Posts Tagged ‘Table’
The penultimate day of any tournament is normally a fun one full of big hands, life-changing decisions and interesting play as the tournament heats up towards as it approaches the business end of proceedings.
On Day 3 of the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) HK$ 25,000 Warm-Up it was no exception as every interesting facet of a poker tournament was covered throughout the day. The action started off with the final 40 players being just 2 spots from the money, and following one elimination on the second hand and many double-ups, it would take nearly the whole level until the bubble was burst when Aidan Tam called all-in with [7c][5c] against Patrick Crivell’s [Ad][Qc] on a [2c][Ac][3c][Kc][8c] board.
With everyone now guaranteed a HK$ 45,000 payday the play followed the usual quick rate with people now padding their wallets as play reached the first break with just 30 remaining. The next two levels would see a further nine players hit the rail with overnight chip leader Tom Alner taking a massive hit when his [Ac][Qd] would have a straight flush hit on it by Saehoon Lee’s [Ah][Qc] after all the money went in pre flop. With Victor Hon, Inge Forsmo and Jian Yang all sharing the chip lead, they would soon be joined by Raymond Chow after he flopped trip eights on Michael Guzzardi. As play slowed, a dinner break was called for with just 16 remaining and Forsmo back on top.
Once play resumed Guzzardi began a roller coaster few orbits after running into a flush to be crippled, he doubled through Tom Alner before he doubled Paul Cheng when his jacks were cracked. There would be no third life for the Australian when he ran his [Ks][9s] into jacks to fall in 15th as Yang became the first player over one million in chips. Wei Hsiang Yeu would follow soon after when he rivered a full house against Chow, but it would be Yang having the last laugh following one of the biggest hands this tournament is likely to see.
In a three-bet pot, Forsmo continued for 150,000 on the [Qs][8s][Jc] flop only to have Yang min-raise. Forsmo called, and when the [6s] landed on the turn both players checked. As the river landed the [6c] Forsmo quickly announced he was all in for 631,000 to put the pot at roughly 2.2 million if Yang called. The crowd gathered from all across the room as word of the monster pot echoed while Yang was deep into the tank. So deep that it lasted for longer than 15 minutes before Danny McDonagh stepped in to give him a countdown. As time was about to expire Yang declared he was calling and Forsmo angrily flipped over his [Ac][Kc] for a bluff as Yang slammed down his [Kd][Qh] to scoop the monster pot. Mansour Khorramshahi would be eliminated on the next hand, and just like that we would be at our final table of nine after eight full levels of play.
Final Table Line-Up
Seat 1: Billy “The Croc” Argyros (Australia) – 162,000
Seat 2: Wei Hsiang Yeu (Malaysia) – 1,257,000
Seat 3: Tom Alner (UK) – 374,000
Seat 4: Jian Yang (China) – 2,614,000
Seat 5: Saehoon Lee (Korea) – 668,500
Seat 6: Yibo Zhou (China) – 619,000
Seat 7: Roger Spets (Sweden) – 432,000
Seat 8: David Foran (Ireland) – 501,000
Seat 9: Paul Cheng (Hong Kong) – 94,000
Tom Alner led the field into today and will be looking to add another title to his poker resume which includes the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon title back in August for HK$ 823,000. Billy “The Croc” Argyros has already lodged five previous cashes in Macau this year along with victory in the APPT Melbourne event for AU$ 134,500. Roger Spets is no stranger to Macau either as he six cashes, three final tables and one victory.
However it is still anyone’s tournament to win, and at 2:30pm local time on Sunday afternoon, all nine players will have the opportunity to capture the ACOP Warm-Up title and HK$ 1,700,000 first prize. So make sure to join the PokerStars Blog on the final day of play as we write the path of the next ACOP Champion live from the City of Dreams.
You just doubled up when your 9-9 went up against aces and a nine came down on the flop. You won another race when your A-8 sucked out on an A-K, knocking your opponent out of the tournament. In the current hand you need to river a club to complete your flush and drag another big pot. When you hit the flush, you know you’re running extremely well.
While there’s no arguing that poker is a game of skill, luck plays a significant role. We can’t determine a specific skill vs. luck ratio, but whatever the percentage, luck is a substantial part of the equation. Studies on the subject have become increasingly popular in light of the national debate over legalizing online poker. All seem to come down on the side of skill, except this one.
Poker Should Be Regarded as a Game of Chance
Listen to the information the authors gathered to arrive at their conclusion that poker is a game of chance. If you’re not already skeptical, you will be. Researchers at Germany’s University of Bremen enlisted 150 average players and 150 self-described expert players to take part in an afternoon of Texas Hold’em. They sat at six-handed tables, comprised of three average players and thee experts. Instead of using cards, they played on computers, clueless to the fact that the game was rigged! The hands they were dealt were predetermined, so that when an average player had good cards, an expert had bad ones, and vice versa. The most troubling part of the study is that they played only 60 hands; then the experiment was over.
An online poker player averages 60 – 90 hands per hour. Some interesting information came out of such an insignificant sample. Particularly, that expert players were able to minimize losses when faced with extraordinarily bad hands. That’s impressive, but when it came down to winning money, experts did no better than the others. The final cash balance between the two groups was almost a tie. The results showed that card distribution was the decisive factor for successful poker playing.
Bad Beats Only Happen to Good Players – Joe Crow
The cards weren’t on Joseph Cheong’s side in a YouTube video I just finished watching. Cheong stayed cool after a painful bad beat at a World Series of Poker Main Event. Here’s how the hand went down:
Blinds are 80 thousand/160 thousand. Joseph Cheong is the chip leader with $ 29 million, and Filippo Candio has 13 million.
