NAPT Venetian: Day 5, Levels 30-32 (100,000-200,000-20,000)


11:57pm: Marchese wins NAPT Venetian ($827,648), Stein in second ($522,306)
The last hand of the night started with a 4♣5♥9♦ flop, and the two put a few chips into the pot to see the 3♣ on the turn. Stein bet 1,825,000 chips, and Marchese calmly called.

The T♠ dropped on the river. When Stein checked, Marchese moved all-in, knowing he had Stein covered. Stein thought amidst silence in the room, all eyes on the player who came to the table with the massive chip lead and seemed unstoppable. But the last hour proved otherwise, and ultimately Stein called with 4♠2♠ for the pair of fours.

Marchese turned over T♥T♣ for a set of tens. The crowd was a little stunned but soon realized that this was the final hand of the tournament.

Sam Stein would walk away with $522,306 in prize money for the second place finish.

Tom Marchese became the latest North American Poker Tour winner, and along with the title of NAPT champion, he was the proud owner of $827,648. Stay tuned for a full wrap-up of today's exciting final table.

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NAPT Venetian Main Event champion Tom Marchese

11:45pm: Doubting Thomas, Sam pays
Tom Marchese opened with a raise to 500,000 from the button, and Sam Stein made the call. The flop came 6♦K♣5♥. Stein checked, and Marchese continued for 625,000. Stein made the call.

The turn brought the 4♠. Stein checked again, and this time Marchese bet 1.45 million, and after a long think Stein called.

The river brought the [10c]. Stein checked, and Marchese quickly announced he was all in. Stein waited about 15 seconds, then made the call.

Marchese showed K♠9♥ for kings, while Stein surprisingly showed J♦5♦. Big shift in chips there as Marchese doubles up.

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Tom Marchese takes the chip lead from Sam Stein

11:28pm: Down by the river
Marchese started the hand with 500,000, and Stein called to see the flop of 5♠2♦4♣. Both players checked, and the 9♣ turn prompted checks as well. When the 8♣ came on the river, Stein bet 725K and Marchese called, but when Stein showed the A-5 for the pair of fives with an ace kicker, Marchese conceded and pushed the chips toward Stein.

11:18pm: Good start for Stein
Sam Stein has increased his chip lead during the first hands of heads-up play. Just now, Stein opened with a raise to 500,000 from the small blind/button, and Marchese carefully carved out chips to reraise to 1.6 million.

Stein took a moment to ponder, then announced he was reraising all in, forcing a quick fold from Marchese.

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11:18pm: In case anybody was wondering...
The break before heads-up play was related to TV production stuff, and not the players having any kind of talk. Looks like this one is getting played for all the marbles.

11:10pm: Heads-up
Sam Stein and Tom Marchese are now ready to play heads up. Stein has around 16,000,000 to Marchese's 10 million.

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Heads up for the title

11:01pm: Dan Clemente eliminated in 3rd ($309,366)
Dan Clemente opened with a raise to 475,000 from the button. Sam Stein folded from the small blind, and Tom Marchese reraised all in for about 4.3 million from the big blind. Clemente thought for about thirty seconds, then made the call. Marchese showed Q♦Q♣ and Clemente A♣8♦. The flop came J♦2♠9♦, and Marchese's queens were still good. The turn brought the 7♦, and Clemente was looking for an ace on the river. But the 9♠ fell and Clemente goes out in third place. A short 10-minute break before we start heads up play, where Sam Stein will begin with the chip advantage.

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So long, Mr. Clemente

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Tom Marchese

10:40pm: Yunus Jamal eliminated in 4th ($241,064)
On the first hand back from the break, it folded to short-stacked Yunus Jamal who shoved all in from the small blind, forcing Tom Marchese to fold.

On the next hand, Jamal open-shoved from the button for about 1.45 million with [10s][10c], and got a caller in Marchese from the SB with A♥Q♠. The 6♥J♠A♣ flop put Marchese in front. The K♥ on the turn led to shouts for a queen from Jamal's fans on the rail. But the river was the 2♠, and Jamal is out in third.

We're down to three.

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Marchese offers his hand in exchange for Jamal's chips

10:35pm: They're partying in the V Bar
And we're playing cards in the Bellini Ballroom. With that status report, it's time to resume play at 100,000-200,000-20,000.

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NAPT Venetian final table

10:19pm: Break it up
We've made it to the end of another level, with all four players still with chips. Back in 15 minutes.

10:11pm: Stein stays strong
The hand started with Marchese, Stein, and Jamal going to see a cheap flop of 2♦7♥2♠. Marchese bet 275,000, which prompted a raise from Stein to 785,000. Jamal got out of the way, but Marchese called. When the 8♣ came on the turn, Stein bet 1,130,000, and Marchese left the action. Stein raked in another substantial pot.

