A deep dive into one table during the $50k HORSE Event Day 3.
Gabe Kaplan got his kicks on Table 66, making a big run-up in Razz to reach 1m in chips by the dinner break. The table started with Freddy Deeb, Greg Raymer, Toto Leonidas, and Andy Bloch. It lost Cyndy Violette and Matt Hawrilenko, and Isabelle Mercier and Gabe Kaplan took their place. Kenny Tran was moved, only to be replaced by Robert Mizrachi. By the time Razz rolled around, Cyndy Violette, Matt Hawrilenko, and Kenny Tran were gone. Ironically, Deeb and Mercier sat in the exact same seats to begin the WSOP in Event #1. The new lineup:
1s Freddy Deeb (610k)
2s Isabelle Mercier (240k)
3s Gabe Kaplan (700k)
4s Toto Leonidas (600k)
5s Greg Raymer (340k)
6s Andy Bloch (130k)
7s Robert Mizrachi (510k)
8s Max Pescatori (440k)
The game switched from Omaha Eight or Better to Razz, with 3k antes, a 5k bring-in, and bets of 15k/30k. Thirteen hands of Razz were dealt, with Kaplan and Deeb getting involved first. Kaplan brought in with a 7, and Deeb completed to 15k with a 5. Kaplan's board showed 7-6-2-7 to Deeb's 5-7-9-10. Deeb checked it down after fifth street and showed 10-5-4 to Kaplan's 2-5-6. Deeb took the pot with the ten high. Kaplan brought in and called Razz #2 to Pescatori's 3 complete. 4 went to the Italian, and Kaplan mucked.
Mercier completed with a 4 and Kaplan called with a 7 along with Raymer's 3. She caught an Ace to Raymer's 6, and they lost Kaplan to a Jack. She picked up an 8 on fifth street, while Raymer's King ended the hand for him. It would be the last pot she won the rest of the tournament.
Bloch took the next pot with 6-A as Pescatori mucked 7-8. Mizrachi took a big pot with Leonidas that was bet on all streets except for sixth. He had 3-8-A-10 up with 4-6 down to Leonidas 6-A-2-2 on the board. Kaplan next completed with a 2 and Bloch called with 4. He paired his 4 while Kaplan caught a 6. Mercier and Deeb had both mucked deuces, and Bloch folded to give the pot to Kaplan.
A monster pot emerged between Mizrachi, Mercier, and Deeb. Mizrachi completed with a 6, and Deeb called with a 9 and Mercier joined in with 8 up. The board of the three read:
Mizrachi bet 4th street then checked 5th, with Deeb taking control of the betting from there. He bet on 5th, 6th, and 7th only losing Mercier on 6th street. His 7-5-4-3-2 squeeked past Mizrachi's 7-6-5-2-A for a 330k pot.
Deeb then took the next pot against Mizrachi, limping with a 6 that Mizrachi raised to 15k with a 5. Mizrachi caught another 5 while Deeb had a 9, and he took the pot there. Leonidas took a 4th street pot from Pescatori with 2-7 to Pescatori's 4-10. He showed another four for good measure. Bloch bet out with a 3 for an uncontested pot, then a three-way pot emerged between Kaplan, Leonidas, and Deeb.
Kaplan completed with a 3 only to see Leonidas raise with a 2. Deeb came in with a 7 as well. Kaplan bet 3-5 with Leonidas out with 2-Q. Deeb called with 7-A. Deeb bet with 7-A-6, and Kaplan called with his drawing 3-5-K. He bet with 3-5-K-4 and Deeb called with 7-A-6-6. They both checked, and Kaplan showed 7-5-4-3-A to take the pot.
He took another nice pot when Leonidas raised with a 7 to Kaplan's 6. Kaplan bet 4th and 5th street with 6-7-A, and Leonidas got out with 7-8-9. Deeb took a big chunk out of Bloch next. Bloch completed with an Ace, Mizrachi called, then Deeb raised. Bloch called, and Mizrachi bowed out. Bloch then bet A-2 and again Deeb raised with 5-8. Bloch called then got coolered, with a 6th street board of A-2-10-10 to Deeb's 5-8-3-4. He mucked, frustrated with the hand.
