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WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Day 5 Recap
Level 24: 12,000-24,000, 4,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
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