Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:07 AM Local Time
The final nine players returned to the felt at the World Series of Poker Circuit Eastern Regional Championship to play it out for a major title under the bright lights of the television set. From a field of 136 players, Chris Klodnicki had risen to the top of the pack to lead the finalists into the decisive day. After about 11 hours of card playing, he was just a straight draw away from closing the deal, but Chris Bell faded the outs to collect the chips, the ring, and the title of champion.
With the average stack sitting at a hefty 75.5 big blinds to start the day, it was no surprise to see all nine players still seated when the first full break hit. They were still there at the second break, and the third break also came and went without an elimination. The fourth break was for dinner, and Klodnicki was still leading the nine left together for their evening meal.
The chip average slipped under 30 big blinds as the next level kicked in, and the eliminations finally came at a torrid pace. Seth Fischer three-bet shoved his into Jason Burt's just a few hands into the after-dinner session to exit in ninth place and cue the procession to the payout desk. Nick Mitchell doubled his short stack a moment later, but he was next to fall in eighth place. Micah Raskin had been the aggressor on the flop and turn of a board, but he checked the river. When he did, Mitchell shoved his ten remaining big blinds into the pot with , and Raskin's (two pair) sent "agriffrod" to the exit.
Burt (seventh place) couldn't last much longer himself, shoving his into Chris Bell's , and the dead-man's hand struck another player as the sealed the day's third elimination. Just a few hands later, Andy Frankenberger and Klodnicki got it all in on a flop, and Klodnicki's had Frankenberger and his drawing slim. The turn put him in an even bigger hole, and the blank river cued his exit in sixth place just prior to the end of a brutal level.
A quick break saw five players return with the chips becoming polarized, and Todd Terry was on the bad end of that disparity. He had just over 6 big blinds when he shoved with against Klodnicki's . The was "not a good flop" as Terry astutely noted, and the turn and river and sent him off in fifth place.
Raskin was the shortest stack down under 100,000 at one point today, but he rallied back over 800,000 within a few orbits to put himself back in contention. That stack was eventually whittled back down to half of its former self, and the last 396,000 of those went into the middle on a three-bet with . It was Klodnicki doing the deed again as his held up on the board to eliminate Raskin in fourth place.
Klodnicki was soon over 2 million chips (of 4.08 million in play), and his lead was safe from there on out. Almost. It was Bell who took care of Ketan Pandya in third place when the two men each found a pocket pair in the hole. Klodnicki claimed he folded a pair as well, but Pandya and his fell to Bell's to bring the match nearly square as heads-up play began.
The pots were mostly small during the course of the duel, apart from one large split pot in which both men made jacks full of aces. The chip stacks were nearly even on the final hand when Bell's flopped set put him two cards from the ring. The dealer blessed him with blanks on both the turn and the river, and the deed was done.
So then, it's North Carolina's Chris Bell who wins this Eastern Regional Championship, his second WSOP title this year. Along with it comes some serious bragging rights, a gold-and-diamond ring, and $358,295 in cash. It was an unusually fun table to watch with tons of post-flop poker, and it ends with a very smiley Bell posing for the winner's photos with his new jewelry and some holiday spending money.
That concludes our coverage from the Eastern Regional Championship in Atlantic City. For that matter, it puts the final stamp on our 2010 calendar year. We want to thank you for joining us here and for the past 12 months, and we hope you'll help us in send our congratulations to Chris Bell on his big win here today!
Until January then, all that's left is goodnight.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:59 PM Local Time
Chris Bell opened to 75,000 from the button, and Chris Klodnicki three-bet to 225,000. Bell took a minute to make sure before forcefully sticking the chips in.
The flop came out , and Klodnicki continued out with a bet of 260,000. Bell sat in the tank for a couple minutes, then announced an all in. Klodnicki got all wide-eyed at the size of the bet, and he double-checked his cards before quietly announcing the call. Nobody was certain who had the larger stack as both men were nearly dead even throughout the duration of this heads-up battle. In any event, nearly all of the chips in play were up for grabs, and the cards were on their backs.
Bell was in front with his set of crabs, but Klodnicki had the pair and an open-ender to work with. The drama built as the dealer was held for a pause by the production crew. The turn, please:
That's no trouble for Bell, now one card away from the monster pot. Another pause followed, this one a bit shorter. Both men were standing to sweat what might be the final card of the day.
Bell wins the pot with his set of threes holding up, but there's some business to take care of. The stacks are awfully close, and Bell's is counted down at 1.918 million first. With the chips in the pot added, that should mean Bell's stack was the bigger of the two. For verification, Klodnicki's stack was cut down next, and the dealer ran out of chips somewhere in the 1.7 millions. It was a bit of a quiet finish as nobody knew for sure whether or not it was over, but indeed it was.
