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Big buy-ins and bigger stars highlight this poker tourney.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


Airs: on Fox Sports Net

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May 15, 2005

We continue round 3 with Elimination Match #10. We have 6 more people, some of which would love more points, others which more likely need them. Let's see who fits in what mold...

Kathy Leibert - She already has won 2 matches and 20 points. She just needs to make sure she doesn't pull a Moneymaker and she's a lock.

David Grey - 1 First, 1 Second. 17 points. He only needs to collect a few more non-lasts and he's good to go.

Carlos Mortenson - He got the Royal Goose Egg in his first match, but then turn around and took a first place. What's he going to do tonight?

Todd Brunson - He also got a Goose Egg - but a second place gets him 7 points and a border spot.

Antonio Esfandiari - The magician needs to conjure up more points. He only has 4 of them.

Chris Moneymaker - Why did I say not pull a Moneymaker? Because with only 1 point, you can rename him a pointgiver instead of a Moneymaker.

We start with Hand #1, as Kathy has a 3 ?, 7 ?. Carlos has a Q ? and a 9 ?, while Todd, with a J ? and a 10 ?, calls. The flop ( 8 ? 3 ?, 10 ?) helps no one, and neither does the A ? turn. Carlos makes a play at it and Todd folds.

Hand #2 - Remember when Carlos bluffed the first time? He doesn't this time, as he has a A ? J ?. Todd raises to all in with a pair of threes, and Carlos gives Todd the pot this time.

Hand #3 - Carlos likes Aces - this time, he gets an A ? Q ?. Moneymaker has a pair of Queens (Spades and DIamonds) and raises. Now Chris won the WSOP in 2003, but his reputation is that he is not a good player and he just got the luckiest ride of his life. This time, Carlos respects Chris and gives him the pot. Moneymaker takes the early lead, but everyone is still within $150,000 of each other.

Hand #4 - And the blinds are already up. Grey has matching 8's (Clubs and
Diamonds) and this time, Mortenson, with an A ? Q ?, goes all in. Grey calls, as we see the flop of... 3 ?, Q ?, 5 ?. A 3 ? on the turn and a 6 ? on the river drops David all the way down to $3,000 in chips, which spells disaster.

Hand #5 - and Grey is forced to go all in with a J ? and a 4 ?. Moneymaker (A ?, 7 ?) and Brunson (k ? and 5 ?,) play on, and Moneymaker bows out when the flop (5 ?, 9 ?, 3 ?) gives Brunson a pair of 5's. A 6 ? on the turn and a K ? spells the end of Mr. Grey, but that's only his first misstep of the tournament and with 17 points, he's still in great shape.

Hand #6 - Esfandiary starts with a J ? and a 10 ? - and bets half of his stack on it. Wha? Liebert, with a A ? Q ?, calls, and a 8 ?, 3 ?, 4 ? forces him to fold. That cripples him with under $100,000 left in his account.

Hand #7 - Liebert, with already 2 wins and now in second place, is now yapping it up. Esfandiary now has to go all-in with a 9 ?, 2 ? - which looks really bad against Mortenson's A ?, Q ?. The flop has...a K ?, 4 ? and a 2 ?, giving the magician a pair of deuces. The flop is a 5 ? and the river is a K ? as Esfandiary stays alive - but still has less then what he had to start Hand #6.Mortenson and Liebert are comfortably ahead of everyone else.

Hand #8 - Esfandiary, still on the short stack, goes all-in with a 9 ?, 8 ?. Mortenson, who only needs to put in $40,000, since he's in the Big Blind, calls with a 7 ?, 6 s;. The Flop is... 3 ?, 5 ?, 2 ?, so Esfandiary is in the clear so far. The turn is...a 7 ?, which spells disaster for him as Mortenson picks up a pair of 7's. Esfandiary still has outs - a 6, 8 or 9 bails him out. The river is...a 6 ?! Once again, Esfandiary doubles up at Mortenson's expense and Antonio gets back into the match.

Hand #9 - Todd Brunson plays his pair of black deuces. Esfandiary, meanwhile, has a A ? 10 ? and calls. The Flop is...2 ? 3 ?, 7 ?. That gives Brunson Trip deuces and goes all-in. Esfandiary calls and sees that he's in deep trouble. The turn is a 9 ? and Esfandiary is drawing dead. Brunson moves up to $436,000 and once again, Esfandiary, with $54,000, goes back into short stack mode.

