Saturday, July 14, 2012

Official Report for the 43rd annual WSOP Main Event, 2012:

DAY 7 Remaining Players: 9

Saturday, July 07, 2012 to Monday, July 16, 2012

Here is how that final table will look when players return in October:


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SeatPlayerCountryAgeChip Count
1Russell ThomasUSA2424,800,000
2Jacob BalsigerUSA2113,115,000
3Jeremy AusmusUSA329,805,000
4Steven GeeUSA5616,860,000
5Greg MersonUSA2428,725,000
6Jesse SylviaUSA2643,875,000
7Robert SalaburuUSA2715,155,000
8Andras KoroknaiHungary3029,375,000
9Michael EspositoUSA4316,260,000

Nine Players, One Bracelet: The WSOP Main Event Final Table Is Set! 

We started with 6,598 players, in for ten grand apiece. They came from 82 different countries, aged from 21 to 92. And after a wild week-and-a-half just nine remain with chips and hopes of becoming the next world champion of poker.
There's no other tournament like it... the World Series of Poker Main Event.
From that huge field just 27 remained to start today, led by Marc Ladouceur of Quebec, Canada who had already improved on his 63rd-place finish in the WSOP Main Event a year ago. The plan was to play down to a final nine who will return October 28-30 to find the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.
The first level saw just a couple of eliminations — Nicco Maag (27th)and Jan Heitmann (26th) — two of the three Germans left in the field. Meanwhile, Robert Salaburu spent that first level playing frequently and aggressively, and found himself at the top of the counts going into the first break.
The next two-hour level saw an increase in the blinds and frequent all-in shoves by short stacks at all three of the remaining tables. Roland Israelashvili (25th), Daniel Strelitz (24th), and Yuval Bronshtein (23rd) hit the rail early in Level 31, with Strelitz having tumbled quickly from having started the day in second position. Cylus Watson (22nd)and Robert Corcione (21st) would also exit before the level concluded. Meanwhile, Russell Thomas won the race to become the first to cross the 20 million-chip mark, and when the next level began Salaburu, Scott Abrams, and Jacob Balsiger would join him in moving past the milestone.
They'd play one more hour before breaking for dinner, during which five players hit the rail. Once Paul Volpe (20th)and Jamie Robbins (19th) fell, they'd redraw for the final two tables, and on the first hand after that the AustralianDavid Balkin would go out in 18th in a hand which saw his pocket aces cracked by Michael Esposito.
The 67-year-old Robert Buckenmayer would follow in 17th when his  failed to improve against Wilfried Harig's . Then Salaburu took care of Percy Mahatan in 16th after turning two pair against the latter's queens.
The break arrived, with Balsiger, Salaburu, and Abrams in front. But also among the final 15 were two of the 211 women who'd entered the Main Event — Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann. It has been 17 years since Barbara Enright made a WSOP Main Event final table, the only time in the 43-year history of the Series it has ever happened. Thus was the possibility of one or perhaps both of the remaining women making it through on everyone's minds as play resumed.
Soon the field would shrink further. Like Balkin before him, Wilfried Harig would also see pocket aces fail him against Greg Merson. All in before the flop with  against Harig's , the last remaining German would see Merson turn two pair, and one card later Harig was out in 15th.
The next hour was punctuated by dramatic double-ups for Koroknai (twice), Baumann, and Jesse Sylvia, with Sylvia riding the momentum of his all of the way to the chip lead at the next mid-level break.
Soon after players returned, Danny Wong — crippled earlier versus Koroknai — was knocked out in 14th after committing his short stack with  against Greg Merson's  and failing to improve.
Next it would be start-of-day leader Marc Ladouceur seeing his run end in 13th place. All in with  against Greg Merson's pocket fours, Ladouceur would see two sevens flop, but a four as well, and two cards later they were down to a dozen.
Later it would be Scott Abrams falling in 12th after getting his big stack in with top pair and a flush draw versus chip leader Jesse Sylvia's set of sevens then failing to get there. Just 11 were left, including both Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann, although both were on short stacks and occupying the last two spots in the counts.
Soon Hille would be all in with hers and hoping her  would improve versus Andras Koroknai's pocket sevens. But the board brought no help and Hille left us in 11th.
They redrew for the 10-handed not-quite-final final table, which would ultimately last an orbit-and-a-half. Baumann would score a timely double-up once after waking up with pocket kings in the big blind. She'd shove a second time and get no callers. Soon she'd be all in again with  against Andras Koroknai's , and despite the roars of encouragement from the crowd, no card came to improve Baumann's hand, and she was out in 10th, making the two women the final eliminations of the summer.
What an incredible conclusion to the summer! And there's still more to come!
Jesse Sylvia will be carrying the WSOP Main Event chip lead over the next three-plus months. And by making it this far, Greg Merson is now guaranteed at least 100 WSOP Player of the Year points, meaning even if he finishes in ninth in October, he'll have 581.13 points which will push him past current leader Phil Ivey (with WSOP Europe still in play as well).
Salaburu vs. Koroknai

