On the previous page, the results of the World Poker Tour championship event at the Bellagio is well-chronicled, with the final table players basking in the glow of their efforts.
Many poker fans, especially those who are learning the game, might benefit from knowing how so many of the greatest poker players in the world fell out of the competition. That is, how the several hundred other players failed to make the grade.
Toward that end, we’ve put together a list of some of the other tournament players and how they were eliminated from the event.
Joe Beevers exits in 7th place: Beevers pushes all in under the gun for $680,000. Everyone folds to Rob Hollink in the big blind, who has to call $600,000 more, and takes some time to think about it. He calls, showing As-10h, and Beevers isn’t too happy as he shows 10-9 of diamonds — he’s dominated. Beevers is looking for a nine or a straight or flush draw, but the flop doesn’t offer much hope, falling Qh-5s-4s. He has no hope of a flush, and he needs a nine or a runner-runner straight. The turn card is the Js, which gives him a gut-shot straight draw, but it also gives Hollink a spade flush draw. (It’s a gut-shot draw because any king that would make him a king-high straight would make Hollink an ace-high straight.) Beevers needs an 8 or a 9 that is not a spade to survive — he has five outs. Unfortunately for him, the river card is the queen of clubs, and Beevers is eliminated in 7th place.
Joseph Cordi eliminated in 8th place: Hasan Habib raises preflop to $200,000, and Cordi pushes all in. Habib thinks for a while, even commenting that he’d like to ask David Sklansky for his advice. Habib calls with K-10, and Cordi shows A-8 of spades. The flop comes Q-2-2, and Cordi is looking to double up with ace-high. Looking for a king or a 10, Habib watches a 6 on the turn and a king on the river. Cordi was one card away from getting back into the mix, but exits in 8th place.
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson eliminated in 9th place: Paul Maxfield limps in from early position, and Ferguson raises. Maxfield pushes all in, and Ferguson thinks for a while before calling with pocket tens. Maxfield shows A-K, and they’re off to the races. The flop comes J-5-3, and Ferguson strengthens his lead. It evaporates on the turn when a king hits, giving Maxfield a higher pair, and leaving Ferguson with two outs in the deck. Looking for a ten, he watches a 5 fall on the river, and Chris Ferguson is eliminated.
Juha Helppi eliminated in 10th place: Helppi moves all in preflop for $330,000, and he’s called by Phil Ivey and Tuan Le. They offer Helppi no protection at all by checking down a board of Kh-4c-3s-Qc-2c, and Helppi shows A-J (ace-high). Ivey shows A-Q for second pair, and wins the pot when Tuan Le mucks his hand. Juha Helppi is out.
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi eliminated in 11th place: Rob Hollink raises preflop, and Mizrachi pushes all in for about $700,000. Hollink calls with A-Q, and Mizrachi is dominated, holding A-J. The flop comes 10-9-2, and Mizrachi needs a jack or a runner-runner straight to stay alive. The turn card is an 8, giving Mizrachi an open-ended straight — he now needs a 7 or a queen to survive and double up (a jack would make Hollink a straight). The river card is a 2, and Michael Mizrachi is history.
Jeff Shulman eliminated in 12th place: John Phan comes in for a raise, and he’s called by Shulman, who has less than $100,000 left. Shulman is in excellent position to double up here, as his Q-8 dominates Phan’s Q-7. but the flop comes 7-6-6, and Phan turns the tables on Shulman with a pair. A 4 falls on the turn, giving Shulman a gut-shot straight draw as well — he needs to hit a five or an eight to survive. The last card is a 2, and Jeff Shulman is eliminated.
Sammy Arzoin eliminated in 13th place: Arzoin pushes all in for $575,000, and Tuan Le calls with A-J offsuit. Arzoin is a small favorite with pocket nines, but Tuan Le takes the lead with a flop of A-K-5. Arzoin now needs to catch a nine to stay alive, but the last two cards fall 2-10, and Sammy Arzoin is eliminated.
Tony Ma Eliminated in 14th place: Ma pushes all in for $100,000, and he’s called by Joe Beevers and Michael Mizrachi. The flop comes Ad-Qc-9d, and both players check the side pot. The turn card is the Kd, Beevers bets out for $150,000, and Mizrachi folds. Beevers shows K-Q with the queen of diamonds, and Tony Ma shows pocket eights. That leaves Tony Ma with a single out in the deck — the 8 that is not a diamond. The river card is the 2d, and Beevers makes an unnecessary flush to eliminate Tony Ma.
George Miller eliminated in 15th place: Miller moves all in for $230,000, and he’s called by Rob Hollink from the small blind. Michael Mizrachi, in the big blind, folds, 8-7 faceup to let them battle it out. Miller has the K-J of clubs, while Hollink has the A-Q of diamonds, and the flop comes 6-5-4, offering no help for either player. (Although Mizrachi would have made a straight were he still in the hand.) The turn card is a 3, putting an open-ended straight on the board, and giving Miller some outs to a chopped pot. Miller will double up on a king or a jack, and chop the pot with a two or a seven; otherwise, he’ll be going home. The river card is another 6, and Rob Hollink wins with his ace-high.
David Sklansky eliminated in 16th place: Sklansky pushes all in with 5-3, but he’s dominated by John Phan’s 5-6. The flop falls 10-8-4, and Phan retains the lead, but the 2 on the turn gives Sklansky an open-ended straight draw. An 8 on the river offers no help.