Hand #10 - Esfandiary has a J ? and a 6 ? and goes all-in - again. Brunson, with an A ? and a 2 ?, calls from the small blind. Liebert (5 ? 2 ?) checks it from the Big Blind as we see a K ? 3 ? 10 ?. Everyone checks as we see a 6 ? on the Turn and a 8 ? on the river. That gives Esfandiary a pair of 8's - and a triple up from Liebert and Brunson. Brunson wins the small side pot, but that bails out Esfandiary, leaving the short stack to be...

...Moneymaker, who now needs to make a move. On hand #11, Esfandiary makes the move instead with a Q ?, 10 ?. Mortenson calls with a A ? J ? and once again, Esfandiary is the underdog. The flop - 5 ?, 6 ?, 5 ?, does no help. A 7 ?, doesn't either, as Esfandiary needs a Queen or a 10. He doesn't get it on the river (K ?) and The Wizard will once again disappear with another measly point (and 5 total).

Hand #12 - Brunson calls with a 10 ? 9 ?, while Liebert plays the 7 ? 4 ? from the Big Blind. When the flop shows up, Liebert goes all-in. Brunson can't play a 10/9, so he folds out.

Hand #13 - Moneymaker finally makes a move and goes all-in with a K ? Q ?. Mortenson has a A ? 6 ? and calls. Moneymaker needs some high cards, but an A s; is too high for him (with a 9 ? and a 5 ?. A 5 ? on the Turn knocks out Moneymaker and we don't see what's on the river. The good news is that Moneymaker triples his points with the win, but 4 points after three matches is deadly to any playoff chances.

Hand #14 - We are up to $50,000 and $100,000 blinds and down to 3 people. Mortenson goes all in with a set of red 10's and Brunson, with half of his chips committed to the pot, calls with a J ? 4 ?. Brunson needs diamonds. He gets a 6 ?, 9 ? 5 ?, all black. A 6 ? on the turn and a 5 ? on the river eliminates Brunson as he takes 5 points for third.

The good news for Liebert is that she once again is in the final 2. The bad news is that with Mortenson wiping everyone out, he is up 1,222,000 to 28,000. Yikes.

Hand #15 - Kathy gets a pair of Kings and Mortenson calls...with a Q ? 2 ?? Well, that's not too good for Carlos, as he gets smoked and Kathy doubles up. Liebert talks about smacking someone who blew smoke in her face, and she smacked him. She is smacking Mortenson around right now.

Hand #16 - Liebert has a Q ? 10 ?, while Mortenson has a Q ? 9 ?. Liebert needs to avoid a 9...and she does. Liebert doubles up and we now have a tie ball game. Mortenson and Liebert are no longer smiling - this is serious.

Hand #17 - Mortenson goes all-in with a...6 ? 5 ?? Wha? Liebert calls with a A ? J ? and it looks like Liebert will win her third straight. The flop is a K
?, 3 ?, 8 ? and the Turn is a 7 ?. The low cards help Mortenson, because a 4 or 9 now gives him an open ended straight and a 5 or 6 pairs him up. Any of those cards gives him the match. If not, Kathy wins it. The River is...4?! A shocked Liebert can only look on as Mortenson grabs victory from the jaws of defeat.

Mortenson wins his second straight win, but Liebert still takes second, which makes her the clear points leader. Let's see how the board looks now...

27 - Kathy Liebert
22 - Freddie Deeb
20 - David Sklansky, Carlos Mortenson
17 - David Grey
15 - Cyndy Violette
14 - Scotty Nguyen
13 - Ted Forrest
12 - Mike Sexton, Todd Brunson
11 - Dewey Tomko
10 - Johnny Chan, Tommy Wang
8 - Mimi Tran, Barry Greenstein
7 - Eli Elezra, Huck Seed
6 - John Myung
5 - Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandari
4 - Chris Moneymaker
3 - Mike Caro
2 - Chau Giang, Bobby Hoff

Moneymaker and Esfandiary are in deep doodoo, while Liebert and Mortenson are looking very good. Join us in 7 days as we classify 6 more people.

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