Another day was completed at the $25,000 World Poker Tour World Championship on Wednesday and the event made it down to the final table. Finishing at the top of the counts was Marvin Rettenmaier with 3.757 million in chips. He will be joined by plenty of big names including the man looking for his third WPT title, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.
When the day began, 19 players remained and the field was just one spot away from the money. Josh Arieh voiced how upset he was last night on Twitter about having to come back on the bubble with a severely short stack, but things only got worse for him when he wound up busting in 19th place for no cash.
According to the WPT Live Updates Team, Arieh moved all-in from under the gun for 109,000 during Level 19 with the blinds at 8,000/16,000/2,000. Play folded all the way to Rettenmaier in the big blind and he made the call after waking up to the . Arieh held one overcard with the . From there, the board ran out . Rettenmaier's set of kings bested Arieh's pair of aces and Arieh was eliminated. With that, the remaining 18 players in the field were all guaranteed a payday of $40,266.
Hafiz Khan began the day as the chip leader and remained at the top of the leaderboard after players got into the money. After the eliminations of Guillaume Darcourt in 18th place, Farzad Bonyadi in 17th place, Rinat Bogdanov in 16th place, Joe Serock found himself at the top of a different leaderboard.
It was mentioned on Tuesday that Serock needed to place 15th or better in order to take over the lead in the race for this season's WPT Player of the Year. Serock had successfully made his way to the final 15 players and had officially overtaken previous front-runner Will “The Thrill” Failla, but things weren't locked up just yet. Both Matt Juttelstad and Moon Kim were still in the running for WPT Player of the Year. For Serock to lock up the title, he would need to finish in fifth place. With a sixth-place finish, Serock could at least guarantee himself a tie, so the race was on.
Barry Shulman busted in 15th place and he was followed out the door by Tom McCormick in 14th place. Then, Juttelstad fell in 13th place and left the Player of the Year battle between Serock and Kim. It was actually Kim who eliminated Juttelstad from the tournament.
With 12 players left, Rettenmaier was leading the way, but that all changed soon as Khan, the start-of-day chip leader, doubled through Kim during Level 21 with the blinds at 12,000/24,000/3,000. The two got all the money in on the board with Kim holding the to Khan's . Both players held a straight, but Khan's was higher. Kim did have a back-up flush draw, but failed to hit when the landed on the river and Khan doubled to well over three million in chips. This double put Khan back in front of the pack.
Khan then eclipsed the four-million mark when he sent John Esposito home in 12th place and it really looked like he might run away with the tournament. A short while later, Ron Coury finished in 11th place and the remaining 10 players joined at one table. At that point, Khan had nearly 1.7 million more chips than Trevor Pope in second place.
On the 11th hand of the 10-handed final table, Mizrachi smashed a double through Khan that propelled him into the chip lead. Serock had raised to 64,000 from middle position with the blinds at 15,000/30,000/4,000 in Level 22 and Mizrachi three-bet to 177,000 from the cutoff seat. Khan four-bet to 375,000 on the button and play folded all the way back to Mizrachi. He made the call and the two players saw the flop come down . Mizrachi checked and Khan fired 400,000. Quickly, Mizrachi check-raised all in for 1.013 million and Khan made the call.
When the hands were tabled, Khan showed the , but was second best on the flop to Mizrachi's . The turn and river allowed Mizrachi to finish with a full house and double into the lead. Khan still sat in second place and wasn't too far behind.
Serock's run ended in 10th place as he was eliminated in Level 23 on the 47th hand of the 10-handed final table. With the blinds at 20,000/40,000/4,000, Mizrachi opened with a raise to 88,000 from under the gun and Rettenmaier called from middle position. Kim called out of the hijack seat and then Serock reraised all-in for approximately 720,000 from the button. Play folded back to the original raiser, Mizrachi, and he mucked. Rettenmaier was next up and reshoved his stack into the middle, which knocked Kim out of the way.
Serock was at risk for his tournament life holding the . Rettenmaier held the to make for a coinflip situation. The flop, turn and river came and Rettenmaier was able to win the pot to eliminate Serock.
For his finish, Serock earned $47,587, but still has a sweat as current Player of the Year leader. His only competitor is Kim, who can tie Serock's 2,200 points with a fourth-place finish or best it with a third-place showing or better. The sweat is on.
Following Serock's elimination, five more hands were played out and that brought the players to the end of Level 23, where play was halted for the night. After bagging and tagging, the remaining nine players have locked up $58,568 in prize money and here's how they'll return to action on Thursday.
WPT World Championship Final Table
|2||Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi||3,124,000|
Of the players remaining, Mizrachi, Kim and Nick Schulman are all former WPT champions. Mizrachi will be going for his third WPT title, while Kim and Schulman and looking for their second.
Day 6 will commence at 1200 PDT (2000 BST) and will end when the official WPT televised final table of six players is reached. After that, the final day will be played out on Saturday following a day off Friday for the WPT Super High Roller final table. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for the daily recap. We'll also have daily Super High Roller recaps.
*Photo courtesy of BJ Nemeth at WorldPokerTour.com