By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Senior Staff Writer
After a 3 ½ month delay the final table of the WSOP Main Event started-back up Saturday and what a wild final table it was. It took 219 hands and some 14 hours to make it down to heads-up play. On Monday the heads-up battle between Jonathan Duhamel and John Racener. Duhamel will start with a 6:1 chip lead. Racener will start with 26 big blinds compared to Duhamel's 157 big blinds. Let's see how they got there.
The starting stacks at the beginning of the final table were as follows:
Seat 1: Jason Senti (7,625,000)
Seat 2: Joseph Cheong (23,525,000)
Seat 3: John Dolan (46,250,000)
Seat 4: Jonathan Duhamel (65,975,000)
Seat 5: Michael Mizrachi (14,450,000)
Seat 6: Matthew Jarvis (16,700,000)
Seat 7: John Racener (19,050,000)
Seat 8: Filippo Candio (16,400,000)
Seat 9: Soi Nguyen (9,650,000)
Jason Senti, the shortest stack at the final table, started out with guns blazing. He shoved several times in the early going but was never looked-up. He was able to get some breathing room as he moved out of last place.
On hand 28 action folded around to Soi Nguyen on the button who shoved his remaining 7.6 million stack in the middle and was immediately called by the once short-stacked Jason Senti. With the cards on their backs it was a race situation with Nguyen holding AK against Senti's QQ. The board ran out Q-3-10-9-K and Nguyen was sent packing in 9th.
Hand 43 saw the second elimination of the day. Johnathan Duhamel raised and was called by Michael Mizrachi. Matt Jarvis opted for the 3-bet shove for $14.3 million followed by a quick fold from Duhamel. Mizrachi went into the tank and eventually called showing AQ. Jarvis showed 99 and they were off to the races in possibly one of the most memorable hands in the history of the WSOP.
The flop comes out Q-8-Q and Mizrachi takes the lead. The turn is the two-outer Jarvis needed when a 9 hits the board. In a truly 'live poker is rigged' moment the ace hits the river and Mizrachi scoops a $30 million pot that vaults him to 2nd in chips. The hand was eerily similar to a one Phil Ivey played against Chris Moneymaker back in 2003. Ivey held the 99 and Moneymaker the AQ when the board ran out Q-Q-10-9-A.
After Jarvis's elimination actions slowed considerably and they reached the 90 minute dinner break still seven handed. Mizrachi, a short stack at the beginning of the final table, would hold the lead at the break.
It took all the way until hand 116 to see our next elimination. Jason Senti 4-bet shoved his remaining stack and received a call from Joseph Cheong. Senti showed AK and Cheong 1010 and they were off to the races. The board ran out K-K-Q-J-9 and Senti gets a river card right in the stomach for the elimination.
The beginning of the free fall of Michael Mizrachi came on hand 139 when he raised and John Racener shoved his nearly $10 million stack all-in. Mizrachi tank called and saw his A8 was way behind Racener's AK. A king hit the turn and Racener doubled.
Hand 150 saw Johnathan Duhamel double through Mizrachi when his A9 out-flopped Mizrachi's 33 which left 'The Grinder' crippled. Mizrachi would last until hand 185 when Jonathan Duhamel limped pocket aces and Mizrachi checked his option with Q8. All of the chips went in on the 4-5-Q flop. Mizrachi wouldn't catch-up and he was eliminated in 5th place.
Just three hands later saw the elimination of Filippo Candio. Candio shoved from the small blind with KQ and was called by Joseph Cheong with A3. An ace hit the flop and by the turn Candio was drawing dead and the Italian was out in 4th place.
In what may go down as one of the more epic meltdowns in final table history, Joseph Cheong would see his elimination over three hands. On hand 197 Jonathan Duhamel took over the chip lead from Cheong when his AK paired on the river and Cheong's cards hit the muck. After the hand Cheong had $80 million and Duhamel $110 million. Cheong would gain the chip lead back over the next few hands.
Hand 213 saw the blowup continue when Cheong 6-bet shoved with A7 and was called all-in by Duhamel's QQ. The board didn't bring any help to Cheong and he was crippled to under $10 million. Hand 219 would end the day when he got the last of his chips in with Q10 and he was racing with Duhamel's A2. The board ran out K-9-6-6-7 and Cheong was eliminated in 3rd place.
Monday night will see the conclusion of the final table. If Racener is able to get an early double-up it should be a great match to watch. You can follow all of the action on ESPN3.com. Check back tomorrow for the final results.
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