2014 WPT Legends of Poker Day 4: Eskandari in Control at Televised Final Table
The final 16 players of the 2014 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker returned to the Bicycle Casino on Thursday looking to reach one of the WPT's most prestigious final tables. When the day ended, Massoud Eskandari led a group of lesser-known players at the televised six-handed table, which is set to take place Friday evening.
Day 4 began with 16 of the original 593 entries in contention for the $576,369 top prize. Tyler Kenney led the way when the action resumed, but Jeremy Kottler shot into the lead early when he eliminated Huy Lam in 16th place.
Following Lam out the door were Joe Szegendy (15th - $19,420), Dylan Wilkerson (14th - $19,420), Gene O'Leary (13th - $19,420), Jimmy Lee (12th - $24,816) and Anthony Tao (11th - $24,815), leaving 10 players to combine into the unofficial final table.
Andy Frankenberger was the biggest name left in the field, but unfortunately for the former WPT Player of the Year he was eliminated on the first hand. According to the WPT Live Updates, Eskandari raised to 65,000 from early position (blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000), Tyler Cornell called from middle position, and Frankenberger three-bet to 300,000 from the small blind. Eskandari folded, but Cornell moved all in. Frankenberger called off for about 885,000 total, and the cards were turned up.
Frankenberger was way out in front, but the flop paired Cornell's ace and left Frankenberger drawing thin. The turn and river completed the board, and Frankenberger was eliminated.
Richard Munro hit the rail in ninth place, and then reigning WPT Championship winner Keven Stammen made his exit in eighth place after a wild hand developed against Eskandari. Stammen opened with a min-raise to 80,000 from the hijack and Eskandari defended his big blind. Both players checked the flop, and Eskandari led out for 105,000 on the turn. Stammen called, bringing the on the river. Eskandari fired 150,000 and Stammen raised to 405,000. Eskandari sat in his seat for about a minute before moving all in, putting Stammen to a decision for his last 265,000 chips. Stammen went into the tank.
MacFarland eventually called the clock on Stammen, and before time ran out Stammen asked his opponent if he would show. Eskandari agreed, and Stammen folded face up. Eskandari tabled the for a higher straight, and Stammen was relieved to see that he made the right decision.
Unfortunately for Stammen, though, he was unable to make use of his remaining chips. On the very next hand he moved all in with the on a flop and Cornell called with the . Cornell needed to go runner-runner to win the pot, and he did just that when the and completed the board to give him a flush. Stammen, who was attempting to become only the second player ever to win back-to-back WPT titles (Marvin Rettenmaier), was eliminated in eighth place for $45,310.
Canadian pro Owen Crowe was the last elimination of the day. After MacFarland min-raised to 100,000 from the hijack, Crowe moved all in for 970,000 from the small blind. MacFarland through it over for about three minutes before announcing a call and seeing the good news.
The board ran out an uneventful , sending Crowe to the rail and securing the televised final table.
The action will resume Friday at 4 p.m. PDT when the final six players compete for the title. Be sure to check out a full recap of the action here at PokerNews upon the completion of play.
*Data courtesy of the WPT.