Poker: Anton Morgenstern

James Alexander began the last level in second place out of the final 22 in chips with 17 million. Alexander was eliminated in 19th place.

Seated at the outside feature table, Alexander unraveled in a hurry. He doubled up Maxx Coleman (J-9<8-8), David Benefield (A-2<A-A), Rep Porter (A-2<9-9) and finally Amir Lehavot (J-8<5-5). He got some back with a double of his own against Benefield (A-9>K-Q) but still could not keep his composure. With 12 minutes left in the level, Lehavot opened from under the gun and Alexander three-bet all-in with A-7. Alexander was dominated by Lehavot's A-10, and the drama ended quickly when a 10 came on the flop. Alexander was the final elimination before the redraw at the dinner break.

The player who entered the day with the chip lead, Anton Morgenstern, also didn't make it to dinner. The German cash-game pro gave most of his chips to Mark Newhouse during the second level of play, then ran into Fabian Ortiz on back-to-back hands and lost A-K to K-Q, then A-J to A-A to be eliminated in 20th place. Newhouse had the lead going into this past level but has dropped to 14th.

The only other elimination during the level was Maxx Coleman's, which happened during Alexander's blow-up. Benefield moved all-in from the small blind with A-3, and Coleman called off his stack with Q-J. As Benefield turned a wheel, Coleman shrugged and headed to the cage to collect his $285,408.

Jay Farber made the biggest strides during the third level today and is third in chips entering the dinner break. His key hand came against Ortiz as he moved all-in with Ac-10s on a 5c-3c-2c board. Ortiz showed 9c-9d and basically needed to fade the world to win the hand. Farber needed an ace, club, four or 10, and his hands reached for his head after an innocuous 2 on the turn. With bated breath and a rail of 10 standing directly behind Farber, the dealer placed a 10c on the river and Farber doubled up. The Las Vegas club promoter and cash gamer celebrated and continued to add to his stack for the rest of the level to finish with 18.9 million in chips.

Marc McLaughlin headed to the break second in chips after a near-perfect start to Day 7. He began play with 5.4 million in chips and has had his way with former big stack Chris Lindh to reach his 1 19 million-chip peak. Sylvain Loosli is the chip leader and the only player over 20 million. He took a few pots from Newhouse during the last level to chip up to this point.

Two of the players who held the shortest stacks to enter the day, Porter and Benefield, have moved up to the middle of the pack.

Here are the chip counts:
1. Sylvain Loosli (20.9 million in chips)
2. Jay Farber (18.7 million)
3. Marc McLaughlin (18.3 million)
4. Amir Lehavot (17.5 million)
5. JC Tran (17.4 million)
6. Sergio Castelluccio (12.5 million)
7. Michiel Brummelhuis (10.3 million)
8. Matthew Reed (10.0 million)
9. Carlos Mortensen (9.7 million)
10. David Benefield (8.6 million)
11. Fabian Ortiz (8.1 million)
12. Bruno Kawauti (7.6 million)
13. Rep Porter (7.4 million)
14. Mark Newhouse (5.9 million)
15. Alexander Livingston (5.2 million)
16. Ryan Riess (4.8 million)
17. Chris Lindh (3.9 million)
18. Jan Nakladal (3.1 million)
LAS VEGAS -- Mark Newhouse had been among the short stacks for the past two days, but things change quickly in two hours of the WSOP main event. Newhouse doubled up three times during the second level of play on Monday and is seemingly in control of the feature table. The 2006 World Poker Tour Borgata main event champion got lucky on his first confrontation, hitting the river against Jay Farber. Holding A-2, Newhouse was down to his final out on a board of K-J-10-6 against Farber's 9-9. Drawing thin, Newhouse hit a queen and doubled to six million in chips.

Later in the level Newhouse was willing to risk his tournament life on a coin flip, and topped the one-time chip leader Anton Morgenstern with A-Q over 8-8. Up to 11 million, the two tangled again in the biggest pot of the tournament just minutes before the break.

Morgenstern opened to 325,000 and Newhouse called. The flop of A-A-2 brought a bet by Morgenstern and a call by Newhouse, building the pot to nearly two million. Morgenstern bet again (750,000) after the turn 3 and the fireworks began. Newhouse raised to two million, Morgenstern reraised to 3.9 million and Newhouse moved all-in for a total of 10.9 million. Morgenstern thought, then called confidently, flipping over A-J. Newhouse threw his 2-2 on the felt with a fist pump and watched as the dealer placed a four on the river, putting the Day 6 chip leader on the verge of elimination. Newhouse has 22 million in chips on the break.

Play was relatively slow during Level 32 and there were only two eliminations during the past two hours. One of them was WPT champion and one of the top young players in the game, Yevgeniy Timoshenko. Since his run on early Day 6, Timoshenko was unable to build and has blinded down slowly for the past four or five levels. On his final hand, Timoshenko moved all-in for his last 2.1 million with A-8 and was dominated by the A-J of Jan Nakladal. The board brought two jacks and Timoshenko was felted in 22nd place.

