Penthouse to outhouse - a famous phrase that's probably overused but perfectly describes the last 90 minutes for Michael Kanaan. After winning a key flip with ace-queen against Amit Varma's jacks, Kanaan was in control with close to 2 million of the 4.92 million chips in play. Varma slipped into the abyss a short while later, leaving Hoang Anh Do, Nick Wong and Alistair Duff as the only players between Kanaan and the APPT Cebu Main Event trophy.
Unfortunately for Kanaan, all three beat him up, knocked him down, and finally kicked him off the table and to the rail.
Do was the first player to take a bite out of Kanaan's stack. Wong joined in shortly thereafter. Duff did some damage of us own in back-to-back hands, nabbing roughly 600,000 in chips after four-betting all in on the flop in the first hand and jamming the turn in the second. Both times Kanaan folded.
Like that, Kanaan was the short stack. Penthouse to the outhouse queue. Nobody else tried to jump the queue ahead of him.
On Kanaan's final hand, Nick Wong opened to 65,000. Kanaan, in the blinds with the black 10s, moved all in for about 575,000. It wasn't an easy decision for Wong, but with A♦Q♣ in his hand he felt he had to go for the kill. He called and the race was on.
Three clean cards for Kanaan: 3♠9♣8♦. Then the deadly turn: A♠. Wong leapt out of his chair, yelling, "YES!" loudly. He paired again with the Q♥ river, but that pair was irrelevant. One pair was enough to send a shellshocked Kanaan to the rail.
He shook Wong's hand briefly, then slipped out of the final table area. Sameer Rattonsey, he who also had dreams of grabbing the trophy today, offered Kanaan a conciliatory pat on the shoulder as Kanaan walked by. To be honest, I'm not even sure Kanaan saw him.
He might have been too busy wondering how he'd found himself in the outhouse when the penthouse, and its promise of 5.9 million pesos, had seemed so close.