Ravi Raghavan Becomes Newest Addition to WPT Champions Club
Level 30: 50,000-100,000, 10,000 ante
Shawn Buchanan, Featured Blog, Ravi Raghavan, Thomas Winters, Andrew Lichtenberger, Antonio Esfandiari, Jeremy Kottler, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI, Commerce Casino, L.A. Poker Classic, Season 8 on FSN, Season VIII
By Diana Cox
Ravi Raghavan went from the short-stack to the only stack and won his first career WPT Title just before midnight Dec. 9, 2012 at the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
Raghavan outlasted a final table which included Antonio Esfandiari, who won this event in Season IX, Andrew Lichtenberger who final tabled this event in Season X and WPT Champions Club member Shawn Buchanan.
Raghavan began the day as the short stack and doubled up twice early on to rocket to the top of the chip counts and never slowed down.
With the elimination of Thomas Winters as the third place finisher, the heads-up battle between Raghavan and Buchanan began. Things came to an end when Buchanan pushed all-in for just over two million with K7 and Raghavan, who had about a 4-1 chiplead, called with 77.
Supporters of both players rose to their feet and the dealer peeled off J99 giving Buchanan the chance to double up. Greg Mueller, who finished 13th in this tournament, shouted for an eight from the crowd, and the 8 opened on the turn. But no more help for Buchanan was to be found when the 4 fell on the river and ended his chances at a second WPT title.
First to exit the final table was Jeremy Kottler. Kottler was down to his last 720,000 and moved all-in from the small blind after a 115,000 raise by Winters from middle position. Winters asked for an exact count before making the call to put Kottler at risk. Winters was in possession of pocket sevens, 77, and Kottler had been dealt the Ace and King of diamonds. Kottler's hand failed to improve after a flop of 853 but the 2 on the turn gave him additional outs. However, Kottler's tournament came to an end when the 9 fell on the river and Winters' sevens held.
Andrew Lichtenberger, who finished fourth here last season, was eliminated as the fifth place finisher when he shoved his last 395,000 from the small blind with A9 . Raghavan called from the big blind with Q4. Raghavan picked up a pair of fours after the flop of J84. His fours held went the board completed 2 K and Lichtenberger's tournament came to an end one place shy of his Season X finish.
With a massive rail on site to support him, Esfandiari fell short of becoming the first player in WPT history to win the same event twice. Esfandiari became the fourth place finisher when he ran his AK in Raghavan's AA.
Esfandiari raised to 200,000 from the small blind and Raghavan re-raised to 490,000 from the big blind. Esfandiari four-bet all-in and Raghavan snap-called.
"Damn," Esfandiari said as Raghavan flipped over his aces.
The board ran out J94106 and Esfandiari and his supporters left the room.
Two hands later Winters, who was seated at his first WPT final table and made his first WPT cash, was home as the third place finisher. Buchanan raised to 240,000 from the small blind and Winters three-bet to 700,000 from the big blind. Buchanan responded by moving all-in for just over three million and Winters called all-in. Buchanan flipped over 1010 and Winters was behind with A7. The dealer fanned 63285 and Winters never saw the needed cards to stay alive.
WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic final table results:
1. Ravi Raghavan - $1,268,571
2. Shawn Buchanan - $746,502
3. Thomas Winters - $483,031
4. Antonio Esfandiari - $329,339
5. Andrew Lichtenberger - $234,197
6. Jeremy Kottler - $187,845
11:45 PM, 12/09/12
Hand #81: Antonio Esfandiari Out in 4th Place ($329,339)
Level 29: 40,000-80,000, 10,000 ante
Featured Blog, Antonio Esfandiari, Ravi Raghavan, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
Antonio Esfandiari (pictured above, with his father Bejan, after busting) raises from the small blind to 200,000, Ravi Raghavan reraises from the big blind to 490,000, and Esfandiari thinks for about 45 seconds before he moves all in.
Raghavan snap-calls with AA, and Esfandiari says, "Damn," as he turns over AK. Esfandiari will need to improve to stay alive.
The board comes J94106, and Ravi Raghavan wins he pot with his pocket aces to eliminate Antonio Esfandiari in fourth place.