Robert Salburu limped from the cutoff as did Andras Koroknai on the button. Greg Merson checked his option from the big and it was three-way action to the  flop. Merson checked, Salaburu bet 500,000, and Koroknai made the call.
After Merson got out of the way, the  appeared on the turn and Koroknai called a bet of 725,000 from Salaburu. The latter proceeded to fire out 2 million on the  river, and Koroknai called. Salaburu rolled over , and it was good as Koroknai sent his hand to the muck.
Level 34 started


Here We Go Again on a Break

Another level is in the books, which means it's time for another 15-minute break. Here's a summary of the eliminations from Level 31:

- Cylus Watson Eliminated in 22nd Place ($294,601)

- Yuval Bronshtein Eliminated in 23rd Place ($294,601)

- Daniel Strelitz Eliminated in 24th Place ($294,601)

- Roland Israelashvili Eliminated in 25th Place ($294,601)

Cylus Watson Eliminated in 22nd Place ($294,601)
A short-stacked Cylus Watson moved all in preflop for 920,000 and received a call from Greg Merson.
Watson got it all in with the best hand, but oftentimes that's not enough. Unfortunately for Watson, that'd be the case in this hand as the  flop delivered Merson a pair of tens and the lead. Neither the  turn nor  river would help Watson, and he shook hands with the table before taking his leave in 22nd place.

