They've finally made the money in the $1,500 event after almost an hour of hand for hand play (if you've ever played hand for hand in a live tournament, it is absolute torture). The biggest difference between this event and the $10,000 PLHE event? People really are enthused and happy to make the money. A huge round of applause went up as it was announced. They put the players on break and at least ½ of the exiting participants dutifully got on the telephone to tell the good news to someone. I might joke around but this is the enthusiasm I love to see... people playing the game and being genuinely happy at doing well.
Funny shirts I've seen today.
Save a horse... ride a cowboy.
I swear I win all the time... ONLINE.
Ah, now this is the craziness that I come to expect with the WSOP. Three events running at once, players not knowing where to go, impossible to maneuver through fans and media. Good times to be had by all at the 2008 World Series of Poker.
The $5,000 Mixed event has started and as expected, there are significantly more top professional players in this event than in the noon one. The one table drawing everyone's attention has Daniel Negreanu, Isabelle Mercier, and Doyle Brunson seated next to one another.
I talked with Michael Binger about the hand that eliminated him (to refresh your memory, he had moved in on a squeeze play with 7-6 only to be called by A-10) and sent him fuming out of the room. Michael told me that the guy had raised every hand for the last orbit taking advantage of the bubble and figured his range there could have been anything and thus decided to make a move. Unfortunately for him, his opponent had a hand that he thought was worth a third of his stack and called. The only problem I have with Binger's analysis is that the guy made his initial raise from under the gun on a well known professional player's big blind. This factor should have been taken into consideration when Binger was thinking about whether his opponent would fold or not.
In the better to be lucky than good department sits David Bach. The other day I talked about a hand where he got all of his sizable stack in pre-flop against Dustin Dirksen with A-5 off suit. He's at it again today, using his considerable stack to lay bad beat upon bad beat on players. Among the viciousness includes 9's all in pre-flop against A's and A-2 suited against kings. Both times he took out the big pair with some miraculous flops, turns, and rivers. To make matters worse for his opponents, he's also had the fortune of picking up big pairs at times when they've had big hands. Bach is running away with the chip lead at the moment with over 350K in chips.
Bluffs and bad beats. I love poker.
I've known Theo Tran since last year and he’s a character in the Steve Martin vein... a wild and crazy guy. I stop by Theo's table in the $1,500 NLHE and notice he is involved in a pot. Amir Monsefi raised in middle position on Theo's big blind. Knowing Theo like I do I have a feeling he's going to call. He does. The flop comes queen high, rainbow, and Theo checks. Amir bets 20K and Theo check raises an additional 35K. Amir takes a considerable amount of time to make a decision and the clock is called on him. While the minute is counting down, other players at the table are talking about Theo and his aggressive tendencies and Theo asks the floor that there be no discussion while a decision is being made. Finally, Amir folds K-Q face up. Top pair, pretty damn good kicker. Theo shows the bluff, sure to induce perma-life tilt from Amir... J-10 of clubs. He tells me after the hand “I can't believe the guy laid down top pair... TO ME!” The power of being unknown.
Then there is the bad beat of all bad beats. Well ok, I've seen worse, but this was right up there. Derek Schneider, a short stack, moves all in for 25K with the blinds at 2,000/4,000 in the $1,500 NLHE tournament. Steve Cho calls for about 1/4th of his stack from middle position. Steve Levy, is in the small blind, and seems agonized by what to do. Several minutes go by before the clock is called on him. As the floor starts to countdown from 10, the youngster goes “I'm all in.”
I'm sorry, but I've been around enough poker tournaments to know this move from a mile away. If Levy had a hand like A-K, jacks, or queens, he would have been all in already. If he had a worse hand, he would have folded. Despite how obvious it is, Cho decides to call saying “I don't want to be short stacked” even though he would still have nearly 20 big blinds if he folded. He has Levy covered by about 5K and turns over . Levy has aces and the short stack has K-Q.
The flop is a nightmare flop for Levy as it contains two clubs. The dealer doesn't hesitate for a second, he puts the turn card out right away... as if he knew what was coming and wanted to put Levy out of his misery quickly. It was another club. The kid staggered backwards, a tear welling up in the corner of his eye. He couldn't believe what had just happened. To Levy's credit, he took the beat well, walking off knowing there was not a thing he could have done. Cho starts to pile up the chips, knowing he got lucky, but more than glad to accept the victory.
A recurring trend I've noticed in the $1,500 is many players are afraid to go broke. In addition to the Theo Tran hand I outlined above, I just witnessed a player fold K-Q on a Q-10-7-2 board to an opponent's all in bet. The player that folded only had about 15 big blinds left in front of him and winning the pot would have put him to about 40 big blinds. His opponent showed A-10, so unless a 10 or ace came on the river he would have taken a huge pot.
Just witnessed, a spectator pushing a player after he celebrated a beat put on the spectator's friend. The kicker was the player celebrating wasn't involved in the hand. The spectator was told to leave the area immediately and did so before security could get a hold of him. Repeat after me kids... it's just a game. OK, so it's a game with thousands of dollars on the line, but it is just a game.
They announced a little earlier that the $1,500 NLHE event will be playing down to the final nine. Not usually a big deal but when you still have nearly 100 players at 11:00 p.m. you know you are going to be in for a long night. Suffice it to say, I will not be here until the end, but I will be here tomorrow to cover what should be an exciting final table.
On that note, this will conclude my coverage of Day Four of the WSOP.