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Legends of Poker Final Table Set

Kevin Schaffel Leads Final Six


Bicycle CasinoPoker is fun, for everyone … especially those at the final table of the 2009 WPT Legends of Poker main event. The final six players are locked in and ready to duke it out for the first-place prize of $1 million.

Leading the way in both the chip counts and the headlines is World Series of Poker main-event final tablist, Kevin Schaffel. As one of the unknowns in the November Nine, Schaffel has a chance to make a name for himself in much the same way that Ivan Demidov did in last year’s WSOP Europe main event.

Also sitting at the final table is one of the most consistent grinders on the circuit, Toto Leonidas. The L.A. resident is known for his domination in Bellagio tournaments, but he has finally broken through on the WPT for his first final-table appearance.

Prahlad Friedman is probably best known for his “ante-gate” confrontation with Jeffrey Lisandro in the 2006 WSOP main event, but he’s hoping to put that behind him with a win. Rounding out the final six is Todd Terry, an online player who goes by “tbt4653”, and unknowns Sam Stein and Mike Krescanko.

Here is how the chip counts look heading into Wednesday’s final table:

Seat 1 — Sam Stein — 743,000
Seat 2 — Todd Terry — 2,219,000
Seat 3 — Kevin Schaffel — 2,234,000
Seat 4 — Prahlad Friedman — 1,476,000
Seat 5 — Mike Krescanko — 1,209,000
Seat 6 — Toto Leonidas — 580,000

Check out how the action went down according to Card Player’s Live Updates:

Carter KingCarter King Eliminated in 19th Place ($18,285)

Carter King (pictured right) raised from middle position, and Toto Leonidas (pictured below left) reraised all in from the big blind. King made the all-in call for the rest of his short stack and reveled JClub Suit JDiamond Suit.

Toto LeonidasLeonidas showed AClub Suit KHeart Suit, and a classic race situation ensued. The board ran out QHeart Suit 8Club Suit 8Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit KClub Suit, and Leonidas paired his king on the river to take down the pot with a higher full house, eights full of kings.

King had been on the short stack for nearly two days, but the online pro persevered to make the money and add a WPT cash to his résumé.

Mat Widdoes Eliminated in 16th Place ($22,240)

Kevin SchaffelEugene Katchalov raised to 25,000, and both Kevin Schaffel (pictured right) and Todd Terry (pictured below left) made the call. Mat Widdoes then shoved in his remaining 128,000 more from the small blind.

Toto Leonidas folded his big blind, and the action went back to Eugene Katchalov, who raised it up to 275,000. His isolation didn’t work, as Schaffel shoved in his stack of about 500,000.

Todd TerryTerry then went into the tank, visibly concerned with his predicament. After a few minutes of thought, he mucked his hand, and the action came back to Katchalov, who felt committed and put in the call.

Katchalov showed pocket eights, Widdoes showed ASpade Suit 7Spade Suit, and Schaffel showed the superior pocket kings.

The board came out QClub Suit 5Club Suit 3Heart Suit 6Diamond Suit QSpade Suit, and Widdoes was eliminated. Katchalov lost a big chunk of his stack, and Schaffel took the chip lead with 1,240,000.

Amazingly, Terry folded pocket queens. Had he not made such a great read, he would’ve taken out two players and been stacked with over 2,500,000.

Stan JablonskiStan Jablonski Eliminated in 15th Place ($26,160)

Stan Jablonski (pictured right) moved all in for about 13 big blinds and Prahlad Friedman made the call with ASpade SuitQClub Suit. Jablonski was dominated with AHeart Suit3Spade Suit and didn’t get any help when the board gave Friedman the nut spade flush.

Jablonski held on for quite a while on the short stack, but was finally put away in the 17th level. Friedman, who had earlier called the clock on Jablonski for stalling, was up to 560,000 in chips.

Thu NguyenThu Nguyen Eliminated in 14th Place ($26,160)

After taking a major bad beat when his pocket jacks lost to pocket tens, Thu Nguyen (pictured left) found himself all in just a few hands later.

Prahlad Friedman raised to 30,000, and Nguyen shoved for 130,000. Friedman immediately called with pocket kings and was way ahead of Nguyen’s KSpade Suit QSpade Suit.