Candio picked up 7s-5s from early position, and raised to $ 385 thousand. Joseph Cheong drew pocket aces on the button, and re-raised to just over $ 1.1 million. Candio made the call, ready to see a flop.
The flop came down 5c-6h-6c. Cheong bet 1.5 million. Candio check-raised to $ 4.4 million.
That’s when Cheong said what you’d expect to hear. “What did you start this hand with approximately? I’m all in.”
Then Candio with fives and sixes, and a runner runner straight draw, said the unexpected, “I call.” With 13% equity in the hand, Candio was ready to race.
The turn was an 8s, giving Candio an open-ended straight draw, but he was still way behind.
A lucky 4c on the river, completed Candio’s straight making him the new chip leader.
“Excessive good fortune” were the words Norman Chad used to describe the hand. I would call it a major suckout, but either way luck was in control of that crucial hand on the way to November Nine.
The top pros make regular appearances at final tables, and have multiple titles to their names. Unlike any other sport, in poker one-hit wonders making rookie mistakes can get lucky and beat pros at their own game. This comes as no shock to seasoned players who know the luck factor evens out over an extended period of time. In the long run, skill determines who wins and who loses, but even the best players have to get lucky to stay in the game.
8.15pm: Eruption! Ludovic Geilich is your PokerStars Marbella Festival champion! It began as they had been beginning. The pot that is. Ludovic Geilich opened for 400,000 and Pablo Rojas moved all-in. Geilich checked his cards and made the quick call. Each players’ contingent rushed past the rail and crowded the table.
“Out,” Tournament Director Toby Stone ordered. The staff moved everyone back, but they were busting at the seams.
Geilich tabled [9s] [9d], a hand he was quick to point out was Phil Hellmuth’s to win the Main Event way back in 1989.
Rojas flipped [Qs] [Jc], his life now resting on a coinflip.
With the situation under control, the dealer took three cards off the top of the deck:
[Kc] [Td] [Tc]
To say it was loud would hardly capture the atmosphere. This was a sweat. Everyone was calling out, some bellowing, the card their hero of the moment would desire.
Rojas had flopped very well and it was still anyone’s game.
The fourth card arrived:
Now the Spanish cheers reached a fever pitch, desperate for their man to continue in this event. One card to go, Geilich’s contingent hoped.
Boom goes the dynamite. The fans could not be contained and the rail dispersed as if it had never been there in the first place. Geilich encircled by his friends, jumped up and down to “LUDO! LUDO! LUDO!”
Breaking away from the pack, Geilich found Rojas in the chaos, the two competitors turned friends embraced and exchanged hearty congratulations. Rojas takes home a treasure — €98,000. But it is Geilich who is the envy of all, awarded €130,000.
That is what has been witnessed. Ludovic Geilich had conquered Marbella in a virtuoso display of no-limit holdem prowess. — GC
7.58pm: Grinding, grinding, ground
The trend continued — Geilich winning more than his share of small pots. Rojas was down to a re-shove stack, dipping dangerously below twenty big blinds. Two hands were representative of this stretch:
Geilich opens for 400,000 and Rojas moved all-in. Geilich folds.
Rojas folds his button.
Rojas was down to somewhere in the 2,500,000 neighbhourhood. Thirteen big blinds can not last long without an all-in confrontation. — GC
There was a lot of folding in the first ten hands to start this level, with Rojas continuing to vary his open size. Here is the break down of how it began:
1) Rojas makes it 500k on the button, Geilich folds.
2) Ludovic Geilich opens to 400k, Geilich folds.
3) Pablo Rojas open folds his button.
4) Geilich makes it 400k and Rojas calls. The flop is [Qs] [6c] [2d] and Rojas leads for a suspicious 225,000, which Geilich calls. The turn was the [Qh] and Rojas lead again, but for 475,000. Geilich releases his hand quickly.
5) Rojas folds another button.
6) Geilich raises his button the minimum and Rojas folds.
7) Rojas raises to 450,000, Geilich says “all-in,” and Rojas folds.
8) Geilich raises to 400,000 and Rojas folds.
9) Rojas shows [Tc] [4s] and folds his third button of the last four.
10) Geilich makes it 400,000 and gets one caller. Guess who? The community cards start [Kh] [7h] [5c] and check matches check.
The [Kd] turns and Geilich wins the pot for one quarter of the pot, betting 200,000 when checked to.
That’s an eight to two tally in Geilich’s favour. Rojas is going to have to start scrapping over the small pots if he is going to swing the match. This much is certain: Geilich will never take his foot off that gas pedal. — GC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100,000-200,000
7.30pm: Level 31 is over
Wow next level is 100k/200k.
The chip stacks are like this currently, Geilich getting the better of the duel.
Geilich – 10,500,000
Rojas – 4,500,000 — RS
7.15pm: Geilich pushes for dominance in the four-bet realm
With the blinds getting to semi-ridiculous levels and every single button opened, the number of three-bet re-steals is rising and naturally this has led to this aggressive pair increasing the regularity of a big four-bet re-re-steal.
RIght now Geilich is the one getting away with these lucrative manoeuvres most effectively. Two recent hands saw him pop the button to 320k, Rojas dig out a 700k move and Geilich pick up the Spaniard’s chips with one final definitive act of aggression – betting 1.5 million and getting a pair of mucks for his efforts. — RS
7.09pm: Value betting like a champion
These two love to play pots. You might think the fact the stacks are slow to change is down to nittery but the truth is the chips are ebbing and flowing back and forth almost every pot. The result is a very fluid dynamic between these two that is probably just favouring Geilich.
