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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

2008 World Poker Open – WPT Main Event, Day 2

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12 p.m.

A running commentary of the day's events...

Just over 140 players started the 2008 World Poker Open – WPT Main Event, day 2. With blinds at 300/600 and a 75 ante, here are a few of the interesting table lineups to start the day:

Table 29 had Wendell Barnes in seat 3, Brandon Lee in seat 4, Erick Lindgren in seat 5, Paul McKinney in seat 7, and Glyn Banks in seat 9.

Table 45 included Dutch Boyd in seat 1, Tony Hartmann in seat 3, John Phan in seat 5, Humberto Brenes in seat 6, and David Tran in seat 8.

Table 54 had the following players battling amongst one another: John Spadavecchi in seat 1, David Pham in seat 6, and Freddy Deeb in seat 8.

Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, David Williams, and Kido Pham all found themselves together at table 62. Chris Reslock, Surindar Sunar, and John Racener faced a similar predicament (tough table) at table 66.

Matt “Cub” Culberson found himself with some competition at table 67 when the likes of Alex Jacob, Men Nguyen, and Don Barton joined him.

Steve Billirakis was out early when he moved his short stack all in with A-10 and ran into kings. I saw another short stack move all in with pocket 10's, get called by K-10 and casually walk out of the room as if he expected to lose when a king flopped.

Tony Ma doubled up early with aces when someone decided to donate to him with K-Q on a rag flop. He only started the day with 10K though so he has a lot of work to do if he is going to get back into contention.

Vanessa Rousso was asking Ken Lambert where her fiancé, Chad Brown, was sitting. “He's over there,” Ken said, pointing him out. “He was supposed to bring me coffee,” Vanessa said. Ken walks over and talks to Chad and comes back to tell Vanessa that he'd forgot. Vanessa jokes with Ken that now she is mad and “you know that suite Chad has... well it has a couch.”

Matt “Cub” Culberson got off to a rough start when he shipped nearly 30K to Mary Bruckmeier. The board read 9-7-6-9 and Cub checked out of the small blind. Mary moved all in for a little over 20K. Cub must have thought the bet didn't make sense because he made the call with 10's. Mary had him in bad shape with queens and Cub was down to about 70K after the hand.

When I was coming up to the tournament area about 5 minutes before noon, I noticed David Pham at the craps table. Ahh, you have to love poker players in a casino. He made it to his table before play started, so at least he's not one of those players who would rather be in the pit than at the poker table. Pham would get a one round penalty later in the hour for answering his cell phone while involved in a hand (but no, his hand was not ruled dead as most players think is the common “ruling”).

1:30 p.m.

Not sure who his opponent was but Chris Reslock shipped nearly 20K across the table when he checked and snap called a 12K bet on the turn on a Q-6-4-J board. This was after Reslock had led out for 5.5K on the flop and his opponent had studied him before making what looked to be (bad acting 101) a reluctant call. The snap call must have scared him off though because he checked behind Reslock on the river. Reslock had Q-9... the unknown player kings.

First break update:

117 players remain and the blinds are moving up to 400/800 with a 100 ante. The following players were eliminated in the first 90 minutes of play: Humberto Brenes, Tony Cousineau, Tom Franklin, and Paul McKinney.

Only 3 players reside above the 100K mark and they are Ken Christopher, Brett Faustman, and Chad Brown. Surindar Sunar has doubled up to nearly 70K and is putting himself in good position.

Could 'he have picked a better spot?' hand of the day?

A short stack moves all in under the gun for 11,000. Michael Mizrachi calls with pocket 7's leaving himself with a little under 8,000 in chips. You pretty much know the best you are going to be facing here is a race and I'm not sure that risking 60% of your stack when you still have over 25 big blinds, if you fold, is the right spot to pick. And there will be times where you aren't even facing a race. I think it's better to be the first one in. Mizrachi was facing a flip in this case as his opponent had A-8 and ended up losing the hand when an ace hit.

Shortly after play resumed David Williams and the tightest man on earth, Allen Kessler, were eliminated.

2:30 p.m.

The other day while covering a final table, I mentioned that one of the dealers at the final table had won the limit hold'em event. His name is John Pack and he is playing today. He started today with 67K in chips but told me that he started off the day by bluffing off 20K to David Pham. He looked at his table and said to me “think they could have given me an easier table?” His table consisted of John Racener, Antonio Salorio, John Spadavecchi, David Pham, and Freddy Deeb. Pack seems to be handling himself well, though, as he was up to 90K the last time I walked by his table.

Also doing well and in good spirits is Dutch Boyd who is among the top 5 in chips now with over 110K. When he asked me who the chip leader was, I cautioned him to not worry about it... after all, there is only one time being chip leader matters.

