SCHLEGER CRUSHES TABLE TO SCORE HUGE WIN IN NO-LIMIT
Shane Schleger, who has been a pro for just over a year, ran off with the 17th event of 2006 LAPC, $300 limit holdem. He came to the final table as leader with 796,000 chips, knocked out players left and right, and when a three-way deal ended festivities, he owned 1,526,000 of the 2,589,000 chips in play and collected $219,030.
Sang Pham, with 771,000, won $142,720, while Danny Walker, with 297,000, took home $94,810.
All kinds of records were smashed for this quarter-million guarantee event, which drew an astounding 879 players who made 1,710 rebuys and add-ons. When all the figures were added up, official first place alone paid more than the entire guarantee!
Schleger, who cashed out fifth in a WSOP no-limit rebuy tournament last year, until recently had been playing mostly sit and go and multi-table tournaments online. In this event, he made an amazing comeback after being down to 700 chips in early first-day action when blinds were 400-800.
At the end of day one, 25 players were still left. It took only a little time to get to the final table. Blinds began at 8,000-16,000 with 2,000 antes, and a full round left. The action was bang-bang, and it took only 26 hands before seven players were shot down and the three survivors made their deal to end the evening.
On the fifth hand, Pham opened for 46,000, and Moises Lopez called. On a flop of Ks-Qd-3d, Lopez, with 10s-9s, moved in for 175,000 on just an inside straight and back-door flush draws. Pham was waiting with pocket aces, and Lopez, a plumber, saw all his chips go down the drain as he settled for $9,040.
Pham also took out the next player two hands later. Down to 40,000, Gary Zhamkochyan, a locksmith, moved in from the button with Ks-6s. No look, said Pham, calling from the big blind. Hed have called even if he had looked, because he had A-K. When the board came Q-10-3-4-7, two were gone. Zhamkochyan collected $12,077 for ninth place.
After that, Schleger took over. Two hands later, Daniel Burke, who is in commercial real estate and has several final tables to his credit, moved in for about 85,000 with Ad-7d. He was in very bad shape when Schleger called with Ah-Qh. The board came 8-7-5-Q-4, and we were very quickly down to seven players as Burke cashed out for $15,067.
Scott Fischman, the young Vegas pro who has two WSOP bracelets, writes a column for Card Player, and was the winner of the Young Guns TV poker game show, started the final table in a virtual tie for last place with Burke. Down to 47,000, he moved in with 10-7 and stayed alive by flopping a 10.
On hand 13, Jae Bae, a businessman, pushed in his last 66,000. Pro player John Hoang called for 42,000 and so did Schleger. Bae had pocket queens, Hoang had Kc-10c, and Schleger was way in the lead with two kings. When the board came A-3-2-7-J, Hoang, with fewer chips, finished seventh and Bae cashed out sixth. Hoang got $18,834, while Bae took home $23,355.
Fischman, still hanging on, got dangerously low when his 9-6 lost to Joe Gordon, all in with pocket 6s.
By the next break, Schleger had extended his chip lead to about 1.19 million. Behind him were Pham, about 790,000; Danny Walker, 420,000; Gordon, 140,000; and Fischman, 62,000. There would be only a dozen more hands.
Soon into the new level, Fischman escaped again when his A-2 stood up against Phams Q-4 when the board showed A-K-J-4-J.
On hand 24, we lost another player. Gordon, who is with the Indian Embassy Consulate, opened for 96,000, and Schleger called. On a flop of A-2-J, Gordon, holding K-9, moved in. Schleger called and turned up K-J. A 9 turned to give Gordon a little hope, but a deuce on the river ended it, and he cashed out fifth. Hs payday was $30,889.
Fischman had come a long way with little chips, but as the clock moved past 10 p.m., his time ran out on hand 26. He moved in for 110,000, this time with just 6c-3c, and once again Schleger, holding J-10, set up a roadblock. With the board showing Qh-10h-9c-10c, Fischman had a flush draw while Schleger had trip 10s and an open-end straight draw. A river 10 gave him quads, and Fischman cashed out fourth. for $45,203.
Schleger had now knocked out the last five players. A chip-count deal was suggested, the figures were fed into the computer, and the three accepted the numbers.