Recently the pair played out a very interesting pot – Geilich peeling a Rojas raise preflop, before the pair checked the [Jd][6d][6h] board.
A [4d] on the turn saw Geilich lead for 395k, called by Rojas with the comment, “let’s see if your jack is better than mine then,”
The [Js] on the river saw Geilich consider his options before popping out a 975k bet.
Rojas called, only to muck when Geilich showed him [As][7s] for ace-high.
Rojas was visibly annoyed at this, having made a hero-call with what we think was king-high.
“You make the same bet with any two cards,” he grumbled. Geilich disagreed.
“No, no I don’t!”
Is there trouble in paradise? — RS
6.56pm: The mucking metagame
Here are the rules, if you want to see, you have to show. Last aggressor (ie who made the last bet) has to show first if called. If they don’t show and muck their hand, the other player can take the pot without showing themselves. Got it? Good.
Geilich min-raised the button and Rojas called. Three cards were dealt face up (strange game this), and they were [Qc] [7s] [3h].
Rojas made an action we are told is referred to as a “check.” Then Geilich cut out a 345,000 chip bet. Rojas called.
Another card was added to the board, the [6h]. Both players dabbled in the art of checking on this street.
Then, yet another card, the [5c]. Rojas fired out 425,000 and Geilich called. Rojas mucked and so did Geilich, in that order.
“I call so you need to show,” reminded Geilich.
Rojas had a deep laugh about that, leaned across the felt, and the two exchanged fist bumps. A mutual respect has been mutually earned and the pre-chop bromance is back in full effect. — GC
6.43pm: Five easy pots
Rojas and Geilich have entered into a protracted poker match. Who would have thought? Five recent hands went like this:
1) Ludovic Geilich raises to 320,000 and Pablo Rojas folds.
2) Pablo Rojas raised to 390,000 on the button and Geilich folds.
3) Geilich raises to 320,000 and Rojas folds.
4) Pablo Rojas raised to 380,000 and Geilich three-bet to 840,000. After a quick think Rojas made it 1,835,000. Geilich looked to have bad intentions, but folded.
5) Geilich raised to 320,000 and Rojas called. The flop came [Jd] [2s] [8c].
Rojas checked, Geilich bet 315,000, and Rojas raised to 650,000.
“If I fold, will you show me?” Geilich asked. Rojas now has ear buds in and likely didn’t hear.
When Geilich folded those ear buds came out.
“The cards? You know that’s not possible.” Rojas grinned.
“I wish we had hole card cameras here,” he continued, “so you could see everything tomorrow.” — GC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 80,000-160,000, ante 20,000
6.34pm: Rojas fights back
Prior to the dinner break Rojas was beginning to show a few signs of frustration and dejection. Since the resumption though he has cut a different figure.
Little talking, sunglasses on, earphones in – Rojas looks the model of focus – a hermetic seal wrapped round his visage to protect him from leaking any useful information to the alert Geilich, who soaks it up like a sponge.
And you know what? His new strategy’s working…he has won a series of small pots to reduce Geilich’s lead ratio from 3:1 to 3:2 and the rail cries of “Vamoooo” that signal Spanish success are increasing in frequency.
Could the tide be turning?
9 million for Geilich, 6 million to Rojas… — RS
Both players are active on their buttons and a few moments ago the pair engaged in a game of preflop chicken. It started with a standard Ludovic Geilich preflop button open to 240,000 – Rojas looking to end the positional aggression with a three-bet from the big blind to 575,000.
Geilich pondered things in his usual way clicking chips and thinking it over before cutting out 2 big stacks of 25k chips totalling 1 million and scattering a number of 25k and 5ks on top as icing – 1,200,000 the giant 4-bet – before pushing the chips over the line.
Rojas looked briefly interested but something changed and he blinked first, mucking his hand leaving Ludovic to sweep up a tasty pot with no showdown. — RS
6.05pm: Calm before the storm?
Rojas limped his button and Geilich checked. The flop?
Can’t take the suspense?
It was [8c] [3s] [5d] and both players checked.
[2h] turn and both players… checked.
The [9d] smashed down on the table with a thunder usually reserved for Thor’s hammer or Zeus’ bolts of lightening. No, not really — it arrived without even a soft whimper. Geilich quickly check-folded to a nearly minimum bet from Rojas. — GC
5.55pm: Small pot procession
The final table may have began with a flurry but the melee has turned to a war of attrition between two heroes.
Geilich raised the button and Rojas called. The flop came [Ah] [Ac] [Kc] and both players checked. On the [2h] turn Rojas check-called a 245k bet from Geilich, who checked the [4d] river back in position.
Rojas: [Kh] [Ts]
Geilich: [4h] [Th]
On Rojas’ button he raised to 325,000 which, after a handful of previous folds, elicited a call from Geilich. The flop was [Kd] [Jd] [4c] and it went check, bet 375,000, call. Both players checked the [5h] turn and the [7h] river.
Geilich mucked when he saw Rojas hadn’t deemed the [Js] [8c] worthy of a river value bet. — GC
5.45pm: Rojas is a chameleon
His words, not ours. But well said. Rojas was opening the button to 325k at 60k-120k, which was unusual enough. But in addition to that he’s also been limping buttons, three at the least. Geilich doesn’t quite know what to make of it at this point, but remains a confident bruiser. — GC
5.35pm: Meet your chip-leader
The incomparable Nick Wealthall had a chat with Ludovic Geilich before final table play began this morning:
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 60,000-120,000, ante 10,000
5.30pm: Two left gunning for the title
Folllowing the break, we’re back heads-up with hand-reader extraordinaire Ludovic Geilich holding a roughly 3-1 chip lead over his sparring partner, Spaniard Pablo Rojas. –RS
Everyone who has played poker knows the feeling: the feeling when you want to jump over the table and knock the other guy’s teeth in.
