Live Tournament Updates
WPT Bellagio Five Diamond, Day 5 Photo Recap
Level 26: 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
If you're looking for the official chip counts for Sunday's 4:00 pm WPT Final Table (which can be seen on the WPT Live Stream here at WPT.com), you'll need to scroll to the bottom of this photo recap -- please enjoy the photos along the way.
Royal Flush Girls Ivey Teves (center) and Brittany Bell (right) chat with Braden Hall (seated left) and Rudy Maarek (seated center) as they prepare for Day 5 of the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
Bellagio Tournament Director Jack McClelland is joined by Royal Flush Girls Ivy Teves (left) and Brittany Bell as he welcomes the players with the traditional "Shuffle up and deal."
Defending champion Antonio Esfandiari had a "magical" run in this event last year, winning it on his birthday. One of the biggest storylines of the day would be whether or not fan-favorite Esfandiari would reach this year's final table in order to defend his title. If Esfandiari can hold on to win, he'll be the first player in WPT history to go back-to-back.
Vitor Coelho (right) holds up his pocket nines after doubling thru William Reynolds (left). They got it all in on a board of AK94, and the AJ (pair of aces) of Reynolds was drawing dead. Reynolds was knocked down to just 10 big blinds, and he was eliminated in 13th place a few minutes later.
Anthony Yeh (foreground right) considers the situation after Vanessa Selbst (left) four-bet all in before the flop.
After a flop of KJ3, Soi Nguyen (foreground left) bet 79,000, Anthony Yeh (center left) called, and James Dempsey (right) check-raised to 225,000. Nguyen folded, and then Yeh studied Dempsey for about two minutes before he folded as well. Dempsey took this pot.
With the board showing 7526, Antonio Esfandiari (foreground right) bets 107,000, David Williams (top left) raises to 307,000, and Esfandiari tanks for several minutes before he folds.
Kyle Julius was caught in a six-bet bluff with 75 by Vanessa Selbst (right), who had KK. Oops.
The best hand held up (read the full details by clicking here), and when the stacks were counted down, Julius had fewer chips and was eliminated in 12th place as Selbst catapulted up the leaderboard. Selbst's girlfriend Miranda Forster (background center) can be seen sitting behind her on the rail.
Rudy Maarek (pictured) four-bet all in with A10, but ran into the JJ of Antonio Esfandiari. The board came 1084Q8, and Maarek was eliminated in 11th place. (Read the full hand details by clicking here.)
The final 10 players combined to a single table, continuing to play until the field was down to six. In seat order, clockwise from the dealer: (1) Larry Wells, (2) James Dempsey, (3) Braden Hall, (4) David Williams, (5) Vitor Coelho, (6) Antonio Esfandiari, (7) Andrew Lichtenberger, (8) Anthony Yeh, (9) Vanessa Selbst, (10) Soi Nguyen.
In the first hand of the final table, Soi Nguyen (left) and Antonio Esfandiari (foreground right) battled over a preflop pot. Esfandiari raised to 65,000, Nguyen reraised to 219,000, Esfandiari made it 459,000, and Nguyen pushed it to 754,000 (the bet pictured here). At that point, Esfandiari forfeited the pot.
In this hand (Hand #4) between David Williams (bottom left) and Vanessa Selbst (top right), Williams bet every street of a J5332 board with AJ (pair of jacks), but Selbst called him down with QQ to win the pot worth nearly 1.8 million in chips.
This pot gave Selbst the chip lead and left Williams short stacked.
Three hands later (Hand #7), David Williams (standing) got it all in preflop with QQ against the 1010 of Soi Nguyen. But Nguyen flopped a set of tens to win the pot and eliminate Williams on a bad beat in 10th place.
Williams immediately walked over to Bellagio's high-roller event to describe his misfortune to Jason Mercier (center left) and Daniel Negreanu (center right).
Soi Nguyen (right) studies Vitor Coelho (foreground left) after Coelho four-bet all in. Nguyen eventually folded, and Coelho showed KK as he took the pot.
During one of the breaks, James Dempsey (center) photo bombs WPT reporter Jessica Welman (left) as she prepares to do an interview with Anthony Yeh (right).
In Hand #21 of the final table, Antonio Esfandiari (standing left) three-bet all in after a flop of QJ3. Vanessa Selbst (top right) called with Q10 for top pair, and Esfandiari turned over K10 for an open-ended straight draw. As the shorter stack, defending champion Esfandiari faced elimination.
But the turn card was the 9, and Esfandiari let out a big exhale as he made his straight to stay alive and double up in chips.
In Hand #22, Andrew Lichtenberger (left) moved all in on a board of J93109. Vanessa Selbst (right) tanked for a few minutes, eventually asking, "What do you have, Chewy?" (Lichtenberger's online name is "LuckyChewy.") Lichtenberger didn't answer, and Selbst asked, "Do you know what I have?"
Wisely, Lichtenberger didn't answer either of her questions, and Selbst eventually folded.
