Before I start this recap, here's a fact you might not have known about one of the "Aussie Millions" announcers- Paul Khoury announced most of the run of "Bert's Family Feud"! Also, starting September 15th, GSN will be available in HD!
At the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, 32 different poker players will each play four opening-round matches in different teams. Both members of the winning team in every match will receive 20 points and split $10,000. Second place is worth 11, third is worth four, and finishing dead last is worth NOTHING.
The top 16 scoring players move on to the semi-finals, where they will be partnered with somebody else for the remainder of the tournament. The last two teams standing in each semi-final advance to the $1,000,000 final table. All teams' opening chip counts in the championship round will be determined by how well they did in the semi-finals.
Everybody who is eliminated in the semi-finals will each get an additional $5K. The runners-up in the championship round will share in half a million dollars, the third place team will get $200K and fourth place will then be worth $100K.
Howard Lederer (two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner) & Toto Leonidas (2003 U.S. Poker Champion)
Greg Mueller (two WSOP bracelets) & Phil Hellmuth (11 WSOP bracelets)
Johnny Chan (10 WSOP bracelets) & Vivek Rajkumar (former World Poker Tour tournament champ)
Allen Cunningham (eighth on all-time winnings list) & Antonio Esfandiari (who has won about $3.5 Million in tournament play)
All teams will begin with 50K in chips (which was also the cash value of the buy-in for each participant); the opening blinds are 500 & 1K. The players will take turns playing on each street, and every team is given a 30-second timeout if they need it at any time. Finally, the graphics for this show are similar to the ones on "High Stakes Poker".
Cunningham & Esfandiari: (JS)(7H)
Chan & Rajkumar: (AC)(9H)
Hellmuth & Mueller: (KD)(6C)
THE FLOP: (6D)(8C)(JC)
Cunningham & Esfandiari have the early lead with top pair; Hellmuth & Mueller have the bottom pair. Chan & Rajkumar fold while the other two teams each make a 2K continuation bet.
TURN: 4 OF HEARTS
Cunningham & Esfandiari now have an inside straight draw...but they FOLD, giving the opening pot of 12.5K to Chan & Rajkumar.
Lederer & Leonidas: (JC)(3C)
Chan & Rajkumar: (QD)(9S)
THE FLOP: (6C)(AC)(4H)
Lederer & Leonidas have an instant club flush draw; both bet 3,400.
TURN: 3 OF SPADES
The same team has just paired their threes, but Rajkumar & Chan are trying to steal their second straight hand by betting 12K...and the current leaders call.
RIVER: 5 OF SPADES; LEDERER & LEONIDAS WIN 35.5K POT
The blinds have increased slightly to 800/1,600.
Chan & Rajkumar: (QD)(5S)
Hellmuth & Mueller: (10C)(5D)
THE FLOP: (JS)(10D)(8S)
This time, Chan & Rajkumar have an inside straight draw; Hellmuth & Mueller make middle pair. Both wager 2,400.
TURN: KING OF CLUBS
Chan & Rajkumar's straight draw is now of the open-ended variety. 3,100 is the bet by both teams.
RIVER: 8 OF DIAMONDS
After Chan & Rajkumar call TO...a double check occurs and Hellmuth & Mueller win the 14,200 pot.
Chan & Rajkumar (ALL-IN): (AD)(QS)
Hellmuth & Mueller: (AH)(JH)
THE FLOP: (JC)(2H)(5D)
TURN: QUEEN OF HEARTS
Chan & Rajkumar so needed a second Queen, because that was the only way they could have taken over the lead in this hand. However, they will both still zero out of this match if the river shows a Heart or one of the two remaining Jacks.
RIVER: 8 OF DIAMONDS- DOUBLER!
Hellmuth & Mueller (ALL-IN): (AC)(7S)
Lederer & Leonidas: BLACK NINES
THE FLOP: (QS)(3H)(3S)
TURN: 2 OF CLUBS- DUD
If the river card isn't an Ace, Hellmuth & Mueller will be the first team eliminated tonight.
RIVER: 5 OF HEARTS- ELIMINATED
Chan & Rajkumar: (AD)(QD)
Cunningham & Esfandiari (ALL-IN): RED SIXES
THE FLOP: (QH)(5C)(4D)
TURN: 3 OF DIAMONDS
Cunningham & Esfandiari have an open-ended straight draw. If they can complete their straight with a non-diamond card or get a third six after the river, they'll still be in the game...
RIVER: 4 OF SPADES- OUT
...NO. But they still each get their first four points of the tourney.
HEADS' UP CHIP COUNT:
Rajkumar & Chan: 105K
Lederer & Leonidas: 95K
The blinds have grown to 3/6K.
Lederer & Leonidas: (AC)(4D)
Chan & Rajkumar: (6S)(5D)
THE FLOP: RED SIXES AND THE FOUR OF HEARTS
Chan & Rajkumar have triple sixes, while Lederer & Leondias have two pair. Both pairs check.
