Timeline

John Gale takes the Crown

John Gale has battled back one more time and won the 2006 WSOP Event 29: Pot-Limit Hold'em. It was an exciting final hand that saw Maros Lechman bet the pot blind before the flop. The flop came up 10 9 7 and Gale moved all-in. Lechman called showing A 6 while Gale flipped up K 9 for the lead. The turn came 5 and Gale was so excited he couldn't look. The river let Gale rest easy because it was 2. Gale takes home $374,849 and a WSOP bracelet.
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Lechman climbing back

Maros Lechman has been relentless the last few hands. He has either raised or re-raised John Gale on almost every hand. Gale has been folding frequently. Lechman is chip leader again with $870,000 while Gale has seen his stack dwindle to $540,000.
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Play swings the other way and Gale leads

John Gale has forced his way back into the game is now leading Maros Lechman. Gale has $865,000 while Lechman now holds $545,000.
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Play swings the other way and Gale leads

John Gale has forced his way back into the game is now leading Maros Lechman. Gale has $865,000 while Lechman now holds $545,000.
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Lechman takes the chip lead

Maros Lechman holds all of the momentum at this moment, having just taken over the chip lead after moving all-in with the board showing T 7 3 8 and while holding T 8 to Gale's T 7. Both men had two pair but Lechman's Ten and 8s put him in the lead, and the river sealed the deal with the Q.

Lechman now has $740,000 to Gale's $655,000.
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Lechman doubles again

Maros Lechman has escaped elimination again after doubling up at John Gale's expense. He reraised Gale's $35,000 bet to $105,000, and after Gale called, moved all-in blind. The flop came 4 3 2 and Gale called with T 7 to Lechman's A T, meaning Lechman needed to avoid a spade to stay alive. The turn came 2, and miraculously the river came neither seven nor spade but A, doubling Lechman up and keeping him in contention.
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Gale Claims Ho as Yet Another Victim

Kevin Ho has been eliminated by John Gale in 3rd place, taking home $103,408 in winnings, and most likely propelling John Gale to an unfortunate victory. Unfortunately for Ho, this time Gale was actually playing reasonable poker. Here's how it went down: Kevin Ho raised $43,000 from the button. Gale raised it up to $115,000 from the big blind, and Ho called. The flop came A T 8. Gale bet $200,000, which prompted Ho to move all in. Gale swiftly called, showing A J. Ho turned over J 9 for a straight draw. But the turn of K and the river of 3 showed Ho no love, and he was a goner. Gale now has $1,200,000 in chips, and is looking at heads up with Lechman, who has $208,000.
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Lechman Doubles Up Two Times

Maros Lechman has doubled up twice in a row, once off Kevin Ho and once off the unpredictable John Gale. The first time, Lechman's K Q held up against Ho's 8 4 (um, what?), and the second time when his A K held up against Gale's T 9. If Gale had taken Lechman out with that hand, that would have been the THIRD player eliminated today by Gale, and the second he eliminated by getting extremely dumb luck... John Gale...
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So long, Joe

2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joseph Hachem has been eliminated from this event. He moved all-in with the board showing K 4 3 8 and was called by John Gale, who showed A 3 to the Aussie's K 9. Hachem's top pair advantage disintegrated on the river, however, when Gale caught the A to make two pair and bounce Hachem from contention. Hachem takes home $90,482 for his efforts.

John Gale is the chip leader with $685,000, followed by Kevin Ho with $516,000. Maros Lechman will need to make some moves to survive, as he is the small stack with $78,000.
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And Alas, Alex Jacob is Out

After starting the day with a large lead, and then making one or two seriously questionable (bad) calls, Alex Jacob has been eliminated in 5th place. It all happened when Jacob tried to steal the blinds with a 9 4. He bet out $56,000, but was put all-in by Hachem, who woke up to Q Q. The board came like this: A Q 9 2 K. Alex takes home $77,556, and Hachem now looks down upon a semi-respectable stack for the first time today. He now has $228,000.
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Where the Chips are Stacked

After some eliminations and all-ins, here's who has what:

1. Kevin Ho: $554,000
2. John Gale: $516,000
3. Joseph Hachem: $144,000
4. Alex Jacob: $108,000
5. Maros Lechman: $74,000
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Alex Jacob is Crippled

