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Photo Recap: Day 4 of WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Level 21: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
It's been a long time since somebody has gone wire-to-wire near the chip lead to win a WPT event, but Antonio Esfandiari is on that pace. He was one of the chipleaders early on Day 1, finished near the lead that day, and was chipleader on Day 2, Day 3, and now Day 4. Of course, the only time that the chip lead truly matters is on the final hand at the final table.
In other news, the namesake of this tournament, Doyle Brunson, was eliminated Monday in 18th place, and the other players in the tournament gave him an unprompted round of applause. Even in his late 70s, Brunson can still compete at the highest levels of the game.
But let's not dwell on the past too much, and take a look at the top of the leaderboard heading into Day 5, with 15 players left:
1. Antonio Esfandiari - 2,680,000 (134 bb)
2. John Racener - 1,900,000 (95 bb)
3. Andrew Robl - 1,750,000 (87 bb)
4. Kia Mohajeri - 1,694,000 (84 bb)
5. Kirk Morrison - 1,545,000 (77 bb)
And now, a photographic look back at Day 5 of the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic:
Vanessa Rousso studies Bryn Kenney as they battle over a big pot early on Day 4.
When the field got down to 36 players, there was a redraw for the final four tables. This table got the toughest draw, with big stacks and big players. Clockwise from the dealer's left, in seat order: (1) Vanessa Rousso, (2) Bryn Kenney, (3) John Racener, (4) Andrew Robl, (5) Freddy Deeb, (6) Nick Phillips, (7) Amit Makhija, (8) Doyle Brunson, and (9) Andrew Lichtenberger.
Andrew Robl (center) watches as Freddy Deeb (right) contemplates a post-flop bet from John Racener (left).
Royal Flush Girl Melyssa Grace checks out one of the WPT's display posters set up in the tournament area.
Marco Traniello (right) looks on as Antonio Esfandiari (left) plays a pot against Ray Dehkharghani (center).
Will Failla (standing, left) cheers with a fist bump as he catches a runner-runner spade flush with pocket queens to crack the pocket aces of Bryn Kenney (far right) in a three-way all-in preflop situation.
Vanessa Rousso carefully watches as Luis Velador takes a drink from his bottle of water after moving all in against her after a flop of 732. Rousso tells him that normally, if he took a drink, she'd snap-call, but not this time. Michael Gracz (not pictured) moved all in preflop, and when Rousso eventually folded, she got to see Velador's cards -- QQ. Rousso seemed pleased with her laydown. But Gracz turned over KK, and was poised to triple up into serious contention -- until a queen on the river gave Velador a set to win the pot and eliminate Gracz in 29th place.
After running into pocket aces on the previous hand to drop down to just 40,000 in chips (the same amount players began with on Day 1), Freddy Deeb moves all in and then tries to get Amit Makhija to fold. It didn't work, as Makhija called with pocket jacks and flopped a set to eliminate Deeb.
Jennifer Harman stops by the tournament area to give a good-luck kiss to her husband Marco Traniello.
After a flop of AJ10, Kirk Morrison (left) bets, and Luis Velador (right) raises. Morrison says, "No, I do not like that at all," and then he looks at Velador and says, "I'm all in."
After Kirk Morrison (left) moves all in, Luis Velador (right) immediately says, "Call." Morrison clearly didn't want to hear an insta-call, and jokingly grabs Velador's arm to stop him from showing his cards. Velador turns over a flopped straight to Morrison's top two pair, and it holds up to win the pot. Velador doubles up, but Morrison's good mood remains intact.
The big hand between Kirk Morrison (center), and Luis Velador (center, right) happened right before a break, and when Velador restocked his chips, he thought he had been shorted in the pot. The tournament staff took as much time as they needed, extending the break, to recreate the betting action with the help of the dealer and media reports, to prove that all of the chips in his stack were accounted for.
Doyle Brunson (right) moves all in over the preflop raise of Vanessa Rousso (left), and they both wait as Kia Mohajeri (not pictured) considers the situation from the big blind. Mohajeri calls with AK, Rousso folds, and Brunson shows AJ as he faces elimination.
The board comes up blank for Doyle Brunson (left) as the AK of Kia Mohajeri holds up against Brunson's AJ. Brunson is eliminated in 18th place, but receives a respectful standing ovation from everyone in the tournament area.
Kirk Morrison (left) chats with Kia Mohajeri as they battle over a pot on the turn. Morrison tries to convince Mohajeri to bet his sunglasses, and Mohajeri says, "Why do I get the feeling that you're in my head?"
While Kirk Morrison was the center of attention at one table, the other table witnessed several more quiet clashes between Sorel Mizzi (foreground, right) and Andrew Robl (top left).
In the final minutes of Day 4, Andy Frankenberger (far left) moves all in after a flop of Q74 with K10 for a flush draw. But he runs into the 74 (bottom two pair) of Kirk Morrison (not pictured). Frankenberger misses his flush draw, and is eliminated in 16th place. Frankenberger points to Morrison as if to say, "You got me." Even though he busted, Frankenberger picks up more WPT Player of the Year points to increase his lead in the season standings.
John Racener (left) was short stacked entering Day 4, but steadily built his stack until he finished in second place behind Antonio Esfandiari. For that accomplishment, Kimberly Lansing awards Racener the Player of the Day award from RISE Clothing.
Day 5 begins tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:00 noon PT. Return to WorldPokerTour.com for continuing live coverage, including hand updates, frequent chip counts, video interviews with Kimberly Lansing, and the as-yet-unnamed recap show starring Jessica Welman and BJ Nemeth.
11:56 AM, 12/07/10