What an amazing day of poker Saturday was. A final table for the $1.5k Limit Holdem event proceeding on one side, a mass of poker players in the $2k NLHE event, but all of the attention was on the incredible action of the World Series of Poker No-Limit Holdem (6-max) event. It was a roller coaster day for some of the best players in poker, but all of the drama came down to one hand. As heat lightning filled the Las Vegas sky, Dutch Boyd
held lightning in a bottle.
The first two hours cut several top players from the mix, including Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren, and Kathy Liebert. Liebert was taken out by Day 1 chip leader Daniel Negreanu , his top pair of tens holding up against Liebert’s nut flush draw. Negreanu continued his heater, knocking out one player with kings then busting David Shallow for a huge pot. Negreanu made it $9k to go, and then Shallow upped it to $31k and was called. The flop came , and Shallow moved in for all of his $81k. Negreanu made the call after some banter between the two, and his was way behind Shallow’s pocket aces.
delivered a brutal exit for Shallow, and Negreanu had a monster chip stack. He busted Gavin Griffin a few hands later by flopping a straight with .
2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem next tangled with Negreanu. Hachem had been picking his spots patiently, even though he was low in chips for much of the early session. He moved in with
vs. Negreanu’s , catching an ace and doubling up to $50k. Hachem next pushed with and was called by Harry Thomas holding . Hachem caught a seven and was now sitting at $110k, Thomas out in 14th ($18,004). Todd Nichols left in 13th ($19,900), and the tourney was down to two six-handed tables.
Imagine getting on the waiting list at PartyPoker or PokerStars for a 6-max $25NLHE table, then showing up with these guys at your table: Daniel Negreanu, Dutch Boyd, and Joe Hachem. Zack Sanders sat with these players and was quickly involved in an exciting chain of events, doubling up Boyd’s pocket kings, and then Sanders picked up the kings and doubled through Negreanu who, in turn, doubled through Boyd. Meanwhile, Hachem was like a yo-yo, down to $76k then building up to $221k when his pocket nines held up against Michael Goodman’s . Negreanu continued to stay active, winning a pot from Boyd then losing chips to Zegard Nygaard. Boyd would eliminate Nygaard later in the evening, the Oslo resident going out 9th ($35,061).
David Soloman from Austin jumped into the fray, doubling through Negreanu as Negreanu hit a king on the flop with the board’s four spades giving Soloman the nut flush. Soloman is a solid, consistent winner on the Austin circuit, never one to be intimidated by anyone at any table. It’s not called Texas Hold-em for nothing. He will be playing Sunday at the final table.
Boyd and Negreanu were seated at the four-handed table, the chip leaders at the time ($430k for Boyd to Negreanu’s $390k). Negreanu was first to act and raised to $20k, with Boyd calling. was the flop, and Negreanu bet $28k, with Boyd calling again. The came next, Negreanu checked and Boyd bet $75k. Negreanu raised $100k, and again Boyd called. The river brought a seemingly harmless J [s] and now Negreanu moved the rest of his chips into the playing field. Regardless of whether Boyd called or not, this hand would set the stage for the final table. Boyd studied the board, and there were only two hands that could beat him: 5-4 or pocket jacks. Deciding neither of these was held by Negreanu, he called. Negreanu showed black aces, Boyd flipped over pocket sevens for a flopped top set, and Daniel Negreanu was gone in 8th ($38,852).
The 6-max became 7-max as they consolidated chips to one table. Mirza Nagji raised and was called by Michael Goodman. The flop came and Nagji led out. Goodman came over the top and was just barely covered by Nagji. Nagji deliberated for what seemed like an eternity. However long it was, it was an eternity too long as he made the call with . Goodman had flopped a set of fives, and Nagji was left with $7k. He doubled up twice but was knocked out by Hachem in 7th ($42,642).
Tomorrow’s final table will bring plenty of action immediately, with two short stacks and Dutch Boyd holding almost a million in chips. Can Joe Hachem win his second bracelet and add to his bankroll, or will a short stack like David Soloman make a run to the title? It will be a final table you won’t want to miss.