Ladouceur Leads the Remaining 27 Players

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Day 6 of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event is in the books, and after another five-plus levels of play, Marc Ladouceur leads the remaining 27 players with 15.875 million chips.
The day began with 97 players and the chip leader was Kyle Keranen. Gavin Smith was the first notable player to bow out when his ace-queen was unable to best Eric Legoff's pocket jacks. There were then a flurry of eliminations, including William Hefflefinger, Stephane Bisson, Erik Cajelais, and Isaac Baron.
There were five women who returned to play on Day 5, including Vanessa Selbst, Elisabeth Hille, Gaelle Baumann, Marcia Topp, and Susie Zhao. Selbst had an incredibly rocky day, and it all began when she was crippled by David Balkin, who won a nearly two million-chip race with two red fours against Selbst's . 
The board ran out , and Selbst was left with just 380,000 chips. She then doubled with against the  of Scott Anderson, turning a jack-high straight on a board of . A meaningless completed the board, and Selbst was back up to 700,000.
Selbst could never stay above the million-chip mark however, and on her final hand, she open-jammed 750,000 on the button with . Greg Merson called out of the big blind with , and the board ran out , eliminating Selbst in 73rd place.
Topp and Zhao were also eliminated today. Topp ran pocket sixes into Robert Corcione's pocket queens, and Zhao ran king-queen into Baron's ace-queen.
Today was not a good day to be a former end-of-day chip leader of the 2012 Main Event — Keranen (Day 5), and Dave D'Alesandro (Day 3) were both eliminated. Keranen doubled Scott Abrams, Corcione, and lost a big pot to Jeremy Ausmus before three-bet jamming over a raise and a call with . Percy Mahatan snapped it off with , and the board ran out , eliminating Keranen.
D'Alesandro was eliminated when he ran  into the  of Charles Coultras.
The chip lead changed hands several times today, and at one point, Amit Makhija, who entered the day with 1.4 million chips, vaulted into the lead with over 6 million. In a three-bet pot, he and A.J. Jejelowo took a flop of . Jejelowo led out for 600,000, and Makhija called. The turn as another nine – the  – and Jejelowo checked to Makhija, who slid out 500,000. Jejelowo quickly moved all in for 2.045 million, and Makhija called. Makhija was ahead with , and Jejelowo was drawing slim with . The  bricked on the river, and Makhija was suddenly the chip leader.
Makhija began sliding however, and after being bluffed by Marc Ladouceur in a massive pot, he three-bet jammed over an open from Abrams. Tristan Clemencon cold-called the all in from the big blind, and Abrams re-jammed. Clemencon tank called, and the hands were opened.
Taylor Paur also ascended to the top of the counts today, but he too was unable to survive the day. Paur crossed the seven million-chip mark after winning big pots off of Steven Gee and Jamie Robbins, but Gee won a massive pot off of Paur holding two aces. Paur had queens on the board of , and the  completed the board, doubling Gee to over five million chips.The board ran out , and both Makhija and Clemencon were eliminated.
Paur slipped down to around a million, and was eliminated in 33rd palce when he ran  into Robbins' . The  board did not help Paur, and he was eliminated.
At the end of the day when Erik Hellman busted in 28th place, Ladouceur was our leader followed by Daniel Strelitz and Corcione. Strelitz strung together three big pots during the middle of the day, Corcione chipped up steadily, and Ladouceur pounced late…
Join us tomorrow at 1 p.m. local time, where we will play the remaining hour and thirty-seven minutes of Level 30. We will then march forward until there is a 2012 "Novemeber" Nine. Can Gaelle Baumann or Elisabeth Hille become the second woman to make a Main Event final table? Can Greg Merson take another step towards becoming the only double-bracelet winner of 2012? Can Jamie Robbins best his eleventh-place finish in the 2009 Main Event?
All of these questions and more will be answered tomorrow, but for now, good night from Las Vegas!
Erik Hellman Eliminated in 28th Place ($236,921)
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Action folded around to Erik Hellman's small blind and he moved all in. Robert Salaburu snap-called and the hands were tabled.

Hellman: :

Salaburu was ahead and stayed that way when he paired his queen on the  flop. The  turn left Hellman drawing dead and the  finished the board. Hellman will collect $236,921 for his efforts.


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The tournament staff has decided to play down to twenty-seven players, so rather than stop now, we will continue until there is one more elimination.

One for Hille
Jamie Robbins opened for 215,000 and received a call from Elisabeth Hille. Robbins proceeded to check-called a bet of 285,000 on the  flop, but then check-folded to a bet of 460,000 on the  turn.

Niels van Alphen Eliminated in 30th Place ($236,921)
Niels van Alphen's Main Event run has come to an end near the end of Day 6. In his final hand, Cylus Watson started things with a raise to 215,000 from under the gun, and when it folded to van Alphen he pushed all in for 1.12 million. It folded back to Watson who called, showing . Meanwhile, van Alphen was hoping to improve his  and survive. The board brought nothing useful for van Alphen, however, coming , and he's out in 30th.
Shahriar Assareh Eliminated in 31st Place ($236,921) 
Marc Ladouceur opened with a raise to 210,000 from the button, then Shahriar Assareh declared he was all in from the small blind. A count showed the reraise was for about 2.28 million total. Robert Corcione then said he was reraising all in over the top from the big blind, and Ladouceur tossed his cards.
Bad timing for Assareh, having run into the better pocket pair of Corcione. The community cards came , and Assareh is out in 31st.
Hellman Rivers Boat
Erik Hellman opened to 200,000 from under the gun and was called by Russell Thomas from middle position and Jan Heitmann from the small blind.All three players checked the  flop and saw the turn. Heitmann checked and Hellman bet 250,000. Thomas quickly called and Heitmann folded. The  completed the board and Hellman moved 650,000 into the middle. Thomas called but mucked when Hellman showed  for threes full of aces.
Sylvia Beats Ausmus
From the button, Jesse Sylvia raised to 205,000. Jeremy Ausmus called from the big blind and the flop came down . Both players checked.The turn wasthe  and Ausmus bet 300,000. Sylvia called to see the  land on the river. Both players checked.Sylvia showed the  and Ausmus mucked his hand.

