Jeff Forrest Finds a Little Beginner's Luck in Foxwoods
Level 29: 50,000-100,000, 10,000 ante
Jeff Forrest, Featured Blog, Nikolai Yakovenko, Keven Stammen, Dave Inselberg, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
For most players, simply taking part in a World Poker Tour tournament is wishful thinking. Jeff Forrest was thrilled to be playing in his first-ever WPT event at Foxwoods. Once he started making a deep run it was just icing on the cake. Making the money was a pleasant surprise, and making the final table was more than he could ever ask for. Once it got down to heads-up play with Forrest and satellite qualifier Dave Inselberg, all Forrest could say was, “I keep thinking I am going to wake up.”
When the final table began, all six players had hopes of claiming their first WPT title and, thanks to a series of memorable suck outs, crazy chops, and swinging stacks, they all had moments where it seemed as though the tournament was theirs. Mohsin Charania rallied on Day 5 to enter the final table with a seven-figure stack, but when his AQ fell to Nikolai Yakovenko’s A2, he went from middle of the pack to shorter stack. Shortly after that, he ran pocket sevens into Keven Stammen’s pocket eights, and he was eliminated in 6th place on the very next hand.
Stammen would be the next player to fall, running A10 into Inselberg’s AQ to finish in 5th place. That hand, plus a couple of other crucial pots helped to propel Inselberg past the million-chip mark, after spending virtually the entire tournament on the short stack.
Inselberg would continue his rise up the counts with another elimination, that of Yakovenko in 4th place. Yakovenko got lucky against both Charania and Tom Marchese to stay alive in the event, but it would be a suck out by Inselberg that would send him to the rail. Yakovenko had the best of it preflop with AA, but got it in with the worst of it against Inselberg’s K8 on a K87 flop. Yakovenko failed to improve and busted, while Inselberg inched closer to Marchese’s massive stack.
If things weren’t crazy before, three-handed play was when things really became unhinged. The players took turns doubling through each other, starting with Forrest, whose pocket fours outflopped Marchese’s AK. Then, Inselberg’s A9 flopped two pair on Marchese’s AK after getting it all-in preflop. Marchese seemed to be the player most down on his luck, but even he had some good fortune when his pocket threes ran out a flush against Forrest’s pocket fours to stave off elimination.
Forrest would get those chips back plus some when his A9 held against Marchese’s A6. While Forrest’s dream was starting to become a very likely reality, Marchese’s nightmare final table appearance continued to spiral out of control. Desperate for chips, Marchese shoved all-in over the top of a raise from Forrest, who called for not much more with K6. Marchese had him in bad shape with AK, but a six on the flop meant the end for Marchese, who was gone in third place.
That left the WPT novice squaring off against Inselberg, an amateur an inexperienced WPT player himself, who won his way into this event via a $250 tournament. Both seemed truly happy just to make it to heads-up play and, for both, the win would be a crowning achievement of their poker career.
Forrest had the substantial chip advantage when heads-up play began and it only took ten hands for him to wrap up his first WPT victory. On the final hand of play, Forrest min-raised the button and Inselberg defended out of the big blind. Inselberg checked the 985 flop, then put in a quick check-raise after Forrest bet. Forrest moved all-in with an overpair of queens and Inselberg called with 69 for top pair and a guthsot. The queens held with the Q on the turn and the A on the river, giving the 22 year-old from Orlando, Florida his first WPT victory and the top prize of $548,752.
Here are the final table results:
1st: Jeff Forest - $548,752
2nd: Dave Inselberg - $325,608
3rd: Thomas Marchese - $211,759
4th: Nikolai Yakovenko - $170,773
5th: Keven Stammen - $128,650
6th: Mohsin Charania - $104,741
02:38 AM, 11/03/10
Hand #70: Keven Stammen Eliminated in 5th Place ($128,650)
Level 26: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante
Keven Stammen moves all in under the gun for 580,000, and Dave Inselberg calls from the big blind AQ. Stammen shows A10, and he'll need to improve to stay alive.
Keven Stammen, Dave Inselberg, Featured Blog, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
The board comes Q1043Q, and Inselberg wins the pot with trip queens. Inselberg had Stammen covered by a single ante -- 5,000 -- and Keven Stammen is eliminated in fifth place, earning $128,650.