I don’t get that feeling often. Actually, I haven’t got it in years. But when I started playing poker it was very different.
One of the surest ways of putting me on tilt was to win a massive pot as a big underdog and then somehow behave like you deserved it. You know the type of player who gets insanely lucky and then goes like, “That’s it. In your face! In your face!”
It used to annoy me like nothing else. Like going to a prison for a decade would probably be worth it if I could just drill my car keys to that guys eyeballs. That’s about how much it annoyed me.
These days, I don’t care anymore. I have seen it too often. And since I now have kids, I can’t really go to a prison for a decade. Maybe for two years or so, but not more.
After playing poker for a long time you get stoic about what happens on the table. You kind of have to. It is mentally too exhausting to rave about what happens; the beats you take or the beats you put on someone else. The cards come as they come, and that’s it. Nothing you can do about it.
This doesn’t mean I would be immune to tilt. Far from it. I still get emotional, and I still hate losing. And taking too many beats or coolers definitely affects my game more than it should.
And I still get affected by other players behavior occasionally. I don’t mind someone gloating or whining. Usually it is just comic or sort of sad. Especially when it is done by someone who has played poker for years and still hasn’t learned that everyone takes bad beats.
What really puts me off is someone abusing other players or dealers. The dealer abuse is surprisingly common. As if the dealer would be at fault for someone being unlucky. And I have seen some pretty nasty incidents.
Probably one of the worst came from a 30-something American player around six years ago at a WSOP tourney. The dealer at our table–an older lady–made a small mistake and this player started insulting her. He went on and on, blurting insults like “Your husband must be the most miserable man on Earth.”
Finally the floor came and this player was penalized for one round. Just one round. And it was not even for the insults. It was because at some point he had said the f-word (This was when the WSOP had the ridiculous rule of a one-round penalty for the use of F-word.) Personally, I think the rules should be way more strict to prevent dealer abuse.
Excessive celebration is another thing. I don’t really like it. I do love winning. No question about that, but every time you win a pot, there is someone else who lost it. Winning is fun, but excessive celebration looks like you are just rubbing it in. The other guy is packing his gear and leaving the table with his head down, and you are there making dance moves.
But then again, revenge is a sweet thing. I won’t gloat if I manage to bust the guy who earlier won a big pot from me with an ugly suck-out, but I will look to see if he’s still smirking.
So you’re sitting at home, enjoying a relaxing tournament of poker. Let’s use PartyPoker’s Guaranteed Sunday as an example. Well, for most of us that’s where it stops being relaxing. Potential bad beats, tough decisions, life changing prize money and hours of full concentration take their toll.
Take It Easy
Thank god there’s music. We put on our favorite tune, lean back, take a deep breath and … bam … we’re back in the game. Now that’s only one reason why so many of us enjoy music during poker.
To show you how much music and poker are tied together, we even have an own category with various poker playlists on the PartyPoker Blog.
Why No Music?
There are players who think that listening to music is a bad idea, as it may prevent you from noticing important patterns or tells. Others complain, that players with headphones often miss important actions at the live table and therefor take much longer to make their own move (as they need to check with the dealer about previous action).
We actually did an interview with several players regarding music at the tables at one of the WPT events.
Is It Actually Allowed?
In general, there isn’t any rule that forbids music at the poker table.
“Wait a second, that’s not true. What about televised and final tables?” you might add. If you do so, you’re not only a good enough player to know major tournament final table rules, you’re also a smart-ass.
Then again, you’re absolutely right. Almost all tables with TV cameras don’t allow you to use headphones (or any other digital device for what it’s worth).
There’s several reasons for that. For once, the production team wants everything to look as good as possible and someone concentrating on their music rather than the table just doesn’t fit the picture. A TV production is not just about poker, it’s a show. Imagine Tony G wearing headphones. There wouldn’t be much trash-talk going on there right?
Another reason is the remote possibility to cheat. As hole cards are visible to the TV crew, someone may use this information and transmit it to a player at the table. Honestly, I can’t recall an instance where that actually happened. Better safe than sorry I guess.
Look No Headphones!
Enough With All The Theory
Let’s turn our head away from everything above and get into something more practical. If you’ve ever been at a major live tournament, you sure noticed that seemingly everybody is listening to music at one point or another. As the good old ghettoblaster isn’t the smartest device to use at a poker table, headphones are people’s first choice. But which ones are young kids using these days?
What’s The Most Popular Choice?
With Apple celebrating a huge success with their iPhones (and iPods), those typical white earbuds are what you see most at the tables. It makes sense. They don’t take much room and you have them on you anyway. But be aware: in case you want to make it through a whole music listening day without your ears hurting, you shouldn’t go with earbuds.
Then again, there’s a big advantage to them. It’s no problem to put in just one earbud. That way you can still hear everything going on at the table, while getting some much needed energy from Survivor’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’.
Here’s a one-sided iBuds user
Let Me Rephrase This: What’s The No. 1 REAL Headphones?
Now we’re talking! Or arguing. As with everything, this is a matter of taste.
Nowadays, Beats by Dr. Dre seem to be the most popular choice. As the producer Beats Electronics was founded in 2009, we have to see if their popularity will hold over time.
They do look stylish though! Players emphasize the light weight and great sound (latter is subject to many and loud arguments), as well as the possibility to fold them.
