World Poker Tour on FSN: Southern Poker Championship — Part I



FSN continued its broadcast of the World Poker Tour’s ninth season with Part I of the Southern Poker Championship from the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi. Headlining the final table was none other than Allen Carter, who happened to win the same event in Season VII. He was joined by Alex Kuzmin, Pat Mahoney, Leif Force, Ryan Hughes, Shannon Shorr and others.

The broadcast started with a recap of the tournament’s early days, including Day 1 when 214 players entered the event and created a prize pool worth $2,011,600. By the end of the day, only 144 players remained with Bobby Keller emerging as the chip leader; however, he was followed closely by Gavin Smith, Joseph Cheong, and Jonathan Little. Day 2 saw the field whittled down to 66 players, leading to the money bubble on Day 3. As fate would have it, David Diez finished as the bubble boy and with a few more eliminations, only 19 players survived to Day 4. It was there that the field was reduced to the final six, with BJ McBrayer finishing on the TV bubble.

Here is how the final table looked at the top of the broadcast.

Final Table

Seat 1: Alex Kuzmin (1,968,000)
Seat 2: Pat Mahoney (476,000)
Seat 3: Leif Force (730,000)
Seat 4: Ryan Hughes (758,000)
Seat 5: Shannon Shorr (616,000)
Seat 6: Allen Carter (1,920,000)

First Hand: Ryan Hughes raised to 23,000 with {9-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} and received a call from the {Q-Spades}{10-Spades} of short-stack Pat Mahoney in the big blind. Needless to say, the {Q-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} flop was going to be action. Mahoney checked, Hughes bet 25,000, and Mahoney check-raised to 68,000. Hughes quickly popped it to 150,000, Mahoney moved all in for 452,000, and Hughes made the call.

Mahoney was a 57 percent favorite as he leaned back in his chair, put his arms behind his head, and prepared to sweat the turn and river. Unfortunately for him, the {J-Diamonds} turn gave his opponent the flush and gave him a three-percent chance of survival. Amazingly, the {Q-Hearts} peeled off to give him the miracle full house and the 961,000 pot. The crowd erupted in celebration as Hughes sat in total shock and awe.

Ryan Hughes Eliminated in Sixth Place: Action folded to Ryan Hughes in the small blind, and he raised to 22,000 with {7-Clubs}{4-Hearts}. Shannon Shorr was in the big blind and called with his {J-Hearts}{10-Clubs}, leading to a flop of {4-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}. Hughes immediately fired out 31,000, Shorr raised to 74,000, Hughes moved all-in for 247,000, and Shorr snap-called. Hughes was in bad shape as a 4-1 dog and couldn’t find any help as the {8-Clubs} peeled off on the turn, followed by the {3-Clubs} on the river. Granted, both players had made a flush, but Shorr’s ten of clubs was the difference maker. Hughes was eliminated from the Southern Poker Championship in sixth place, worth $89,375.

Monster Pot: Allen Carter raised to 30,000 from the small blind holding {J-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} and Alex Kuzmin reraised to 80,000 from the big with just {9-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}. Carter made the call and watched the flop come down {8-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{A-Diamonds}. It was a huge flop, giving both a flush draw, and Carter checked to Kuzmin, who bet 52,000. Carter then woke up with a check-raise to 125,000, Kuzmin made it 250,000, Carter went up to 475,000, and Kuzmin opted to call behind. With over 1.1 million in the pot, the {J-Clubs} peeled off on the turn. Carter, who hit two pair with the flush redraw, fired out 500,000 and Kuzmin quickly folded.

Five Questions: In this installment of the popular “Five Questions” segment, Kimberly Lansing sat down with none other than the “Prince of Poker,” Scotty Nguyen. The two talked about fame, style, life beyond poker, criticism, and motivation.

When asked what motivates him to keep playing, Nguyen responded: “The records, baby, the history is what you work for. You know, it’s not just because you win so many tournaments, you break every record there is and then you stop. No, records there is no limit, baby, there is no stopping!”

New Segment: The WPT introduced a new segment called “Ones to Watch”, which focused on ten young players believed to be the next generation of poker greats as follows: Matt Affleck, Allen Bari, Joseph Cheong, Phil Collins, Maria Ho, Faraz Jaka, Lauren Kling, Andrew Lichtenberger, Jason Mercier, and William Reynolds. The “Ones to Watch” segment will continue throughout Season IX as the WPT tracks the young pros’ progress.

Use the Force: Three players limped to see a flop of {8-Spades}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}. Action checked to Allen Carter, who bet 50,000 with {A-Hearts}{8-Clubs}. Leif Force, who held {6-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}, was the only one to make the call and watched as the turn brought the {9-Hearts}, giving him a straight. He slyly checked, Carter bet 150,000 with his trips, and Force did a little acting job before moving all in for 421,000. Carter seemed to know something was fishy, but made the call nonetheless.

With a smooth one million in the pot, Force needed to dodge either the board pairing or an ace to double, which is exactly what he did as the {6-Spades} hit. “That’s how you use the Force right there,” a railbird shouted as the 2006 World Series of Poker final tablist doubled on the hand.

The Raw Deal: Tony Dunst took to his segment, “The Raw Deal,” to give his opinion on the unassuming Allen Carter. Dunst believed Carter had some moves, including four-betting light, aggression, and extracting value.

Eights vs. Nines: On the button, Shannon Shorr looked down at {9-Hearts}{9-Clubs} and raised to 48,000. Right behind him, Allen Carter picked up {8-Clubs}{8-Hearts} and reraised to 150,000. When action was back on Shorr, he moved all in for 328,000 and Carter quickly called. Shorr was a 79-percent favorite to take down the hand, which increased to a 91 percent favorite after the flop fell {10-Spades}{7-Spades}{3-Clubs}. The {7-Hearts} turn changed nothing, and neither did the {2-Hearts} river. Shorr doubled to 691,000.

Another One Bites the Dust: Pat Mahoney raised to 46,000 preflop only to have Leif Force raise it to 125,000. Action folded back to Mahoney, who reraised to 245,000. Force wasted little time in moving all-in, Mahoney called off for a total of 801,000, and the cards were turned on their backs.

Mahoney: {K-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}
Force: {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}

Force was left shaking his head after discovering the bad news. The {J-Spades}{6-Spades}{2-Clubs} flop kept Mahoney in the lead while the {K-Spades} turn gave him a set; however, it also gave Force a flush draw. Both players joked before the {7-Spades} peeled off on the river, which left Mahoney wincing. He was eliminated in fifth place and will take home $113,208 for his efforts.

To Be Continued: After another Shannon Shorr double, the FSN broadcast came to an end. Four players will return next week for Part II as they compete for the $601,469 first-place prize. Check your local listings.

Past World Poker Open/Southern Poker Championship Winners

Season Player Earnings
1 David “Devilfish” Ulliott $589,175
2 Barry Greenstein $1,278,370
3 John Stolzmann $1,491,444
4 Scotty Nguyen $969,421
5 Bryan Sumner $913,986
6 Bill Edler $747,615
7 Allen Carter $1,025,500
8 Hoyt Corkins $739,486
9 ??? $601,469

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*Above photo courtesy of World Poker Tour

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