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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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August 7, 2005

With the first match of the last round being played, we are very aware of who is rooting for whom. If you are at the top, you are rooting for the middle people to knock off the leaders and to secure your position at the top. If you around the cut-off, you are rooting for the top or the eliminated players to beat the other contenders so you can sneak into the post-season. So who's playing this week in Elimination Match #22 and what do they need - or don't need - to see happen?

David Sklansky - A second or first place finish gives him the new point lead and gives Forrest no shot of having the Top seed. You better believe that Forrest, Liebert, Mortenson and Chan are looking for him to have a quick exit.

Cyndy Violette - She's probably in even if she takes no points. That being said, a top 4 finish guarantees her post-season play.

Eli Elezra - He's in the same boat as Cyndy, but getting any points will jump him over Tomko and will give him a HUGE buffer to get in the play-offs.

Mike Sexton - He's under the cut-off, so points is a priority. Finishing in the Top half will almost guarantee a play-off spot.

Huck Seed - He has 14 points. A win gets him into the post-season. Second place could get him in, but he needs some serious help. Anything less, and he probably goes bye-bye.

John Myung - He is already mathematically eliminated, but $10,000 could be his should he win this event.

Hand #1 - Violette decides o play with a A ? 2 ?. Seed goes all-in with a 10 ? 3 ? and Violette doesn't think here hand is good enough. She folds and Seed does what he needs to do - be aggressive.

Hand #2 - Elezra is also aggressive, but he's not going to play a 4/3 off-suit. Seed will play a 8 ? 5 ? off-suit and Myung, with a 9 ? 7 ?, calls. The flop is a Q ? 8 ? 5 ?, Both people check on that and the turn of a 3 ?. They also check on the J ? on the river, which is silly for Seed, because he has 2 pair and the win. Could that be a blown opportunity for Seed to be aggressive and get chips?

Hand #3 - Elezra tests the waters with a Q ? J ?. Sklansky however is a shark with an A ? Q ? and calls it. The Flop has a 7 ? 6 ? 9 ?, which gives Elezra flush and straight possibilities. A J ? on the Turn gives Elezra the lead with a pair and the K ? on the river gives Elezra a flush. It's Sklansky who bets, though, and Elezra quickly calls and takes some chips from Sklansky as well as the early lead.

Hand #4 - Sklansky limps in with pocket 5's (? and ?). Myung has pocket 4's (? and ?) and raises. Elezra calls with a J/8 ?, as does Sklansky with his 5's. The Flop is 10 ? K ? 2 ?, and with no help to anyone, Sklansky still has the best hand. Everyone checks to the Turn, which is a 3 ?. Again no help to anyone and again, Sklansky has the best hand. Elezra decides to test the waters and bet. Sklansky folds, but Myung calls, and Sklansky's bailing out gives Myung the best hand. The river is the 6 ? and Myung is the winner, unless Elezra bluffs him out of it, as Eli tries to do with a $100,000 bet. Myung calls and Elezra takes a huge hit on his chips.

Hand #5 - Elezra is short-stacked, and decides not to play the hand. Sklansky does, and he goes all-in with a A ? 6 ?. Seed calls with a A ? 10 ?. The Flop - 2 ? 3 ? 7 ?. The Turn is a 7 ? and Sklansky needs a 2, 3 or 6. The River is none of that - 8 ?. Sklansky, who is the person who is the least hurt with a goose egg, gets exactly that, and Chan, Mortenson, Liebert, Forrest, and everyone else at the table not named John Myung is celebrating and benefitting.

Hand #6 - Seed (Q ?, 5 ?) and Myung (7 ?, 3 ?) call. The Flop - 10 ? 10 ? 10 ?. Wow. The Turn (3 ?) and the River (K ?) gives Myung a Boat, but they both check through for a small gain for either person.

Hand #7 - Myung goes all-in with black 6's. Everyone else folds and Myung, with some blind collections, now takes the chip lead.

Hand #8 - Seed's got picture cards of a K ?J ? and raises. Elezra has a Q/9 ? suited and limps in. Sexton actually folds a pair, as his strategy os just to collect points. The 3 ? K ? 9 ? is on the Flop, the 3 ? is on th e Turn and the 8 ? is on the River. The players check through - but Seed, who has the best hand with 2 pair, bets $80,000 on the river. Elezra calls and he loses another chunk of his money, firmly placing him on the short stack.

Hand #9 - Elezra (K/9 ?) goes all-in. Violette (A ? / K ?) calls, as does Myung (K ? / J ?). The Flop is a Q ? 5? 3 ? which is smooth sailing for VIolette. The turn is a 3 ?, which is also good for Violette, but the J ? is disaster on the River, because that pairs Myung and gives him the win. He forces VIolette to go all-in. She calls, and she is out in 4th place. Elezra finishes in 5th, because VIolette had more chips than him on that last hand. The 4th place finish will get Violette in the finals, while Elezra is in great shape.

