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2013 WPT Canadian Spring Championship Day 4: Babakhani Leads Final Table; Harder Bubbles


The 2013 PartyPoker World Poker Tour Canadian Spring Championship played down to a final table on Wednesday, leaving six players with a chance to win a $442,248 top prize and a seat into this month's WPT World Championship at Bellagio in Las Vegas. Amir Babakhani will enter the final day with the chip lead, boasting a stack of 6,635,000 after eliminating poker pro Christian Harder on the final table bubble Wednesday evening.

WPT Canadian Spring Championship Final Table

1Barry Kruger4,770,000
2Tao Liang3,870,000
3Jonathan Bardier1,470,000
4Amir Babakhani6,635,000
5Jason Duval4,155,000
6Martin Leblanc1,140,000

Day 4 began with 18 players eyeing a seat at the televised final table inside the Playground Poker Room. Bryan Piccioli occupied the top spot on the leaderboard when action resumed but it took only minutes for him to lose it. According to the WPT Live Updates team, in the first level of the day Piccioli raised to 70,000 (blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000) from the hijack and Barry Kruger three-bet all in for 575,000 from the small blind. Piccioli called and turned over {A-Clubs}{K-Spades}, which was way out on front of Kruger's {A-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}. The {10-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{2-Hearts} flop gave Kruger flush and straight draws, and while the {7-Spades} on the turn changed nothing, the {4-Hearts} on the turn completed Kruger's flush and kept him alive.

The first players out the door on Wednesday were Stephane Alarie (18th - $19,649), Jaspal Brar (17th - $19,649), Ronnie Bardah (16th - $19,649), and Brant David Kostandoff (15th - $22,607). Ravi Raghavan, the only former WPT champ left in the field on Day 4, was the next to go in 14th place. After Christian Harder raised to 65,000 from the hijack, Raghavan shoved all-in from the cutoff for 800,000. Action folded back to Harder, who called, and the cards went on their backs.

Raghavan: {6-Clubs}{6-Spades}
Harder: {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}

Raghavan's pair looked promising through the {8-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{2-Diamonds} board, but the {A-Hearts} landed on the river to send him to the rail to collect his $22,607 for 14th place.

After Allen Butkovic and Carter Swidler busted in 13th and 12th place, respectively, it took two hours before the next knockout occurred. Harder min-raised to 100,000 from the hijack and Martin Leblanc called from the button. Josh Field, known best as "JJProdigy" online, moved all in from the big blind. Harder called and Leblanc folded, setting up a big flip for more than 2 million in chips.

Field: {6-Clubs}{6-Spades}
Harder {A-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs}

Once again Harder was up against pocket sixes, and once again he prevailed as the board ran out {J-Spades}{7-Clubs}{3-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{4-Spades}. Field was eliminated in 11th place, and the final 10 players combined into one "unofficial" final table.

Brian Beggs was the short stack with just nine big blinds when play recommenced and wasn't able to get anything going. With the blinds at 30,000/60,000/10,000, Babakhani raised to 125,000 from early position with {6-Spades}{6-Hearts} and action folded to Beggs, who shoved for 700,000 from the big blind with {5-Spades}{5-Diamonds}. This time, the sixes held up and Babakhani eliminated Beggs in 10th place.

On the next hand, Danny's Suied's run ended in ninth place. Piccioli raised to 130,000 from under the gun and Suied moved all in for 550,000 from middle position. Piccioli called with {K-Spades}{Q-Diamonds} and discovered he was in bad shape against {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs}, but the {K-Hearts}{J-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{J-Spades}{Q-Hearts} board gave Piccioli a higher two pair on the river, sending Suied home in ninth place for ($39,510).

Despite adding Suied's stack to his arsenal, Piccioli was the next player to exit. Babakhani completed his small blind to 80,000, and Piccioli checks his option to see a flop of {10-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{3-Spades}. Babakhani moved all in, effectively putting Piccioli to a decision for his entire stack, and Piccioli called with {10-Clubs}{6-Clubs} for top pair. Babakhani's {K-Spades}{10-Spades} was in front, and the {A-Hearts} turn and {8-Spades} river sent the Day 4 chip leader out of the tournament in eighth place for $52,609.

Harder had the chip leader for a good part of the day, but his demise came at the hands of Babakhani on the TV table bubble. After Harder raised to 170,000 (blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000) from under the gun, Babakhani three-bet to 375,000 from the hijack. Harder responded by committing all of his 2.3 million in chips, and Babakhani quickly called.

Harder: {9-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}
Babakhani: {Q-Clubs}{Q-Spades}

Harder needed to come from behind to stay alive, but the {8-Spades}{7-Hearts}{3-Spades}{8-Clubs}{5-Spades} board left him just short of his third career WPT final table. With that hand, Babakhani snagged the chip lead away from Kruger and he'll enter the final day best positioned to win his first WPT title.

If you don't know much about Babakhani, check out his interview with WPT reporter Jeanine Deeb:

Play resumes on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET and you can catch all of the action on the live stream at PokerNews will have a full recap at the completion of play, so check back to find out who wins the PartyPoker World Poker Tour Canadian Spring Championship!

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