Festa Al Lago, WPT Season 8

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Festa Al Lago WPT Season 9

Bellagio Hotel and Casino
October 15 - 20, 2010

Day 1

The Festa Al Lago tournament had a nice turnout with 335 players paying $10,000 + $300 each for a seat to the event. The prize pool reached $3,249,500 which will be divided batweenn the top 50 finishers. Here is the payout schedule for the televised Final Table:

  1. $831,500 (*Includes $25,500 Seat to WPT Championship in 2011)
  2. $564,200
  3. $344,968
  4. $225,680
  5. $161,200
  6. $112,840
Players started off with $40,000 in chips and blinds at $50/$100. In the field were Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Tilly, Jeff Shulman, Brock Parker, Annette Obrestad, Barry Shulman, Dwyte Pilgrim, Phil Laak, Lee Markholt, Nam Le, Tony Dunst, Faraz Jaka, Soheil Shamseddin, Maria Ho, Joe Sebok, David Williams and Sorel Mizzi.

As things got underway, some of the early busts include Soheil Shamseddin and Ryan Welch. Welch eventually moved all in with A K of clubs with the 10 and 8 of clubs on the flop. Unfortunately, his opponent had pocket Aces that held to the river as the winning hand when Welch did not receive his badly needed 5th club. Kristy Gazes lost all her chips after her all-in move with two pair (K's and Q's) was beaten by the King high straight of David Sands. WPT announcer and champion Mike Sexton also made his way to the rail after an all-in preflop move with pocket A's was crushed by the pocket Q's of another player when a third Queen hit the felt. They were joined by Shannon Shorr, Paul Magriel, Nam Le, Layne Flack, November Nine player Joseph Cheong, Eli Elezra, Antoine Saout and Barry Shulman. At the end of the day there were 216 remaining in the field.
  1. PAYMAN ARJANG -- 217,875
  2. PETER BRAGLIA -- 160,100
  3. DAVID PETERS -- 141,425
  4. JEFFREY MADSEN -- 139,375
  5. ALEXANDER SHOGREN -- 125,625
  6. AMIT MAKHIJA -- 125,500

Day 2

The second round started with blinds at 300/600 and a 75 ante. Justin Smith was among the first to leave their seats empty. Moving all-in with top pair on the flop, Smith was called by Andreas Hoivold with a 4 card club flush draw which was completed when another club hit the turn. Shaun Deeb had his A K put to sleep by the pocket J's of another player, resulting in his run in this tournament ending. European sensation Annette Obrestad at one point was chip leader and finished the day second in chips to Matthew Affleck.

Others who got on the "Busted Express" were Doyle Brunson, Kathy Liebert, Brock Parker, Jennifer Harman, Kevin Stammen, Jonathan Little, David Baker, Faraz Jaka, Jonathan Aguiar, Steve Sung, Allen Carter, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Isabelle Mercier and Hasan Habib. Day 2 finished with 110 players returning tomorrow.

  1. MATTHEW AFFLECK -- 585,300
  2. ANNETTE OBRESTAD -- 536,800
  3. OWEN CROWE -- 360,000
  4. TREVOR POPE -- 286,700
  5. MICHAEL BENVENUTI -- 284,500
  6. DAVID WILLIAMS -- 278,300

Day 3

Day 3 starts with play at level 11 with blinds at 1,000/2,000 and 300 ante. With the money being reached at player 50, many are being careful with their cards to try to see some return on their investment. Daniel Negreanu went in with the last of his chips holding two Queens for top pair. This was not good enough to stop the Broadway straight of his opponent, sending crowd favorite Daniel to the rail. Vanessa Selbst had her set of 10's sidelined by the full house 4's/10's of the other player, leaving her with no chips and a chair to vacate. Jimmy Fricke had his pocket Q's upset by the pocket A's of another player.

The field continued to shrink as names like Ted Lawson, Cornel Cimpan, Chris Bjorin, David Williams, Maria Ho, Vivek Rajkumar, David Singer, Lee Markholt, Men "The Master" Nguyen and Steve Brecher were on the board with zero chips next to them. Owen Crowe was the bubble boy when he lost the last of his very small stack to the Ace kicker of Gavin Smith. A couple of hands later Smith busted in 48th to Jimmy Tran, but he left with $12,896 in his pocket. Tournament officials stopped play with only 41 remaining in the field. Day 4 will commence at noon tomorrow.