Other popular choices include well-established brands like Bose or Sennheiser. Reasons to go for them is superior sound quality and wearing comfort.
What Would We Pick?
Personally, I think headphones at the table are overrated. I probably just think so ’cause music distracts me a lot. To calm down after a horrible beat some random earbuds are all I need. They work against over social neighbors as well.
Should I be forced to wear headphones (you know, one of those crazy hypothetical scenarios), I would go for AKGs. I’ve been using them for years and don’t have a single complaint. Even wearing them for several hours in a row isn’t a problem.
What Would You Pick?
So what are you using? Or what would you use? Or do you think that wearing headphones during live poker is the dumbest thing one can do? Tell us in the comments (we even want to read if you’re all oldschool and still own a working Sony Walkman with original headphones).
The WPT Prague Final Table is over and what a week in poker it’s been for us. But stay tuned as we have even more for you lucky poker lovers! For the first time ever in WPT history we’re showing back to back final tables. And next up is the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic live from fabulous Las Vegas. Stay tuned we’re expecting the cards to be in the air around 4:30pt so stay tuned!
Are you at the event now or have you been following it? Well make sure tell us your thoughts in the comments below and remember to follow on Twitter for even more poker greatness.
What a week! I got back to Italy a couple of days ago but I’ve been sleeping so much that it feels like I’ve been home only a few hours! Working on the WSOP final table for ESPN was an amazing experience again. I really love being part of that incredible crew of people, both behind the cameras and in front.
I have a lot of hours of live TV behind me after working on the UK-based Sky Poker channel and also the very oldschool Poker Night Live but there’s something about working for the flagship ESPN channel that makes me really have to raise my game and wow, was it ever fun.
Loved The Final Table
From a poker point of view, I loved the final table. I was able to meet up with all of the players (aside from Andras, although I did speak to him through his manager/friend/translator) a couple of days before the final table played out and I can genuinely say that I liked all of them. They were a really varied group of people but each of them was interesting, incredibly likeable and a real pleasure to interview. It was my favourite final table ever and I can’t wait to see how far each of the players goes from here.
A Kind Of Marathon
The two day final table turned into a kind of marathon and when 3 handed play lasted over 11 hours, a lot of people on the crew and in the media were starting to get really nervous about missing their flights home in the morning. We were all pretty exhausted when it finally finished around 6am but I found it a lot easier to stay full of energy and focussed this year.
This was in part because of how incredible the crowd was – they roared and shouted and danced without a break the ENTIRE time. It was also due in part to a friend of mine, Deyl Kearin, who was actually running a REAL marathon at the time. And not just one marathon. Six of them, in 6 days through the Sahara Desert. He left for the Sahara a few days before I arrived in Vegas and ESPN did an interview with him and I’ve been keeping updated on his blog
Any time I felt tired, I thought about him slogging through sand dunes to raise money for charity and then the fact that I was a little bit sleepy just seemed silly. It’s amazing what the human body can do and I’m really proud of him.
The final table of the WSOP is right around the corner so naturally, the eyes of the poker world are upon it. Nine guys fighting it out for the right to be forever called “World Champion” of poker – to say nothing of the over $ 8M that goes to this years champion.
I have an unusual interest in this particular final table. It’s strictly a financial interest. Last spring, I was at a WPT event surrounded by some excellent young players and they were knocking the ‘old players’. Well, one thing led to another, and some proposition bets came up. The first bet was that I would take Phil Hellmuth to win a bracelet at the 2012 WSOP against anyone (and as many guys that they wanted) if they laid me 13-10 per bet on the money. Well, they jumped on that and started making up a list of players to bet against Hellmuth. They ended up picking eight players and laid me $ 13k-$ 10k per man. Later, I took bets from other guys who picked two and three more players against Hellmuth. (I wouldn’t take duplicate bets on any players.) So, altogether I had Hellmuth against 13 different players in a must-win bracelet bet at this years WSOP in Las Vegas. (If both won, there was no action and if neither won, there was no action.)
They Think I Was Crazy
Many guys thought I was crazy taking Hellmuth against these guys, but I loved my bet(s) as I figured I could maybe lose $ 20-$ 30k max if two or three of their men won bracelets and Hellmuth didn’t, but if Hellmuth won one, I could win maybe 10-12 bets. Well, when the smoke cleared, Hellmuth won a bracelet and none of their choices won any. I scooped the pot.
The Hellmuth Bets
After making the “Hellmuth bets“, I came up with another proposition for the ‘young guns’. I asked, “What do you think the price is for someone over 40 winning the main event of the WSOP?” They all thought it was a huge price. Some said 20-1, some said 15-1 and a couple said 10 or 12 to 1. I then announced I would take 10-1 on someone 40 or older winning the main event of the 2012 WSOP. One guy bet me $ 50k-$ 5k. While playing in a poker game a short while later, I mentioned this bet to the table and a younger player then said, “I love his side of that. I’d like to lay 10-1 on that as well.” I said, “OK. How much do you want it for?” He said, “I’ll take it for $ 200k-$ 20k.” I told him he had a bet.
I then contacted an expert math guy who plays poker and is a sports betting expert and asked him what he thought the price of someone over 40 was winning the main event of the WSOP. After calculating for ten minutes, he said, “It’s 5.6-1.” I couldn’t believe it. Five point six to one. Who would ever come up with that number? I then asked him if he’d like a bet where I’d lay him seven and half to one, $ 150k to $ 20k on that proposition. He said, “Yes and I’ll take all you can get me at 8-1.” So, I gave him 7.5 to 1 on a bet I was getting 10-1 on, thus freerolling for $ 50k. Later, another guy laid me $ 100k-$ 10k on the same bet, and I gave it to my man for $ 80k-$ 10k. On those two bets, I’m freerolling for $ 70k! How sweet it is! Life is great, huh?
