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The Big Event ESPN Bounty Shootout Flight 1: Schleger, Keating, Duhamel and Walsh Advance

Alex Keating

The first flight of tables for the $10,000 ESPN Bounty Shootout at The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, California, wrapped up on Thursday with the first four spots at the final table being secured. Those players that won their table and will be returning on Saturday for the final table are Pat Walsh, Jonathan Duhamel, Alex Keating and Shane Schleger.

Walsh won his table after defeating Mike Baxter heads up. Walsh not only added $40,000 in prize money to his pocket for winning the table but also secured three $2,000 bounties, two on the same hand.

The flop was {A-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} and three players were all-in. Rick Salomon flopped a flush with the {K-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}. He held the nuts. Alex Fitzgerald flopped two pair with the {A-Clubs}{3-Clubs} and Walsh flopped top set with the {A-Hearts}{A-Spades}.

The turn brought the {10-Clubs} to pair the board and give Walsh a full house. The river completed the board with the {K-Hearts} and gave Walsh the pot. After the chips were counted down, Walsh's 32,625 that he was all-in for on the flop was more than Salomon's and Fitzgerald's, eliminating them from the tournament.

Duhamel was seated at the feature table all day with fellow World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker. The two battled all the way until they got heads-up, which was a rematch from the NBC National Heads-Up Championship semifinals that took place a few days ago. This time around, Duhamel won the match to put himself at the final table. He’ll be heading there with four bounties notched in his belt.

Keating was the third player to advance to the final table after defeating Shawn Buchanan heads up. The two got all the money in preflop with Keating holding the {J-Hearts}{J-Clubs}and edging out Buchanan's {10-Clubs}{10-Hearts}. The board ran out {7-Spades}{5-Hearts}{2-Spades}{9-Spades}{K-Spades} to eliminate Buchanan.

All is not lost for Buchanan, though, as a miracle could happen and he could still win the $20,000 prize for claiming the most bounties. As it stands going to the final table, Buchanan is the leader in that category with five.

The last player to make it through to the final table was Schleger. He did so after defeating a table that included Shaun Deeb, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Kathy Liebert and Marcello Del Grosso. To advance, Schleger beat Pat Pezzin in heads-up play.

From the button, Schleger made it 6,200 to go. Pezzin moved all in for a little over 30,000 and Schleger snapped him off with the {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}. Pezzin was live with the {Q-Clubs}{10-Clubs}.

The flop came down big for Schleger, {9-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. He held the only heart in his hand and the turn completed his flush when the {Q-Hearts} fell to leave Pezzin drawing dead. The river completed the board with the {8-Clubs}.

Bounty Leaders 
Shawn Buchanan*5
Jonathan Duhamel4
Shane Schleger3
Pat Walsh3
Pat Pezzin*3
Mike Baxter*3

*Denotes the player has already been eliminated from the tournament.

The first four final table players are set, but the action isn’t over as the second flight takes place on Friday with another 45 players in contention for the remaining five spots at the final table. Play will begin at noon local time for that flight and you can be sure to find all the updates on PokerNews.

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