2007 World Poker Tour Championship Tournament

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2007 World Poker Tour Championship Tournament

April 21 to April 27, 2007

The 2007 World Poker Tour championship tournament being held at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, drew 639 players who each paid $25,000 for the privilege of playing. There will be a division of the field initially with a Day 1A and a Day 1B. Blinds will start at $50/$100, and each level is 90 minutes long. All players will begin with $50,000 in chips.

April 21 Day 1A
Noontime was the start of the action for the 304 players participating in Day 1A. There are so many players that the Fontana Bar and the Poker room at the Bellagio were both full to capacity. The names are too numerous to mention them all, but seen were Men "The Master" Nguyen, Dan Harrington, 2006 WSOP Wonderchild Jeff Madsen, David Williams, 2006 WSOP Main Event winner Jamie Gold, Burt Boutin, Kenna James, Vanessa Rousso, Jon Friedberg, Isaac Haxton, Liz Lieu, Phil Ivey, John Gale, Jason Lester, David "The Dragon" Pham, and defending champion Joe Bartholdi. Phil Hellmuth also showed up...1 hour and 42 minutes after the start.

Bustouts started slowly, but quickly picked up the pace. Raj Patel who won the Foxwoods Poker Classic made an tournament exit before Hellmuth arrived. He was joined by Jeff Madsen, John Hennigan, Jon Friedberg, Chad Brown, T.J. Cloutier, John Gale, Barry Shulman and Tuan Le. Jamie Gold again showed table etiquette issues during the tournament, revealing his cards before another player had yet to act. He profusely apologized to all seated. (Don't believe it did much to improve his image though.)

Amazingly enough, play was ended by tournament officials around 8:40 p.m. the same day! Here are the top 6 players with chip counts:

  1. Anna Wroblewski -- 211,325 chips
  2. Daniel Alaei -- 187,050 chips
  3. Marc Goodwin -- 177,225 chips
  4. Jack Karban -- 173,850 chips
  5. Alan Schein -- 171,575 chips
  6. Keith Gipson -- 151,775 chips

April 22 Day 1B
At 12:00 p.m. a jaw dropping group of top players filled the tables to begin play on Day 1B, just like yesterday in 1A. Some name in attendance on Day 1B include Erik Seidel, Stanely Weiss, Kathy Liebert, Thomas Wahlroos, Peter Feldman, Humberto Brenes, J.C. Tran, Nam Le, Bill Gazes, Minh Ly, Stuart Paterson, Kevin O'Donnell, Tim Phan, Max Pescatori, Layne Flack, John Phan, Lee Markholt, Brandon Cantu, Jesse Martin, Gene Todd, Johnny Chan, Farzad Bonyadi, Vinnie Vinh and Paul Wasicka to name a few.

Equally exciting was the tournament statistics! There were 639 players that entered, a $15,495,750 prize pool plus the fact that the top 3 at the final table will become millionaires automatically. Cash will go to the top 101 finishers and here are the payouts for the final table:

  1. $3,970,415
  2. $2,011,135
  3. $1,082,920
  4. $696,220
  5. $464,110
  6. $309,405
Bustout action started immediately as Ted Forrest left on the second hand of the day. Gene Todd was eliminated after his full house was crushed by another players quad 6's (official bad beat of the day here). They were followed by Bill Edler, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Clonie Gowen, Phil Laak, Erik Seidel, Nam Le, Jennifer Tilly and Layne Flack. Today's round of play was ended at 8:30 p.m. with the survivors from 1A and 1B coming together for Day 2. Here are the top players for Day 1B with chip counts:
  1. Kirk Morrison -- 170,000 chips
  2. Sam Farha -- 151,000 chips
  3. David Baker -- 144,000 chips
  4. David Benyamine and Shawn Buchanan (tied) -- 140,000 chips
  5. Jason Freetag -- 135,000 chips
  6. David Singer -- 133,000 chips

April 23 Day 2
Day 2 will have 479 players that were combined from 1A and 1B. Blinds are up to $400/$800 with a $100 ante. One hour into the round, John D'Agostino, Harry Demitriou and Todd Brunson were sent to the sidelines. Following them were Gavin Griffin who on Day 1B dyed his hair pink for Breast Cancer awareness, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Chau Giang, Mike Matusow, Mark Newhouse, David Sklansky, Marcel Luske, Juha Helppi after his pocket Q's were outdone by James Worth holding pocket A's, David Plastik and Mike Gracz. David "Devilfish" Ulliott had to walk away when his pocket 10's were beat up by another players pocket J's. Young Phan joined him when his all-in preflop move with pocket 3's lost out to the flush David Oppenheim made when his Js 9s were joined by three more spades. Doyle Brunson was eliminated by David Singer.

