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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

The Round Table – Sights and Sounds next to a Spade – NBC Heads-Up

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It was the final pairings of the day. Most of the players in this bracket had already been around the set earlier, either sweating other’s action, getting hair and makeup done, or making prop bets.

The Spades playing were:

Annie Duke and JC Tran
Don Cheadle and Gus Hansen
Scotty Nguyen and Bill Edler
Jerry Yang and Chris Moneymaker
David Singer and Phil Laak
Phil Ivey and Alisha Kunze
David Williams and Johnny Chan
Daniel Schreiber and TJ Cloutier

Annie Duke had said to me, at the pairings party, that the only person she didn’t want to draw was her brother. After being paired up with JC she joked, “Ok, can I play my brother now?”

She also told me, “I know I'm playing a really good player. The good thing is the blinds go up fast,” she laughs, “usually that isn't a good thing but, here, it is!”

At the table Annie didn’t seem to mind her match up and was in a good mood chatting with JC throughout the match.

Jennifer Tilly came out to return the sweating favor and gave Phil Laak a big hug before his match.

Chris Ferguson joined me in the audience to watch Annie’s match and we happened to see quite an interesting hand develop.

Both Annie and JC limped preflop, Annie with kings. The board came Q high and both checked. A spade came on the turn putting two spades out and Annie bet out. JC smooth called behind her and Annie decided to check the river when the third spade hit. JC bet out and after thinking about it Annie just called. JC showed a set of queens.

Annie was shocked and showed her kings. “I can’t believe I only lost like 1800 chips on that hand. I could have gone broke there,” she said.

Chris agreed and said, “Wow! That was impressive. Good thing a spade hit, though.”

Right after this Jerry Yang and Chris Moneymaker got it all in preflop. Moneymaker showed Phil Hellmuth’s least favorite hand that day, 10-10, and Jerry Yang showed 4-4 to the shock of most players. With the size of the blinds relative to their stacks, 4-4 was a questionable hand to get all in preflop with that early in the match.

Jerry continued to have the Lord on his side as he spiked a four on the river to win the match. Chris slunk off muttering the typical sentiment of how unlucky he is and Gavin Smith yelled after him, ‘You won the World Championship! You don’t get to complain about anything for 20 years.’

David Singer didn’t have as good of luck in this event as he did the last time he played a major event at Caesars and was eliminated by Phil Laak.

Don Cheadle seemed to be having a good time at his table despite his tough draw of Gus Hansen. He did ask his new friend a favor at the table, though, when he asked Gus to please stop raising. I’m going to guess that is one request Gus didn’t fulfill after he got lucky with K-J against Don’s J-J to knock the academy award nominated actor out of the event.

Cheadle’s competitor from the previous year, Phil Ivey, seemed to start his match out like all of his prior ones...in the wrong direction. Newcomer and online qualifier Alisha took a lead on Phil from the start but got on the wrong side of luck when she ran her K-K into his A-A. Shortly after Phil sealed the deal and 2008 was the first year he was able to make it past the first round

While Ferguson was sitting with me, he mentioned that Juanda was a really tough match. He said his next match with Gavin would be kind of similar to playing Juanda.

Johnny Chan was able to take down David Williams after his J-J held up against David’s A-9 and Scotty Nguyen took out Bill Edler, holding the nut flush over Edler’s second nut flush.

Even though Annie dodged a bullet with her kings earlier, she couldn’t dodge the final two hands that eliminated her and sent JC on to the next round. JC found out who his next opponent would be after the last match of the night ended between online pro Dan Schriber and TJ Cloutier. After a back and forth match TJ came out on top and on his way to the next bracket.

Next up the round of 32…


The Spades - The Diamonds - The Clubs - The Hearts

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