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Caesars Palace Classic Main Event -- Day 2

The Final Table of 10 is Set in Las Vegas


David Singer at the 2007 Caesars Palace Classic Final TableDay 2 at the 2009 Caesars Palace Classic shot out of the gates when the final 82 players took their seats at noon PDT today at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Almost 20 players hit the rail during the first 75 minutes, moving the field a large step closer to the money bubble. The later parts of the day would move a little slower, to say the least, but the final table of 10 was eventually reached after midnight.

The field that turned out at Caesars for the 2009 edition of this event was small at 162 players, but the professional talent spread throughout the field was thick. Notable players lost throughout the day on the way down to the money bubble included Card Player Player of the Year leader Eric Baldwin, POY contender Mike Leah, 2008 POY winner John Phan, Andrew Lichtenberger, Zachary Clark, Marco Johnson, Jon Turner, Men Nguyen, Tom McEvoy, Lee Markholt, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, Christian Harder, Corwin Cole, David Sands, Isaac Haxton, Shawn Glines, Alan Smurfit, Brandon Cantu, Justin Bonomo, Pat Walsh, David Baker, Toto Leonidas, David Williams, Carter King, Scott Epstein (the bubble-boy for the second year in a row at this event), and the champion of this event in 2007, David Singer (pictured above right).

At the dinner break, 32 players remained, and a quick period of play when they returned from dinner got things down to the final three tables. Play slowed down at that point, when the slow march to the money bubble had begun. Play was extremely slow when 19 players remained right on the bubble. No one wanted to go home empty handed, and play tightened up drastically as a result. The bubble finally did burst just after midnight, and the next matter of business was to decide who would make the final table of 10. That process was relatively harmless, considering that many of the stacks remaining were running on fumes and the eliminations fell quickly as many players were happy to bust in the money. The final table of 10 was decided by 1:25 a.m., and play ended for the night.

Be sure to check back in at tomorrow at 2 p.m. PDT for live coverage from the final table of the 2009 Caesars Palace Classic in Las Vegas.

Here is a look at the final-table seating chart with chip counts:

Seat 1: Michael Benvenuti — 592,000
Seat 2: Mark Ketteringham — 270,000
Seat 3: Alex Keating — 294,000
Seat 4: Jimmy Tran — 425,000
Seat 5: Kathy Liebert — 475,000
Seat 6: Erik Nomberg — 773,000
Seat 7: Glen Chorny — 698,000
Seat 8: Theo Tran — 124,000
Seat 9: Chris Bjorin — 208,000
Seat 10: Isaac Baron — 183,000

Here is a look at some of the highlights from the day as featured in’s live updates:

Baron vs. Keating

Alex KeatingAlex Keating (pictured right) raised to 5,500 preflop from the cutoff, and Isaac Baron made the call from the big blind. The flop was dealt 9Club Suit 5Spade Suit 3Club Suit, and Baron bet 8,000. Keating made the call, and the turn fell 2Club Suit. Baron bet 17,500, and Keating made the call. The river fell 8Club Suit, and Baron checked. Keating bet 25,000 after sitting in the tank for a minute or two. Now Baron went into the tank to ponder the call, and he eventually tossed enough chips into the middle. Keating flipped over KClub Suit 9Diamond Suit for a flush, and Baron mucked his hand. Baron held 195,000 after the hand, and Keating grew his stack to 160,000.

Baron vs. Keating II

Isaac BaronAlex Keating bet 6,700 from the cutoff on a flop of KDiamond Suit 7Spade Suit 3Club Suit, and David Williams check-raised to 17,000 from the small blind. Isaac Baron (pictured left) check-called from the big blind, and Keating reraised to 35,000. Williams mucked, and Baron asked for a count on Keating’s stack. Kaeting held 90,000, and Baron went into the tank with 218,000 in his stack. He called, and the 9Diamond Suit fell on the turn. Both players checked, and the 9Club Suit fell on the river. Both players checked again, and Keating said, “I was making a play.” Baron turned over KHeart Suit 3Heart Suit, and he collected the pot when Keating mucked. Baron moved up to 270,000 after the hand.

Glen Chorny Eliminates Bryan Devonshire Near the Money Bubble

Bryan Devonshire was all in on the button for 120,000 and called by Glen Chorny in the small blind.

Devonshire showed ADiamond Suit 7Spade Suit, and he asked the dealer to make it hold when Chorny showed KDiamond Suit QDiamond Suit.

The flop came down AClub Suit 3Diamond Suit 3Club Suit, and Devonshire appeared to be in good shape to double up. The turn was the JSpade Suit, giving Chorny some help, and he completed his runner-runner straight when the 10Spade Suit hit the river. Devonshire disgustedly left the room as Chorny raked in the pot.

Scott Epstein Busts on the Bubble Again!

Scott EpsteinScott Epstein (pictured left) was all in with A-K against the pocket aces of Kathy Liebert and the board ran out A-10-5-K-6. Esptein was crippled after the hand, holding a single 1,000 chip in his stack. He managed to septuple up once to grow his stack to 7,000 thanks to the blinds and antes, but his tournament run was about to come to an end.

On his final hand, Epstein held KClub Suit 4Club Suit against the pocket kings of Luke Vrabel. The board ran out J-6-4-7-K, and Epstein busted on the money bubble for the second year in a row at this event!

Steve Sung Eliminated in 16th Place ($9,146) in Two Acts

Steve SungF. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Contrary to that opinion, Steve Sung (pictured right) just experienced his tournament demise in two acts. The second was short-lived, but at least it was interesting.

Act I

Adam Levy moved all in preflop for 83,000, and Steve Sung made the call. Their cards:

Levy: 10Heart Suit 10Spade Suit
Sung: ADiamond Suit KClub Suit

Board: 10Diamond Suit 8Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit JSpade Suit 9Heart Suit

Sung was crippled after the hand with just 11,000 remaining, and he got that all in quickly…

Act II

Kathy Liebert raised to 16,000, and Alex Keating made the call from the small blind. Sung was all in for 9,000 in the big blind, and the flop was dealt JSpade Suit 9Diamond Suit 9Club Suit. Keating checked, Liebert bet 25,000, and Keating check-raised all in for 185,000. Liebert mucked, and the final two players turned up their cards:

Keating: ASpade Suit 9Heart Suit
Sung: 10Club Suit 5Club Suit

Turn and River: AClub Suit and 4Club Suit

Sung needed two clubs to make his flush, which he received, but one of them was the ace that Keating needed to make a full house. Sung was eliminated from the tournament in 16th place.

Luke Vrabel Eliminated in 11th Place ($12,194) — Day 2 Ends

Luke VrabelErik Nomberg raised 35,000 from the small blind, and Luke Vrabel (pictured left) reraised to 100,000. Nomberg then reraised to 260,000 total and Vrabel reraised again, this time moving all in for 376,000 total. Nomberg went into the tank for a moment and considered the call. He had Vrabel covered by just 5,000 in chips, but he eventually decided to make the call. Their cards:

Vrabel: 8Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit
Nomberg: AHeart Suit KSpade Suit

Board: ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit 10Club Suit 10Heart Suit JDiamond Suit

Nomberg won the hand, and Vrabel was eliminated in 11th place on the final-table bubble.