APPT Sydney: Final Table Action

December 16, 2007

PokerStars Video Blog
Monday forecast tournament of champions

APPT Sydney Grand Final Final Table intro:

8.15pm — Lei He regains the chip lead

In a fierce battle of the blinds, Lei He has come up trumps to take over a 1 million dollar pot away from chip leader Sol Bergren and take the chip lead.

Sol completed the small blind. Lei He then Raised to 150k in the big blind, and it was back to Bergren. Bergren announced “Raise” which was initially mistaken as an all-in raise. Sol corrected the floor staff and made it another 400k to go.

Lei He then announced re-raise and “all-in” right on the dinner break. With 2.5 million the additional amount bet by Lei He.

It was then into the tank for chip leader Sol Bergren, who had Lei He covered in chips, but couldn’t call and went away minutes later.

It’s Dinner Time at the Star City Casino in Sydney.

Chip Counts:

  • Lei He – AUS – 3.6 million
  • Sol Bergren – CAD – 3.4 million (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Jeremiah Vinsant – USA – 2.05 million (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Grant Levy – AUS – 1.4 million
  • Jai Kemp OUT
  • Barry Kohlhoff OUT
  • John Matwey OUT
  • Vijayan Nagarajan OUT
  • Larry Wright OUT

Play will recommence in approximately an hour and 15 minutes time.

8.00pm — It’s all about Sol!

PokerStars qualifier Sol Bergren has taken a big chip lead and is enjoying the short-handed play. In a hand just minutes ago, Sol made it 175k to go. Lei He then pumped it up to 475k total.

The action was back to our chip leader who announced “All-In” after deliberating. Bergren has Lei He covered in chips and Lei folds gifting Sol a million dollar pot and the Canadian continues to accumulate at the top of the chip leaderboard. Sol Bergren is sitting pretty with over 4 million in chips, while little is going the way of Lei He in the past 15mins who has been very busy raising many pots.

Meantime, World Champion Scotty Nguyen has been gracious enough to take time out to walk around the floor with microphone in hand to congratulate all of the players, organisers and dealers, with the local crowd in hysterics. Team PokerStars Pro Isabelle Mercier has also graced the tournament floor and the atmosphere with their presence has picked up noticeably.

7.45pm — Steal gone wrong?

On the very first hand of the evening former chip leader Lei He and Grant Levy mixed it up with Lei He the victor with an all-in push. Come hand 74 and the roles have reversed. The action folded to Lei He on the button who raised it to 170,000. Grant Levy in the small blind then quickly re-raised the minimum to 350,000 with Lei He calling the extra.

The flop came: Qc 10h 5d with both players checking to the turn, where the action heated up…

The turn paired the board, with a 5 of spade.

Levy checks and Lei He bets out 300,000 into the pot. Levy then announced he was all in for 785,000 total. Lei He went into the tank and eventually folds his hand and the crowd goes up when Levy takes down the 1.5 million pot.

7.30pm – After a slow and cautious level 24, things have certainly alive in level 25 with the finish line firmly in sight. The Canadian Sol Bergren has just scooped a massive pot of 2 million. On the button, Jeremiah Vinsant raised to 175,000 and Bergren called from the small blind. Both players checked the flop of 3c 4d Jd, then Bergren bet 250,000 when the 9d hit on the turn. Vinsant called, and watched the 7h land on the river. This time, Bergren popped it up an extra 500,000 and again, Vinsant called. Bergren showed pocket threes for a flopped set, taking down a huge pot.

7.15pm — Jai Kemp, Australia, eliminated in fifth place for $158,830.
Two players have been eliminated on consecutive hands (20 minutes apart due to filming commitments). The father-of-four pushed all-in from the cut-off for 370,000. Grant Levy called, making the pot worth about 800,000. Kemp was ahead with Ah 7s while Levy showed As 2h. The flop (Kc 2c 6h) gave Levy bottom pair, but the turn (Ad) gave Kemp more outs. The river (4s) missed him – Levy is now up to more than 1 million in chips. However, Kemp was more than happy to have turned an $11 on PokerStars into more than $150,000. “I might have a drink to celebrate, then sleep for four days,” he said. Four players remain: two Australians, one American and one Canadian.

