A 6-3 in poker isn't exactly the nuts, but it has gained a certain amount of fame (or notoriety) over the years. It was officially proclaimed the "Jimmy Sommerfeld hand" by a cash-game dealer at Horseshoe Tunica after this event's tournament director won a couple of huge pots with it. Then, there was the time that Barbara Enright became the only woman to make the final table at the World Series of Poker main event. She moved in with pocket 8s. Brent Carter called with 6d-3d, flopped two pair and knocked her out in what many consider the worst beat in World Series history.
Tonight, 6-3 took down the key pot in the seventh event of the WSOP Circuit tour at Harrah's Casino Tunica, $300 no-limit hold'em. It led to victory for Kevin Waldie, a 25-year-old student turned pro from Louisville, and deprived Robert Castoire of his second Circuit win. Heads-up, Castoire started with the chip lead. Then, on the 11th deal, the board showed 6-3-K-Q. Castoire bet out holding A-Q, and Waldie moved in for 1.9 million holding 6c-3c for two pair. Unable to put him on a hand, Castoire called. Suddenly Waldie had a 2-1 lead, and a couple of hands it was all over. His win paid an official $30,104 (the two finalists had earlier made a deal and then played for the trophy ring).
Waldie was an engineering student who began playing while in school and decided to turn pro three or four months ago. He specializes in tournaments and had a three-way chop in a non-circuit event at Horseshoe Southern Indiana recently. He learned poker playing limit hold'em where his style was pretty solid, and he's still trying to adjust to no-limit by being more creative. He also finds the long hours of tournament play taxing, but this payday proved worth it.
The turnout for this event was unexpectedly high for a Monday: 621 players and a prize pool of $120,474. Final table action on day two got underway with 1,500-3,000 blinds and 4,000 antes, 12 minutes left. In a near tie for the chip lead was Brandon Barlow with 1,231,000 and Castoire with 1,220,000.
Here were the starting chip counts:
Seat 1. James Milan 230,000
Seat 2. Kevin Waldie 743,000
Seat 3. Wayne Holt 663,000
Seat 4. Brandon Barlow 1,231,000
Seat 5. Robert Castoire 1,220,000
Seat 6. Gregory Estep 102,000
Seat 7. Jonathan Fair 710,000
Seat 8. L.C. Olney 531,000
Seat 9. Bryan Williams 900,000
As the level neared an end, so did Gregory "Sean" Estep. Starting lowest-chipped, he finished ninth when his Q-9 was beaten by Wayne "The Kid" Holt's K-J after the board came 4-7-110-6-2. Estep, who works for Phillip Morris, 1s 27, from Columbus, Ohio, and this is his poker highlight.
With blinds at 2,000-4,000 and 500 antes, a three-way pot developed. James Milam was all in and tripled up when he made a full house with pocket kings. The level ended with eight players still left and only two all-in calls so far. This final table obviously would take a bit longer than yesterday's 90-minute whizzer.
Blinds now were 3,000-6,000. We finally lost another player after Jonathan Fain was left with 5,000 chips when his A-Q lost to pocket jacks. On the next hand, his last chips went in with Q-5 and he was blown away by L.C. Olney's A-K when the board came K-8-6-2-6. Fain, 31, is a TV producer from Orlando, Florida who started playing five years ago
The pace began picking up as another player went out one hand later. Milam, who had started second-lowest in chips and had been hanging on since then, now held A-J and called all in when Barlow bet the flop of A-3-4. Milam was in big trouble because Barlow held the two remaining aces. Only a deuce and a five for a wheel on board would give him a split and save him, but nothing like that came close and he finished seventh. Milam is a 72-year-old retired teacher/coach from Logan County, Kentucky. He's been playing about four years and finished second the first tournament he ever played
Right after that, Castoire bet his pocket treys and Holt called all in with K-Q. The treys held up after a board of K-8-6-2-6, and we were down to five. Holt, 22, is a day trader from Montgomery Alabama who's played poker five years.
Blinds became 4,000-8,000 with 1,000 antes. The biggest action thus far developed when Waldie won a pot of 2 million with pocket aces against L.C. Olney's pocket 10s. Short-chipped, Olney quickly recovered by doubling through twice, once with K-7 against Q-8, then with pocket deuces versus A-4.
Late in the level, two players went out in two consecutive hands. First to go was Barlow. Holding Ks-8s, he couldn't catch Waldie's pocket 9s when the board came 4-3-7-5-8. Barlow, 30, is from Jefferson City, Missouri and a hotel purchasing agent with a family business. He's been playing since childhood
Next to leave was Bryan Williams, holding J-K against Olney's pocket jacks. When the board showed 7-7-Q-J, Olney had filled and Williams, drawing dead, was out in fourth place. Williams is a 36-year-old attorney from Franklin, Tennessee, who began playing five years ago with friends. He noted he has three wonderful children and a loving wife.
Then, on the next-to-last deal of the round, Castoire took down a very big pot. He bet a flop of 8-5-5, Waldie raised, and Castoire, representing at least trips, moved in. Waldie folded, showing a paired 8. The level ended with Castoire holding about 4 million of the 6.2 million on the table.
After a break, players returned to blinds of 6,000-12,000 and 1,000 antes. On the second hand, Waldie had a narrow escape. He was all in with 10d-9d against Castoire's Ac-Kc, and got a split when a river trey made a 6-high straight on board. We finally got heads-up when a short-chipped Olney went out on a bad beat. He had K-Q to Waldie's Q-6, and lost when a board of 6-2-2-7-4 paired Waldie's 6. Olney is 76, lives in Tupelo, Mississippi and is retired from sales. He only started playing poker six months ago.
The match-up started with about 3.5 million chips for Castoire, 2.7 million for Waldie. It ended right after the 6-3 turnaround. Waldie raised 350,000 pre-flop with pocket treys and Castoire moved in with A-K. He couldn't hit anything when the board came Q-8-2-J-9, and Waldie had his first big win.
Castoire, 53, from Cecelia, Kentucky, had by far the most credentials at the final table. At last year's Circuit here, he scored four consecutive cashes, with back-to-back no-limit final tables, finishing second in a $300 event and first in a $1,000 tournament. He also has two WSOP cashes. Castoire is a ship's officer, a civilian working for the Department of the Navy, flying to different ports to move naval vessels around for re-supplying and other needs. He learned poker in the Boy Scouts, and in high school he would play six-handed poker in the stack room of the library during the two-hour lunch period.