Poker Coverage:

Day 5 of the WPT World Championship

Final Table Set, Gus Hansen Leads the Way


The 17 remaining players came into the final two tables of the WPT World Championship with one goal in mind, the TV final table. The first-place finisher walks away with $3,389,140, but everyone still in contention was guaranteed to take home at least $105,525, not too bad of a payday.

Tom DwanThe action started on the very first hand of play when Jeff Shulman tried to take advantage of Amir Vahedi being absent in the big blind. Shulman moved all in from the button, but he was looked up by Kenny Tran in the small blind. Shulman showed A-6, but he was behind to Tran’s A-7. The board paired Tran, and Shulman was sent home in 17th place.

Andy Black was the next to hit the rail, this time by a bad beat at the hands of Robert Mizrachi. Black was all in with A A against Mizrachi’s J 9, but the board came 1010678 to send Black to the rail in a particularly brutal fashion.

The players then traded chips back and forth for over a level before the action picked back up again. During the lull, Tom Dwan put on his new flamingo hat and got into a few intense hands with Vahedi before a lunch from Noodles restaurant quieted the fire.

After the players got back from break, Gus Hansen took over, first taking out Nick Binger when he rivered a flush, and then taking out David Tran with pocket aces. His stack had ballooned to over 5 million, but there was still more to come.

Michael GraczMizrachi then left the Fontana Lounge after his A-8 failed to catch up with Michael Gracz and his pocket jacks. Then David Chiu joined the 5 million club when his pocket queens held to beat Bryan Devonshire’s A-Q.

With 11 players remaining, the final table bubble could have gone on for a long while, but a cooler hand between Gracz and Hansen came down to send Gracz back to North Carolina and Hansen on to the final table. Gracz raised from middle position to 180,000, and Hansen called from the big blind. The flop came down 8 3 2, and Hansen checked. Gracz bet 400,000, Hansen put him all in, and Gracz immediately called showing, 2 2 for bottom set. Hansen turned over A5 for a gutshot straight draw and the nut flush draw. The turn and river came A and 10, and Gracz was eliminated by Hansen’s flush on the river.

Heading into the final table of 10, the chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1 -- John Roveto -- 850,000
Seat 2 -- Karga Holt -- 1,725,000
Seat 3 -- Amir Vahedi -- 3,120,000
Seat 4 -- Gus Hansen -- 7,680,000
Seat 5 -- David Chiu -- 5,130,000
Seat 6 -- Tommy Le -- 1,795,000
Seat 7 -- Cory Carroll -- 2,855,000
Seat 8 -- Kenny Tran -- 1,335,000
Seat 9 -- Tom Dwan -- 1,875,000
Seat 10 -- Jeff King -- 855,000


Cory CarrollAfter about an hour of jockeying for position, Kenny Tran found himself all in with J 8 against the pocket sevens of Dwan. The sevens held, and Tran was eliminated. Despite the disappointment of missing the TV final table, the Tran family had a very successful tournament, as Kenny’s wife Jayde also finished in the money.

Dwan’s good fortune wouldn’t last, however, as a bad beat sent him home just 15 minutes later. Dwan got it all in with pocket kings against Carroll’s A-J, and an ace on the turn sealed his fate. Sadly, for the rest of us, there will not be a crazy hat at Saturday’s final table taping.

Gus HansenHolt was the next to go, in a classic race situation. Holt was all in with pocket jacks against the A-K of Hansen. Hansen continued his winning streak in coin flips, as an ace on the flop gave him the pot and sent Holt packing in eighth place.

After doubling up Tommy Le, Vahedi was forced to work with a short stack. Eventually, he got it all in with against Hansen. Hansen held a better pair, and Vahedi was the unfortunate bubble boy.

The final six players will take tomorrow off and return on Saturday for the TV final table taping. Here are the chip counts for the final six players.

Seat 1 -- John Roveto -- 2,720,000
Seat 2 -- Gus Hansen -- 8,570,000
Seat 3 -- David Chiu -- 6,050,000
Seat 4 -- Tommy Le -- 1,950,000
Seat 5 -- Cory Carroll -- 6,670,000
Seat 6 -- Jeff King -- 1,305,000