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

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


Chris Rose & Michael Konik
EP: Henry Orenstein
Packager: HSOR for Fox Sports
Origin: Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa; Cabazon, CA
Airs: Sundays at 8p ET on FSN

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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

July 10, 2005

Last week, we saw certain people get their tickets punched for the post-season, while we saw other people get their post-season punched. This week, it's sort of different, because all of these people are either right at or over the cut-off. For 4 of those people, however, they can't afford a quick exit.

Carlos Mortenson - He can afford a quick exit, but he doesn't want to. He probably won't, either - at 30 points, he has won the past 3 straight matches.

David Grey - He's the other person who could probably take no more points and get it. He has 27, which looks to be good. You could always get more points though.

Mike Sexton - Sexton is one member of the 18 club. It's very tentative, and although two more decent placings will likely advance him, he'd rather get his points now.

Cyndy VIolette - The other member of the 18 point club, She's also in a good place, but she would love to get more points and not be stressed out in the last match.

Mike Caro - He's a mad genius, but at 15 points, his blood pressure could be a little mad if he doesn't secure a safer position in the standings.

Scotty Nguyen - He's the only person who is under the cut-off line in this group. Granted, he's only 1 point under the line, but you don't want to be any points under the cut-off line.

Hand #1 - Mortenson re-raises to $30,000 with a 9 ? 3 ?. Nguyen calls with an A ? 8 ?. The flop is 6 ? 6 ? J ?. Nguyen checks, but Mortenson bets $40,000 with nothing. Nguyen calls. A 2 ? comes up on the Turn and they both check. A Q ? comes up on the River and they both check again. Scotty, with a measly Ace high, wins the first pot.

Hand #2 - Sexton, with a J ? J ?, raises to $45,000. Nguyesn has a suited Big Slick of the Spade variety and re-raises to $145,000. That's a lot of re-raise. Sexton quickly goes all-in and Nguyen calls. Sexton is out should he lose, but a 2 ? 9 ? 3 ? keeps him in the lead. A 2 ? on the turn gives Nguyen a flush draw, and although a K ? doesn't give Nguyen a flush, it does pair his kings and it sends Sexton packing. Sexton takes a zero for the match, and although he is still in decent shape, he has to perform in his final match and he would probably want to see some help.

Hand #3 - Conversely, Nugyen now has a nice chip lead and he can afford to start bullying the other players around. VIolette, however is controlling the action as she raises an A/8 ?. Mortenson has a K/10 ? and calls her. The flop has a 3 ? 2 ? 10 ? and Mortenson goes all-in. He should, with the top pair at the table, and Violette, knowing that she needs to win points, folds. The fac tthat Mortenton doesn't need points means that he can be more aggressive, and that could give him an edge later...

Hand #4 - Nguyen raise with 8 ? and a 6 ?? Grey has an A ? J ? and goes over the top with an all-in. Nguyen curses out Grey and folds, while Grey converses with Nguyen.

Hand #5 - The win by Grey now makes Mortenson the short stack and he goes all-in with a Q ? 8 ?. Nguyen, with an A ? 8 ?, calls. Carlos wants a Queen. Cyndy thinks he's getting one. They are both...right, with a flop, of Q ? 8 ? 3 ?. A J ? turns up on the Turn and a 7 ? shows up on the River, which allows Mortenson to double up and Nguyen, though still with a healthy chip lead, gets to curse some more.

Hand #6 - We haven't heard from Caro, but we will with an A/K ?. Mortenson calls with a pair of 2's (? and ?) and here we go. We see a Q ? 10 ? 5 ? on the Flop, a 3 ? on the turn and a 5 ? on the river. Mortenson builds his stack up to the leader position again, and this time at Caro's expense as he comes in 5th place. He only gets 1 point and he needs to place in the Top 3 for the final round to secure himself a playoff spot.

Hand #7 - A now chip-full Mortenson raises to $90,000 with an A/4 ? suited. Violette goes all-in with a A ? 10 ?, so only a 4 can hurt her...until the flop, where a 2 ?, J ? 3 ? gives Mortenson some straight possibilities. An 8 ? won't help him, and neither will a 3 ? on the River. Violette doubles up and she moves to the top pack. The leader of the pack? Nguyen, who wrests control form Mortenson.

