Poker is a game of diversity, where all are equal at the table (except for the size of their chip stacks, of course). The final table of the No Limit Hold Em $300 rebuy event at the Commerce casino was a study in diversity. The final table had a clothier, a restaurant consultant, a poker pro, and even a guy in a welder's mask no kidding. The man in the Welder's mask was none other than Patrick McLaughlin, who came to the table third in chip count, and wearing a welder's mask, which he would flip down every time he was in a hand. This drew chuckles from the crowd, but the poker gods were not amused.
About 12 hands in, McLaughlin picked up QQ in early position, and limped in. Chip leader Bahman "Ali" Sabahi limped in behind him. The flop came J 10 5, rainbow. Ali bet out, and Patrick smooth called. The turn was a 6, Patrick checked, and Ali moved in. Patrick beat him into the pot with his overpair, but Ali had J10, and his two pair held up, as the river was a blank. Patrick McLaughlin then took off his welder's mask, picked up his $7,343 for 10th place, and went home to do some welding. 12 hands in, and Ali Sabahi had the table outchipped anywhere from 2 to1, to 9 to 1.
Next, short stack Brett Ehart raised only 20,000 of his 41,000 stack in early position. Gary Vick was the next to act, and moved all in. Play folded around to Ehart, who called immediately with AA. Vick reluctantly showed his JJ that he moved in with. The board was no help to Vick, and short stack Brett Ehart had doubled up, and was no longer the short stack, with over 100k in his stack.
One thing interesting about the way this final table played out was many of the all in confrontations came when it was folded around to the blinds. This occurred when, about 5 hands after he had doubled Ehart up, Vick moved in from the small blind on chip leader Ali with K10 of diamonds. Ali called immediately with AQ of hearts. The board brought no help for either player, and just like that Gary Vick was the 9th place finisher, and took home $10,015 for his troubles. The really scary thing about this to the other players at the table was Ali was now over 500,000 in chips, and had 50% of the chips in play in an eight-handed game. Yikes.
Gabriel Hailu was the next to go. Gabriel had tried to hang on until he could find a hand, and he found it, picking up KK. Unfortunately for him, Ehart, who had raised under the gun, had AA, and there was no miracle for Gabriel, as he finished 8th, and left $13,351 richer. Notable about this was that Ehart had picked up AA twice in the first twenty hands played, and used it to build his once very short stack to average size.
Speaking of short stacks, Minh Luu had barely enough make a proper raise (17k with blinds of 4k/8k), when he moved in from the SB on Mike Lee with A5. Unfortunately for Minh, Lee had AJ in the BB. This is poker, however, so the board of AKKQ9 brought nothing but a chopped pot, and let Minh live to fight another day. Nine hands later, Minh was down to 14K in the BB, and top local pro Raymond Davis put Minh all in without looking at his cards. Minh looked down, and saw 66, and called. Raymond flipped over 55. A flop of 6KK made it all over but the shouting. Minh doubled up to 35k. But it was not to be for Minh Luu, as he moved in several hands later, and Lee called him from the BB with 33. Minh showed AJ, and a board of Q8657 showed Minh the door, as he exited the building with $16,689 for his 7th place finish.
Down to six, there were two players under 40k, and the rest of the table chasing chip leader Ali. Of course, the only way to settle the short stack issue at this final table was for the two short stacks to move in on each other .while in the blinds. Freddy Twin (aka the comeback kid more on that later) moved in from the small blind with 33, and Dani Pourat called him from the BB with KQ. A board of AAJ25 was no help to the Beverly Hills clothier Pourat, as he took yet another $20,027 for his 6th place finish home to Beverly Hills, where all money eventually winds up eventually
With play getting ready to break, Ehart raised under the gun for 30k (blinds still 4k/8k). Mike Lee, in the big blind, went into the tank for about five minutes. And in a remarkable show of, let's call it restraint, Lee folded and showed .his AK suited. Wow.
For about the next thirty minutes, two clinics were put on. Raymond Davis put on a hold em clinic with great plays and good reads, and built his stack to the point where it was almost threatening Ali's. This met with approval from Davis' friend Tobey McGwire, who came to cheer his friend on. The other clinic that was being put on was Freddy Twin's "how to play a short stack" clinic. Moving in again, and again Twin built his stack from a once paltry 31,000 chips to close to 200,000 chips.
Unfortunately, all good stories must come to an end, and the story for one time short stack Brett Ehart was no different. Ehart moved in (from the small blind of course) on chip leader Ali. Ehart flipped over Q10, while Ali was in the lead with KJ. A flop of A 4 10 gave Ehart hope for about three seconds until a J came on the turn. The river was no help, and Brett Ehart, who entered the day 10th in chips hung on for a nice 5th place payday of $26,702.
Then, the landscape of the table began to change. Mike Lee, now the short stack, moved his last 96,000 in under the gun. Raymond Davis called from the big blind, and flipped up A 10 clubs. Lee proudly turned over AK, and a K on the turn doubled Lee up through Davis. This was the first time in about an hour where Davis was tripped up, as he had pretty much been running things at the table.
Except for the comeback kid Twin, who kept moving in again, and again. Twin did it again as Davis made it 24 to go under the gun, and Twin, in the big blind, moved in. Davis felt he had to take a stand, and called Twin with A9. Unfortunately, Twin actually had a hand this time, and showed JJ. No ace for Davis, and the man who was once close to the chip lead had been dropped to third place.
At this point, an extensive negotiation took place. At the end of the day, the other players showed a tremendous amount of respect for Davis, and a deal was cut that everyone liked (especially Davis). The tournament ended right then and there and everyone walked home with a staggering amount of cash. Everyone in the room seemed really happy with the outcome, including Tobey McGwire, who dutifully sat in the corner waiting for his friend to pick up his cash as they drove off into the night.
Final Results LAPC Event # 4
1st Bahman "Ali" Sabahi $161,000
2nd Freddy Twin $107,000
3rd Raymond Davis $100,000
4th Mike Lee $79,000
5th Brett Ehart $26,702
6th - Dani Pourat $20,027
7th Minh Luu $16,689
8th Gabriel Hailu $13,351
9th- Gary Vick $10,015
10th Patrick "Welder" McLaughlin $7,343