Live Tournament Updates
WPT L.A. Poker Classic, Day 5 Recap
Level 28: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Action started on Day 5 with 18 players remaining at the final two tables. Here, the players unbag and stack their chips a few minutes before play begins.
David "The Dragon" Pham (top right, in white) checks out the action from the other table as former WPT winner and WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem (right) faces off against Dan Kelly (foreground left) in the early action.
Sorel Mizzi (left) contemplates the preflop reraise of Nick Binger (right) before moving all in with 99. Binger would call with AK, but he wouldn't improve on a board of QJ784, and Binger was eliminated in 17th place.
WPT Champions Club member Allen Carter moves all in with a short stack early, but gets no callers. Carter would move all in many times on Day 5, but he picked his spots well and continued to survive.
A.J. Jejelowo (left) was all in preflop with AJ, but failed to improve against the 88 of David Sands (right) on a board of Q9225. Jejelowo was eliminated in 14th place.
Jason Somerville (standing, center) checks out the action at the next table between David Pham (left) and Stephen Chidwick. Chidwick had moved all in preflop, and Pham tanked for a while before folding.
Joe Hachem (center) smiles after doubling up his short stack with 66 against the Q7 of Stephen Chidwick (left). The board came A8582, and Hachem won the pot with a heart flush.
David Sands (left) studies Elvis Huynh (right) after Huynh moved all in preflop. Sands would fold here, but Huynh was eliminated a short while later in 13th place.
Joe Hachem (left) was all in preflop with AA against the KK of Sean Jazayeri (top right), but still averted his eyes as the dealer put out the river card on a board of Q75J10. Hachem won the pot to double up, leaving Jazayeri with just 13 big blinds.
But as you'll learn in the next caption, Hachem won the battle, while Jazayeri would win the war.
Things improved for Sean Jazayeri (center left) after losing the cooler hand against Joe Hachem. Jazayeri was all in preflop with A6 against the AJ of Stephen Chidwick (not pictured), and was on the verge of elimination when a six hit the river to give him a double-up.
Jazayeri's comeback continued the next level, when he eliminated Joe Hachem with pocket nines vs. pocket eights, all in preflop. And late in the day, Jazayeri would be the favorite in an aces-vs.-kings situation in the biggest pot of the tournament. (More details on that hand later in this recap.)
David Pham (background center) peers over from the other table as TD Matt Savage (center) verifies the chip stacks of Jason Somerville (left) and David Sands (right).
Somerville was all in preflop with KK against the 1010 of Sands, and it held up to catapult Somerville into the chip lead with 11 players remaining.
Allen Carter (left) was in trouble preflop with 76 to the AK of Jason Dewitt (right), but Carter doubled up with a flush on a board of J6582.
After doubling up Allen Carter, Jason Dewitt (left) moved his short stack all in with KJ and found himself racing against the 1010 of Noah Schwartz (right). Dewitt stands to watch the board come out, and when he lost the race, Dewitt was eliminated in 11th place.
When Dewitt was eliminated, a hand was in progress at the other table between David Pham (right) and Sorel Mizzi (center, getting a massage). Pham turns to see that the other table is waiting for his hand to finish so the field can redraw for a single 10-handed table.
Pham faces a check-raise all in from Sorel Mizzi on a board of 7338. Pham tanked for several minutes before calling with 86 (two pair, eights and threes), and Mizzi was in trouble with AJ. Mizzi needed an ace or a jack on the river to stay alive, but the last card was the 2, and Pham won the pot.
Sorel Mizzi was eliminated in 10th place, an oh-so-close-to-the-final-table ending after an incredible comeback. With more than 90 players left on Day 3, Mizzi was down to just 700 in chips, or about 1/3 of a big blind. But he bounced back, survived the money bubble (54 players), and made it all the way to 10th place to earn $60,610.
Sean Jazayeri (center right) calls a 540,000 bet from Allen Carter (right), who had reraised preflop before betting the flop and the turn on a board of KJ3A. Both players would check the 6 on the river, but the pot was still worth more than 2 million in chips.
It turned out that Carter was semi-bluffing with 98 (diamond flush draw), while Jazayeri called him down with J10 for third pair. It was a key pot that put Carter back on a short stack, and moved Jazayeri into second on the leaderboard behind chipleader Dan Kelly.
David Sands (foreground, left) was all in preflop with AQ, but dominated by the AK of Jason Burt (second from right). Sands stood up to leave on the turn, but a queen on the river paired his kicker to give him the double up. Sands appeared to be momentarily stunned as he looked at the river card.
Remember when Sean Jazayeri (right, seat 1) ran his pocket kings into the pocket aces of Joe Hachem? With eight players left, Jazayeri got to experience the other side of that cooler in the biggest pot of the tournament against David "The Dragon" Pham (left, in white).
Both players had very deep stacks, and Pham five-bet all in before Jazayeri insta-called. The board never gave Pham much hope, and he was eliminated in eighth place as Jazayeri became the first player to cross the 5,000,000 mark in chips.
Here's the fateful board that eliminated David "The Dragon" Pham, but keep in mind that it's upside-down, because this photo was taken facing the dealer. (The river card was the queen, so Pham never had a straight draw.)
Sean Jazayeri excitedly points to his chip stack (5.1 million or so) as the final seven players begin playing the TV bubble. Jazayeri is an alumnus of the WPT Boot Camp, and his training there seems to have served him well.
While David Pham's elimination was the biggest pot of the tournament, this one may have been the most impactful. David Sands (seat 9, in black) moved all in under the gun, and Allen Carter (foreground, left) moved all in over the top. Dan Kelly (third from left) thinks for a bit before he moves all in over the top of both of them, and everyone else folds.
Here were the cards in descending order of chip counts:
Dan Kelly: 1010
Allen Carter: QQ
David Sands: 77
Carter was the favorite to win, which would more than double him up and eliminate Sands on the TV bubble. But the board came 875K2, and Sands won the main pot to triple up in chips. Carter won the side pot, but it was a small net loss for his chip stack. Kelly dropped back to the middle of the pack.
Three hands after the three-way all in, Allen Carter (standing, center) moved all in with 88, but he was dominated by the JJ of David Sands (top center). The board blanked for Carter, and the former WPT winner was the unfortunate seventh-place finisher on the TV bubble.
David Sands had an up, down, and back up again day, moving from a short stack to a contender for the chip lead in the final four hands. For his performance on Day 5, he was named the ClubWPT.com Player of the Day.
Here are the official chip counts for the televised WPT Final Table:
Seat 1. Sean Jazayeri - 4,380,000 (73 BBs)
Seat 2. Jason Burt - 835,000 (13 BBs)
Seat 3. Dan Kelly - 2,570,000 (42 BBs)
Seat 4. Jason Somerville - 840,000 (14 BBs)
Seat 5. Noah Schwartz - 3,835,000 (63 BBs)
Seat 6. David Sands - 4,010,000 (66 BBs)
Action begins at 4:00 noon PT, and the WPT Live Stream will begin broadcasting on a 30-minute delay (with holecards) at 4:30 pm PT. As always, you can find the WPT Live Stream on WPT.com
The WPT's Raw Deal Analyst Tony Dunst will lead the commentating team for the WPT Live Stream, and he'll be joined by Dan O'Brien, Vanessa Selbst, Matt Affleck, Owais Ahmed, and possibly more. You'll definitely want to tune in.
There will also be the traditional hand-for-hand coverage, recording every check, bet, call, raise, and fold from the first deal to the final river card, right here in the WPT Live Updates.
01:33 PM, 02/29/12