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Koon Claims Final Table Chip Lead in Event #70: $25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

poolshir • Nível 36: 80,000-160,000, 20,000 ante
Jason Koon
Jason Koon

The final table of Event #70: $25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP has been set after a lengthy bubble with Jason Koon claiming the chip lead with 7,863,055 in chips. This prominent event offered players a gargantuan guarantee of $10,000,000 and attracted 407 entries by the end of the registration period.

Koon is no stranger to the high buy-in tournament fields with over $31 million in live cashes according to The Hendon Mob and a plethora of online tournament wins. Koon started climbing up to the top of the counts and got there when there were only ten tables left and never really looked back.

Koon is joined on the final table by many more familiar names and faces like Shankar "Saquon" Pillai, Christian Rudolph, Aram "Pusha T" Zobian, Chris Hunichen, Aleksejs Ponakovs, Aliaksei "BladeRunner1" Boika, Paulis "ChickenBBQ" Plausinaitis, and Brunno Botteon.

The Final Nine Players at a Glance

RankPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Jason KoonUnited States7,863,05539
2Shankar "Saquon" PillaiUnited States6,875,23434
3Christian RudolphGermany5,544,18828
4Aram "Pusha T" ZobianUnited States4,405,44022
5Chris HunichenUnited States4,175,27421
6Aleksejs PonakovsLatvia3,883,95119
7Aliaksei "BladeRunner1" BoikaBelarus3,297,27616
8Paulius "ChickenBBQ" PlausinaitisLithuania2,905,55515
9Brunno BotteonBrazil1,750,0279

From the Start to the Bubble

The tournament kicked off as expected but shortly after the start, some technical difficulties caused for all tournaments to pause their action with the cards to start flying again just after the first scheduled break of the day. By the time the registration period closed, there were 171 players left to battle it out for a spot in the top 55 as those spots would get paid at least $57,592.

It would take just over 2.5 hours before it was time for the bubble with 57 players left in the field. Dan Smith busted to Pillai when he called the shove of the latter with sixes. Pillai held ace-ten and found another ace on the flop to connect with. The bubble would end up lasting fifteen minutes as Michael Addamo three-bet shoved with ace-jack and was called by Ponakovs who held ace-king. The king-kicker came into play to burst the bubble.

Michael Addamo
Michael Addamo Bubbles Event #70: $25,000 NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Outbreak of Eliminations

After the bubble burst, the gust of eliminations started flying in. Within 50 minutes, 33 players busted with the bracelet winners like Davidi Kitai James Chen, Thai Ha, Kartik "Mandovi" Ved, David Peters, and Hun Wei Lee as some of the more notable names to leave the tournament.

Another 30 minutes later, the field had been reduced to the final two tables with Chris "nelanio" Ferguson, Jake Schindler, Stephen Chidwick, and Thomas Muehloecker all falling.

Battle for a Spot at the Final Table

Alexandru "Bot Marley" Papazian, Scott Seiver, Michel "CrossfireX" Dattani, Song "xuesong" Xue, "AntreVolt", and John "Hamburger!" Thrower all busted in quick succession to get the tournament down to the final table bubble.

That bubble ended up lasting forty minutes and even though Jack Salter doubled up once, in the end, his three-bet put him effectively all-in as he kept enough chips behind to pay one small blind. He made the call for the remainder with pocket eights, when Pillai put him at risk. Pillai held ace-jack and flopped top pair and even improved to trips on the river for a prettier picture.

Jack Salter
Jack Salter bubbles the final table and cashes $126,773

When the players return on Saturday, August 29 at 6 p.m. UTC, they will battle it out for the top prize of $1,800,290 while they have already secured at least $154,416. They will resume play on Level 37 which features a small blind of 100,000, a big blind of 200,000, and a running ante of 25,000. The blinds will increase after every 30 hands.

This is what they are all still competing for:


The PokerNews live reporting team will be back again for the final table action so make sure to come back to see who will take this tournament down and add the coveted WSOP bracelet to their collection in addition to the first-place prize that comes with it and the WSOP Europe package here on GGPoker.

Jack Salter Eliminated in 10th Place ($126,773)

poolshir • Nível 36: 80,000-160,000, 20,000 ante

Shankar "Saquon" Pillai raised to 320,000 from under the gun and Jack Salter three-bet to 1,762,548 from the cutoff, keeping 80,000 behind. The action folded back to Pillai who four-bet to put Salter all-in who tanked for a while and then called for the rest.