That guy was Doyle Brunson
Word travels fast in the high stakes poker world, and soon others were betting on this proposition as well. Incredibly, one ‘old guy’ I thought would like the 10-1 on the ‘over 40 guys’, bet on the young guys, laying $ 100k-$ 10k. That guy was Doyle Brunson. But a number of older players liked my side and bet my way, including Barry Greenstein, Billy Baxter, and Layne Flack.
Two are over 40
In case you don’t know, there are two guys at the final table that are over 40 – Steven Gee (56) of Sacramento, CA and Michael Esposito (43) of Seaford, NY. They are sitting in 5th and 6th chip position. Obviously, I’m pulling for the “old geezers”. Gee is a former bracelet winner (2010 NLHE event) and Esposito has some experience under his belt as well. They might not win, but it will be a fun sweat.
So how do you think it’s going to play out for Mike Sexton? Let us know in the comments below and remember to follow us on Twitter for more poker greatness.
After being in the driver’s seat for a WCOOP win last month with five to go and walking away in fourth place with a lot of cash but no bracelet, Vzsolt800 would hang around in tonight’s $ 500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-up just long enough to take home a Sunday Major title after outlasting 3,449 players tonight.
Halfway through the seventh hour found two players with Red Spades next their name sharing a table with under 120 players to go. Newly minted member of Team Online Caio Pessagno was looking to add a Sunday Major to his $ 1.8 million in tournament earnings here at PokerStars. The other was Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko but more on him in a bit as Pessagno found a spot with the blinds at 5K/10K ante 1K to shove 214,550 chips over the top of a min-raise from HTH666. Holding pocket eights [8d][8s] HTH666 covered and called to flip against Pessagno’s suited [Ac][Tc]. Zero spades, aces, and tens on the [4h] [7h] [Ks] [Kd] [4s] board ended the Brazilian’s evening 116th place ($ 896.74) as Alex’s night would extend much longer.
Down to two tables play would quickly go from 18 to 16 players thanks to a three-way all-in. With the blinds at 30K/60K ante 6K Wombatox would call a short-stacked shove from D3NB0SCH073 as it folded around to former Sunday Million champ Soren Kongsgaard who would press 743,649 chips into the middle with pocket queens [Qs][Qh] from the big blind. Wombatox snap called with aces [As][Ah] and hit a flopped set which was VERY necessary with a queen coming off on the turn [9h] [Ad] [Th] [Qc] [7c]. Kongsgaard and D3NB0SCH073 both earned $ 2,069.40 in 17th and 18th place respectively.
At the eighth hourly break, 13 players still held chips in line for the $ 108,299.68 first place prize, including Alex Kravchenko sitting on a short stack of 430,948 with blinds moving up to 40K/80K ante 8K.
After u.RuGwaI showed Wombatox to the door in 13th place, Alex would try to double up his short stack. With the blinds moving up to 50K/100K ante 10K, nikov would min-raise from the cutoff as the Russian Pro would shove 386,948 holding [Ah][Qs]. Folded back to nikov holding [9d][Ks] and only owing 186,948 the Swede would make the math call. Immediately, Alex jumped to a big lead hitting his queen on the flop [3c][Qc][Jd]. [6h] turn was clean, but the [Tc] was not, as nikov’s straight draw hit and Team PokerStars Pro was given $ 4,138.80 in 12th place.
Another Russian, fuskov59, would follow Alex to the door in 11th place ($ 4,138.80) setting up the final table bubble. The blinds would hold steady at 50K/100K ante 10K as NANDO368 open shoved from the small blind for 1.02 million holding a decent pair of jacks [Jd][Jh]. Also, holding good cards was Vzsolt800 with [9d][Ac] who made the call out of the big blind. The ace wasted no time hitting the middle of the flop [6c] [Ah] [Td] [5h] [6h] as NANDO368 at least got paid for this bubble finish, as the Portuguese rounder suffered a brutal money bubble finish in Event #53 of the 2011 WCOOP.
Seat 2: u.RuGwaI (5377646 in chips)
Seat 3: AzEsmTzar (2054266 in chips)
Seat 4: shodek (3705869 in chips)
Seat 5: Vzsolt800 (2436959 in chips)
Seat 6: LexaLucky666 (3481376 in chips)
Seat 7: thopfl (2115268 in chips)
Seat 8: nikov (2832005 in chips)
Seat 9: elmerixx (6818190 in chips)
Plenty of chips moving but no one leaving
Several all-ins would cap a tremulous 65K/130K ante 13K level but all nine players would survive. However, early on in the next 80K/160K ante 16K level we would lose two players in rapid succession. First, u.RuGwaI would apply pressure from the small blind opening for amount that covered AzEsmTzar’s stack in the big blind. Holding pocket fives AzEsmTzar decided to call for 1.01 million as u.RuGwaI flipped up [Qc][Jh]. Everything would go u.RuGwaI’s way as four broadway cards hit the [Kd] [Td] [2s] [Jc] [Ah] to give u.RuGwaI the straight as AzEsmTzar would be regulated to ruling the rail in ninth place ($ 5,518.40).