In the thirteen hands of Razz, a few things emerged. Raymer played no Razz hands, while Mercier was one for two. Kaplan and Deeb were the big winners in a dangerous game of chase, and to significant effect. These pots got big in a hurry, and few players took flyers without solid cards.
Seven Card Stud
Fourteen hands of stud were dealt. Players were much more selective in stud, with nine hands won with an uncontested complete: Pescatori (with and ), Deeb (with ),
Bloch ( and ), Kaplan (), Raymer ( and showed to boot). That leaves five hands that were played.
As Mizrachi was moved to an adjacent table, Kaplan and Deeb tangled. The cards read for Deeb and for Kaplan. He raised Deeb on 5th street then bet until the end. He showed , shaking his head as his two-pair stood there. Deeb turned over A-K-4 for a pair of aces, and a pot for Kaplan.
Two hands later, Kaplan completed with and Raymer raised with . He bet with , and Kaplan folded after . Leonidas completed next with and Pescatori called his bring-in with . He had and got tricky against the . Pescatori checked his pair on 4th street as well as 6th street then bet at the end. He showed for trip treys and the pot.
Leonidas got involved in the next hand, this time with Kaplan. Kaplan completed with and Leonidas called with . Kaplan checked 4th street with , and Leonidas bet , only to see Kaplan raise. He called then bet 5th and 6th with to Kaplan's . Leonidas then checked at the end, and Kaplan showed rolled up sevens for trips and the pot.
The last big Stud hand involved a four-way pot between Bloch , Pescatori , Deeb , and Raymer . It was down to Raymer with on 4th street against Deeb's . They checked 5th street as Deeb caught to Raymer's , then Raymer bet out until the end with to Deeb's . He showed , and took the pot with queens and eights as Deeb mucked.
Stud Eight or Better
As they moved to Stud Eight or Better, they also moved physical tables. They got miked up and headed to the ESPN Feature Table, and Mark Gregorich joined the table in the 7s. They were down to four tables of eight players. They played a dozen hands with a lot more action and more multi-player pots. Bloch brought in with , Leonidas completed with , and Kaplan called with as Bloch mucked. Leonidas bet , and Kaplan mucked his . Leonidas next took a pot on 5th street with to Bloch's .
Kaplan had his first slip in a three-way pot with Bloch and Deeb. Bloch complete with and Kaplan joined Deeb with the call. Bloch caught and got out on 4th street, and Deeb bet until the end.
Deeb showed for the wheel, a nut low of 5-4-3-2-A that scooped the pot with the straight.
Raymer took a pot on 5th street that sent last year's runner-up to the rail. Kaplan limped, and Raymer completed with and Bloch raised all-in for his final chips. Kaplan called and they checked down until 5th street, where Raymer bet out and Kaplan folded. Raymer's was good when he flipped up a third to Bloch's . Andy Bloch was gone, and the 6s was open.
After Leonidas took the only uncontested pot, a family pot was built.
Leonidas mucked to Raymer's complete, even with three others already in. Raymer bet 4th street only to see Gregorich raise. Mercier called as did Raymer, but Kaplan dropped out. Raymer bet 5th street, and Gregorich was all-in for his last 20k. Mercier called then mucked to Raymer's 6th street bet. It was only the third hand she played since Razz, and it was an expensive chase for her. Raymer called for the deuce as he turned over A-3 to Gregorich's 3-2, and he hit the deuce. Raymer took the low with 5-4-3-2-A, and Gregorich was alive with only half the pot with 6-5-4-3-2 for the straight.
Deeb and Leonidas got into it next, with Deeb completing with and then raised by . Leonidas bet until 7th street, where he checked. Deeb bet and was called with these cards up:
Deeb showed for aces and fives with no low, and Leonidas mucked.
