WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Day 5 Recap
Level 24: 12,000-24,000, 4,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Featured Blog, Tommy Vedes, David Paredes, Joe Serock, Justin Zaki, Fred Goldberg, Jess Yawitz, Robert Georato, Eli Berg, Craig Bergeron, Sharon Levin, Ravi Raghavan, Kyle Bowker, John Dolan, Jimmy Tran, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
The WPT Final Table set was being constructed in the Seminole Hard Rock Live arena, so the final two tables moved into the poker room for Day 5.
Tommy Vedes arrived a little late, so his chips were blinded off as he missed the first few hands.
Joe Serock had a rough time in the early going, losing a few key pots, including a double up for David Paredes (seated, top right). Paredes moved all in preflop with AA, and Serock called with KQ. Tommy Vedes (standing, center) gives Paredes a celebratory fist-bump after the hand.
Justin Zaki (left) moved all in preflop with AJ, but he ran into the AK of Fred Goldberg (right). The board blanked out for Zaki, and he fell short of making the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown final table for the second year in a row. Zaki earned $33,408 for his 15th place finish, though he is the only player who has cashed in all three WPT events held at the Seminole Hard Rock.
Joe Serock (left) and Tommy Vedes (right) continued to clash side-by-side as they had the previous day. Serock bluffed the river with Q9 on a board of J107410, but Vedes called with A5 (ace high) to win the pot. It wasn't a big pot, but it continued the ascent of Vedes on the leaderboard, and the slide of Serock.
Tommy Vedes (right doubled up in a pot worth 1.2 million in chips against Jess Yawitz, all in on the turn with the board showing A947. Yawitz shoved with AJ (pair of aces), and Vedes snap-called with A-9 for top two pair. The river was a blank, and Vedes doubled up.
Joe Serock (right) managed to bounce back with a key double up against Robert Georato (left). Serock was all in preflop with JJ against Georato's 1010. This pot raised Serock's chip stack to nearly what it was at the start of the day when he was chipleader.
Tommy Vedes had been taking a smoke break and missed this hand. When he returned to see that Serock apparently had all of his chips back, he said, "Whoa, where'd you get those chips?"
Eli Berg (foreground, left) moved all in preflop with AJ, but he was dominated by the AK of Tommy Vedes (top right). The board came K85910, and Vedes won the pot to eliminate Berg in 14th place.
In a situation reminiscent of a hand they played late on Day 4, Sharon Levy (right) faced an all-in bet against Craig Bergeron (left). This time, Bergeron open-shoved the small blind for 25 big blinds, and Levy was conflicted. After several minutes, a clock was called, and Levy folded, claiming he had pocket jacks.
Levy's logic? He felt that Bergeron would only open-shove there with aces, kings, or ace-king. John Dolan said if he had pocket jacks in that spot, he would have snap-called.
Robert Georato (center) started the day second in chips, but lost a few pots early. This looked like it would be the hand to put him back near the top of the leaderboard, as he held 22 on a board of KQ2K4 against Tommy Vedes -- a full house!
Unfortunately, when they got it all in on the river, Vedes flipped over KQ for a higher full house. Georato was stunned as he was eliminated in 12th place.
With 11 players left, Ravi Raghavan (left) got it all in preflop with AA against the KK of Craig Bergeron. But the board came J109K2, and Bergeron flopped a gutshot straight draw and turned a set of kings to eliminate Raghavan on a bad beat.
The final 10 players redrew for seats at a single table, at a time when John Dolan had the chip lead with nearly 1.5 million. The players, in seat order: (1) Craig Bergeron, (2) Tommy Vedes, (3) Jess Yawitz, (4) David Paredes, (5) Sharon Levin, (6) Kyle Bowker, (7) John Dolan, (8) Joe Serock, (9) Fred Goldberg, (10) Jimmy Tran.
In Hand #11 at the final table, David Paredes (left) moved all in preflop with AK, but ran into the KK of Sharon Levin (center). The board offered no help, and Levin doubled up near the chip lead while Paredes was crippled down to four big blinds.
Paredes would double up once and outlast Jimmy Tran, who busted in 10th place. But Paredes would be eliminated by Joe Serock in Hand #31, earning $50,112 for ninth place.
In Hand #47, Fred Goldberg (right) three-bet all in after a flop of K94 against John Dolan (right). Goldberg showed A9 for a pair and a flush draw, while Dolan turned over AA for an overpair. The turn was the 6, the river was the A, and Dolan won the pot with a set of aces to eliminate knock Goldberg down to 10 big blinds -- the short stack at the table.