Jacob raised pre-flop to $40,000, and is called by John Gale from the big blind. Gale has been playing fairly unpredictably at this final table, and it seems like most of the players have had a hard time getting a read on him. This hand was no exception. The flop came out 7 4 3, and Jacob bet out $80,000. Gale raised all in for $149,000 more. Jacob eventually made the call, but was unhappy to see that Gale had made a flush with Q 8. Jacob showed 5 3, giving him a straight-flush draw and bottom pair. He was basically drawing to one out - the 6 - and when the K came on the river, Jacob found himself very short stacked, especially compared to the $500,000 plus he started with just a few short hours ago.
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Lee Grove Eliminated

After just having trippled up, Lee Grove has been eliminated in 6th place, taking home $64,630 in cash. Joe Hachem had raised it up to $30,000 from the button, and Grove called for his last $18,000 in chips. Hachem flips over K 4 and Grove shows the A 7. Grove had a slight lead with the Ace, but when the board came J J 6 K 3, giving Hachem top pair, Lee had to split.
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Jeffrey Roberson Knocked Out

Under the gun, Jeff moved all in for all $14,000 of his chips, and was called by John Gale. Kevin Ho then reraised, making it $50,000 to go. Gale made the call. The flop came out K T T, and both players checked. After a turn of 3, both players checked again. Then a 6 on the river. Gale checked to Ho, who bet out $70,000. Gale mucked, and Ho showed pocket Aces, far ahead of Roberson's Q 3. Roberson takes home $51,704, and Ho continues to build his chip lead.
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Markholt busts

Seven players remain after Lee Markholt became Kevin Ho's latest victim. Markholt raised Ho's preflop bet all-in with A 7, and was called by Ho with K 2. The board paired Ho's deuce, coming Q 3 2 8 9, busting Markholt in eighth place and sending him home with $38,778.

Alex Jacob is still the chip leader with $470,000, followed by Kevin Ho $401,000, and John Gale with $236,000.
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Final table is go; Alston is gone

Play has begun at the final table and Greg Alston has not lasted long. He moved all-in preflop with K 4 and was called from the button by Kevin Ho with K 7. The board came K T 6 7 9, busting Alston in ninth place with $25,852.

A few hands later, Ho was in the mix again, this time against Lee Grove. Ho pushed Grove all-in with the flop showing A 8 7 and while Grove turned over A K, Ho showed pocket 8s to give him a set. The turn, however, came A, and Grove's survival was cemented when the river came K, giving him a full house and doubling him up to $48,000.

Alex Jacob has the chip lead with $512,000, followed by John Gale with $225,000, and Ho with $220,000.
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It's final table time

Tournament organizers are readying the feature table for a full day of competition, whose commencement is imminent. Here's what the seating chart and chip counts looks like:

Seat 1 - Lee Markholt $128,000

Seat 2 - Maros Lechman $101,000

Seat 3 - Joseph Hachem $64,000

Seat 4 - Jeffrey Roberson $24,000

Seat 5 - John Gale $134,000

Seat 6 - Lee Grove $66,000

Seat 7 - Alex Jacob $524,000

Seat 8 - Kevin Ho $287,000

Seat 9 - Greg Alston $80,000

Stay tuned for live updates as action gets underway.
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Event Name Event 29, Pot-Limit Hold'em
Venue Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 19 July 2006
Final Day 21 July 2006
Buy In $2,500
Entrants 562
Prize Pool $1,292,600
First Prize $374,849
Level Ante Blinds
Level 1 0 25/25
Level 2 0 25/50
Level 3 0 50/100
Level 4 0 75/150
Level 5 0 100/200
Level 6 0 150/300
Level 7 0 200/400
Level 8 0 300/600
Level 9 0 400/800
Level 10 0 600/1200
Level 11 0 1000/2000
Level 12 0 1500/3000
Level 13 0 2000/4000
Level 14 0 3000/6000
Level 15 0 4000/8000
Level 16 0 6000/12000
Level 17 0 8000/16000
Level 18 0 10000/20000
Level 19 0 15000/30000
Level 20 0 20000/40000

John Gale
wins
$374,849

Event 29, Pot-Limit Hold'em

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. John Gale $374,849
2. Maros Lechman $197,768
3. Kevin Ho $103,408
4. Joe Hachem $90,482
5. Alex Jacob $77,556
6. Lee Grove $64,630
7. Jeffrey Roberson $51,704
8. Lee Markholt $38,778
9. Gregory Alston $25,852
10. Aaron Bartley $14,219