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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2008 World Poker Open – Event #13, $500+50 Pot Limit Omaha w/ Rebuys

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Only 137 players took part in the $500+50 PLO w/ rebuys event but when you add in 267 rebuys and add-ons you have the equivalent of a 400 person prize pool. First place would win over $60,000. Robert Williamson III came just short of making the final table finishing in 10th place and he joined these others in making the money:

10th: Robert Williamson III $2,603

11th: Ableen Vaziri $2,603
12th: Les Lascari $2,603
13th: Mickey Mills $2,231
14th: Jason Gladden $2,231
15th: Alan Brennan $2,231
16th: Santiago Lopez $1,859
17th: Terry Moore $1,859
18th: Jon Kantor $1,859

The final table started with the following players including one notable professional in Surindar Sunar who had already cashed in one event this World Poker Open.

Seat 1: Frank Thanh Le 215K
Seat 2: Matthew Mueller 29K
Seat 3: Jody Simon 47K
Seat 4: Gene Timberlake 240K
Seat 5: Hilbert Shirey 86K
Seat 6: John Racener 119K
Seat 7: Lance Lechner 80K
Seat 8: Jeff Rine 42K
Seat 9: Surindar Sunar 152K

One thing was notable from the outset. Gene Timberlake was a talkin' and drinkin' machine. It would start out as humorous but by the time it was all said and done, it would be more of an irritant (especially for tournament director Johnny Grooms), than a comedy routine.

Matthew Mueller entered the final table as the shortest stack and got it all in against Surindar Sunar with A-K-J-8. Sunar had Q-Q-10-2. The flop came J-x-x keeping Sunar in the lead with his queens. The turn was a 9 giving Sunar a straight draw to go with his queens and Mueller was drawing to only an ace or jack (a king or 8 would give him two pair but would give Sunar a straight) to win the pot. It didn't come and Matthew Mueller was our 9th place finisher winning $3,719.

Frank Le dispelled the theory that there's no bluffing in Pot Limit Omaha when he moved all in on an A-4-3-10-2 board against Hilbert Shirey. After Shirey folded, Le proudly showed me his J-9-8-5 and couldn't stop looking back at me... obviously proud that he was able to pull the bluff off.

In the beginning, the majority of the hands would go opening raise and everyone else folding. Timberlake is by far playing the most hands, mixing it up with a variety of limps and raises. He also begins a series of short stack, double up when he doubles up Lance Lechner on a J-6-5-10 two spade board with A-A-10-3 with the ace suited in spades. Lechner has K-Q-Q-J and hits a non spade king on the river to double up.

Jody Simon found himself needing to double up and who better to do it through than Gene “The Doubling Up” Machine. Simon opened for 12K from the small blind and Timberlake called. Simon put his last 14K in before the flop was revealed and after the K-Q-3 two diamond flop, Timberlake instantly called with his J-10-9-8 and two, diamonds hand... a monster flop for his hand. “Daggummit, what a flop,” Simon said as he revealed his hand, A-A-J-8. Amazingly enough Simon is able to fade all the outs when a 5 and 7 come on the turn and river. “Cowboy,” Simon yells. “Breathing room baby!” Simon is up to 70K after the hand and Timberlake is down to a little under 200K.

Hilbert Shirey is no stranger to poker. He has over a million in lifetime winnings, 3 WSOP bracelets, including one in PLO. Today just wasn't his day. He got it all in against Lance Lechner with 9-8-5-4 double suited. Lechner had K-K-6-3 and when the board came Q-4-2-10-3 Shirey's day was done. Hilbert Shirey finished in 8th place winning $5,578.

Timberlake rebuilds his stack by winning a big pot against Surindar but goes back to his doubling up ways when he gets it all in against Jeff Rine who has A-K-Q-4 double suited. Timberlake is ahead with K-K-9-8 but being ahead in PLO is usually a short-lived thing and when an ace flops, Rine doubles up to 75K. Timberlake still has nearly 250K despite losing the hand. “Way to go squeezeball,” he tells Rine, apparently referring to the fact that Rine has been “squeezing” his way through the entire end of the tournament.