  1. STEPHEN ODWYER -- 844,500
  2. JEFFREY MADSEN -- 814,000
  3. MARK RandallL -- 795,500
  4. ANDREAS HOIVOLD -- 632,500
  5. JASON KOON -- 586,000
  6. LYLE BERMAN -- 458,500

Day 4

The 41 players came to the tables, beginning at blinds with 3,000/6,000 and 500 ante. Ryan Young was the first to go as his straight he made by the river could not overcome the flush made by Erik Cajelais, leaving Young with a 41st place finish. Jeff Madsen was just under 1 million chips after he busted Amit Makhija in 39th place early on. Barry Greenstein signed a copy of his book for Lauren Kling who bested his all-in move with A K with pocket J's. Jimmy Tran jumped out of his chair with a shout when he noticed he made a straight, but soon realized that Andreas Hoivoid made a full house (9's/J's) for the winning hand.

One player who was on fire was Annette Obrestad! She was taking out stacks one by one and closed the day over the 2 million mark. Matt Affleck was busted in 22nd by Randall Flowers who made an Ace high flush by the turn card. On the last hand for the night Lauren Kling lost to the 4 of a kind Queens made by John Monette, resulting in a 14th place finish with $32,240 waiting for her a the cashier's cage. The remaning 13 will come back to see who makes the televised WPT final table at noon.

  1. ANNETTE OBRESTAD -- 2,009,000
  2. ANDY FRANKENBERGER -- 1,820,000
  3. ALLEN KESSLER -- 1,275,000
  4. JOHN MONNETTE -- 1,271,000
  5. JEFFREY MADSEN -- 1,267,000
  6. NOAH SCHWARTZ -- 1,137,000

Day 5

This round of battle will begin with blinds at 10,000/20,000 and a 3,000 ante. Annette Obrestad got hammered in the first few minutes when she called an all-in with pocket 10's, only to lose to the club flush made by Skip Wilson. Obrestad drops to 1,450,000 just that quick. A few hands later Wilson doubled up through Obrestad again with a set of Queens, leaving Annette with just 325,000 chips. She was eventually eliminated in 13th place. Madsen also felt the sting of defeat. Down to his last 460K, he went all-in only to be met by the Ace high flush belonging to Jason Koon. Madsen finished in 11th place.

Koon also busted Brandon Stevens in 9th place when he made two pair by the river (A's and 7's). One player who finished the day smokin' was Randall Flowers. He doubled up twice in order to finish with over 3 million chips going into the final table. And after Allen Kessler lost to the pocket A's of Koon, the WPT final table was set. They will return at 4:00 PM tomorrow to slug it out until a champion is on top.

  1. RANDALL FLOWERS -- 3,215,000
  2. NOAH SCHWARTZ -- 3,135,000
  3. JASON KOON -- 2,555,000
  4. ANDY FRANKENBERGER -- 1,935,000
  5. MICHAEL BENVENUTI -- 1,390,000
  6. SKIP WILSON -- 1,200,000

Final Table

The last six players began the final table at level 27 which has blinds at $40,000/$80,000 with a $10,000 ante. (Doesn't leave much room for trolling around waiting on other players to bust.) But after the last eight minutes of level 27 were up, the action jumped to $50,000/$100,000 with a $10,000 ante. Play was very slow as only 1 flop occured in the first 90 minutes. But 10 minutes later, the first bust happened when Skip Wilson moved all-in with a flop of 10 6 5. Michael Benvenuti called with pocket Q's which held to the river over the paired 10's of Wilson, resulting in a 6th place finish for Skip. Five minutes later, Andy Frankenberger who won a WPT event earlier this year went out in 5th place after his all-in with pocket 5's were overcome by the pocket 10's of Randall Flowers. By 6:20 PM, the bar was raised another notch to level 29 with blinds at $60,000/$120,000 and a $15,000 ante.

Jason Koon was eliminated by 6:50 PM in 4th place after his straight was beaten by the higher straight made by Flowers. Noah Schwartz was busted in 3rd soon after the level went up again to $80,000/160,000 with a $15,000 ante. Noah moved in with K Q and was called by Flowers holding A Q which held to the river.

When the heads up play began, the audience was reminded that levels would go up every 30 minutes from this point on. It didn't matter as the last hand took place within 15 minutes. After seeing a flop of 9 6 5, Benvenuti moved all-in and was called by Flowers. Flowers showed 9 3 for top pair and Benvenuti revealed Q 7 which failed to improve with the turn and river cards. And that is how Randall Flowers won his first WPT title.

  1. RANDALL FLOWERS -- $831,500*
  2. MICHAEL BENVENUTI -- $564,200
  3. NOAH SCHWARTZ -- $344,968
  4. JASON KOON -- $225,680
  5. ANDY FRANKENBERGER -- $161,200
  6. SKIP WILSON -- $112,840

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