Another WSOP bracelet will be awarded at the conclusion of this event!
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 11:46 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Michael Chu, a Berkeley graduate who has been playing poker part-time for ten years, is the winner of event #8 of the 2007 World Series of Poker. In addition to the gold bracelet, he will take home $585,774 in cash. When interviewed by Norman Chad, he said that despite the win, he had no plans to quit his day job, and he hopes his family members - who at times were uncertain about his poker playing habit - are proud of him. Congratulations Michael Chu!
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 11:31 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
On the fourth hand of heads-up play, Tommy Vu limped, Michael Chu raised to 200K, and Vu called. With the 9 3 8 flop, Michael bet 375K, Vu moved all-in, and Chu called. Vu had 8 6 for a pair of eights, and Chu had J T for two overcards and the open-end straight draw. The 5 turn was a blank but the 7 river made Chu's straight, doubling him up to 4.4M and a 4-1 chip lead.
Then, on the tenth hand, Tommy lunged all-in and Michael called. Vu had K 8 and Chu had A 3 . The flop came 6 3 5 , pairing Chu's three but giving Vu the flush draw. The 6 turn was no help and neither was the 4 river. Michael Chu's hand holds up to take the pot. Tommy Vu, the TV infomercial king from the 1980s, has finished as the runner-up, earning $364,761.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 10:55 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
We were playing patient, meticulous poker there for a number of hands. Then the dam broke:
Barry limped from the small blind and Michael Chu raised to 330K from the big blind. Barry reraised all-in for 790K total and Michael called immediately. Barry turned over a puzzling J 7 and was in big trouble against Michael's Q Q . The board never came to Barry's help, as it dropped A 2 3 5 K . Michael Chu wins the pot with his two ladies, and Barry Cales - in his first WSOP played in 20 years of poker - ends up in third place, earning $235,575.
Going into heads-up play, Tommy Vu will have a 2.9M to 2.4M lead.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 09:59 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Tommy Vu doubled through Michael Chu when his A Q prevailed over A T , but only after falling behind when a ten came on the turn and then making a flush on the river.
Dolph Arnold was left crippled after he dropped out of a three-way pot on the turn. The pot was eventually won by Tommy Vu, making him the runaway chip leader, with more than 50% of the chips in play.
A few hands later, it folded to Tommy Vu in the small blind, and he moved all-in to the short-stacked Arnold, who made the could-not-fold call for his final 15K on top of the big blind he posted. Vu showed Q 9 and Arnold had 8 5 . The board came 3 6 Q 7 7 . Dolph Arnold, one of the old time gamblers playing since the late 1940s, has been eliminated in 4th spot, earning $157,050.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 09:10 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
844 players began this event and pumped up the prize pool by rebuying a total of 1,814 times. Now we are down to the final four players, each fighting for the $585,774 first place payout, as well as the WSOP gold bracelet.
We have returned from the dinner break and are about to settle this matter.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 07:37 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
We had a long stretch there of no all-ins called. Some cautious play with a few pushes, but no one willing to do battle with an all-in. Tommy Vu has been the most aggressive player by far, but it has not netted him much. He would raise or reraise aggressively, taking down a lot of small to medium pots, but then someone would go over the top all-in and Tommy would fold.
We have just begun our dinner break, which will last until 9:00pm. Here are the current chip stacks of the remaining four contenders:
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 06:46 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Back from break with the new blinds of 20K/40K and a 5K ante.
Shane Schleger was crippled when he lost an all-in with Barry Cales.
An orbit later, Shane moved all-in for his last 165K and Michael Chu, in the big blind, called him. Shane had A Q but Michael had live cards with the K T . Michael moved ahead with the 5 T 3 flop. The 9 turn and 7 river couldn't bail Shane out this time. Shane "Shaniac" Schleger finishes in 5th place, taking home $111,455.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 05:42 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Barry Cales and Shane Schleger got all-in and Shaniac's tournament life was at risk. Unbelievably, he spiked a five-outer on the river to win the pot and double up to over one million.
A few hands later, Michael Gracz moved all-in with his short stack of 230K and it folded to Tommy Vu, in the big blind, who called and turned over cowboys: K K . Gracz had just Q 6 . The flop of T A 3 gave Michael some hope for the flush, but the turn-river of A 6 dashed those hopes. Michael Gracz is our 6th place finisher, earning $84,858.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 05:22 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Michael Gracz lost another heartbreaker on the river, this time to Dolph Arnold. Then Amir Vahedi lost a huge 1.4M pot to Dolph, again on the river, leaving Vahedi with a microstack.
A couple hands later, Amir went all-in with his tiny stack, Michael Chu raised to 125K, and Shane Schleger moved all-in for 227K total, which Chu called. The players turned up:
The board:. Shane Schleger scoops all the chips.
Amir Vahedi is out in 7th place, earning $63,327.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 04:07 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Tommy Vu raised to 70K and Robert Aron moved in for 154K. It folded back around to Tommy, who did the math, and figured there was no way to fold, given the odds. He called and showed Q T . Robert turned over A Q . The flop came safe for Robert with the J 5 4 . The 9 turn gave Tommy an open-ended straight, so any eight, ten, or king would do it for him. And that's just what he got with the K river. Tommy Vu sucks out on the river, sending Robert Aron home in 8th place, for a tidy $46,862.
That was the final hand at that level. Players are now on a 20-minute break.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 03:50 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
Amir Vahedi lost half his stack to Michael Chu in a big hand earlier. That should put Chu squarely in the lead. Just now, Barry Cales doubled through Michael Gracz to stay alive.
Familiar faces in the stands include Alex Jacob, Haralabos Voulgaris, Kristy Gazes, Brandon Cantu, and Paul McCaffrey.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 03:16 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
In our first all-in called, the action went like this: Dolph Arnold limped, Jan Von Halle moved all-in for about 150K, Michael Chu called from the blind, and Dolph folded. Jan, with a smirk, tabled the fearsome 9 2 . Chu showed A K . With the flop of A 5 5 , Jan was drawing thin, needing some runner-runner assistance. The 3 turn gave him a ray of hope, with any four giving him the pot. But the T ended his day. Jan Von Halle, from Hamburg, Germany, is our ninth place finisher, earning $34,196.
Thursday, 07th of June 2007 02:40 PM(Michael Cheser reporting)
OK, we are here at 2:00pm EST (which in this case means ESPN Standard Time), which is 2:40PM Pacific Daylight Time. All nine players are seated and we are about ready for introductions. There is 12:34 left in the 8K/16K blind level with a 2K ante. Cards will be in the air momentarily!
Final table action will get underway at about 2pm here in the Rio Pavillion Thursday afternoon. Amir Vahedi comes to the final table with a massive chip lead over the field. He's already got one WSOP bracelet and he would love to win his second one today, along with more than half a million dollars!
Here's the final table lineup with their chip counts, and the prize money still up for grabs:
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