At bagging up time last night, there was a measure of genuine intrigue among players and reporters alike as to the identity of EPT Prague’s first million dollar men. Breaking into seven figures is, of course, nothing but an arbitrary marker in any tournament — you need 25 million to win this thing, and another two days of good fortune. But it is nonetheless exciting to break into the millions, and there were a lot of candidates at the end of play yesterday.
Mark Herm, Dany Parlafes and Jeff Sarwer, for instance, all had more than 900,000, but none of them broke through the million mark. Sarwer came closest – he was only 37,000 short – and for him it would have been the second time he had had a million chips in an EPT main event.
His biggest live score to date remains the €156,170 he won in Vilamoura on season six, when he finished third behind Pierre Neuville and Antonio Matias. But at one point during three handed play, Sarwer had more than four million chips, which is doubly impressive as it came in the era of smaller fields and smaller starting stacks.
If he is going to better that result in Prague, he will need to finish today in seven figures – and he has gone the right way about it so far. He has kept out of any major skirmishes and is still hovering around the million mark.
Pity Sotirios Koutoupas though. Or don’t pity him, depending on your way of looking at these things. Last night our colleague Rich Ryan watched Koutoupas deliberately and methodically place nine towers of blue chips (worth 100,000 apiece) and a chunk of change into his bag, then carefully write 1,049,000 on the outside, staking his claim as a million dollar man.
But when the tournament staff sought to verify his counts, they didn’t believe the bag could have anything like that amount in it and assumed it was a counting error on the player’s part. (We’ve seen plenty of this before, by the way. Players often “hilariously” mis-report their own stacks.) The official list went round with Koutoupas on around half a million, and was duly reported as such on the blogs.
But the Greek player did indeed have more than a million and it was even more of a shame that he had been denied it. According to most poker databases, Koutoupas has never cashed in any rankable event before, so had almost certainly never had this many chips in his life.
He has been duly restored to the top of the counts for the opening exchanges today, though, and is now looking at booking his spot at his first final table.
As well as the overnight leader Ramzi Jelassi, Chris Brammer was the only other player with more than a million in his bag this morning. But at time of writing, he is now back in the pack, down to an average stack of around 630,000. When you have a big stack, you tend to get involved in big pots and most have gone against Brammer today.
However, all of Jorma Nuutinen, Mads Amot and Johnny Lodden have now moved into seven figures. We’ll have more on Lodden later as he continues one of those typical yo-yo tournaments for which he is so renowned.
Follow hand-by-hand coverage, plus latest chip counts, in the panel at the top of the main EPT Prague page.
If you bear with us for one more day, this is the last of the repetition you’ll notice in this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event. Today is Day 2C, actually the second of the day two flights, bringing back the mass of survivors from what was a record breaking Day 1C (have we said this before?) Tomorrow will simply be known as Day 3, and everyone left will play it, and life will seem a lot simpler.
For now we’ll deal with the facts. Some 3,418 players took part in Day 1C, making it the largest field for a single day in World Series history. At the end of five levels just 2,300 of them remained, led by Randy Haddor-Kingwood of Texas, with 188,275 chips.
Naturally the ranks of Team PokerStars Pro and their Team Online cousins were among the survivors, all of whom are listed below:
Joe Cada – 117,375
Viktor Blom – 110,225
Randy Lew – 62,025 (Team Online)
Dario Minieri – 58,925
Juan Manuel Pastor – 49,500
Angel Guillen – 49,450
Christiphe de Meulder – 49,025
Jason Mercier – 17,650
Shane Schleger – 20,340 (Team Online)
Fredy Torres – 34,250 (Team Online)
Arnaud Mattern – 27,300
Marcel Luske – 23,925
Their task will be to last the five levels on the schedule today and to return tomorrow, where they will unite with the 814 survivors of play yesterday.
