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Final Table Set in World Poker Tour Championship

POY Contender Galen Hall Leads Final Six


Galen HallChip leader Galen Hall almost didn’t even come to the $25,000 World Poker Tour Championship.

The 2011 PokerStars Carribean Adventure champion was in Madrid late last week, busy final tabling the EPT high roller event and finishing second in the tournament of champions, before flying back to his San Fransisco apartment on Saturday night. When Hall arrived from the trans-Atlantic flight he realized he was locked out of his place without a key.

With just the clothes on his back, Hall, who hadn’t done laundry for about two weeks, spent the night at a friend’s and ended up catching a flight to Las Vegas in the morning so he could register on day two of the WPT’s season-ending event. However, there was another problem with his quest — he had no American currency.

So immediately after arriving in the desert, Hall spent all Sunday morning sending text messages in order to find a $25,000 loan. “I hadn’t planned on playing the event, because I figured it would be hard to sell action with Black Friday, but then I did well in Madrid, and I felt like I was playing really well,” said the 25-year-old Hall, who admitted his day 2 thought processes were a bit fuzzy after the trip to Vegas. “So I sent a message to a couple of the big buyers, seeing if they would buy [the entry fee]. I sold out in like 10 minutes, so it was just a question of getting the funds.”

The man who came to Hall’s aid was Christian Harder, who Hall ironically busted on day 4 en route to ending the day with the chip lead. Despite the excruciatingly deep run, the tournament wasn’t a complete loss for Harder. He has a seven-percent stake of the California native, standing to make about $110,000 if Hall’s top stack leads to a $1.6 million victory.

While the cloud of Black Friday almost prevented the final table chip leader from registering for the event, the shutdown of online poker has also frozen thousands of dollars of his own money. Hall was able to get his virtual currency off PokerStars by buying into live events in Madrid, and doesn’t have much on Full Tilt Poker, but he does have $13,000 on UB. “If I lose [the UB money] — I mean I was playing on UB, and there was always a possibility of your money getting stolen or getting cheated at some point,” Hall said. “It’s annoying, because as a multitable tournament player, $13,000 on UB is a lot more than you would usually have. Before Black Friday I had gotten second in a tournament, and had a little bit more than I usually had on there. I am not that upset about the money being stuck — it comes with doing business with UB.”

Scott SeiverTrailing Hall in the chip counts by just 20,000 is Scott Seiver, who ends a long funk in WPT events with the deep run. “It feels really good,” Seiver said. “I keep trying and keep banging my head against the wall, and I feel like this is the tournament that I will finally go through the wall. It’s pretty exciting.”

The poker pro was candid about what it takes to do well against stacked tournament fields like the one in the WPT Championship. “There is so much luck involved in ways that you can see and ways that you can’t see. To make a final table in these events you just need everything to come together for a week, and it has so far. My game plan on Friday is to play well and play strong, get super lucky and win every hand.”

Seiver said tomorrow’s game plan is to lounge around in bed all day and do nothing — an agenda that is only possible because the field dwindled down to a final table a day ahead of schedule. The final six will resume action at noon on Friday.

Not making it to the televised final table is day 3 chip leader and monster stack with just one table left, Sam El Sayed. The Lebanese amateur’s hyper-aggressive style had allowed him to accumulate more than 7 million in chips when play was eight-handed, but his game plan of seeing a ton of flops and putting pressure on his opponents eventually failed him, and he exited in eighth.

The issue of post-Black Friday site sponsorship will be addressed on Friday, as Farzad Bonyadi, who was wearing a Full Tilt Poker patch during play on Wednesday, said he isn’t sure what the situation will be for the televised final table. None of the other five remaining players were endorsing any site on day 5, and it is currently unclear if any will pick up final-table deals in the next 36 hours.

Here are the chip counts and seat positions for Friday:

Seat 1: Galen Hall — 5,095,000 (84 BBs)
Seat 2: Justin Young — 1,750,000 (29 BBs)
Seat 3: Tony Gargano — 3,550,000 (59 BBs)
Seat 4: Roger Teska — 3,600,000 (60 BBs)
Seat 5: Scott Seiver — 5,075,000 (84 BBs)
Seat 6: Freddy Bonyadi — 2,470,000 (41 BBs)

Check out a final table preview via Card Player TV below:



over 9 years ago

How pathetic, Bonyadi wearing FTP.