NAPT Los Angeles: Levels 5-9 live updates (400-800-100)

November 12, 2010


11.20pm: Done
Day 1A of NAPT Los Angeles is over. Nicholas Gripo is the chip leader with 235,100, marginally ahead of Thomas Middleton, whose quads in the last few hands took a huge chunk out of Matt Woodward.

11:10pm: Middleton’s quads decimate Woodward
We only saw this one on the river, but it was QUITE the river. With the board reading 3♦7♦8♥6♣3♠, Tom Middleton moved all-in for 72,000 and after a long tank, Matt Woodward made the call. Middleton revealed 3♣3♥ in the hole for quads and Woodward quietly mucked his hand. One of the first players to pass the six-figure mark, Woodward is down to (a still workable) 30 big blinds, while Middleton stacked up 229,100, good for second in chips overall.

10:55pm: With 20 minutes to go, a double for Mercier
“How do you always have 100,000 in every tournament?” quipped one of Jason Mercier’s pals hovering near his table. Mercier dismissed it with a shrug, not knowing that in only a few minutes’ time, he’d double that stack.

On a K♦J♣8♦ flop, the small blind led out for 7,500 and Mercier called. When the 6♦ hit the turn, the small blind slowed down and checked, Mercier bet 16,500 and his opponent decided to pull the trigger, moving the rest of his chips in the middle. Mercier snap-called, tabling 3♦5♦ for a flush. The small blind sheepishly turned over A♦5♣ and needed a diamond to survive. The river blanked out, however, and Mercier felted yet another opponent, taking his stack up to a formidable 177,000.

10:39pm: Chad Brown secures his Day 2 spot
It’s not been a blockbuster day for Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown, but with half an hour left on Day 1A, Brown just spiked a flopped set of queens to double up to more than 50,000, very near the current average.

10:41pm: Not a chip to Kling to
It seemed like Lauren Kling could not get anything going today. Short-stacked and needing a double-up to take her to Day 2, she committed the last of her chips with K♣J♥ but could not improve against her opponent’s pocket tens. One less Pilates aficionado in the room.

NAPT LA 2010_$5KMainEvent_Day1A_Joe Giron_JGP3589.jpg

Lauren Kling awaits her fate

10:36pm: Fischman falls, doubles back
Well this was going to be a post about big stacks falling on hard times, with the first two men to cross the 150,000 mark seeing their stacks shrivel over the course of the last level. Formerly on 180,000 in chips, John Phan is presently down to 107,000 while one table over, Scott Fischman’s stack was reduced from over 150,000 to about 65,000. Fischman, however, just found a double-up when his opponent shoved over his turn bet with the board reading 9♠3♣2♦J♦. Fischman quickly called and turned over a set of deuces to his opponent’s pocket tens. The board paired nines on the river, Fischman’s boat good for a double-up to more than 130,000.

10.30pm: November None
We started today with three members of last week’s November Nine in our midst. But there are none remaining. Matt Jarvis was just seen packing his bags and heading out the door, following Soi Nguyen and Joseph Cheong out of this tournament.

Jason Senti is expected in town to play day 1B tomorrow. World Champion Jonathan Duhamel, meanwhile, is on a whistlestop tour of just about every television set and radio studio in Canada, so won’t be making it to the Bike this week.

10:20pm: Levy leveled, Katz on the climb
It was, in the words of Adam Levy “(Expletive deleted) brutal.”

He led out on a flop of 7♦J♣K♦. Cary Katz put in a raise that Levy considered for about 30 seconds before moving all-in. Katz moved quickly with the call. Levy showed 7♥7♠ to Katz’s J♦8♦. The turn brought the 10♣ and more outs for Katz. The river filled in the straight and the flush with the 9♦. Cue Levy’s expletive and his exit. Meanwhile, Katz is stacking around 150,000 in chips.

