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World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Day 5: Mortensen Looking for WPT Title Number Four

Carlos Mortensen

When Day 5 began at noon out in Commerce, California at the Commerce Casino for the 2011 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event, 18 players remained. All of them were contending for the title and over $1.6 million in first-place prize money, but only one of them was still in contention for his fourth WPT title. That player was none other than 2001 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Carlos Mortensen. When the day ceased with the final television table of six set, Mortensen was on top of the pack with 5,235,000 in chips.

Mortensen isn’t the only former WPT champion to make his way to the final table. Vivek Rajkumar is second in chips going to the final table with 5,185,000. That puts the 2008 WPT Borgata Poker Open champion not too far behind Mortensen. Joining those two are Amir Lehavot, Gregory Brooks, Darryll Fish and Steve Gross.

Kathy Liebert was the first player to bust on the day, finishing in 18th place for just over $50,000 in prize money. She was all in preflop with the {A-Clubs}{10-Spades}, but in trouble against Fish’s {J-Hearts}{J-Spades}. The board ran out {K-Spades}{9-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} and sent Liebert to the rail.

Another notable name who made it to Day 5, but failed to get through the day was 2010 WSOP November Niner Jason Senti. He was all in holding the {Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} against Brooks. Senti’s queens were in front as Brooks tabled the {K-Clubs}{J-Hearts}, but they wouldn’t hold as the board ran out {K-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{9-Spades} to send him to the rail in 14th place.

With 12 players left on two tables of six, Mortensen was able to bust both Shannon Shorr and James Carroll on the same hand. He did it after having the worst of it in the three-way all in though.

With the blinds 20,000-40,000 with a 5,000 ante, Mortensen had raised from under the gun to 95,000 and Shorr reraised from the small blind to 275,000. Carroll was in the big blind and moved all in. Mortensen re-shipped and then Shorr snap-called all in. What were the hands? Just the ol’ aces versus kings versus queens with 12 people left in a WPT Main Event, that’s all.

Shorr: {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts}
Carroll: {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}
Mortensen: {Q-Spades}{Q-Clubs}

With the worst of it going to the flop, Mortensen added a flush draw as the first three community cards came down {J-Spades}{8-Spades}{2-Spades}. As the only player holding a spade in his hand, Mortensen had his opponents drawing dead when the {10-Spades} rolled out on the turn. Without the board paired, the {K-Spades} on the river was meaningless and Shorr and Carroll hit the rail while Mortensen moved to 4,500,000 in chips.

After Jesse Yaginuma hit the rail in 10th place, the final nine players reconvened at one table. WSOP gold bracelet winners Jason DeWitt, Allen Cunningham and David “Bakes” Baker all made it, but wound up finishing in ninth, eighth and seventh, respectively.

Baker was the last elimination of the night that set the official six-handed WPT final table. His final hand happened after he raised to 125,000 from the cutoff seat with the blinds still at 20,000-40,000 with a 5,000 ante. Rajkumar reraised to 305,000 from the small blind and Baker moved all in for slightly more than 1.5 million. Rajkumar made the call and held the {A-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. He was behind the {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} for Baker, but the board ran out {A-Clubs}{J-Clubs}{8-Spades}{10-Clubs}{4-Diamonds} in his favor. Baker took over $176,000 for his finish.

Final Table Seat Draw and Chip Counts

1Vivek Rajkumar5,185,000
2Darryll Fish2,275,000
3Gregory Brooks2,300,000
4Amir Lehavot4,115,000
5Steve Gross1,320,000
6Carlos Mortensen5,235,000

Under normal circumstances, Rajkumar making this WPT final table and going for his second WPT title would be the top story. This isn’t a normal circumstance though as Mortensen is in line for his record fourth WPT title. This is Mortensen’s fifth WPT final table having previously won three out of the four he’s made. With his record and the chip lead, we’re taking him if we’re betting. If Mortensen can find his way to the title, he’ll move into fifth place on the all-time money list, surpassing Phil Hellmuth. Right now, he sits in 13th.

The final table will commence at 4:00 p.m. local time on the West Coast on Thursday and the blinds will begin at 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 ante. This is going to be an amazing final table. Be sure to check back for the final recap right here at PokerNews.

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