WSOP Day 14 - Arul Thillai in Contention

Posted at 07:00 2006-07-10 Day 14 brought the continuation of the $1,000 No Limit Hold’Em Rebuy event, with 66 players returning to win a spot on the final table and a chance at the WSOP bracelet. Australia’s hopes were with Tony G who was well placed, but unfortunately he took a hit early when his pocket nines lost a big race with KQ when the board came AKJ9T. Tony battled hard throughout the day as a short stack. He was able to double up when his AQ overcame Kathy Liebert’s pocket nines, eliminating her in 34th position. However just after the dinner break he pushed all-in with A5 only to run into John Cernuto’s pocket queens. Tony was eliminated in 22nd position, taking home $11,589. Congratulations Tony on a fine performance. The final table is set and it should be a beauty, with Tom Franklin with a small lead over Tim Phan, with experienced pros Andy Bloch and Allen Cunningham ready to pounce! The final table lineup: Seat 1 - Alex Jacob - $106,000 Seat 2 - Allen Cunningham - $233,000 Seat 3 - Tim Phan - $551,000 Seat 4 - Everett Carlton - $86,000 Seat 5 - John Hoang - $274,000 Seat 6 - Tom Franklin - $590,000 Seat 7 - Steve Wong - $295,000 Seat 8 - David Rheem - $170,000 Seat 9 - Andy Bloch - $163,000 The $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold‘Em Event got underway with 1128 ladies coming together to create a prize pool of $1,026,480. Australian Sarah Bilney was an early casualty, with defending champion Jennifer Tilly doing well early but busting out when her pocket threes fell to AQ. Kathy Liebert had an interesting day, trying to play both the ladies event as well as the second day of the $1,000 No Limit Hold’Em Rebuy event across the room. Unfortunately it didn’t work for Kathy and she busted out of both. Mimi Rogers put in a very good effort, making it into the money, but she fell late in the day in 33rd place when short stacked when she pushed all-in with A8 only to lose to A3 when a 3 fell on the flop. In the early hours of the morning, the field had been reduced to the final 26 who will return on Day 15 to compete for the gold. The $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Event also kicked off with a very high quality field expected. 214 players hit the felt with high expectations, but reality set in once they sat down and look around the table at their opponents. Australian Mark Vos was one to get caught at a very tough table featuring the likes of John Gale, Amnon Filipi, Brandon Adams, Michael Mizrachi, Surinder Sunar and Phil Hellmuth. Joe Hachem got off to a good start but was dented when he called down an opponent holding a full house. Joe was eliminated shortly afterwards. Scott Fischman and Daniel Negreanu both put in dominant displays to surge to an early lead, however Fischman couldn’t survive the day while Negreanu was only able to just scrape into the money. Tricky opponents required some tricky play, but in one hand Mark Vos got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Amnon Filippi limped in from early position, and Vos put in a pot-sized raise from late position. The small blind made the call along with Filippi. The flop came 865, and all three players check. The turn brought an 8, and once again, all three players check. The river was a K, and the small blind bet out $650 to which Vos re-raised another $2,000. The small blind stopped to think for a moment, but made the call. Vos immediately threw his hand into the muck on a stone cold bluff and his opponent picked up the pot. In another interesting hand, on a board of AdAhKh9h, Howard Lederer bet $600 and Roy Vanderslius called. The river is the Qh and Vandersluis bets out. Lederer thinks for a moment and folds and Vandersluis reveals AcAsJh10h for flopped quad Aces and a turn-rivered Royal Flush of hearts! Lederer certainly picked the wrong time to make a bluff! For the Aussies Arul Thillai had an excellent day, mixing it up with the best in the world and pulling down plenty of pots. Arul is one of Australia’s most promising young players, and at once stage he was in the top ten in the field. He survived the day to make it into the money in terrific shape, and will have a great chance of making the final table when play resumes. The hard luck story of the day goes to Australian Gary Benson. Gary put in a tremendous effort in this event, battling hard as one of the short stacks as the field closed in on the money. With 28 players remaining and just one short of the money, Gary pushed all-in with a set of aces but Michael Guttman managed to pull out a straight to unfortunately eliminate Gary on the bubble. In the final event of the day, nine players returned for a shot at the WSOP gold bracelet in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’Em tournament. It was always going to be an exciting final table with Anthony Reategui holding a big lead but Mike Matusow’s experience was always going to be a major threat. Matt Heintschel was first eliminated as Anthony Reategui asserted himself over the table by raising most post and using his lead to his advantage. He knocked out Terrence Chan in 8th place with a classic 44 versus AK race, that saw Reategui’s fours hit a set on the flop. Mike Matusow was relatively quiet early on (well as quiet as “The Mouth” can be anyway), and was just starting to flex his muscles when on a flop of T96 he called Justin Pechie’s all-in bet. Matusow held JT but he was well behind Pechie’s two pair with T9. Matusow needed help but it didn’t arrive and he was unexpectedly eliminated in a disappointing 7th place. Anthony Reategui then went on a rampage, eliminating Tri Ma, Corey Cheresnick and Michael Scott. With three players remaining Reategui had a 4:1 chip lead over Pechie in second place, with Pescatori even further behind in third. However an amazing call in key hand turned the corner for Max Pescatori. On a board of T72Q, Justin Pechie bets $23,000 and Max Pescatori makes the call. The river is another T and Pechie bets $62,000. Pescatori thinks for several minutes and then makes the call for about a third of his stack. Pescatori turns over K9, showing king high and Pechie mucks his hand. This call turned the momentum in Pescatori’s favour and a frustrated Justin Pechie was soon eliminated in 3rd place. The heads up battle started with Reategui with a 3:1 chip lead, however this was quickly evaporated in the first hand of heads up play. Pescatori’s flush was too good for Reategui’s two pair, enabling him to double up and amazingly take the chip lead. The momentum swing didn’t stop there, as Pescatori continued to pull down some major pots. The final hand saw Pescatori river an inside straight against Reategui’s top pair to win the title. Max Pescatori wins his first WSOP bracelet and takes home $682,389!

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