Seat 1. Nikolai Yakovenko - 695,000
Seat 2. Jeff Forrest - 1,680,000
Seat 3. Thomas Marchese - 3,730,000
Seat 4. Dave Inselberg - 1,210,000
Seat 5. Keven Stammen - Out in 5th Place ($128,650)
08:28 PM, 11/02/10
Hand #39: Keven Stammen Doubles Thru Mohsin Charania
Level 25: 20,000-40,000, 5,000 ante
Keven Stammen moves all in from middle position, and Mohsin Charania moves all in from the cutoff with a nearly identical stack. Stammen shows 88, and dominates Charania's 77.
Keven Stammen, Featured Blog, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
The board comes A4225, and Stammen wins the pot with his pocket eights to double up.
The stacks are counted down, and Charania covers Stammen by just 30,000 in chips.
Seat 1. Nikolai Yakovenko - 340,000
Seat 2. Jeff Forrest - 1,990,000
Seat 3. Thomas Marchese - 3,480,000
Seat 4. Dave Inselberg - 675,000
Seat 5. Keven Stammen - 800,000
Seat 6. Mohsin Charania - 30,000
06:50 PM, 11/02/10
Keven Stammen's Lucky Charm
Level 24: 15,000-30,000, 5,000 ante
In online poker circles, Chris Moorman (Moorman10) is considered to be what some would call a luckbox. He is also a friend of Kevin Stammen who flew in all the way from England to root his friend on at the final table.
Chris Moorman, Keven Stammen, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
Moorman arrives at the final table just in time for Hand #17, where Stammen turns a lucky queen to chop the pot with Tom Marchese. After the hand is over, Charania can't resist getting a joke in at Moorman's expense.
"Of course you chop. Moorman just showed up."
05:48 PM, 11/02/10
Hand #17: Stammen Stays Alive With a Chopped Pot
Level 24: 15,000-30,000, 5,000 ante
Nikolai Yakovenko raises from middle position to 60,000, Thomas Marchese calls from the button, and Keven Stammen thinks for about a minute before he moves all in from the big blind for 195,000. Yakovenko calls, and Marchese thinks for about 20 seconds before he moves all in over the top. Yakovenko calls.
Keven Stammen, Thomas Marchese, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
Stammen shows A5, but he's dominated by Marchese's AJ. Stammen will need to improve to stay alive.
The board comes A66Q9, and it's a chopped pot -- both players have two pair, aces and sixes with a queen kicker.
Seat 1. Nikolai Yakovenko - 750,000
Seat 2. Jeff Forrest - 1,425,000
Seat 3. Thomas Marchese - 3,440,000
Seat 4. Dave Inselberg - 335,000
Seat 5. Keven Stammen - 340,000
Seat 6. Mohsin Charania - 1,025,000
05:45 PM, 11/02/10
Jason Mercier Eliminated in 11th Place ($46,678)
Level 21: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
Jason Mercier raises to 35,000 on the button, Dave Inselberg folds the small blind, and Keven Stammen is in the big blind and asks for a count.
Keven Stammen, Jason Mercier, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
"I have about 300,000 behind," Mercier tells him. With that information in mind, Stammen moves all-in and Mercier calls instantly. Mercier turns over 99 and Stammen has him just bested with 1010. Mercier gets a sweat with the 765 flop and picks up chop outs with the 3 on the turn. The river brings the J and Stammen's tens hold to give him the pot and eliminate Mercier.
Keven Stammen - 800,000 (50 big blinds)
Jason Mercier - eliminated in 11th place ($46,678)
01:17 PM, 11/01/10
Photo Recap: Day 4 of WPT Foxwoods
Level 21: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Featured Blog, Kyle Bowker, Bryan Piccioli, Josh Arieh, alex berger, Bob Courtney, Sorel Mizzi, Jason Mercier, Jeff Forrest, Keven Stammen, Kimberly Lansing, Thomas Marchese, Dave Inselberg, Hoyt Corkins, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
Day 4 started with 28 players, and the top 25 would finish in the money. It seemed like a simple task, especially when Ronald Lee busted in 28th place in the first five minutes. The field redrew for new seats at the final three tables and began hand-for-hand play. So how long would it take to lose two more players?
Three and a half hours.
