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The WSOP on ESPN: Cunningham, Negreanu, & Bellande Highlight Day 5

Allen Cunningham

The 2011 World Series of Poker rolled on Tuesday night with two more episodes of the Main Event broadcast on ESPN. With eight of 24 episodes down, the Main Event coverage continued on the march to the November Nine. Last week, Day 4 concluded with 378 players and set the stage for an action-packed Day 5. The remaining field, which began with 6,865 players, were competing for their shares of a $64,531,000 prize pool.

Day 5 notables who remained included Amanda Musumeci, who led out of the remaining six women; 2008 WSOP Player of the Year Erick Lindgren; the amiable Daniel Negreanu; 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong; and the unstoppable Ben Lamb. Here are the top chip counts at the top of the broadcast:

Day 5 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1stManoj Viswanathan2,115,000
2ndSam Barnhart1,925,000
3rdPius Heinz1,887,000
4thStephane Albertini1,867,000
5thDaryl Jace1,849,000
6thLars Bonding1,813,000
7thKyle Johnson1,761,000
8thMatthew Kay1,756,000
9thMazin Khory1,707,000
10thMax Heinzelmann1,672,000

Let’s Get It On: With the blinds at 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante, Daniel Negreanu was under the gun at the feature table and raised to 22,000 with {K-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}. Action folded to Ralph Robinson on the button, and he made the call with {K-Spades}{9-Spades}, leading to the {A-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{10-Spades} flop. Negreanu led out for 28,000 with his Broadway draw, which Robinson called with the nut-flush draw. The {2-Clubs} turn missed both, and Negreanu ended up check-folding to Robinson’s 53,000 bet. Nonetheless, Negreanu was still the second biggest stack at the feature table, which also included Jean-Robert Bellande.

$900,000 Pot on Secondary Feature: Manoj Viswanathan began the day as chip leader with 2,118,000 and quickly became involved in a big hand on the secondary feature table. It began when Scott Schwalich raised to 23,000 from the cutoff with {q-Diamonds}{9-Spades} and Viswanathan three-bet to 75,000 from the button holding {Q-Clubs}{5-Clubs}. Swiss player Stefan Huber made the call with {K-Spades}{K-Diamonds} from the big blind while Schwalich got out of the way.

When the flop fell {J-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{6-Hearts} and Huber checked, Viswanathan fired out 120,000. A call ensued, and was followed by another check-call, this time 250,000, on the {9-Clubs} turn. The {2-Hearts} river inspired checks from both players, sending the 927,000 pot to Huber. On the other hand, Viswanathan bluffed off 20 percent of his stack.

One for Musumeci: With 247,000 in the pot and a board reading {J-Clubs}{6-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}, Daniel Retallick held an open-ended straight draw with {8-Clubs}{5-Clubs} and bet 151,000. Amanda Musumeci called with her {A-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}, and the two were heads up to the {J-Diamonds} river. Both Retallick and Musumeci checked, allowing the Retallick to take down the pot.

Poolhall Junkie: After a commercial break, the cameras caught a hand that saw Mars Callahan all-in holding {K-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} on a {10-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{Q-Spades} flop. Unfortunately, he was dominated by the {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs} of Douglas Gord. “I haven’t used my one time yet,” Callahan said. “This is it.” Sure enough, the {10-Hearts} spiked on the turn to give him the lead, which was followed by the harmless {5-Clubs} on the river. As the dealer pushed the 657,000 pot, Callahan sprinted to the rail to celebrate with his supporters.

Some sports fanatics might recognize Callahan’s name, because he was nominated for an ESPY for writing, directing, and starring in the 2002 drama-thriller film, Poolhall Junkies. The film starred Chazz Palminteri and Christopher Walken, among others, and garnered good reviews. In a montage dedicated to Callahan, it was revealed that nine years ago he was given two weeks to live after finding a tumor on his kidney. “In life, you know, sometimes the flop can be pretty brutal,” Callahan explained. “But they didn’t wait for the turn and the river yet, they didn’t read the book on Mars Callahan.”