Three hands later u.RuGwaI was at it again opening for a min-raise from middle position as LexaLucky666 devilishly shoved from the small blind for 1.66 million. Having zero fear u.RuGwaI made the call with [Ac][Qd] as LexaLucky666′s [3h][Kc] trailed. The Belarus player’s hand got much worse after an ace flopped, but found four outs with a turned wheel draw [7s] [As] [5s] [2c]. The [2s] river however closed the not-so-lucky LexaLucky666′s night in eighth place ($ 8,622.50). A little more lucky then in the 2012 WCOOP Event #12 after coming into the second-day of the two day event second in chips, and finishing outside of the final table.
After a fairly mute opening blind level and the subsequent one, the 80K/160K ante 16K level would chop 1/3rd of our final table population. Five hands after u.RuGwaI’s second elimination, !Mp!yavv and nikov would knot up for a near eight million chip pot. Check out the results in the video below:
This hand would hold a little more drama than the preflop cards showed. Pocket queens [Qd][Qh] for !Mp!yavv and [Ks][Qs] for nikov. Two spades on the flop made it interesting, but the board blanked out [3s] [5c] [6s] [Qc] [9h] handing the 7.995 million chip pot to !Mp!yavv and ending nikov’s night in seventh place ($ 15,520.50).
Rixxing the table of two players
What started off as an innocent poaching of a very small stack ended up as the largest preflop pot of the tournament. Immediately after elmerixx faded a pair and flush draw of shodek leaving the Finn with just 293,470 chips a 17 million chip pot would change the landscape of the final table.
With the blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K u.RuGwaI would lead with a min-raise as shodek tossed in the scraps as it folded to elmerixx in the small blind who three-bet to 1.01 million. u.RuGwaI shot back a four-bet to 2.345 million and elmerixx ended the raising with a shove to 9.3 million. Holding 5.86 million behind, u.RuGwaI made the call with pocket queens [Qc][Qh]. The ladies would need a lot of assistance overcoming elmerixx’s kings [Kh][Ks] as shodek meeked showed [Jh][8c]. Number of the beast hit the flop, and ran clean from there [6d] [6s] [6h] [2h] [Tc] to cut our final table quickly from six to four as shodek earned $ 22,418.50 in sixth place, and u.RuGwaI $ 29,316.50 for fifth place.
Thop goes the semi-bluff
Flopped draws to the nuts are ripe for shoving people off the current better hand. With the blinds at 125K/250K ante 25K !Mp!yavv would min-raise from the button as thopfl made the call in the big blind. [Qh][7s][Jd] flop got a check from thopfl as !Mp!yavv followed through with another 500,000 chip bet. thopfl went for a check-raise all-in totaling 3.8 million as !Mp!yavv made the call with top pair [Qs][4d]. A slight favorite over the straight draw and overcard of thopfl [Kc][Tc]. It became a 100% favorite after the [Js] and [Td] fell on the turn and river to close out thopfl’s tournament in fourth place ($ 39,663.50).
Saving the best for the end
For the most part, to win a poker tournament a player only needs to eliminate one player. As the blinds moved up to 150K/300K ante 30K our tournament champion would finally step into the spotlight. Check out the video below of the 19.1 million chip pot between Vzsolt800 and elmerixx (with a cameo appearance by !Mp!yavv):
After a flop of [2h][7h][As] !Mp!yavv tried to steal the three-way pot by leading out for 776,100 chips after both the other players checked. A rare double-check raise ended with !Mp!yavv ducking for cover and all of elmerixx’s chips in the middle holding a straight flush draw [4h][3h]. Slightly better was Vzsolt800′s neatly disguised set of aces [Ad][Ah]. Despite the multitude of outs, the turned [7c] chopped them down to one. The river was a heart but not the five [Kh] as elmerixx took home $ 56,908.50 in third place. Another big cash for the Finn after claiming seventh place in Event #50 of the recent WCOOP series for $ 38K.
Vzsolt800′s elimination of elmerixx would give the Hungarian a 22.6 million to 11.8 chip lead going into heads-up play after not taking out one player the either final table. In just four minutes and two knockouts later, Vzsolt800 would wrap up the Sunday Warm-Up title. With the blinds at 150K/300K ante 30K Vzsolt800 min-raised from the button as !Mp!yavv shoved for 9.29 million holding pocket sixes [6d][6c]. Pocket eights [8c][8h] for the title, as Vzsolt800 made the call and watch the [Kd] [5h] [9s] [5s] [8d] produce a big ending to furious finish as Vzsolt800 became this week’s Sunday Warm-Up champion claiming the entire $ 108,299.68 first place prize! Not the first time the Hungarian has made big money here at PokerStars after chopping Event # 23 in the 2012 WCOOP for $ 221,851.23
$ 500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up results (10-21-12):
Players Entered: 3,449
Places Paid: 495
Buy-In: $ 215.00
Prize Pool: $ 689,800.00
First Place: $ 108,299.68
1. Vzsolt800 (Hungary) $ 108,299.68
2. !Mp!yavv (Thailand) $ 80,706.60
3. elmerixx (Finland) $ 56,908.50
4. thopfl (Germany) $ 39,663.50
5. u.RuGwaI (Russia) $ 29,316.50
6. shodek (Finland) $ 22,418.50
7. nikov (Sweden) $ 15,520.50
8. LexaLucky666 (Belarus) $ 8,622.50
9. AzEsmTzar (Russia) $ 5,518.40
David Aydt is a freelance contributor from Minnesota
The 2012 Macau poker Cup Championship began on Wednesday and saw 270 players pony up HK$ 20,000 over two Day 1 flights, creating a prize pool HK$ 4,818,960.
After four massive days of poker, the field has been whittled down to just nine players, with the below players set to fight it out on Sunday for the HK$ 1,108,500 first-place prize.
