Making It Academic
Alex Outhred is NOT smarter than a fifth grader, but he did finish Day 2b of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event as the largest stack of the day.
Outhred, who won $500,000 on the FOX television show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? in 2007, finished the day with 486,000. That stack is good enough for the chip lead and a 106,000 more than the second largest stack, Peter Biebel.

“There was one really huge hand, I had played pretty tight poker all day, so every now and then in late position I would do something a little different,” said Outhred, recalling a hand where he raised from the cutoff with 6-7 of clubs. “I had built enough chips to afford this. The flop came 6-7-10 … I check, he bet 6,500 – really small. He had some kind of pair but I know that it’s not a hand that’s beating me. I raised him 20,000 and I was waiting for him to overplay his hand.”

“He raises me another 30,000 and unbelievably I shove all-in with bottom two pair. Not something I needed to do with 190,000. But I felt very good about my read … and he called with pocket eights. Lucky for me I faded all the outs and that put me up over 300,000.”

Outhred is also an instructor at WSOP Academy and believes that his time there learning, not teaching, helped him through the day.

“I learn so much from the other instructors that I work with. From Joe Navarro, the former FBI agent, who basically trains the intelligence community on non-verbal communications to stuff from Annie Duke, like proper bet sizes,” said Outhred. “Then you’ve got Greg Raymer and sitting listening to him do his stuff on how he won the bracelet.”

Outhred is no stranger to tournament success. In 2006 he made the final table of the World Poker Tour’s Mandalay Bay Poker Championship, finishing 4th in his first televised final table. With ESPN cameras looming around the Amazon Room Thursday, Outhred knows that his experience with the TV side of poker will help him immensely.

“I feel really good about how I’m playing right now and I shouldn’t have any reason not to,” said Outhred. “I’m just going to do what I do, because it’s the stuff that I teach. I thought I was going to be way more prepared going in and I acted like a complete amateur at the table with the lights and the cameras.”

“I lost a very good opportunity there, so now that I have another one I’m just gonna keep going,” said Outhred. “But there is a lot of poker left; we’ve got 1,300 players left. I’ve gotta fade so much bad luck. I’ll let all the TV stuff take care of itself.”

Outhred and the rest of the Day 2b survivors will return to the Amazon Room on Thursday at Noon to combine with the Day 2a survivors for the first day of play where the entire field is in action. Outhred trails only Brian Schaedlich atop the overall leaderboard.
Schaedlich, a Special Education teacher from Cleveland, OH has 801,000.

For up-to-the-minute updates and chip counts from Day 3 action stay tuned to

Not Everybody Can Call a Clock

On the final hand before the dinner break Jeff Madsen and another player were engaged in a pot. Madsen bet the eight-high flop and his opponent spent a few minutes in the tank before eventually making the call. On the turn Madsen bet enough to put his opponent all-in and again his opponent went into the tank, taking his time as nearly six minutes of the dinner break ticked away. That’s when the dealer made call heard many times a day, “Clock on Orange 6!”.

The floor came over and informed the player had one minute, ten seconds to act on his hand. The only problem was that the dealer isn’t permitted to call the clock. When the floorperson was informed that it was the dealer and not a player at the table who called for the clock, the time restriction was removed.