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Jai Kemp (Australia)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Jai Kemp (Australia)

7.00pm – Barry Kohlhoff, USA, eliminated in sixth place for $115,100

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Barry Kohlhoff (USA)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Barry Kohlhoff

The tournament has lost PokerStars qualifier Barry Kohlhoff from the USA.

Kohlhoff eliminated Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem yesterday and put up a good showing to finish 6th after tripling up earlier.

Sol Bergren made it 180k to go from the button, and Barry came over the top from the small blind. Sol asked for a count, with Barry all-in for 570k

Sol then calls and shows down pocket 9’s.

Sol: 9s 9h

Barry: A-8 of hearts

The flop came: 6d 9d Ts, no hearts, giving Sol a set, with Barry now looking for a 7 for a straight.

The turn was a blank 4 of clubs and the river a 3 of hearts and Kohlhoff’s tournament is over. Barry Kohlhoff had promised his daughter he would take her shopping this week in Sydney, before going deep. Barry now grins as he has over $100k to go to town with!

6.45pm – Chip Counts:

Players have taken a 10 minute break…

  • Jeremiah Vinsant – USA – 3.47 million (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Lei He – AUS – 3.37 million
  • Sol Bergren – CAD – 1.825 million (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Grant Levy – AUS – 855,000
  • Barry Kohlhoff – USA – 640,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Jai Kemp – AUS – 385,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • John Matwey OUT
  • Vijayan Nagarajan OUT
  • Larry Wright OUT

6.30pm — Action slows

The play has slowed considerably this round since the elimination of John Matwey in a 3-way all-in confrontation. Levy has pushed his stack around enough to put him among the chip leaders, and as the player previously offering the most action, he has since steadied. Very little post-flop play this level, with no player keen to commit their chips at this final table. With all of these young players deep in concentration, it appears that it will take an action flop or two big hands to spark up the play any time soon. PokerStars qualifier Jeremiah Vinsant appears to be making the best moves at the moment, and has moved to a clear chip lead.

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Jeremiah ‘John’ Vinsant (USA)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Jeremiah ‘John’ Vinsant (USA)

6.15pm — Blinds are now 30k/60k with 5k ante.
The price of poker is about to get very expensive with each round costing 120,000. The all-in play is becoming more prevalent, but there are few takers in return. On hand 52, Sol Bergren reraised Vinsant’s pre-flop raise of 105,000 to 330,000. Vinsant called, the flop showed 2s Qh 4c, and then added an extra 500,000. Bergren thought for a moment then declared all-in but both players showed A Q for a rare moment of levity at a final table that’s been lacked much in the way of friendly banter, aside from the affable Barry Kohlhoff.

6.00pm – After a slight hiccup on hand 46 (when Barry Kohlhoff discovered he had three hole cards instead of two), Lei He picks up where he left off with a series of aggressive moves to take down three of ther last five hands. Jeremiah Vinsant, the young online standout from Tennesee has caught up to local hope Lei He and now holds an almost identical stack. Seventh-place finisher John Matwey has just popped by our desk for a quick chat and said he favoured Vinsant to go all the way to victory, but that Levy would be a danger if he chipped up. Let’s see if the New Yorker is on the money!

Chip Counts:

  • Lei He – AUS – 3.3 million
  • Jeremiah Vinsant 3.3– USA – 3.3 million (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Sol Bergren – CAD – 1.7 million (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Jai Kemp – AUS – 700,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Barry Kohlhoff – USA – 650,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Grant Levy – AUS – 900,000
  • John Matwey OUT
  • Vijayan Nagarajan OUT
  • Larry Wright OUT

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6.00pm — Chip Counts:

  • Jeremiah Vinsant – USA – (PokerStars Qualifier) – 3200000
  • Lei He – AUS -3100000
  • Sol Bergren – CAD – (PokerStars Qualifier) – 1750000
  • Grant Levy – AUS -900000
  • Jai Kemp – AUS – (PokerStars Qualifier) – 870000
  • Barry Kohlhoff – USA – (PokerStars Qualifier) – 740000
  • John Matwey OUT
  • Vijayan Nagarajan OUT
  • Larry Wright OUT

Grant Levy’s continuous aggression has seen him move closer to those in front of him in chips.