Viktor Blom (Photo: Joe Giron)
Last night’s chip counts revealed several Team PokerStars Pro were racing to the top. Vanessa Selbst, Eugene Katchalov and Daniel Negreanu each had strong days. Selbst, who features among the leaders of tournaments with a stark regularity, bagged up 350,400, good for tenth place on the day. Eugene Katchalov too put in a solid performance, closing on 330,900, while Kid Poker Daniel Negreanu, after dropping a little late in the day, returns with 277,200.
Their colleague’s counts look like this:
Liv Boeree – 104,300
Salvatore Bonavena – 74,500
Jan Heitmann – 61,000
Alex Kravchenko – 44,100
Pius Heinz – 36,300
Barry Greenstein – 15,400
Vicky Coren – 7,100
For now though it’s time for five more levels of carnage, of people taking the long walk back up the corridor and others keeping the dream alive for another day. We promise this will all start to look less chaotic at some point…
He’ll have another, if you don’t mind.
The three-year old colt that made a late surge to win this afternoon’s running of the Preakness has nothing on Shaun Deeb. Sure, I’ll Have Another can run 45 mph and has a shot at becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. But Shaun Deeb isn’t one to stop at three titles. He didn’t even stop at four. Now, he’s officially run out of limbs on which to affix his SCOOP watches and we’ve run out of superlatives to bestow on the 26 year-old poker pro. Tonight, Deeb made history again, earning his fifth career SCOOP title and his fourth this year with a win in Event #38-H ($2,100 H.O.R.S.E.).
Deeb claims not to be the strongest player in the stud events, but at this point we’re going to chalk that up to modesty. Three of Deeb’s 2012 SCOOP titles were earned in high buy-in stud tournaments and the fourth came in a rotation that’s 60% stud games. Even his heads-up opponent, Jon “LUFCBas” Spinks knew what was in store. As he wrote on his Twitter page “@JonSpinks: obv got HU with @shaundeeb and we all know what happens from there… #bendoverandacceptit.”
The $2,100 H.O.R.S.E. event drew 85 players, the prize pool topping out at $170,000. 12 players took home a piece of it, with the champion set to earn $46,325. Taking one of their final shots at a SCOOP title this year were Team Pros Eugene Katchalov, Chad Brown, Ivan Demidov, Nacho Barbero, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Although none of them finished in the money, Team Online’s George “Jorj95″ Lind III, already a 2012 SCOOP champion in stud hi/lo, advanced to the final table.
Final table bubble honors went to another familiar face in the PokerStars universe. With only 5,086 remaining, BrynKenney got it all in on third street in Razz with the [4s] up against shaundeeb’s [2c]. Kenney could only manage a J-T low by seventh, Deeb taking down the pot with 8-6-3-2-A.
Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: BiatchPeople (60,504 in chips)
Seat 2: LUFCBas (73,430 in chips)
Seat 3: Sivokhan (119,426 in chips)
Seat 4: shaundeeb (29,214 in chips)
Seat 5: Kroko-dill (41,686 in chips)
Seat 6: ImaLucSac (51,687 in chips)
Seat 7: FatalError (20,742 in chips)
Seat 8: Jorj95 (28,311 in chips)
Shaun Deeb finishes off Jorj95
Jorj95 worked his 28,000 up to 42,000 in the early going, but lost about half his stack to LUFCBas in a hand of limit hold’em. Jorj95 capped the betting preflop with [Ad][Kh] and led both the flop and turn despite not connecting with the [Js][9d][6d][3c] board. LUFCBas raised all-in on the turn and Jorj95 called, LUFCBas tabling [Qh][Qd]. The [2d] on the river was no help for Jorj95 and he was left with 22,000. A few hands later, LUFCBas reduced Jorj95’s stack even further when he hit running flush cards. Left with only 4,051, Jorj95 raised all-in with [Qd][Td] and got two callers in shaundeeb and Kroko-dill. Deeb flopped a set of sixes and bet Kroko-dill off the hand on the turn, the board running out [Ac][7s][6c][4d][9c] to end Jorj95’s run in eighth place.
