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

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Hosts:
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 14, 2005

We are up to the penultimate match-up - Elimination Match #23. Who can hold on to first? Who can hold on to a good seed? Who can just hold on? Let's see where everyone is and what they need to do to hold what they've got.

Carlos Mortenson - He has 40 points. A win will guarantee him no worse than a tie for the most amount of chips going into the post-season.

Freddie Deeb - He has 32 points. He needs a win and a quick exit from Mortensen to have any shot at taking over the chip lead.

Chau Giang - He has 19 points. As long as he doesn't finish in the bottom two, he will make the play-offs. If he does fall 5th or 6th, then he is out and Eli Elezra will be very happy.

Mimi Tran - She is on the outside looking in with 18 points. She needs to finish in the Top 3 to make the post-season. Anything less than that and she will be the only female to not advance.

Mike Caro - He has a tougher road to hoe. At 16 points, the Mad Genius must come in the Top 2, or he will be mad because he won't get any more screen time

Chris Moneymaker - With a measly 5 points so far, he's not going to get any more screen time. A win gives him $10,000, but that would be around it.

Hand #1 - Everyone folds to Moneymaker - who has bullets. Ouch! Such has been the life of Moneymaker, who has been in Suckville for the whole tournament.

Hand #2 - Moneymaker plays a Q ? 10 ? and raises it. Giang has Big Chick (A ? Q ?) and calls. Caro calls with a K/J ?. Meanwhile, Deeb has a A ? 6 ? and goes ALL-IN! Moneymaker folds. Giang Folds. Caro folds. Deeb wins with a hand that's not the best at the table.

Hand #3 - Now it's Tran who has bullets. She was a little raise to $45,000. Caro has Big Slick (A ? K ?) and goes ALL-IN! Deeb has pocket red tens...and folds. Apparently, he sensed something, and he's right as Tran calls and shows everyone her vowels. The Flop - 4 ? K ? 9 ?. Caro pairs his kings, but he needs another one to better the Aces. A J ? is on the Turn. The River...3 ? Caro is not only out of the match, but because he was under the cut-off line, he's also now out of the tournament. Bye-bye, Caro. He's not the only one eliminated - because he leaves now, that guarantees that someone will jump over Bobby Hoff, which means that he TOO is now eliminated. Bye-bye, Hoff. Hello Elezra, who now gets in because of Caro's elimination. Holy ramifications, Batman.

Hand #4 - Tran has a K ?/ J ? and raises. Deeb re-raises with a...7/5 off-suit? Wha? Tran goes over the top and goes all-in and Deeb has no choice but to fold.

Let's profile Chris Moneymaker. He first went to college for biology, then spent more time in Accounting. He wants to stay there and make poker a hobby, but right now, he wants to play for the next 5 years and see what happens. If he keeps playing miserably like this, then he'll be doing taxes sooner rather than later.

Hand #5 - Deeb plays a 10 ? 8 ? and raises it again. Deeb is getting punch drunk. Mortensen is watching this and is smiling. Moneymaker calls with a K/5 ?. The Flop is a 4 ? J ? 9 ? and whle Deeb has a straight draw, Moneymaker has a flush draw. They both check and a 2 ? pops out on the turn. This time, Moneymaker does bet and Deeb lets Moneymaker win the hand. That now gives Moneymaker the chip lead.

Hand #6 - Moneymaker goes All-In with a K ? 6 ?, but Tran, with a pair of black 7's, catches Moneymaker's hand in the cookie jar and calls. The Flop, 10 ? 10 ? Q ?, favors Tran. The Turn (A ?) and River (8 ?) also favor Tran, so she doubles up and chips away at Moneymaker's chips.

Hand #7 - Everyone folds to Deeb, who wins with an Ace/2 Off-suit. Deeb goes after Giang for not playing a hand yet. Giang knows that he only needs two people to be knocked off, so he's not going to play anything yet.

Hand #8 - Giang FINALLY plays - and goes All-In with a K ? Q ?. Mortensen calls with a J ? 10 ? and Giang has the better hand. The Flop is a Q ? 6 ? K ? and while Giang has 2 pair (Kings and Queens),an Ace or 9 will give Mortensen the straight and eliminate Giang from the competition. The turn (5 ?) and the river (4 ?) doesn't give Mortensen the straight and Giang stays alive by doubling up. Moneymaker is still an overwhelming leader.

Hand #9 - Mortensen raises with a J ? 9 ?. Tran decides to call with a Q/J ?. the Flop is a 6 ? 2 ? 3 ? and Tran has a flush draw. Indeed, she goes all-in on it and Mortensen, who gets nothing from the draw, gets out of Tran's way.

Hand #10 - Mortensen has...A ? A ?. That's the third time today that we've seen pocket Aces! He raises small and looks to get a fish. He's got one in Deeb, who lims in with a 5 ? 3 ?. The Flop is 3 ? 7 ? J ? and Deeb pairs the 3's (though Mortensen is still in front with the Aces). Carlos bets the minimum $30,000 (and Deeb calls) with his pair of Aces. Make it a set of Aces with a A ? on the Turn. Mortensen once again bets the minimum abd Deeb once again calls. The River is a 9 ? and this time, Mortensen $60,000. Deeb doesn't bet now and Mortensen takws a nice pot.

