Last Sunday night, the ninth season of the World Poker Tour continued with the second part of the Bellagio Cup VI. The first installment, which had aired the week before, saw Eric Afriat eliminated in sixth place ($118,950) followed by Robert Akery in fifth ($169,930). For full details on their eliminations and other big hands from that first hour of broadcast, check out our recap from last week. In the meantime, the conclusion of the Bellagio Cup IV featured the following lineup.
Seat 1: Phil Ivey – 3,530,000
Seat 2: Justin Smith - 2,450,000
Seat 3: -empty-
Seat 4: -empty-
Seat 5: Moritz Kranich – 4,660,000
Seat 6: John Caridad – 3,490,000
Rare Misstep by Ivey: At the top of the broadcast, the blinds were at 80,000/160,000 with a 15,000 ante, and it didn’t take long for the first big hand to develop. It began when Phil Ivey looked down at and raised to 400,000. Action folded to John Caridad in the big blind and he called the additional 240,000 with his . It was heads up to the flop, which both players checked. They did the same when the hit the turn, leading to the on the river. Caridad bet 500,000 and Ivey made a rare misstep by making the call. Ship the 1,940,000 pot to the Aussie.
Five Questions: Kimberly Lansing had a short interview with Justin Smith in which she asked five questions, the most interesting of which was: “What keeps you playing?”
His response: “I want to do whatever I can to be the best, and that is just my whole motivation. I’m definitely ready to win a tournament. I don’t how I haven’t done it yet, but I’m sure its going to happen sooner or later.
Kranich Comes from Behind: Moritz Kranich looked down at and instantly moved all-in for 2,745,000. Next to act was Caridad who snap-called with . Once the other players got out of the way, the flop came down . Kranich was is bad shape, that is until the spiked on the turn. Suddenly Caridad needed to catch either a queen or jack on the river to eliminate his opponent. It was not meant to be, however, as the was revealed on the river.
Caridad Hits the Rail: Not long after, Caridad looked down at the and decided that card alone was worth moving all in for 1,065,000. Unfortunately for him, Smith looked down at and called. Caridad revealed the as his other card and he was way behind. It was never very exciting as the board ran out . Caridad was eliminated in fourth place and took home $237,902 for his performance.
Three-Handed Chip Counts: Kranich, 7,615,000; Smith, 3,885,000; Ivey, 2,630,000
Ivey Crippled: Ivey looked down at and limped from the button. After Smith folded from the small blind, Kranich checked his option from the big blind with , leading to the flop. Kranich proceeded to check-call a 200,000 bet from Ivey as the dealer burned and turned the .
Once again, Kranich check-called a bet, this time to the tune of 500,000. When the was put out on the river, Kranich checked, Ivey bet 700,000, and Kranich called to take down the 3,360,000 pot. Ivey was left with just a million after the hand.
Raw Deal: While commentator Mike Sexton was critical of the previous hand, Tony Dunst took to his segment, The Raw Deal, to defend Ivey’s play. Dunst stated: “I really like Ivey’s river bet, though, because the majority of the time he has the best hand against Moritz’s range.” Like it or not, it didn’t change Ivey’s position.
Ivey Busted: Ivey moved all in from the small blind for his last 1,130,000 and was quickly called by Smith in the big blind.
The gave Smith two pair and a virtual lock on the hand. The turn left Ivey looking for a queen on the river, but it instead came the . Ivey was eliminated in third place and received $363,650 for his ninth WPT final table appearance.
Only Two Remain: Heads-up play began with the Royal Flush Girls’ money presentation followed by a look at the chip counts. Kranich (9,335,000) was ahead by about a 2:1 margin over Smith (4,795,000), but it was still anyone’s game.
Two Rivered Straights: Not long into heads-up play, Smith was left crippled when Kranich hit a straight on the river. A short time later, Smith moved all in for 2,885,000 with and was called by the of Kranich. Smith was behind and stayed that way with the board reading , leaving him in desperate need of a nine or ten on the river. Wouldn’t you know it, the peeled off and Smith hit his river straight for a much-needed double to 5,810,000.
Final Hand: After a few more ups and downs, the chip counts were essentially even, with Kranich slightly ahead. It didn’t take much longer for Smith to pick up and limped from the small blind. Kranich fell into the trap and moved all in with and Smith insta-called. Smith was a 70% favorite to win as the flop came down . Suddenly Smith was an 81% favorite; however, the tables were turned as the spiked on the turn. Smith needed a ten for a straight or a diamond to stay alive. The was neither and Smith was eliminated in second place for $594,755.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: The champagne and confetti flew as Kranich became the first winner of the World Poker Tour’s Season IX, worth $875,150. While the young German was the first, he certainly won’t be the last. There will be plenty more players joining him in the winner’s circle as FSN broadcasts all the WPT Season IX action. Check your local listings every Sunday for the exact times in your area.
Past Bellagion Cup Champions
|Bellagio Cup||Amnon Filippi||$364,200|
|Bellagio Cup II||Shannon Shorr||$960,690|
|Bellagio Cup III||Kevin Saul||$1,342,320|
|Bellagio Cup IV||Mike Watson||$1,673,770|
|Bellagio Cup V||Alex Gomes||$1,187,670|
|Bellagio Cup VI||Moritz Kranich||$875,150|