FatalError falters, Sivokhan succumbs
Jonathan “FatalError” Aguiar grew short-stacked after folding the turn in a couple of limit hold’em pots, his stack falling to 6,725. The game changed to Omaha Hi/Lo and FatalError called a raise from the big blind, seeing a [Kc][6d][2s] flop with Sivokhan and Kroko-dill. FatalError bet his last 725, Sivokhan called, and Kroko-dill raised. Sivokhan called the additional 2,275, but folded to Kroko-dill’s bet on the [Ah] turn. Kroko-dill revealed [Ad][Ks][9d][4d] for top two pair while FatalError had middle pair with [3c][3s][6s][Tc]. FatalError was looking for another six, but got the [9h] instead, and exited in seventh place.
The Razz round was unkind to Sivokhan, who three-bet to 6,000 on third street with the [2c] up. BiatchPeople folded the bring-in and LUFCBas called with the [4c] up.
LUFCBas (X)(X) [4c][Jc][Ac][Kd]
Sivokhan (X)(X) [2c][Kh][7c][6c]
Sivokhan called LUFCBas’ lead bets on fourth and fifth streets and bet all-in on sixth street when he made the low board. LUFCBas called, revealing [Ad][5s] in the hole. Sivokhan turned up [3c][7c]. Sivokhan paired sixes on the river and was left with a K-7-6-3-2 low while LUFCBas caught the [Qs], his Q-J-5-4-A enough to eliminate Sivokhan in sixth place.
Moments later, BiatchPeople claimed the last of Kroko-dill’s chips. Still playing Razz, Kroko-dill raised third street, bet out on fourth, and called down the rest of the way.
BiatchPeople ([5h])([8s]) [3h][7c][6d][Jc] ([Jd])
Kroko-dill ([4c])([9h]) [Ad][5d][Jh][5s] ([3d])
BiatchPeople made an 8-7 low on fifth street and Kroko-dill’s 9-5 did not improve. Kroko-dill’s third final table of the 2012 SCOOP ended with a fifth-place finish, earning him $11,900.00.
Shaun Deeb busts BiatchPeople
Despite that chip infusion, BiatchPeople was the next to bust out. Evidently he didn’t get the memo not to play stud with Shaun Deeb.
shaundeeb (X)(X) [6h][Ac][7c][6s] (X)
BiatchPeople (X)(X) [Qd][2s][Kc][8d] (X)
LUFCBas brought it in on third street, Deeb raised to 4,000 with the [6h] up, BiatchPeople three-bet to 8,000 with the [Qd] and Deeb called. Deeb led out on fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, BiatchPeople putting in the rest of his chips on the river with [2d][4d][Td] for a queen-high flush. Deeb called and revealed [Qh][Qc][6c] for sixes full of queens sending BiatchPeople to the rail in fourth place.
As play turned three-handed Deeb was well out in front with 203,000, LUFCBas was second with 126,000 and ImaLucSac held 95,000. With betting limits of 4,000/8,000, it was still anyone’s game.
A hand against shaundeeb and LUFCBas started a long slide for ImaLucSac. LUFCBas picked up a flush draw on fourth street in stud high and caught a running two pair on sixth and seventh street to pick up the 98k pot.
ImaLucSac slid to 19,000 through a series of small pots and got the rest of his chips in against shaundeeb in stud hi/lo. ImaLucSac three-bet on third street with the [6s] up and Deeb called with the [Ac] showing. Deeb led out on the next two streets, ImaLucSac calling all-in on fifth.
shaundeeb ([2s])([Qs]) [Ac][Qh][4h][6d][ ([Kh])
ImaLucSac ([8s])([Ad]) [6s][Jc][Qd][7c][ ([9s])
Neither player made a low and Deeb’s pair of queens were good enough to scoop. ImaLucSac was eliminated in third place, earning $23,800 for his final table run.
Heads-up chip counts:
Seat 2: LUFCBas (172,121 in chips)
Seat 4: shaundeeb (252,879 in chips)
Deeb ground LUFCBas down to 127,000 before a stud hi/lo pot padded his lead even further.
