Los Angeles, CA
"Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere."
No World Series of Baseball on Tuesday night. The suits in Bristol must have been jizzing in their penny loafers with zero competition against the second incarnation of the November Nine. With baseball fans surfing the boob tube on Tuesday night in search of any sports-themed fodder to numb the senses in between Game 5 and 6 of the Yankees/Phillies series, couch potatoes and stoner online poker players ended up glued to the TV watching the final two tables of the WSOP Main Event as the field was reduced from 18 players to 9 and the November Nine was finally set.
Phil Ivey continued to be the center of the universe at the featured TV table. If you don't recall, Ivey was not exactly a lock for the final table when action dipped under 20 players. Ivey's path on the previous days were much smoother but he lived up to his reputation as he clawed his way into contention despite struggling for most of Day 8 with a paltry stack. The almighty Ivey induced opponents to lay down better hands in two clutch situations to collect smallish pots that kept his head above water while he waited for a sweeter opportunity to exploit tentative players hell bent on folding to the next money jump and subsequently folding to the final table. Tensions mounted as action crawled towards the final table. When Ivey's table tightened up, he loosened up like a Patpong bar girl at happy hour.
The chipleader, Billy Kopp, sat on the outer table. The Kentucky kid seemed destined to make the final table after he emerged as one of the clear cut leaders a few days earlier as he ran over his tables. With 18 players to go, his table included LuckyChewy, Happy Shulman, Darvin Moon, and one of two Frenchmen left in the field... Ludovic Lacay (Antoine Saout a.k.a. Pierre Fromage was the other Frenchie still alive). It didn't look very promising for Lacay who was the short stack with 18 players to go.
The initial segment of the episode focused on four young guns who were each younger than Peter Eastgate and threatened to break his record of youngest WSOP Main Event Champion. Hellmuth held the record for almost 20 years before Eastgate smashed it. Yet, less than year after Eastgate's epic victory, the young Scandi's record was under assault.
CoolerChewy: LuckyChewy opened with J-J and Darvin Moon smooth called with Kings. Sneaky shit. The flop was 6-3-3 with two clubs. LuckyChewy fired at the pot. Moon raised and Chewy shoved. Moon quietly said, "Call. Kings and me go together like peas and carrots."
LuckyChewy could not suck out despite his online moniker and one of the young guns bowed out in 18th place. Peter Eastgate continued his behind-the-scenes work with a Haitian witch doctor and he added more pins and needles into stuff voodoo dolls with the names of Nick Maimone, Joe Cada, and Billy Kopp (I'm not 100% sure of that one but as the episodes progressed it appeared that some sort of nether-world shenanigans were at play during that brain fart of a 5-3 sooted hand that we'll talk about shortly).
Norm Never Read His Prospectus: Steve Begleiter, the former Bear Sterns exec that everyone loves to hate, has bore the brunt of Norm Chad's snide remarks over the last few episodes. I'm often critical of Chad's fourth-rate jokes -- which are better suited for an afternoon audience during a poker game with a room full of octogenarians at the local VFW club. However, Norm's been on fire this year with his snarky remarks about Begleiter's questionable play and his involvement with Bear Sterns and the near implosion of our banking system. I'm thinking that Norm must have lost all of his hard-earned ESPN greenbacks after pissing it away gambling with hustlers in the boiler room at Bear Sterns. That's gotta be the source of his scorn.
The Life of Ivey: Ivey and Begleiter battled early on. Ivey raised to 420K with 9-9. Begleiter called from late position with 10c-9c. The flop was 8-6-4 with two clubs. Ivey fired out his c-bet and Begleiter called. The turn was the 4s. Both players checked. Ivey wanted to keep the pot small (and Begs was on a flush draw with 10-9c). The river was a red King. Ivey and Begleiter both checked. Ivey's nines were better than Beglieter's 10c-9c and he won the pot as his super fans went nuts.
Norm insisted that Ivey bet the turn. I disagreed, as did Benjo. "Sometimes announcers are such donkeys," was his direct quote.
Ivey and Pierre Fromage were involved in a pot with baby pairs. The flop was A-A-6. Ivey checked and Fromage checked behind. The turn was the Jc and Ivey fired at the pot with a measly 2-2. Fromage folded his pocket fours.
He's A Lot Smarter Than He Sounds: Kevin Schaffel raised with Aces. Happy Shulman three-bet with A-Q. The small town logger, Darvin Moon, called with pocket tens. Schaffel unleashed a massive re-raise to 5.8M. Happy and Moon headed for cover and folded.
"I didn't have aces beat," said Moon after he folded his tens.
During his couch interview, Moon said that he won his seat after taking down a satellite at a casino in West Virginia. What he didn't mention was that he actually played 5 satellites and he finally won one of them which secured him a seat into the Main Event.