Phil Hellmuth Jr. won a nice hand against David Rheem which put him up to 450,000 chips and he never looked back to end up as chip leader on the day. Roland de Wolfe busted J.C. Alvarado and ended up with enough chips to come in second. Others who made the cut were Can Kim Hua 225,000, Juan Carlos Mortensen 200,000, Martin DeKnijff 215,000, Chip Reese 250,000, Hoyt Corkins 144,000 and Phil Ivey 135,000. By 8:45 p.m. play stopped and the remaining 214 will come together again for Day 3. Top 6 finishers were:

  1. Phil Hellmuth Jr. -- 528,100 chips
  2. Roland De Wolfe -- 526,500 chips
  3. Sorel Mizzi -- 499,300 chips
  4. Steve Wong -- 475,000 chips
  5. Patrik Antonius -- 470,000 chips
  6. Paul Wasicka -- 440,000 chips

April 24 Day 3
The goal for Day 3 is to play 5 levels, and whoever is left makes the cut. Just use survival tactics and you'll be okay right? Not with this crowd. Bustouts continued with Can Kim Hua eliminating Chris McCormack when Hua's pocket Q's stopped McCormack's Ac Qd in the first few minutes of play. More fallen warriors include Tony Cousineau, Joe Sebok, Liz Lieu, Cliff Josephy, Jamie Gold, Sean McCabe, Martin de Kniff after his pocket 10's ran into the stone wall of pocket K's held by Bryan Devonshire, Andrew Black and Vinnie Vinh.

Bad tempers exploded when Raymond Davis with pocket A's beat an opponent with pocket 8's. After losing, the opponent started yelling he received a bad beat. When the table disagreed, he got even louder and scooped up his chips and threw them at Davis. What the tournament officials did, we don't know because the guy stormed out. The rest of the night's action was furious, but not as eventful as what Davis went through. There were 54 players to go on to Day 4 by 9:15 p.m. at the Bellagio. Here are the top 6 with chip counts:

  1. Phil Hellmuth Jr. -- 1,827,000 chips
  2. Raymond Davis -- 1,704,000 chips
  3. Loi Phan -- 1,419,000 chips
  4. Kirk Morrison -- 1,327,000 chips
  5. Roland De Wolfe -- 1,287,000 chips
  6. Thomas Wahlroos -- 1,189,000 chips

April 25 Day 4
This round starts at level 15 which has blinds at $5,000/$10,000 and antes of $1000. In the first hour, the eliminations of Daniel Alaei, Patrik Antonius, Justin Young and 2006 WPT L.A. Poker Classic champion Eric Hershler took place. But all news was not bad news as Carlos Mortensen doubled up to a little over $1,000,000 after his pocket K's prevailed over Can Kim Hua's pocket J's. He pole vaulted up again to just over 2,500,000 chips after winning a HUGE pot from an all-in move with pocket 7's which turned into a set against Raymond Davis who had an Ace high flush draw.

