Sunday, June 07, 2009

2009 WSOP, Day 11: A Hand Worth Remembering

As expected, I was at the Rio until about 3 a.m. last night, so yet another 13-plus hour day of scribbling, chip tallying, and other forms of data entry for your weary gumshoe. Gonna try not to make my increasing fatigue the theme of every post here, but it’s hard not to think about anything else when yr working about twice the hours that yr sleeping.

Today I go back for the “final table” of Event No. 13, that $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event I helped cover yesterday -- although we ended the night with 20 players still with chips. Meaning I cannot imagine getting done within 12 hours today, and it may well go on much longer than that. Thankfully I have Monday off to try to recharge a bit.

Did want to share with you a few items from yesterday’s live blog, the first of which might well have been one of the stranger hands of the WSOP thus far -- one which I just happened to have been at the table to witness.

The hand occurred early in the day, a little while before the cash bubble burst (at 117 players). I had gone over to Table #60 (in the Orange section) to see if I could catch Carter “ckingusc” King -- winner of last fall’s PokerStars’ WCOOP Main Event and also a Stars Sunday Million winner -- play a hand.

That’s often how it goes when the field is still more than a hundred players and of those there are some “notables” whom perhaps I haven’t reported on much yet. I have come to realize that I could feasibly report just about any hand I witness, as long as I have player names. There is literally always something interesting happening and potentially worth relating. Now that I’ve done this for a while, the mechanics -- i.e., figuring the bet amounts, following the sequence of action, recording the cards -- isn’t as much of a challenge as it was, say, when I was reporting my first live tourney at the start of last summer. Meaning I am able to see other, more interesting aspects of hands a little more clearly.

So I go down and wait a hand or two and then comes one in which King is involved. I know I’m probably going to be able to report it, no matter how mundane it turns out to be.

But I got lucky this time. Read what happened:
Talk About Betting With Air
Here’s one from the “Ever Heard of This?” file.

A player limped in middle position, and Carter “ckingusc” King limped as well from the button. The small blind thought a while, then decided to fold. Then the big blind player did something unusual, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The flop came 5c5h7d and it checked around to King who bet 3,100. The player in the big blind then slowly slid out three stacks of yellow chips -- a check-raise to 15,000.

The dealer then politely slid them back to the player. “You don't have a hand,” he explained. Apparently he had inadvertently mucked his hand rather than simply checking his option. The MP player folded, and the table had a good laugh, wondering whether or not he could’ve gotten the others to fold without cards.

King has about 99,000 at the moment.
It was truly hilarious, with all of the players laughing and saying how they’d never seen anything quite like it. Even the bettor had a sheepish smile, and added something afterwards about how maybe he avoided losing a lot of money on the hand. It looked at first like he might have wanted to challenge the dealer a bit, saying that the dealer had somehow pulled his hand into the muck against his wishes, but I think he realized that couldn’t have happened.

Was talking to Haley about it later in the day and she brought up a story T.J. Cloutier tells about winning a hand without cards by betting his opponent out after he’d mucked his hand. I remembered reading that somewhere. I’m pretty sure it appears in Warwick Dunnett’s Poker Wizards, though I’ll bet Cloutier tells the story (probably more than once) in his own books, too. It really appeared in this hand that the check-raiser was in good shape to take the hand until the dealer pushed his chips back his way. Nobody is going to be winning any hands after mucking their cards at the WSOP, I don’t think.

Still, fun to think about the possibility. And I kind of liked thinking about the whole idea of making a play without a hand -- not that unlike what I’ll do when reporting, sometimes, when I want to write up something without having much a hand on which to hang a post.

That was probably the highlight of the day. Later on, once we were down to four tables, a player named Andrew Einstein busted and I wrote a post describing his last hand:
34th Not Bad, Relatively Speaking
After taking that hit versus Matthew Lynn, Andrew Einstein pushed all in with A-8 and was up against Roland Isra’s A-Q. The board brought a couple of aces, but no eight, reducing the mass of Einstein’s chips to zero, meaning he had no more energy to continue. Einstein picks up $11,886 for his 34th place finish.

Isra now has 185,000 chips.
Obvious? Perhaps. Not as obvious as some crack about it doesn’t take an Einstein to see ace-eight is worse than ace-queen, though.

Right at the end of the night, during the last couple of hands played, in fact, Phil Ivey was sitting with an average stack -- about 250,000 or more -- and it looked like he would be returning today in good position to shoot for yet another bracelet. The large screen television back in that corner of the Amazon was tuned to a local channel, and Poker After Dark was playing with the sound down. Soon I noticed that Ivey was part of the episode -- kind of recalling, for me, that picture of our reporter Mickey counting the chips in a picture of him counting chips.

Phil Ivey playing Event No. 13 while Phil Ivey plays on 'Poker After Dark'B.J. Nemeth was there getting photos for his photo blog on PokerRoad, so I let him know about it. I also told Flipchip, the PokerNews photog, know, too, and he got a picture of Ivey in the foreground and on the screen behind (see left).

Somewhat surprisingly, Ivey lost nearly his entire stack on a gamble with ace-ten on the night’s very last hand, and so returns with just 31,000 chips today -- 20th out of 20 players. Anybody wanting to take pictures of Ivey today will need to do so quickly, I’d think.

See y’all over at the PokerNews live blog for more. And remember, you got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold ‘em, and know when you didn’t hold’em and did fold’em.

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