Jay Farber started the final table of the WSOP Main Event as the least-accomplished player in the field.
That didn’t stop the local VIP host from reaching the final two of the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship.
Farber went on a hot streak after midnight, eliminating two players, and will face fellow Las Vegas resident Ryan Riess for the $8.4 million first prize when the final table resumes at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater.
Farber, who was among the chip leaders for most of the evening, knocked out Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (sixth place) and J.C. Tran (fifth place) in the span of five minutes and has 105 million tournament chips.
Farber will have nearly a 20 million-chip advantage over Riess when the two begin play for the gold bracelet.
“I think it’s going to be a good back-and-forth battle,” Farber said. “He’s an excellent poker player. We’re both close in chips, and at this point we’re both willing to put them in the middle.”
The table played six-handed for more than four hours, and McLaughlin had worked his way back to third place after being the short stack at one point six-handed.
But the French Canadian’s pocket kings ran into Farber’s pocket aces as the two played for the largest pot of the tournament thus far (79 million). The board of 8-7-2-J-J didn’t improve McLaughlin, who took home $1,601,024.
“I played great to bring it back,” McLaughlin said. “The hand that killed me, I can’t do anything.”
For Tran, it was a disappointing finish after starting the “November Nine” with 38 million and the chip lead. Tran said he didn’t get one pocket pair during the final table and was dealt ace-king once.
Tran, 36, earned $2,106,893.
“To be honest, I’m not 100 percent happy with how I played,” Tran said. “But when you’re on the bottom end of the cards, you’re faced with tough decisions all the time. … I never planned on going in there extremely card dead. This is probably the most card dead I’ve ever been at a final table.”
Tran’s nemesis throughout the evening was the ace-seven. He was eliminated holding the hand when Farber, with king-queen, hit a K on the flop. Tran also lost a key pot earlier with ace-seven against McLaughlin, who went all in while holding ace-king.
“I definitely could have folded that hand,” Tran said of the pot against McLaughlin. “That’s the one that made things turn around a little bit.”
Riess was responsible for two of the first three eliminations and also recorded the final two knockouts.
Riess took out France’s Sylvain Loosli in fourth place, and at 1:11 a.m. PST, his pocket 10s held up against Amir Lehavot’s pocket sevens to send the Israeli-born professional poker player to the rail in third.
Loosli took home $2.792,533, while Lehavot earned $3,727,823.
Tough night for Tran
J.C. Tran’s rough night just got even rougher.
Tran, who entered the WSOP Main Event as the chip leader with 38 million, has been card dead for most of the night and fell to fifth place after losing a sizable pot to Marc-Etienne McLaughlin.
After Tran reraised to 3.4 million chips, McLaughlin went back over the top for his remaining 8.825 million.
Tran thought for a couple of minutes before deciding to call with ace-seven. McLaughlin showed ace-king.
The board of 3-J-3-6-3 was no help to Tran, who fell to less than 15 million chips. McLaughlin doubled up to more than 19 million with the pot.
Earlier, Tran was forced to lay down ace-queen when Jay Farber reraised to 10 miilion and put Tran to a decision for his remaining 21 million chips. It was later revealed that Farber was holding pocket sixes.
Reiss in control early on
Ryan Riess continues to dominate the early action at the WSOP Main Event final table.
Riess knocked out his second player of the night, eliminating Michiel Brummelhuis of Amsterdam in seventh place. Brummelhuis earned $1,225,356.
Brummelhuis doubled up to 16.2 million when his pocket nines held up against Riess’ A-Q. A few hands later, Brummelhuis again pushed all in with 9-9, but this time he ran into pocket aces from Riess.
The board of 4-7-K-2-7 was no help to Brummelhuis, who was the first Dutch player to reach the official WSOP final table.
Riess, with more than 55 million, took a commanding chip lead by winning the pot.
Seven remain at WSOP final table
After more than two hours of action with no eliminations, the World Series of Poker Main Event is now down to seven players.
Mark Newhouse of Las Vegas was eliminated in ninth place, earning $733,224. Two hands later, New York City’s David Benefield went out in eighth place, taking home $944,650.
Newhouse, who earlier in the night got lucky with Q-Q against Marc-Etienne McLaughlin’s K-K, raised all in with pocket nines and was called by Las Vegan Ryan Riess, who showed A-K.
Riess caught a king on the flop and Newhouse was unable to improve.
“I felt like I had a shot,” Newhouse said after being eliminated. “I tried not to have great expectations. I wanted to come in and play the best poker I could, and whatever happens, happens.”
Benefield started the night with the shortest stack and doubled up to 9.4 million early on. He pushed for his final 8.5 million chips and was called by Las Vegan Jay Farber, who showed A-K against Benefield’s K-2 of spades.
Farber turned a straight, and Benefield was unable to hit a spade on the river to make a winning flush.
“Obviously, I’m a little disappointed,” Benefield said. “I feel like I played well. It was a good experience.”
Chip count at 7:30pm:
Jay Farber 39.025 million
J.C. Tran 38.95 million
Ryan Riess 36.975 million
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin 27.475 million
Amir Levahot 28.05 million
Sylvain Loosli 10.875 million
Michiel Brummelhuis 9.325 million
WSOP Final Table is underway
The first hour of the World Series of Poker Main Event final table was good to the short stacks.
Two times a player shoved all in with the worst hand Monday, and two times it paid off.
On the fifth hand of the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship at the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater, Mark Newhouse went all in preflop for his final 7.1 million chips while holding a pair of queens. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin called with a pair of kings, but the flop produced a queen for Newhouse, who doubled up to 14.85 million chips.
Later, David Benefield, who started the evening with the short stack, pushed all in for 4.375 million with a king-nine of spades. France’s Sylvain Loosli called and turned over king-jack offsuit.
The flop gave Loosli a jack, but also included two spades. The 2s fell on the turn, giving Benefield a flush and 9.4 million in chips.
Chip count after first hour:
J.C. Tran 34.15 million
Amir Levahot 33.1 million
Ryan Riess 30.025 million
Jay Farber 25.575 million
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin 23.475 million
Sylvain Loosli 13.725 million
Michiel Brummelhuis 12.225 million
David Benefield 9.5 million
Mark Newhouse 7.9 million