10:15pm: Tidmarsh done
PokerStars qualifier Blair Tidmarsh spent the entire day on the grind. In the early going, his flopped threes-full of aces ended up getting rivered by jacks full. Moments ago, he got ace-queen in against tens and couldn’t win the race.

10.10pm: A window into Hunichen’s world
As we reported not so long ago, Chris Hunichen came from essentially nowhere to seize the day 1a chip lead. And although details of this carving through the field are still a little scarce, we’re beginning to piece together some evidence to hint at the manner of his elevation.

Firstly, there’s no longer a man named Antonio Esfandiari at his table, which is likely to be contributory. Esfandiari moved about 80,000 chips into Hunichen’s field of vision about 90 minutes ago, but he’s now completely vanished. Hunichen may have been at least partly responsible.

Furthermore, a recent pre-flop raising war demonstrated that this is a man not to be messed with. A player made it 2,000 from mid-position, Hunichen raised to 4,500 from the button, the four bet came in at another 7,000 more, then Hunichen five bet, asking for a further 16,000. That was enough to move his solitary opponent off the hand.

“Ace-seven off suit?” quipped another table-mate, making clear reference to Joseph Cheong’s already infamous five bet at the recent World Series final table. Hunichen smiled but neither corroborated nor denied this assertion. He merely stacked up about 200,000 chips.

9:50pm: Check-raise-snap-fold
With about 10,000 already in the pot, Matt Jarvis checked the 10♣3♣2♣ flop over to his opponent, who bet 7,500. Jarvis put in a raise to 16,500, only to be immediately met with a shove. Jarvis snap-folded, electing to save his remaining 18,500 in chips.

9.40pm: First to third for Fischman
Two micro-stacks were all in on Scott Fischman’s table, and with a dominant stack – not to mention pocket aces – Fischman was only too happy to put both of them on the brink of elimination. Micro-stack one had the mighty 4♦6♠, micro-stack two had the slightly more significant 7♠7♦, but they were all crushed by those bullets. Or so it seemed.

The flop came 7♥8♥5♣ giving a straight to micro-stack one, a set to micro-stack two and relegating Fischman’s aces to the bottom of the pile. He duly paid them off, but still has about 110,000 to play with.

9.30pm: From nowhere to the top of the counts
Two players have silently risen right to the summit of the chip counts. Chris Hunichen, from Raleigh, North Carolina, is sitting behind 190,000. Clint Coffee, from San Antonio, Texas, has 165,000. This is what they look like:


Chris Hunichen on day 1A of NAPT Los Angeles


Clint Coffee

9:25: No mo’ Froelich
Tyler Smith came in for an early position raise that Scott Fischman re-popped from the button to 5,500. Eric Froelich moved his short stack in from the small blind. That’s when Smith made it 16,500. Fischman finally gave it up. Froelich held 4♠4♦ to Smith’s A♠A♥. The board ran out without a four and Froelich is gone.

9:18pm: Bakes not dead yet
Within just a couple minutes of getting back from break, David “Bakes” Baker got J♠J♦ in against 9♦9♥. His hand held and he’s now back around his starting stack of 30,000.


9pm: Level over, racing off the greens
That’s the end of level seven, and we’re going to race off the green 25 chips. Then when they return from a quick break we’ll be playing blinds of 400-800 (100 ante) in level eight.

8:58pm: Levy’s boat sinks Phan
With the board reading 6♦8♦7♠7♦J♣ on the river, Tim Phan moved all-in and Adam Levy snap-called. Levy turned over two black eights for a full house while Phan showed a jack-high straight with 9♦10♦. Phan was eliminated while Levy stacked up 85,000 in chips.

8.55pm: Baldwin not eliminated
Contrary to what you might have read here previously, Eric Baldwin has not been eliminated. He has more than 40,000 still, meaning some other guy who might look a little like him was eliminated in a case of mistaken identity about half an hour ago.

8.50pm: Rounders repeated
It was K♠3♠9♣5♠ board that divided Justin Bonomo and John Phan. Around 11,000 sat in the middle of the pot, and Bonomo matched it with his bet.

