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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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July 3, 2005

The first 2 matches you could consider as a warm-up time. Even matches three and four were important ones, but you could afford to make an error in one of them. Well, the margin of error is almost gone, as we start Match #5. Let's see who desperately needs the win in order to make the top 16.

Kathy Liebert - Well, she doesn't need it. She's the leader with 37 points and is guaranteed the spot, but each point is worth more chips in the play-offs, so she's going to want more.

David Skalansky - He also is very safe with 30 points, but you don't want anyone to get a huge chip count, which could happen if he doesn't stop Liebert.

Todd Brunson - He's looking pretty good with 19 points, but he still hasn't clinched a spot. Another top 3 finish will do that.

Eli Elezra - Now we start with the people who desperately need points. Elezra is one of them, as he is dangerously under that cut-off line with 12 points.

John Myung - If Elezra is dangerous, than Myung's situation is dire. He only has 6 points, and he needs to win just to barely get over the Cut-off line.

Chris Moneymaker - He is even worse off them Myung. With only 5 points, Moneymaker can't afford to go lower than 2nd in his last 2 matches - AND he needs help.

Hand #1 - Moneymaker raises. Everyone else folds. Moneymake wins a pot, which isn't too bad...

Hand #2 - ...until he goes all-in again against David Sklansky and his high pair. OUCH. Moneymaker gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and once again, he is looking at an early departure.

Hand #3 - The departure is being planned by Elezra, who has a Q ? 10 ?. Moneymaker has a A ? Q ?. The flop is a 7 ? J ? A ?, as Moneymaker pairs the Aces. Moneymaker, who has had a brutally bad tournament, thinks 2 runners wil come up for Elezra, but an 8 ? on the turn and an A ? on the river gives Moneymaker Trip Aces and the rare win. This could be momentum!

Hand #4 - Elezra plays a A ? 10 ?. Moneymaker goes over the top with a J ? J ? and Elezra calls. The flop helps Elezra pair his 10's with a 6 ?, 3 ?, 10 ?, but a 9 ? on the turn and a 7 ? on the river isn't enough help. Moneymaker doubles up again and he is close to getting back to where he started.

Hand #5 - We hear from Sklansky, who raises with a K ? J ?. We also hear from Myung, with 9's (? and ?) goes over the top and all-in. Sklansky decides to not make that big of a gamble yet and Myung wins a pot.

Hand #6 - Now it's Sklansky with 9's (both black) and raises the pot to $60,000. Myung goes over the top again - but this time, he has Vowels (A ? A ?). Sklsnaky once again gets out of the way and Myung takes another pot. Myung now takes the early lead in a match that he has to do well in.

Hand #7 - Liebert raises with a ...Q ?, 8 ?? It's good enough, as everyone else folds. Kathy, with her first win and with the point leader, talks trash once again, and yells at Sklansky for following his advice in his book - advice which cost her in a few matches. Sklansky - 'People who write poker books have no idea what they're talking about.'

Hand #8 - Speaking of which, Sklansky has an 8 ?, 7 ?. That looks pretty bad against Elezra's K ? 10 ?, but a flop of 8 ? 8 ? 6 ? gives Sklansky trips. He makes a move at the pot and Elezra, who picked up nothing, folds. Sklansky and Leibert continue to playfully banter while Brunson holds his ears.

Hand #9 - Liebert stops chatting long enough to play a A ? 10 ? and raise it to $70,000. Elezra goes over the top and all-in with a A ? Q ?. Myung folds an A/10, and Moneymaker, with a K ?, J ?, folds as well. Liebert calls and we see our third showdown of the evening. Kathy needs a 10 to show up, but the flop of 2 ?, 9 ? 6 ?, the Turn of 2 ? and the River of A ? is not any of those, so Elezra doubles up.

Hand #10 - Elezra limps in with a K ? J ?. Moneymaker decides to go all in with a 10 ? 10 ?. We have a race situation, and the flop dictates that a K ? 5 ? 2 ? gives Elezra a huge lead with a pair of kings and a diamond flush draw. Moneymaker gets up to leave, and an 8 d' on the River gives Elezra the flush and Moneymaker's walking papers. Moneymaker has 5 points through 5 matches and he is officially the first person eliminated from post-season action.