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Grant Levy (Australia)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Grant Levy (Australia)

5.45pm — I’ll show you!

Short stack Grant Levy has been very active in getting his last 400k into the middle with many all-in announcements this level, and the action has been continually folded back to him to scoop the blinds and antes.

A lot of player choose to never show their hand down and give information to their opponents, but the “don’t show winning hand” or “auto-muck” buttons do not exist for Grant Levy. It is becoming a trademark of Grant’s to show down one ace each time he folds. His biggest pot this level however has been in a re-raise all-in over the top of Jai Kemp.

Jai raised to 140k and the action was folded to Levy who announced all-in for an additional 350k. Jai went into the tank before folding. Levy AGAIN showed, this time with pocket 8’s.

Watching Grant Levy play is like watching action with the cards face up!

5.30pm — Young guns exchange in a 1.1million dollar pot.

Jeremiah Vinsant raised to 80k on button, only to be re-raised by Sol Bergren with a similar sized stack from the big blind. Bergren bumps it up an additional 150k and Jeremiah stares down his opponent before calling.

Flop comes: Qc 4d Jd

Bergren leads out for 300k but Vinsant is not going anywhere and calls instantly. Over 1million in the pot at this stage

The turn comes a 3 of spade

Bergren slows down and checks, but is on the receiving end of a quick all-in announcement by Vinsant who looks very confident in where he is at in the hand, as he sits back briefly to take a mouthful of his drink. Bergren picks up on this, as he folds.

5.15pm – John Matwey, USA, eliminated in seventh place for $92,080, blinds are now 20k/40k with 5k ante. 

In the biggest pot of the tournament to date, short-stacked Barry Kohlhoff (300,000) pushed all-in (with J 9), Jeremiah Vinsant re-raised all-in with pocket fives and was followed by another all-in from John Matwey with A K, Kohlhoff calling. Massive action! The flop comes 4c 9h 7d, turn 10c and river Qd, allowing the short stack Barry Kohlhoff to triple-up to one million and sending John Matwey to the rail in seventh position after Vinsant won the side pot. The risk manager was happy with his play – “the first two decent cards I’ve seen all day”.

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: John Matwey (USA)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: John Matwey (USA)

5.00pm — As the rain pours down outside Star City (and starts to drip through the roof), Grant Levy is under the pump. The short stack with just under 300,000, he pushed in his chips on the first hand after the break but there was no interest from the other six players. The Sydney school teacher is going to need some luck to work his way back into the final table after losing a slab of chips to fellow Sydney player Jai Kemp.

4.45pm – Vijayan Nagarajan, Malaysia, eliminated in eighth place for $69,060

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Vijayan Nagarajan (Malaysia)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Vijayan Nagarajan (Malaysia) 8th place

Insta-action! Just a hand after winning a 400k pot against Barry Kohlhoff, Vijayan Nagarajan put his tournament life on the line with Pocket 7’s in a battle of the blinds. The action was folded to the blinds, where confident youngster Jeremiah Vinsant raised to 90k. Vijayan instantly announced all-in, only to receive an instacall!

Vinsant revealed big slick (Ac Kd) with Nagarajan rolling over pocket 7s.

The flop came down: 6h Kc Jc with a King in the window for Vinsant who has Vijayan covered in chips.

The turn is an Ace of spade, and Vinsant only got stronger, making 2-pair with Vijayan seeking one of two red 7’s in the deck for his tournament life.

The river is a Jack of hearts and we lose our second player today. Players are now on a short break and play will resume shortly. The big movers this level have been Jeremiah Vinsant and Jai Kemp, with Grant Levy slipping to bottom in chips with just 295k.

Chip Counts:

  • Lei He – AUS – 3,125,000
  • Jeremiah Vinsant – USA – 2,550,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Sol Bergren – CAD – 2,450,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Jai Kemp – AUS – 1,170,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • John Matwey – USA – 560,000
  • Barry Kohlhoff – USA – 525,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Grant Levy – AUS – 295,000
  • Vijayan Nagarajan OUT
  • Larry Wright OUT

4.30pm — Biggest pot of the final table

Roughly 800k went into the middle in hand 24 of the final table. Grant Levy raised to 80k in early position, only to be reraised by Jai Kemp, to 180 straight on the button. Grant calls immediately and to the flop we go…

Flop comes: Ah 8s As and the audience groan, sigh and giggle.