Let’s take a closer look at the final table of 2012 MPCC Main Event.
Seat 1: Ryan Hong (Melbourne, Australia) – 425,000 chips
Their are two Australians who have made the final table, one of which is Ryan Hong. The 25-year old university student has been playing poker for eight years, with many accomplishments over that time. In a very successful 2012, Hong finished third in both the Melbourne Championships Main Event, and the APT Manila Main Event, collecting almost US$ 100,000 for those scores alone. Hong started Day 3 as the chip leader with 430,000 in chips and brings just a small less than that into the final table.
Away from poker, Hong enjoys getting away for a holiday and enters the final table in seventh chip position.
Seat 2: Sunny Jung (Seoul, Korea) – 888,000 in chips
Originating from Seoul, Korea, Sunny Jung has been playing poker for 18 years, taking it up professionally in 2005. Normally a cash game player, it was a last minute decision to stay in Macau and play the MPCC Main Event, after originally planning to leave on Thursday.
After a solid third day, Jung was the first man to reach the one million chip mark. He said that a bluff against Ryan Hong early on gave him the momentum to accumulate a big stack. When he’s not playing poker, Jung enjoys eading and traveling to get his mind away from the game. He will come into the final table in second chip position.
Seat 3: Kevin Kung (Los Angeles, USA) – 469,000 in chips
Making the trek from Los Angeles in the Unted States, Kevin Kung has gone by in this tournament fairly unnoticed, but thanks to handy double up in the late stages of Day 3 – where he won a flip holding A-Q vs his opponents pocket eights – he has secured himself a spot on the final table.
With numerous cashes throughout the USA, including multiple WSOP cashes, this 28 year old, is looking to add a major tournament title to his growing poker resume.
Seat 4: Yosuke Sekiya (Matuyama, Japan) – 624,000 chips
Yosuke Sekiya is certainly no stranger to Macau Poker Cup events. Earlier this year Sekiya beat out a field of 236 players in the $ 2,250 Knockout Bounty event on the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon schedule. That win was good for HK$ 94,600 – which interestingly enough is slightly less than what he is already guaranteed for making the final table of the 2012 MPCC Main Event. That isn’t the only claim to fame for Sekiya though, with a career spanning four years seeing him earn over $ 100,000 in tournament winnings. It’s a good thing Sekiya says that he got started in poker because he “wanted to make money.”
While Sekiya says that he got “lucky” to make it to the final table, he has certainly shown during this event and in the past that he has what it takes to play tough poker. Interestingly, if Sekiya finishes second or better at the final table, he will move to the top of the Asia Player of the Year leader board, while a third place would see him virtually tied with the current leader, Nicky Tao Jin.
Seat 5: Jessica Ngu (Pennsylvania, USA) – 461,000 in chips
One of two females at the final table, Jessica Ngu has made a name for herself here in Macau, with numerous impressive scores over the last few years. The 28 year old has only been playing poker for three years, but in that time has made two major final tables, placing third in APPT Macau’s HK$ 10,000 No Limit Hold’em event back in 2010, and then seventh in last years HK$ 11,000 No Limit Hold’em Red Dragon Event during the Macau Poker Cup.
With a double up towards the end of Day 3, holding aces against her opponent’s pocket kings, Ngu will be looking to close in on that maiden Macau title.
Seat 6: Lisi Wei (Beijing, China) – 713,000 chips
The second of two ladies in the field, Lisi Wei has played tough poker over the last few days and has proven she deserves a spot in the final nine. Having only played poker for one year, Wei began playing with friends in a Beijing poker club and here she is now at the final table of one of the biggest events in Macau.
A defining moment in Wei’s tournament was perhaps when she held pocket aces and managed to eliminate Victor Chong, who held pocket jacks. Regardless of what happens at the final table, this will become Wei’s largest tournament score to date.
Seat 7: Robert Streatfeild (Perth, Australia) – 159,000 chips
Every year the Western Australia Poker League (WAPL) brings a team of players to Macau to take part in the MPCC. Robert Streatfeild has proudly worn a WAPL shirt throughout the entire tournament and will surely wear it with pride at the final table. Perhaps the best part of the 57-year old’s tournament is the fact that he even got to play at all. After some international banking errors, Streatfeild was having trouble withdrawing the HKD needed to enter the tournament. Scrambling around for an ATM and doing multiple long distance cash transfers, eventually Streatfeild was able to enter the tournament with just 20 minutes left in late registration. Better late than never!
Streatfeild will start the final table as the short stack, but will be looking to use all that he has learned from fellow poker friends Frank Maley and Michaele “The Butcher” Catalano to make his way to a victory.
Seat 8: Rui Chen (Anhui, China) – 1,325,000 chips
Rui Chen became the hero of his remaining eight competitors when he managed to deal a double elimination at the end of Day 3, ushering in the final table. With that massive hand giving Chen the final table chip lead, it’s hard to argue that there could be any bigger turning point for a player in a tournament. However, Chen says that there was no real defining moment in his tournament as he never had to commit more than one third of his chip stack.
The 37-year old from the Anhui province in China will be looking to use his chip lead to catapult himself into the record books as a Macau Poker Cup Championship victor.
Seat 9: Wenlong Jin (Shanghai, China) – 184,000
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for 36 year old Wenlong Jin from China. After building a sizable stack early on Day 3, a table change saw him battle it out with Sunny Jung during the final two levels, to drop him to the second smallest stack.
Not shy of big occasions, Jin has cashed in countless WSOP events over the last 4 years, and also placed second in a PokerStars Sunday Millions. Jin will come into the final table in eighth chip position.