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Table Games : Old Guard Versus New Guard at WSOP Event

By Joni Hawk

Level: Jul 25th 2006
The old guard still gives lessons to young players at the WSOP. Veteran Jason Lester left the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in the traditional way, with a gold bracelet and $550,764 after he taught the young gun Alan Sass a quick lesson in heads up play. Sass claimed $284,256, and while he also left with cash in hand, it was unclear whether he asked for it all in one dollar bills.

Lester was the most skilled player at the final table of Event # 32, a $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em challenge with 16 WSOP cashes and six final table appearances in his background. However, he was still waiting for his first gold bracelet. Until this glorious finish, his best finish came in the 2003 Main Event when he finished fourth behind Dan Harrington, Sam Farha and Chris Moneymaker.

Sass is a 23-year old budding professional player who splits time between Las Vegas and Southern California. He was staying in a rented house with several friends preparing for the World Series of Poker but the plan haven’t worked too good as their monitors and computers were stolen. Alan Sass said about the robbery that “it was like 30K worth of everything”. Still, finishing second at WSOP is a little consolation reward.


Sass, who started the day as the chip leader, used pocket nines to beat Tony Hartman's A-K, knocking Hartman out in fourth late in the day.

Lester doubled up with pocket fives through Stuart Fox to stay alive, but a few hands later, it looked like Sass might send Lester out in third after pairing a Jack on the flop versus Lester's pocket sevens. Lester, however, hit trip sevens on the turn and doubled up to take the chip lead.

Sass appeared to be tilting when he went all in with a suited 10-9, and it looked like he was on his way out after Fox flopped a pair of Queens with his A-Q, but he hit a miracle straight on the turn to double up to take the chip lead with 878,000 chips. It was only a matter of time for Fox, who was crippled on the hand, and he finished third half an hour later when his suited K-3 failed to connect with the board, and Lester's A-9 won the pot.

Lester dominated heads-up play, building a 2-1 chip lead just before the players took a dinner break. Soon after they returned, Sass made a fatal error, bluffing with a gut shot straight draw after Lester made top pair. Lester called the all-in reraise, and Sass did not catch one of his four outs.

After the game Jason Lester said that even sounds like a cliché, experience and that one seven helped him win his first gold bracelet.
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