The Five Star World Poker Classic Event #10 $3k NLH brought together 324 players in the Bellagio's Fontana Lounge. It was a new lady in a Hustler t-shirt who rode her two-outer on Day 1 to push through for the title.
More and more top players are in each tournament as we get closer to the WPT Championships. The roster included Harry Demetriou, Scotty Nguyen , James Van Alstyne, Steve Dannenmann, Phil Laak, Scott Fischman, Barry Greenstein, Joe Sebok, Gavin Griffin, Erik Seidel, Amir Vahedi, Bill Gazes, Kevin O'Donnell, Alan Goehring, J.C. Tran, Nam Le, J.J. Liu, Erick Lindgren, Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo, James Worth, Johnny Chan, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Antonio Esfandiari, David Williams, John Phan, Tuan Le, David "The Devilfish" Ulliot, Layne Flack, Erik Lindgren, and Capt. Tom Franklin. As the dinner break approached, the field had been slashed to under fifty players and Lindgren had the chip lead with 64k. Barry Greenstein (59k) and James Van Alstyne (52k) were close behind.
"E-Dog" Lindgren ate chips as if they were shrimp at the Bellagio buffet as he built his stack to 210k over the next ninety minutes of play. As the bubble approached, play became particularly fierce. James Van Alstyne got down to his last 4k twice before he doubled up three times to be comfortable again. Shannon Shorr made sure Joe Sebok's bad run of late continued. Just short of the bubble, Shorr moved all-in with . Sebok called and showed . Shorr flopped top two pair to double up, and Sebok was left with 10k. He moved all-in a few hands later with pocket deuces, but Thomas Koral flopped a pair of tens to eliminate him.
James Van Alstyne left in 22nd ($5,505), knocked out by Mads Andersen soon after Layne Flack left the room (26th, $5,505). The pivotal hand of the tournament came soon after. Shannon Shorr raised in the cutoff, and Anna Wroblewski called on the button with pocket jacks. The small blind and Barry Greenstein in the big blind called. The flop came , and the four players checked. The turn paired the board with , and the blinds checked to Shorr. He moved all-in for his last 40k, and Wroblewski called. The small blind folded, then Greenstein announced he was all-in for another 17k. Wroblewski called, and Greenstein showed his pocket fives for a full house. Wroblewski turned over her jacks, and Shorr (21st, $5,505) incredibly fired his pocket sevens into the muck, killing his hand. on the river sent a thunderbolt through the room as Wroblewski rivered a higher full house. Barry Greenstein (20th, $5,505) has seen them all, but the two-outer to send you to the rail never gets easy to swallow.
Wroblewski had over 200k, second only to Lindgren. Her table looked like a game of musical chairs as Mads Andersen knocked out Bill Corrigan and Tom West on the very next hand (T18th, $6,423 each). Play ground to a halt as only Russell Rosenblum (16th, $7,340) and Allen Kessler (17th, $7,340) were knocked out over the last 100 minutes of play. Holland's Abel Meijberg surged to the chip lead late (368k), with Lindgren (260k), Andersen (227k), and Richard Telerico (222k) in hot pursuit. Jimmy Tran tripled up late from the felt to enter Day 2 on the short stack with 36k along with Colin Gordon (28k).
As often happens, the first players out on Day 2 came from opposite starting chip stacks. Tran pushed with pocket deuces but ran into Peter Feldman's pocket kings (14th, $9,175). Andersen lost chips quickly then paired his king in a hand with Jonathan Dull. Dull had him outkicked, and Andersen went to the felt with his top pair (13th, $9,175). Shawn Cunix made his second cash of the Five Star World Poker Classic, but his first final table was a temporary stay as Abel Meijberg's pocket eights sent him home (10th, $11,010). Colin Gordon started the day short-stacked, and he looked next to go when his black sevens were up against Richard Telerico's black tens. The flop of kept Gordon alive, and the on the turn left Gordon and Meijberg with about 100k in chips each.
Wroblewski went on a rush to knock out the next two players. First, she limped with pocket aces and Telerico moved all-in with A-Q (9th, $14,675). A few hands later, she raised to 23k only to see Lindgren make it 65k to go. Wroblewski called, and the flop came . Wroblewski moved all-in, and after several minutes Lindgren made the call with . She showed for top pair and the backdoor nut flush draw. The turn gave her a meaningless two pair with , and the red flash of sealed Lindgren's fate (8th, $18,345).
Everyone got a chance to knock out a neighbor at this Final Table. Jonathan Dull's pocket queens took out Thomas Koral's A-Q (7th, $22,935), Peter Feldman flopped a queen holding K-Q to take out Casper Dahl Hansen (6th, $32,105), then Feldman called Colin Gordon's all-in river bet with only on a board of . Gordon mucked his cards before Feldman showed ace high and was gone (5th, $41,280).
The four remaining players paired up for two brutal hands. First, Abel Meijberg bet 30k with a flop of , and Jonathan Dull called. Dull bet 80k after came on the turn, and Meijberg called. was dealt on the river, and again Dull bet 80k. Meijberg called, and Dull took the big pot with . Then the other two got into it. On a flop of , Peter Feldman bet 45k. Anna Wroblewski moved all-in and was quickly called. Feldman showed two pair with , but Wroblewski had a better two pair with . The last two cards changed nothing, and Feldman was out in 4th ($55,025).
After a short break, Meijberg doubled through Wroblewski, her A-10 no match for his A-Q. He held the chip lead for several orbits until another monster hand. Meijberg bet 100k on a flop of , and Dull moved all-in for 522k. Meijberg showed and called, but Dull's pocket queens stayed ahead to put him over 1M in chips. Dull then finished him off with pocket nines vs. Abel Meijberg's all-in (3rd, $96,320).
Dull had almost a 3:1 chip lead on Wroblewski (1.4M to 530k), but both were here to play for the title as they battled for close to two hours. In an early hand in an unraised pot, the action was slow until the turn brought a board of . Dull led out for 35k, and Wroblewski raised 70k more. Dull moved all-in, and his stomach turned as she beat him into the pot with her call. His trap with had been turned on its head when she showed . He needed his own two-outer on the river to end things, but doubled her stack to over 1M.
Play stayed feverish over the final hour, and the last hand was a fitting conclusion to a great heads-up battle. When the dealer laid out , everyone but Wroblewski jumped to their feet as all the chips got in the middle. Dull flopped top pair with , and Wroblewski had a straight and flush draw with her . She finally got to her feet when was dealt on the turn, giving her the flush that left Dull with, well, with a dull ache in his gut.
Fresno's Jonathan Dull (2nd, $192,640) grabbed his second six-figure payday after his Barcelona Open 7th place finish last summer. Anna Wroblewski now has two cashes in her tournament career. The first was Saturday for $7,290 here at the Bellagio, and now she has a check for $337,995 to go with it. Who would say her third cash might not happen next week in the WPT Championship?