9:52pm: Clemente moving and shaking
From the small blind, Tom Marchese looked at Daniel Clemente and asked how many chips the short-stack had left. Whatever the answer that we weren't privy to, Marchese moved all-in. Clemente called and showed A♦3♦, and Marchese turned over J♠8♦. The board only helped Clemente when it ran out Q♥2♦5♥6♠4♥ for the straight, and he was able to double up again.

9:47pm: Not dead yet
Just because he lost most of his stack a few minutes ago, don't count Daniel Clemente out yet. He just doubled through Tom Marchese in a blind versus blind battle. Clemente's pocket nines held against Marchese's naked queen (huh-huh-huh...). Clemente now has a little more than two million in chips.

9:43pm: Clemente and Jamal moving, Jamal doubles
After the Marchese double-up through Clemente, the all-in moves were aplenty. Clemente and his one-million chip stack moved all-in twice in a row, inducing folds from the others. Then it was Jamal's turn, and his two all-ins in a row brought folds all around.

But when Marchese opened for 325,000, Jamal pushed all-in from the big blind, and Marchese insta-called with 8♦8♥. Jamal showed A♠K♠.

Board: 2♠3♦K♥T♠K♦

Jamal caught two kings to create a nice set and an even nicer double-up.

9:37pm: Clemente caught, Marchese on move
It folded to Tom Marchese who raised to 390,000 from the small blind, and Dan Clemente called from the big blind. The flop came K♠[10c]Q♦. Marchese continued with a bet of 475,000 and Clemente called. The turn brought the K♥, pairing the board. This time Marchese bet 825,000, and after pausing a beat Clemente shoved for 4,060,000. Marchese quickly called, showing Q♣Q♥ for queens full of kings. Clemente sheepishly turned over Q♠9♠ -- he was now drawing dead to a king for a chop.

The river was the 7♣, and Clemente quickly tumbles down to around 1 million. Meanwhile, Marchese has catapulted up to 9.6 million.

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Tom Marchese (left) benefits from a badly-timed move by Dan Clemente (right)

9:30pm: Stein makes 'em suffer
On a 2♥Q♣T♠ flop, Sam Stein bet 260,000 and Yunus Jamal called. The turn brought a 400,010 bet on the A♥ and another call. Steinbet 630,000 on the K♥ river. Jamal then tortured himself for nearly five minutes. While it wasn't clear exactly what he said, it sounded a lot like, "I have a monster here. I hav a set, but I don't think it's any good." Whatever he said exactly, it's academic. He folded and sent more chips across the table to Stein.

9:20pm: Marchese puts Jamal to the test
The hand started, as many do, with a 350,000 raise from Sam Stein. But when Yunus Jamal raised it up from the small blind to 780,000, Tom Marchese pushed all-in from the big blind.

Jamal asked for a count of the raise, and it was 2,605,000 total. He agonized over the decision, talking to Marchese, loudly riffling his chips on the felt, and checking his cards several times. After many minutes of consideration, he made what looked to be a painful fold.

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What to do, what to do, what to do...

9:16pm: Hey y'all, that's Amanda Leatherman
In case you haven't heard, one of poker's best presenters has joined the NAPT. You've no doubt seen Amanda Leatherman on screens big and small over the last few years. She's making her debut on the NAPT here this week. She's in the room now doing some interviews with the fans. Welcome to the tour, Amanda!

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Amanda Leatherman

9:05pm: Level 31 begins
Blinds now 80,000-160,000 with a 20,000 ante.

9:04pm: Stein has aces, but no heart
In the last hand of Level 30, Sam Stein opened with a raise to 255,000 from the button, and Tom Marchese called from the big blind. The flop came single-suited -- Q♥9♥J♥. Marchese checked, and Stein continued with a bet of 330,000. Marchese paused a beat, then made the call. The turn was the 2♥, and both players checked.

The river brought the T♥, putting a fifth heart on board. Marchese bet 625,000, and Stein folded, showing A♠A♣ as he did.

8:55pm: Stein resumes aggression
Since returning from the dinner break, we've seen some hands go to the river, chips change hands, but no all-ins. Might be a bit of a food coma at work, or just a realization of the stakes here.

In one of those hands, Tom Marchese opened for 275,000, and Sam Stein called to see a 2♦A♦8♥ flop. Marchese led out with another 275,000 bet, and Stein check-called. The 5♥ on the turn brought checks from both players, but the 9♥ on the river induced a bet of 640,000 from Stein and a fold from Marchese.