LUFCBas (X)(X) [6s][Ks][Qh][8d] (X)
shaundeeb (X)(X) [Kd][Qd][5c][7s] (X)
LUFCBas brought it in on third, Deeb raised and LUFCBas called. Deeb led out on fourth street and LUFCBas called. LUFCBas check-raised on fifth, then led out on sixth. On the river, LUFCBas led again, Deeb raised, and LUFCBas called. Deeb turned over [Td][9d][Jh] for a king-high straight and LUFCBas mucked.
The game switched to limit hold’em and Deeb whittled LUFCBas down to 38,000 when he made kings up and got a river raise paid off. It was about that time when a clearly frustrated Nacho Barbero appeared in the chat box, asking Deeb his secrets to victory.
nachobarbero (TeamPro): how do it
nachobarbero (TeamPro): i keep comming 2nd
nachobarbero (TeamPro): and u keep comming 1st
shaundeeb: not 1st yet
nachobarbero (TeamPro): yeah sorry
Barbero might have jumped the gun there, but only by a few seconds. He’d barely pressed return when LUFCBas and shaundeeb saw a [Td][8s][5h] flop. Deeb check-called LUFCBas’ bet, then check-raised the turn when the [Kc] fell. LUFCBas three-bet to 30,000, Deeb capped, and LUFCBas called all-in, turning over [Ad][5c] for bottom pair. Deeb showed [Qs][Tc], his pair of tens in the lead. LUFCBas needed an ace or a five but the river fell a total blank with the [6c]. Deeb locked up his fourth 2012 SCOOP title and his fifth overall, earning $46,325.00 for the win. No one was more relieved than Barbero, who, as it turns out, did not jinx Deeb in the least.
nachobarbero (TeamPro): 1st
GodlikeRoy (TeamOnline): lol
nachobarbero (TeamPro): told u
Six SCOOP events remain. Shaun Deeb is still out there, he doesn’t require much sleep and he has $236,951.39 in SCOOP earnings to play with. As our colleague Jason Mercier would say, #whenwillitend.
2012 SCOOP Event #38-H ($2,100 H.O.R.S.E.) results
Places paid: 12
1. Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb (Mexico) $46,325.00
2. Jon “LUFCBas” Spinks (United Kingdom) $31,450.00
3. Dylan “ImaLucSac” Linde (Canada) $23,800.00
4. BiatchPeople (United Kingdom) $16,150.00
5. Andrey “Kroko-dill” Zaichenko (Russia) $11,900.00
6. Sivokhan (Ukraine) $8,925.00
7. Jonathan “FatalError” Aguiar (Mexico) $7,225.00
8. George “Jorj95″ Lind III (Canada) $5,525.00
Looking for more SCOOP reporting? Visit our special SCOOP 2012 coverage section.
Amarillo Slim passed away this past Sunday (April 29th, 2012) at the age of 83.
Those relatively new to poker might recognize his name only vaguely, which is a pity. He won the 1972 World Series of Poker, defeating seven – yes, seven opponents. Actually six because Doyle Brunson bowed out when they were three-handed.1
Slim took that win and parlayed it into national (and international) prominence. Unlike most other poker players (of his heyday or any time), he was a born extrovert and people loved to hear him talk. He was an old Texas road gambler and hustler; he was just doing what he always did – trying to make a buck. But while he was doing that, he yanked poker into the public spotlight. He appeared on the Tonight Show 11 times, and every major TV morning show of the time.
He was the face of poker for a couple of decades; an entire generation of Americans, when they think of a professional poker player, has a vision of Amarillo Slim, even if they couldn’t tell you his name. But with his height, slender frame (“I look like the advance man for a famine”), cowboy hat, and boots, he became an icon of the game.
He could have – perhaps should have – gone on to be one of the grand old men of the game, the gambler emeritus invited to every major poker tournament, creating a wake of gawking and tweeting admirers in his path. But in 2003 he was arrested for indecency with a 12-year-old girl (his granddaughter). He pled guilty to misdemeanour charges, paid a fine, and that was that. The case was over, but so was his career. A movie about his life, with Nicholas Cage playing him, evaporated. Later, Slim said he pled guilty only to save his family the agony of a trial; he produced signed affidavits saying that the original charges were not true.
