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WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Day 4 Recap
Level 21: 6,000-12,000, 2,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
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