NAPT Los Angeles: Day 4 levels 23-25 live updates (20,000-40,000-4,000)

napt-thumb.jpg5:13pm: Myerson eliminated, final table set
Alan Myerson was the shortest stack when they combined to one table for nine-handed play. He shoved on the very first hand, but didn't get called. Finally, after about one orbit, Myerson shoved again. Play folded to Ray Henson in the big blind. He peeked at one card and said, "That one's pretty." He peaked at the next and said, "I call." He flipped over aces. "Well, I guess you would," Myerson said.

The drama wasn't over. Myerson held A♦3♠ and the flop came out 6♦2♥4♥. Then came the 5♥ on the turn. Myerson was going to survive.

"He has a heart," Chris DeMaci said, pointing to Henson's aces. So he did.

And there came the 7♥ on the river to give Henson the win and Myerson his ninth place finish.

Players are now bagging and tagging their chips. We'll have a full count and comprehensive wrap-up of the day in just a bit.

4.50pm: Nine handed counts
The re-draw has happened, as has the chip count. The final nine line up like this (in seat order):

1 - Jake Toole, 2,020,000
2 - Joe Tehan, 2,000,000
3 - Michael Binger, 1,200,000
4 - Anh Van Nguyen, Team PokerStars Pro, 1,100,000
5 - Alan Myerson, 610,000
6 - Jason Mercier, Team PokerStars Pro, 3,700,000
7 - Al Grimes, 2,100,000
8 - Ray Henson, 2,600,000
9 - Chris DeMaci, 5,600,000

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The last nine at NAPT Los Angeles assemble around the "final" table

We play eight handed final tables on the NAPT, so we need to lose another one before we call it a day and then head to Compton for the final table.

4.35pm: Guinther a goner, down to nine
Jason Mercier has been raising an awful lot from his massive tower of chips, and someone decided to make a stand. It was Jimmie Guinther, who responded to Mercier's 80,000 under-the-gun opening raise with a shove all in from the button. Guinther had slightly more than a million chips, but Mercier didn't wait for a count before he called.

Mercier: A♠K♦
Guinther: 8♠8♥

If there's a more consistent winner of coin-flips in poker than Jason Mercier, I'm yet to see him, and this time was no different. The flop came [10h]7♥4♠ but there was the A♥ on the turn. Guinther had re-draw outs to the flush, but the 7♣ on the river was a blank.

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Jimmie Guinther eliminated in tenth place

Guinther leaves us in 10th. Mercier moves up to more than three million. We are down to nine players and are redrawing. Full stacks/seats will be with you shortly.

4.10pm: Van Nguyen back from the death
Anh Van Nguyen was one card away from elimination here, but rivered a six-outer to stay alive. Jake Toole opened to 80,000 from the button and Nguyen shoved from the big blind for 735,000. Toole called. Toole was ahead with A♣9♣ to Nguyen's K♥J♥ and and turn were both blank. The river, however, was J♣ and Nguyen doubles to about 1.5 million.

4pm: Chop
A potentially huge pot just played out between Jason Mercier and Jake Toole, with both men seemingly delighted to take a split of it. There was a raise and a call pre-flop - Mercier and Toole have been tangling a lot - and they went to a 3♥9♥9♦ flop. Mercier checked, Toole bet 100,000; Mercier raised to 267,000, Toole called.

The J♥ turned and Mercier checked. Toole bet 275,000 and Mercier called. The 8♦ rivered and Mercier check-called a 585,000 bet. They had the same hand: A♥9♣ for Toole and A♠9♠ for Mercier. Phew.

3:50pm: Break time
Players are on a ten-minute break.

3:42pm: Melancon runs into Henson, then walks for cage
Bad luck for Joseph Melancon. When Chris DeMaci came in for a raise from the button, Melancon pushed all-in from the small blind. Too bad for him that Ray Henson was sitting in the big blind with K♦K♠. Melancon only had A♦Q♥, and so when the board ran out J♣8♣8♥T♥4♣, Melancon's day was done.

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3.20pm: A long nothing, three times, then a quick something: Lind busts
Action slowed right down on both tables as huge pots developed, then fizzled out. And then all of a sudden George Lind was sent packing in a hand that took about 15 seconds from start to finish.

The slow hands first, then the quick one:

Hand one: Joe Tehan opened to 80,000 from under-the-gun and Chris DeMaci raised to 175,000 from the button. Ray Henson, in the small blind, fancied there was some money out there and he added another 245,000, which was too much for Tehan, who folded. DeMaci had other ideas. He announced he was all in, comfortably covering Henson's two million stack. Henson tanked and tanked but eventually thought better of it and folded.

Hand two: At the same time on the adjacent table, Jason Mercier was bludgeoning Michael Binger in two hands. On the first, Mercier raised to 60,000 from the cut off, Binger made it 175,000 (from about 1.8 million) on the button and Mercier four-bet an additional 205,000. Binger folded.