Fred Goldberg (pictured) was eliminated by Joe Serock a short while later, and gave an exit interview to the WPT cameras. Serock had nearly 2 million in chips as he increased his chip lead over the rest of the field.
In Hand #82, Tommy Vedes (left) played a pot against Sharon Levin (right) on a board of Q83A5. Levin showed QJ to win the pot with a pair of queens, and Vedes mucked. Jess Yawitz (center) was still the short stack at the table, but Vedes wasn't doing too much better.
In Hand #95, Jess Yawitz (standing, left) moved all in after a three-way flop of 1085. Joe Serock (top right) called, and Vedes folded. Yawitz showed 65 for a pair of fives, and Serock had him in trouble with AA.
The turn was the 3, the river was the 2, and Serock won the pot with his aces to eliminate Jess Yawitz on the TV bubble in seventh place.
Joe Serock is wearing a custom-made t-shirt that reads, "All I want for Christmas is a WPT Title." Serock will be starting the televised WPT Final Table with more than twice as many chips as anybody else, so he's in a good position to take home the title and get his name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup.
Monday's WPT Final Table is set. There are nine minutes left in the current level before the blinds increase to 15,000-30,000 with a 5,000 ante. Here are the official chip counts and seating positions:
Seat 1. Craig Bergeron - 1,235,000 (41 BBs)
Seat 2. Tommy Vedes - 590,000 (19 BBs)
Seat 3. Sharon Levin - 1,216,000 (40 BBs)
Seat 4. Kyle Bowker - 1,070,000 (35 BBs)
Seat 5. John Dolan - 1,454,000 (48 BBs)
Seat 6. Joe Serock - 3,137,000 (104 BBs)
The televised WPT Final Table begins at 4:00 pm ET. Stay tuned to WPT.com for complete hand-for-hand coverage of all the action, and be sure to check out the WPT Final Table Live Stream, with analysis from WPT Raw Deal Host Tony Dunst.
03:08 PM, 04/23/12
Eli Berg Eliminated in 14th Place ($33,408)
Level 21: 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
Tommy Vedes, Eli Berg, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X, Bay 101 Shooting Star, Season VII
Tommy Vedes (top right) raises to 27,000 from under the gun and Eli Berg (foreground, left) moves all-in from the cutoff for 236,000 total. Vedes calls with AK and Berg is in bad shape with AJ.
Berg gets no help from the K85910 board and he is eliminated while Vedes extends his chip lead.
Tommy Vedes - 1,310,000 (55 BBs)
Eli Berg - eliminated in 14th place ($33,408)
01:31 PM, 04/22/12
Jess Yawitz Shoves
Level 21: 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
Eli Berg opens to 27,000 from middle position, Joe Serock calls on the button, and Tommy Vedes calls in the small blind. Jess Yawitz is in the big blind and moves all-in for 248,000 total. Berg folds quickly, but Serock gives it a good period of thought before folding.
Jess Yawitz, Joe Serock, Tommy Vedes, Eli Berg, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
Yawitz's sweat doesn't end there. After Serock folds, Vedes spends over a minute in the tank before he decides to lay it down as well.
Jess Yawitz - 340,000 (14 BBs)
01:05 PM, 04/22/12
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Day 4 Recap
Level 21: 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Featured Blog, Royal Flush Girls, Angelique Velez, Jeannie Duffy, Joe Serock, Robert Georato, Kyle Bowker, John Dolan, Ravi Raghavan, Craig Bergeron, Fred Goldberg, Jimmy Tran, Jess Yawitz, Tommy Vedes, Eli Berg, David Paredes, Mark Rose, Sharon Levin, Justin Zaki, Zach Clark, Bill Brown, ClubWPT, Butch Valure, Jason Koon, Michael Green, Patrick Mahoney, Allie Prescott, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
Royal Flush Girls Angelique Velez (left) and Jeannie Duffy (foreground, center) play as bounties in a tournament on ClubWPT.com while the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown plays out behind them in the Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena.
Day 4 began with 32 players in the WPT event, but only 27 would finish in the money -- and it was a big bubble, as a min-cash was worth $25,056.
Three players busted in the first 15 minutes -- including last-woman-standing Joanne Dorin -- and it would take 2 1/2 hours to lose two more to bust the bubble.
Short stack Justin Zaki (left) doubled up early with AK against the 88 of Allie Prescott (right). All in preflop, Zaki flopped a king to win the pot.
