Los Angeles, CA
I was distracted watching the play-in game for the baseball playoffs with the winner scheduled to play the Yankees in the ALDS. The Twins and the Tigers stumbled into extra innings which meant that my I wasn't giving the WSOP my full attention. I missed a bunch of poker action during the exciting 12th inning as the Twins finally overtook the Tigers.
Anyway, the WSOP Main Event continued on ESPN as Day 5 bled into Day 6. The announcers boasted that the coverage would focus on many "household names" that were still alive. In previous years, it's slim pickings in the notables department when the tournament reaches Day 6. Yet several familiar faces went deep into the 2009 Main Event and they were prominently featured along with the first few glimpses of other members of the November Niner not named Phil Ivey.
In center court? ElkY, Happy, and Joe Hachem sat underneath the bright lights of the featured TV table. On the first hand, Hachem was up against Jordan Catalano's brother who flopped a set of Queens on an Ace high board with two hearts. Hachem's Jh-9h was looking pretty enticing with a gutsot straight flush draw. The two got it all in. Hachem failed to improve his hand and Jordan Catalano's brother doubled through the 2005 World Champion.
While Hachem started out on a downswing, we saw how Happy built his stack when two separate players shipped their chips his way. Both time Happy was ahead with A-K. Both times his opponents were dominated with K-Q. You could see Hachem's temper bubble underneath the surface as he got drunk on envy.
"How the hell does a bogan like you get an online donks to donate their entire stacks like that? Every time I'm up against one, I get my balls blown off by a suckout."
Happy even made a move on ElkY with 9d-4d against the Frenchman's As-3s. Happy happily showed the bluff.
And the baddest beat of the day? Poor Estelle Denis from France got royally screwed in one hand against JC Tran. She was sitting in the nine seat (without a card protector it seems). Tran opened with a raise and she shoved all in. The dealer accidentally pulled her cards into the muck which killed her hand. They had to call the floor over to get an official ruling. Even though the dealer made a mistake, there was nothing that could be done. One of the tournament directors, Steve Frezer, confirmed Estelle's worst nightmare -- her hand was killed while she held pocket Aces too. She had to forfeit the amount of chips that Tran originally raised to and she got to keep the rest of her stack.
"This is boo-shit!" muttered the angry French player. "It's a joke."
"I'm sorry," explained Steve Frezer to one of the last three females remaining in the Main Event. "Nothing personal. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Two world wars and the entire existentialist movement should have taught that to you by now. Rules are the rules. You're hand is dead."
"Boo-shit rules! So many boo-shit rules in your Nanny State of America! Boo. Shit!"
I actually felt bad for the dealer who is probably now sleeping with the fishes after that vital gaffe.
There's a Fine Line Between Art and Garbage: We were blessed with Prahlad Friedman rocking the mic a second time for ESPN's cameras. He returned with a some new and improved rhymes. I snickered at the "Eastgate face" line. Nice reference to 3rd Bass's "The Gas Face" which got heavy airplay on my yellow waterproof Walkman during my high school days.
Scandi River All-In Bluff: Antonio Esfiandari should have called the cops after he was mugged by a Eurodonk who pulled off the good old fashioned Scandi River All-In Bluff. The magician dumped his Queens on a flush board against pocket 8's. Despite the bad fold, Antonio rebounded and even signed an autograph on the fleshy real estate of a busty female fan. As the saying goes... you know it's jelly because jam don't shake like that. The boobies must have been good luck. Antonio's 4-bet shoved with A-A and an online kid snap-called with 10-10. Antonio's Acse miraculously held and he surged over 1M in chips.
DonkeyBomber: Tom 'DonkeyBomber' Schneider started the episode as the big stack. First hand they show? He folded. They finally showed a winner when he dragged a pot with trip jacks against one one the Blitz brothers. The third? He folded to Spainish bombshell Leo Margets.
The Coolest Kid in School: poker Road's Joe Sebok had a straight flush draw against an opponent who held a vulnerable pair of Kings. Seebs whiffed on the straight flush but rivered a flush which was good enough to win the hand. I had no clue why his opponent O'Malley called all in with just a pair of Kings with an Ace and a flush on board.
Quote of the Day: "Only a donkey pays you off when he knows you're beat." - Kevin O'Donnell
Celebrity Death Watch: LDP flopped trips with A-K against Kevin O'Donnell, who paid him off anyway. Despite that one hand, LDP couldn't get anything going. Just when he thought he was going to double up with Kings in a three-way pot, he was bummed to discover that he was up against two players with pocket Aces. He could not come from behind and busted out in 186th place.
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On Day 6, the featured TV table included Prahlad Freidman, Donkey Bomber, and an EuroWook from Finland. The chatter was a bit tame with the only head-shaking comment coming from the DonkeyBomber who was commenting on the negative side of two-hour levels -- it messed up with the flow of bathroom breaks.
Anyway, DonkeyBomber went to work with Ah-Kh and he trapped Paul Johnson's A-J. The flop was Ad-9h-5d. He check-raised. Johnson shoved. DonkeyBomber called. The turn was the 10s and the river was a blank. DonkeyBomber bagged another Donkey.
He actually played several hands including one with the EuroWook. On another hand, Donkey Bomber would lose to a full house -- but managed to keep that loss a small one and didn't step into the trap that Clayton Newman was trying to spring on him.
Tales of Angry Julie: The lovely wife of the DonkeyBomber got a bit of face time when DonkeyBomber won a couple of pots. I can't wait to see future episodes when she's going nuts on the rail.
TRex313 Sighting: One of the infamous Dang brothers from Virgina, a nosebleed tables regular over at Full Tilt, was in a hand with Nichoel Peppe. Holding K-Q, Dang rivered top-two pair against Peppe's A-K. "I'm the worst poker player ever. This is going to look bad on TV."
Photo by Flipchip
Can't Wait to See That Hand on TV: EuroWook turned a set of Jacks against Prahlad Friedman. He checked it and allowed Friedman to catch up with two pair on the river. EuroWook shoved and Friedman knew he was behind and folded. However, there was a tiny sliver of doubt on Friedman's mind. It was one of those hands that was probably driving him nuts for the rest of the summer. Alas, since the hand went down on an ESPN featured table, it's the one time in life you get to see if he made the correct monster lay down or if he just got bluffed like a chump. Not too many players can fold two-pair there to a Euro-shove on the river.
November Niners Square Off: Two of the Niners were involved in a hand with each other... Jame Ankenhead and Steve Begleiter. It was one of the biggest pots that they had show up until tat point. 2.8 million or so went to Begleiter when he rivered two pair against the young Brit. In an earlier hand, Phil Ivey robbed the Wall Street baron when the two sparred.
Moon Shot: First Darvin Moon sighting... slightly uneventful hand with the November Nine chipleader, but it was the first time viewers caught a glimpse of him. Hey we have a lot in common. He's a freelance logger and I'm a freelance blogger. Bro, we should hang out!
The Life of Ivey: Ivey dragged a pot while he was in the middle of chomping on an apple. Kids, you want to lay life Phil Ivey? Eat fruit at the tables. An apple a day attracts the donkeys. Apples are much healthier than a batch of trucker's speed or Red Bull.
Click here for Flipchip's WSOP Main Event photos.
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