As Greg Dinkin, the co-author of Slim’s memoir, says in a wonderful blog piece:
Because he had been telling his own version of the “truth” for so many years, no one knew what to believe. Including me. As well as I knew the man, your guess as to what really happened is as good as mine.
But that’s not why I’m here. I want to thank Amarillo Slim for the stories, for two reasons. First, because those stories allowed him to spin a world that America found intriguing, and helped poker on its first tentative steps toward respectability. Second, because he told a great story and we need to be told stories. We are a race of story tellers and story listeners; Slim captivated us with his stories.
He ran black market cigarettes in Germany after World War II, looked down gun barrels in poker games, and almost died winning a prop bet involving rafting the Salmon River. He was from an older, wilder time and his adventures, forgive me, trump the coolest new sushi bar our SuperNova Elites are visiting.
Are all of his stories 100% true? Unlikely. But many of them are probably 100% true and there’s a kernel of truth in most of the rest. But every one, bar none, is a wonderful tale. You forget where you are and are absorbed into Slim’s story, his world. As my colleague, Nick Williamson, pointed out, “You’re entertained – that’s what matters – not the absolute truth of the story.”
The other thing about Amarillo Slim was that he knew one of his jobs was to promote poker (a lesson that wouldn’t go amiss with many of today’s superstars). I met him only once, in the late 90’s at a tournament at the Orleans. People wanted to talk to him, get autographs, have their picture taken with him. He worked the crowd, shook hands, and cracked jokes. He never forgot that he was, first and foremost, a salesman.
Go read Slim’s memoir, Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People. The stories, almost without exception, are fantastic; the book flies by.
Whatever, whoever Amarillo Slim was, we owe him a debt of gratitude for growing poker and for leaving us with a wealth of tales interweaved into our game.
1 The circumstances around that departure are unclear; poker was a lot less transparent then.
It wasn’t just red backpacks, Connecticut and a carpet burn on our photographer Joe Giron’s forehead* that made their poker debuts at the NAPT Mohegan Sun tournament in April this year. Three new members of Team PokerStars Pro Canada also strolled into the media’s glare that week: Anh Van Nguyen, Marcello del Grosso and Pat Pezzin.
Each were already well known on the Canadian poker scene, but Daniel Negreanu and Steve Paul needed some help in bolstering the Team Pro Maple Leaf Division, and that secured them a promotion to the toughest line-up in poker. This year in Las Vegas, each has proved over and over that the coach’s decision was a sound one.
Pezzin, who made it through his day two yesterday with 55,800 chips, is well placed to earn a remarkable eighth cash of the 2010 World Series. He has cashes in shootout, HORSE, Omaha, hold ‘em and seven-card stud tournaments this year, with his best finish coming in the $1,500 stud event, where he came seventh.
Last year, Pezzin came second in the $10,000 limit hold ‘em championship and in all he visited the WSOP cashier’s cage 21 times, and sat on four final tables.
Del Grosso and Van Nguyen are playing today, and each of them are regular botherers of World Series tellers too. Del Grosso cashed five times in the 2005 Series, three times in 2006, twice in 2007, three times in 2009 and twice already this summer. He’s one of the short stacks returning to the Pavilion Room after the dinner break, but you don’t rack up that many results without knowing a thing or two.
As for Van Nguyen, well, the most amazing thing he has ever achieved was to make our colleague Simon Young seem like a seer. Earlier in the Series, Young cautioned that you should remember the name Anh Van Nguyen and he proved to be quite the prophet. Van Nguyen was Team PokerStars Pro’s top performer over the four day one flights of the Main Event – finishing with 116,425 – and is now looking to press home that advantage and take himself into the deep stages.
Negreanu may be the second most winningest player in the world of tournament poker, but he has three hungry countrymen snapping at his tail.
*Acquired after “slapping the concrete” while “refreshed” on his birthday.
