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Sunday, June 17, 2007 | Francis Lee


Event 19 of the World Series of Poker 2007  started on June 11th playing No Limit Hold’em. Just over 1,000 players entered this $2,500 buy in event, creating a total prize pool of $2,329,900 paying down to 99th place. The winner was set to take home over half a million dollars.

When we reached the end of day two Lars Bonding was leading the final table chip rankings on $882,000 in chips, hot on his heels was Devin Porter on $819,000. Francois Safieddine and Humberto Brenes still had time to catch a hand on the short stack at around the $300,000 mark.

Final Table Chip Standings:

  • 1st Lars Bonding $882,000
  • 2nd Devin Porter $819,000
  • 3rd Shawn Hattem $787,000
  • 4th Marcus Obser $679,000
  • 5th John Phan $445,000
  • 6th Bertrand Grospellier $416,000
  • 7th Alex Bolotin $382,000
  • 8th Humberto Brenes $343,000
  • 9th Francois Safieddine $302,000

The final table started off slowly with not to many chips being thrown into the middle, as no one wanted to be the first to leave. This was until Bertrand Grospellier tried to steal the blinds moving All In with :3h :2h He was called by Devin Porter holding :ad :js and the Flop came down :10d :5c :5s The Turn put Bertand in the lead coming down with a :2c but the :ac on the River gave Porter top pair, eliminating Bertrand in 9th place winning $29,124.

Alex Bolotin was the next player to head for the rail a dozen hands later. On the short stack he pushed All In with :7d :5d and was called by Marcus Obser with pocket Eights. The Flop gave Bolotin a shot at a flush with it coming down :jd :2d :2h with Obser’s Eights still in the lead. The Turn :5c paired Bolotin’s five giving him even more outs with one card to come, but the :8h on the River gave Obser a full house leaving Bolotin dead in the water, going out in 8th place winning $40,773.

Humberto Brenes who is one of the most consistent poker players around, was at his third final table at this years WSOP. But unfortunately for him he was the next player to go out of the tournament. His :ac :kh was cracked by Devin Porters pocket Nines with the board all coming down with low cards. Brenes still chasing his third WSOP bracelet went out in 7th place wining $55,918.

Only three hands later we were down to five players. Lars Bonding moved All In holding :kc :qc and was up against John Pham with :7d :7c The Flop :9c :7h :4c gave Pham a set of Sevens but Bonding had chances needing a Club for the flush. The :4h on the Turn dashed these hopes giving Pham a full house, leaving Bonding drawing dead on the River, Bonding took $74,557 in prize money for 6th place.

It wasn’t too long before Shawn Hattem on the short stack with his last $55,000 moved All In and was called by three other players, Francois Safieddine, Devin Porter, and John Pham. The Flop came down :kd :qs :6h and everyone checked. The turn came down with an :ad and again everyone chcked. The :ad then came down on the River to which Safieddine raised the pot, forcing both players to fold. Safieddine showed :ah :10c and Hattem mucked his cards leaving the tournament in 5th place.

The chip rankings were pretty even at this point with Mark Obser in the lead on 1.35million in chips, Francois Safieddine was on the short stack with $975,000. Safieddine won three smallish pots in a row before eliminating Devin Porter in a pot worth 2.5 million in chips. Both players raised pre Flop until Porter was All In, only just covered by Safieddine. Porter had :ah :jh and Safieddine was holding :7h :7s a classic race with a pocket pair against an Ace with a high kicker. The Flop came down :9d :7s :4h giving Safieddine a set leaving Porter needing serious help on both of the last two cards to survive. The Turn :5c left Porter drawing dead, leaving the tournament after the meaningless River :qs came down, Porter won $139,794 in 4th place.

Play slowed down after this without too much change in the chip rankings, until hand 97 of this final table, 20 hands after the last elimination hand. Safieddine raised up to $400,000 in the big blind position and Marcus Obser called from the small blind. The Flop came down :as :9c :8c Obser moved All In trying to force Safieddine to fold holding :8s :6d but Safieddine with :ah :qc immediately called. The Turn came down :4h which was no help to either player and when the River came down with a :js Obser headed for the rail in 3rd place taking home $212,012.

Down to the heads up showdown and Saffieddine held a comfortable chip lead on 3.6million against John Pham’s 1.4million stack. Pham at one point came back at Safieddine with in the first half dozen hands almost levelling things up, but this didn’t last long with saffieddine winning back his chips giving himself back his 2million chip cushion.

The end came for Pham when calling an All In move from Safieddine, holding pocket Aces. Safieddine looked to be in a bad position after the first four cards only having pocket Fours with the board showing :js :8c :2c :5h But the killer River gave Safieddine a set with the :4s coming down. Safieddine winning his first WSOP bracelet taking the $521,785 for first place. An excellent come back considering he was on the short stack at the start of this final table, showing that you always have a chance of winning as long as you have some chips in front of you .

WSOP 2007 Event 19 Final result:

  • 1st Francois Safieddine $521,785
  • 2nd John Phan $330,846
  • 3rd Marcus Obser $212,021
  • 4th Devin Porter $139,794
  • 5th Shawn Hattem $97,856
  • 6th Lars Bonding $74,557
  • 7th Humberto Brenes $55,918
  • 8th Alex Bolotin $40,773
  • 9th Bertrand Grospellier $29,124

Win your seat at the WSOP 2007 main event, by entering the many online freerolls on offer at Full Tilt, Pacific Poker and Party Poker over the next couple of weeks. Check out our freerolls page for full details.



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