Hand three: And a few hands later, Binger was under-the-gun and raised and raised to 75,000, but Mercier made it 118,000 more from the big blind. Binger called. The flop came 4♥A♦[10c], which they both tank checked. Then the 3♦ turned and Mercier carefully bet 183,000. Binger thought for a few minutes, but folded.

Hand four: Those three hands above took a combined 20-odd minutes. This one took 20 seconds max. It was folded to Joe Tehan in the small blind and he made a standard raise, attacking George Lind's big blind. Lind shoved for about 700,000, Tehan insta-called, and it was A♣K♠ for Tehan against Lind's A♦5♦. There was no outdraw and Lind was dispatched.

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George Lind III eliminated

2.50pm: The ups and downs of taking on the chip leader with a short stack: Melancon doubles, Affleck busts
There are a couple of short stacks on table two. Well, everything is short in comparison with Chris DeMaci, but Joseph Melancon and Matt Affleck have been sitting with less than 15 big blinds for a while and have been shoving whenever they get the chance.

Their fortunes have been mixed in the past 10 minutes, however, with Melancon doubling through DeMaci, shortly before Affleck was sent to the rail by the same man.

First the double up. DeMaci opened from the button for 70,000 and Melancon shoved for an even 300,000 more. DeMaci took a while before deciding to call with Q♦3♦ and Melancon's A♥[10d] faded an out-draw, doubling him to about 800,000.

But it wasn't so fortunate for Affleck. He open shoved for 318,000 and DeMaci snap-called. Affleck had A♥2♠, DeMaci had A♣[10d] and the board bricked, sending Affleck out in 13th.

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Matt Affleck's short-stack grind is over

2:38pm: Anthony Nardi eliminated
Ray Henson's charge continues, this time at the expense of Anthony Nardi. On the previous hand, Henson had opened and then folded when Nardi moved all-in. One deal later, Henson opened again, and Nardi made the same all-in move. This time Henson snap-called with pocket jacks. Nardi only had eights, The board ran out clean and Nardi is gone in 14th place.

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Anthony Nardi sees the bad news

2.30pm: Stacked
The full, official chip chip counts for the remaining 14 players are now on the chip-count page. To the surprise of no one, Chris DeMaci is the massive chip leader. To the surprise of no one, Jason Mercier is his closest contender.

Here are the other top few:

Chris DeMaci 6,800,000
Jason Mercier 2,132,000
Michael Binger 2,020,000
Jake Toole 1,800,000
Al Grimes 1,600,000

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Jason Mercier on day four at NAPT Los Angeles

LEVEL UP. PLAYING BLINDS OF 15,000-30,000 (3,000 ANTE) IN LEVEL 24

2.15pm: Binger bounces Watanabe
We are down to 14 players now after Carlos Watanabe has been sent to the rail by Michael Binger. Binger opened from late position and Watanabe moved his short stack all in from the big blind. Binger called and it was a standard race, Watanabe's 6♥6♠ against Binger's A♥J♣.

Moments before, Thomas Young had lost with his ace-jack, but Binger ran better. The flop had both an ace and a jack on it, and that wasted Watanabe.

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Carlos Watanabe, the last representative from Latin America

2.10pm: Young loses race to Henson
Thomas Young is our next man out, sent packing by a resurgent Ray Henson. Henson had just picked up a decent-sized pot after Joe Tehan had raised to 55,000 from under-the-gun, Chris DeMaci three-bet to 128,000 from the hijack and Henson shipped for 524,000 more from the small blind, forcing two folds. And on the very next hand, Henson was adding all of Young's chips to his stack.

This one played out between cut off and button. Young opened to 53,000 and Henson made it 160,000 from one seat to his left. The blinds folded and Young announced all in for about 350,000. Henson called.

Henson: [10c][10h]
Young: A♦J♦

The dealer sped through flop, turn and river, none of them giving any help to Young. It came: 8♦5♥4♠2♠8♠. Henson had Young covered and the latter headed to the payouts table, where he'll pick up $21,000 for 16th.

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Thomas Young grabs his backpack and heads home

1:55pm: Team Pro versus Team Pro
Jason Mercier came in for a raise and got a call from Anh Van Nguyen. On a K♦7♠J♥ flop, Nguyen check-called a 54,000 bet form Mercier. Both players checked the J♣ on the turn. When the river came the 6♠, Nguyen woke up and led out for 150,000. Mercier barely thought before making the call. Nguyen never showed his hand. Mercier turned over A♥6♥ for bottom pair, and a great example of how he wins everything he plays.

1:52pm: Grimes doubles through Binger
After that big hand, almost all of them seem meaningless now, but we eel compelled to report that Al Grimes has new life after using a pair of tens to double though Michael Binger's ace-queen. It is, perhaps, worth noting that Binger is currently on the roster for the second flight of the bounty shootout down the street. It's due to start at 6pm, so expect Binger to being playing here accordingly.

