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Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Francis Lee


The next stop of the World Series of Poker 2007 Circuit took us to Harvey’s casino in Lake Tahoe, with the three day main event starting on the 16th November. The entry fee was reduced to $5,000 from $10,000 to try and boost the number of entrants to this years event. A total of 142 players started out the event creating a prize pool of $677,700 with first place set to take home $203,649.

After two days play we were left with the nine remaining players to battle it out on the final day. One of the biggest poker stars in the field Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was leading the chip rankings on $426,500 in chips, almost double the chip stack of Mark Bonsack with $252,000. Ferguson going for a record breaking third WSOP circuit win, having gained his other two wins in the 2005 series. There were three players on under $100,000 in chips, with the lowest being Travis Erdman on $36,500 who needed to make an early move to have a shot at one of the big prizes. The official final table chip rankings was as follows.

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Chris Ferguson $426,500
  • 2nd Mark Bonsack $252,000
  • 3rd Michael Banducci $158,800
  • 4th Sylvester Egghead $131,000
  • 5th Gabriel Testa $128,500
  • 6th Frank Lee $120,500
  • 7th Dustin Fox $95,000
  • 8th George Saca $75,500
  • 9th Travis Erdman $36,500

Travis Erdman decided to make a stand on his short stack very early on, moving all his chip in the middle holding :5d :6d in a late position. He was called by Gabriel Testa with pocket Jacks in the big blind. The Flop came down :7s :ks :8d giving Erdman an open ended straight draw. The :as on the Turn helped Testa who was now on a spade flush draw. Erdmans tournament was ended with the :8s falling on the River and he collected $14,239 finishing in 9th place.

Not long after the first elimination, Mark Bonsack and Frank Lee raised the pot up to $84,000 and the Flop came down :6h :6s :10d Lee moved All In and was instantly called with Bonsack hitting quad Sixes. Lee’s :kc :qc was drawing dead with two card to come and he left the event to collect his $19,63 8th place prize.

This fast paced final table didn’t show any signs of slowing down as George Saca became the third player to be eliminated in the first half hours play. He moved All In pre Flop with pocket Jacks and was called by Sylvester Geoghegan with :as :kc Sylvester paired his King on the Flop which eventually was enough to beat the pocket Jacks, sending Saca to the rail in 7th place.

Chris Ferguson was relatively quiet up until this point but increased his chip stack by eliminating Michael Banducci from the event. Ferguson in a late position opened the betting to $17,000, Banducci called and the Flop came down :6d :3h :9d Ferguson checked and Banducci raised to $24,000 to which Ferguson called. It was Ferguson who made the first bet after the Turn came down with the :jd and Banducci moved over the top All In. Ferguson thought for a while before making the call revealing :as :qd Banducci was in the lead having :jh :8h holding top pair but was under threat with Ferguson having two over cards and a flush draw. The :ac fell down on the River ending Banducci’s tournament collecting $33,223 in 6th place.

This hand was the last before the break and Chris Ferguson had opened up a greater chip lead over Bonsack having over $300,000 more in chips on $668,000. Gabriel Testa was on the short stack of the five remaining players with under $100,000.

Not long after the restart Testa decided to try and pick up the blinds from the button moving All In with :2h :5h Dustin Fox on the big blind called holding pocket Sixes. The board came down :8h :9d :jd :5s :9c and Fox’s Sixes held up to take the pot.

Dustin Fox then took over the chip lead from Ferguson when he doubled up against him just before the next break. Fox’s pocket Tens held up against Ferguson’s :as :9h with the final board showing :2h :3h :2s :3c :6s

Fox extended his lead when he luckily eliminated Sylvester Geoghegan out in 4th place when dominated pre Flop. Sylvester had raised All In with :qc :9h and was called by Fox with :jc :9d Fox paired his Jack on the Flop with it showing :kd :jd :ac leaving Slyvester needing a Queen or Ten to stay alive. The rest of the board came down :3s :2d giving Fox the pot leaving Sylvester to collect $56,955 in prize money.

It didn’t take long for it to get to heads up as Chris Ferguson eliminated Mark Bonsack in 3rd place, this win had put Ferguson back in to a small chip lead over Fox. The hand started out with Ferguson betting $40,000 after the Flop came down :7h :6h :jc and Bonsack called. The :js fell on the Turn and Ferguson bet $80,000, Bonsack moved All In over the top and Ferguson called. Bonsack was caught trying to bluff having :as :4h and was drawing dead with Ferguson having :jh :qh

This win had taken Ferguson to just over $140,000 more chips than Fox at the start of heads up. We didn’t have to wait long for the event to finish as the tournament was decided on the very first hand of heads up play. It was one of the most dramatic finishes the WSOP circuit had ever seen. Fox picked up pocket Aces and lead out with a $36,000 raise. Ferguson who had picked up pocket Tens raised it up to $90,000 and Fox called. The Flop came down :2s :7c :10s Ferguson checked, Fox bet $100,000 and Ferguson called. The Turn came down with the :kd and again Ferguson checked. Fox decided to try and take the pot down there and then moving all his chips into the middle unaware he had just sprung Ferguson’s trap. Ferguson was quick to call revealing his monster hand leaving Fox needing an Ace to stay alive. The :jc confirmed Ferguson’s win making him the first ever player to win three WSOP circuit events. He also picked up the championship ring with the $203,000 first place prize.

Final Standings:

  • 1st $203,649 Chris Ferguson
  • 2nd $119,333 Dustin Fox
  • 3rd $82,042 Mark Bonsack
  • 4th $56,955 Sylvester “Vesty” Geoghegan
  • 5th $43,055 Gabriel Testa
  • 6th $33,223 Michael Banducci
  • 7th $26,443 George Saca
  • 8th $19,663 Frank Lee
  • 9th $14,239 Travis Erdman



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