Once the bubble burst, play continued to complete the scheduled five levels, and at the end of the day there were 12 players left:
1. Thomas Marchese - 1,832,000 (114 bb)
2. Jeff Forrest - 979,000 (61 bb)
3. Sorel Mizzi - 788,000 (49 bb)
4. Nikolai Yakovenko - 690,000 (43 bb)
5. Christopher Bonita - 610,000 (38 bb)
6. Besnik Ziba - 500,000 (31 bb)
7. Keven Stammen - 400,000 (25 bb)
8. Hoyt Corkins - 335,000 (20 bb)
9. Dave Inselberg - 331,000 (20 bb)
10. Jason Mercier - 322,000 (00 bb)
11. Mohsin Charania - 283,000 (20 bb)
12. Ben Klier - 269,000 (16 bb)
And now, a photographic look back at Day 4 of the WPT Foxwoods:
The money bubble was the longest we've seen in a long time -- it took three and a half hours to bust two players. Many times, one table would play a long hand, and the players at other tables would just sit and wait while media and WPT cameras surrounded the one table with action.
Kyle Bowker (right) started the day in 28th place with 28 players remaining. But Bowker, who was the Day 1 chipleader, battled with a short stack through the entire bubble period, won the pots he needed to (like this one), and cashed in 24th place. Bryan Piccioli (left) started the day in 22nd place, and also made the money, finishing 19th. Both players earned $27,779.
Josh Arieh (left) faces a bet on the river from Ben Klier (foreground, right) during the money bubble. Arieh started the day in third place, but had a rough time during the money bubble. Arieh came out of the money bubble with a substantially smaller stack, and eventually busted in 21st place, earning $27,779.
Thomas Marchese doubled up with AK against Nikolai Yakovenko's AQ during the money bubble. Marchese would go on to put those chips to good use, as you'll soon see. You might notice that neither player is in this photo -- these four players (left to right, Ronnie Bardah, Bob Courtney, Jason Mercier, and Gavin Smith) are looking at Yakovenko, while Marchese is off to the left in seat 1.
Finally, after three and a half hours, Alex Berger (standing, left) was all in with 1010 against Kyle Bowker's QQ. Berger picked up an open-ended straight draw on the turn, but missed his outs on the river to bust in 26th place.
Kyle Bowker (right) shakes hands with unfortunate bubble boy Alex Berger (left). But Berger should stick around for a few minutes, because there is a hand in progress at another table …
While Alex Berger was eliminated on the money bubble in 26th place, Bob Courtney (far left) was playing a hand against Sorel Mizzi (far right). Berger asked for a clarification of the rules so he would know exactly what happened if he busted in this hand. The rule states that if two players are eliminated at separate tables during hand-for-hand play, they would tie for 25th place and split the prize in half -- $13,889.50 each. Even though he was guaranteed that amount, Bob Courtney decided to fold JJ face up on a board of 955 to Sorel Mizzi's all-in bet. Mizzi turned over AJ as he received the pot -- Courtney would have been a huge favorite to double up.
When the money bubble came to an end, Jeff Forrest emerged as the leader with more than one million in chips. Forrest was the first player in the tournament to reach that mark.
In the spirit of Halloween, Ronnie Bardah put on a wig that belonged to a friend on the rail -- it may have been a celebratory move after reaching the money. Unfortunately, Bardah would eventually be eliminated in 17th place, earning $33,016.
WPT Anchor Kimberly Lansing wears a skeleton tracksuit in honor of Halloween, and convinces Sorel Mizzi to wear a wig when he returns to play after the break. The wig didn't last long, because Mizzi sent a message out via Twitter a few minutes later -- @SorelMizzi: "Put wig on. First hand lose 500k pot. Wigs gotta go. 450k" But any damage done was only temporary, as Mizzi would survive the day third in chips.
With the final board showing Q10339, Sorel Mizzi (left) bets big on the river against Jason Mercier (right). Mercier was confused by the move, saying that Mizzi often plays hands like this in unusual ways, and somehow catches a winning hand by showdown. Mercier said, "The last time you did this, you had nothing, but I had worse. This time I have it, but I still have this sick feeling." Mercier eventually folded, and Mizzi took the pot.
Thomas Marchese rakes in another pot, putting him into position for some big hands in the final minutes that would set the stage for Day 5.