Hand #8 - Grey limps in with a J ? 9 ?. Mortenson raises with a J ? 5 ?. Grey calls, so we see a flop of K ? A ? K ?, which would be huge, except neither of them have anything. The first person that bets will win this one. Mortenson bets - and he wins the pot after Grey folds.

Hand #9 - Everyone folds so Mortenson gets to keep the big blind. Isnt't that nice of everyone?

Hand #10 - We haven't heard from Nguyen for awhile. We see him now, as he raises with black pocket rockets. Grey calls with a 10 ? 8 ?, and a Flop of 6 ? 5 ? 10 ? gives Grey top pair and he goes all-in. That turns out to be disaster as we know, because the Turn is a 2 ? and t he River is a 3 ?. Nguyen eliminates Grey and becomes the new chip leader. Grey is the first eliminated person who didnt really need to win any points.

Hand #11 - Nguyen goes all-in. Everyone else folds and he grabs the pot.

Hand #12 - Nguyen raises with a A/7 ?. Violette folds. Mortenson has a A ? 3 ? and folds. Nyguyen wins another pot.

Hand #13 - VIolette goes all-in with a 8 ? 6 ?. Mortenson calls with a 9 ?, 2 ?. With 2 bad hold sets, this could be close, and they get a piese of a 2 ? J ? 6 ?. A J ? and an A c' come up on the Turn and the River, and Violette doubles up with a pair of 6's.

Hand #14 - VIolette goes all-in again, but this time she has something (the something being an A ? 10 ?. Mortenson calls with a Q ? 7?. The flop this time - 9 ? 10 ? 2 ?, and Violette gets a pair. A 10 ? on the river gives her trips and another double-up. That jumps her into second and Mortenson is now the short stack.

Hand #15 - Violette goes all in with a K ? 7 ?. Nguyen calls with a Q ? 5 ?. The flop is a 3 ? 7 ? K ?. That gives Violette 2 pair, and a 9 on the turn locks it up. Violette doubles again, but Nguyen still has the lead.

Hand #16 - Nguyen goes all-in this time with a 9 ? 9 ?. Mortenson calls with a A ? 4 ?. The flop is a A h' K ? 4 ?, which gives Mortenson some love. a K ? on the turn does no good, but an A ? on the River doubles up Mortenson. He's now the leader with 800,000+, Violette is now in second with 400,000+, and Nguyen is now in the basement with 200,000+.

Hand #17 - Mortenson goes all-in with the same 2's (? and ?) that knocked out Sexton. Violette calls with a K ? 9 ?. The flop is A ? Q ? 5 ?, so the 2's are still in the lead. The 8 ? is on the turn and on the River is...4 ?. The deuces work for the deuce...I mean second straight time. Violette finishes in third. We're down to Mortenson, with 1,240,000+ Vs. Nguyen, with around 260,000. Nguyen is going to need a few double ups.

Hand #18 - Mortenson goes all-in again with K ? J ? and Nguyen, with Q ? 2 ?, folds. Mortenson takes the pot and Nguyen's pile of chips continues to shrink.

Hand #19 - Nguyen goes all0in with a 9 ? 8 ?, while Mortenson has a A ? J ?. The flop is 2 ? 8 ? 6 ? which gives Nguyen a pair. He holds on through the turn and river to double up, which brings him up to...220.000, which isn't much against Mortenson's 1,280,000.

Hand #20 - Nguyen goes all-in again with a 9 ? 7 ?. Moretnson calls with a Q ? 2 ?. The flop gives Nguyen a pair of 7, but a Q ? on the Turn gives Mortenson the lead back, and a 8 ? on the River finishes the deal for Mortenson, who has now won 4 straight matches and has picked up his $40,000 entry fee back.

The winners here are clearly Mortenson, Violette, who has pretty much assured herself of the post-season, and Nguyen, who may have enough now and doesn't have to do much if he needs a few more points. Sexton and Caro really hurt themselves and are both vulnerable should a few more people do what Nguyen did. Who does this open the door for?

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

* - Have played in 5 matches

Why were we talking about opening the door? Because many of the middle people and the four people directly under the cutoff line have yet to play their fifth match. Join us in 7 days to see 6 of these people do so.

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