Klodnicki came within a straight draw of going back-to-back here at Harrah's Atlantic City, but his bid for a second gold ring has come up just short. He falls in second place, but he'll be rewarded with a consolation prize of nearly a quarter-million dollars and a $6,000 increase over his Main Event win from 2009.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:51 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki raised to 60,000 on the button. Chris Bell called from the big blind and the flop came down .
Bell check-called Klodnicki's bet of 75,000. The followed on the turn, and both checked. The hit the turn and Bell checked. Klodnicki fired 500,000, forcing a fold from Bell.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:45 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki raised to 60,000 and Chris Bell called. Bell checked the flop, and Klodnicki continued out with 85,000 chips to win the pot.
On the next hand, Bell raised the button, and Klodnicki just folded without incident. Bell grumbled, and Klodnicki asked, "Did you have it?" Indeed. Bell flashed his two kings as the dealer pushed him the small pot.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:42 PM Local Time
Chris Bell raised to 65,000 on the button and Chris Klodnicki called.
The flop fell and Klodnicki checked to Bell, who took a stab at the pot with 85,000. Klodnicki put together raising chips, making it 230,000 to play. Bell called after about 90 seconds, landing the on fourth street. Both checked, with the following on the fifth street. Klodnicki bet a massive 780,000 and Bell called instantly.
It was a chopped pot, as Bell tabled while Klodnicki showed .
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:32 PM Local Time
Chris Bell opened to 50,000, and Chris Klodnicki called. They check-checked through the turn, and Klodnicki fired 70,000 on the river. Bell took a long while to consider before splashing in the call.
"Jack," Klodnicki said, tabling his . It was good, grabbing 124,000 of those chips back from Bell's stack into his own.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:30 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki made it 50,000 to play from the button. Chris Bell popped it to 150,000 out of the big blind and Klodnicki four-bet, making it 375,000 total. Bell squirmed in his seat a bit, but after about a minute moved all in.
Klodnicki quickly slid his hand to the dealer, giving Bell the pot and upping his stack to about 2,000,000.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:25 PM Local Time
Chris Bell raised to 50,000 from the button, and Chris Klodnicki three-bet to 150,000 straight. Bell double-checked his hole cards and stacked the calling chips into the pot.
The flop came out , and Klodnicki bet about 180,000, though the chips were never cut down. That's because Bell quickly folded, and Klodnicki snags another small pot.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:22 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki raised to 51,000 on the button and Chris Bell defended his big blind, leading to an flop.
Bell checked and Klodnicki made a continuation bet of 70,000, receiving a quick call from Bell. He checked the turn card over to his opponent, and Klodnicki fired 200,000. Bell laid it down, surrendering the pot.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:14 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki raised to 50,000 on the button and Chris Bell called from the big blind.
The flop came out , and Bell tapped the table. Klodnicki took a stab with a bet of 60,000, but Bell called. The turn brought the and Bell checked once again. Klodnicki checked behind, leading to the river card. Bell and Klodnicki check-checked again for a showdown.
It was a wise check from Klodnicki; Bell tabled for the nut straight to win the pot.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:03 PM Local Time
The heads-up duel has begun!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:57 PM Local Time
Chris Reslock has already collected one gold ring at this Circuit stop, and he has been hunting for a second at the final table of the very last side event which has been running over in the adjacent room. Reslock couldn't close it out, though, and his early exit is excellent news for one Jesus Cabrera. After scoring a runner-up finish in the $1,650 Main Event last week and final tabling the $570 side event a couple days later, Cabrera has earned himself the title of Casino Champion for this stop and one of those enviable freeroll seats. Jesus must feel like it's his birthday here this week, and that million dollars in equity figures to be a nice Christmas gift for him and something to look forward to come May.
With his seat locked up, and nine more for our finalists today, we've now qualified 30 players for the $1 million freeroll National Championship. Here's who's in:
[TABLE]*Player | Qualification*
Blair Hinkle | Council Bluffs Main Event Champion
Robert Georato | Council Bluffs Casino Champion
Charles Moore | Southern Indiana Main Event Champion
Kevin Manley | Southern Indiana Casino Champion
Kurt Jewell | Hammond Main Event Champion
Ian Wiley | Hammond Casino Champion
James Anderson | Midwest Regional Champion
Gabe Patgorski | Midwest Regional Final Table
Bernard Lee | Midwest Regional Final Table
Curt Kohlberg | Midwest Regional Final Table
Dave Sands | Midwest Regional Final Table
Shannon Shorr | Midwest Regional Final Table
Brandon Adams | Midwest Regional Final Table
Anthony Hartmann | Midwest Regional Final Table
Mark Owens | Midwest Regional Final Table
Travis Lutes | Biloxi Main Event Champion
Bobbie Talbot | Biloxi Casino Champion
Stan Quinn | Lake Tahoe Main Event Champion
Andrew Barber | Lake Tahoe Casino Champion
Matthew Waxman | Harrah's Atlantic City Main Event Champion
Jesus Cabrera | Harrah's Atlantic City Casino Champion
Chris Bell | Eastern Regional Final Table
Micah Raskin | Eastern Regional Final Table
Ketan Pandya | Eastern Regional Final Table
Nick Mitchell | Eastern Regional Final Table
Todd Terry | Eastern Regional Final Table
Andy Frankenberger | Eastern Regional Final Table
Jason Burt | Eastern Regional Final Table
Chris Klodnicki | Eastern Regional Final Table
Seth Fischer | Eastern Regional Final Table
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:46 PM Local Time
Ketan Pandya raised to 55,000 on the button and Chris Klodnicki re-raised to 175,000 from the small blind. Chris Bell four-bet all in from the big blind and sent Pandya deep into the tank. Five minutes passed and Pandya stood up. He slowly pushed his stack into the middle and Klodnicki got out of the way.