RESPECTFUL APPLAUSE OF THE HOUR
Doyle Brunson has been eliminated from the 2010 World Series Main Event.
ALSO ELIMINATED OF THE HOUR
DINNER BREAK OUT OF CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR
“You never see a lobster on its back.”
RIVETING TWEET OF THE HOUR
Bill Chen: “98.5k at dinner. No interesting hAnds last hour,..”
UNFORTUNATE TRIVIA FACT OF THE HOUR
Edward Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, Jr., one of the world’s legendary racing drivers received his nickname fireball before dying as a result of a fiery crash, not after.
“OF THE HOUR” ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY OF THE HOUR
It was on this very day one year ago, in this very building, in this very event, on this very blog that we reported the following Of the Hour report. It’s a memory that haunts us.
ELIMINATION OF THE THE HOUR
We caught up with the action on a flop of 3-4-6. Friend of PokerStars Jason Alexander bet out 25,000 and ended up facing an all-in from Christian Heich. Alexander called with pocket jacks. Heich showed 6-5. The turn was a nine, but the river fell as a six and the Summer of George ended early.
“It’s a cruel game. but i’m happy with my play here,” he said. “It’s my third consecutive year and this is the deepest I’ve gone.I got half way through Day 2 last year so it’s getting better.”
IS THAT A EUPHEMISM? OF THE HOUR
“You could go see my friend Carol. She’s offering toffee tonight.”
RIO EMPLOYEE OF THE HOUR
Bill, a grand master of the Gentleman’s art of working a shine into a pair of tan full brogues for $7 – with all the conversation you can handle thrown in for free – working his shift tonight.
SUGGESTION OF THE HOUR
“They should give the first player out $500.” – Rio Employee of the hour Bill’s suggestion for adding a little compassion to the Main Event.
Arguments rage in the television world as to the first ever “reality show”. The Dutch producers of the original Big Brother franchise have a decent claim, as does MTV’s “The Real World”. But flies carrying cameras have actually been landing on walls all the way back to the 1940s. People simply enjoy watching other people argue and sleep and have done for getting on 70 years.
It’s a bit more clear cut in the poker fraternity. Ever since PokerStars Blog began its
stellar peerless sensational regular live tournament coverage, we have been bringing you poker’s equivalent of a warts-and-all insight into the realities of tournament poker.
Our series, called “A Round With…”, promises to record every move around a single poker table for one orbit of play. Tournaments are marathons not sprints, and flashpoints are relatively few and far between in the early period. Although edited poker television would have you believe that chips fly into pots left and right, the reality is something far more sedate – call it “folds-and-all”.
Today’s “A Round With…” centres on table 299 in the Amazon Room, where the Team PokerStars Pro duo of Gavin Griffin and John Duthie started their day. They were also joined there by the Russian tyrant Alexander Kostritsyn, who was the big stack with more than 200,000, and Eric Assadourian, of Australia. That’s a pretty tough table by any tournament’s standards, let alone on a day on which 2,734 players started. You might have hoped to have avoided such sharks in such a large field.
You wouldn’t quite have detected much panic in the faces of either Griffin or Duthie, however. When I arrived, precisely 30 minutes before the end of level six, Griffin was engrossed in “The Girl Who Kicked Hornet’s Nests” on his Kindle, while Duthie was munching through a packet of peanut M&Ms and had a massage therapist stroking his shoulders.
Kostritsyn, for his part, had a couple of packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stacked beside his chips, and when Duthie indicated that he had finished his M&Ms, Kostritsyn offered a pack of his own peanuty goodness to his table-mate, which was gleefully accepted.
So settle back, imagine a whiff of nut, an ambience of sugar-coma and the buzzing of hornets as we bring you: A Round With … Gavin Griffin and John Duthie.
Blinds are 250-500, with 50 ante.