Paul Testud finishes in 17th place: Severely short-stacked, Testud moves all in for $68,500. Paul Maxfield calls, Tuan Le calls, and Joe Beevers calls. With four players in the pot, the flop comes A-6-4, and Paul Maxfield pushes all in. Tuan Le and Joe Beevers both fold, and Testud flips up his K-J. Maxfield has a big lead with A-9, and Testud is going to have to catch runner-runner jacks or kings to stay alive. The turn card is a 2, and Maxfield wins the pot. (The meaningless river card is a 10.)
Mark Rose (19th place) and Bo Sehlstedt (18th Place): Both players were eliminated by Tuan Le on the same hand. Mark Rose is all-in before the flop with A-K, and he is raised all-in over the top by Bo Sehlstedt, who had pocket kings. Tuan Le, who has pocket 9’s thinks for a long time before calling. The flop comes J-J-9, and suddenly Tuan Le takes a huge lead with a full house. Rose is drawing thin, but Sehlstedt can catch the last king or one of the two remaining jacks to win. An ace on the turn gives Rose hope, but the last card is a 6, and Tuan Le busts two players on the same hand.
John Smith (20th place): Smith made a pre-flop raise to $60,000, and Tuan Le raised that to $200,000, and Smith called. The flop came J-8-8 with two hearts, and Tuan Le bet out for $200,000, which was enough to put Smith all in. Smith called, showing A-Q, but Tuan Le had pocket kings. Smith made the wrong pair on the turn when a queen hit, and still needed an ace or another queen on the river to survive. The river card was a 10, and John Smith is gone.
Arnold Spee (21st Place): After a flop of A-10-3, George Miller bets $150,000, Arnold Spee calls, and Hasan Habib calls. The turn card is a 4, and Miller bets $200,000. Spee moves all in for $1.2 million more, and Habib just calls. Miller folds A-J faceup, before Spee shows he had the same hand. But Habib shows pocket threes for a set, and Spee is drawing dead. (The meaningless river card is a 5.) Spee is eliminated.
Dewey Tomko (22nd place): Rob Hollink raises to $50,000 preflop, and Tomko moves over the top all in with a short stack. Hollink calls with Q-9 suited, and Tomko shows A-K. Hollink takes the lead on a flop of Q-8-4, and Tomko needs to catch an ace or a king to stay alive. The turn card is another queen, clinching the victory for Hollink.
Matt Keikoan (23rd place): With the board showing K-Q-3-x-3, Keikoan shows K-Q, but loses to the big blind Hasan Habib who had 8-3, and caught trips on the river.
Victor Ramdin (24th place): Ramdin makes a preflop raise to $80,000, and Tuan Le makes the minimum raise of another $80,000 on top of that, and Ramdin calls. The flop comes 10-8-5, and Ramdin pushes all in. Tuan Le quickly calls with pocket aces, and Ramdin is in trouble with A-10, needing to catch one of the two remaining tens to stay alive. The turn card is a jack, and the river is a 3, and Victor Ramdin is out.
David Williams (25th place): After everyone folds to him on the button, Williams pushes all in for $200,000. Matt Keikoan calls from the big blind with A-J, and Williams shows 8-5 offsuit. The flop comes A-10-9, and Williams is going to need to catch something runner-runner (trips or a straight) to survive. The turn card is a queen, giving Williams a gut-shot straight draw. Down to 3 outs (one of his needed jacks is in Keikoan’s hand), he watches a 7 fall on the river, and Williams is gone.
Reza Payvar (26th place): Payvar pushes all in preflop for about $250,000, and Juha Helppi instantly calls with A-K. Payvar is dominated, holding A-J. Needing a jack or some other miracle to survive, the board comes 10-5-3-6-4, and Reza Payvar, who started the day with the chip lead, is eliminated in 26th place.
Bob Stupak (27th place): After a flop of 9-4-3 with two hearts, Stupak is all in with pocket sevens against Phil Ivey’s Q-9 of hearts — giving Ivey top pair with a flush draw. Stupak needs a seven to stay alive, but the 6 on the turn is close enough to give him a gut-shot straight draw. Needing a five or a seven, he watches a jack fall on the river, and Bob Stupak is eliminated in 27th place.
Isabelle Mercier (28th place): Jeff Shulman raises from the button, Isabelle Mercier pushes all in, and Shulman calls. Shulman has K-8, and Mercier has A-6. Mercier has the lead until an 8 falls on the flop, and she fails to improve.
Keith Carter (29th place): After a flop of 10c-6s-2s, Carter moves all in with his short stack, and he’s called by Phil Ivey. Carter shows K-J offsuit for two overcards, and Ivey shows A-5 of spades for a flush draw (although his ace-high is good at the moment). Carter needs a king or a jack to stay alive, but the last two cards fall 3h-5d.
Gavin Smith (30th place): Smith and Tuan Le were all in preflp, Le showed A-Q, while Smith had just an A-5. No help came for Smith and he was eliminated.
Alex Prendes (31st place): Prendes is all in preflop with K-J, but he’s dominated by George Miller’s A-J. Prendes gets no help on a flop of 10-5-2, and while he’s looking for a king, the last two cards fall 3-4 to eliminate Alex Prendes in 31st place.
Nick Hanna (32nd place): Michael Mizrachi comes in for a raise from the button, and Nick Hanna pushes all in. Pot committed, Mizrachi calls, showing Q-8, while Hanna has him dominated with A-Q. Unfortunately, an 8 falls on the board to eliminate Nick Hanna.
Greg Raymer (33rd place): Raymer, last year’s World Series of Poker champion, pushes all in preflop with pocket nines, and he’s called by Victor Ramdin’s A-K. Raymer retains the lead on a flop of 10-6-2, and he’s still good with an 8 on the turn. But the river card was an ace, and Raymer is eliminated.