Brazilian Bruno Kawauti was responsible for the other knockout of Clement Tripodi (K-K>A-Q) in 23rd. Only 21 players remain in the main event with action continuing until the final table of nine is reached.

If the final table were set right now, the players who would make up the November Nine are:

1. Mark Newhouse (21.9 million in chips)

2. James Alexander (17.2 million)

3. Sylvain Loosli (16.9 million)

4. Marc McLaughlin (15.7 million)

5. Chris Lindh (14.5 million)

6. JC Tran (13.0 million)

7. Gabian Ortiz (12.4 million)

8. Matthew Reed (10.9 million)

9. Carlos Mortensen (9.2 million)

Blinds are now 100,000/200,000 with a 30,000 ante. There will be a re-draw of tables when 18 players remain.
LAS VEGAS -- I've had chills since I walked into the Amazon Room this morning. The final day of the WSOP main event -- in July -- is here, and by the end of the night, we'll have our 2013 November Nine and a better idea of who will become the next world champion.

Steven Gee will not be returning to the final table in 2013 after another incredible main event run. The 2012 ninth-place finisher was cruising early with a knockout of Jorn Walthaus (26th place), but he moved all-in at the wrong time against chip leader Anton Morgenstern to finally find the exit. Gee opened from the small blind, Morgenstern three-bet from the big blind and Gee four-bet all-in. Morgenstern called instantly with 8-8 and had Gee in bad shape with 10-7. An eight flopped, and Gee received a warm ovation from the room as his quest for back-to-back final tables ended just short. He earned $285,408 for 24th.

Morgenstern had a first hour of relative inactivity, then became more aggressive as he felt out the dynamics at the feature table. He peaked near 30 million in chips, but gave away nearly four to JC Tran on the final hand of the level to finish with 26 million in chips. Tran was extremely active during the first two hours and is currently second in chips with 17 million.

At the secondary feature table, Chris Lindh benefited from a few key hands against Carlos Mortensen and has a five-million chip edge over his closest competitor at the table, Marc McLaughlin. Jason Mann was the only player eliminated from that table during the first level, moving all-in with 10-10 after a Q-5-5 flop. Lindh showed Q-9 and held to eliminate the one-time chip leader in 25th.

Benjamin Pollak was the other player eliminated during the first level, getting unlucky at the outside feature table as Maxx Coleman hit a straight with A-4 to top Pollak's 9-9.

If the final table were set right now, the players who would make up the November Nine are:

1. Anton Morgenstern (26.4 million in chips)

2. JC Tran (17.0 million)

3. Chris Lindh (15.8 million)

4. Sylvain Loosli (13.6 million)

5. James Alexander (13.1 million)

6. Fabian Ortiz (12.1 million)

7. Marc McLaughlin (10.5 million)

8. Carlos Mortsenen (9.5 million)

9. Sergio Castelluccio (8.6 million)

LAS VEGAS -- The World Series of Poker main event is only 18 eliminations away from reaching the biggest final table of the year. Play was halted after four levels of play on Day 6 and only 27 players remain in the hunt for $8.3 million. Steven Gee's quest for a back-to-back main event final table appearance remains alive, but similar to the past few days, Gee will bring one of the shortest stacks into action Monday. Gee said that the way he went out in 2012 has kept him up nights, and all he wanted to do this year was to just get back to Day 7 and have a chance at redemption.

"I just hoped for one more day," said Gee after play on Day 6. "I'm just taking it one day at a time. ... Anything can happen on Day 7, and I just wanted to get there and give myself a chance to play. I just needed one more day to [prove myself]."

Gee has outlasted 13,095 players over the past two main events, playing for an astounding 14 days total. He bagged 3.1 million in chips and with the blinds 60,000/120,000 with a 15,000 ante, he'll need to be active early. He entered Day 7 last year 22nd in chips. This year he's 23rd.

The man who everyone is chasing after Day 6 is Anton Morgenstern. The cash game player was born in the United States, but moved to Germany and looks to follow in Pius Heinz's footsteps with a November Nine bid. He built a substantial lead Sunday, playing a style that was envied throughout the Amazon Room. He was involved in only a few major hands, but for the most part, he simply chipped away at his opponents to win plenty of small pots. He ended the night with 21.9 million in chips.
Anton MorgensternJay Newnum/BLUFFAnton Morgenstern leads the final 27 in the 2013 WSOP main event.

"I had huge setups in my favor and that gave me the momentum, and with that momentum it's easy to pick up little pots," said Morgenstern to Bluff. "People don't want to mess with you if you always have the nuts at showdown."

Morgenstern may have the lead, but his starting table is anything but easy on Day 7 as it features four of the five top stacks. One of those stacks belongs to JC Tran, who absolutely dominated the feature table on Day 6. Tran, making his sixth cash in the past 10 main events, put on a clinic during the later levels with aggressive play and had no problem chipping up at a table that featured 2001 main event champion Carlos Mortensen and Yevgeniy Timoshenko. Mortensen remained stoic all day and looks to become the first repeat champion since Johnny Chan in 1989. Mortensen seemed confident after play Sunday and told the Spanish press, "If you want to make money, you'd bet on me."

