PartyPoker Premier League, Day 4: Tony G Notches Third Heat Win
The fourth day of the 2008 PartyPoker Premier League saw Tony G continue his dominance of the early rounds of this competition, while the struggles of Phil Hellmuth and Juha Helppi continued. Dave "The Devilfish" Ulliott came from the cellar back to relevance and Andy Black continued his strong showing.
Heat #7 kicked off with Alex Kravchenko, Roland de Wolfe, Ian Frazer, Annie Duke, Eddy Scharf and Dave Ulliott taking to the felt, with Duke making an immediate exit when she ran pocket queens into Eddy Scharf's pocket kings on the very first hand. After a preflop re-raise from Duke, she moved all in on the flop. Scharf insta-called, and the turn and river came down to send Duke to the rail with no points for Day 4.
Ian Frazer finished fifth in Heat #7 when he and Scharf tangled. Alex Kravchenko raised preflop with , and Frazer moved all in over the top with . Scharf moved all in over the top of Frazer, and Kravchenko got out of the way. Scharf tabled , and again the kings held up on a board of to send Frazer to the rail. Scharf continued his rush a few hands later when he busted Kravchenko with versus Kravchenko's . Scharf raised preflop, Kravchenko moved all in and Scharf called. The flop came down , giving Kravchenko top pair, top kicker, but leaving Scharf with outs to a straight, backdoor flush or a higher pair, and the running on the turn and river gave him his flush to bust Kravchenko.
Scharf's momentum failed him later on and he finally put the last of his chips in the middle with . Ulliott went into the tank before finally calling with . The board ran out , and Ulliott made a pair of eights to eliminate Scharf in third. Roland de Wolfe had won several major pots but without notching any knockouts, and he took a big chip lead into heads-up play with Ulliott, where it took only one hand for him to claim his victory. On the last hand, Ulliott moved in preflop with , and de Wolfe made the call with . The board ran out to give de Wolfe his second win, while Ulliott moved back into contention with his runner-up finish.
Heat #8 featured two of the hottest and two of the coldest players in the 2008 PPPL. Tony G and Andy Black walready had two heat victories each to put them within one point of each other atop the overall standings starting the day. 2007 champion Juha Helppi and Phil Hellmuth came into the heat with very few points, and needed to make a serious move to maintain any shot at a reserved final-table spot.
Hellmuth made a serious move early in the heat when he flopped a full house holding on a flop of . Hellmuth checked to Andy Black, who held . Black checked behind, and the on the turn gave him a bigger full house. Hellmuth led out, and Black smooth-called with nines full. Black led out when the came on the river, and Hellmuth check-raised. Black moved all in, and Hellmuth was eliminated with zero points when he made the call.
Marcel Luske was next to fall when he ran into Tony G's preflop. No help arrived for Luske on the board of , and he picked up one point for fifth place. Juha Helppi doubled his points total when he picked up two points in this heat, but his fourth-place finish was of little meaningful help in the standings. Helppi exited after calling a preflop raise from Black with , and the flop hit him hard, coming down . Helppi led out at the flop and Black moved all in with for the nut flush draw. Helppi made the call with his two pair, and Black hit his flush on the turn. The on the river sent Helppi to the rail and put Black in control of three fourths of the chips in play.
Next, Vicky Coren moved all in preflop with and Tony G made the call from the big blind with . Tony G picked up a king on the flop, and Coren was left drawing thin. The on the turn gave her an open-ended straight draw, but the on the river sent Coren to the rail in third. Black and Tony G were left to battle it out heads-up, with Black holding more than a 3:1 chip lead over Tony G.
After a long heads-up battle, Tony G pulled almost even with Black before crippling him in one massive pot. Black raised preflop with , and Tony G re-raised all in with . Black called, and the board came down , and Black was left with less than the big blind after the hand. His last few chips went in on the next hand with , and Tony G held . The board ran out , and Tony G picked up his third win out of four preliminary heats, giving him the lead over Black in the points standings, which after Day 4 are as follows:
Tony G: 28 pts.
Andy Black: 23 pts.
Roland de Wolfe: 20 pts.
Eddy Scharf: 16 pts.
Annie Duke: 15 pts.
Alex Kravchenko: 15 pts.
Vicky Coren: 11 pts.
Dave Ulliott: 9 pts.
Ian Frazer: 7 pts.
Marcel Luske: 7 pts.
Phil Hellmuth: 5 pts.
Juha Helppi: 4 pts.