We have a final table set for Thursday's WPT Championship. The Season IV inaugural event, a $10,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament, completed day 3 shortly before 1:00 am this morning. The surviving six players that will be seated at tomorrow's television table follows, the list is ordered by descending chip count with seat assignment shown in ().
Thang Pham (6) $1,760,000
Christopher Bell (4) $1,417,000
Ted Forrest (1) $1,370,000
Eugene Todd (3) $763,000
Gavin Smith (5) $687,000
Mark Ellerbe (2) $353,000
Going out on the TV table bubble was Alan Smurfit of Dublin, Ireland. Alan had A,K of clubs and Thang Pham had pocket Queens. The flop came 9,8,K, giving Alan the lead. The turn was a 10 and the river brought the Jack giving Thang the straight and Alan the bubble and seventh place. He collected $76,235 on his way out. The money bubble boy turned out to be a bubble girl when Kathy Leibert was eliminated in 29th. Usually this would be one away from the bubble; but Richard Tatalovich and Phil Laak split the 27th place money when both were eliminated by Jean-Robert Bellande on the same hand. Richard had pocket Kings and Phil had pocket Aces, both made a set but Jean-Robert caught runner, runner to make a straight with his suited 8,10. Tatalovich and Laak each received $9,148. The next bubble was for today's final table and David Kutcher was the boy going out in 10th. He received $36,594 in prize money.
The rail was crowded with spectators thoughout the day watching this exciting WPT Championship. Many of the players that had earlier been eliminated from the contest strolled throught he room, stopping to chat with fans, sign autographs and watch the play. The group was typical of WPT events with a party atmosphere pervading and a lot of cheering and yelling combined with moaning and groaning.
The list of player outs included Thor Hansen leaving in the 26th spot to collect $18,296, David Levi going in 24th for another $18,296, start of day chip leader Robert Mizrachi out in 20th for $18,296, Asher Derei left in 17th for $24,395, "Captain" Tom Franklin goes in 18th taking $24,395 and Jean-Robert Bellande was 15th collecting $30,494. We are adding tournament photos daily so stop by the Mirage Poker Showdown Photo Gallery.
The WPT final table action begins tomorrow, Thursday at 4:00 pm in the convention area of the Mirage. Seating for the television audience is limited and on a first come basis so be there early. Big screens and seating are set up in the waiting area outside the television production set.
Another tournament was played today at the Mirage, the WPT Battle of Champions. The event was won by Tuan Le when he defeated Eli Elezra this evening for the Championship. Tuan Le received another $25,000 buy-in for the WPT Season Championship at the Bellagio. That's two $25K buy-ins for Tuan, he received the first when he won the WPT $25K Season III Championship, so he now has a seat for the 2006 and 2007 Championships. Congratulations to Tuan Le.