Taylor Paur Eliminated in 33rd Place ($236,921)
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Taylor Paur moved all in from middle position for 1.335 million and cleared the field all the way around to Jamie Robbins, who made the call from the big blind.
Paur was dominated and in need of some major help. The  flop didn't offer much, but the  turn did give Paur some chop opportunities with a spade on the river. Unfortunately for him, the  blanked and he exited the ESPN Main Stage in 33rd place.
A Costly String Bet
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Shahriar Assareh opened to 225,000 from middle position, Robert Corcione three-bet to 550,000 from the hijack seat, and the action folded back to Assareh. He went into the tank for the better part of a minute, then announced, "Raise."He grabbed 1 million chips with two hands, but only slid one stack of 500,000 forward at a time. As he was sliding the second stack forward, the dealer informed him that he would be forced to min-raise to 875,000, rather than four-bet to 1.225 million as he intended.Corcione called, and the flop fell . Assareh led for 500,000, and Corcione called. The turn was the , and Assareh led out for another 500,000. Corcione called. The  completed the board, and once more, Assareh tossed out 500,000. Corcione tanked for nearly a minute, then called.Assareh turned over  for a pair of jacks, but Corcione had that beat with  for a rivered straight.
"It's my fault," Assareh sighed after the hand.
"Yeah," Corcione responded. "If you don't string-bet, I have to fold."
One for Koroknai
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From middle position, Paul Volpe raised to 200,000. Andras Koroknai called from the hijack seat and Amnon Filippi called out of the big blind. The three players took a flop of . Filippi and Volpe checked before Koroknai bet 265,000. Both his opponents folded and Koroknai won the pot.

Strelitz Sneaks Into the Chip Lead:
Russell Thomas raised to 210,000 from the cutoff and Daniel Strelitz defended from the big blind. Both players checked the  flop, and then Russell called a bet of 315,000 from Strelitz on the  turn. When the  was put out on the river, Strelitz led out for 865,000. Thomas thought for a bit before making the call, but mucked when Strelitz rolled over  for two pair.

Jacob Climbing Ladder
The action began with Percy Mahatan checking his cards while sitting under the gun, then raising to 180,000. It folded to Jacob Balsiger in middle position who called, and everyone else folded.
The pair watched the dealer spread the  flop. First to act, Mahatan bet 260,000 and Balsiger called. The turn brought the . Mahatan checked this time, and Balsiger took the invitation to bet 375,000. Mahatan thought it over, then called.
The river was the . Mahatan checked again, and this time Balsiger decided it would cost Mahatan at least 725,000 to see the river. Mahatan considered, but decided against taking things any further and folded.
Three Hands from Gold 3
Marc Ladouceur opened to 165,000 in middle position, Shahriar Assareh called on his direct left, and the rest of the players folded. The flop was , and thinking the action was on him, Assareh slid out 1 million in lavender T100,000 chips. Ladouceur asked the dealer if the bet was binding if he checked, and she nodded, "yes."
"Where are you from?" Ladouceur asked Assareh.
Assareh seemed a bit affronted.
"You don't have to answer," Ladouceur told him.
"Nowhere," he finally answered.
"Norway?" Ladouceur shot back.
"Nowhere!" Assareh echoed.
Ladouecur finally opted to check, and Assareh slid his bet back out into the middle. Ladouecur folded, and Assareh won the pot.
"I'm from Iran," he informed the table.
Danny Wong opened to 165,000, and was called by Assareh in the cutoff, Robert Corcione on the button, and Scott Abrams in the big blind. The flop fell , and Abrams led for 375,000. The action folded to Assareh, who raised to 1 million, and won the pot.
Three players saw a flop of , including Abrams, Jordan Batt, and Assareh. The action checked to Assareh, who fired 300,000, and Abrams called. The turn was the , and Abrams led for 450,000. Assareh released, and Abrams picked up the pot.

