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WPT Borgata Poker Open, Day 4 Recap
Level 33: 80,000-160,000, 20,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Day 4 of the WPT Borgata Poker Open began with 27 players, and they'd be battling for the six coveted seats at Friday's televised WPT final table.
Here's a look back at some of the highlights from Day 4:
The Borgata is the home casino for Will Failla (foreground right), who recently won the WPT Legends of Poker title. Failla started Day 4 as chipleader, and had a large crowd of supporters. All eyes in the room were on Failla when this photo was taken, and you'll find out why a little later.
With the WPT final table arena under construction in the Borgata's ballroom, action moved to the Borgata poker room.
Royal Flush Girls Melyssa Grace (left) and Jennifer Leung watch Will Failla (seated, center) as he contemplates whether or not to call a preflop all-in bet from Kevin Calenzo.
Vanessa Selbst (foreground left) watches Fred Goldberg (right) as he watches the dealer put out the turn card. The board would read 1043J, and after a Goldberg check, Selbst would move all in with Q8 for a gutshot straight draw with a flush draw. Goldberg would call with 33 for a set of threes.
The river card was the 6, giving the pot to Goldberg and eliminating Selbst in 23rd place -- the first WPT cash of her career.
After a flop of Q106, Ryan Eriquezzo (standing, center right) was all in with A8 (flush draw) against the 109 (middle pair) of Fred Goldberg (seated, left). The turn was the 4, the river was the 3, and Goldberg won the pot to eliminate Eriquezzo in 22nd place.
A few minutes later, Fred Goldberg (left) would eliminate his third consecutive player (John Hinds in 21st place) to build a huge chip lead. Miami John Cernuto (right) had to make do with a roughly an average stack.
After eliminating three straight players, Fred Goldberg had about 7 million in chips, nearly double any other player in the field.
Bobby Oboodi (standing, center) fist-bumps with Doug Kim after doubling up thru Anthony Rivera. They had gotten it all in after a flop of K74, and Oboodi's KQ (pair of queens) out kicked Rivera's KJ, and it held up to win the pot.
When the field got down to 18 players, they combined to the final two tables.
Will Failla (right) tries to comfort Miami John Cernuto after Cernuto was eliminated in 14th place. Cernuto had been all in from the big blind with AJ, but was up against the AA of Fred Goldberg in the small blind. When he had seen Goldberg's aces, Failla said, "Run better, Fred."
Ricky Hale (right) studies Darren Elias (foreground, left) after Elias had four-bet all in before the flop. Hale would eventually fold.
Matt Glantz (far left) can only place his hands on his head and wonder how his JJ lost to the 1010 of Ricky Hale (seated, right). They had gotten it all in preflop, but the board came K10436 to give Hale the victory with a set of tens. Glantz was eliminated in 12th place.
Jin Hwang (center) limped under the gun, and then moved all in after a raise from Will Failla (right). Failla stood up to think for a couple of minutes before he called with QQ. Hwang turned over JJ, and the crowd got excited as local hero Failla was a dominant favorite to double up to a big stack.
Unfortunately for Will Failla (right), his pocket queens got cracked by the pocket jacks of Jin Hwang (standing) when the board came AJ9J3. Hwang won the pot with quad jacks, and when the stacks were counted down, Failla was left with just 80,000 in chips -- a single big blind.
The next hand, Failla moved all in under the gun, and the entire crowd of spectators leaned in for a closer look. Bobby Oboodi (opposite end of the table, center) would raise from the button, and Kevin Calenzo would call from the small blind, creating a side pot.
After a flop of 1064, Bobby Oboodi and Kevin Calenzo continued to battle in the background, effectively ignoring Will Failla (left). Failla was silently signaling his friends on the rail that he needed a seven, asking everyone to secretly root for the card he needed. Nobody else knew it at the time, but Failla had flopped a gutshot straight draw.
Unfortunately for Will Failla, the seven never came, and he was eliminated on that hand. Here he gives an exit interview on camera to WPT producer Mandy Glogow.
With nine players left, Fred Goldberg (left) tanks for a while as he considers the cold four-bet of Bobby Oboodi (right) before the flop. Goldberg would fold, forfeiting the pot to Oboodi.
With the board showing K1034, Jin Hwang (center) moved all in, covering Darren Elias (right). Elias tanked for a while before calling for his tournament life with QQ. Hwang turned over Q9 for a gutshot straight-flush draw. The river card was the 2, and Elias's hand held up for him to win the pot and double up.
Kevin Calenzo does an exit interview for the WPT cameras after his elimination in ninth place, while the final eight players continue to battle behind him. Calenzo had been all in preflop with JJ against the KK of Bobby Oboodi, and never improved.
With eight players remaining, Doug Kim (standing, left) was the short stack, and moved all in from the small blind with 22. But Joe Dittmar (right) dominated him from the big blind with 44. Kim was facing elimination until the board came KJ88K, double-pairing the board to force a chop. Kim danced a little celebration as Dittmar looked up to think about what might have been.
When Joe Dittmar (right) was all in preflop with KQ against the A10 of Darren Elias (left), nobody seemed happier than Doug Kim (center), who was hoping to move up one more spot as the short stack.
The board would come J8649, giving the pot to Elias with ace high, and eliminating Dittmar in eighth place.
Unfortunately for Doug Kim (center, standing), his celebration was short-lived. He moved all in from the button with Q10, but found himself dominated by the AQ of Bobby Oboodi in the big blind. Kim never improved, and was eliminated on the WPT TV bubble, finishing seventh.
For his performance on Day 4, Darren Elias was awarded the ClubWPT.com Player of the Day award by Jessica Welman.
Here are the official chip counts and seating positions for Friday's televised WPT final table:
Seat 1. Jin Hwang - 2,205,000 (13 BBs)
Seat 2. Darren Elias - 7,360,000 (46 BBs)
Seat 3. Fred Goldberg - 11,080,000 (69 BBs)
Seat 4. Bobby Oboodi - 11,140,000 (69 BBs)
Seat 5. Dan Buzgon - 4,710,000 (29 BBs)
Seat 6. Ricky Hale - 2,320,000 (14 BBs)
The WPT final table begins today at 3:00 pm ET. Return to WPT.com for complete hand-for-hand coverage.
12:15 PM, 09/23/11