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Senti, Dolan exit WSOP final table, but in entirely different fashion

7 Nov 2010

By Aaron Todd
About fifteen minutes after he was eliminated from the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event in seventh place, Jason Senti was handed a beer by one of his many supporters in the middle of his post-bustout interview. After a rollercoaster ride on his final hand of the tournament, it was a well-deserved and welcomed beverage.

Senti, who entered final-table play as the short stack, moved up two spots to claim seventh place and nearly $1.36 million, more than a half-million more than all the November Nine players received when they reached the final table in July.

Moving from ninth in chips to seventh place sounds great, but Senti was a coin flip away from becoming a threat to make an even deeper run when his ace-king ran into Joseph Cheong's pocket 10s. That coin became heavily weighted in his favor on the flop when he hit two kings. But as Matt Jarvis learned earlier in the night, being ahead doesn't mean you're going to win. Cheong caught running cards to make a straight and eliminate Senti.

Although Senti saw two unlikely cards eliminate him from contention for poker's largest prize, he refused to feel sorry for himself.

Senti finished seventh despite starting the day with the shortest chip stack.

Senti finished seventh despite starting the day with the shortest chip stack. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

"We've all gotten very lucky for a long time, to outlast 7,300 players," Senti said after exiting the tournament. "I wasn't too happy on the turn because it gave him those extra outs. My luck finally ran out."

Senti had no fear early on, going all in four times in the first 14 hands. The chips he won with those shoves came in handy, as he chipped up ahead of Soi Nguyen, eventually eliminating him in ninth place.

Senti kept good company during the break in play, conferring with Phil Galfond, Garrett Adelstein and Annette Obrestad. All three were on hand to support him at the final table, as well.

"It really helped to have discussions with people who I trust and really feel confident about my starting game plan," said Senti. "It was also nice having them behind me so when things changed I could run my thoughts past them and make sure I'm thinking sane, despite all the pressure."

Senti's was one of the most personable players at the table, though he says he preferred to keep a low profile so people wouldn't realize that he was a good player and would play against him in cash games. He realizes, however, that the days of having a low profile are over and that he may have to take a new approach to poker.

"I'm all for travelling around, playing more tournaments, and doing interviews," said Senti. "This is a really a fun way (to play poker), too."

Dolan had a disappointing day after starting with the second-largest stack.

Dolan had a disappointing day after starting with the second-largest stack. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

On the other end of the spectrum was John Dolan, who came to the final table with the second-largest chip stack but finished in sixth place. Dolan picked up $1.77 million, nearly $1 million more than the check he cashed in July.

"It was kind of a slow day and I really never got anything going," said Dolan. "There are probably a few spots I might have missed, but overall, I'm not really disappointed in how I played."

Dolan's elimination was also in a race (he held two overcards to a small pocket pair), but he never moved ahead, and the hand was - in Dolan's words - "standard."

Dolan's personality was also on the other end of the spectrum. While Senti is gregarious and seemed to enjoy his post-tournament press conference, Dolan was reserved and eager to be finished. He did, however, appreciate just how special it was to be part of the November Nine.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Dolan. "I'm really happy I was a part of it."
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