Table line up:
Seat 1 – Gavin Griffin
Seat 2 – Matthew Chang
Seat 3 – Chad Lauderback
Seat 4 – Shawn Maillet
Seat 5 – John Duthie
Seat 6 – Paul Epperson
Seat 7 – Brian O’Sullivan
Seat 8 – Eric Assadourian
Seat 9 – Alexander Kostritsyn
Hand one: Button with Paul Epperson
It’s folded all the way around to Brian O’Sullivan in the small blind and he raises to 1,100. Eric Assadourian calls in the big blind and the flop comes [9s][qc][6s]. O’Sullivan takes it down with a bet of 1,200.
Gavin Griffin, who did not watch the “action”, takes two green chips from his stack in a well-practiced left-handed manouevre, puts them on the felt in front of him, and continues reading about insect nests getting a kicking. He’s on chapter 22 and is clearly gripped.
Hand two: Button with Brian O’Sullivan
Shawn Maillet opens to 1,400 from mid-position and John Duthie, to his left, calls, as does Eric Assadourian in the small blind. All others fold and they’re three way to a flop. It comes [3c][5c][9c] and all of them check. The turn is [2c] and Assadourian took it down with a bet of 3,400.
After the freneticism of the candy exchange, a dead silence descends on the table. Duthie’s massage therapist starts on his forehead and Mr EPT sits back, crosses his arms, and enters what looks like yogic reverie.
Hand three: Button with Eric Assadourian
It’s folded to Paul Epperson in the hijack, who raises to 1,300. Gavin Griffin diverts his eyes from his screen to defend his big blind with a call. The two of them go to a flop of [ah][8h][4c] and after Griffin checks, Epperson picks it up with a bet of 2,000.
A dealer approaches the table, taps her colleague on the shoulder, and “pushes” him out. The new dealer makes herself comfortable as Epperson breathes a deep sigh and says: “Oh man”, to no one. The two things happen at once: a server gives Matthew Chang a bottle of water and receives a $1 tip, while there’s a big whoop from the nearby feature table, suggesting an outdraw. Barely anyone registers it.
Hand four: Button with Alexander Kostritsyn
Shawn Maillet opens the pot, making it 500. Duthie calls, Griffin called from the small blind, and they got to a flop of [5c][js][5s]. After Griffin and Maillet both check, Duthie bets 2,100 and take it down.
Griffin turns his “page” and is onto “Chapter 23 – Friday July 1 – Saturday July 2″.
Hand five: Button with Gavin Griffin
Shawn Maillet, Brian O’Sullivan and Gavin Griffin get 1,375 in each pre-flop (with Maillet the opening raiser) and they see [kd][10c][ah] fall. Maillet bets 3,000 at that, O’Sullivan calls, encouraging Griffin along too.
The turn is the [10d] and after both Maillet and O’Sullivan check, Griffin bets 8,800. After pondering for a while, Maillet moves all in for about 25,000. O’Sullivan is going nowhere though and he then moves all in – a little less. Griffin sighs deeply and open folds [jh][10h].
Griffin is angered when he sees Maillet’s [ad][ks] but he was behind O’Sullivan’s [jc][qc]. When the [8h] rivers, O’Sullivan doubles up and Maillet is left with only 800-odd.
Hand six: Button with Matthew Chang
Alex Kostritsyn opens from the hijack with a raise to 1,300. Griffin raises to 3,400 from the cut offand Maillet, in the big blind, under-calls all in. Kostritsyn also calls.
The flop comes [10c][4d][ah], which the two active players check, and then the [5h] turns. Kostritsyn fires 4,000 at it and Griffin folds, but they go to showdown to determine Maillet’s tournament life.
So it’s looking good for a triple up for Maillet, until the [3d] rivers and Kostritsyn’s wheel condemns him to an early bath.
Hand seven: Button with Chad Lauderback
Alex Kostritsyn again gets things started, raising to 1,300 and Griffin, with position, calls again. John Duthie also calls from the big blind. The flop comes [2h][ah][5h] and Duthie checks. Kostritsyn fires 2,500 and that’s good to push the two Team Pros out of the pot.