The board ran out KHeart Suit QDiamond Suit 9Heart Suit 4Club Suit 10Heart Suit, and Nguyen was eliminated from the tournament.

Nguyen finished third in this event in 2007 but fell short of the final table this time around.

Eugene KatchalovEugene Katchalov Eliminated in 13th Place ($26,160)

Eugene Katchalov (pictured right) found himself in a raised pot with Sam Stein and was all in for his last 200,000 or so with pocket sevens.

Stein was behind with pocket deuces, but the door card was a deuce, putting Katchalov out of the tournament.

Eric HershlerEric Hershler Eliminated in 12th Place ($32,700)

Sam Stein raised to 32,000 under the gun, and Eric Hershler (pictured left) made the call from the big blind. The flop was dealt ASpade Suit 7Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit.

Hershler checked, Stein bet 42,000, and Hershler called. The turn fell 8Spade Suit, and both players checked. The river was the 4Club Suit, and Hershler bet 120,000. Stein moved all in, and Herhsler made the all-in call.

Hershler showed AClub Suit 8Heart Suit for two pair, but was beaten by Stein’s 8Club Suit5Club Suit for a straight.

Stein won the hand to grow his stack to 1,370,000, and the former L.A. Poker Classic champion was sent to the rail.

James MackeyJames Mackey Eliminated in 11th Place ($32,700)

After a series of preflop raises, James Mackey (pictured right) was all in holding pocket kings against Matt Marafioti and his pocket aces.

Marafioti asked for the board to hold, and the dealer obliged by spreading a safe jack-high flop and two bricks on the turn and river to send Mackey to the payouts cage.

Steven BegleiterSteven Begleiter Eliminated in Ninth Place ($39,240)

Todd Terry raised to 50,000 from the button, and Steven Begleiter (pictured left) moved all in for about 500,000. Terry made the call, and they flipped up their cards.

Terry showed AClub Suit QClub Suit, and Begleiter could only sheepishly produce KHeart Suit 3Heart Suit.

The board came 10Heart Suit 8Spade Suit 4Diamond Suit 9Club Suit 5Club Suit, and the November Nine member was put out from the tournament. He may have fallen just short, but Begleiter proved his run in the WSOP main event was no fluke, not to mention picking up valuable experience along the way.

Sam SteinVigen Manukyan Loses Two Heart-Breakers

Part I

Manukyan raised to 70,000 from the small blind preflop, and Sam Stein (pictured right) made the call from the big blind. The flop was dealt AClub Suit 7Heart Suit 6Club Suit, and Manukyan bet 200,000. Stein raised all in for 440,000, and Manukyan made the call.

Manukyan showed down ASpade Suit QDiamond Suit for top pair, and Stein could only show 10Diamond Suit 7Club Suit for middle pair. Nonetheless, the turn and river came 10Heart Suit 7Spade Suit to give Stein the double-up and prolong the evening.

Prahlad FriedmanPart II

Two hands later, Prahlad Friedman (pictured left) raised to 60,000 under the gun, and Manukyan reraised to 200,000 from the cutoff. Friedman then reraised all in for 436,000 total. Manukyan made the call, and once again had the best hand and a good shot to end the night with KClub Suit KDiamond Suit.

Friedman showed ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit and connected when the board came ASpade Suit 7Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit QClub Suit 9Club Suit.

Vigen ManukyanVigen Manukyan Eliminated in Seventh Place ($64,400)

Vigen Manukyan (pictured right) raised to 53,000 under the gun preflop, and Prahlad Friedman reraised to 200,000 from the button. Manukyan reraised all in, and Friedman made the call.

Friedman showed QClub Suit QDiamond Suit and Manukyan was in major trouble with 2Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit. The board rolled out KHeart Suit 3Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit 8Diamond Suit 10Heart Suit, and Manukyan was eliminated on the final-table bubble.



over 11 years ago

I'd hate to be Manukyan right about now. What a horrible end to the tournament.


over 11 years ago

Love the way Manukyan played just amazing...It really was a horrible ending. I'm a huge fan I really hope he's invited back!!! Good job!