If you’re a regular watcher of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on ESPN, then you know that Tuesday night marked Day 7 coverage of the Main Event. The cable station airs action from the 2009 WSOP weekly at 9:00pm ET. The final table of the feature tournament will pan out on November 10th just hours after it is filmed in front of a studio audience at the Penn and Teller Theater in Las Vegas.
Last night, the feature table included Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, Ryan Fair, and November Nine members Steven Begleiter and James Akenhead. In the first hand shown, Akenhead doubled up through Mark Ader after his pocket nines came out on the winning end of a race against A-K. Elsewhere inside the largely vacant Amazon Room, poker pros Prahlad Friedman and Joe Sebok were eliminated in 64th and 56th, respectively, ending their WSOP Main Event title hopes.
Billy “Patrolman35” Kopp, who had already sent former Main Event winners Joe Hachem and Peter Eastgate packing from this year’s festivities, ousted John Martin after ducking flush and straight draws. Kopp was the chip leader at the time and donned an Ultimate Bet logo in Day 7 footage. Meanwhile, Phil Ivey doubled up Scott Sitron after Sitron made trips with A-10 against A-K. Tom Schneider, the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year, was eliminated in 52nd place after running A-7 into the pocket nines of Mark McLaughlin. The board ran out 5-6-K-7-K, giving McLaughlin kings-up and the win in the hand.
At the outer tables, two ESPN darlings were eliminated, as Adam Bilzerian busted in 47th place after his pocket tens could not draw out on pocket kings. 2008 WSOP November Nine member Dennis Phillips was then sent packing holding A-K of diamonds against Francois Balmigere’s A-K of spades. Three spades hit the board and Phillips, in stunned fashion, was eliminated. ESPN’s first hour of coverage came to an end with 43 runners remaining out of the 64 that began the day.
Kopp continued to pad his stack, ousting another player, this time with pocket jacks against pocket tens. At Table Two, Jeff Duvall raised to 250,000 pre-flop with A-J and CardPlayer Magazine Editor Jeff Shulman made the call with pocket twos. Jonathon Tamayo came along with K-Q of spades to see the flop fall A-2-10, giving Duvall top pair and Shulman a set. Tamayo checked his gutshot straight draw, Duvall bet one million, Shulman shoved all-in, Tamayo folded, and Duvall called for his tournament life. The turn came a five, leaving Duvall drawing dead to the river.
In his first hand at the feature table, Darvin Moon eliminated Eugene Katchalov with pocket kings against A-10. Aired pots involving Moon saw the November Nine chip leader hit card after card. For example, in a hand against Balmigere, Moon held A-J, Balmigere held 10-10, and Joe Cada held K-5 to a flop of 10-Q-K. Balmigere had hit bottom set, while Moon flopped the nuts. Balmigere bet out 550,000, Moon called, and Cada got out of the way to see a deuce on the turn. Balmigere bet 1.1 million, Moon raised to 2.2 million, and Balmigere made the call. The river came a five. Balmigere checked, Moon bet two million, and Balmigere folded. The 8.5 million chip pot boosted Moon’s stack to over 15 million.
To end play on Day 7, Joe Ward moved all-in with A-K and Jamie Robbins made the call with A-Q. The board ran out 8-10-A-2-Q, with a three-outer on the river propelling Robbins to the win. Twenty-seven players remain as Day 8 airs next Tuesday at 9:00pm ET on ESPN.