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No-Limit Hold'em Championship

  • Sep 19, '05 - Sep 22, '05


Updates on Final Day (Sep 22, 05)


Al Ardebili Wins the WPT Borgata!

Al Ardebili wins $1,498,650 in the WPT Borgata event in Atlantic City. Ricardo Festejo finishes in second place, earning $799,280.

Check out the event report under "Poker News," or read the rest of the live updates for the complete hand-by-hand story of how it happened.

Al Ardebili Wins the WPT Borgata! ($1,498,650)

Hand 93 - Al Ardebili has the button, he moves all in, and Festejo quickly calls. Ardebili shows Kh-5h, while Festejo shows Kd-5s. This is the third time we've had the same hands going against each other, trying to make a flush.

The flop comes A-9-7 rainbow, with no hearts, so it'll be a chopped pot. The media can't see the last two cards.

Hand 94 - Ricardo Festejo has the button, he moves all in, and Ardebili quickly calls. Ardebili has Ah-9c, while Festejo shows 8h-7h. The flop comes Kd-5s-2s, and Ardebili is still in the lead with ace high. Festejo needs to catch a seven or an eight to stay alive. The turn card pairs the board with the 5d. Festejo is down to his last chance. The river card is the 6d, and Ricardo Festejo is eliminated in second place, earning $799,280.

Al Ardebili wins the WPT Borgata, winning $1,498,650, and a $25,000 seat to the season-ending WPT World Championship.

Updated Chip Counts

The following chip counts are announced:

Al Ardebili - $9,180,000
Ricardo Festejo - $1,120,000

Al Ardebili Doubles Up Through Ricardo Festejo

Hand 92 - Ricardo Festejo has the button, he raises to $600,000, and Ardebili calls. The flop comes Ks-7d-2s, Ardebili checks, Festejo bets $1,000,000, and Ardebili moves all in. Festejo thinks for several minutes before he very quietly calls. Festejo shows As-2h (pair of twos), and he actually dominates Ardebili's 3d-2d (pair of twos, lower kicker). Ardebili is in trouble, needing to catch a three, or running diamonds to stay alive.

The turn card is the 3h! The audience cheers, especially in the section with Ardebili's wife. Now Festejo is behind, and he needs to catch a seven, a king, or an ace. The river card is the 8h, and Ardebili sucks out on Festejo to take a commanding chip lead.
After the hand, Ardebili should have about $8 million, with about $2 million left over for Festejo. We should be getting a more official chip count soon.

Hand 91 - Al Ardebili has the button, he raises to $600,000, and Festejo says, "All in." The crowd quickly rises to its feet in anticipation, hoping to see a big clash on the very first hand. But Ardebili thinks about it for a minute or two before folding. Festejo takes the first pot, and the chip lead.

Shuffle Up & Deal!

The cards are finally back in the air. With the blinds at $100,000-$200,000 ($20,000 ante), we don't expect this to last too much longer, even though they are effectively even in chips right now.

The Money Presentation

The money presentation was a little underwhelming, but I'm sure it will show up better on television. There were four to six Borgata Babes dancing suggestively around the stage waving fake Hollywood money and tossing it around.

The best part of the money presentation was when Al Ardebili picked up some of the fake bills and threw them into the crowd. He was having a grand old time, as was the audience, while the WPT producers were a bit concerned. While the fake money has no value, it does cost them real money to replace it. But it's too late now.

Ardebili promised one member of the audience that he'd sign the fake bill after the tournament, whether he won or came in second. It will be his first official autograph.

Official Chip Counts

Here are the official chip counts for heads-up play:

Al Ardebili - $5,210,000
Ricardo Festejo - $5,090,000

In heads-up play, the button has the small blind and acts first before the flop. The break will last a little longer for the money presentation.

Kathy Liebert Eliminated in 3rd Place ($427,115)

Hand 89 - Al Ardebili has the button in seat 3, and everyone folds to Festejo in the big blind, giving him the blinds and antes.

Hand 90 - Kathy Liebert has the button in seat 4, and she looks at her cards and moves all in. She's called by Ardebili, who shows Qs-10s, while Liebert has Ah-7d. There's no clear preflop favorite.

The flop comes Ks-10c-2s, and Ardebili makes a pair of tens and a flush draw to take the lead. Liebert needs help to stay alive. The turn card is the 6d, and Liebert needs to catch a non-spade ace to stay alive (2 outs). The river card is the 5d, and Kathy Liebert is eliminated in third place, earning $427,115.

The next player eliminated will receive $799,280, while the winner will walk away with $1,498,650.

There will be a short break as they prepare the WPT Arena for the money presentation. Then heads-up play will begin.

Al Ardebili Doubles Up Through Ricardo Festejo

Hand 87 - There is a dead button in seat 5, Festejo raises to $800,000, winning the blinds and antes. Festejo shows pocket kings as he collects the pot.

Hand 88 - Ricardo Festejo has the button in seat 6, Festejo raises to $700,000, and Ardebili moves all in for $1,645,000. Liebert is taking her time, actually considering the call here. After about three or four minutes, Liebert folds, and the action is back on Festejo. Festejo makes the call.

Festejo shows Ah-Jd, but Ardebili has the lead with pocket queens (Qc-Qd). To make things worse for Festejo, Liebert says the hand she folded was A-J.

The flop comes 10s-8h-3c, and Ardebili is still in the lead. Festejo needs an ace or something runner-runner to eliminate Ardebili. The turn card is the Kd, and now a queen would make Festejo a straight. The river card is the 10d, and Al Ardebili doubles up.
After the hand, Ardebili has about $3.7 million in chips.
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