Season XI of the World Poker Tour, which has been being broadcast on Fox Sports Network (FSN), is nearing the end. The $25,000 WPT Championship — the last stop of the season — will begin airing next week, but before that happened the conclusion of the $100,000 Super High Roller needed to be aired.
In my recap of Part I, I highlighted the tournament (which attracted 21 entries), profiled some of the high rollers, and wrote about the elimination of Andrew Robl. In last week’s recap, I offered my infamous final table fashion report and took a look at the elimination of Steven Silverman, who won the first-ever WPT Alpha8 event in South Florida for $891,660 recently.
Here’s how things stacked up at the top of this week’s episode, which began with the blinds at 25,000/50,000/5,000:
WPT Season XI Super High Roller Final Table
|1||Joseph Cheong||1,850,000 (37 BBs)|
|3||Jim Courtney||1,150,000 (23 BBs)|
|5||Dan Perper||1,885,000 (37 BBs)|
|6||David “Doc” Sands||1,410,000 (28 BBs)|
Double on the First Hand: On the very first hand of the broadcast, Dan Perper raised to 110,000 under the gun with the only to have David “Doc” Sands three-bet all in for 1.405 million from the button holding the . Joseph Cheong then looked down at the in the small blind and moved all in over the top. Jim Courtney folded from the big blind, and Perper released his hand.
It was a classic flip, but not after the flop smacked Sands. The turn didn’t change a thing as neither player held a heart, and the river saw Sands double into the chip lead.
Biggest Bubble in WPT History Bursts: With four players remaining, one needed to leave empty handed before the money was reached. That meant there was a huge $409,500 bubble. It took a while, but eventually the biggest bubble in WPT history burst.
It happened when Perper, who had just doubled Cheong, opened for 120,000 under the gun with the . Cheong called from the small blind with the , Courtney came along from the big with the and three players saw a flop of .
Two checks saw Perper bet 160,000 with his two pair, Cheong folded and Courtney made the call. When the turn delivered the 68-year-old businessman an open-ended straight draw, Courtney moved all in and Perper snap-called. Both players were on their feet to watch the river, which fell the lackluster . Courtney, who began the final table as the chip leader, shook hands with the remaining players and then exited the stage as the bubble boy.
“Every time somebody went all in and I had a chance to end up in the money, they pulled it out, and there’s not much you can do,” Courtney said in his post-elimination interview with Matt Savage. “I got short stacked at the end and that’s that... I am the bubble grandpa.”
Keep an Eye on Cheong & Sands: I could tell you about this week’s Ones to Watch, but I think it’d be better to just show you:
Perper Punished: After falling to the short stack, Perper looked down at the on the button and moved all in for 1.17 million. Sands then squeezed out the in the small blind and moved all in over the top. Cheong quickly folded from the big and it was off to the races.
According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Sands was a slight favorite with a 55.04% chance of winning the hand while Perper would survive 44.39% of the time. The flop was disaster for Perper as Sands flopped a set and became an 86.26% favorite. Perper picked up a gutshot straight draw, but he’d only hit it 12.53% of the time. The turn dropped Perper’s chances to 9.09%, and the long shot wouldn’t come through as the blanked on the river.
Perper, who finished fourth in the same tournament the year before, was eliminated in third place and took home $409,500 for his efforts.
Heads-Up Play: Sands began heads-up play with 5.04 million to Cheong’s 1.255 million, and with the blinds at 50,000/100,000/10,000, you just knew it wasn’t going to take long for a winner to be determined. As it turned out, it took just two hands.
It happened when Cheong moved all in with the and was snap-called by Sands, who had looked down at the in the big blind. Cheong had some major kicker problems, but he did have a 22% chance of a chop. The flop gave Cheong a gutshot to a wheel, while the turn gave both a pair of aces. Sands’ kicker made him a 70% favorite, and the river made him the Season XI WPT Super High Roller Champion.
Sands, who tends to show very little emotion, shook his fist in celebration and then made his way over to his wife on the rail for a celebratory kiss.
“I’m very happy, and I’m happy for my friend David,” said Cheong, who took home over $600,000. “I can’t really complain about second place.”
Tune in Next Week: Part I of the $25,000 WPT Championship is set to air on Sunday, September 22 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.
Who will be the next player to add his name to this prestigious list of champions?
Past WPT $100,000 Super High Roller Champions
|Season 9||Erik Seidel||$1,118,280|
|Season 10||Tom Marchese||$1,308,405|
|Season 11||David “Doc” Sands||$1,023,000|
*Pictures courtesy of World Poker Tour.