In Hand #25, Larry Wells (left) moved all in after a flop of 1053, and remained motionless while Vitor Coelho (foreground right) considered the call. Coelho eventually folded, as did Vanessa Selbst, and Wells took this pot.
In one of the recurring themes of this final table, Braden Hall (right) would lift his shirt over half of his face whenever he raised. James Dempsey (left) studied Hall in Hand #39, though he eventually folded.
In another recurring theme, Vitor Coelho (standing left) raised his arms as he doubled up. Here, in Hand #63, Coelho moved all in for his last five big blinds with 109, and dominated by the A9 of Andrew Lichtenberger (right). But the board came Q54107, and Coelho paired his kicker on the turn to stay alive and double up.
Antonio Esfandiari (foreground right) had a large group of friends (top left) show up to cheer him on and celebrate his birthday.
In Hand #71, Anthony Yeh (standing) couldn't hide his disappointment as he was eliminated in ninth place. Yeh moved all in preflop with A10, but was he dominated by the AQ of Larry Wells.
In Hand #77, James Dempsey (left) raised preflop, and Braden Hall (center) once again pulled his shirt up to hide his face as he moved all in for 11 big blinds. Vitor Coelho (right) folded the big blind, and watched as Dempsey studied Hall.
Eventually, James Dempsey (left) put out a stack of chips to call, and Braden Hall (center) could only wince, clearly hoping for a fold from Dempsey.
Hall showed J9, Dempsey turned over K10, and the board came QQ8210. Braden Hall was eliminated in eighth place as Dempsey moves into the chip lead.
With seven players battling it out on the bubble of the televised WPT Final Table, WPT commentator and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton (left) shows up to get a look at the players and watch some of the action.
Antonio Esfandiari (standing, center) chats with Mike Sexton (standing, left) with seven players remaining. At this point, Esfandiari looks to have an excellent chance of making the TV final table to defend his title, as you can see by his large chip stack on the far right.
There are too many photos of Vitor Coelho (top right) celebrating double-ups to post here, because he was short-stacked for much of the 10-handed final table, and won all of his all-in bets -- and there were quite a few of them.
In Hand #86 (shown here), Coelho reraised all in for seven big blinds with AQ, and Soi Nguyen (bottom left) called with A8. The board came J1027Q, and Coelho's arms once again went up in the air to celebrate.
After Vitor Coelho (center) doubled up and sat down, Antonio Esfandiari (right) said, "You just never die. You never die, huh?" Coelho simply smiled and bumped fists with Esfandiari.
In Hand #102, Andrew Lichtenberger (left) studies Soi Nguyen after a bet on the turn with the board showing A848. Lichtenberger would fold, and Nguyen took down another pot.
Start-of-day chipleader Soi Nguyen gave up the chip lead a few times, but he was never very far from the top of the leaderboard.
In Hand #104, with the board showing 64310, Larry Wells (center left) bet nearly enough to put Vitor Coelho (bottom right) all in. Coelho tanked for more than five minutes, causing James Dempsey to step away from the table and say, "I think we might be going for the longest hand in poker history."
Coelho would eventually fold 88 face up, forfeiting the pot to Wells.
In Hand #112, Vitor Coelho (foreground left) would double up again, this time thru Vanessa Selbst (center). Coelho check-raised all in after a flop of A65 with A9 (pair of aces), and Selbst called the additional four big blinds with 87 for an open-ended straight draw. Selbst missed her outs, and Coelho doubled up.
See that guy on the rail behind Selbst? That's Joe Hachem, the 2005 WSOP Main Event champion who also won this WPT title back in 2006.
In Hand #122, Larry Wells (pictured) and Soi Nguyen battled over a board of A765A. Nguyen had bet every street, and he moved all in on the river. Wells called all in with AJ for trip aces, but Nguyen turned over 98 to win the pot with a nine-high straight.
Larry Wells was eliminated in seventh place, becoming the unfortunate TV Bubble Boy. But as you can see here, Wells was still in good spirits as he gave an exit interview to the WPT cameras.
The final six players joyfully bag and tag their chips before filling out their WPT bio sheets. Here are the official chip counts for Sunday's televised WPT Final Table:
Seat 1. James Dempsey - 3,860,000 (64 BBs)
Seat 2. Vitor Coelho - 560,000 (9 BBs)
Seat 3. Antonio Esfandiari - 1,255,000 (20 BBs)
Seat 4. Andrew Lichtenberger - 3,605,000 (60 BBs)
Seat 5. Vanessa Selbst - 2,250,000 (37 BBs)
Seat 6. Soi Nguyen - 4,995,000 (83 BBs)
By winning the final hand of the night, Soi Nguyen enters the final table with a considerable chip lead. But the lead storyline has to be defending champion Antonio Esfandiari's attempt to become the first player in WPT history to go back-to-back.
The televised WPT Final Table begins at 4:00 pm PT, and the WPT Live Stream begins on a 30-minute delay (with hole cards) at 4:30 pm PT. Both can be found right here at WorldPokerTour.com.
12:08 PM, 12/11/11