Live Poker Is Rigged: Ian Tavelli opened with pocket nines. Begleiter raised with Kings to 1.35M. Akenhead folded Ad-Kd... to a raise and re-raise. Buchman folded 10-10. Joe Cada woke up with Jacks and looked ill. He bit his tongue and folded. Tavelli called. The flop was 6-high. Begleiter bet to put Tavelli all in.
"If you hit a nine, I'll cry," Begleiter said.
"Real tears?" Ivey said. He's a smartass and enjoys fucking with Begleiter, especially after Begleiter made that "Moneymaker" crack. Begleiter Kings held and Tavelli's busted in 17th. Begleiter snagged the chiplead with over 22.7 million.
Happy Fish: I did not see Happy Shulman at Phish's Halloween festival outside of Palm Springs this past weekend, even though he was spotted in the parking lot of different Phish shows before and after the WSOP Main Event. Benjo said that he saw Happy in the Hunky Dory campground selling autographed photos of Daniel Negreanu on Shakedown Street.
Au Revoir, Ludovic: Happy opened with As-Ks. Short-stacked Ludovic Lacay shoved with 7-7. Happy called. Fellow Frenchmen, Anthony Lellouche and Julien Brecard, stood on the rail cheering on Lacay. Happy flopped a King and that's all she wrote. Lacay headed to the rail in 16th. He won roughly $500,000. I heard a rumor that he blew a nice chunk of change on a party to celebrate his deep run at the WSOP. You know those Frenchies... they love their cheap blow, expensive hookers, and jars of Nutella.
Loose Moon: The deck had been hitting Darvin Moon in the face for most of the Main Event, yet for the first time, we saw him play a non-pocket pair. Moon three-bet an opponent with J-9 and got his opponent to fold better holdings. Later on, Moon opened with A-9 and Ben Lamb defended his big blind with K-6 -- not the best hand to call with from out of position. Lamb flopped a six but failed to push Moon off the hand. Moon turned a pair of nines and rivered trips. He value-bet Lamb on the river for $3 million who made a head-scratching call. Lamb was shocked when he heard Moon say that he held trip nines.
"Mama always said to float the flop against online LAGtards."
France 1, Wall Street 0: Pierre Fromage pulled off a timely bluff against Begleiter. The flop was 8-8-x. Begleiter checked. Fromage bet. Begleiter check-raised. Fromage shoved. Begleiter was unable to put Fromage on a hand and he folded. Fromage showed the bluff which tilted Begleiter. He punched Fromage in the arm, which immediately drew the stink eye from the Frenchman.
"What is this boo-shit? Don't touch me ever again, you new money trash, or I will have you killed by the same thugs from Corsica who the CIA hired to whack Kennedy. Go back to Wall Street and roll around in the mud and shit with the rest of the capitalist pigs. Don't you have an old lady's pension fund to rob?"
France 1, Great Britain 0: Pierre Fromage was at it again. This time, his victim was James Akenhead. The former rail worker from the U.K. held Big Slick versus Fromage's 8-8. The Ochos held up and the Frenchie avoided elimination. Fromage doubled up to almost 13 million while Akenhead slipped to the shortest of stacks.
"And that's the last hand that he (Fromage) plays. He then folds his way to the final table," remarked Benjo.
Photo by Flipchip
The Ivey Three-Bet with Air: Joe Cada opened with 10h-7h. Ivey re-raised from the blinds with 6-2. The hand resembled something you would see unfold on the EPT between two Scandis. Cada figured that he was way behind and folded. Each hand that Ivey plays is like a watching Picasso execute a brushstroke.
Suck Out of the Day: James Akenhead was all in with K-Q but outflopped Jamie Robbins to chase down his pocket Aces. K-Q-J fell on flop. Snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap!
The Implosion of Billy Kopp: Kopp opened with 5d-3d. Moon smooth called from the small blind with Qd-Jd. Moon flopped a bigger flush on a Kd-9d-2d and checked. Kopp bet half the pot with 5d-3d. Moon called. The turn was the 2h. Moon checked. Kopp bets almost 2/3 the pot. Moon raised to 6 million to push the pot over 11 million. Kopp donk-shoved. Moon sighed and said, "I call." He closed his eyes and prayed that Kopp did not have the Ace. Instead, Kopp tabled 5d-3d and he was over in 12th place.
"Mama always said stupid is as stupid does."
Bubble Boy: Jordan Smith's Aces were brutally cracked by Moon's 8-8 when he flopped a set. Moon fired out. Smith raised all in. Moon could not call any quicker. Smith turned a Wheel draw but missed on the river. Moon's hand held up and Smith bubbled of the final table in 10th place. Last hand of the WSOP Main Event? Moon snapped off Aces. I love poker.
"Mama always said life was like a box a chocolates, never know what you're gonna get."
Click here for Flipchip's WSOP Main Event photos.
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