After five days of play at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California, the final table of the World Poker Tour’s Legends of Poker event has been determined.
21 players stepped up for Day 4 play in the tournament, with the eyes of most Canadian fans firmly fixed on Shawn Buchanan’s attempt at making another WPT final table. Starting the day with 1.343 million in chips, Shawn was in good position to make that run to the final table, but there were several obstacles in the way. Chip leader Jeff Vertes (2.712 million) was sitting to Shawn’s immediate right, while other tough pros such as Will “The Thrill” Failla, Ray Henson, Matt “ch0ppy” Kay, Dan Heimiller, David Daneshgar and Christina Lindley were arranged around the other two tables.
Heimiller would be one of the first players eliminated from the day’s action after getting his chips to the center with K-J. He was behind Adam Aronson’s A-8 and, although the A-10-8 flop Dan a chance at a gut shot straight draw, it also gave Adam two pair. Once the turn and river blanked, Heimiller was out of the tournament in 20th place.
Buchanan, for his part, was apparently the victim of some bad fortune. In a hand against Ken Aldridge, Shawn saw an A-7-2 flop. After Shawn bet out, Aldridge check raised him and Shawn made the call. The turn brought a Queen into the mix and, this time, Aldridge bet 100K into Shawn. Shawn made the call and, before the river card came, Aldridge checked in the dark. Another Queen came on the river and Shawn checked behind Aldridge’s dark check. Once Aldridge turned up Q-J for runner-runner trips, Shawn pushed his cards to the muck.
That hand set Shawn on a downward spiral from which he wouldn’t return. Once the tournament was down to eighteen players, Buchanan was sitting on slightly more than one million in chips. A battle with Joshua Pollock would take another chunk of Shawn’s chips as, on a 9-5-2-A-9 board, Shawn’s 335K bet was met by an all in from Pollock. Shawn reluctantly released his hand and was left with 450,000 in chips.
A few moments later, the end would come for Shawn in the Legends event. He pushed his remaining 350K to the center sitting on A-10, but was looked up Pollock’s pocket Queens. A Queen on the flop virtually sealed the hand and, even though the turn brought a third diamond for hopes of a flush, Shawn’s ten of diamonds was trumped by Pollock’s Queen of diamonds, eliminating him without the river being seen. Once the river was dutifully dealt, Shawn Buchanan was out of the tournament.
Even though his thirteenth place finish wasn’t as deep as he would have liked, Shawn was the final WPT champion left standing in the tournament. His payday for thirteenth – $24,415 – pales in comparison to the first place prize of $758,085, but it does drive him over the half million mark in earnings for 2011 ($516,374).
After Buchanan’s departure, it took slightly more than an hour to work to the unofficial final table of ten players. At this point, Pollock held over four million in chips, but Daneshgar, Kay, Failla and Henson were still in contention. It would be a battle for the remaining ten men to work their way down to the official WPT six handed table.
It would be 94 hands before Daneshgar was eliminated in ninth place and another 73 hands before James Carroll’s departure in eighth. Through these hands, Failla began to seize control of the tournament, moving into the chip lead. By the time Henson was eliminated on the TV bubble, Failla was in firm control of the chip lead.
Seat 1: Joshua Pollock – 5,315,000
Seat 2: Owais Ahmed – 1,720,000
Seat 3: Will Failla – 6,775,000
Seat 4: Adam Aronson – 2,185,000
Seat 5: Ken Aldridge – 3,640,000
Seat 6: Jeff Vertes – 4,005,000
The final table of the WPT Legends of Poker will play out this afternoon at 4PM (Pacific Time) and will mark the first time that a WPT final table will be streamed on the internet. With a thirty minute delay, fans will be able to see the entirety of the action at the WPT website, worldpokertour.com, including the hole cards. It should be an exciting table as the veteran Failla looks to take down his first ever WPT championship.