Everyone at the table wants to know what cards Dave Inselberg (foreground, right) had when he moved all in, but Inselberg, who had been riding a short stack all day, was reluctant. Inselberg eventually relented and showed one card -- the A.
Thomas Marchese (far right) reraises all in on the river against Mohsin Charania (left). The board showed 1072QK, and Charania tanked for a while before he folded. It was a big pot to forfeit, and Charania dropped down near the bottom of the chip counts. Charania would survive the day, but 11th in chips with 12 players remaining.
There were two key hands in the final minutes of Day 4. In the first one, Hoyt Corkins (foreground, right) and Thomas Marchese (left) create a pot worth 1.1 million on a board of 97684. Corkins led the betting the entire way, and showed down 1010 to win the pot with a ten-high straight on the turn. Marchese mucked without showing, and this pot propelled former WPT Foxwoods champion Corkins into the chip lead with 12 players remaining.
It didn't take long for Hoyt Corkins (center) and Thomas Marchese (foreground, left) to play another huge pot. Shortly before the end of the day, Marchese opened from the button, Corkins reraised from the big blind, and Marchese four-bet it to 208,000. Corkins reraised to 570,000, and Marchese asked, "Why did you do that instead of shoving?" Marchese tanked for a minute as media and the WPT crew swarmed the table. Finally, Marchese said, "Whatever, I'm all in." Corkins replied, "I guess this is the tournament. I call." Corkins showed AK to Marchese's 1010, and it was a race situation. The board came Q10826, and Marchese won the pot with a set of tens to double up to a huge chip lead with triple the average stack.
Mohsin Charania, who started the day sixth in chips, wasn't pleased that he was 11th out of 12 at the end of the day. Charania added a little "FML" next to his count on the bag his chips were sealed in.
Day 5 begins tomorrow (Monday) at 12:00 noon ET. Return to WorldPokerTour.com for continuing live coverage, including hand updates, frequent chip counts, video interviews with Kimberly Lansing, and the still-untitled recap show starring Jessica Welman and BJ Nemeth.
11:48 AM, 11/01/10
Sorel Mizzi's Big Call
Level 20: 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
Keven Stammen raises out of the cutoff, Sorel Mizzi calls out of the small blind, and Jason Mercier calls out of the big blind.
Sorel Mizzi, Keven Stammen, Jason Mercier, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
The flop comes down 1096 and all three players check. The turn brings the 7 and Mizzi checks. Mercier bets 37,000 and both Stammen and Mizzi calls. The river is the J and action checks to Stammen, who bets 90,000. Mizzi thinks for a while before calling and Mercier folds.
Stammen immediately tosses his hand towards the muck and Mizzi wants to know if he has to show in order to take the pot. The dealer tells him that yes, he does, so Mizzi turns over 77 for a set of sevens.
Sorel Mizzi - 615,000 (51 big blinds)
Keven Stammen - 490,000 (41 big blinds)
09:25 PM, 10/31/10
Keven Stammen vs. Sorel Mizzi
Level 20: 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
Keven Stammen raises to 31,000 from middle position and Sorel Mizzi reraises to 85,000 on the button. Stammen puts in a third raise, making it 175,000 to go. Mizzi thinks for a couple of minute, staring Stammen down. Eventually, Mizzi folds and Stammen.
Keven Stammen, Sorel Mizzi, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
Keven Stammen - 550,000 (46 big blinds)
Sorel Mizzi - 445,000 (37 big blinds)
09:02 PM, 10/31/10
Keven Stammen Doubles Through Bryan Piccioli
Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Action folds to Bryan Piccioli (theczar19) in the small blind and he asks Keven Stammen, who is seated in the big blind, how many chips he has. Stammen tells him he has around 150,000. Piccioli raises out of the small blind and Stammen quickly moves all-in. Piccioli calls instantly, tabling AK and Stammen shows 33.
Keven Stammen, Bryan Piccioli, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tournaments, Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Season IX
The Q93 flop gives Stammen bottom set and leaves Piccioli drawing thin. The Q on the turn means Piccioli is drawing dead and Stammen doubles up, leaving Piccioli with just 45,000 chips.
Keven Stammen - 340,000 (43 big blinds)
Bryan Piccioli - 44,000 (6 big blinds)
06:01 PM, 10/31/10