Phan looked troubled for a couple of minutes before opening his hand and showing Bonomo J♣J♠.

Bonomo shrugged and then looked back at Phan. “Was that the jack of spades, too?” When Phan nodded, Bonomo raised an eyebrow in surprise.

Phan couldn’t help himself and asked what Bonomo had held.

Bonomo, without missing a beat, pulled his best Mike McD impersonation. “I’m sorry, John. I don’t remember.”

Phan smiled. “I don’t care,” he said. “If I really cared, I’d call you.”

8.45pm: Cossette crushes Toth
It’s a long way from Los Angeles from Budapest, Hungary, but the Team PokerStars Pro Richard Toth is now looking for the shortest route back. He has just been eliminated in a three-way coup that sent Daniel Cossette into the top five counts and left Toth plus one other scuttling away.

Cossette opened to 1,800 from the hijack and Toth, with 12,150, moved all in from the cut-off. Before Cossette could decide if he fancied getting involved, the player in the big blind re-raised to 25,000.

Cossette didn’t seem to mind that at all and moved all in over the top, which the big blind called all in. It was three way:

Cossette: Q♥Q♣
Toth: A♦K♥
Big blind: A♠K♠

Both those holding the Big Slick were crestfallen to see two of their outs in their opponents’ hands. And although the board brought a boat, coming 4♦10♠10♣10♥4♥, Cossette’s queens were decisive. He has more than 110,000 now.

8.30pm: Non stop Phan
John Phan continues to add to his stack, and it’s relentless aggression all the way from the local pro. He opened to 1,600 under-the-gun and picked up three callers, including David “Bakes” Baker in the small blind. “This is the first hand you’ve played,” said Phan to Baker. “Maybe it’s the last one,” noted Baker dryly.

The flop came 10♥3♣K♣ and it was checked to Phan. He bet 3,100. Only Baked called that, taking them to a 7♦ turn. Baker checked, Phan bet 9,000 and Baker eventually folded.


David “Bakes” Baker

Baker has about 20,000 left. Phan is troubling 180,000.

8.20pm: More busts, and a big stack
At almost the exact time Andrew Lichtenberger was taking the walk, other online tyrants Matt Marafioti and Eric Baldwin (see 9pm update above) were also eliminated, taking away three of the real heavyweights in this field.

Marafioti’s former table, which also featured Antonio Esfandiari, Alex Fitzgerald and Kyle Bowker soon disbanded, but it was a relative newcomer there, Scott Fischman, who ended up walking away with the most. He needed three racks to haul his 130,000 stack elsewhere.


Scott Fischman on day 1A at NAPT Los Angeles

8:12pm: Lichtenberger elichtimated
Andrew Lichtenberger just got the last of his chips in the middle with A♠6♠ versus 8♣8♥. The board ran out in an uninspiring way and Lichtenberger is gone with only his “Peace-out” goodbye left behind in his memory.

7:58pm: Pat Pezzin eliminated
Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Pat Pezzin’s day went from bad to busto. After falling down to 1/3 of his starting stack, Pezzin was unable to recover and is now gone.


Pat Pezzin

7:45pm: The Razor’s edge
On the final hand before the break, John Phan and two opponents saw a K♠7♥5♣ flop. The action was checked to the button, who bet 3,000. The big blind called and Phan raised to 8,000. The button came along while the big blind folded. The turn brought the 7♠ and after a long think, Phan settled on a 9,000 bet. It was enough to chase the button away and Phan is now nearing the 150,000-chip mark as we head into Level 7.

7:34pm: NAPT in America, by the numbers
So far there have been three NAPT events inside the contiguous United States. Here’s the break down of entrants to each tournament so far:

  • NAPT Venetian: 872
  • NAPT Mohegan Sun: 716
  • NAPT Los Angeles: 330 for Day 1a
  • Now, the thinking here is that Day 1B (to be played on a Saturday) will be even stronger than the already impressive Day 1A’s 330 players. In fact, tournament veterans feel comfortable guaranteeing 400 or more entrants tomorrow. That would mean this even will almost certainly beat out NAPT Mohegan Sun. Chances are it won’t hit the numbers we saw in Vegas, but it will be interesting to see how close it can get.

