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World Poker Tour on FSN: World Poker Finals Season X — Part I

World Poker Tour

On Sunday, Season X of the World Poker Tour continued on the Fox Sports Network with the start of the 10th annual World Poker Finals from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The $10,000 event attracted 189 players and created a prize pool of $1,778,550, with $449,910 reserved for first place.

The latest episode kicked off with Day 1 action, which included 13 former WPT champions including Jonathan Little, Hoyt Corkins, Will Failla and recent Borgata Poker Open champ, Bobby Oboodi. Another champ who got off to a quick start was Season IX Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger, who bagged up 90,200 and said, “Day 1, it’s nice to start off well, but it’s all about where you go from here.”

After five levels of play, Day 1 concluded with 141 players remaining and Tom Schreiber was in the lead with a 104,000-chip stack. Also surviving were former World Poker Final winners Little, Corkins, Cornel Cimpan and defending champ Jeff Forrest.

On Day 2, Failla was one of the first eliminations, but he wouldn’t be the last. By the end of the night, only 66 players remained. Among them were chip leader Dan Colpoys (246,000), Frankenberger (239,600), Peter Politano (237,900), Chris Klodnicki (216,100) and Steven Brackesy (213,700).

The push for the money began on Day 3 as a number of pros hit the rail early including Erik Seidel, Nikolai Yakovenko, and Club WPT online qualifier Don Burnwell. Forrest was also eliminated, meaning a new champion would be crowned at the World Poker Finals. “This is definitely one of the toughest fields,” Forrest said after his elimination. “Every time I come here, this year and last year, I look around and there’s not a lot of soft tables.”

Likewise, WPT Champions Club member Dwyte Pilgrim was unable to cash in because his {A-Spades}{9-Hearts} failed to overcome the {Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} of Bernard Lee when the board ran out {K-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{2-Spades}{5-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}. Another man who failed to leave without a cash — the last man to do so — was Alistair Melville, who finished as the bubble boy in 28th place.

Frankenberger entered Day 4 holding 658,000, enough to make him the chip leader, though he was followed by the likes of Jack Schanbacher (483,500), Christian Harder (378,500) and Larry Greenberg. Early on, one former World Poker Finals champ was eliminated by another when Corkins sent Cimpan to the rail in 23rd place for $19,916.

Later on, Matt Glantz was eliminated (12th - $34,676) before another champ-versus-champ elimination occurred when Little’s {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts} outdrew the {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds} of Corkins as the board ran out {Q-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{2-Spades}{Q-Clubs} in an all-in preflop confrontation. Corkins finished in 10th place for $34,767. Day 4 came to an end with just eight players remaining, and Harder held the chip lead.

Day 5 was short and sweet as only two eliminations needed to occur before the final table was set. Little, who was chasing his third WPT title, was the first to go in eighth place, earning $54,060, before Klodnicki got his stack all in holding {A-Hearts}{5-Hearts} on a flop of {5-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{3-Spades} against the {A-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} of Brackesy. The {K-Diamonds} turn sealed Klodnicki’s fate, and after the meaningless {A-Clubs} was put out on the river, he made his exit in seventh place ($68,465) as the final-table bubble boy.

Here’s how things stacked up at the start of the final table:

WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals Final Table

1Steven Brackesy1,807,000
2Daniel Santoro1,163,000
3Christian Harder1,293,000
4Bob Carbone588,000
5Andy Frankenberger374,000
6Eli Berg496,000

First Hand: With the blinds at 6,000/12,000 and a 2,000 ante, Andy Frankenberger opened for 30,000 with {A-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} only to run into the {A-Hearts}{A-Clubs} of Christian Harder in the big blind. The latter three-bet to 72,000 and Frankenberger released his hand.

Get to Know Andy: “The success I’ve had on the WPT is something I could have never predicted when I started playing poker,” Frankenberger admitted in side feature of his accomplishments. “Each season has a whole bunch of tournament winners, but only one Player of the Year, and that shows there’s been a certain level of consistency throughout the year. In my first professional year, to win Player of the Year, that to me stands out as my single greatest accomplishment."

Eli Berg Eliminated in Sixth Place: On the third hand of the final table, with the blinds at 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante, Eli Berg was first to act and looked down at {K-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}. He raised to 36,000 and cleared the field to Christian Harder on the button. Harder squeezed out {A-Hearts}{A-Clubs} for his second wired pair of pocket rockets in three hands! Instead of raising, he limped, and Andy Frankenberger came along from the big blind with {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}.

Frankenberger checked the king-high flop, Berg bet 73,000 and Harder called. Frankenberger got out of the way and the {10-Diamonds} turned. This time Berg checked, Harder bet 104,000 and Berg moved all in for 381,000. Harder took a few seconds before making the call and Berg cringed when the cards were turned up.

“Nice hand, Christian,” Berg said before the {7-Hearts} appeared on the river. “Congratulations everybody.” Berg then graciously shook hands with the remaining players before making his exit in sixth place for $83,580.

One to Watch: In the latest installment of Ones to Watch, the crew weighed in on David “Doc” Sands, who everyone agreed was one of the best players on the circuit. “He’s a very quick learner and just devours information,” Ebony Kenney explained.

"Doc Sands takes a long time to act regardless of the situation. He thinks way too much,” Dan O’Brien said. “Extremely infuriating to play with, but other than that, I think he’s good.”

“He’s the man,” Kenney explained.

Last Hand to Santoro: In the last hand of the broadcast, which was Hand #12 of the final table, action folded to Daniel Santoro on the button and he opened for 36,000 with {Q-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}. Christian Harder made the call with the {A-Hearts}{4-Hearts} from the small blind, while Bob Carbone released his {10-Clubs}{8-Hearts} from the big blind.

The {8-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{7-Spades} flop would have been gin for Carbone, but as it was, both active players checked. The {Q-Spades} turn saw Harder check, Santoro bet 40,000 and Harder make the call. The {2-Spades} river prompted Harder to check and Santoro to bet. The former player gave it some thought before nonchalantly folding his hand.

Tune in Next Week: Part II of the Foxwoods World Poker Finals is set to air on Sunday, April 29, on FSN, so be sure to check your local listings. If by chance you miss it, check back next week for the latest recap of all the action right here on PokerNews.

Past Foxwoods World Poker Finals Champions

1Howard Lederer89$320,400
2Hoyt Corkins313$1,089,200
3Tuan Le674$1,549,588
4Nick Schulman783$2,167,500
5Nenad Medic609$1,717,194
6Mike Vela575$1,704,986
7Jonathan Little412$1,120,310
8Cornel Andrew Cimpan353$910,058
9Jeff Forrest242$548,752

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*Picture courtesy of World Poker Tour.

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