Like we said, chips moving but nothing drastic going on here. However, if the afternoon was any indication, it won't take long for some fireworks to happen here at the Venetian.

8:43pm: We're back
The four remaining players have returned and the first hand is in the air. Sam Stein returns to his whopping stack of 14 million chips, followed by Daniel Clemente with 5 million, Tom Marchese with 3.7 million, and Yunus Jamal with 2.875 million. There are 19 minutes left in Level 30, where the blinds are 80,000-120,000 with a 15,000 ante.

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7:24pm: Dinner break
The tourney has been stopped with time remaining in the level for players to take a 75-minute dinner break.

7:18pm: Clemente doubles through Stein
The tides have turned slightly, as another player doubled through Stein.

This started with Stein and Clemente going to see a flop of 9♦8♥4♠, and the betting that started with 330,000 from Stein, went up to 800,000 courtesy of Clemente, and got pushed by Stein as he moved all-in. Clemente called for his tournament life holding K♦8♦ for middle pair, and Stein turned over A♣A♦.

The 5♦ on the turn gave Clemente a flush draw, and the 3♦ on the river made it happen. Clemente doubled through Stein.

And yes, Stein lost a pot.

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Dan Clemente is as surprised at the rest of us to have run Stein down once

7:10pm: BREAKING NEWS...someone won Sam Stein's Money
Huey many not have beat Truman, Goliath had a hard time with David, and it's now possible that Sam Stein is not invincible. When he got it in with two red fours against Yunus Jamal's A♠J♣, we went ahead and marked Jamal down on the elimination list. Sam Stein doesn't lose races. He once raced Usain Bolt and laughed when Bolt tripped over a wayward squirrel.  

So, we're having a hard time accepting the fact that the board ran out 6♠K♠3♠J♥T♠. it just doesn't make sense. Next they'll be telling us there is no Santa Claus and that the tigers at the circus really don't like spending all their time in a cage.  

Regardless, Jamal doubled up.

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Sam Stein

7:02pm: Stein chops pots when not winning them
Sam Stein started the hand with a raise but Yunus Jamal reraised all-in for a total of 1,245,000 chips. Stein took a little time to consider but finally called 990,000 more with A♦4♦. Jamal happily turned over A♣K♥ and felt good about it, but he - as well as everyone in the room - knew that Stein could easily make the best hand, odds be damned.

The board came J♦4♣K♠T♣Q♠, and it was a chopped pot. Of course it was.

6:41pm: David Paredes eliminated in 5th place ($184,816)
It's no surprise to hear an all-in at this point or see big pots develop. But this? It was a monster.

David Paredes started the action with a preflop raise to 275,000, and Sam Stein reraised to 880,000 from the big blind. Paredes then made it a whopping 1.7 million to go, but Stein did one better - he reraised all-in. Paredes called quickly, and Stein was the underdog.

Paredes: A♠A♦
Stein: J♠J♦

But did anyone doubt the power of Stein at this table? Certainly not the cards, as they fell 9♣J♥Q♠Q♥6♦. And there was the full house for Stein, and Paredes pocket aces were cracked.

A very disappointed David Paredes lingered for a few moments to accept what just happened...before finally leaving in fifth place. Meanwhile, Stein now has approximately 70% of the chips in play with four players remaining.

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David Paredes, 5th place finisher

6:35pm: King-high good!
On a flop of 9♦Q♣6♦, Tom Marchese and Daniel Clemente went check, check. On the 9♣ turn, Marchese bet 210,000 and Clemente called. The river was the 4♦. Marchese bet 520,000. Clemente called with K♠J♥...and it was good.

6:26pm: Rockets carry Paredes to 4 million mark
The hand started with a raise to 255,000 from Sam Stein, but Yunus Jamal decided to reraise it to 520,000. David Paredes didn't take long to come over the top all-in for his stacks of 1,985,000 chips. Jamal stood up, stared at Paredes and his chips, and finally made the call. The cards?

Jamal: A♣Q♣
Paredes: A♦A♥

The board started with a K♥8♣6♦ flop, and the 4♥ left Jamal with no outs. The formality of displaying the Q♠ on the river ended it, shipping the pot of more than 4 million chips toward Paredes.

6:19pm: Annnnnnd we're back
We're back in action.

Our chip counts at the break, which you can find by clicking that nifty little link in the black box on the right, show that Sam Stein hold approximately half the chips in play with five players remaining.

Two words.



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Sam Stein, wrecking ball

NAPT Venetian reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Brad Willis, Jennifer Newell, Martin Harris, and photographer Joe Giron.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in North American Poker Tour