since the start of the tournament, but took a beating at the start of Day 5. But Esfandiari stayed strong and managed to battle back into contention. Esfandiari also mentions that this TV final table falls on his birthday -- what could be a better present than that?
Andrew Lichtenberger gets a massage as he waits for the other nine players to return from break.
The rest of the players watch as Sorel Mizzi (foreground, left) considers whether to call or fold to the all-in bet of Ray Dehkharghani after a flop of AJ9. After more than six minutes, Mizzi calls the clock on himself (as Vanessa Rousso did earlier), and eventually calls with KJ for a pair of jacks. Dehkharghani turns over A10 for a pair of aces, and he's poised to double up. But the J falls on the river to give Mizzi trip jacks, sending Dehkharghani home in 10th place. Though Mizzi won this pot, he would be the next player to be eliminated, finishing ninth.
Andrew Robl (right) studies John Racener (left) as they battle over a pot with eight players remaining.
With the board showing K72KJ and more than 2 million already in the pot, Vanessa Rousso (foreground, right) bets 1 million in chips -- those two red stacks in front of her represent 500,000 each. John Racener (far left) says, "I know you have two jacks. It's just so brutal. I was supposed to bet the million and you were going to call." Racener folds, trusting his read as he forfeits the pot to Rousso, who mucks her cards without offering any information.
Vanessa Rousso pulls in the big pot that she just won against John Racener. Rousso had a lot of practice stacking chips after all the pots she's been raking. Antonio Esfandiari, sitting next to her, asks, "So Vanessa, how are you running today?"
With eight players remaining, Andrew Robl (left) bets the river against Vanessa Rousso (right) on a board of J8793. Rousso thinks for more than a minute before she calls, and Robl shows 1010 to win the pot with a jack-high straight.
Andrew Lichtenberger talks to the WPT cameras after his elimination in eighth place. After a flop of A106, Lichtenberger was all in with AQ (pair of aces) to Vanessa Rousso's A6 (two pair).
Kirk Morrison is never boring. While two other players battle over a pot, a WPT producer gives Morrison a chance to record the action for the show.
Antonio Esfandiari (left) and Vanessa Rousso (right) are both eager to make the televised WPT final table. Esfandiari won a WPT title all the way back in Season II, but hasn't earned his way to one in nearly seven years. Meanwhile, Rousso made her first splash in the poker world with a high-profile seventh-place finish in the 2006 WPT World Championship, and she is still looking for her first televised WPT final table.
With the final board showing 109724 and about 1.2 million already in the pot, Andrew Robl (right) moves all in, and Kirk Morrison (left) tanks for a bit before he calls. Robl shows QQ, and Morrison points at the queens to indicate it's the best hand. Morrison rechecks his cards, and jokingly exclaims, "Two pair" before tossing his cards into the muck. Morrison complimented Robl on the hand, saying Robl got maximum value with his bets.
Kia Mohajeri is the unfortunate "Bubble Boy," eliminated in seventh place when he runs AQ into John Racener's AK preflop. Mohajeri sincerely wishes the other six players good luck as he leaves the tournament.
Antonio Esfandiari and Vanessa Rousso fill out their WPT bio sheets while they wait for a TD to verify their chip stacks for the TV final table. Rousso will resume play with a big chip lead, hoping to become the first woman in history to win an open WPT title, while Esfandiari hopes to enter the elite club of players with multiple WPT titles.
The final table begins tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4:00 pm PT. Return to WorldPokerTour.com for complete live coverage of every check, bet, call, raise, and fold from the final table, including updated chip counts every hand. And we'll cap off the entire tournament with a final episode of the Jess and BJ Show that will be posted Thursday morning.
There are 12 minutes left in Level 25, with blinds at 25,000-50,000 (5,000 ante). Level 26 will have blinds at 30,000-60,000 (5,000 ante), and that's the number we've used to computed the number of big blinds listed next to each chip stack.
Action resumes tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4:00 pm PT. Return to WorldPokerTour.com in the morning for a WPT Photo Blog Recap and a fresh Final Table Preview episode of the untitled video recap show with Jessica Welman and BJ Nemeth.
