Burt Boutin started Day three in a precarious position with only $93k in chips and the blinds at $5k/10k with a $1k ante. He quickly doubled through Michael Woo, his A-9 dominating Michael Woo's Jd-3d steal attempt (catching a five-high straight didn't hurt either). Boutin remained patient, then doubled through Woo again an hour later when Boutin raised pre-flop with Woo's calling. A flop of Js-6h-2c - rainbow - brought a $70k pot-sized bet by Boutin, which Woo called. A 7c put two clubs on the board, and Boutin pushed for almost $200k. Woo read Boutin's shove as a steal attempt and made the tough call with Jc-9c for top pair and four to the flush. Boutin held Qs-Jh for top pair, better kicker. Woo had twelve outs, but the board paired with the 2h, and Boutin was still alive.
Three players ended Day Four like they began, accumulating chips and staying on top.
Carlos Mortensen played like the champion he is, but it would always be a tough trek starting with a below average stack. He was able to double up with Ac-Ks all-in pre-flop vs. Tom Koral's queens. The flop initially looked great for Koral as the third queen jumped at him, only to see Jc-Tc follow on the flop. No boat for Koral, and Mortensen was in much better shape. A failed steal attempt with 9h-7h doubled up the short-stacked Woo a few hands later. Carlos was able to finally build his stack to $415k; but he was eventually crippled in a hand with Tom Koral. Koral raised pre-flop to $40k and Carlos called. Koral's Qh-Jh saw a perfect flop of A-Q-Q. He bet $35k after Mortensen's check, and he was called. The Js came on the turn, filling up Koral's boat. He followed Mortensen's check with a check of his own. The 2s came on the river, putting three spades on the board but providing no other possible help to Mortensen. Koral bet $150k at the river, and Mortensen grudgingly called. Even world champions can make tough reads, and he mucked with less than $100k left. He was able to build back to over $160k, but his day ended in 12th place when his 6-6 lost out to Steve Vincent's K-Jo. Vincent spiked a jack on the flop, and Mortensen was out.
Short handed, Joe Tehan raised $53k, and Tony Ma came over the top for $31k more. Both Soto Eriberto and Tehan called. The flop came 4-3-2 with two spades, Tehan bet $60k into the side pot, which caused Eriberto to fold. Ma had to feel good with his 7-7, only to see Tehan flip over 4-4. A deuce on the river and the case 4 sent Ma home in 11th place, a victim of quad 4's.
Miami John Cernuto had a roller coaster of a day, doubling through then getting knocked back three separate times. The fourth time was not the charm, as his Ah-Kd ran into Al Stonum's A-A. Miami John exited a few hands later in 9th place.
A key hand saw Booth raising $80k pre-flop with Vincent calling. The flop came 10-8-3 rainbow - with Booth firing $60k into the pot after Vincent checked. A call brought the 7h, putting two hearts on the board. Again Vincent checked, and Booth moved $100k toward the pot. Vincent again smooth called. A 2s came on the river, with Vincent checking a third time. Booth put $300k into the almost $500k pot. Vincent called, only to see Booth flip over 9s-6d. Vincent mucked his cards, but railbirds said he flashed 9-9.
Play slowed considerably as the TV bubble came into view. After Brad Booth limped for $20k, Mike Landers raised $100k. Booth quickly announced, "I'm all-in," and Landers insta-called with his last $400k in chips. Booth's As-Qd was dominated by Landers' Ac-Kc, but that's why they burn and turn the cards. The flop brought Ad-Qs-4d, and Landers' jubilation turned to devastation. He would have been better off with the Hammer (7-2o), as the 7c-2d - turn and river - sent Landers home in 8th place and a payout of $53,755. It was his best cash to date, but he'll be haunted by this hand for months to come.
That left three short stacks trying to claw their way to televised glory. Steve Vincent, Thomas Koral, and Al Stonum each had a million less than the almost $1.4 million in chips of fourth place Joe Tehan. For the night to end the big stacks were going to have to stumble or a short stack would have to make a move. With each pot worth $73k after blinds of $15k/30k, the moves for the short stacks would mean jam or fold. It was Thomas Koral who ended up as the TV bubble boy. With everyone folding to the small blind of Boutin, he completed the blind. Koral shoved his chips all-in, and Boutin beat him into the pot. Koral's steal attempt with Jd-5c was a stab to stave off the blinds, but Boutin had pocket tens. The board was all under cards with 8-8-4-3-2, and the evening was complete.
The Final Six may not be a Who's Who of poker, but these men belong here.
Alex Outhred was able to stay strong, starting as the chip leader and ending the day the same. He's had an amazing run. Normally, he is an associate producer of the WPT telecasts as well as an instructor at the WPT Boot Camps. He literally has watched more WPT final table hands than the rest of the field combined, and the entire WPT team will be hoping he produces a victory.
No one will be as experienced or as motivated as Burt Boutin at the final table. He wasn't down to a chip and a chair to start the day Wednesday, but he could almost riffle all his chips in one hand. He'll be easy to recognize at the table, the only player owning a WSOP bracelet won in the 2001 $2k PLHE event.
This is the seventh cash in the last twelve months for third place Brad Booth, another in a long string of top Canadians. He's guaranteed to have his best tourney payout ever, but he'll be a favorite to take down the million dollar first place money.
Fourth place Joe Tehan has now had six top six finishes in the last six months: Is 6-6-6 an omen? Two recent finishes stand out: a second place for over $100k at Bellagio's Five Diamond Classic and a first place for $179k at the LA Classic in January.
Al Stonum and Steve Vincent will start the day short stacked but not desperate. Al Stonum has cashed consistently over the last fifteen years, including thirteen money places in WSOP events. He's won satellite tourneys into large field events, but it's been almost a decade since he won a major tourney. For Steve Vincent, it's all upside from here. He qualified by parlaying a $240 super satellite into a seat in this event. He's now guaranteed at least $94,000, taking the scalp of world champion Carlos Mortensen along the way. Can he complete this improbable run? Come back to PokerWorks for all the action from the final table.
Final Chip Counts (Ordered by Seat)
1. Burt Boutin (button) 1,729,000
2. Alex Outhred 1,743,000
3. Al Stonum 263,000
4. Brad 'Yukon' Booth 1,659,000
5. Steve Vincent 219,000
6. Joe Tehan 1,371,000