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WPT Legends of Poker Main Event Down to the Final Table

30 August 2006

The least experienced player at the final table of the 2006 World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event has two World Series of Poker (WSOP) cashes, meaning fans of the WPT will have plenty to cheer about Wednesday.

It took four days of play to whittle the field of 466 players down to the final six. The field was littered with some of the biggest names in tournament poker and the final table is no exception, boasting poker legend Scotty Nguyen and WPT superstar Hoyt Corkins.

Excluded from the star-studded field were Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, Howard Lederer, Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Phil Gordon, and Annie Duke, the group of elite players who are suing the WPT over the organization's player release.

The group claims the WPT's policy of making players sign a release before participating in televised events is a violation of their personal rights and a conflict with the multiple endorsement deals each player possesses.

WPT official filed a countersuit this week. In it, they claim that the players' suit is unfounded and that the online casino endorsement deals held by many of the top professionals actually puts the WPT at a disadvantage because the WPT online poker room does not accept American players and remains "lawful" under US law.

So far, nothing has come from the litigation, but the group seems firm in their decision to boycott the WPT. Still, even with the lawsuit pending, the stars came out to play at the Bicycle Casino is Los Angeles.

Finishing in the money at the Legends of Poker Main event were tournament regulars Erick Lindgren, Tuan Le, Eric Seidel, T.J. Cloutier, J.C. Tran, Tony Ma, Vanessa Rousso, John Phan, and Tim Phan. A host of other big name players finished around the bubble, including Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth, Juan Carlos Mortensen, Dan Harrington, and Phil Laak.

The professional-heavy field promised to produce to an exciting final six and WPT fans will not be disappointed when the final table is televised sometime in 2007.

Play will begin again today at 5 p.m. PST and continue until there is a winner. Here is a look at both the final table payouts and the final six participants at the 2006 WPT Legends of Poker Main Event.

1st Place – Frank O'Dell - $3,880,000 Chips

O'Dell won his first and only WSOP bracelet in 2003 when he captured an Omaha High-Low Split tournament victory. He has three WSOP cashes in his career, but has never made the money in a WPT event. He will have a sizable chip lead when play begins again on Wednesday.

2nd Place – Kevin O'Donnell - $2,335,000 Chips

For the second straight year, O'Donnell has made the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event Final Table. Last year he finished in sixth place. This year, he has a strong chip stack to try and improve on last year's finish. O'Donnell is on fire in 2006, tearing up this summer's WSOP by cashing in six events, making two final tables, and finishing 21st in the Main Event.

3rd Place – Joe Pelton - $1,100,000 Chips

Pelton has the least big-tournament experience of all the players at this final table, but is still a competitive player with two WSOP cashes. It's a strong testament to how good the play might be in this contest if Pelton represents the least amount of experience.

4th Place - Hoyt Corkins - $1,030,000 Chips

A WPT superstar, the cowboy-hat-wearing Corkins is making his fifth WPT final table appearance. He won the 2003 WPT World Poker Finals at the Foxwoods Resort Casino and is a WSOP bracelet owner (1992 – Pot-Limit Omaha). Given his experience and his chip count, Corkins is the early favorite to take this title.

5th Place – Randy Holland - $615,000 Chips

Although Holland has had few successes in WPT event (no money finishes), his poker resume both in the United States and abroad speaks for itself, with two WSOP bracelets already on his mantle (1996-Razz and 2000 Seven-Card Stud High-Low). As one of the short stacks, Holland has a hole to dig out of if he wants to claim the top prize, but with his experience, anything can happen.

6th Place – Scotty Nguyen - $375,000 Chips

If Corkins is a WPT superstar, then Nguyen is a WPT legend. Making his record seventh WPT final table appearance, Nguyen is by far the most experienced player at the table, boasting a WPT victory at the 2006 Gold Strike Casino World Poker Open and three WSOP bracelets (1997 – Omaha, 1998 - Main Event, and 2001 Omaha High-Low Split). His short stack may be his undoing. Either way he finishes, Nguyen will likely be the crowd favorite entering the final table.


Mucking McLane
WPT Legends of Poker Main Event Down to the Final Table is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.