Day 5 Concludes; Kyle Keranen Leads The Final 97 Players


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When the sun rose over Las Vegas today, 282 players awoke with dreams of becoming the next world champion of poker. After five grueling levels of play on Day 5, only 97 remain. This means that at the most basic level, each player returning for Day 6 has at least a one in ninety-seven shot at winning the first place prize of $8,527,982 and the shiny gold championship bracelet that accompanies it. The one closest to achieving this goal is Kyle Keranen who is sitting on the biggest stack in the room with 6,935,000.
On Keranen's heels is Robert Salaburu who finished Day 5 with a stack of 6,195,000. Rounding out the top three is Taylor Paur with 5,820,000.
When the day began there were several notable names still in the hunt for the championship. However, as both the blinds and the pressure rose, many of those players were sent to the rail with their summer coming to an end a bit earlier than they would have enjoyed. Eric Cloutier, Jesse Martin, John Juanda, Andrew Lichtenberger, Freddy Deeb, JP Kelly, Randy Haddox, AP Phahurat, Andrew Moreno, Will Souther, Dan Shak, Chance Kornuth, John Phan, and Sorel Mizzi are just a handful of the players who saw their stacks vanish today.
Daniel Negreanu was one of the other faces to hit the rail today. This makes Negreanu's second Day 5 bust from the Main Event in back to back years. While seated at the featured table, Negreanu moved all in for his last 240,000 in chips from early position. It folded around to actor Kevin Pollak in the cutoff who tanked before moving all in for his last 500,000. It folded around and Pollak showed  which was crushing Negreanu's . Negreanu failed to improve and was forced to end his summer with a 160th-place finish.
Soon after, Pollak would meet his untimely demise in a most sickening fashion. Pollak moved all in before the flop holding  and was called by Omar Saeed with the other two queens. Saeed would flop two hearts and then hit two more on the streets to follow to end Pollak's impressive run in the Main Event. After the initial shock wore off of Pollak's face, all he could do was laugh at the crazy scenario that unfolded. The renowned actor made a remarkable run with his 134th-place finish and left everyone within the vicinity of his table with a smile on their face.
The day also saw the elimination of the oldest player in the field, the 76-year-old Perry Green. Green has three WSOP bracelets to his name and finished runner-up to Stu Ungar in the 1981 WSOP Main Event. Green announced "Shuffle Up and Deal" to the runners today and left an impression of humility on the room through his words. Green hit the rail when he ran into the two pair of an opponent.
Jospeh Cheong was also returning to play today to take on his third consecutive Day 5 in a row. Cheong was able to battle through and move on to the final table in 2010 and finished in 114th in 2001. Cheong was forced to settle for a 115th place finish this year when he was eliminated by Paul Volpe. Volpe ended up finishing the day with a stack of 3,250,000.
While many big names fell, others were able to thrive and move on to Day 6 of the biggest poker tournament in the world. Keranen finished the day as the chip leader and was able to start his upward trend when he six-bet all in with . Keranen was able to crack his opponent's pocket jacks to scoop the pot of almost three million chips.
Other notable names that will be returning for Day 6 include Gaelle Baumann (3,980,000), Jan Heitmann (3,410,000), Amnon Filippi (3,400,000), Elisabeth Hille (3,390,000), A.J. Jejelowo (3,340,000), Roland Israelashvili (2,805,000), Marcia Topp (1,700,000), Jason Somerville (1,400,000), David ODB Baker (1,360,000), Vanessa Selbst (1,350,000), Erik Cajelais (1,180,000), Sam Holden (765,000), and Gavin Smith (675,000).
Play will resume tomorrow at 12:00 PM PST where the final 97 players will return for five more levels. Join us here on PokerNews as we track these players' quests for WSOP glory!
Rabstov Eliminated During Last Five Hands
Most of the remaining players were bagging and tagging when we heard a dealer shout, "All in and call!"
When we reached the table, Kirill Rabtsov was standing with  laying in front of him. Jeremy Ausmus had , and the board was . Rabstov was eliminated, while Ausmus' stack crossed the 3 million-chip mark.
According to Ausmus, Rabstov led out on the flop, Ausmus called, and Rabstov led again on the turn. Ausmus moved all in, and Rabstov snapped it off. The  completed the board, removing Rabstov from the 2012 Main Event.
A Small Stack and a Big Smile 
It happens every year. A kind of camaraderie tends to develop between those who make it through the long, arduous journey into the money of the WSOP Main Event, especially for those getting all of the way to the end of a Day 5.
Just now came an illustration of that phenomenon after the announcement came that the field had shrunk to just 99 players. That meant a pay jump had been crossed, with all of those remaining guaranteed at least $62,021.
Over at Table 411, Fred Vogt had been folding hands for quite some time, his stack having fallen under 200,000. When the announcement came, the entire table recognized that Vogt had made it through with his short stack, and all congratulated him with fist bumps.Helge Stjernvang, sitting to Vogt's right, was ecstatic for Vogt. "You made it!" he said, patting him on the back. "Patience paid off," said Erik Hellman from across the table. Vogt thanked them all, his grin as wide as his stack is small.Vogt continued smiling through the last hands of the night, folding his way to Day 6, happy to have have made it this far, and probably happy to sleep one more night knowing that when he wakes up tomorrow, he's still playing in the greatest poker tournament in the world.
Keranen Vaults Into Chip Lead
Kyle Keranen raised to 60,000 from under the gun, and Marcia Topp called from the big blind. The flop came down all spades , and Topp fired 100,000. Keranen called, and the turn was the . Topp check called a bet of 175,000 from Keranen, and the river was the . This time, Topp bet 175,000, and it was on Keranen. He elected to raise it to 475,000, and after about 30 seconds of thinking, Topp made the call.