Seat 1. Antonio Esfandiari - Out in 4th Place ($329,339)
Seat 4. Ravi Raghavan - 9,240,000
Seat 5. Shawn Buchanan - 3,165,000
Seat 6. Thomas Winters - 2,695,000
08:50 PM, 12/09/12
Hand #76: Thomas Winters Doubles Thru Antonio Esfandiari
Level 29: 40,000-80,000, 10,000 ante
Featured Blog, Thomas Winters, Antonio Esfandiari, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
Action folds to Thomas Winters Winters (pictured) in the small blind, and as he thinks, Esfandiari tells him "There's no shame in quitting, Tommy." Esfandiari says a few more things to try to get Winters to fold ("You get a fresh start with the button on the next hand!"), but Winters raises to 190,000. Esfandiari looks at his cards and says, "I guess I'll have to teach you the hard way," and he calls from the big blind.
The flop comes 852, Winters checks, Esfandiari bets 210,000, and Winters thinks for nearly a minute before he calls.
The turn card is the A, Winters bets 600,000, and Esfandiari says, "That's pretty sick" before he asks Winters how many chips he has behind. Winters says 635,000. Esfandiari asks, "Did you like that turn card?" Winters doesn't answer.
Esfandiari thinks for more than a minute and says, "Why'd you bet so much, Tommy?" Winters says nothing.
After about three minutes, Esfandiari moves all in, and Winters calls with A7 for a pair of aces. Esfandiari turns over 87 for a pair of eights with a dominated kicker, and he says, "I'm in pretty bad shape here."
The river card is the J, and Winters wins the pot with his pair of aces to double up in chips.
Seat 1. Antonio Esfandiari - 3,745,000
Seat 4. Ravi Raghavan - 4,925,000
Seat 5. Shawn Buchanan - 3,140,000
Seat 6. Thomas Winters - 3,290,000
After the hand, Esfandiari says, "I was just thinking, anything but an ace there. And then BAM! Why do they hurt me? Why did you hurt me, Tommy?"
08:34 PM, 12/09/12
Hand #28: Andrew Lichtenberger
Level 27: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante
Antonio Esfandiari raises from the small blind to 130,000, and Andrew Lichtenberger calls from the big blind. The flop comes 932, Esfandiari bets 165,000, and Lichtenberger calls.
Andrew Lichtenberger, Antonio Esfandiari, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI, Bay 101 Shooting Star, Season VII
The turn card is the 6, Esfandiari checks, Lichtenberger bets 250,000, and Esfandiari calls.
The river card is the 8, Esfandiari checks, Lichtenberger bets 750,000, and Esfandiari goes into the tank. After 30 seconds or so, Esfandiari looks at Lichtenberger and says, "What should I do, Chewy?" (Lichtenberger's nickname is "LuckyChewy.") The crowd laughs. Esfandiari jokingly asks if Lichtenberger is allowed to just sit still and not saying, but Lichtenberger never breaks his expression, keeping his eyes directed toward the board rather than toward Esfandiari.
Esfandiari asks, "Do you have a flush, sir? Do you have a flush?" Lichtenberger says nothing. Esfandiari turns to the dealer and says, "What do you think, Dealer? Does he have a flush." The dealer wisely says, "No comment."
After about three minutes, Esfandiari says, "Chewy, why do you look so comfortable?" Lichtenberger still doesn't break his expression, and Esfandiari turns his attention to the board.
After three and a half minutes, Esfandiari folds, and Andrew Lichtenberger takes the pot.
Antonio Esfandiari: 44
Andrew Lichtenberger: 98
Seat 1. Antonio Esfandiari - 4,105,000
Seat 2. Andrew Lichtenberger - 3,565,000
Seat 3. Jeremy Kottler - 780,000
Seat 4. Ravi Raghavan - 845,000
Seat 5. Shawn Buchanan - 4,460,000
Seat 6. Thomas Winters - 1,340,000
05:54 PM, 12/09/12
Hand #54: Jonathan Aguiar Eiminated in 7th Place ($143,933)
Level 26: 20,000-40,000, 5,000 ante
Featured Blog, Jonathan Aguiar, Antonio Esfandiari, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
Hand #54 - Antonio Esfandiari raises from the hijack to 90,000, Jonathan Aguiar (pictured) moves all in from the button, and Esfandiari calls with 88. Aguiar turns over A6, and he'll need to improve to stay alive.
The board comes 852JQ, and Antonio Esfandiari flops a set of eights to eliminate Jonathan Aguiar in seventh place.
