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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2007

Philip Hilm Leads a Balanced Nine to the Final Table of the Main Event

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Philip Hilm (23.1m), Tuan Lam (20.3m), and John Kalmer (20.2m) lead a strong field into the WSOP Main Event Final Table. In a heartbreaker, Scotty Nguyen came up short, busting out in 11th place. (photo courtesy of PokerNews)

Twenty-seven players had to be eliminated to end the day and reach a Final Table. The first level and change saw nine player quickly depart. Roy Winston knocked out two players on one of the first hands of the day. With blinds of 30k/60k with a 10k ante, Robin Bergren open-shoved UTG for 560k. Allan King called with {Q-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}. Roy Winston then moved all-in for 1.7m, and King quickly called with his pair. Bergren was desparate and made a play with {10-Clubs}{6-Spades}, and Winston showed {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}. The cards came {A-Clubs}{10-Spades}{4-Clubs}{A-Spades}{K-Diamonds}, and Robin Bergren (36th) and Allan King (35th) were both out, earning $285,678 each.

Hoa Nguyen left only one Nguyen in the Main Event as Lee Childs knocked him out in 34th ($285,678). Paulo Loureiro held kings and ran into the aces of Billy Spadea to exit in 28th ($285,678).

In the midst of all this were some aggressive plays to put players to the test. Bill Edler raised to 250k, John Armbrust called right of the button, and Roy Winston announced "Raise," from the small blind. He made it 900k, then Armbrust moved all-in after Edler folded. It took Winston by surprise, and "The Oracle" as he is called in his high stakes cash games went into the tank. He had a big decision as he was covered by Armbrust, but he also had a big hand and a lot of chips in the pot. After a couple of minutes, Mikkel Madsen in the 9s called the clock. Winston finally looked to his friends as he tried to decide what to do. The clock ran out, killing his hand and shipping the pot to Armbrust. He went out a few orbits later in 26th ($333,490), his queens beaten by Jerry Yang's {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}.

Armbrust used the same hand to bust Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman's pocket tens, and the top online tournament player was out in 19th ($333,490). These two had been feuding earlier in the day, re-popping each other to fight for table captaincy. When Freeman replaced Madsen in the 9s, you knew fireworks were inevitable. Freeman raised to 325k on the button, then Armbrust raised it up to a million, the stack of 50k chips recognizable only by the lime stripes on the edge. Freeman decided to make a stand with pocket tens, and Armbrust immediately called with {A-Diamonds}{K-Spades} for another 4.8m. {A-Spades}{K-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{6-Clubs} sent Freeman out, and players redrew for their new tables.

John Armbrust arrived at the ESPN Feature Table fourth in chips with 10.1m. He gave half of that to Tuan Lam on a bluff gone wrong in a battle of the blinds. In a three-way limped pot, the flop came {K-Spades}{6-Spades}{8-Spades}. Lam bet 350k, and both John and Lee Childs called. {K-Spades} paired the board, and Lam checked. Ambrust bet 1.5m, and Lam called after Childs folded. {A-Spades} brought another check from Lam. Lam is an aggressive player, and the check after the smooth call could have sent up red flags. It didn't, as Armbrust fired 3m into the pot. Lam called almost immediately with {J-Spades}{9-Spades} as Armbrust shot his cards into the muck.

Thirty minutes later, Armbrust raised to 700k after Ray Henson and Lee Childs limped. After Henson folded, Childs raised to 1.7m. Armbrust immediately moved all-in, and Childs made the call after several minutes and showed {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades}. Armbrust couldn't believe it, and tossed over {A-Spades}{K-Spades} for a dominant position. {J-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{2-Clubs} brought a loud roar of groans and buzz from the spectators, then {10-Clubs} ended an incredible run for John Armbrust (18th $381,302). He was 51st out of fifty one players at one time Saturday, a meager 250k to his name. The dream was cut short.

At the dinner break, the chip counts were:

Lee Childs (16.5m)
Tuan Lam (14.9m)
Lee Watkinson (13.0m)
Ray Henson (10.4m)
Jon Kalmar (9.7m)
Kenny Tran (9.1m)
Philip Hilm (8.6m)
Jerry Yang (8.2m)
Raymond Rahme (6.1m)
Scotty Nguyen (6.0m)
Hevad 'Rain' Khan (4.7m)
Steven Garfinkle (4.7m)
David Tran (4.5m)
Billy Spadea (3.7m)
Bob Slezak (3.6m)
Alex Kravchenko (2.1m)
Kevin Farry (1.6m)

Jon Kalmer knocked out Kenny Tran in 16th ($381,302), ridding the room of one of the biggest threats. Kalmer moved all-in on a {6-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{9-Spades}{2-Clubs} board, staring down Tran until he called. Kalmer then threw {A-Clubs}{8-Clubs} for the nut flush. After four more exits, the game changed. Play slowed as we reached eleven players, a five-handed table and a six-handed table looking for one more player to exit. No one wanted the next person to go to be Scotty Nguyen.

He lost a large portion of his chips to Tuan Lam as Lam made a big 2.5m raise on the river with a board of {K-Hearts}{5-Spades}{4-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}. The theme continued: big bets are bluffs, not value bets, as Lam called with pocket tens. Nguyen showed {4-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} for bottom two pair. He finally went out on a flush draw that didn't connect, out in 11th ($476,926).

Players redrew for seats, and the seat assignments would be intact at the Final Table. They played thirty-six hands, with several big decisions along the way. Alex Kravchenko started as the short-stack but did enough to make the Final Table. Steven Garfinkle ended up running into Raymond Rahme's pocket queens to go out in 10th.

1s Raymond Rahme (16.0m)
2s Alex Kravchenko (6.57m)
3s Lee Childs (13.32m)
4s Jerry Yang (8.50m)
5s Lee Watkinson (9.975m)
7s Tuan Lam (20.29m)
8s Philip Hilm (23.07m)
9s Jon Kalmar (20.22m)
10s Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan (9.205m)

It's an interesting mix of great online layers, solid pros, long-time grinders, and a 62 year old entrepreneur from South Africa thrown into the mix. Whereas Jamie Gold had a big chip lead last year, this bracelet is definitely up for grabs.

Those finishing their Main Event Sunday:

10th Steven Garfinkle $476,926
11th Scotty Nguyen $476,926
12th Ray Henson $476,926
13th William Spadea $429,114
14th David Tran $429,114
15th Bob Slezak $429,114
16th Kenny Tran $381,302
17th Kevin Farry $381,302
18th John Armbrust $381,302
19th Scott Freeman $333,490
20th Mikkel Madsen $333,490
21st Jason Welch $333,490
22nd Stefan Mattsson $333,490
23rd Bill Edler $333,490
24th Ryan Elson $333,490
25th Daniel Alaei $333,490
26th Roy Winston $333,490
27th Jeff Bryan $333,490
28th Paulo Loureiro $285,678
29th Ron Kluber $285,678
30th Jason Koshi $285,678
31st Peter Darvill $285,678
32nd Kevin Kim $285,678
33rd Christian Togsvard $285,678
34th Hoa Nguyen $285,678
35th Allan W. King $285,678
36th Robin Bergren $285,678

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

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