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Tuesday - PokerStars Caribbean Adventure - Day 4

Online Poker Pro Isaac Haxton Increases His Lead Going Into Final Table


Isaac Haxton sat quietly on a bench, out of sight, in the corner of the ballroom foyer. He appeared to be lost in thought. A passerby askedIsaac Haxton Jonathan Littlehim, "Are you nervous?" Haxton looked at her startled, as though awakened from a dream. He took a deep breath and said, "No, not really." Then in typical Haxton fashion, he pulled his knee up to his chin, resting it there. Wrapping himself in his arms, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and then slowly exhaled. It was 20 minutes until show time.

Jonathan Little arrived early to answer questions for the World Poker Tour press. He pondered over the release form he'd been given and then turned to his friend on the rail and asked, "What are my hobbies?"

"Dude, you don't have any hobbies," said a scruffy young man in Hollister Justin Bonomoclothing. "How do you think you got here?"

Robert Mizrachi had just called his brothers who'd left the Bahamas on Monday and returned to Florida. He had a feeling about this tournament, and was third in chips going into the final two tables. If Michael and Donny backtracked now, they'd return in time for the televisedThe look on Robert Mizrachi's face when he was told he had to return at 10 a.m. the next morning event on Wednesday.

Five Diamond WPT wunderkind Justin Bonomo was wading in familiar waters, going deep in yet another major tournament. Unlike several of his opponents, he appeared calm and poised. Bonomo positioned himself at his table and began to methodically break down his chip stacks. In one motion he'd spread them onto the felt with his thumb and forefinger. In another smooth move he'd pull them back into seamless tubular shapes. And the fluid motion that seemed to calm his own nerves, had a mesmerizing affect on the audience.

It was Luis Chan who broke the ice just before a dealer was instructed to high-card for the button. He returned from the lobby where he'd been chain-smoking and pacing the floor. Joe MarcalShaking his head as if to clear it he said, "I don't know about you guys, but I'm nervous." Then he scrambled towards the last empty chair. Staff, players, and spectators began to laugh, and like air from a balloon, the tension was gone… for a moment.

The PCA is unlike most major tournaments in that a majority of very young enthusiastsLuis Chan populate it, most of which aren't yet old enough to play in casinos. And though it's most likely the first time they've competed in an event of this magnitude, we certainly haven't seen the last of them. As a matter of fact, we're more than likely looking at the faces of future champions.

Day 4 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Championship

The blinds were $8,000-$16,000 with a $2,000 ante, and 45 minutes left at that level.

In early action, Joe Marcal raised to $45,000 preflop and Bonomo made the call. Haxton bullied it up to $200,000 and Marcal pushed all in. Bonomo folded to Haxton who immediately called. Haxton had been dealt pocket aces. Marcal stood from the table and threw over "big slick" (A-K). The board came 10-9-6-5-9 and Marcal stood frozen. He exited the tournament in 16th place with $45,915. As Haxton was stacking his chips, Bonomo mentioned, matter-of-factly, that he'd folded pocket sixes.

Mario SilvestriTen minutes later, on a ten high flop, Eric Riise and Mario Silvestri went head to head. AfterErik Riise going all in, Riise turned over his high pair with Q-10. But Sivestri had a better kicker (A-10). The disheveled looking Riise couldn't spike another queen and went out in 15th place with $45,915.

On a board of A-10-8, Antonio Ribeiro checked to Luis Chan who bet $100,000. Ribeiro moved all in and, following a long pause, Chan made the commitment to play. Ribeiro said, "good call, and showed his hand of K-J. But Ribiero was in the lead as Chan turned over J-9 for an open ended straight draw. The turn was a K to pair Ribeiro. An 8 fell on the river to send Chan home in 14th place with $45,915.

Mario Silvestri went all in under the gun for his last $12,000. Jon Friedberg, Jonathan Little, and Paul Lui limped in. The flop came A-K-J, and Little bet $20,000. Lui called and Friedberg got out of the way. The turn was a 9 and Little fired $70,000 into the pot. Lui mucked in turn leaving it heads up between Silvestri and him. Little had Q-10 for the nut straight and Silvestri showed his pocket queens hoping to see another 10 on the river, but a Jon Friedbergsix fell, eliminating Silvestri in 12th place with $59,336.