Jonathan Aguiar - Out in 7th Place ($143,933)
The six final tablists begin filling out their WPT bio sheets and verifying for their chip counts. Official chip counts will be posted soon.
10:48 PM, 12/08/12
Michael Phelps and Jeff Gross Are in the House
Level 25: 15,000-30,000, 5,000 ante
Featured Blog, Antonio Esfandiari, Michael Phelps, Jeff Gross, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
A week and a half ago, Jeff Gross (seated, left) made the final table of WPT Montreal, and 18-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps (center) and Antonio Esfandiari (right) were both there to support him from the rail.
Esfandiari calls Gross his "Professional Best Friend," saying he is one of the best friends in the world. But earlier in this tournament, when Esfandiari finished Day 3 as the chipleader, he mentioned in a video interview that his Professional Best Friend wasn't here, and used the video to send out a guilt trip.
As it turns out, the guilt trip wasn't necessary, as Gross and Phelps flew out today to support Esfandiari as he gets closer and closer to final tabling this event three years in a row.
Gross and Phelps showed up during the last break, and here you can see Phelps (right) chatting with Esfandiari's father, Bejan (center).
08:13 PM, 12/08/12
Final 10 Players: Updated Chip Counts
Level 24: 12,000-24,000, 4,000 ante
Featured Blog, Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Lichtenberger, Jonathan Aguiar, Jeremy Kottler, Theo Tran, Ravi Raghavan, Jason Somerville, Arthur Morris, Shawn Buchanan, Thomas Winters, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
Here are the updated chip counts and seating positions for the final 10 players:
Seat 1. Antonio Esfandiari - 3,200,000 (133 bb)
Seat 2. Andrew Lichtenberger - 2,250,000 (93 bb)
Seat 3. Jonathan Aguiar - 1,150,000 (47 bb)
Seat 4. Jeremy Kottler - 1,575,000 (65 bb)
Seat 5. Theo Tran - 990,000 (41 bb)
Seat 6. Ravi Raghavan - 1,035,000 (43 bb)
Seat 7. Jason Somerville - 735,000 (30 bb)
Seat 8. Arthur Morris - 585,000 (24 bb)
Seat 9. Shawn Buchanan - 1,985,000 (82 bb)
Seat 10. Thomas Winters - 1,695,000 (70 bb)
07:16 PM, 12/08/12
Antonio Reaches 3M in Chips Against Kottler
Level 24: 12,000-24,000, 4,000 ante
With the board showing AQJ37 on the river and more than 200,000 already in the pot, Antonio Esfandiari bets 167,000 from the cutoff, and Jeremy Kottler thinks for a while from the button before he calls.
Antonio Esfandiari, Jeremy Kottler, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
Esfandiari turns over AK for a pair of aces, and Kottler mucks. As Esfandiari pulls in the pot, he says, "I'm never bluffing there."
Antonio Esfandiari - 3,030,000 (126 bb)
Jeremy Kottler - 1,500,000 (62 bb)
06:55 PM, 12/08/12
Freddy Deeb Doubles Thru Antonio Esfandiari
Level 24: 12,000-24,000, 4,000 ante
Freddy Deeb is all in for 78,000 from the big blind with K3, against Antonio Esfandiari's A5 in the small blind. Esfandiari says, "I do not mind if I lose this one to you, Freddy."
Freddy Deeb, Antonio Esfandiari, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
The board comes K9729, and Deeb wins the pot with two pair, kings and nines, to double up in chips.
Freddy Deeb - 180,000 (7 bb)
Antonio Esfandiari - 2,250,000 (93 bb)
05:47 PM, 12/08/12
Preflop Raising War Takes Antonio Back to the Top
Level 23: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante
Antonio Esfandiari, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Bellagio, Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Season XI
Yevgeniy Timoshenko raises to 44,000 UTG+1 and Antonio Esfandiari three-bets to 103,000 from the hi-jack. Jeremy Kottler four-bets to 230,000 from the small blind and Timoshenko gets out of the way. Esfandiari five-bets 333,000 more and Kottler six-bets an additional 466,000. Esfandiari then seven-bet shoves all in. Kottler mucks and the two are now pretty close to even in chips.
Antonio Esfandiari - 2,035,000 (101 bb)
Jeremy Kottler - 2,370,000 (118 bb)
04:42 PM, 12/08/12