Jack Salter: {8-Spades}{8-Diamonds}
Shankar "Saquon" Pillai: {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs}

The board ran out {k-Clubs}{a-Spades}{6-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{a-Hearts} for Pillai to flop top pair and improve to trips on the river to burst the final table bubble.

Salter vs Pillai
Salter vs Pillai

The nine remaining players will finish the final table next Saturday, August 29.

A recap is to follow.

Jason Koon us 7,863,055 -340,000
Shankar "Saquon" Pillai us 6,875,234 2,682,548
Aleksejs Ponakovs lv 3,883,951
Brunno Botteon br 1,750,027 -160,000
Jack Salter gb Eliminado

Pillai Wins Without Showdown

[user38873] • Nível 35: 60,000-120,000, 15,000 ante

Shankar "Saquon" Pillai min-raised to 240,000 first to act and was called by Aleksejs Ponakovs in the big blind.

The duo checked through the {10-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} flop and Ponakovs bet the {4-Spades} turn for 202,950, which Pillai called.

On the {a-Hearts} river, Ponakovs checked and folded when facing a bet of 420,000.

Jason Koon us 8,203,055 912,750
Shankar "Saquon" Pillai us 4,192,686 -490,800
Aleksejs Ponakovs lv 3,883,951 -1,125,450
Jack Salter gb 2,182,548 165,000
Brunno Botteon br 1,910,027 538,500

Rudolph Catches Hunichen Bluffing

[user38873] • Nível 35: 60,000-120,000, 15,000 ante

Christian Rudolph defended his big blind a cutoff min-raise by Chris Hunichen and they checked the {k-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} flop.

Rudolpg bet the {10-Diamonds} turn for 202,950 and Hunichen raised to 648,000, which resulted in a call by Rudolph.

On the {7-Hearts} river, Rudolph slowed down once more and Hunichen bet 1,224,000 into 1,911,000 to send his opponent into the think tank. As the remaining time bank dropped to one second, Rudolph called and was good with {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. Hunichen had bluffed with {a-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} for the nut flush blocker and fell behind Rudolph in the overall leaderboard.

Christian Rudolph de 5,869,188 1,167,000
Aram "Pusha T" Zobian us 4,719,190 15,000
Chris Hunichen us 4,380,274 -822,000
Aliaksei "BladeRunner1" Boika by 2,848,526 -120,000
Paulius "ChickenBBQ" Plausinaitis LT 2,510,555 -240,000

Even More for Ponakovs

poolshir • Nível 35: 60,000-120,000, 15,000 ante

Aleksejs Ponakovs raised to 240,000 from under the gun and was called by both Jason Koon and Brunno Botteon in the blinds.

The flop came {4-Spades}{9-Hearts}{a-Spades}, it was checked to Ponakovs who continued with a bet of 225,000 which only Koon check-called.

They both checked through the {2-Hearts} on the turn to the {5-Diamonds} on the river. Koon bet 431,250 for Ponakovs to raise it up to 1,186,725 for Koon to fold.

Jason Koon us 7,290,305 -911,250
Aleksejs Ponakovs lv 5,009,401 1,196,250
Shankar "Saquon" Pillai us 4,683,486 -15,000
Jack Salter gb 2,017,548 -15,000
Brunno Botteon br 1,371,527 -255,000

Koon Folds to Ponakovs

poolshir • Nível 34: 50,000-100,000, 12,500 ante

Aleksejs Ponakovs limped in from the cutoff and Jack Salter completed his small blind while Jason Koon opted to check his big blind.

The flop came {2-Spades}{9-Clubs}{j-Clubs}, it was checked to Ponakovs who bet 119,625 which only Koon called.

The turn was the {10-Hearts} and Koon check-called the 376,750 continuation-bet of Ponakovs.

The river completed the board with the {4-Clubs}, Koon checked for the last time. Ponakovs bet 1,084,555 for Koon to take some time before opting to fold.

Jason Koon us 8,201,555 -421,375
Shankar "Saquon" Pillai us 4,698,486 25,000
Aleksejs Ponakovs lv 3,813,151 671,375
Jack Salter gb 2,032,548 -237,500
Brunno Botteon br 1,626,527 -37,500