Hoyt Corkins is hard to recognize without his trademark cowboy hat, but he's rolling right now. He recently won a huge pot to push his stack to 140K and the top of the leaderboard. Barry Greenstein is also continuing the upward climb with 110K.

In ‘the don't quit your day job just yet’ department:

A player limps, another player completes from the small blind, and the big blind makes it 7500 to go with the blinds at 400/800. Both limpers call and the flop comes A-9-7. Checked around. The turn is a 9. Checked around. The river is a jack and the small blind leads out for 25K. The original pre-flop raiser folds.

On the very next hand it is folded to this same guy in the small blind. He moves all in first to act for over 20K... over 25 big blinds. Sure, he had a legitimate hand with A-J but usually the only thing that is going to call you in that situation is a hand that beats you. This is exactly what happened when the big blind called with A-K. The flop comes Q-Q-8. The turn is a jack and the big blind can't believe it. “Put up a 10,” he asks the dealer. I want this kind of power. The river... is a 10, and Mr. I'm Afraid To Play Poker So I Bet Real Big is gone.

Vanessa Rousso
moved all in over the top of a David Pham raise for an additional 16K. John Pack called from the small blind and Pham folded. Rousso was looking good (figuratively and literally) with her queens as Pack only had jacks. A jack on the river though had her walking over to Chad Brown to tell him it's up to him to pick up the dinner tab tonight.

3:30 p.m.

Alex Jacob and his kings went down in flames to Ken Christopher who hit a flush on the river. Christopher was up to 170K at the hand and was the new chip leader but since this is currently changing about every ten minutes... stay tuned.

In the ‘I at least outs and they didn't’ department:

Three players reveal their all in hands after a 9-9-8 flop. One of them is Chris Reslock. The other is Gary Gibbs. Gary has Reslock and the other all in player both covered. Gibbs has queens. They have aces. At least if Gibbs hits a queen on the turn the other two will be drawing dead. The queen doesn't come on the turn. It does on the river though. Poker can be such a cruel, cruel game.

Poor John Pack. He was mentioning to me earlier how tough his table was. It's gotten tougher. Chad Brown and Hoyt Corkins (two of the top ten players in chips) have joined his table.

The timing is everything hand of the day:

Aaron Lasater called a re-raise from the woman to his immediate left. The flop came K-Q-9 and Aaron checked. The woman moved all in for a little more than 21K and Aaron called. It looked as if he had a bad feeling about it... and with good reason. She had pocket kings. Aaron nodded as if to say “what can I do” and turned over 9's.

4:30 p.m.

Players off to take a scenic tour of Tunica cow pastures (meaning they have busted recently):

David Pham, Mickey Mills, Toto Leonidas, Nam Le, and An Tran. These departures and others bring our number of players to 80. Still a long ways to go until they make the money.
Here are some of the players still in the hunt: Kathy Liebert, John Phan, Dutch Boyd, Surindar Sunar, Erick Lindgren, Freddy Deeb, Hoyt Corkins, Chad Brown, John Racener, Barry Greenstein, T.J. Cloutier, and Men Nguyen. There is the potential for a star studded finale... but still plenty of unknowns and amateurs looking to make a name for themselves.

The ‘over values top pair’ player of the day:

The board read 5-3-2-K. The action went check from the pre-flop raiser, bet of 5,000 from a player with K-Q, check-raise from the pre-flop raiser to 15,000. The original bettor moves all in for oh... 65K more. He's quickly called by the other player (Sean Burstein) who has pocket 2's and is crippled to under 10K after losing the hand. This was the same guy who I had seen check raise a 10K bet to 35K with K-10 on a K-x-x board. His opponent had K-J but he spiked a 10 on the turn and doubled up.

6:30 p.m.

Apparently an interview by me is the equivalent of the SI cover story jinx. Matt “Cub” Culberson started the day 3rd in chips. He was just knocked out by Men Nguyen when he pushed in his short stack of 8K or so with J-8 of hearts and was called by Men and his A-5 of diamonds. The flop came with two hearts and a gutshot straight draw but Cub couldn't hit any other card to pull ahead and left the room quickly.

John Pack also seemed to be on the downward spiral. I had seen him lose a big pot to Hoyt Corkins and he now has under 50K in chips.

I've figured out the secret to these big buy in tournaments. Have me come in and write that things aren't looking good. Just as I wrote that Pack was on a downward spiral he wins a big pot against Freddy Deeb. 5 players saw a flop of J-8-6 rainbow in a raised pot (started by John Racener). Pack led out for 15K and only Deeb called. The turn was a 5 of clubs, putting two clubs on the board. Pack moves all in for his last 25K and Deeb made the call with 10's. He was drawing dead though as Pack had the nuts with 9-7. Not only did he have the nuts, he also had the club re-draw as both of his cards were clubs. Pack was up to over 100K after the hand while Deeb was crippled.