    7:25pm: Cheong chopped
    Six days ago, Joseph Cheong was busting from the final table of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker in hugely dramatic fashion. The pot he lost to Johnathan Duhamel shortly before his exit weighed in at more than 175 million tournament chips, the largest ever seen in the game.

    He’s just busted from NAPT Los Angeles shortly before the end of level six, but it wasn’t quite so jaw-dropping. Cheong had been short-stacked all day, got it in with A-Q and ran into Tyler Smith’s 10♥10♠. The pocket pair held and Cheong made a silent exit, leaving behind a plate of barely-touched noodles. The $5,000 buy in here is not going to trouble him much. He picked up more than three million bucks for third at the WSOP.

    7:15pm: Frying pan to fire
    Tables are breaking at a fair old clip, spreading players across the room and often sending them from frying pan to fire. James Carroll, who first came to our attention during the World Series Main Event this summer, was previously sat with Annette Obrestad, Isaac Haxton et al, and after that table broke, he was sent to join Antonio Esfandiari, Alex Fitzgerald, Matt Marafioti and Kyle Bowker on one of the very toughest tables in the room.

    Even the apparently lesser known players are no pushover, as Carroll found out to his cost. He just lost a pot to Dustin Bowman, although it might have got even more ugly. Bowman opened to 1,200 under-the-gun and Carroll, immediately to his left, three-bet to 3,200. Marafioti called on the button, and Bowman called too.

    The three of them went to a flop of A♠4♠10♠ and Bowman checked. Carroll bet 7,000 and although Marafioti had seen enough, Bowman called. The turn was 9♦, which they both checked, and the 8♣ rivered. They both checked that too and Bowman’s A♦Q♠ was big enough to get a fold out of Carroll.

    Everyone on that table has chips and everyone has plenty of game. It’s certainly one to watch from here on.

    7:05pm: Weisner’s five-bet takes it
    Melanie Weisner was mid-massage when she faced an opening raise of 1,025 from a middle position opponent. She three-bet to 3,000 from the button, staring the young man down with her intense black-lined eyes. He decided to retaliate, putting out a min four-bet to 6,000, but this hardly phased Weisner.

    “How much behind?” she asked, her neck bobbing up and down as the masseuse worked out a knot.

    Her opponent cut down his remaining 18,000 in chips and she instantly moved all-in.

    Weisner’s opponent just as quickly folded, and the woman better-known as “Callisto5” online took down the pot, her stack ticking up to 58,000.

    6.50pm: Raymer falls, fails to avenge Greenstein
    Greg Raymer arrived to table 14 today to find that his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Barry Greenstein had already been eliminated from that table. Well, it’s turned into something of a Team Pro graveyard because despite vowing to avenge Greenstein’s death, Raymer has now fallen too. “Small pair versus ace-queen,” said Raymer, whose opponent, Alex Queen, got there with his big ace. Raymer had about 10,000 when he shoved and Queen made the call.

    “Write that my aces were cracked by deuce-four,” said Raymer. “Say the flop came jack-jack-eight and he called with deuce-four. Then that it came four-four to crack the aces.”

    Even in this fantasy scenario, the result is still the same. The Fossilman has fallen.


    6:47pm: Phan unafraid
    John Phan came in for an early position raise and got calls from Mandy Baker and Eric Froelich. The flop was a fun 8♣9♣6♣ flop that inspired a 1,600 bet from Phan. Baker folded, but Froelich found the call. The turn was an even more fun 6♦. Looking at a paired board with a couple of straight flush possibilities, Phan led again, this time for 2,800. Froelich didn’t think long before calling. Cue more fun! There’s the Q♣ on the river. Now, there was a paired board, and umpteen straight, flush, and straight flush options out there. This time, Phan checked. Froelich thought for a moment before checking behind.