Hand #11 - Moneymaker plays a K/J ?. Mortensen calls with a K/3 ?. The Flop has a 6 ? 5 ? A ?, which gives Moneymaker the lead, but it also gives Mortensen a flush draw. Both players check. The Turn is a 6 ?. Mortensen checks, but Moneymaker bets $60,000. Mortensen calls and looks for a flush. He doesn't find it, but he does find a 3 ? on the River for a pair and the best hand. They both check and Moneymaker should have fired a bet. That gives Mortensen both the win and now the chip lead.

Hand #12 - Mortensen has some lovely ladies (? ?) and calls. Moneymaker, who is probably steamed from the last hand and could be on Tilt, calls with a 8 ? 5 ?? Has Moneymaker been taking Deeb lessons? The Flop is a 2 ? 4 ? 2 ? and Mortensen, who is firmly in control, bets. Moneymaker inexplicably calls as we see a 9 ? on the turn. Mortensen check and sets the trap for Moneymaker, who falls right in and bets $125,000. Mortensen goes over the top and goes all-in. Moneymaker, who sees that he is on tilt, gets off the Tilt button and folds. Moretnsen has over $800,000 in chips.

Hand #13 - Deeb is All-In with...8 ? 5 ?? What's up with 8/5 off-suit? Moneymaker also goes all-in with a K ? 6 ?. The Flop - 10 ? 9 ? Q h. The 4 ? is on the Turn and Freddie needs an 8 or a 5. The river is a 2 ? and Deeb is eliminated. The top 5 are all happy, but Giang and Tran are the happiest from this, as they are both only 1 spot from getting into the play-offs.

Hand #14 - Giang goes All-In with a J ? 10 ?. Mortensen calls with...a 7 ? 6 ? and Moneymakes also calls with a 8 ? 7 ?. The Turn - 6 ? and the River - 3 ?. Everyone checks through and Mortensen wins it with 6's. Giang is out in 4th place.

We have more ramifications from that. Tran is now in the Play-offs. Giang, due to a tie-breaker win over Tomko, is also in the Playoffs. Tomko is not in such good shape anymore, while Doyle Brunson is now hanging to his playoff hopes on by a small thin thread.

Hand #15 - Moneymaker goes All-In with a A ? 6 ?. Tran, with a K.2 ? and with no presure anymore, calls. She's happy with a 7 ? 3 ? K ? on the Flop (because it gives her a pair of Kings)...then unhappy with a A ? on the Turn (because it gives Moneymaker a pair of Aces)...then thrilled with a K ? on the River (because it gives Tran 3 Kings and the win)! All of that frustrates Moneymaker, but this is what he's been dealing with throughout the tournament, so why should now be any different?

Hand #16 - Mortensen goes all-in with a A ? 10 ? and Moneymaker, with a very short stack, now has to call witha 9 ? 5 ?. The Flop is a 3 ? 6 ? 7 ?, and Moneymaker has two chances with a straight with a 4 or an 8. The 4 ? on the turn gives Moneymaker the straight and he wins an All-In. Whoopie!

Hand #17 - Moneymaker goes All-In again with a J/3 ? and Tran calls with a A ? 5 ?. The Flop is a 6 ? 6 ? 10 ?, which is no help to Moneymaker. Neither is a 9 ? on the Turn or a K ? on the River. Moneymaker is gone in 3rd place. The good news is that it was his best performance. The bad news is that he won't be able to improve on that, because he's not making the post-season.

Hand #18 - Mortensen has $865,000, while Tran, taking Moneymaker's stash, has $635,000. Tran goes All-In with a Q ? 8 ?. Mortensen has little red deuces - and calls. The Flop - 4 ? K ? Q ? and Tran gets a pair of ladies. Mortensen needs a deuce, which isn't on the Turn (8 ?) or River (K ?). Tran now leads 1,270,000 to $230,000 and Mortensen's 4 week win streak is in Jeopardy...

Hand #19...and it's riding on his 8 ? 5 ?. Again with the 8/5 off suit???!!!?? Tran calls with a Q ? 4 ? and Mortensen needs help. He's not going to get it on the Flop, with a Q ? K ? 8 ? K ? 5 ?. Tran gets the win, $10,000 and a nice boost to her post-season stash.

It's important to someone else - Kathy Liebert can be the overall point leader with a victory on the next show. Chan, with a win, can tie for the leadership position with Mortensen. This is making the last match very interesting. Let's see how this sets up the last Elimination match...

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

* - Have played in 6 matches

14 out of the 16 post-season spots are set. Next week, Kathy Liebert and Johnny CHan look to take the first placed spot from Carlos Mortensen, whlie Scotty Nguyen and Barry Greenstein look to take over the last two positions, which are currently held by Doyle Brunson and Dewey Tomko. Join us next week to see if any of these people achieve their objectives

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