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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2008 World Poker Open – Event #3, $500+50 NLHE

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9 p.m. Almost one hundred fewer players in today’s event compared to yesterdays of the same type and buy in. 428 total with 36 getting paid. 51 players remain and 1st place will receive $61,255. Blinds are at 400/800 with a 100 ante. I recognized a couple of the players left in the tournament. Minnesota native and tournament veteran, Tony Hartmann, Tony Ma, and Minh Nguyen, and I saw Eskimo Clark walking around. Hopefully, he can avoid the medical issues he had at the World Series of Poker. I haven't seen Vinnie Vinh or his chair yet though. They look to be on the same pace as yesterday so I would expect them to make the money in the next hour to 90 minutes and not quite make it to the final 10 before 2 a.m.

I talked with Johnny Grooms about the chip count ruling that was made yesterday. Apparently, it's more of a Southern ruling that is widely implemented and enforced here. “My personal feeling,” Grooms told me “is that once a player has paid their buy in, those chips are not the casinos anymore and no one can touch them but the player. Once they've been put into the pot, they are no longer his property.”

He mentioned that because most players now play on the Internet, they are used to having that information readily available to them so they make the false assumption that they can get an actual chip count at any time when it's more of a courtesy than anything.

Speaking of Johnny Grooms, he is a certified nut job. During today's final table he was singing, doing bad Monty Python impressions, making funny faces and just generally making a complete ass out of himself. I think he was more amused by his antics than anyone else was. On a serious note, Johnny's a great tournament director, easy to talk to, accessible, and a lot of fun to be around... the World Poker Open made a good choice.

Had the pizza from the food court today. It was cold and stale. Another not recommend. I had the buffet the first night I was here and it was excellent... I guess I'm going to have to stick to that and try and limit myself to one visit (if you've seen me, you know that's a virtual impossibility).

10 p.m. As a player and a spectator, the bubble is one of my favorite moments in tournament poker. From the player's perspective it is the time you can make the most steal raises with the least probability of being called. The bubble causes people to play way too cautiously and player's do not take into consideration that making the money isn't how you make money in tournament poker... getting deep is.

Let's take the payouts from Event #2 to illustrate that point. If you made the money in 45th place you won $722. If you made the final table you made at a minimum $4,815. Now let's say you are down to 46 players in the event with blinds at 600/1200 and you have 10,000 in chips. An aggressive player on the button raises to 5000 and you look down and see pocket 8's. Most players in this situation are going to fold because they know that they are likely at best a coin flip. They want to make the money. This is a mistake though because what is going to happen is they will end up making the money and find themselves with 3-4 big blinds, and they'll end up winning that $722 with little shot of the $4,815.

The player who moves all in with the 8's... and is fortunate enough to double up is going to have 20-25K in chips. They have given themselves the ability to move up the pay scale and have the opportunity for that bigger payday. The reality is that you could make the money in yesterday's tournament nearly 40 times and the person who finishes in 2nd and wins $30,000 made as much as you did in one tournament. Think about that the next time you are near the money and adjust your game because of it.

Sorry for that aside, had to throw a little tournament strategy in there since that's my forte.

Comical moment of the day for me: A player is leaning forward in his chair with his knees on the chair. His butt crack is prominently visible. It would make a plumber blush. A guy is taking pictures of it with his cellphone. Not sure what he's going to do with the pictures but it made me laugh.

Most overheard line of the night: “That's the first pair bigger then 5's I've had all tournament. “

Second most overheard line of the night: “I didn't have any choice; I had to go all in.”

Tip for the most overheard line of the night people: it's no limit, you don't need to have a pair bigger then 5's to win pots. Try and take advantage of your opponent's weaknesses.

Words of not so sage wisdom for the second most overheard line of the night: You always have a choice; it's probably not the one you want to make though.

The highs and lows of poker were caught all in one hand for one gentleman. He moved all in with his short stack and was called by a gentleman with A-10. He had 4's. The turn came with a ten and the player became visibly disgusted, walked away, and dropped the F bomb. The river was a 4. “Suck,” he said. “Suck,” as if trying to apologize for the F bomb. Back in it he didn't seem so disappointed anymore. Where else can you be ready to jump off a cliff one minute, and ready to kiss everyone within 50 feet of you the next, than in a poker tournament. As Sully Erna, the lead singer for Godsmack, said at the WSOP this year (stealing blatantly from the NBA)...

I love this game.

10:45 They have made the money and as is to be expected in tournaments like this, after the bubble has burst ,players start dropping quickly. 5 players in 10 minutes were eliminated after making the money. This will usually continue for 30 minutes or so, but by then the stacks have stabilized and people who had survived to make it into the money are either out or have put themselves back into good chip position.

1:30 a.m. The breakneck speed of eliminations continued and they surprisingly made it to the final ten before 2 a.m. Tony Hartmann has made it to the final table and is good shape. Minh Nguyen came up just short of making the money and Tony Ma finished in 24th place. According to a fellow reporter of mine (so take this for what it's worth... second hand information), he talked with Minh Nguyen and he has gone through hard times of late. Minh is a former Player of the Year, with numerous tournament cashes and wins, but he told the reporter that all he wanted to do was get a big cash so he could pay off his debts and quit poker. A lesson to be learned about success in poker, I think... it's not guaranteed to last and it can reverse itself in no time.

Here are the bustouts of players in the money and the amount received. Play will resume at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

11th: Scott Schlemmer $2,371
12th: Gary Marsh $2,371
13th: Justin Hearne $1,976
14th: Gene BauerLein $1,976
15th: Vince Byrd $1,976
16th: Tim Frazin $1,581
17th: Russ Belt $1,581
18th: Lawrence Highfield $1,581
19th: Bruce Douglas $1,185
20th: Jeff Burns $1,185
21st: Sam Broadway $1,185
22nd: David Rylander $1,185
23rd: Dan Fuson $1,185
24th: Tony Ma $1,185
25th: Kevin Antrim $1,185
26th: Jeff Welch $1,185
27th: Michael Fess $1,185
28th: March Schubbe $790
29th: Aaron Holguin $790
30th: George Kolerich $790
31st: Merritt Vonn $790
32nd: Charlie Sickmeir $790
33rd: George Hartley $790
34th: Thomas Miller $790
35th: John Clements $790
36th: Ryan Tepen $790

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