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Mike

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 | Francis Lee

wsop-2007-event-4.jpg

Event four of the WSOP 2007  was held at the Amazon Room Las Vegas, playing Pot Limit Hold’em.  It cost $1,500 to enter the tournament which attracted a field of 781 players, creating a total prize pool of $1,066,065.  The event paid a total of 72 places giving just over $255,000 to the eventual winner.

The first two days play would narrow the field to the final nine players to contest the final table.  After day one we were down to only 51 players, with Rob Playfast leading the way in the chip rankings on $156,500 in chips.  The bubble had already burst so we were expecting day two to be played out in quick time.

Day two ended in just over eight hours of play, with Gavin Smith holding the chip lead on $480,000 in chips, followed by William Hill on $332,000.  Eric Lynch was on the short stack with $91,000.  The final table was for the first time this series filled with well known poker Pro’s both live and online.

Gavin Smith the chip leader won player of the year in season four of the WPT.  Thomas Savitsky a WSOP regular, Jon Friedberg a WSOP 2006 bracelet winner and Eric Lynch, a well known online poker player.

Final Table Chip Standings:

  • 1st Gavin Smith $480,000
  • 2nd William Hill $332,000
  • 3rd Bruce Van Horn $315,000
  • 4th Jeff Langdon $286,000
  • 5th Marco Traniello $277,000
  • 6th Mike Spegal $241,000
  • 7th Jon Friedburg $204,000
  • 8th Tom Savitsky $140,000
  • 9th Eric Lynch $91,000

The final table started out slowly with not too many flops coming down.  We had to wait until the 24th hand before the first player was knocked out of the tournament.  Marco Traniello made the first bet raising to $50,000, this was followed by a re raise from Gavin Smith to $158,000.  Traniello moves All In and Smith makes the call for an additional $111,000.  Smith showed :jd :js followed by Traniello flipping over :ac :kc The Flop came down :qh :8d :2d and Traniello needed to improve to stay in.  The Turn :9c and River :7h eneded Traniello’s tournament in 9th winning $14,925.

Half a dozen hands later we were down to seven players.  Everybody folded around the table and Jeff Langdon in the small blind position raised up to $50,000, Gavin Smith in the big blind calls the bet and the Flop came down :qd :5d :4d Both players raised the pot before Langdon moved All In and Smith immediately calls.  Smith shows :4c :4s having a set and Langdon flips over pocket Aces.  The River :4h gave Smith four of a kind, meaning the River :6h didn’t count for nothing as Langdon was drawing dead going out in 8th place winning $20,255.

Five hands later Eric Lynch was looking good All In pre flop with his :as :kh up against Smith with :ac :7h The Flop quickly turned the tables on Lynch coming down :ah :qc :7c Gavin Smith was set to eliminate the third player in a row and this was confirmed on the Turn coming down :7s giving Smith the full house.  The meaningless :2s on the river was the end of Lynch taking $27,718 in prize money for 7th place.

The pace didn’t slow down after this with our next elimination coming on hand 51.  Jon Friedburg found himself in a good position All In pre flop holding :ac :jc against Bruce Van Horn with :ks :4s Neither player hit the board with it showing :8c :3h :3s :7c :10d and Van Horn was out taking $36,779 in 6th place.

We didn’t see the next knock out hand for a good twenty hands with no one wanting to risk loosing all of there chips.  Thomas Savitsky at this point was on the short stack and decided to make a stand calling a $90,000 bet from William Hill.  It was a coin flip situation with Savitsky just in the lead with :as :3c against :jh :9c This lead quickly evaporated with the Flop coming down :kd :10h :9s the Turn :9h ended any hope of a come back, and with the River :5c came his exit winning $47,973.

Down to four players and Gavin Smith was dominating the chip rankings on 1.1million, his nearest rival was Mike Spegal on $595,000.  Jon Friedburg was on the short stack with $255,000 not too far behind William Hill on $370,000.

We barley saw any Flops at all with a lot of blind steals, until hand 80 when we had two knockout hands in quick succession.  First it was William Hill going out with :ah :4h against Mike Spegal with :ad :jh Both players hit a pair on the Flop :jc :10h :4d making Spegal a huge favourite.  Hill never recovered with the Turn :qc and River :9h coming down ending his tournament in 4th winning $67,162.

Two hands later Jon Friedberg found himself in an almost identical position, holding :qd :2c against Mike Spegal with :10h :6c and the Flop showing :10d :7d :2s The Turn :9s and River :jh didn’t help Friedberg and he was out in 3rd place taking home $101,276.

Mike Spegal now had  taken a slender chip lead over Gavin Smith after the previous two hands on $1.2 million, Smith had just over 1.1m.  Both players started out cautiously with neither of them wanting to risk his chips too much.

It took till the 129th hand before we had our winner.  Gavin Smith on the button raised up to $120,000, Spegal comes back over the top, re raising to $240,000 which is followed by an All In move from Smith.  Spegal calls and flips over :as :10s Smith shows :5c :5d The Flop comes down :jd :6s :3s giving Spegal a flush draw which would practically end the tournament there and then.  The :qs confirmed his win with Smith drawing dead on the River :kd

Mike Spegal wins $252,290 and takes home his first WSOP bracelet.  In his Interview he revealed it was his 9th wedding anniversary, he was asked if the victory was for him or his wife and he replied “she can have the money and ill keep the bracelet”. 

WSOP 2007 Event 4 Final Standings:

  • 1st  Mike Spegal $252,290
  • 2nd Gavin Smith $155,645
  • 3rd Jon Friedberg $101,276
  • 4th William Hill $67,162
  • 5th Thomas Savitsky $47,973
  • 6th Bruce Van Horn $36,779
  • 7th Eric Lynch $27,718
  • 8th Jeff Langdon $20,255
  • 9th Marco Traniello $14,925

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