Grant Checks and Jai bets out 100k.

Grant then announces raise and pops it up to 250k total.

Jai sits back in his sit and stares Grant and the pot down, before counting out his remaining chips.

In the biggest decision for any player so far on the final table, Jai deliberates for several minutes before announcing all-in. Jai then slams the table in excitement as Grant passes immediately.

“You wouldn’t want to watch that one on TV”, said Jai with relief.

4.15pm — Blinds are now 15k/30k with 5k ante. 
Sol Bergren has travelled further than any of the other final table participants for the APPT Grand Final. Hailing from Saskatchewan in Canada, he’s made the most of his experience in Sydney and showed he wasn’t about to let the locals push him around. Sitting in the cut-off, he opened the betting with a 70,000 raise. Grant Levy made the call from the big blind. Both players checked the flop of 8c Jd 2d, then Levy bet 60,000 on the turn of 10h. Bergren called, and saw the Ah land on the river. Levy again checked, but the Canadian fired in 200k and won a nice pot.

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Sol Bergren (Canada)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Sol Bergren (Canada)

4.00pm – The local players have been the most active over the past few hands, with Grany Levy taking down a couple of nice pots. When the action folded to Levy in hand 15, he raised it up to 76,000. Sol Bergren called in the big blind. On a flop of 9s 5c Qs, Bergren checked, Levy bet 100,000 and Bergren called. Both players checked the turn (2s) and river (6c). Levy’s aggression was rewarded when he showed pocket kings to win a pot worth takes down a pot worth approximately 400,000.

Chip Counts

  • Lei He 3,360,000
  • Sol Bergren 2,570,000
  • Jeremiah Vinsant 1,500,000
  • Grant Levy 800,000
  • Jai Kemp 580,000
  • Vijayan Nagarajan 520,000
  • Barry Kohlhoff 480,000
  • John Matwey 410,000

3.45pm – It’s been interesting to watch the reasonably inexperienced (certainly in terms of playing at televised final tables) players carefully picking their mark in the first 10 hands. No-one wants to be bullied, but no-one else wants to risk their tournament life. Aside from Wright’s elimination, it’s been a case of raise-fold, either pre-flop or after the flop. Lei He’s stack is now above 3 million as he puts some daylight between himself and Sol Bergren (2.7 million).

3.30pm — Larry Wright, USA, eliminated in ninth place for $46,040
A cruel 5th hand of the Final Table for Larry Wright, who was eliminated by chip leader Lei He from Sydney. Lei He raised to 70k from middle position, and Larry Wright announced all-in from the cutoff. The button and blinds both folded. The action went back around to Lei who asked for a count – TD Danny McDonagh announcesa an additional 250k to He. Lei He ponders, and calls. Our first all-in on the final table in just 15 minutes.

APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Larry Wright (USA)
APPT Sydney 2007 Final Table: Larry Wright (USA) 9th place

The players roll over:

Lei He: Ks Qh

Larry Wright: As Jd

Flop: Td 5c 5d

Turn: 3c

River: Kh

Lei He hits one of his 6 outs on the river to eliminate the American player and extend his chip lead. Lei He now holds 3.2million in chips with 10.5million on the table. Almost one third of the chips to our early chip leader. The average stack stands at 1.3 million.

3.15pm — Blinds start at 12k/24k with 4k ante.
Local players Lei He and Grant Levy tangled early in the very first hand of the tournament with chip leader Lei He putting Levy to the ultimate test with a re-raise all-in post-flop, forcing Levy off his hand, after pairing the board. Early ascendancy to the chip leader.

3:00pm — Chip Counts

  • Lei He – AUS – 2,623,000
  • Sol Bergren – CAD – 2,601,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Jeremiah Vinsant – USA – 1,649,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Grant Levy – AUS – 1,052,000
  • Barry Kohlhoff – USA – 647,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Vijayan Nagarajan – MAL – 641,000
  • John Matwey – USA – 498,000
  • Jai Kemp – AUS – 461,000 (PokerStars Qualifier)
  • Larry Wright – USA – 376,000


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