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John Gale Wins $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Bracel

Lindgren and Madsen Make the $5K Short-Handed Final Table, Harrington Arrives at $2K NLH


Hold'em, hold'em, hold'em. Three events played out in the Amazon Room and they all featured the game of Texas hold'em in one form or another.

$2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em Final Table

Nine players, survivors of a 562 starting field, convened at the $2,500 pot-limit final table for a shot at a WSOP bracelet, and the $374,849 first place cash prize.

The chip counts coming into the final table were as follows:
1. Alex Jacob - $524,000 (Seat 7)
2. Kevin Ho - $287,000 (Seat 8)
3. John Gale - $134,000 (Seat 5)
4. Lee Markholt - $128,000 (Seat 1)
5. Maros Lechman - $101,000 (Seat 2)
6. Greg Alston - $80,000 (Seat 9)
7. Lee Grove - $66,000 (Seat 6)
8. Joseph Hachem - $64,000 (Seat 3)
9. Jeffrey Roberson - $24,000 (Seat 4)

A couple big names pulled up a seat for some pot-limit action, they included Foxwoods Poker Classic runner-up Alex Jacob, veteran poker pro John Gale, and Joseph Hachem, making his second final table appearance of the 2006 Series.

Play began at 2:34 p.m. PDT with $4,000 - $8,000 blinds, and, exactly four minutes later, Greg Alston became the final table's first casualty. Alston went all in preflop with Kclub 4club, but took a trip to the rails in ninth place ($25,852) when Kevin Ho's Kheart 7diamondmade two pair on the board.

The next elimination came at the expense of another player near the middle of the pack in chips. Lee Markholt pushed all in preflop on a Ho raise. After a Ho call, Markholt showed the Adiamond 7heart and Ho turned over Kspade 2heart. Ho flopped a pair of deuces, and Markholt went out in eighth place ($38,788) when his hand failed to improve.

After doubling up, Joseph Hachem moved two places closer to winning his second bracelet. Jeffery Roberson finished in seventh place ($51,704) courtesy of Ho's pocket aces, then Hachem did his own dirty work by taking Lee Grove out in sixth place ($54,630) with a pair of kings.

Hachem followed his bustout of Grove by taking down Alex Jacob, the chip boss coming into the day's final table. Jacob watched his stack disappear as play progessed, and he eventually put the last of his chips in with 9diamond 4heart, only to have Hachem call him with pocket queens. Hachem flopped a set, and Jacob's day ended with a fifth place finish ($77,556).

A nasty river card put the breaks on any hopes Hachem had for winning bracelet number two. He moved all in on a Kspade8heart4club3club board. Gale called with Aclub 3diamond and Hachem took a big lead when he flipped up Kdiamond 9heart. The Aspade river, however, gave Gale two pair and he eliminated the 2005 WSOP champ in fourth place ($90,482).

Three handed action lasted only…three hands. Ho, holding Jspade 9diamond, missed the open ended straight draw after the Kheart and 3diamondriver completed the Aspade10spade8heart flop. Gale's Aheart Jheart sent Ho home as the third place finisher ($103,408).

After three hours and forty-four minutes of heads up play, the $2,500 pot-limit hold'em event came to an end on the following hand: Maros Lechman made a $90,000 raise, and after a Gale call, bet the pot in the dark. Gale moved all in on the 10club9diamond7club flop and Lechman called with Aspade 6spade. Gale's Kclub 9spade gave him the lead and when the 5spade and 2club came on the turn and the river, Gale eliminated Lechman from the tournament.

Lechman earned $197,768 for his second place finish.

Gale, who finished second in last year's $5,000 hold'em event, took home his first WSOP bracelet and $374,849 in prize money.

$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Short-Handed Event - Day 2

The third official short-handed tournament of the 2006 WSOP reached final table status with day two of the $5,000 no-limit hold'em short-handed event.

The action started at 2:16 p.m. PDT with $1,200 - $2,400 blinds and $300 antes, and featured 36 players squaring off at six tables.

Erick Lindgren administered the last elimination before play moved to a single table. He flopped trip aces to bust Vanessa Rousso in eighth place ($61,955).

The final hand of the day featured a memorable showdown of A-K versus A-K. Cliff Cantor went all in preflop with Aheart Kheart and Jonathan Gaskell called with Aclub Kspade. What looked like a spilt pot developed into a gut wrenching elimination for Cantor when the AspadeKclub10club5club4club gave Gaskell the ace-high club flush. With Cantor out in seventh place ($69,104) play concluded.

The two big stories going into final table action center on the appearances of Lindgren and Jeff Madsen - Lindgren, because it will be his first of the 2006 WSOP, and Madsen, because the twenty-one year old will be making his third (after already winning a bracelet in the $2,000 no-limit hold'em event).

Final table play begins at 2 p.m. PDT.

$2,000 No-Limit Hold'em - Day 1
The $2,000 no-limit hold'em event kicked off today with a 2,050 player starting field and featured a $3,371,000 total prize pool.

"Action" Dan Harrington made his 2006 WSOP debut in a tournament that he called a "warm-up" for the Main Event.

At 12:35 a.m. PDT the money bubble burst with eliminations 198-192. An hour an a half later, play ended with 144 players returning for day two.

Some pros who failed to survive the first leg of the $2,000 no-limit hold'em event included Jean-Robert Bellande, T.J. Cloutier, Phil Laak, Barry Greenstein and Gavin Smith.

Players return at 2 p.m. PDT for day two action.

Stay tuned to for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos and for a new episode of "The Circuit."

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