Hand #10 - That is huge for Sexton, who can now go all-in as he is in third. All-in for him is a A/J ?, but Myung has 7's (? and ?) calls - and raises to keep Seed out of the action. Seed folds and we have a race situation. The Flop - 10 ?, J ?, 4 ?. The turn is a 10 ? and the only think that bails out Myung is a 7. The River - a 10 ? and Sexton has a boat. Sexton and Myung are now tied with $460,000, while Seed is leading both of them with $580,000.

Hand #11 - The Flop is a 2 ? 9 ? 7 ?. That is a flush draw and Sexton has no diamonds. Myung doesn't either but he bets and Sexton folds.

Hand #12 - Sexton limps in with a K ? 10 ? Seed raises with...5 ? 2 ?? Sexton curses himself out and folds.

Hand #13 - Myung plays and calls an A/J ?. Sexton goes all-in with a A ? 7 ? and that's trouble as Myung calls. The Flop is huge for Sexton, as a 7 ? 5 ? 5 ? pops out. the Turn is an 8 ? and the Rivers is an A ?. Sexton now takes the lead and Myung is on life support with 15,000.

Hand #14 - Myung goes all-in with 6's. Sexton calls with a Q ? 7 ? while Seed also calls with a 9 ? 8 ?. The Flop has Q ? Q ? 3 ?, giving Mike a set of Queens. A J ? comes on the Turn and Myung is drawing dead. the 5 ? on the River doesn't matter and Myung is out in third. It doesn't matter what happened, as Myung goes bye-bye.

Hand #15 - It's now heads up between Sexton and Seed. The Flop is a 3 ? 3 ? 3 ?. Neither of them has 3's but Sexton has the best hand with a King high. Seed bets and Sexton calls. the Turn is a Queen of clubs and we have a pair of checks. The River is... a 10 ? and Sexton is the winner - unless Seed can bluff him out, and he tries to with a $150,000 bet. Sexton calls and he wins a huge pot from Seed. Sexton leads big, $1,270,000 to $230,000 and Seed, who really needs to win this match to advance to the post-season, is in serious trouble.

Hand #16 - Seed wants to bet with a J ? 7 ?. Sexton, with a K/4 ?, limps in. No hearts with a 5 ? 2 ? J ? and a 7 ?, but that, and a Q ? on the River, gives Seed 2 pair and a winning hand. Seed bets, but this time he has something. Sexton smells that something is up and he bails.The lead is now cut to 890,000 for Sexton Vs. 610,000 for Seed.

Hand #17 - Sexton is not fooling around with Vowels (A ?, A ?) but it's Seed who raises with J ? 10 ?. Oops. Sexton goes all-in and Seed has a decision to make. He decides to not make it and folds, putting Sexton back over the million chip mark.

During the break, Seed takes the Chip Lead. Of course, we dont see THAT hand.

Hand #18 - Sexton goes all-in with a 9/8 ? Seed calls with a K/5 ?. The Flop is...6 ? 2 ? 10; Sexton needs a 7 for a straight. A Q ? comes up on the turn and now Sexton needs a 7, 8, 9, 10, or Jack to stick around. The River...a J ?! Sexton takes the chip lead back and the tables are reversed.

Hand #19 - Seed goes all-in with a K ? 8 ?. Sexton calls with...Black Queens. Yipes. The Flop this time is a A ? 3 ? K ? and Seed retakes the lead. The Turn is a 7 ? and Sexton needs a Queen to win the competition. The River is a 10 ? and Seed takes the lead right back.

Hand #20 - Sexton folds. Seed wins and builds his lead.

Hand #21 - Seed goes all-in again with a 6 ? 5 ?. This time, Sexton, with a A/10 ?, catches Seed's hand in the cookie jar and calls. The Flop - K ? J ? 8 ? Things are looking good for Sexton to double up, and a 4 ? will only help. The only thing that will stop Sexton from continuing in the match is a 5, 6, or 7. The River....6 ?!!! Huck Seed wins the Hand, wins the match, wins $10,000 and will qualify for the post-season. Wow.

Sexton, Seed and Violette are now safely into the post-season. Elezra is almost in. This does no favors to Hoff, who is hanging on by a thread, and Brunson, who will seriously need some help. Let's see who else needs help as we see the standings.

*40 - IN - Ted Forrest
40 - IN - Kathy Liebert
40 - IN - Carlos Mortenson
37 - IN - Johnny Chan
*35 - IN - David Sklansky
32 - IN - Freddie Deeb
*30 - IN - David Grey
26 - IN - Todd Brunson
*26 - IN - Cyndy Violette
*25 - IN - Mike Sexton
*24 - IN - Huck Seed
*23 - Eli Elezra
*22 - Dewey Tomko
*21 - Doyle Brunson
21 - Scotty Nguyen
*19 - Bobby Hoff
19 - Chau Giang
18 - Mimi Tran
*17 - OUT - Tommy Wang
17 - Barry Greenstein
16 - Mike Caro
*12 - OUT - John Myung
7 - OUT - Antonio Esfandiari
5 - OUT - Chris Moneymaker

* - Have played in 6 matches

Next week - We see more people secure their spots to continue playing. Could this spell the end of Mr. Hoff? Tune in on 7 days to find out.

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