We see Eli Elezra's biograpgy. Elezra, originally from Israel, owns 33 successful camera shops and picked up poker as a hobby. When he eventually does better i npoker than his business, he decided to make it a full-time hobby.

Hand #11 - Elezra raises his K ? Q ?. Myung, with 5's (?, ?) goes over the top and all-in. Wha? The flop is a 2? 6 ? K ? and Elezra once again pairs Kings. Myung needs a 5, but a A ? on the turn and a 10 ? on the River is neither. Myung, who only had 1 more point than Moneymaker, finishes with 1 point higher and he is the second person to be everything but officially eliminated from the post-season. The two people that could not have afforded to have low pointed outings have done so.

Hand #12 - On the other hand of the Spectrum, Elezra keeps gobbling up all-in bets and has a nice lead on everyone else. Brunson is looking to take a piece of that and goes all-in with a A ? 6 ?. Liebert calls with a K ? 4 ?, but since Brunson has more chips, it's she that goes all-in. It could be all-out, as the flop (4 ? A ?, 10 ?) gives Brunson a pair of Aces. The turn (J ?) and River (J ?) helps no one, and Liebert leaves us in an un-Liebert-like 4th place.

Hand #13 - Elezra limps in with a J ?, 8 ? and Brunson calls with a 5 ? 4 ?. The Flop ( J ? A ? 5 ?), pairs Brunson's 5's, but it also pair's Elezra's Aces, and Elezra leads out. Brunson senses that his 5's are no good and folds, giving Elezra the win.

Hand #14 - Brunson raises a third of his chips with a A ? 8 ?. Sklansky and Elezra both fold and Brunson picks up some blinds.

Hand #15 - Elezra raises with a A ? 6 ?. Brunson goes All-in with 6's (d' and ?) and Elezra calls it. The Flop has a Q ?, 8 ?, 8 ? and Brunson is looking good. A King ? doesn't look good, because another King or Queen would nullify the 6's, but a 4 ? on the river not only doubles up Brunson, but gives him the lead, while Elezra bounces to the short stack.

Hand #16 - Elezra goes all-in with a A ? Q ? and Brunson calls with a A ? 5 ?. an A ?, 6 ?, 10 ?, helps no one, and neither does a 9 ? or a 4 ? on the river. Elezra doubles up and takes his chips back from Brunson.

Hand #17 - All of this action has put Sklansky as the short stack, and he goes all-in with a K ? Q ?. Elezra calls with a A ? Q ?, The fop has a 3 ?, 8 ?, 9 ?, and that helps no one. A Q ? helps both people, but Elezra has the higher kicker, so Sklansky needs a King. He doesn't get it on the River (10 ?) and Elezra eliminates Sklansky, who notes that the only thing that matter to him is a win, because that would give him $10,000 and a shot to be the point leader. Elezra has now knocked out every player and he has an almost 2 to 1 chip lead on Brunson.

Hand #18 - Brunson goes all-in. Elezra bails. Brunson wins the pot.

Hand #19 - Elezra goes all in with an A ? 2 ?. Brunson bails and Elezra wins his chips back.

Hand #20 - More playing. More folding from Brunson.

Hand #21 - Elezra goes all-in. Brunson folds. Zzzzzzzz.

Hand #22 - Brunson goes in with pocket red 4's. The problem - Elezra has K ? K ?. Ouch. The flop has a...2 ? K ? A ?. That almost spells bye bye for Brunson, and a 6 ? seals the deal for Elezra, who finishes with Trip Kings and $10,000 for the win. Brunson seals up a playoff spot with a second placed effort, but Elezra gets 10 points that he really needed.

Let's see how this affects the standings...

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

* - Have played in 5 matches

This week wasn't as much of who is in (Elezra) as much as it was who played themselves out (Moneymaker and Myung). Join us in 7 days to see if we have anyone else do the same.

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