Keranen's ace kicker was good enough to take the pot, upping him to a chip leading 6.816 million. That hit drops Topp to 1.682 million.

Nguyen Takes Some From Yontz
Action folded to Casey Yontz in the cutoff and he raised to 65,000, which Dung Nguyen called from the small blind. The latter proceeded to check-call a bet of 90,000 on the  flop, before check-calling a bet of 134,000 on the  turn.When the  appeared on the river, Nguyen checked for a third time and Yontz reluctantly checked behind. "Five," Nguyen said and rolled over . It was good as Yontz mucked, but not before informing Nguyen that he didn't want to see another club.

Kluchman Folds to Balsiger; Forced to Show Hole Cards to Camera
We caught up with the action on a  flop, where David Kluchman was heads-up with Jacob Balsiger.Kluchman bet 125,000 from the cutoff seat and Balsiger called after some thought.The  fell on the turn and Kluchman fired again - this time for 165,000. Balsiger responded by raising to 405,000 and Kluchman almost beat him into the pot with a call.The  completed the board and Kluchman checked - promting a 600,000 bet from Balsiger. Kluchman announced, "fold," and went to throw his hand into the muck....Then the drama started.
Kluchman was informed by the surrounding ESPN camera crew that he had to show his hand to their small portable camera so that it could be used as footage. Kluchman said he didn't want to show his hand and asked for a floorman.Unbeknownst to Kluchman, a floorman was standing behind him.
"Sir, if you don't show your cards to the camera - you're going to get a one-round penalty," the floorman said.
"Alright, alright - show them," Kluchman said. He was then instructed to show the portable camera his hole cards, which he did. He then hastily mucked.Kluchman was knocked down to 2.4 million, while Balsiger chipped up to 3.9 million.

Filippi Finds Chips
Tristan Clemencon opened to 65,000 from under the gun and it folded around to Amnon Filippi on the button. Filippi flung out a call and the blinds got out of the way. The flop came down  and Clemencon continued out for 99,000. Filippi called and the camera crews swooped down to capture the hand.
After about a minute, the dealer produced the  on the turn. They both checked and did so once again on the  river. Filippi showed  and Clemencon threw his hand into the muck.
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100 Players Remain

With less than a half-hour left to play in Day 5, we are down to 100 players. The average chip stack at the moment is a little under 2 million. 

Keranen Flushes Makhija 
Kyle Keranen raised it up to 60,000 in early position, and Amit Makhija made the call from the small blind. They went heads up to an all spade flop of . Makhija checked to Keranen who fired out 80,000. Makhija made the call, and the turn brought the. Both players checked, and the river came the . Makhija checked again, and Keranen fired out 285,000. Makhija made the call, and Keranen rolled over  for the nut flush. Makhija mucked, and Keranen jumps up to just under six million, while Makhija drops to 1.154 million. 

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