    “Queen,” Phan said.

    Froelich motioned for Phan to show his hand. Phan tabled Q♦J♥, which was apparently good.


    6:35pm: Se-rock that flop
    Joe Serock had a rough go of it in the first couple of levels today, but he bounced back nicely just a few moments ago. The money went in on a 10♦9♦2♦ flop, Serock holding A♦5♦ for the flopped nuts while his opponent was drawing nearly dead with K♦10♥. The turn and river brought the J♣ and the 5♠, and Serock stacked up a bit more than 45,000 in chips, all the while bobbing his head to what must now be his new favorite tune.

    6.20pm: Bad half hour for poker’s first ladies
    Moments after Liv Boeree was eliminated, she was joined on the rail by Annette Obrestad. Obrestad got all her chips in the middle pre-flop with Isaac Haxton, and was ahead with K♠K♣ against Haxton’s A♠Q♦. But the dealer then peeled off 2♥4♠8♦5♠3♠ to make the wheel to Haxton’s ace and sent Obrestad packing. Obrestad had about 20,000, which was about 10,000 short of Haxton’s stack. He now has more than 50,000 while Obrestad drifts off to enjoy Los Angeles.


    Annette Obrestad, day is done

    6:12pm: Liv Boeree eliminated
    So far today, we’ve posted two videos of Team PokerStars Pro. Within minutes of the posting, we’ve had to announce their elimination. In this case, it’s Liv Boeree who came back from break in time to run jacks into AK vs. AK vs. Ax. It didn’t work out and she’s now walking around with a beer.


    6:05pm: Who needs a tournament clock?
    A member of the floor staff scurried over to find her supervisor. “Does David really want the tournament clock on both TVs.” The staff member was told yes, that was how things worked.

    “Because,” said the woman, “the players want to watch Boise St.-Idaho.”

    Every accommodating, another of the large screen TVs was set to the game, and everybody is happy…except maybe Idaho, which is down by seven right now.

    6:04pm: Deeb done and dusted
    We passed by Shaun Deeb’s table just in time to see what would be his final hand. With the board reading A♠J♣6♠3♥ on the turn, Vicente Garcia led out for 2,500 and Deeb made the call. The river was the 6♥ and Garcia tossed out a 6,000-chip bet. Deeb tanked for well over a minute before moving all-in and Garcia snap-called, turning over pocket threes for a full house.

    “I’m done. Seeya,” said Deeb, who flashed a six as he departed the table.

    5.55pm: Woodward into six figures
    Finishing second in a major tournament isn’t necessarily a bad thing – just ask David Williams, for instance. Matt Woodward knows similar emotions: he was runner up to Pieter de Korver at the EPT Grand Final a couple of years ago. Woodward is today sitting on the same table as Williams’ famous foe, Greg Raymer, but he is faring far better than the Fossilman. As Raymer’s war of attrition continues, Woodward has about 110,000, one of very very few players into six figures already.


    Matt Woodward, chipping upward

    5:46pm: Ask Liv Boeree
    I’m sure there’s more than a few people out there who might want to ask a few questions of Liv Boeree (and the answer to most of the questions is, “No, I will not go out with you,” so give it a rest). However, after some good editing and moderation, here are some of the questions Boeree was willing to answer from Twitter and Facebook fans.

    5:45pm: Almost halfway
    With nine levels on the schedule for the day, the players are about half a level away from reaching the halfway point of Day 1A. Recapping the first five levels, Team PokerStars lost Barry Greenstein and Vanessa Selbst. Meanwhile, John Phan moved up to more than 130,000, good for the chip lead. Players will be back in action in a matter of moments.


    A player checks his phone while waiting for play to begin

    Live updates brought to you by Change100, Howard Swains, Brad Willis, and photographer Joe Giron


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