2012 WPT Championship Final Table Set

This year’s World Poker Tour World Championship attracted a tough field of 220 title chasers, but today only 15 battle-tested players returned to compete for the honor of sitting at the final table. The play started at Level 21 with blinds of 12,000/24,000 and a 3,000 chip ante. Only 15 minutes in, two major players – Sam El Sayed and Steven Kelly – butted heads. El Sayed took the pot, significantly diminishing Kelly’s stack while putting himself within reach of the lead position.

Moments later, at the same table, another key hand played out between underdog Daniel Alaei and Roger Teska. This time Teska took the hit, doubling up Alaei and simultaneously knocking himself back several positions. El Sayed hesitated to take any more risks, and as a result aggressive young Galen Hall widened his chip lead, passing the 4 million mark. Only a few hands later, Justin Young sent Hall’s stack back to the 3 million level.

Less than an hour into play, Day 5 saw its first elimination in the form of Will Failla. Twenty minutes later Failla was followed by David Williams who exited the tournament in 14th place. After a quick chip count, yet another player was eliminated. This time it was Kelly, one of the 2011 WPT Championship’s most consistent players. His loss was Teska’s gain, putting Teska very near the 3 million chip mark. Literally three minutes later, Ashton Griffin followed Kelly out the door in 12th, and as a result Scott Seiver beat Teska to the 3 million milestone.

During all the eliminations, longtime leader Hall lost his mojo and El Sayed resumed the big stack position he’d held through most of Day 3 and Day 4. Seiver also pushed himself past Hall just before the beginning of Level 22. Shortly thereafter Hall took another hit when short stack Tony G doubled up off him, whittling the one-time leader’s stack down to less than a quarter of a million chips.

All of Day 5, Shannon Shorr was angling to improve his position, but despite his ambition he had a tough time rising up the ranks. In one important hand, Shorr mucked to El Sayed, sending him over the 5 million chip mark. Alaei, who had been hurting despite his earlier double, final bit it in 11th at the hands of El Sayed, and El Sayed simultaneously topped 6 million chips. Less than ten minutes after the final ten players had been determined, Teska sent Nenad Medic packing in 10th.

Despite a valiant effort to find traction in a very tough tournament, Shorr was next to go, earning $84,952 for his 9th place finish. Level 23 started with El Sayed and Seiver way out ahead of the rest of their opponents, but half an hour in David Peters finally made his move, doubling up off Seiver and leaving El Sayed alone out in front. Another quiet short stack, Freddy Bonyadi, also got a lucky break when he doubled off Justin Young. Tony G also grabbed a piece of Seiver while El Sayed remained untouchable.

Having failed to eliminate anymore players in Level 23, Level 24 started with a bang when Hall rallied with a 1.7 million chip pot. Young finally took a piece of El Sayed, and the playing field started to look a little more level. Though Level 24 also passed without another elimination, El Sayed couldn’t seem to recover from that one small loss. By the time the first Level 25 chip count rolled around El Sayed was the short stack and Seiver was back on top.

Seiver, Hall and Teska jockeyed for the lead while El Sayed wasted away. Hall finally finished him off in 8th. After more than 8 hours of play, the final table layout was determined within a few hands when Seiver picked off the other easy target, Peters. Here’s how the remaining six stacks look going into final table action tomorrow:

Galen Hall – 5,095,000

Scott Seiver – 5,075,000

Roger Teska – 3,600,000

Tony Gargano – 3,550,000

Freddy Bonyadi – 2,470,000

Justin Young – 1,750,000

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