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2008/09 WSOP Circuit - HORSESHOE COUNCIL BLUFFS (Iowa/Omaha)

Monday, February 23, 2009 to Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Event #16: $5,150 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event

  • Buy-in: $5,150
  • Prizepool: $309,100
  • Entries: 67
  • Remaining: 0


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:43 PM Local Time
Some eight hours after our final table began, we have a new World Series of Poker Circuit champion. Jesse Hale, the skydiving coach from Texas, left home with just a couple thousand dollars in his pocket. His travels took him here, to the Horseshoe Casino in Iowa, where Lady Luck smiled on him. After a good couple days, Hale had plenty of money to buy his way into the Main Event, something he hadn't planned on doing. Now, three days later, he has parlayed that buy-in into a big chunk of change. Sixty-seven players took their seats on Day 1, and more than half of them were shown the door before play concluded for the night. When the rest of the field went home, Hale walked across the room to finish out the Pot-Limit Omaha event that he was playing concurrently throughout the day. He would go on to take third place in that event, picking up a bit more spending money, but playing deep into the morning. Returning on Day 2, Hale began play near the top of the leader board. Things were a bit streaky for him though, and his chip stack would slide as the night wore on. Still, he managed to survive to the final table, beginning today in the middle of the pack. Day 3 saw the trend continue, as Hale was once again running up and down the board. He had finally worked his stack up to respectability three handed before a big confrontation with John McDonald left our future champion crippled. Hale was determined though, and from that point on, it was his table. He managed to dispense with the pesky McDonald a bit later, cracking aces with a baby full house. Down to just two, Dennis Meierotto would put up a fine fight, but he was just out-gunned by Hale. After more than an hour of trading jabs heads up, the bigger punches started flying, and Meierotto could do nothing to stave off the attack. Apart from being the victor, Jesse Hale was the life of the party at the final table today. He kept everyone's spirits light, sometimes spontaneously bursting into song, other times riling up the spectators with a bit of self-deprecating humor. His jovial spirit and eagerness to win certainly make him a deserving champion. Hale would like to express his love for his wife Angela, as well as his unborn daughter, Kayla Dawn. The Hale family has plenty of reasons to be happy this week. From all of us here at PokerNews, congratulations to Jesse Hale, WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs champion!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:29 PM Local Time
Like most pots have been so far in the heads-up battle, the final one went to the flop without a raise. Jesse Hale had the button and the flop came down      . Dennis Meierotto checked his option first and then Hale followed right behind with a check. The turn brought the   and Meierotto announced "All in." Hale checked his hand and then asked for a count. The dealer broke down the chips and let Hale know the total all-in bet was for 136,000. Hale stared at his cards as he held them up in front of his face. After about a minute went by, Hale announced "Call!" [u]Showdown:[/u] Hale:     Meierotto:     Hale needed to dodge a five or a six on the river to take down the event. The dealer slowly burned and slowly turned over the last card... the  ! That would be it, Hale's hand held up and Meierotto was eliminated in 2nd place, earning $62,790 for his finish. Jesse Hale, the skydiving instructor and coach from Texas, took home first place along with $113,020, the gold championship ring, and a buy in to the 2009 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:08 PM Local Time
At least eight out of the last ten pots have been won by Jesse Hale. Most of the time, he's raising it up preflop, and a single continuation bet has been enough to get Meierotto out of the way. This last 45 minutes has seen Hale whittle Meierotto all the way down to 185,000. Hale currently sits with 1,155,000.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:58 PM Local Time
We join the action on the river with the board reading          . There's about 50,000 in the pot already, and Hale is first to act. He checks, and Meierotto opts to bet 40,000. "He hasn't shown me a bluff yet. I can't believe this," said Hale, jokingly indignant. "He has a queen. He has the... queen of spades... and the jack of diamonds." Thinking he was beat, Hale stuck it in there anyways, calling the 40,000. "I don't have anything," mumbled Meierotto. Hale could beat that, tabling     for bottom pair. With that good call, Hale has knocked his opponent down under 250,000 in chips, steadily working away at Meierotto's stack.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:53 PM Local Time
Jesse Hale - 1,060,000 Dennis Meierotto - 280,000
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:41 PM Local Time
Jesse Hale raised from the button to 47,000 and Dennis Meierotto called. The flop came down       and both players checked. The turn brought the   and Meierotto checked. Hale bet 40,000 and Meierotto called. "Jack of clubs!" yelled out Hale before the the   was placed on the river. Both players checked. Hale showed     and Meierotto showed    . Chop it up. A few hands later, Meierotto minraised to 32,000 and Hale called without looking at his cards. The flop came down       and Hale checked. Meierotto bet 20,000. "I gotta look now," said Hale before looking. "I smooth call," he said after looking. The turn was the   and Meierotto bet 20,000 again after Hale had checked in the dark. Hale called. The river went check, check after the   hit the felt. Hale showed     and Meierotto showed    . Chop it up one more time boys.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:32 PM Local Time
Dennis Meierotto limped into the pot and Jesse Hale checked his option. The dealer spread out the first three community cards:      . Hale checked, Meierotto bet 20,000, and Hale called. Fourth street revealed the  . This time, Hale check-called a whopping 30,000 from his opponent. Fifth street was the  . Hale checked again, and this time Meierotto checked behind him. In his standard fashion, Hale announced his cards before showing them down "Nine. Recently acquired." He turned over    , adding, "And the open ender." Meierotto pursed his lips, then flashed his    . Hale had gotten there on the river, and he snags another little chunk of chips from the man across the table.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:27 PM Local Time