Hand eight: Dead button (in front of empty chair)
Gavin Griffin starts the hand by picking up his cellphone and looking at Twitter. Eric Assadourian opens the pot, raising to 1,250. Chad Lauderback calls, as does Paul Epperson in the big blind and they see a flop of [10d][4s][jc]. Epperson checks, Assadourian bets 2,650 and Lauderback folds. But when Epperson check-raises, Assadourian is persuaded out of it.
Hand nine: Button with John Duthie
It’s folded all the way to John Duthie on the button, who raises and takes.
And that’s the end of that. On balance, not a thrilling “A Round With…” but not too turgid either. Griffin seemed to be getting a touch frustrated – it seemed as though he was missing every flop he saw, and was beaten when he actually made a hand.
Duthie spent most of the round enjoying his massage, while Kostritsyn and O’Sullivan made the most profit. Maillet bust.
No doubt this won’t be the last “A Round With…” of this World Series. Be sure to check back for another thrilling installment.
COMING SOON TO A THEATER NEAR YOU CONTROVERSY OF THE HOUR
For much of the past hour, the conversation in the Pavilion Room has been about one hand. It’s a hand and scene you will no doubt see play out on television time and again when the ESPN coverage begins.
Prahlad Friedman was in the tank, facing an all-in bet from Ted Bort, and being counted down by the floor man. As you’re likely aware, once on the clock, a player has one minute to make his decision. For the last ten seconds, the floor man will count down from ten to one. If he reaches one, the hand is dead.
And so it came, “3…2…1,” and somewhere in there, the word “Call.” The floor, however, declared the hand dead. That’s when thing got interesting.
“The rail erupted,” said Mike Mustafa, another player on the table.
Players at the table insisted Friedman had said call. People on the rail insisted Friedman had said call. Friedman said, “I said ‘call’ right at the end.”
It’s a dead hand, the floor man insisted. When the players protested, supervisors were called in. The decision stood. Before it was over, the table was surrounded by ESPN, print media, online media, cameras, public relations representatives, and players from other tables.
“That’s the worst decision ever,” said Kenny Tran, who had come over to see what’s happening.
World Series officials disagree. After discussing it in depth, they admit it’s possible Friedman said “call,” but there was not enough evidence to suggest he said call before the floor man reached the number one on the countdown (the time at which the hand is officially dead). The floorman said he did not hear Friedman speak. WSOP officials told us that security tapes could not be used to determine whether Friedman called in time. In the end, without anything more than the word of the players as evidence, the tournament officials stood by their decision.
It is one people will talk about for a while. Did Friedman say call in time? Did he say it on the word “one” when the hand is officially dead? The players and rail believe the former. The tournament staff believe the latter. And the players don’t get to make the call.
Said another player, a bit more understanding, “It’s like when an umpire makes a bad call in baseball. There is nothing you can do.”
All of that would make the hand interesting on its own, but that wasn’t the best part. See, if Friedman’s hand had not been declared dead, he would’ve lost, Bort would’ve won the hand, and Friedman would’ve been out of the tournament. This is the kind of thing that ends up on TV.
Friedman is no stranger to controversy. It’s only been a few years ago that Friedman and Jeff Lisandro had a very public fight over whether Lisandro had posted his ante. It all played out on TV and wasn’t pretty. Now, Friedman is back in the center of storm.
“Just when the ante scandal of ’06 was fading away,” Friedman said ruefully. “I’m going to have to live with this for the next ten years.”
Meanwhile, Bort was taking a walk.
“I’m taking a break. I can’t play for a while,”Bort said.
THE LATEST ON ARNAUD MATTERN’S BROKEN FOOT OF THE HOUR
Now into a plastic boot cast rather than plaster of Paris. Mattern is using crutches to get around now having jettisoned the motor scooter when it became clear it didn’t have the horse power to taking the incline in the corridor up to the Rio. Mattern made the decision when overtaken by an elderly gentleman walking with a cane.
VIDEO OF THE HOUR
Here’s a chat with Florian Langmann, of Team Pro Germany:
OVERHEARD CONVERSATION OF THE HOUR
“There’s a reptile on my floor.”