TURN: QUEEN OF DIAMONDS- DUD
After Chan & Rajkumar bet 8,400, Lederer & Leonidas raise to double the pot's value to 40,800...but Chan & Rajkumar make them fold after re-raising to 39,700, for a total pot of 72,100!
Lederer & Leonidas: (KD)(4D)
Chan & Rajkumar: (JS)(10H)
THE FLOP: (10D)(10S)(AD)
Chan & Rajkumar hit trip 10s, but the two L's have a chance to make a diamond flush. Double check.
TURN: 9 OF DIAMONDS- FLUSH FOR LEDERER & LEONIDAS!
This team then goes ALL-IN, but it's not over yet. If Chan & Rajkumar can make a Full House on the river, they'll win the opening match and 20 points apiece. This pot is worth a final total of 137,600.
RIVER: ACE OF SPADES- CHAN & RAJKUMAR WIN!
Match #2 Teams:
Carlos Mortensen (2001 WSOP Main Event champ) & Gavin Smith (2006 WPT Player of the Year)
Andy Bloch (who has won approximately $4.2M in tournament play) & Phil Laak (World Open V champ)
Nick Schulman (who's the youngest WPT tourney winner of all-time) & Phil Ivey (the current all-time tournament money king!)
David Benyamine (who has also won around $4.2M) & Tom Dwan ("High Stakes Poker" king!)
Bloch & Laak: (QH)(JS)
Benyamine & Dwan: (9S)(7S)
THE FLOP: (JD)(KC)(JC)
Bloch & Laak are closing in on making another FH happen tonight. Double check.
TURN: 9 OF DIAMONDS
Despite Benyamine & Dwan making two pair, they're DRAWING DEAD. Both teams put 3,700 into the pot.
RIVER: 3 OF DIAMONDS
Bloch & Laak have won a 19,400 pot.
Benyamine & Dwan (ALL-IN): (AC)(JD)
Ivey & Schulman: BLACK EIGHTS
THE FLOP: (QD)(9H)(8H)
At this point, completing their gutshot straight is the only way Benyamine & Dwan can double up.
TURN: KING OF SPADES
That makes their straight draw a double belly-buster, but they still need a 10 or else.
RIVER: 6 OF DIAMONDS- BENYAMINE & DWAN ZERO OUT
The blinds in this match are currently up to 1,200/2,400.
Bloch & Laak: (6S)(5S)
Mortensen & Smith: (AD)(2H)
Ivey & Schulman: (AS)(2D)
THE FLOP: (7S)(8S)(JS)- BLOCH & LAAK HIT THE NUT SPADE FLUSH!
That team also has an open-ended straight flush draw, but if Ivey & Schulman can complete their flush, they'll steal the lead because they have the Ace of Spades to start. Following Bloch & Laak betting 4,600, Ivey & Schulman raise to 10.5K (Mortensen & Smith have folded by this time), but Bloch & Laak re-raise big time to 72.5K...and the other team throws their hand away, meaning Bloch & Laak have earned a 90,200 pot!
Ivey & Schulman (ALL-IN): (AH)(JH)
Bloch & Laak: (AS)(9C)
THE FLOP: (4H)(AD)(10S)
TURN: 8 OF DIAMONDS- DUD
The only thing that could eliminate Ivey & Schulman in third place is a nine.
RIVER: QUEEN OF CLUBS- DOUBLER!
Ivey & Schulman: (9S)(7H)
Bloch & Laak: (3D)(5D)
THE FLOP: (6S)(3H)(9C)
They both bet six grand.
TURN: 5 OF SPADES
Bloch & Laak are now leading after pairing both their base cards, although the other team has a double belly-buster straight draw and are ALL-IN. Ivey & Schulman will re-double up during a hand worth 143K if the river card is a four, six, seven, eight or nine.
RIVER: 8 OF HEARTS- SECOND DOUBLER IN A ROW!
Bloch & Laak (ALL-IN): (JC)(6H)
Mortensen & Smith: (QD)(7C)
THE FLOP: (QS)(7H)(4C)
The next card must be a three, five, six, eight or Jack to keep Bloch & Laak's hopes alive, because Mortensen & Smith have two paired right out of the gate.
TURN: 3 OF SPADES
Bloch & Laak can only hope for a five on the river now.
RIVER: 9 OF SPADES- OUT
Mortensen & Smith (ALL-IN): (AH)(6C)
Ivey & Schulman: (9S)(7H)
THE FLOP: (3D)(QC)(10H)- DUD
TURN: 4 OF SPADES- ANOTHER DUD
To continue on, Mortensen & Smith have to dodge a seven or nine on the river.
RIVER: 7 OF CLUBS- IVEY & SCHULMAN PULL OFF THE COMEBACK VICTORY!