In what looks to be the biggest save of the week, Ian Frazer won the fifth heat of the PartyPoker Premier League IV on Tuesday, putting himself in good shape to have a shot at the final table with one preliminary heat left.
As we reported yesterday, the Team Party pro was in trouble after four heats, as he sat in ninth place with only one more chance to improve his standing.  Only the top eight of the twelve competitors will remain alive after the six heats.  The top four point earners will automatically win a seat at the six-handed final table, while the following four will engage in heads-up matches to determine the next two finalists.  Going into Tuesday, Frazer had just ten points, two behind both Luke “FullFlush” Schwartz and Vanessa Rousso, four behind Roland De Wolfe, and six behind Yevgeniy Timoshenko.  To make matters worse, three of those four opponents still had two heats left.
But Frazer made a huge jump to fourth place by winning Tuesday’s heat and earning 16 points.  Now with 26 points, Frazer is a lock to at least make the heads-up playoff.  Phil Laak, who has won all three of his heats, and David Benyamine are sitting in the top two positions and have clinched seats at the final table.  Giovanni Safina, a PartyPoker online qualifier, is in third place with 29 points and has finished all of his heats.  If Roland De Wolfe, who is currently in eight place with 14 points, wins the sixth heat and Schwartz finishes second or third, Safina would be bounced out of the top four and would have to win a heads-up match to make the final table.
At the bottom of the standings, nobody has been mathematically eliminated, but neither Tony G nor Phil Hellmuth can make the top four.  Daniel Negreanu can only tie Frazer for fourth (we don’t know what happens in the case of a tie for fourth or eighth).  Timoshenko, after failing to earn a point in his final heat, will be biting his nails, as strong finishes by two of the bottom four players would push him out of the top eight.
The complete order of finish for Heat 5 was as follows:
1. Ian Frazer
2. Luke Schwartz
3. Giovanni Safina
4. Daniel Negreanu
5. Tony G
6. JC Tran
7. Phil Hellmuth
8. Yevgeniy Timoshenko
The overall standings after five heats are as follows:
1. Phil Laak – 48 points
2. David Benyamine — 35 points
3. Giovanni Safina — 29 points
4. Ian Frazer – 26 points
5. Luke Schwartz – 23 points
6. JC Tran – 20 points
7. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – 16 points
8. Roland De Wolfe – 14 points
9. Vanessa Rousso – 12 points
10. Daniel Negreanu – 10 points
11. Tony G – 9 points
12. Phil Hellmuth — 8 points
Also remember that a total of $600,000 is being handed out across the six preliminary heats.  As long as he is not the first to be eliminated Wednesday, Phil Laak will be on a complete freeroll at the final table, as he will have at the very least won back his initial $100,000 buy-in.  To this point, the money totals look like this:
1. Phil Laak – $96,000
2. David Benyamine — $70,000
3. Giovanni Safina — $58,000
4. Ian Frazer – $52,000
5. Luke Schwartz – $46,000
6. JC Tran – $40,000
7. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $32,000
8. Roland De Wolfe – $28,000
9. Vanessa Rousso – $24,000
10. Daniel Negreanu – $20,000
11. Tony G – $18,000
12. Phil Hellmuth — $16,000
Safina, Frazer, JC Tran, and Timoshenko have all completed their four preliminary heats and will have Wednesday off.  The remaining eight players will start the sixth and final heat at noon Pacific time at the M Casino in Las Vegas.

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