The players go on a 10 minute break and Frank Le doesn't return. Johnny Grooms announces several times over the loudspeaker seeking him out but still no Frank. Johnny mentions that he had given him a comp to the buffet so I tell Johnny I'll go look for him down there. Sure enough, I find Frank there and save him from losing half his stack by getting him to return to the tournament. I'm such a nice guy. *pats self on back*

Gene Timberlake in the meantime, is getting drunk. What started off as seemingly funny is now getting old and frankly irritating. He's had at least 6 gin and tonics and apparently he had more than that before the final table started. He'd have at least 4 more before the night would be over. He starts questioning the dealer and challenging other players. Grooms warns him numerous times and I can tell it's starting to get on Grooms' nerves as he is watching Timberlake like a hawk to make sure he stays in line.

Timberlake's theatrics have also created quite a buzz and the rail is easily the largest I have seen for any final table... something that Gene seems rather proud of when he asks Johnny, “you haven't had a gallery like this one yet have you?”

Le wins a pot and Rine jokes that it “is not fair, he gets to eat dinner and win a pot.” Rine isn't laughing moments later when he doubles up John Racener and is crippled. Joining him in short stack land is Lance Lechner who is folding himself into oblivion.

Gene “The Doubling Up Machine” does it again when he gets it all in on a 10-7-3 flop with John Racener. Gene had bet 40K on the flop and decided to gamble when Racener moved in for an additional 45K more. Gene had J-10-9-3 to Racener's K-10-10-5 meaning he only had outs to an 8 to win the pot. Racener's jaw dropped when that exact card came on the turn. Gene sat up his chair triumphantly as if he knew it was coming. “Pair the board,” half the gallery yelled. The board didn't pair... it was a 6 of spades putting 3 spades on the board. “Spade,” Racener exclaimed, pointing out that his King and 5 were suited in spades. Racener wins the hand with the flush and now is up to over 200K. Timberlake is still very much alive with 200K himself.

Moments later, Gene does it again... this time Lance Lechner is the benefactor when his K-K-8-6 holds up against Gene's K-Q-8-8. Lechner doubles up to 100K and Gene is now down to 140K. At this time, Devilfish walks up to the table and Gene proudly proclaims that he learned everything he knows from Devilfish. I'm not sure that Devilfish wants to take any pride in that statement. He leaves quickly.

Gene finally doesn't double up someone when he knocks out Jeff Rine who moves in his last 25K with K-Q-10-3. Gene has Q-Q-3-3 and flops a set of queens on a Q-J-7 flop. Rine still has life with his open ended straight draw but doesn't hit it. Jeff Rine is our 7th place finisher winning $7,438.

Surindar has dropped under 100K and hasn't played a hand in a while. Gene, on the other hand, is playing every hand it seems, and is up to over 325K. He bemoans the fact that he can't even get his drink in a glass. They probably ran out of glasses because he's had so many drinks, I think to myself.

Sick hand of the day alert: John Racener opened for 50K and is called by Frank Le in the big blind. The flop comes A-J-2 with two hearts. Le checks and Racener sticks the rest of his chips in. Le contemplates what to do and decides to gamble with his 8-7-6-5 suited in hearts. He's in bad, bad shape though because Racener has K-J-9-7 with a bigger flush draw.

Le needs some kind of runner-runner miracle that DOESN'T contain a heart. The turn is a 4 meaning the only card that Le can win with is a non-heart 3. Well since I already said sick hand of the day alert you know that's exactly what came. John Racener, fresh off a WSOP Circuit event NLHE win, is our 6th place finisher winning $9,297.

Lance Lechner has moved up as much as he can and moves the rest of his chips in with A-8-3-2. Jody Simon takes him out with A-8-6-5 when his 5 pairs. Lance Lechner is our 5th place finisher winning $11,156.

