Day 5 of the World Poker Tour Festa al Lago began with just 13 players remaining. Rather than the typical structure of five 90-minute blind levels, day five would conclude whenever the final six players had been determined. It was not until the seventh level and over twelve hours of play that those six players were finally named. Leading the way was the young talent, Randal Flowers.
Of the top five chip leaders coming into Day 5, only Andy Frankenberger remains. Annette Obrestad, who led the field at the beginning of the day Tuesday with two million chips, was also the first elimination of the day.
Obrestad and Skip Wilson got all their chips in preflop, with Obrestad holding ace-king to Wilson's queens. Wilson turned a set, and Annette could not improve. She was knocked down to 325,000 chips, and shortly after, eliminated by Brandon Steven.
Jeff Madsen, also a consistent leader in the tournament, was knocked out soon after Obrestad when his ace-queen fell to Jason Koon's ace-five.
Flowers was certainly put to the test before securing the top spot. Several times he flip-flopped the chip lead, and at one
point, he was very close to elimination. Shortstacked, in a pot against Michael Benvenuti, Flowers pushed all-in with and Benvenuti called with pocket kings. Flowers lightheartedly joked, saying "I got it in good." The flop of gave Flowers some hope with a gutshot straight draw. The on the turn was of no help, but the miracle graced Flowers on the river, and he doubled through Benvenuti to survive.
Flowers secured the chip lead late in the day after a huge pot against then chip leader Andy Frankenberger. Flowers raised preflop to 160,000 from the cutoff, only to be reraised by Frankenberger to 320,000. Flowers called, and the flop came . Both players checked the flop. The turn was a , it was checked to Frankenberger who led out for 600,000. Flowers called. Both players checked the on the river. Flowers showed for a rivered full house, and Frankeberger mucked.
Despite their losses to Flowers, both Benvenuti and Frankenberger survived Day 5 and will appear at the final table, which commences Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Fontana Lounge at the Bellagio.
The official chip stacks at the end of day five are as follows:
1. Randal Flowers - 3,215,000
2. Noah Schwartz - 3,135,000
3. Jason Koon - 2,555,000
4. Andy Frankenberger - 1,935,000
5. Michael Benvenuti - 1,390,000
6. Skip Wilson - 1,200,000
The final six, who have demonstrated some moments of tension towards each other, will resume blinds at 50,000/100,000, and an average chip stack of 2.2 million chips. With a first place prize of $831,500, it seems their tensions are not without reason.