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

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Airs: on Fox Sports Net


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May 29, 2005

We're at Elimination Match #12, which is the halfway mark of the 24 elimination matches to be played. So who is halfway to heaven and who is halfway to go bye bye?

Johnny Chan - he has 10, which is ok, but he needs more points.
Barry Greenstein - 8 points, on the border
Huck Seed - The seed hasn't been blooming with 7 points
Eli Elezra - He only has 7 points, He needs to make a move
Mike Caro - He only has 3 points, which should make the Madman of Poker...well...mad
Chau Giang - We see him on the WPT. It has to be better than the 2 points he has right now.

Hand #1 - Caro has a A ?, J ?. Everyone else folds. Quick pot to Mike.

Hand #2 - Caro returns with a K ? Q ?. Everyone else folds again. Another quick pot to Mike.

Hand #3 - Oh look - It's Caro. This time he has something - A ? 4 ?. We get El Foldo from everyone else and Caro wins another pot. I bet he'd love to do this all night.

Hand #4 - Caro AGAIN. He has a big slick A ? K ?. Will anyone call this time? Nope. 4 raises, 4 wins, and he's in the lead with $355,000.

Hand #5 - It's Caaaaaarrrooooooo...with a A ? 9 ?. This time, Elezra calls with a A ? 2 ?. The flop is... Q ?, 4 ?, 9 ?. Caro gets the 9 pair - which is now 2 pair as an A ? shows up. Elezra, who already bet once at the pot, bets $50,000 more. Caro calls again, so we see a river, which is...10 ?. We get a pair of checks and Caro wins a nice pot. Caro is starting to ramble, but he is actually winning. I hate to see what he's like if he loses.

Hand #6 - This time, Caro doesn't show up (SHOCK!), but Greenstein does, with an A ? and a Q ?, Giang has both red kings and raises. Barry doesn't want to play, so he balks out.

Hand #7 - Giang continues to have a hot hand with a A ? J ?, but Elezra, with ladies (? and ?), goes all in. Giang calls, so we see a flop...2 ? 4 ? 3 ?. That gives Giang 4 to a straight, and a 5 ? on the turn completes it. A 7 ? on the river does Elezra no good, as he is the first one out with no points this round.

Hand #8 - Another nice hand for Giang (J ?, 9 ?), who raises it up. Chan, with a Q; and a J ?, goes all in. Giang calls and he is the decided underdog. The flop, with a 10 ? 5 ? 7 ?, gives Giang another straight draw. He needs an 8...which isn't on the turn (A ?) or River (10 ?) and Chan doubles up.

Hand #9 - We finally hear from Huck Seed, with a K ?, K ?. Anyone want to challenge Huckleberry's cowboys? Chan will, with an A ?, 8 ?, and he raises, to put Seed all-in. Seed immediately calls, and we get another flop. A 9 ?, J ? 5 ?, is good, as long as an Ace doesn't show up. the 2 of ?, is a safe card...but the A ? on the river isn't and Seed goes down to Chan's Aces. Seed finishes in 5th. With the win, Chan now takes the lead.

Hand #10 - You have 2 people with big stacks (Chan and Caro) and 2 people with little stacks (Giang and Greenstein). What to do? Bully the little stacks! Barry doesn't want to be bullied and goes all-in with a K ? and a 10 ?, and that's good enough for everyone else to fold.

Hand #11 - Caro has an A ? Q ? and everyone folds again. Well that's how big stacks get bigger.

Hand #12 - Giang goes All-In with A ? K ? - and he also gets everyone else to fold. No one wants to rumble?

Hand #13 - Giang wants to rumble with a 6 ? 6 ? and goes all-in. Chan calls with an A ? J ?. The flop has a...5 ? 6 ? 2 ?. That gives Giang trips and a Q s' on the turn gives Giang the win without having to see a river. With Giang doubling up, that leaves our short stack to be...

Hand #14 - Barry Greenstein, who goes all in with a 8 ? 7 ?. Giang has red pocket rockets and calls. Barry needs middle cards - he gets a 8 ? 4 ? 9 ?. He needs another 8 or 9 to pop up - which is not coming on the Turn (J ?) or river (3 ?). Greenstein finishes in 4th while Giang gets more chips.

Hand #15 - Chan (8 ?, 7 ?) and Caro (10 ? 3 ?) both limp in. We get a K ?, 2 ?, K ? on the Flop. They both check on the flop and the 9 ? on the turn, but a 7 ? on the river gives Chan the best hand. It's Caro who bets on a bluff, however, and...it works, as Chan folds.

Hand #16 - Giang goes all-in with 8 ? 7 ?. Wha? That's trouble - and much bigger when Caro has a A ?, A ?. The Flop (K ? Q ?, 9 ?) does Giang no good, and a K ? on the turn ends the hand. Giang isn't out, but he's severely crippled...

Hand #17 - ...and Caro (Q ? 9 ?) is looking to get rid of him (J ? 2 ?). The flop is K ?, 10 ?, Q h, which gives Caro a pair or Queens. a 5 ? does Giang no good, and a 10 ? solidifies the win for Caro and third place for Giang.

Hand #18 - It's head's up time. Caro presses his hand and Chan folds.

Hand #19 - Chan goes All-in with a Q ?, 6 ?. Caro calls with a A ?, 8 ?. The flop is 4 ?, 8 ?, 3 ?. That gives Caro a pair of 8's, but a 3 ?, gives Chan a flush draw. The River....a 7 ?! Chan doubles up with the flush and takes the lead.

Hand #20 - Caro goes all-in and Chan folds. Caro slowly starts to make that deficit back up.

Hand #21 - Chan goes all in with a 10 ? 9 ? and goes all-in. Caro calls with a Q ?, J ?. The Flop (6 ?, 10 ?, 2 ?) gives Chan a pair of 10's, and a 2 ? on the Turn and a 9 ? on the river gives Chan the match and $10,000. Caro comes in second, and the 7 points is much needed.

We're all even at the halfway point. If the preliminaries ended, who would be in?

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

So it looks like you need 22 points to get invited to the big party. Baed on that, Liebert, Sklansky and Deeb are already planning the party favors. Join us in 7 days to see who will be closer to getting invites.

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