Freerolling: Back at the feature table, Jean-Robert Bellande opened for 24,000 with {Q-Spades}{4-Spades} and received a call from the {K-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} of Robert Lipkin from the small blind. The two were heads up to the {9-Spades}{J-Diamonds}{K-Clubs} flop, prompting both players to check. The {10-Spades} turn was gin, giving both players a straight, and Lipkin led out for 36,000. JRB quickly raised to 136,000, Lipkin moved all-in for 283,000, and Bellande sighed before saying, “I have to call.”

The rest of the table, especially Daniel Negreanu, laughed when they saw JRB’s cards, insinuating it was an obvious call. Barring a spade on the river, the two would chop the pot. Bellande was quick to point out that he never hits in such situations, but he can complain no more since the {8-Spades} spiked to give him the flush and 633,000 pot, eliminating Lipkin from the tournament.

Aces vs. Kings: We’re not sure of the preflop action, but the cameras were called over when Omar Saeed was all-in holding {A-Hearts}{A-Diamonds} and at risk against David Bach’s {K-Hearts}{K-Clubs} — oh, and there was a 1,304,000 pot on the line, as well! Bach was running well in the Main Event, as evidenced by his battle with Vanessa Rousso last week, and his luck continued when the board ran out {10-Spades}{K-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{J-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} to give him the pot, making him the chip leader, and sending Saeed to the rail.

Quads for Cunningham: On the feature table, Patrick Coughlin opened with a raise to 24,000 holding {9-Spades}{9-Hearts} and received a call from Allen Cunningham who was on the button holding {2-Spades}{2-Diamonds}. Daniel Negreanu came along for the ride in the big blind with {Q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}, and action was three handed to the {2-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{K-Spades} flop. It was a set-over-set situation, with Cunningham being on the bad end.

Negreanu checked, Coughlin bet 38,000, and Cunningham called. After Negreanu got out of the way, the {2-Clubs} hit the river to give Cunningham quads! Coughlin bet 95,000 with his nines full, Cunningham just called, and the {10-Clubs} peeled off on the river. Coughlin hesitated for a moment before moving all-in and Cunningham double checked his cards before calling off his remaining 304,000, doubling to 960,000 in the process.

Collins vs. “nutsinho:” In the second hour of broadcast, Phil Collins and Richard “nutsinho” Lyndaker created an all-in preflop pot of 1.35 million with the former holding {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} against the latter’s {K-Spades}{K-Clubs}. Collins had just a 30 percent chance of winning the hand, which dropped to 14 percent after the {J-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{9-Diamonds} flop. The {10-Diamonds} gave Collins a gut-shot straight draw, which just so happened to hit when the {Q-Hearts} spiked on the river. Lyndaker, clearly dejected and shocked, shook hands with his opponent and made his way to the exit. With that, Collins was up to 1.8 million.

Saul Gone: At one of the outer tables, Kevin Saul got all-in preflop for 629,000 holding {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} and was dominating Brian Yoon's {A-Hearts}{10-Hearts}. Unfortunately for the man known as “BeL0WaB0Ve,” the {10-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}{J-Hearts} flop delivered a ten for Yoon. Neither the {2-Hearts} turn nor {8-Clubs} turn helped Saul, and he was eliminated in 216th place for $47,107.

Say Goodbye to Kid Poker: Day 5 was rough for Daniel Negreanu. He began with 619,000 but was not only down to 97,000 in what was not only the last hand of the broadcast, but also down to his last hand, as well. It happened when Negreanu shipped his stack all-in preflop with {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds} and was called by Rupert Elder who was holding {A-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}. Negreanu may have been a 2-1 favorite and primed to double after the {9-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{3-Clubs} flop missed his opponent; however, the {A-Spades} turn sent shock waves throughout the main stage.

“No. Oh, this World Series sucks this year! Every time in 2-1, I lose. Boo!” Negreanu mockingly complained. The {4-Clubs} river was no help, and Negreanu graciously shook hands with the entire table before making his exit in 211th place.

Tune in Next Week: Every Tuesday leading up to November, ESPN will air two episodes of the 2011 WSOP Main Event. Be sure to either check your local listings or come back next week for our recap of the action.

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