Others that made the cut include Phil Hellmuth Jr. 738,000 who lost over 1 million chips in two big hands today, Scott Fischman 1,268,000, David Levi 1,258,000, Guy Laliberte 1,232,000, Loi Phan 1,007,000 and Roland De Wolfe 460,000. At the end of the day, 27 participants remain. The goal tomorrow is to see who makes the final table. Top 6 players with chip counts are:

  1. Paul Lee -- 3,601,000 chips
  2. Kirk Morrison -- 2,980,000 chips
  3. Juan Carlos Mortensen -- 2,429,000 chips
  4. Sorel Mizzi -- 2,256,000 chips
  5. Thomas Wahlroos -- 1,847,000 chips
  6. Ben Johnson -- 1,280,000 chips

April 26 Day 5
The race is on to see which of the 27 players will make the final table. Blinds will start out at $10,000/$20,000 with a $3,000 ante. Table action began at 12 noon. Eliminations began quickly as Roland De Wolfe who was a little short stacked from yesterday ended up in 26th, Robert Wazelle in 27th and 2006 WSOP Main Event runner up Paul Wasicka (24th place), were gone in the first hour. Phil Hellmuth was busted out in 18th place after his pocket J's were beaten by Thomas Wahlroos holding pocket A's.

In a huge hand against Paul Lee (who may have to hire someone to carry his chips for him), Carlos Mortensen won probably the biggest pot of the night (around 5,200,000 chips). On the hand, both players raised preflop around 200,000 with the flop showing Qc Qs 7s. Both of them check and the turn card is a Qd and Mortensen checks. Lee raised 400,000 and Mortensen called. River card is a 9c and Mortensen checks. Lee bet 1,000,000 and Mortensen raised by 2,000,000. Lee asked for a chip count on his opponent and goes into the tank. Then Lee mucks his hand and Mortensen rakes all those chips! Whew! By 11:30 p.m. the players for the final table were reached and action will resume tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Come back to see who wins!

  1. Paul Lee -- 11,828,000 chips
  2. Juan Carlos Mortensen -- 6,501,000 chips
  3. Guy Laliberte -- 4,690,000 chips
  4. Kirk Morrison -- 4,194,000 chips
  5. Mike Wattel -- 2,887,000 chips
  6. Tim Phan -- 2,162,000 chips

April 27 Final Table Results
This battle of titans began 5:00 p.m. at the Bellagio with the chip counts as follows:

  1. Paul Lee - 11,828,000
  2. Carlos Mortensen - 6,501,000
  3. Guy Laliberte - 4,690,000
  4. Kirk Morrison - 4,194,000
  5. Mike Wattel - 2,887,000
  6. Tim Phan - 2,162,000
The first bustout occurred one hour into play when Mike Wattel (Jd 9d) lost his all-in pre flop move to Kirk Morrison (Kc Js), resulting in Wattel going home in 6th place. Next to go was Thien (Tim) Phan who moved all-in on the button with (9c 9s) and was called by Kirk Morrison on the small blind holding pocket A's. Things did not improve for Phan, resulting in a 5th place finish. Morrison also busted out Guy Laliberte in fourth when Morrison's pocket 2c 2d held up against Laliberte's Ad Jc. In this Laliberte/Morrison hand each player bet 1,000,000 in chips with the flop showing Qc 6c 3c, giving both players a flush draw. Laliberte bet 2,000,000 and Morrison moves all in. Laliberte answered the call with his last 5,440,000 and shows his cards, with Morrison showing his. Turn card was a 3s, river card was a 8s giving Morrison the winning hand.

The table Juggernaut now know as Kirk Morrison, busted out Paul Lee in 3rd place when his Ah 10s was enough to beat Lee's As 9c sending Lee to the sidelines to pick up his million dollar plus tournament winnings. (I'm sure that took the sting out of losing to Morrison!)

Heads up play began with Juan Carlos Mortensen having 13,800,000 in chips and Kirk Morrison with 18,825,000. Play went on for 93 rounds until the hand of victory came up. Juan Carlos raised on the button with 6,500,000 and Kirk went all in. Juan Carlos called and shows Kh Jh. Kirk showed As 4d. The flop showed 7c 4h 3c, with the lead in Kirk's corner with a pair of 4's. But the turn card was a Jc placing favor now to Juan Carlos with a pair of J's. River card was 3d and that is how Juan Carlos Mortensen earned the WPT championship!
  1. Juan Carlos Mortensen -- $3,970,415
  2. Kirk Morrison -- $2,011,135
  3. Paul Lee -- $1,082,920
  4. Guy Laliberte -- $696,220
  5. Thien Phan -- $464,110
  6. Mike Wattel -- $309,405

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