On Sunday night, the World Poker Tour Season X continued on Fox Sports Network with Part I of the $100,000 Super High Roller, which took place alongside the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio back in May.
On Day 1 of the event, 26 players, including Phil Galfond, David “Doc” Sands, Justin “Boosted J” Smith, Masa Kagawa, Robert Zeps, Brian Hastings and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, forked over the $100,000 buy-in. Eventually six players were eliminated and took advantage of the reentry — Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Galen Hall, Tom Marchese, Andrew Robl and Cary Katz.
As the day wore on, Sam Trickett joined the action, and Negreanu busted his second buy-in after his ran into the of Galfond. “Everything went wrong in this 100K for me…not rebuying anymore,” Negreanu tweeted shortly after taking his leave. Others who joined him on the rail throughout the day were Grospellier, Michael Parziale, Robert Zeps and Clemenceau Calixto.
Day 1 ended with 19 players and Justin Bonomo’s stack of 1.433 million leading the way. Registration was open up until the start of Day 2, and that inspired poker pro Sorel Mizzi to give it a shot. Likewise, Calixto opted to give it another go and reentered the tournament, which created a $3.3 million prize pool.
Mizzi’s late registration didn’t go as planned because he busted within an hour of entering, and Dan Shak, Mercier, Katz, Calixto, Sands, Smith and Galfond soon followed him out the door. When Hastings exited in 10th place, the final nine players combined to one table and looked to play down to the official final table of six — though only five were slated to get paid.
Trickett busted to Robl shortly after losing a big pot to Daniel Perper in which his was no good against Perper’s on a board, and soon thereafter Season IX Super High Roller winner Erik Seidel exited in eighth place. On the TV final table bubble, Dan Smith busted when he was all-in preflop with and was up against the of Bonomo. The board ran out , eliminating Smith.
Here’s how things stacked up at the start of the final table:
WPT Season X $100,000 Super High Roller Open Final Table
|1||Bill Klein||620,000 (12 BBs)|
|2||John Juanda||1,875,000 (37 BBs)|
|3||Tom Marchese||2,235,000 (44 BBs)|
|4||Daniel Perper||3,415,000 (68 BBs)|
|5||Justin Bonomo||2,105,000 (42 BBs)|
|6||Andrew Robl||3,355,000 (67 BBs)|
Where is JJ?: There was one man mysteriously absent at the start of the final table, and that was six-time WPT finalist John Juanda, who finished runner-up to Gus Hansen in the first-ever WPT event at the Bellagio. “First place is over $1.3 million and the guy’s not even here, it’s just incredible to me, but you do blind the guy off and ante him off, so however long that takes for him to go broke,” Mike Sexton said before choosing Bonomo as his pick to win it.
Playing for Charity: In the very first hand of the broadcast, Tom Marchese opened for 100,000 with only to have Daniel Perper three-bet to 240,000. Bill Klein proceeded to moved all in for 615,000 from the big blind with .
Interestingly, Klei, the amateur, had pledged to donate 100% of his winnings to charity; what’s more, he had promised to contribute another $100,000 to charity even if he busted in sixth place on the money bubble. As it was, Marchese folded the best hand and Perper called with the worst to put Klein at risk. Klein, who you may recognize from some episodes of High Stakes Poker, was a 68 percent favorite, but that dropped to 60 percent on the flop. The turn bumped it up to 75 percent, and the river gave him a double to 1.41 million on Hand #1.
“I’ve been very blessed in my life. I had cancer in 2003, I’ve been a cancer survivor. Every day is a great day. We’ve been financially blessed. You gotta give back, you gotta get in there and pitch in. You can’t somebody else do it,” Klein said in a side interview.
Enter Juanda: Unfortunately for John Juanda, when he finally took his seat, it was a tad too late to play his hand since the last card had already been dealt. Nonetheless, Juanda looked at his hand, the , and was none too happy when tournament officials informed him that it was a dead hand.
The Fashion Report: Mike Sexton believes finalists should look good at the feature table; as such, in our Part I recaps I like to offer a short and sweet fashion report on each player:
Bill Klein: A baby blue polo with a black baseball cap. Definitely not anything special, but somewhat fitting since you got the feeling this amateur would be left black and blue by the professionals at the table. Grade: C+
John Juanda: A brown-and-white squared short-sleeve button-up. Nothing too fancy, but the colors looked good on Juanda. Grade: B
Tom Marchese: A grey t-shirt with what appeared to be black flames rising up. C’mon Tom. Grade: D
Daniel Perper: Slicked back hair with a silky black button-up. It was the sort of shirt you might see at a nightclub, but it looked good. Grade: B+
Justin Bonomo: A similar getup to Perper, Bonomo sported a long-sleeve black button-up, though the sleeves were up and cuffed. It looked pretty sleek. Grade: A-
Andrew Robl: You might think he planned his outfit with Bonomo and Perper, because he was wearing — you guessed it — a black button-up. “He looks a little like a poor man’s Matt Damon, doesn’t he,” said Vince Van Patten. Grade: B+
The Bubble Boy: In Hand #13 of the final table, with the blinds at 25,000/50,000 and a 5,000 ante, Justin Bonomo min-raised from the cutoff with only to have John Juanda three-bet to 300,000 from the big blind with . Bonomo thought for a few moments before making the call, and then watched Juanda move all in on the flop. Bonomo had flopped top pair with top kicker, and he called off his remaining 1.9 million.
Bonomo, who only had an 18 percent chance of survival, looked dejected and stared at the table as the turned. That dropped his chances to win down to just 8 percent, but the useless peeled off on the river and his day was done. Bonomo composed himself enough to shake hands with the remaining players, but you could tell he was extremely disappointed to be leaving empty handed on the $263,160 money bubble.
“It sucks, there’s not really much other way to put it,” Bonomo told Jessica Welman in his post-elimination interview. “The World Series is coming up, so hopefully I’ll do well there. I can’t complain too much, life is good.”
Tune in Next Week: Part II of the WPT World Championship Super High Roller is set to air on Sunday, Sept. 23, 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 here on PokerNews.
*Pictures courtesy of World Poker Tour.