A big pot takes place when Gene Timberlake and Surindar Sunar limp in and Frank Le follows along. Jody pops it an additional 60K from the big blind. Timberlake folds and Sunar counts out his chips and sees that the additional 60K will be for most of his stack. He makes the call though leaving himself with 25K. Le folds and Jody puts in the remaining 25K in the dark. When Sunar sees the Q-Q-K flop he is happy to call with his Q-J-9-8 and Simon is disgusted as he flips over A-A-9-8. The turn is a jack and Simon is drawing to an ace that does not come and Surindar has doubled up.

Simon is bitter and starts berating Sunar. “I didn't double him up, the dealer did,” he stated. “That's how he got all those titles. Brilliant. Genius.” Jody raises to 50K two hands later and you can't help but wonder if he's tilting. Everyone folds though and slowly you can see Jody regaining his composure. Someone comments on the size of the rail by saying that “all these people are just watching because Gene owes them money.” Even Gene laughs at that one.

On the last hand right before break, Frank Le raises pre-flop and is called by Gene. The flop comes A-J-5 and Frank bets out 95K, leaving himself with about that amount. Gene contemplates folding for a moment but finally just shoves his chips messily into the pot. Frank doesn't like it but calls with A-5-4-3 for two pair with a gutshot straight draw. Unfortunately for him, Gene has a bigger two pair with A-K-J-5. No 5 for a split pot or no 2 for a straight come and Frank Le is our 4th place finisher winning $14,875.

Gene loses a big chunk of his stack to Surindar Sunar when he bets 80K on the river on a 2-2-6-6-Q board and Sunar considers his action for some time, counting his chips out, stacking them carefully, before moving all in. Gene quickly folds and the chip stacks are now Surindar 450K, Gene 350K, and Jody 160K.

Gene takes a trip to the restroom (I'm surprised he lasted this long) and Surindar attempts to take advantage of this by raising his dead big blind an additional 45K. Jody is having none of it though and calls. The flop comes A-6-3 with two diamonds and Jody moves all in for his last 135K. “Double me up. I doubled you up,” he dares Surindar. Sunar makes the call. Jody's hand is A-5-4-2 for top pair with a wrap draw. Surindar has the better top pair with A-K-K-Q but is going to have to fade numerous outs in order to eliminate Jody. He's not able to do so because a 4 comes on the turn.

“Mmmmmmm,” Jody says as he pounds his fists together and mutters under his breath a word that begins with c and ends with sucker. I'll leave that one to your imagination though.

Jody wins a big pot from Gene on a 7-2-2-x-x board. Gene had a 2 and Jody had 7's... fortunately for Gene though he didn't get carried away with his trips as he merely called Jody's big bet. “I coulda won a bigger pot,” Jody said after seeing Gene's deuce. Gene is now under 200K and Jody who had started the final table with less 50K is now over half a million.

Gene limps himself into a short stack and moves all in for an additional 30K. Surindar and Jody are more happy to call for a chance to take Gene out. The flop comes Q-Q-2 and Jody bets. Surindar folds and the end of the day is near for Gene as Jody has A-Q-7-4. Gene has 9-8-7-5 and receives no miracle J-10 (the only way he could have won). Gene Timberlake is our 3rd place finisher winning $18,594.

Now that Gene is gone... so is the massive gallery. No more drama = no more crowd. Jody starts attacking from the very outset of the heads up match, raising nearly every hand and/or betting whenever Surindar shows disinterest in a pot. What had started out as a 650K-250K heads up match is now 750K-150K.

The final hand seemed anti-climactic as the two get most of it in pre-flop and Sunar bets his few remaining chips in the dark. It was perhaps poetic justice for Jody for the hand he lost earlier to Sunar in a similar betting scenario as now he was the one who flopped trips on the Q-7-7 flop. Jody had 10-7-6-3 and Sunar K-8-6-4. The turn was a 10 and it was all over. Surindar Sunar was our 2nd place finisher winning $33,841.

Jody Simon started the final table as the 3rd shortest stack but never seemed fazed by that. Patiently he built his stack up through well timed all in's and despite losing a big pot to some bad luck, kept his composure to pull out the victory. Jody Simon is the winner of the $500+50 PLO w/ rebuys event winning $61,363 and a seat into the WPO WPT event. Congratulations Jody!

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