Pandya found no help from the board that ran out , out in third place for nearly $160,000.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:35 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki raised to 50,000 on the button and Chris Bell called from the small blind. Ketan Pandya folded his big blind, leading to an flop.
Both checked to see the hit the turn. Bell bet 80,000, only to see Klodnicki bump it to 190,000. Bell responded with an all-in shove, getting Klodnicki to snap fold his hand.
Bell: Up to about 1,060,000
Klodnicki: Down to roughly 2,340,000
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:29 PM Local Time
Friend of PokerNews and all-around goof Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah just showed up tableside to cheer for his buddies. We've seen him shooting the breeze with both Chris Klodnicki and Chris Bell over the course of the day, and Leah is currently loitering near the Kodnicki camp.
A moment ago, Leah made his presence known to all. Bell three-bet shoved on Klodnicki, and when he dragged the chips into his stack, Leah was ready with his iPhone.
It looks like he had YouTube open and it was tuned to the TV commercial about the little piggy who cried, "Wee, wee, wee" all the way home. When T.D. John Arthur announced the final action of the hand, it was followed by a loud, "Weeeeeeeee! Weee, weeee, weeeeeeeeee!"
that repeated for twenty or thirty seconds.
The arena chuckled, and we're guessing Bell had a smirk on his face too, though his back is to us. Since we're on the subject of Mike Leah, though, it needs to be mentioned that he is conspicuously missing his legendary (and lucky) November/December mustache that had earned him cashes in all three of the Main Events he'd played since giving up shaving. The Main Event here at Harrah's last week broke that streak, so gone is the mustache.
We think it's appropriate to take one last moment to recognize that thing. Nice work, Mike!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:09 PM Local Time
Chris Bell raised to 56,000 on the button and Ketan Pandya went all in for an additional 310,000 from the small blind. Chris Klodnicki gave it up from the big blind and after about two minutes, Chris Bell called.
The flop came down to give Pandya the lead. The kept him there, and the secured his double to about 768,000.
Bell slipped to about 1,000,000.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:48 PM Local Time
We've reached the end of the level, and the three remaining players are taking a quick five-minute break. We'll sneak a peek at their exact chip counts while they're gone.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:47 PM Local Time
Chris Klodnicki raised to 45,000 on the button and Chris Bell called from the small blind.
The flop came down and Bell checked. Klodnicki bet 50,000, unable to shake Bell. The turn card hit, with both players checking. The river card fell and Bell checked for a third time. Klodnicki fired 220,000 and Bell gave it up.
Klodnicki: Up to about 2,350,000
Bell: Down to roughly 1,400,000
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:34 PM Local Time
Ketan Pandya raised to 55,000 from the small blind and Chris Klodnicki bumped it to 115,000 from the big blind.
Pandya called and the flop came down . Pandya checked it over to Klodnicki, settling on a bet 155,000. Pandya sat motionless for about three minutes, before flicking his hand to the dealer.
Klodnicki flashed the as the pot was pushed his way.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:31 PM Local Time
We're not 100% sure about the preflop action (the Amp Energy girls just walked past us), but we believe Ketan Pandya completed from the small blind, then called a raise to 55,000 from Chris Klodnicki.
In any event, we did see both men check the flop, and Pandya checked again on the turn. Klodnicki took his cue to bet 50,000 at the pot. Pandya promptly check-raised to what looked like 160,000 total, and Klodnicki took a bit of a pause before calling.
That brought them to the river, and Pandya fired out into the pot with another 175,000 chips. Klodnicki took a couple minutes to make sure this time, but he eventually announced a call. Pandya knocked the felt and held his cards up in the air over the muck. Klodnicki turned up , and it was the best hand.
When Pandya dropped his cards back onto the felt, Chris Bell asked to see them, and Pandya flipped over one card. It was paint, but we couldn't tell what it was from here, possibly a black queen. Either way, Klodnicki takes down another nice pot to move Klodnicki up over 2 million. It looks like Pandya is down around 600,000 after that hit.
There are 4.08 million chips in play.