Patrick Mahoney (left) was one of the shortest stacks in the field on the money bubble, and Fred Goldberg (right) was reluctant to give him any more chips than necessary. With about 75,000 already in the pot, Mahoney moved all in on the river for his last 25,000 with the board showing J10675. Goldberg tanked for several minutes before folding, saying, "If that was a bluff, it was the best bluff of the year."
The big stacks didn't sit back and wait for the short stacks to bust. In this hand, big stacks Ravi Raghavan (right) and Fred Goldberg (foreground, left) were raising and reraising each other until Raghavan took down this pot.
With betting the entire way on a board of KK7K7 (full house on the board), Jess Yawitz (foreground, left) moved all in on the river to put Mark Rose (center) to a decision. Rose had 88 for a slightly higher full house on the river, and tanked for several minutes before he called -- a wrong decision here would make him the bubble boy.
But Yawitz said, "Nice call," and showed 65 to play the board. Rose got the double up, and would survive into the money.
John Dolan has been near the top of the leaderboard for most of this tournament, but he lost some momentum on Day 4 and fell back to the center of the pack. Here, he tanked a big decision on the money bubble before eventually folding.
Dolan would eventually bounce back, and once again end the day among the chipleaders.
The money bubble finally burst when two short stacks got it all in -- Allie Prescott (left) had 99, but he was dominated by the JJ of Jason Koon (foreground, right). The best hand held up, and Prescott was the unfortunate bubble boy in a tournament with a $25,056 min-cash.
Prescott didn't know it, but a hand was slowly developing at another table that could bust another player and earn Prescott a split of 27th place prize money.
With only four tables in action, everyone knew when Allie Prescott was eliminated in 28th place. Michael Green (pictured) was short-stacked and involved in a hand, and he knew he could just fold and guarantee himself at least $25,056. But if he kept playing and busted this hand, he'd have to split 27th place with Prescott, earning only $12,028.
The flop was K32, and Green decided to play the hand, all in with AK (top pair, top kicker). He was in excellent shape against the 97 of Daryl Jace, and another king on the turn clinched the double up for Green and guaranteed him a full share of the prize money. (Green eventually busted 24th, earning the min-cash of $25,056.)
Craig Bergeron (left) contemplates the all-in raise from ClubWPT.com qualifier Butch Valure (right) after a flop of 1085. Bergeron would fold, while the one the professional players called "The Qualifier" (Valure) was above average in chips.
Joe Serock began the day second in chips, and improved from there, taking a big lead as he was the first player to reach 1,000,000 in chips. Serock is looking to make back-to-back WPT Final Tables in the U.S., as he finished third at WPT Bay 101 last month.
Bill Brown (foreground, left) started the day as chipleader, but had a rough time on Day 4. Here, Jimmy Tran (right) moved all in on the river with the board showing 842108, and Brown tanked for a while before he called. Tran showed 44 to double up with a full house, fours full of eights.
A short while later, Bill Brown was one of the short stacks. Here, he moved all in preflop with A-K over a raise from chipleader Joe Serock. Serock would fold A-8 face up, and Brown showed A-K -- "I was hoping for a call."
With the board showing Q108A on the turn, Ravi Raghavan (foreground, right) check-raised all in against ClubWPT.com qualifier Butch Valure (center). Valure called with AQ (top two pair), but Raghavan turned over KJ for an ace-high straight.
The river was the 3, and Valure was eliminated in 20th place. It was still an excellent finish for Valure, who took home $25,056 and some great memories of the event.
Even though WPT Champions Club member Tommy Vedes (right) was below average in chips, he had no problem tangling with chipleader Joe Serock (left). Serock would win this hand with K10 on a board of K5388, but Vedes would get the chips back a few hands later when he doubled up with 99 against Serock's 55.
When the field was down to 18 players, they combined to the final two tables in the corner of the Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena. Fans were able to look down on the action from the stadium seating above.
Sharon Levin (right) put himself in an interesting position when he committed himself to a preflop reraise over Ravi Raghavan and Craig Bergeron (left) -- before he declared an amount, he thought he got a read that Bergeron was strong.
Levin eventually made a large raise anyway, and after Raghavan folded, Bergeron moved all in. Levin was stuck, and tanked and talked for minutes before he eventually folded what he claimed was pocket jacks. Bergeron had promised to show his cards, and he revealed KK as he took the pot.
Zach Clark (right) had been treading water with a short stack for a long time, picking his spots well and staying ahead of the blinds. But he couldn't fade a bad beat.
