When the televised final table of six kicked off at the Borgata yesterday, it was truly an exciting moment. Esther Taylor-Brady, know as E-Tay, had made it to the final table with a decent stack and with a good chance of becoming the first woman to win an open international WPT event.
Going into the final table Taylor-Brady was 4th in chips with Shawn Cunix in the lead as he had been throughout the tournament. The very aggressive Aaron Mermelstein was not that far behind in 2nd.
Seat 1. Esther Taylor-Brady: 4,020,000 (40 bb)
Seat 2. Aaron Mermelstein: 7,140,000 (72 bb)
Seat 3. Randy Pfeifer: 1,985,000 (20 bb)
Seat 4. Shawn Cunix: 8,880,000 (89 bb)
Seat 5. Eugene Todd: 5,150,000 (52 bb)
Seat 6. Justin Liberto: 2,500,000 (25 bb)
Taylor-Brady came off to a good aggressive start, when she cold-four bet from the button after a raise from Cunix and a 3-bet from Liberto, that saw both players fold their hands. Taylor-Brady was now sitting with around 5 million in chips and in 3rd place and she kept the pressure on stealing blinds and antes whenever she could.
Taylor-Brady was involved in a big pot vs. Liberto. The action started with Liberto raising from the button to 200,000. From the small blind Taylor-Brady 3-bet to 560,000, but Liberto was not going anywhere and he 4-bet all in for his tournament life with . Taylor-Brady called with and the flop came . The on the turn and the on the river failed to improve Taylor-Brady’s hand and Liberto doubled up to 3,310,000, while Taylor-Brady slide to 3,515,000.
Liberto did not get to enjoy his newfound tournament life for long. In the very next hand Liberto 4-bet all in with and was called by Mermelstein with . The board did not improve Liberto’s hand and he was the first player out in 6th place for $140,878.
After the first break of the day and with blinds at 60k/120k/20k, Taylor-Brady raised from the cutoff to 250,000 with A8. Mermelstein called from the button with AK and Shawn Cunix called as well from the big blind with AT. The flop came and Cunix checked with his pair of tens. Taylor-Brady bet 360,000 with her pair of eights and Mermelstein called. A check-raise from Cunix to 980,000 got the work done and Taylor-Brady wisely folded her hand. Mermelstein let his hand go too. Taylor-Brady now had 2,830,000 in chips.
In what became Taylor-Brady’s final hand of the night, the action began with Randy Pfeifer raising from the cutoff to 260,000. Cunix came along for the ride and Taylor-Brady, who had picked up , elected to squeeze all in. Pfeifer got out of the way, but Cunix called with . Taylor-Brady’s tournament life was at stake and she stood up to see the flop come . With her pair of eights Taylor-Brady was now in the lead, but the on the turn paired Cunix’ king and the on the river sent Taylor-Brady out of the tournament in 5th place for $174,118.
After the elimination Taylor-Brady took to Twitter and thanked for all the support, she had received:
— esther taylor-brady (@e_tay) January 31, 2015
Even though Taylor-Brady failed to make history, she certainly did not fail to impress. Huge congrats to Esther Taylor-Brady. What a ride!
The hyper aggro Aaron Mermelstein ended up winning the tournament and the $712,305 for first. Eugene Todd finished runner-up, Randy Pfeifer in 3rd and Shawn Cunix in 4th.
Photo: Esther Taylor-Brady, WPT Borgata.