For the returning nine players of the 2007 – $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Event 49, Monday’s action was like playing in the division title, play offs and World Series in the same day.
With the largest Main Event field in World Series of Poker history narrowed to the final nine competitors, the focus had centered on Greg Mueller. He started the day fourth in chips, yet he was favored to take down the bracelet. Either unaware or simply without fear of the poker pro, opponents repeatedly pushed their chips against his.
Short-stack Lewis Titterton moved on Leandro Pimentel but failed his flopped two pair of Aces and Tens. Titterton went home with $45,162.
Then Mueller hit the rail. After several difficult plays, Mueller’s day ended when his triple fours fell to Taylor Douglas’ triple fours with the bigger kicker. Mueller earned $55,914 finishing eighth in the event.
Ray Spencer was the first casualty of the post-Mueller action. After watching his stack dwindle through the day, Spencer pushed with a king/jack, but was overcome by Douglas’ ace/jack. Sealing Spencer’s fate, the flop was another ace, leaving him to take home $79,270 in 7th place.
The next player meet the cashier was Cort Kibler-Melby. After trading several big hands early, Kibler-Melby pushed in the big blind position. Unfortunately, he ran into John Hunt’s pocket nines and failed to overcome when the board helped neither player. He collected $96,775 for finishing sixth, and playing for 3 days.
Although quiet throughout early play, Duane Felix was heard when he went all-in against Hunt with ace/duce. Well behind Hunt’s ace/nine, Felix failed to gain ground while Hunt achieved the ace-high flush. Felix collected $131,184 finishing fifth.
While many players have fan followings, few could match Leandro Pimentel’s rail on Day Two. Unfortunately for Pimentel, his final day of play would take place in front of a global audience not in front of his life supporters. Despite making a noble effort, Pimentel sent home after running into Chandrasekhar Billavara’s pair of aces with a queen kicker. He took home $189,249 putting him in fourth place in this main event tournament.
As the game reached itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s final three players it became difficult to determine who would dominate each successive hand. John Hunt earned third place after he fell to BillavarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better hand, leading into a straight, and Hunts elimination. John Hunt went home with $292,476.
Taylor Douglas and Chandrasekhar Billavara’s faced each other at the final table. Douglas held the chip lead most of the game. Once down to two, Billavara cut that chip lead to bits. In the final hand Billavara got the lucky turn giving him a pair of aces to win the bracelet. Although Douglas plays well and effectively through out the day, he still left in second with $467, 101, and Billavara took first with $722,914. This ushered in a new event champion.
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