Last hand before the break, and some craziness occurred.
It started small.
Kevin Boudreau limped in on his small blind and Scott Mandel checked his big. They saw a flop.
Boudreau bet out 35,000. Mandel briefly paused, and then called.
Boudreau now bet out 130,000. Over to Mandel, who raised to 340,000. Slience descended on the final table. The action moved back on Boudreau - who reraised all in. Everyone held their breath. Mandel thought about it - and then folded, showing pocket jacks. Boudreau showed pocket eights. His other two cards will remain a mystery to all but Boudreau.
Boudreau moved up to 1.49 million. Mandel dropped to 545,000.
The final six and their fans are on a 20-minute break. If you didn't think to bring a case with you, now would be a good time to grab some beers put on your game faces for the Final Table Part II when we return.
Scott Mandel opened to 80,000 from the cutoff, and only Chance Kornuth in the big blind made the call. The flop brought the , , and . Kornuth checked, and Mandel checked behind. Another king, the , fell on the turn, and Kornuth checked a second time. Mandel bet 120,000. Chance responded by check-raising to 310,000. Mandel shook his head and folded, dropping under a million for the first time in awhile. Kornuth increased his chip lead, now stacking 1,775,000.
Young Kevin Boudreau, who had earlier been calling over to his rail, "I'm not even in the money yet!" despite being guaranteed over $90,000 now, has nudged his stack above the million mark and is now at roughly average.
Scott Mandel opened for 90,000 under the gun and Chance Kornuth called on the button before Kevin Boudreau in the big blind announced, "Pot," in a very matter-of-fact tone, and pushed out the requisite 375,000. Mandel gave it a good minute or so in the tank before he folded; Kornuth needed virtually no time at all.
Boudreau won the next hand as well, a small limp-checked affair that time. On both occasions, his by now rather beered-up rail went wild. Their boy is at around 1.1 million.
The stands today are the most crowded we've seen them in awhile. And they're full of big names too. Of course, Nacho Barbero's rail, including Veronica Dabul and a few other Team PokerStars members, left as soon as he did. And the Mizrachi clan followed Robert out the door. But that just made room for the overflow from other cheering sections.
Recent new bracelet winners Gavin Smith and Chris Bell are here and were joined by Erick Lindren and Carlos Mortensen during the break in their event. Chance Kornuth has a large and colorful rail. Cheering on Julian Gardner are Ben Roberts, Jeff Duvall and 2007 Irish Open champion Marty Smyth. And the loudest and best prepared (including 24-packs of Milwaukee's Best) belongs to Kevin Boudreau. He's got the usual durrrr crew, including Peter Jetten and Max Greenwood, plus occasional visits from the Dwan himself.
The secondary stage also has a raucous rail cheering on the heads-up match over there, and between both crowds, it's finally an atmosphere befitting the high energy poker we've been watching all day.
Chance Kornuth raised to 60,000, and next to act, Eric "p3achy_keen" Liu potted to 225,000. After a minute, Kornuth folded.
The next hand, Kornuth raised to 60,000. Liu potted to 225,000. It was all looking familiar until Kornuth called. Liu had about 270,000 behind, and there were quite a few flops that would get all that money in the middle. The dealer alerted the announcer that after a few hands without much happening, there was going to be a flop. It came out , and Kornuth had moved all of his chips forward before the last card was even down. Liu called just as fast.
Liu: for top set
Kornuth: for straight and flush draws
The announcer called out the hands. "Where's the straight draw?" Liu asked, completely serious. Kornuth pointed to the cards he'd separated. "I was trying to show you." Liu laughed. "I don't play this game. I usually stick to no limit."
The on the turn completed that pesky straight, and Kornuth's large rail went nuts. They got a litter more tense when they realized that the spade had given Liu the nut flush draw to go with his boat draw. "Pair the board! Pair the board!" shouted Liu's fans.
But the on the river didn't come to Liu's rescue. He went from final table chip leader by a very slim margin to out in seventh place for $68,902. Kornuth took over the lead with 1.6 million.
Several players made it to the flop and it checked around to Scott Mandel in position, who bet pot - 120,000. Robert Mizrachi, who'd checked in the big blind, now check-raised pot or 480,000, with not much behind.
Mandel whistled in an "oooh, that's a lot" sort of way. He thought about it for a while. Then he reraised all in to cover Mizrachi, who swiftly called all in.
Mandel: for two pair
Mizrachi: for aces and a flush draw
Turn: giving Mizrachi straight outs as well
The river was not one of Mizrachi's outs, and he duly busted out in eighth place. There will be no second bracelet for Mizrachi this time around.
Mandel moved back into the chip lead on 1.37 million.
Eric Liu raised to 75,000, and Danny Smith defended his big blind. The flop fell , and Smith checked. Liu bet 105,000, and Smith instantly check-raised to 250,000. Liu didn't like it, but after checking his hand again, he gave it up. Liu has dropped to 400,000, while Smith just keeps building. He's up to 1.4 million now.
Four players limped to an flop. Scott Mandel checked his small blind, Julian Gardner checked the big, and Ted Martin potted for 120,000. Kevin Boudreau folded, and Mandel made a thoughtful call. Garder got out of the way, and they were heads up to the turn. Mandel checked again, and Martin bet 360,000. It didn't take Mandel very long to decide to fold, saving himself 700,000. Martin moved up to 1.1 million.