Timoshenko was the chip leader for the first two levels, but dropped a bit during the last level to end with 5.3 million in chips.

There were plenty of brutal knockouts throughout the day, but the most dramatic elimination came just moments before play concluded as Jackie Glazier was eliminated in 31st. Glazier had battled on the short stack all day at the feature table. She managed to double up a few times by winning races, but she was unable to chip up naturally without her tournament life on the line. Down to around 2.4 million in chips once again, Glazier moved all-in with A-Q and was called by Sergio Castelluccio's 10-10. The flop of 9-9-9 gave Glazier an additional out, but she couldn't connect on the turn or river. She immediately felt the emotion and headed over to her rail and into the arms of her husband, clearly distraught. She wiped her tears away just long enough to do an interview, but the Australian's elimination was difficult to watch. In a game where keeping emotions in check is everything, her reaction is a simple reminder about what it takes for these players to come so close to their dreams, but miss it ever so slightly. This will be the 18th consecutive year the final nine will consist of all men.

Other Day 6 eliminations included Noah Schwartz, Jonathan Jaffe, Brett Richey, Vitaly Lunkin, Jim Collopy and Vladmir Geshkenbein.

Here are the chip leaders heading into the final day:
1. Anton Morgenstern (21.9 million in chips)
2. Sylvain Loosli (14.1 million)
3. Chris Lindh (12.0 million)
4. JC Tran (11.9 million)
5. Fabian Ortiz (10.8 million)
6. Carlos Mortensen (10.7 million)
7. James Alexander (9.4 million)
8. Jay Farber (8.9 million)
9. Matthew Reed (7.7 million)
10. Jason Mann (7.5 million)

The tournament will resume Monday at noon PT and will continue until the final table is set. The final nine players will then leave the Rio with ninth-place prize money and return for the final table in November.

Small blinds: The chip leader on Day 6 last year, Marc-Andre Ladoucer, did not make the final table. In fact, only two of the top nine players after Day 6 last year made the final table. Two of the players in the bottom six after Day 6, Gee and Andras Koroknai, did make it. ... There are four WPT Champions remaining: Mortensen, Tran, Timoshenko and Mark Newhouse. ... There are five bracelet winners remaining (Mortensen, Tran, Amir Lehavot, Rep Porter, Gee). ... Similar to last year, the cash game pros are the ones excelling in this year's event. Morgenstern, Jay Farber and Chris Lindh all said they were big cash game players. ... The last chip leader to advance the following day was Mark Kroon on Day 2C. ... The minimum payout is $285,508.

Day 6: 37 left at dinner break

July, 14, 2013
The fun part about Day 6 is that we begin to really learn about the remaining players in the field. It's tough to gauge the caliber of player for most of the tournament, but on these final days with just a few tables left, every face becomes familiar and every player has a story.

We're beginning to know a little bit about Anton Morgenstern, the chip leader at the dinner break of Day 6. Morgenstern is one of three players with more than 10 million in chips, which he gathered mostly during this last level. He took the lead after a pot against Philip Long, then added a few more million without a showdown. He's picking his spots perfectly so far on Sunday and everyone in the Amazon Room has taken notice.

The award for most random Twitter avatar of the remaining players has to go to Chris Lindh, but his real story is his re-emergence here on Day 6. Lindh was the chip leader for part of Day 5, but fell out of the top spot in a hurry and ended the night in 10th. He fell further to start the day, but has been able to chip up with ease after that. Picking up aces versus kings also helps. He has knocked out a number of players over the past two levels and has 14 million in chips at the break.

JC Tran is third in chips heading to dinner after a constant clinic on aggression at the feature table. He's opening a ton of pots, three-betting more and putting his opponents to the test all the time. This is trademark Tran, though, and if there's one player whose hands I'm looking forward to seeing on television, it's definitely his.

Some notes:
  • Carlos Mortensen doubled up A-K over K-K by hitting a broadway on the river (10-J-Q-K-A). He has chipped up since that double to 6.4 million.
  • Jackie Glazier doubled up a few times during that level, but hasn't been able to top 4 million in chips
  • Blinds will be 50,000/100,000 with a 10,000 ante when players return
  • The average stack is 5.1 million in chips
  • Steven Gee, the ninth-place finisher in last year's main event, has 2.4 million in chips

The main event dream has ended for:

38. Somar Al-Darwich ($185,694)
39. Sami Rustom ($185,694)
40. Christopher Kinane ($185,694)
41. Josh Prager ($185,694)
42. Jonathan Jaffe ($185,694)
43. Phil Mader ($185,694)
44. Bryan Pellegrino ($185,694)
45. David Stephens ($185,694)
46. Vitaly Lunkin ($151,063)
47. Jamie Kaplan ($151,063)
48. Gaetano Preite ($151,063)
49. Oliver Price ($151,063)
50. Sebastian Gohr ($151,063)

The current chip leaders are:
1. Anton Morgenstern (19.0 million in chips)
2. Chris Lindh (14.0 million)
3. JC Tran (10.4 million)
4. Jay Farber (9.7 million)
5. Jason Mann (9.5 million)