Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Travel Report: Season XII WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Day 4 -- Fantasyland & BrokeLivingJRB

Not a ton of time for scribbling today, so I’ll move through this update quickly. One reason why my time is short is because after play was done yesterday I joined B.J. and our friend Shancy for a couple of hours’ worth of open-face Chinese, during which many grins were had while I also made it to Fantasyland a couple of times.

Speaking of fantasies, the 59 who returned for yesterday’s Day 4 still entertaining dreams of winning this year’s World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic and realizing a seven-figure score battled down to just 21, with Jean-Robert Bellande building a big stack to carry the lead into today’s penultimate day of play.

I’m remembering Bellande being especially short in the middle of Day 2 of the event, right around the time the re-entry period ended. He was definitely in shove-or-fold mode there for a while, but when they came back for the last level of that night he went on a rush, knocking out both Phil Hellmuth and Jen Tilly sitting next to him, to finish the day in good shape chip-wise. Then for the last two days he’s just kept on adding to his stack.

I agree with those who are entertained by Bellande and find him “good for poker” (as they say). I also dig his self-deprecating persona, especially when he retweets others’ digs at him (both seriously delivered and otherwise).

Jeremy Ausmus had an especially funny tweet yesterday (which @BrokeLivingJRB of course retweeted), in which he suggested there might be something wrong with the reporting regarding Bellande’s first-position status.

Lots of big names left among the final 21 in addition to Bellande, with Joe Serock, Dan O’Brien, Christian Harder, Will Failla, Dan Smith, Barry Hutter, and Steven Silverman among them. It’s been that kind of tourney. In fact, yesterday I went through and saw I knew by sight 40 of the 59 remaining at the start of the day, a very high percentage relatively speaking.

Also happening in the Bellagio poker room yesterday was the start of a non-WPT $100,000 event which quietly began playing out on a couple of tables in the center of the room. Ben Lamb, Joseph Cheong, Erik Seidel, Jason Koon, Ben Tollerene, Anthony Gregg, and Justin Bonomo were among the dozen or so entrants in that one.

At one point I overheard staff referring to one of the high rollers (one not listed above) and saying how he’d seen him play in a $100 tourney just a day or so ago. Reminded me a little of the story OhCaptain told me about a guy who’d busted from our $10K event showing up to play that night in an $80 tourney in which he took part. Those anecdotes illustrate how the game paradoxically is both all about money and has nothing to do with money (for some).

We’re thinking it might well be a long one today. Again, head over to the WPT site to see if JRB can maintain his frontrunner status today and perhaps make tomorrow’s six-handed final table.

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