Saturday, June 16, 2007

2007 WSOP, Day 16: While You Were Sleeping

Scooby Doo!What? You’re telling me you didn’t stay up all night following the WSOP like I did? No wonder you look so well-rested. Lemme tell you about some of what was happening while you were off counting sheep. It was an entertaining night, actually. Something here for everybody, I think.

Gonna start off with the funnies. Then I’ll point you to a nifty story about how some poker celebs took time out to do something very special for a fan. Finally, I wanted to look a bit at Johnny Chan’s surprisingly rapid exit from Day 2 of Event No. 23, the $1,500 PLO event.

Fart Machines, Shipping the Sherbert, and Scooby Doo

The PokerNews reporters’ primary job is relate the action, so the majority of the posts you find under “live reporting” are play-by-play-styled narratives of the sequence of events in selected hands. However, you will see the occasional “color” commentary thrown in as well, as the reporters take a moment to relate some of the extracurricular activities they happen to witness.

Event No. 24, the $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, began last night, and a good number of the 192 who entered were high-profile players with damned impressive poker resumés. You’d think such a concentration of talent would make for an intense, sober atmosphere. You’d be wrong. Sample these highlights from last night’s reports:
Here's a Table for You . . .
Seats 4, 5, and 6 on table 37 are occupied by John Juanda, Doyle Brunson, and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. To start things off, Doyle stuck a fart machine under Jesus’ chair and couldn't keep a straight face. He and Juanda are both equipped with notepads to keep track of their side-betting.

Colorful Quotes
“Ship the sherbert to the skinny kid.” --Layne Flack after winning a pot.
“The only people that play Razz are deceased.” --Annie Duke on the “R” in H.O.R.S.E.

Zolotow on Milwaukee’s Best Light
Steve Zolotow on official WSOP sponsor, Milwaukee’s Best Light: “I went up to someone and asked for the second best light, and they said they didn’t have it.”

Gavin Wants Jesus in His Life
The tournament staff just informed Gavin Smith’s table that they’d be filling one of their empty seats with the big blind from table 40. Upon hearing this, Gavin Smith took a look at table 40, and had this to say: “I hope the big blind is Chris Ferguson. I’ll take that weak-tight, long-haired, son of a b**** any day of the week.”

Mimi Tran Doubles Through
Keeping her hopes for a comeback alive, Mimi Tran has doubled through David Plastik with a 7-6 low. After winning the hand, Tran yelled, “Scooby Doo!”
A Wish Fulfilled

Two nights ago, I read how several of the players involved in Event No. 24 ($3,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo) used their dinner break to help grant the wish of a young man named Mitch Maxey. Maxey suffers from terminal cancer and unfortunately hasn’t much time left. A huge poker fan, Maxey had expressed a desire to meet some of his idols, and arrangements were made for him to do so at the WSOP.

Among those who took time out to visit with Maxey -- and play an impromptu poker tournament with him -- were Tom McEvoy, Phil Laak, Greg Raymer, Mike Sexton, Patrick Antonius, Gavin Smith, Isabelle Mercier, Bill Chen, and Michael Mizrachi. Afterwards, Maxey took a spot behind Phil Ivey once the tourney resumed, and again several players took the time to visit with him. “On this day,” wrote the PokerNews reporter, “Mitch Maxey is the highest of high rollers and loving every minute of it.”

We got to hear a bit more about Maxey last night in a “rest of the story” post. Very cool stuff. Here, you can read the posts for yourself: (1) Tourney in Room 1145; (2) Maxey at the table; (3) More on Maxey at the table.

The Orient Express Barely Leaves the Station

Have to say I was a little perplexed to read about Johnny Chan’s quick departure from last night’s $1,500 PLO event (Event No. 23). The day began with 23 players remaining and Chan in 3rd place with 131,000 chips. He was well behind the chip leader (and eventual champion), Scott Clements, who led the pack with 295,000. And while he had Clements at his table, it doesn’t appear that Chan tangled too much with him last night.

Among last night’s live reports from Event No. 23 there were four describing Chan. The first explained how he’d arrived ten minutes late and had missed the first two hands. About twenty minutes later, we read how Chan lost 20,000-plus chips to Andy Black’s aces full. Ten minutes after that comes the following hand:
Mark Davis Doubles Through Johnny Chan
On a flop of Td9h5c, Mark Davis raised 17K. Chan raised him all in and Davis called for 5K more. Davis flopped two pair with KsQsTh5d. The turn was the 6s and the river was the Jd. Davis won with a straight as Chan mucked his hand.
As Davis only had 5,000 behind after the flop, Chan knew he’d be calling the all-in. What do you think Chan had? A set? 10-9-x-x? A wrap draw (that resulted in a lower straight)?

It appears Chan dropped another 25,000 or so on that hand, which would have put him down around 80,000 -- still an above-average stack with 20 players remaining. But a half-hour later, we learn that he’d been eliminated in 20th. In the bustout hand he once again ran up against Davis, meaning that by that point Davis had to have run his stack up above whatever Chan had.

According to the PokerNews reporter, “On a flop of 8h2s2h, Chan moved all in and Davis called. Chan: QcJd9s5c. Davis: JhJc6s6c. Davis was ahead with Jacks up. The turn was the 3h and the river was the Ah. Chan headed to the rail . . . .”

While it’s impossible to know exactly what was happening in terms of table dynamics, I’m a little perplexed by Chan’s play here. It isn’t clear whether he and Davis were heads-up going to the flop. In any event, it seems that Chan is trying to represent trips and Davis ain’t buying what he’s selling. Even if that were Chan’s plan here, that is one crummy board for his hand should his opponent decide to look him up.

* * * * *

All in all, a fun and interesting evening. You, too, could be following all of the action over at PokerNews. Why dontcha? You’ve gotten your beauty rest . . . go on and stay up late tonight.

Scooby Doo!



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