From April 9 to 13, 2011, the World Poker Tour held the Hollywood Poker Open at the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The event attracted 97 players and created a prize pool of $911,800. FSN continued its broadcast of Season IX of the WPT on Sunday with Part 1 of the Hollywood Poker Open with a final table that included Ali Eslami, Tom Marchese, and Erik Seidel.
For those who might have missed it, the broadcast began with a recap of the tournament’s early action. Day 1 saw a number of notables enter the field including Randal Flowers, Hoyt Corkins, Jonathan Little, Mohsin Charania, and Dwyte Pilgrim. When play concluded on Day 1, high-stakes cash-game specialist Eslami (147,000) led the 57 remaining players.
Also in the field was Andy Whetstone, a Club WPT qualifier who found himself among the chip leaders on Day 2 after knocking out Corkins with pocket aces. By the end of the night, Whetstone (334,400) was in the chip lead with 27 players left in the field.
On Day 3, the march to the money was in full effect. With only 12 players slated to be paid, survival was on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Unfortunately for Ben Tollerene, he earned the distinction of bubble boy after being eliminated by Steven Kelly.
In-the-Money finishes leading up to the final table:
Here is how things stacked up at the top of this week’s broadcast.
WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Final Table
Seat 1: Andy Whetstone (80,500)
Seat 2: Erik Seidel (645,000)
Seat 3: Ali Eslami (213,000)
Seat 4: Tom Marchese (175,500)
Seat 5: Mike Scarborough (645,500)
Seat 6: William Reynolds (1,168,500)
First Hand: With the blinds at 2,500/5,000 and a 500 ante, Tom Marchese raised to 10,000 from the cutoff with and was quickly called by the of Mike Scarborough on the button. The blinds got out of the way and it was heads-up to the flop.
Marchese continuation bet 11,500, Scarborough called with the best hand, and the hit the turn. The card was great for Marchese, because it gave him both a straight and flush draw. He fired out 32,500. The bet proved too much for Scarborough who laid down the hand.
Ali Eslami Eliminated in Sixth Place: Chip leader William Reynolds raised to 11,000 preflop with and was called by the of Eslami in the big blind. In what can only be described a cooler, the flop fell ! Unfortunately for Eslami, he had no outs as Tom Marchese had folded the .
Both players coyly checked the flop, each no doubt thinking he were trapping the other. On the turn, Eslami led out for 13,500, Reynolds raised to 36,000, Eslami moved all-in for 200,500, and Reynolds snap-called. With no live outs, Eslami watched the fall on the river and he made his exit in sixth place ($50,962).
“You can’t do anything about that hand,” host Mike Sexton said after the hand.
Andy Whetstone Eliminated in Fifth Place: Mike Scarborough looked down at on the button and raised to 12,500. Short-stacked Andy Whetstone then min-raised 20,000 from the big blind with , which Scarborough called. When the flop came down , Whetstone moved all-in for his last 49,500 and Scarborough made a reluctant call.
Neither the turn nor the river helped Whetstone who was eliminated in fifth place for $62,041. Not a bad payday for the man who qualified for less than $20 a month by playing on ClubWPT.com. “It started out improbable, and some would say impossible, but here I am,” Whetstone said in his exit interview. “I can’t imagine any better ending other than maybe having the money in my lap and the trophy in my hands.”
Roommates: After Tom Marchese doubled through William Reynolds, the WPT aired a segment highlighting the duo’s roommate situation while staying in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The two were sharing a hotel room and had a bet throughout the tournament that whoever finished each day with the bigger chip stack got to sleep in the bed. This leaves us with the question as to why there wasn’t a room with two queen beds available.
The Raw Deal: Tony Dunst used his popular segment to discuss playing against your friends. He revisits the hands played between Tom Marchese and William Reynolds, insisting that they’re both willing to rip the heart out of one another, which proved true a short time later.
Tom Marchese Eliminated in Fourth Place: William Reynolds was on the button and raised to 14,000 holding . Erik Seidel was in the small blind and called with , while Tom Marchese looked down at in the big. The "Big Cheese" thought for a moment before three-betting to 48,000. Reynolds responded by four-betting to 100,000, Seidel folded, and Marchese moved all-in for 296,000. Reynolds made the call and it was off to the races.
In a pot worth 610,000, the dealer put out on the flop, giving Reynolds a set. Marchese was in bad shape, but he could still steal the pot with a queen for Broadway. Wouldn’t you know it, the spiked on the turn to give Marchese the lead; however, all was not lost for Reynolds who could still pair the board to snatch back the lead.
Reynolds paced the table as Marchese remained seated. The dealer burned one last time and plopped down the ! Reynolds hit the full house to take down the pot and send Marchese back to their room in fourth place ($77,551).
Tune in Next Week: Next Sunday FSN will air another all-new Season IX WPT episode, so be sure to check your local listings. If you happen to miss it, don’t forget you can read the recap right here on PokerNews.
Past WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Winners