Clark moved all in preflop with AJ, and Jimmy Tran called from the big blind with a dominated QJ. Clark watches as the dealer puts out the fateful Q on the river, pairing Tran's kicker to eliminate Clark in 16th place.
ClubWPT.com qualifier Butch Valure may be out of the tournament, but he still plans to check out the televised WPT Final Table on Monday to cap off a great trip.
Day 4 came to an end after five more levels with 15 players remaining, and an average chip count around 580,000. Here are the official chip counts for Day 5:
1. Joe Serock - 1,061,000 (88 BBs)
2. Robert Georato - 1,054,000 (87 BBs)
3. Kyle Bowker - 980,000 (81 BBs)
4. John Dolan - 900,000 (75 BBs)
5. Ravi Raghavan - 672,000 (56 BBs)
6. Craig Bergeron - 650,000 (54 BBs)
7. Fred Goldberg - 617,000 (51 BBs)
8. Jimmy Tran - 593,000 (49 BBs)
9. Jess Yawitz - 542,000 (45 BBs)
10. Tommy Vedes - 378,000 (31 BBs)
11. Eli Berg - 357,000 (29 BBs)
12. David Paredes - 307,000 (25 BBs)
13. Mark Rose - 224,000 (18 BBs)
14. Sharon Levin - 208,000 (17 BBs)
15. Justin Zaki - 204,000 (17 BBs)
Day 5 begins Sunday at 12:00 noon ET. Return to WPT.com for continuing live coverage of all the action.
09:42 AM, 04/22/12
Eli Berg Gets Some Back From Scott Zakheim
Level 20: 5,000-10,000, 1,000 ante
John Dolan raises to 20,000 from the cutoff and Scott Zakheim reraises to 65,000 from the button. Eli Berg is in the blind and thinks a while before announcing he is all-in for around 285,000 total. Dolan quickly folds and Zakheim has to give it a little more time before he lays it down as well.
Eli Berg, Scott Zakheim, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
Eli Berg - 420,000 (42 BBs)
Scott Zakheim - 215,000 (22 BBs)
07:17 PM, 04/21/12
Scott Zakheim Doubles Thru Eli Berg
Level 20: 5,000-10,000, 1,000 ante
Eli Berg opens the pot for 22,000 from middle position, Scott Zakheim moves all in for 146,000 from the big blind and Berg calls.
Scott Zakheim, Eli Berg, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
Zakheim leads before the flop with AK against Berg's AQ.
The board is KQJ9J, giving Zakheim top pair on the flop to double up.
Scott Zakheim - 295,000 (29 BBs)
Eli Berg - 295,000 (29 BBs)
07:11 PM, 04/21/12
Pat Mahoney Eliminated in 25th Place ($25,056)
Level 17: 2,500-5,000, 500 ante
Craig Bergeron raises to 12,000 from middle position, Michael Lind calls, and Pat Mahoney moves all-in from the small blind for 68,000 total.
Eli Berg, Pat Mahoney, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
Eli Berg is in the big blind and thinks quite a while before reraising all-in for over 300,000. Bergeron folds, as does Lind. After Lind folds, Bergeron shows the table that he laid down A-K.
Mahoney shows JJ and says, "You folded blockers," to Bergeron when Berg shows that he has him dominated with KK.
Even with Bergeron folding one of the kings, the flop still comes K54, giving Berg top set and leaving Mahoney drawing very, very slim.
The 3 on the turn leaves Mahoney drawing dead and, with the 5 on the river, he exits in 25th place and Berg takes the pot.
Eli Berg - 430,000 (86 BBs)
Pat Mahoney - eliminated in 25th place ($25,056)
03:12 PM, 04/21/12
Eli Berg Has a Good Hand
Level 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
With around 25,000 in the pot and the board reading 664, Eli Berg checks from the big blind and Fred Goldberg bets 9,000 from under the gun. Berg thinks a while, then calls.
Eli Berg, Fred Goldberg, Craig Bergeron, Patrick Mahoney, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Season X
The turn is the 7 and Berg bets 14,500. Goldberg calls. The river is the 3 and Berg bets 42,000. Goldberg thinks for over a minute before calling.
Berg rolls over his hand, 66. Craig Bergeron is seated at the table and asks, "What's that? A set?'
"It's four of a kind," tablemate Patrick Mahoney clarifies. "That's a really good hand."
Eli Berg - 350,000 (88 BBs)
Fred Goldberg - 555,000 (139 BBs)
12:41 PM, 04/21/12