Hand #88 - The 6 is exposed preflop and Kirk Morrison raises to 150,000 from under the gun. Andrew Robl reraises to 280,000 behind him and Morrison calls.
Both players check the 1097 flop. After he checks, Morrison looks at Esfandiari and asks, "Antonio, do you speak Lebanese?"
Esfandiari responds, "No," then pauses for a moment. He then adds, "I just want to put you in a suitcase and take you wherever I go. I usually say that to women, but you're a pretty fun dude."
Their conversation comes to a halt with the 2 on the turn. Morrison checks, Robl bets 300,000, and Morrison calls. Before the river comes out, Morrison checks dark, saying, "In case something stupid comes up."
The river is the 4 and Robl moves all-in for 955,000. Morrison tanks for a bit, then tells Robl, "I have a little something. Not too much though."
Morrison eventually calls and Robl shows QQ. Morrison doesn't look at his hand. He nods, then looks at his cards one last time.
"Oh shit," Morrison exclaims. "Two pair." Morrison instantly starts laughing, indicating to Robl that he is just kidding around with him.
As Robl is raking the pot, Morrison tells him, "Nice hand," and adds that he got the absolute maximum from him.
Hand #29: Does Kirk Morrison Have the Best Tournament ROI?
Level 23: 15,000-30,000, 4,000 ante
Hand #29 - Kirk Morrison raises from middle position to 80,000, Vanessa Rousso calls from the button, and Kia Mohajeri calls from the big blind. The flop comes A86, Mohajeri checks, and Morrison bets 150,000. Rousso folds, and Mohajeri thinks for a bit before he folds as well. Kirk Morrison takes the pot.
After the hand, Robl asks, "Kirk, what's your lifetime tourney ROI?" ROI is obviously "Return On Investment," or how much profit a player has made once you subtract all of their buyins.
Morrison laughs and says, "I don't know."
Robl says, "I've heard specifically that it's the best in the world."
Antonio Esfandiari raises to 62,000 from middle position and Kirk Morrison defends out of the big blind. The flop falls A54 and Morrison checks. Esfandiari bets 83,000 and Morrison calls. Both players check the 9 on the turn and Morrison instantly moves all-in when the K comes on the river.
Esfandiari sits back in his chair and starts to think. After a couple minutes of deliberation, he starts to talk to his opponent. "Ace-nine?"
Morrison remains silent and Esfandiari thinks quietly a little longer before saying, "Kirk, Kirk, Kirk...I've got a pretty big hand sir."
"Not that big," Morrison responds.
"Do you want me to call? What do you want me to do?" Again, Morrison remains silent, but he does raise his eyebrows and give his opponent a couple of quizzical looks.
Esfandiari lifts his hands, appearing to muck, before pulling them back in again. The table chuckles and Esfandiari puts both hands on his stack, seemingly on the verge of pushing in the call.
"Call," the dealer prematurely announces. As Esfandiari quickly tells her he didn't call, his hands knock over his stack and a dozen chips roll across the betting line. The dealer helps Esfandiari pull his chips back and he thinks for a few more seconds.
After five solid minutes of deliberation, Esfandiari folds and Morrison takes the pot.
Action folds to Kirk Morrison in the small blind, who glances at his cards, then announces, "More."
Morrison raises to 60,000 and Amit Makhija reraises to 180,000 out of the big blind. Morrison thinks a minute, then says, "Let's try this one time," as he makes the minimum raise to 300,000 total.
Makhija eyes Morrison's stack before asking the dealer, "What's the minimum I can raise?"
"Hah," blurts out Morrison. "Are you serious?" As Makhija counts out chips, Morrison observes, "Typical silverback alpha moment.." Makhija raises an additional 220,000 and Morrison deliberates a bit before sliding his cards from in front of his chip stack to beside it.
He puts both hands on his five remaining columns of chips and tries to slide his stack forward, but it doesn't budge. He readjust his hands, then starts to slide forward his remaining 834,000.
"There's what I was trying to do," he says as he pushes the stack forward.
Makhija quickly calls and asks, "Do you have kings?' Makhija turns over his QQ and Morrison shows that Makhija's read is right and he has KK.
The board runs out 86249 and the kings hold to double Morrison up to over 2 million chips.