9:30 p.m.

It wasn't to be for the young dealer though as he ran into the drinking force known as John Phan. Phan who at one time was on the verge of elimination (he was all in for under 15K and doubled up) had chipped up valiantly and had Pack covered by 2K in chips when Pack opened for 7K with the blinds 1,000/2,000. Phan re-popped it to 20K and Pack did not wait long before moving all in. Phan called. It was a race... jacks for Pack and A-K for Phan. The flop came Q-10-6. Pack didn't want a set now but that was exactly what he got on the turn. Now he needed the board to pair, but it didn't and Phan won the monster pot to end Pack's valiant effort.

Freddy Deeb, in the meantime, has bounced back well from his big loss earlier to Pack.

10:30 p.m.

The ‘how is this guy a pro?’ hand of the day:

Ayaz Mahmood check raised a Jose Rosenkrantz 9K bet to 33K. Rosencrantz moved all in for an additional 22K. Mahmood folded (there was over 100K in the pot). Huh?

Dutch Boyd won a huge, huge pot with set over set to catapult into the chip lead. He now has over 400K in chips.

If you ever watch video highlights from one of the major magazine's websites, you've probably seen or heard of Lizzie. Let me tell you if you're in the same room with her, you can't help but hear (and see) Lizzie. The girl can talk. And talk. And talk. She was telling a story about how when she was a kid she lost her voice for a month. I jokingly asked her if they celebrated. She was trying to catch popcorn with her mouth so I thought it'd make for a fun photo. Enjoy.

Continuing the Day 1 chipleader seldom wins it all theorem in effect... Chad Brown was eliminated at the hands of Freddy Deeb. Brown had A-K to Deeb's queens and was unable to improve. Deeb was up to over 250K in chips after claiming his most recent victim.

11:30 p.m.

They are getting closer... 34 players left and the blinds are at 2,000/4,000 with a 500 ante.

T.J. Cloutier had been moving up all day but picked the wrong time to get a big pair as his queens ran into another player's kings. Cloutier was down to under 75K after that unfortunate run in.

Speaking of T.J... Hoyt Corkins has been pushing T.J. Cloutier around. It feels kind of funny saying that... T.J. could probably break Hoyt between his two pinkies but at the poker table it's chips that have the power and Hoyt is using them well.

On two separate occasions, T.J. open raised and Hoyt moved all in causing T.J. to fold. Of course when T.J. did it with aces a few moments later, Hoyt folded. Funny how that works out sometimes. Poker isn't frustrating. Nope. Never.

Players who have been eliminated that I've failed to mention include Kathy Liebert, John Racener, Ayaz Mahmood, Surindar Sunar, and Antonio Salorio.

They reach the end of this level, two players short of making the money.

1:30 a.m.

I knew we were in for a long day of play when the day started. I was guesstimating about 2 a.m. with the dinner break and it will be somewhere around that time when we end, although it could be longer, if the hand for hand play drags out and short stacks keep winning. Blinds are now 3,000/6,000 with a 1,000 ante.

In the biggest travesty of the day, the bubble was burst when a short stack player moved all in with the best hand in poker and lost. Wei Kai Chang moved all in with 6-9 off, and lost to K-9 off. What is this world coming to? Play has finally ended at 1:55 a.m.

As is usually the case at the World Poker Open WPT event, there are plenty of big names left in the running. Our chip leader is none other than Erick Lindgren who has nearly half a million in chips. Also at the top of the leader board is Dutch Boyd, Freddy Deeb, Men Nguyen, and Barry Greenstein. Still in the running are the likes of T.J. Cloutier, Hoyt Corkins, Jimmy Tran, David Tran, John Phan, and Jose Rosenkrantz.

Play will resume tomorrow at noon and it shaping up to be an exciting day as they play down to the final 6. The final 27 and their unofficial chip counts:

Erick Lindgren 498,000
Dutch Boyd 440,000
Gabe Costner 402,000
Freddy Deeb 324,000
Men Nguyen 323,000
Barry Greenstein 280,000
William McMahon 265,000
Michael Baas 247,000
John Spadavecchia 223,000
Jimmy Tran 204,000
T.J. Cloutier 191,000
Hoyt Corkins 185,000
Sean Burstein 173,000
John Phan 169,000
John Price 153,000
James Rumptz 134,000
Gary Gibbs 133,000
Brian Taylor 132,000
Gary Flur 122,000
Ken Christopher 118,000
Brett Faustman 91,000
Gregory Boe 80,000
Jose Rosenkrantz 80,000
David Tran 69,000
Neal Hensarling 62,000
Jonathan Tare 59,000
Brandon Steven 31,000

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