1.40pm: That big hand: Raskin mauled by DeMaci
As intimated at 1.20pm, we have just seen an absolutely monstrous pot here, and it's taken some time to write up. Here we have it:

Just when you get a little jaded with poker, a hand comes along to blow your mind again. It's just happened here in Los Angeles, where the overnight chip leader, Christopher Demaci, has just knocked out the man closest to him in the counts, Micah Raskin, within the first orbit. Needless to say, this was the biggest pot of the tournament so far, at more than 6 million. Raskin is gone, Demaci is in complete control, and this is what happened:

Raskin was slightly late getting to the table today and missed a couple of hands. He hadn't fully un-bagged his chips when he raised to 70,000 from the cut off and DeMaci three bet to 120,000 from the button. None of this was all that extraordinary - Raskin's bet size was consistent with how he was opening yesterday, and DeMaci has done an awful lot of three-betting in position.

Raskin called. Just before the flop came down, Joe Tehan reminded Raskin that he still had chips in his bag. "I know," said Raskin, and it might not have mattered too much had the following not then occurred. The flop came J♣[10c][10d] and Raskin checked. DeMaci counted out a bet of 181,000 and Raskin pretty much instantly announced a raise, to 400,000 straight.

He slid in four towers of blue chips to represent that raise, but DeMaci then wanted to know how much more he had. (It looked to the casual observer that Raskin was pretty-much all in because all his biggest chips were still concealed.)

"Can you stack his chips," asked DeMaci of the tournament staff. "I want to know how much he has." And then we were treated to the unusual sight of two men in suits stacking up huge piles of chips, with Raskin sitting in the middle of them, silent.

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Micah Raskin: giving nothing away

This continued as DeMaci called the raise, taking them to a A♠ turn. Raskin almost instantly announced that he was all in for what what eventually determined to be about 1.4 million. The men in suits stepped back, but now a huge crowd had surrounded the table, scenting a tournament-defining moment.

DeMaci was in agony. "This isn't a nit-roll," he said. "This can't be happening. There's no way this is happening." He looked back a few times at his cards. "There's no way this is happening. What do you guys think I have?" he asked the rail, but no one replied. "This could be the sickest one ever. I don't think I can pass."

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Micah Raskin (left, in sunglasses) puts Chris DeMaci (in grey T-shirt) to the test

Eventually, after a good five or six minutes, DeMaci called. He flipped over A♥[10s] for the turned boat. Raskin sheepishly showed 6♠6♣ for a huge bluff gone awry. The river was a blank.

In the aftermath, and as the players shook hands ahead of Raskin heading to the cage, DeMaci said: "The speech made me feel a lot better. He told me if I folded I'd still have chips."

None of the people on the rail had heard Raskin say that, but DeMaci did. The crucial snippet of information was missed by most, but heard, crucially, by the man who is now the clear, clear chip leader. He has more than six million and can't believe what just happened. Neither can anyone else.

1:34pm: Beliveau eliminated
Short-stacked Carl Beliveau has been eliminated. There are now 16 players remaining at two tables.

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Carl Beliveau

1:29pm: Gagnon-Villeneuve eliminated
Jimmie Guinther came in for a raise and got a call from Anh Van Nguyen in the small blind. That's when Jonathan Gagnon-Villenueve moved in from the big blind for around 600,000 more. Guinther made the call and Nguyen got out of the way. It was ace queen for Guinther and two red nines for Gagnon-Villenueve. Guinther won the race and the man from Gagnon-Villenueve is gone.

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1:20pm: Stay tuned
Micah Raskin has been eliminated in the biggest and most amazing pot we've seen all tournament. Standby for full details.

1.10pm: Bullying Watanabe
Carlos Watanabe has come a long way to find himself in Los Angeles. He's from Peru., and doesn't seem keen to go back there any time soon. On the first hand of the day, it was folded to him in the small blind and Watanabe raised to 57,000. Alan Myerson, the short stack, shoved all in from the big blind for 317,000. Watanabe thought better of it and folded.

A few hands later, Watanabe was again involved. Michael Binger raised to 60,000 from under-the-gun and Watanabe called in the cut off. Al Grimes then came out in defence of his big blind, announcing that he was all in for 428,000. Binger folded after a moment's thought, but Watanabe dwelled longer, before flipping A♣Q♣ and letting it go.

1:00pm: Shuffle and up...
Play is underway.

12:59pm: November Nineteen sitting down for Day 4
When we woke today, we tried to come up with something marketable and exciting about Day 4. November Nineteen was the best we could come up with.

In any case, there are 19 players left in the NAPT Los Angeles Main Event. Leading them is the man you see below, Mr. Christopher DeMaci.

They're starting at 12,000-24,000-2,000 blinds. They'll play 75-minute levels until eight players remain. At that point, they'll break for the night and then come back tomorrow to play the final table.

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Live updates of NAPT Los Angeles brought to you by Howard Swains, Brad Willis, and photographer Steve Beyer

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in North American Poker Tour