Kaplan then finished off Mercier. Gregorich brought in with , Mercier completed with , and Kaplan called with .
Mercier raised on 4th street, but Kaplan three-bet to put her all-in. Gregorich folded initially, and Kaplan showed to her for the flush draw. That went away when Kaplan filled up on 6th street, and with no low she was gone in 31st place.
Leonidas and Deeb chopped a pot that Deeb bet out. He had and used -6 in the hole for two pair. Leoinidas had with for the 7-5-4-2-A low. Michael Binger then brought his friend Noah Jefferson to take the 2s, and he watched Gregorich take down Raymer's bring-in with an ace.
Jefferson got involved in a five-way limped pot.
Jefferson checked it around to Deeb on 4th street but Gregorich raised while everyone folded. Deeb called the check/folded when his king had the lead on the board.
Pescatori took a pot with to Raymer's and Gregorich's , and that ended the stud events.
Seventeen hands of hold-em were dealt before the dinner break. Blinds were 9k/18k, and a majority of the blinds were stolen with raises. Raymer was the aggressor, stealing four of these nine either on the button. Deeb snacked on two blinds as did Kaplan, Gregorich grabbed one, and Jefferson took the blinds in a walk from the big blind.
Leonidas had the button in the 4s, and Pescatori raised the first hand from the 8s only to see Kaplan three-bet from the big blind. Pescatori called, then folded on the flop. Kaplan repeated the same action Jefferson with the button in the 2s. Deeb raised from the cut-off, then Kaplan three-bet in the small blind. Deeb called, and the flop was . Kaplan sneakily checked, as did Deeb. brought a bet from Kaplan, and Deeb folded with little thought.
On Kaplan's button, Pescatori raised in the cutoff and Raymer called in the big blind. Both checked the flop, then Raymer check/folded when came on the turn. On the next hand, Leonidas raised from the cutoff, and Pescatori called in the big blind. He folded on the , and Leonidas showed .
After a couple of steals, Pescatori led out UTG+1, and Kaplan called in the big blind. brought a check/call from Kaplan. The board paired with , and Kaplan led out 36k only to be raised by Pescatori. Kaplan called then called the river bet as well, and Pescatori showed to take a big pot.
Deeb bet out on Jefferson's button, and Kaplan three-bet from the big blind in an interesting hand. Deeb called then called the flop and turn bets of Kaplan. Both players checked the river on a board of , and Kaplan sheepishly turned over for nothing but A-K-Q-J-4. That was good enough as Deeb showed , and he had to wonder if a river bet would have given him the pot. A turn raise certainly would have.
The final hand before the dinner break came after three more blinds went to a raiser. With Gregorich's button in the 7s, Kaplan limped along with Raymer, Pescatori, and Deeb. brought a bet from Deeb that Kaplan and Raymer called. Pescatori was lost, then came on the turn. Both checked to Raymer, who bet 36k only to see the other two fold. As the dealer mucked the deck, Raymer turned over and made a frantic attempt to rabbit hunt for the straight flush. Pescatori scattered the deck then tossed a card to Raymer, saying, "Here is your card," as everyone laughed. It was dinner time, and the ESPN crew pulled off microphones as everyone left for a break.
By the dinner break, the Kaplan had moved up to fourth in chips while new tablemates Jefferson and Gregorich had survived on short stacks. Leonidas looked in bad shape while Raymer and Deeb were solid . The stacks at the table:
1s Freddy Deeb (690k)
2s Noah Jefferson (155k)
3s Gabe Kaplan (1.06m)
4s Toto Leonidas (145k)
5s Greg Raymer (635k)
7s Mark Gregorich (71k)
8s Toto Leonidas (145k)
After Mike Wattel busted out during Omaha, they redrew tables with the twenty-four remaining players. Three needed to leave to end the day, and each of these men hoped not only to bag their chips today but tomorrow as well. Leonidas didn't make it, following Phil Hellmuth out the door. The rest return to Day 4, where they will first make a run to cash then to reach the Final Table of arguably the most important poker tournament of the year.