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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

Event #38 - $2,000 Pot Limit Hold Em Final Table

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After two days on intense poker, nine players remained out of the original 605 that started. Ninth place would pay $22,573 and first would pay $244,546 so the players were playing for over 200K in cold hard cash. The final nine, their seating assignments, and chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: Davidi Kitai (Belgium) 274,000
Seat 2: Ben Roberts (London, England) 82,000
Seat 3: Ayaz Mahmood (Houston, Texas) 314,000
Seat 4: Michael Greco (London, England) 120,000
Seat 5: Chris Bell (Raleigh, North Carolina) 260,000
Seat 6: Jan Von Halle (Hamburg, Germany) 485,000
Seat 7: Robert Cheung (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 352,000
Seat 8: Keith Greer (Fort Worth, Texas) 238,000
Seat 9: Lee Watkinson (Cheney, Washington) 357,000

Imagine the delight on Michael Greco's face when he looked down at pocket kings and after he had raised, the ultra-aggressive Chris Bell had re-raised. Greco instantly moved all in and was just as quickly called by Bell. It was the cooler of all coolers, as Bell had pocket aces. No miracle finish for Greco and he was eliminated in 9th place winning $22,573.

Ben Roberts
came in as the short stack and at least managed to move up one spot in the money with Greco's elimination. Roberts had an easy decision to move all in when he picked up pocket 7's. Robert Cheung, who had opened the pot, made the easy call for an additional 13K with K-J suited. The flop came 8-5-5 and Roberts retained the lead, but the turn was a jack and that would do it for the amiable Brit. Ben Roberts finished in 8th place winning $30,831.

Ayaz Mahmood had come in as an above average stack but had bluffed off a good portion of his stack to Chris Bell with ace high. In a blind versus blind confrontation against Bell, Mahmood put his remaining 69K in the pot on a Q-J-3 flop with J-9 and was called by Bell who had Q-4 off suit. No jack or 9 or running straight cards and Mahmood finished in 7th place winning $39,089.

Chris Bell started the day on fire and he would continue his roll when he put Robert Cheung to the test for all of his chips and received a call. Cheung had pocket 9's and Bell had A-K and they were off to the races. The flop came Q-7-5 and Cheung was firmly in the lead. The ten on the turn did little to change that and Bell would need an ace, king, or jack or he would be crippled. The river was a cruel jack for Cheung and Bell won the huge pot to take over the chip lead. Robert Cheung finished in 6th place winning $50,100.

After being crippled in the previous hand by Davidi Kitai, Lee Watkinson got the remainder of his chips in with A-4 against Chris Bell's A-6 of hearts. The flop was Q-J-8 and it looked like it was going to be a split pot. The turn was a deuce of hearts putting two hearts on the board. The river was a 9, but unfortunately for Lee it was the 9 of hearts thus ending his day. Lee Watkinson finished in 5th place winning $63,313.

With his newly acquired chips, Davidi Kitai opened up his aggression. On the 99th hand of the final table, he open raised to 75K from the button and the big blind Jan Von Halle made the call. The flop came A-7-6 and both players checked. The turn was a queen and this time Von Halle led out for the size of the pot, 162K. Kitai re-raised all in and Von Halle called. Von Halle had hit a pair of queens on the turn but Kitai had slow played an ace. No queen or ten on the river and Jan Von Halle was eliminated in 4th place winning $77,077.

The very next hand we would have another big showdown as Chris Bell and Keith Greer took on one another. Bell opened the pot for 80K and Greer re-popped it to 264K. Perhaps remembering the aces that Greer had played earlier, Bell took his time making a decision. Ultimately he decided his hand was good enough and he re-raised all in. Greer called and the cards were revealed... pocket jacks for Greer, a great hand but one that was dominated by the pocket queens that Bell had. The ladies held up and Keith Greer was eliminated in 3rd place which was good for $94,695.

Heads up play started with Chris Bell having 1.4 million in chips and Davidi Kitai having 1 million. Heads up play started on Hand #101 and it would not end until Hand #287 nearly five hours later. Bell maintained and even padded his chip lead in the early going but it would be a huge call for over half his remaining stack (the bet was 200K and Kitai had 400K left behind) on an A-7-7-8-A board with king high that would get Kitai back in the thick of things. After hand #179, the two were dead even in chips.

It would be hand #248 that would ultimately be the deciding one even though play would continue for nearly 40 hands after. Bell completed from the small blind and Kitai raised it to 100K. Bell called and the flop came Q-3-2. Kitai led out for 125K and Bell re-raised it to 350K. Kitai thinks for mere moments before making the call. The turn is the 4 of diamonds and Kitai checks. Sensing weakness Bell makes a bet of 500K, a bet large enough to nearly set Kitai all in. Kitai moves all in and a helpless Bell makes the crying call with so much money in the pot. Kitai has brilliantly slow played a flopped set of queens and Bell tries to muck his hand knowing that he cannot win. The tournament director makes him reveal the hand and it is K-8... a complete bluff at the completely wrong time.

Bell is crippled after that hand and tries valiantly to make a comeback but each time he would start to gain some momentum, Kitai would win a pot to knock him back down to earth. The final hand would see Bell getting all of his chips in with A-J against the dominating A-Q of Kitai. After the board came 7-6-3-10-4, we finally had a winner. Chris Bell played a great final table but came up short in 2nd place winning $155,806.

Davidi Kitai had a large contingent of friends from overseas cheering him on but it was more his brilliant play, especially with a set of queens against the aggressive Bell that won the tournament for him. A day after another European, David Benyamine won a bracelet; Kitai added another one to the collection. The Belgium native won $244,546 for his outstanding play. Congratulations on your win Davidi!

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