Live Tournament Updates
Photo Recap: Day 5 of WPT L.A. Poker Classic
Level 26: 20,000-40,000, 5,000 ante
by BJ Nemeth
Now that the WPT Celebrity Invitational has wrapped up, attention returns to the $10,000 buy-in WPT L.A. Poker Classic, with an impressive lineup that includes Carlos Mortensen going for his record fourth WPT title. Here's a photo recap of Day 5, as 18 players battled for six seats at the televised WPT final table.
Kathy Liebert (left) came into Day 5 in 17th position with 18 players left, but she couldn't overcome her short stack. Within the first few hands, Liebert moved all in from late position with A10, but ran into the JJ of Darryll Fish (not pictured). Liebert earned $50,340 for her 18th place finish.
With the board showing KQ94 on the turn, Matthew Berkey (left) calls a bet from Carlos Mortensen. The river card would be the 3, and Berkey would fold to Mortensen's all-in move, saying, "Queens are good, Carlos." Berkey would eventually be eliminated in 15th place, earning $56,880.
After a flop of KQ3, David Baker (standing back from the table, center) moved all in against Jason Dewitt. Baker had K10 for a pair of kings against Dewitt's 109 (flush draw with a gutshot straight draw). The last two cards were blanks, and Baker would double up.
With the board showing Q8446, chipleader Vivek Rajkumar makes a huge bet (605,000) against Carlos Mortensen.
After the big river bet from Vivek Rajkumar (foreground, right), Carlos Mortensen (top, left) would fold, showing one card -- the 3. Rajkumar would also show a card -- the 7. Rajkumar took this pot to extend his chip lead to more than twice as much as anyone else with 15 players remaining.
Jason Dewitt (seated, left) three-bet all in after a flop of K43, and Allen Cunningham (standing, right) called with KQ for a pair of kings. Dewitt was caught bluffing with A6, and Cunningham doubled up.
Jason Senti was all in preflop with QQ against the KJ of Gregory Brooks, but luck wasn't on his side -- a king on the flop gave the pot to Brooks as Senti was eliminated in 14th place, earning $56,880.
The key pot of the tournament happened with 12 players left, when James Carroll (seated, left) four-bet all in, Carlos Mortensen (seated, center) moved all in over the top, and Shannon Shorr (foreground, left) called. They all had premium hands -- Shorr had AA, Carroll had KK, and Mortensen had QQ.
But the flop came J82, changing the dynamics of the hand dramatically, as Mortensen was the only player with a spade in his hand.
The turn card was the 10, clinching the three-way pot for Carlos Mortensen (seated, center). Shannon Shorr (foreground, left) and James Carroll (standing, center left) were eliminated, and since Jesse Yaginuma (not pictured) busted at the same time at the next table, it created a three-way tie for 10th place ($63,410 each).
Jason Dewitt (right) was short stacked and moved all in preflop with K10, and he was racing against the 77 of Carlos Mortensen (left). The board came A5343, and Mortensen won the pot to eliminate Dewitt in ninth place ($94,800).
Vivek Rajkumar (left) and Darryll Fish (right) played quite a few pots against each other on Day 5. Rajkumar was the massive chipleader with 15 players left, but fell back with the rest of the pack as they approached the final table.
A look at the table -- and the chip sculpture of chipleader Carlos Mortensen (foreground, right) -- with eight players remaining.
Amir Lehavot (left) four-bet all in with Q10, but he was dominated when Allen Cunningham (center) called with A10.
Allen Cunningham (center) motions his hands as if to say, "What can you do?" when his A10 can't hold against the Q10 of Amir Lehavot (left). The board came JJ495, giving Lehavot a flush, and moving him up to second in chips behind Carlos Mortensen. Cunningham was eliminated in eighth place, earning $130,750.
On his way out of the room, Allen Cunningham (left) receives a handshake of congratudolences from chipleader Carlos Mortensen.
Gregory Brooks stares down David Baker (foreground, left) during a hand with seven players remaining on the TV bubble.
Carlos Mortensen is tied with Gus Hansen for most WPT titles with three each. As chipleader with seven players left, Mortensen is within sight of a record-setting fourth WPT title. Mortensen is already the all-time money winner on the World Poker Tour, and his lead continues to grow every time he moves up a spot in the money.
With seven players battling for the six seats at the televised WPT final table, the situation takes on added importance.
WPT Commentator Mike Sexton (standing, in red) checks out the action with seven players remaining. In this hand, five players have seen a flop of A97, including Steve Gross (seated, left), Carlos Mortensen (seated, center), and Vivek Rajkumar (foreground, right).
After Carlos Mortensen (left) raised from the button, short stack David Baker (right) moved all in from the small blind. Mortensen would fold here, but they did it again the next hand -- Mortensen raised, and Baker reraised him to take the pot.
The next hand, Baker would four-bet all in against Vivek Rajkumar (not pictured). Baker turned over KK, and he was a favorite to double up against Rajkumar's A10. But the board came AJ8104, giving Rajkumar the pot with a pair of aces. David Baker was the unfortunate TV bubble boy, earning $176,520 for seventh place. That pot propelled Rajkumar to second in chips, closely behind chipleader Mortensen.
As the chipleader going for his record fourth WPT title, Carlos Mortensen is awarded the RISE Clothing Player of the Day from WPT Anchor Kimberly Lansing.
The six final tablists were invited by the Commerce Casino to an NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets. With two tables remaining, the players were told that the chipleader would get to go down on the court at halftime for the traditional win-money-by-making-a-series-of-baskets contest.
Though several players said they would love to see Vivek Rajkumar make that attempt, Carlos Mortensen got the honor as the chipleader. Mortensen went down to the court at halftime, and had to make a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer, and a half-court shot in 30 seconds.
How did he do? Well, you'll need to watch the video that ClubWPT uploaded to YouTube -- Click Here.
The Final Table begins Thursday at 4:00 pm PT. Return to WorldPokerTour.com for complete live coverage, including hand-for-hand updates, chip counts after every hand, and a video of Kimberly Lansing interviewing the winner.
Here's a look at the official seating and chip counts for the final table:
Seat 1. Vivek Rajkumar - 5,185,000 (104 BBs)
Seat 2. Darryll Fish - 2,275,000 (46 BBs)
Seat 3. Gregory Brooks - 2,300,000 (46 BBs)
Seat 4. Amir Lehavot - 4,115,000 (82 BBs)
Seat 5. Steve Gross - 1,320,000 (26 BBs)
Seat 6. Carlos Mortensen - 5,235,000 (105 BBs)
12:08 PM, 03/03/11