With only minutes left in the round, and more action preflop than usually seen in an entire orbit, Justin Bonomo raised to $45,000. Haxton reraised $120,000 more. Bonomo pressed again to make $400,000, and Haxton moved all in. With Bonomo covered, he went into the taAntonio Ribeironk. Bonomo finally called, turning over pocket kings. But his gut feeling was right, as Haxton was dealt his second pair of aces in less than 30 minutes. With a board of 7-6-5-Q-9, Haxton's rockets held up and Bonomo was out of the tournament in 11th place, taking home $77,702.

The buzzer sounded, ending the round. But the tournament was down to ten players who would draw for the final table. Haxton went into the next level with over one-third of all chips in play.

Twenty minutes into the next round, with the blinds at $10,000-$20,000 and a $3,000 ante, Paul Lui raised to $55,000 preflop and Ryan Daut called. The flop cames 10-9-2 and Lui pushed all in. Daut immediately called and turned over pocket tens for a set. Lui was on a draw with Paul LuiK-Q. The turn was an 8 and the river a 5 to award Daut the pot and send Lui home in 10th place with $98,894.

It took less than two hours for the tournament to lose seven players, but after Lui's elimination, play slowed down considerably. There was plenty of action, however, when over the course of an hour, Mizrachi doubled his stack through Rusnak, Rusnak returned the favor and doubled throughRyan Daut Mizrachi, and Haxton continued to bully the table and increase his already monster lead.

Then, on a flop of J-8-2, both Jon Friedberg and Isaac Haxton checked to an 8 on the turn. Friedberg bet out with $200,000 and Haxton made the call. The river was a 3, and Friedberg pushed all in. Haxton immediately called, showing pocket deuces for a full boat, and Friedberg had only two pair with fives and eights, sending him to the rail in 9th place with $123,617.

Friedberg entered the press booth and said to a roving reporter, "I just got knocked out by Jamie Gold." The reporter looked at him puzzled and Friedberg added, "You know, the guy with all the chips," comparing Haxton to the WSOP champion famous for his monster chip lead going into the final table.

Robert FordRyan Dout pulled in a $1.6 million pot right before the next level when his trip kings beat Ribeiro's trip kings with a smaller kicker. Shortly after the blinds went up to $15,000-$30,000 with a $4,000 ante, Mizrachi broke through Ribeiro's stack with aces vs. A-Q. Ribeiro had taken two big hits and was feeling the pain.
Scott Clements
Scott Clements was the next man out when he moved all in before the flop for $423,000. The action was folded to Rusnak, who in the big blind, asked for a count before announcing his call and turning over pocket aces. Clements had two tens that missed the board and sent him home in 8th place with $151,873.

It took ten more minutes to determine who would proceed to Wednesday's televised feature table.

Robert Ford raised preflop for $70,000 and Ribeiro moved all in. Ford called the handful of chips, turning over pocket tens. Ribeiro showed A-10. Oddly enough, the case ten came on the flop of 10-9-6, but the turn and river (Q-5) didn't improve Ribeiro's hand, sending him out in 7th place with $187,192.

The World Poker Tour's first tournament of 2007 was set. These were the players, their new seating assignments, and exact chip counts going into Wednesday's action.

Seat 1 - Robert Mizrachi: $1,450,000Frank Rusnak
Seat 2 - Isaac Haxton: $9,216,000
Seat 3 - Robert Ford: $2,324,000
Seat 4 - Frank Rusnak: $1,166,000
Seat 5 - Jonathan Little: $2,366,000
Seat 6 - RyanDaut: $2,301,000

Play begins on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PST.

Stay tuned to for complete multimedia coverage of the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure from the Atlantis Hotel Resort Casino, with live updates (including chip counts), photos of players and activities, video clips and interviews, along with nightly audio streams of The Circuit.



over 14 years ago

Great article Lisa. Reading it gave me a sense of the intensity and pressure these players are going through, be it a pro like Mizrachi or online amateur.