Jesse Hale limped into the pot, and Dennis Meierotto raised it up to 32,000. Hale called. The board came out          , with Meierotto betting 20,000 and Hale calling on each street. When Hale called the river bet, Meierotto glumly said, "Ace high." "Jack!" Hale replied, tabling the winning     to pad his chip lead slightly.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:25 PM Local Time
Both players saw the flop in an unraised pot. The first three community cards came down       and Dennis Meierotto fired 20,000. Jesse Hale called. The turn was the   and Meierotto fired 20,000 again. Hale called again. The river was the   and again Meierotto fired. Guess how much the bet was? That's right, 20,000. Guess what Hale did? You're right again, he called. Meierotto turned up     and Hale mucked.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:20 PM Local Time
In the most action we've seen in 20 minutes, Jesse Hale completed from the button, and Dennis Meierotto knocked the table for the free flop. It came      . Meierotto bet out 20,000, which Hale quickly called. The turn was the  . In repeat fashion, Hale called another 20,000-chip bet. Fifth street was the  . This time, both men checked. Meierotto tabled     for queens up. "Augh, I missed a bet on the flop," lamented Hale, flashing a queen of his own. That little exchange of 50,000 chips is one of the biggest swings we've seen in heads-up play.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:10 PM Local Time
Despite the lack of actual poker being played, Jesse Hale sure knows how to keep everyone happy. Hale has been singing, rapping, yelling out crazy poker phrases, and buying rounds of drinks for everyone in sight. He just recently got caught singing louder than normal when announcer Tom Sexton stuck the microphone right in front of him. Hale seems to be having a blast and is doing a great job of getting everyone else in on the fun along with him. From a poker stand point, very little chips have changed hands and the pots rarely contain more than the blinds and antes.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:55 PM Local Time
Jesse Hale limped in from the button and Dennis Meierotto checked his option. The flop came down       and Meierotto checked. Hale fired 15,000 and was called. The turn brought the  , pairing the board with bullets. Meierotto fired this time, 30,000, instead of checking. Hale called. The river was the   and Meierotto bet 50,000. "I have to call," said Hale as he tossed in the chips. Meierotto turned up     for trip aces. Hale flashed the   and then mucked.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:33 PM Local Time
With the full prize sitting on the table, the cards are back in the air.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:28 PM Local Time
The clock has been paused while the money and the shiny gold ring are retrieved from the cashier's cage. In a few minutes, we'll be heads up for the title!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:26 PM Local Time
Jesse Hale looked at his holecards and saw what he liked. He then made a raise to 38,000 from the button. John McDonald reraised from the small blind to 80,000. Dennis Meierotto folded from the big blind before Hale made the call. The flop came down       and McDonald led for 80,000. Hale raised all in and McDonald snap-called! Hale had McDonald's 363,000 remaining chips covered. [u]Showdown:[/u] Hale:     McDonald:     The turn was the   and filled up Hale, eliminating some outs for McDonald. The river was then the   and that was it, McDonald would be out in third place. He shook the hands of Meierotto and Hale, collecting $34,535 for his finish.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:16 PM Local Time
While we have a second, there are a couple noteworthy things about Jesse Hale that we might want to mention. Firstly, we noted in his bio that he is a skydiver and a skydiving instructor by vocation. He has over 4,000 jumps under his belt. He tells us that during the course of his jumping career, he has had 15 malfunctions of his main chute, putting his life in the hands of the reserve chute. Luckily for him, he's never had a reserve chute malfunction. "Nothing scares this guy," says emcee Tom Sexton. "He jumps out of planes for a living. Nothing scares this guy." Well, except maybe his wife. Hale is here in the Midwest on business, but he decided to play a few events before he leaves. He went deep in the Pot-limit Omaha event on Monday, and now he finds himself once again on the verge of a nice payday. He's a bit worried about how he's going to explain to his wife that he plays poker. "She's six months along," he said, wide-eyed when the table asked him about his wife and the upcoming birth of his first child. "And this is the first doctor's appointment I've missed. You don't think the hormones are gonna be off the boot?" He and the rest of the table shared a chuckle. Mrs. Hale, if you're following along, go easy on your husband. He's going to bring home some big time cash this week. How much, of course, still remains to be seen.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:12 PM Local Time
With just over one hour left in Level 15, the cards are back in the air. Let's hope that steak dinner the players just consumed will provoke some action on the felt!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 8:08 PM Local Time
Dennis Meierotto - 471,000 John McDonald - 462,000 Jesse Hale - 429,000
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 8:06 PM Local Time
Steaks are ready! The three remaining players have taken their dinner break together. They'll be back in a half hour or 45 minutes, give or take.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 7:58 PM Local Time
John McDonald limped in from the button, and Dennis Meierotto completed from the small blind. Jesse Hale had 126,000 chips left, and he verbally moved them all in. McDonald began to ponder. "Someone told me... that this hand is 50-50 today..." "Pocket deuces?" replied Hale, with a big smirk. "If you have pocket deuces, I would highly recommend you call, knock me out, and move up in the payouts." After just another minute, McDonald emphatically announced, "All right, I call!" With that, Hale's tournament life was once again in jeopardy. Meierotto folded. [u]Showdown:[/u] McDonald:     Hale:     Trouble found Hale as the flop rolled out      . McDonald snagged the lead with his top pair, and now it was Hale who would need to catch up to stay alive. Stay seated, Jesse. The turn brought the   to improve Hale to top pair, and the   that filled out the board earned the short stack a much-needed double up. He's back to just under 280,000 now.