Saturday, June 12, 2010 11:08 PM Local Time
Talk about a silent killer. Richard Ashby came into today's final table third in chips and maintained a dangerous presence throughout the day. In winning tonight's bracelet he bested a skilled group of players that made every effort to stop him on his quest - and at times they nearly did. However, it wasn't to be. With a large British contingency railing him on he quietly built up a large stack before finally taking all of the chips.
Of course Ashby is no stranger to the winner's circle. The $140,467 he pocketed this evening will bring his live tournament earnings close to $800,000. Not too bad considering he doesn't even consider himself a tournament player. Ashby regularly crushes high-stakes cash games, but he might want to consider spending more time at the tournament tables - and in fact, he quietly sidled direct from his bracelet win into the Omaha event across the way. Sick.
This is also the third bracelet for Britain. Ashby joins Praz Bansi and James Dempsey as British winners. In a nice show of camaraderie, both Bansi and Dempsey showed up to cheer their mate on.
Congratulations to Richard Ashby, Event No. 21 Champion!
Saturday, June 12, 2010 11:00 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby had a pair of kings up on sixth street. Christine Pietsch, who'd called him down that far but was only showing ace high, looked terribly unhappy. She folded, with obvious regret, and was down to 230,000.
Pietsch lost the next, rather smaller, pot as well.
So she was really rather short indeed by the time this took place:
Richard Ashby: / /
Christine Pietsch: / /
Ashby brought in and then called Pietsch's completion. Pietsch bet out on fourth and then reraised all in to a raise from Ashby.
Pietsch was most surprised to see Ashby holding queens for two pair, and her pair of tens was no good. With the best sportsmanship possible, Pietsch took second place - not bad for her first ever WSOP.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:50 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby had just relinquished some of his chips to Christine Pietsch, but he recently took back a commanding lead.
Pietsch: (XXX) /
Both players came in for 10,000 on third street and checked it down to sixth street when Ashby made a bet, getting called by Pietsch. They checked again on seventh street and ashby's tens were good.
Pots like these might not seem large, but every bet takes a significant chunk out of Pietsch's stack.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:44 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby: (XX) /
Christine Pietsch: (XX) /
Pietsch bet out on sixth street and Ashby gave it up. She took the pot without a showdown to put her back up to a slightly healthier 700,000 or so.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:41 PM Local Time
Christine Pietsch: (XX) /
Richard Ashby: (XX) /
Ashby bet all the way and Pietsch called him down to sixth street, when she folded with a sigh.
She dropped down again, to 430,000.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:37 PM Local Time
Christine Pietsch, to announcer David Klein: "You're really good."
Dealer Mark to Pietsch: "You know the last time he heard that from a woman?"
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:26 PM Local Time
Many of our pots aren't getting past third or fourth street, but in a recent one we got down to the river and Ashby came out on top.
Pietsch answered Ashby's bring in with a bet on third street. He called, and would do so again on fourth street. Both players checked fifth street, but Pietsch bet again on sixth street. We saw no more action on seventh street.
Pietsch had a pair of sixes exposed, but Ashby turned over a pair of sevens to make the best hand.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:15 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby won four small pots in a row. None of them got beyond fifth street.
Then Christine Pietsch won two small pots in a row, none of them making it past fourth - the second one she raked in to cheering from our friend who works as a cleaner at the Rio (you get to know everyone here rather well over the Series) and who had already confided in us her hopes that a woman wins a bracelet in a open event.
Then this happened.
Ashby: (X) /
Pietsch: (X) /
Ashby brought in and called Pietsch's completion. Pietsch bet out on fourth street and again on fifth; both times Ashby smooth called.
On sixth, Pietsch checked and then called a bet from Ashby; on seventh she check-called again. She tabled two pair, kings and jacks - but Ashby's three deuces were better, and he moved into the chip lead on 1,015,000. Pietsch is now trailing on 850,000.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:05 PM Local Time
Ashby: (XX) /
Both players came in for the minimum on third street. Christine Pietsch would go on to bet fourth street, getting a call from Richard Ashby. Fifth street was checked down, but Pietsch took up the betting again on sixth and seventh streets, getting calls both times.
At the end of the day Pietsch's two pair were higher than Ashby's.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:41 PM Local Time
So many cards, so little time.
It's time for another 20 minute break. The thrilling denouement of this heads up battle will continue shortly.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:37 PM Local Time
After the first, rather small, heads-up pot had gone to Christine Pietsch, Richard Ashby took down a hefty pot to put him up to 845,000.
Ashby brought in and Pietsch just called on third street, but Pietsch then bet out on every street. Ashby called her all the way down and flipped two pair, sevens and fours. Pietsch's lone pair of cowboys couldn't cut the tournament mustard, and she dropped to 1,020,000.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:29 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby just eliminated Darren Shebell in one of the more dramatic hands of the evening.
The two were betting heavy on fourth street and by the time Ashby bet on fifth street, Shebell didn't even have enough chips to complete a raise.
Cards got jumbled up when the all-in raise occurred but Ashby had two pair against Shebell's pair of sixes and flush draw. Shebell hit a set on sixth street, but Ashby filled up on seventh street giving him kings full of eights.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:22 PM Local Time
Darren Shebell lost three hands in a row, every time folding on fifth street. He was down to about 150,000 when the following happened:
Darren Shebell: (XX) /
Christine Pietsch: (XX) /
Shebell brought in and called Christine Pietsch's completion. He called further bets on fourth and fifth streets.
So to sixth street, and this time Pietsch checked. Shebell promptly moved all in for his last 31,000. Pietsch sat back in her chair and laughed - and then folded. Shebell was back in the game.
But then a few minutes later Shebell got involved with Pietsch again. They got all the way to the river, and Shebell turned over two pair, threes and sixes. Pietsch flipped two pair, aces and eights, and Shebell was back in the danger zone on just 120,000.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:08 PM Local Time
Darren Shebell made a big fold on the river in this hand, but it didn't stop him from losing a whole lot of chips to Christine Pietsch.
Pietsch: (XXX) /
The pot was limped into on third street, but on fourth street Pietsch fired off a bet that was check-called by Shebell. Shebell would check once more on fifth street, however he would go on to raise Pietsch's bet this time. She called and they were headed for sixth street.
On sixth street Shebell bet and Pietsch raised with Shebell making the call. When the river cards came, Shebell check-folded a bet from Pietsch showing a missed flush-draw.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:59 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby: / /
Dan Heimiller: / / (X)
Both players checked fourth street before Ashby bet out on fifth and Heimiller called all in. Heimiller's pair of fours were ahead up to seventh street. Ashby ever so slowly squeeeeeezed his last down card...
...and then cried, "YES!" immediately followed by, "Sorry," as his rivered gutshot knocked Heimiller out of the running.
Heimiller took it with good grace, and, trailed by his faithful railers, headed for the payout desk.
After Heimiller's exit the clearly overwhelmed and suddenly extremely perky Ashby called over to his friend Paul Parker.
"Did you see that squeeze?"
"Yeah," chuckled Parker, "You're never unlucky when you squeeze. Hey if you win this tourny that'll be like two big blinds!"
Ashby is an online cash specialist, playing at stakes that can only be described as nosebleed. Nevertheless he seems delighted to be back in contention for a WSOP bracelet.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:49 PM Local Time
Heimiller: (XXX) /
Shebell: (X) /
Dan Heimiller lost a big chunk of change to Darren Shebell in a recent hand. It all started when Heimiller called Shebell's opening completion after the bring in. They both checked fourth street, and Heimiller led out with a called bet on fifth street. Sixth street was checked once more, and on seventh street Shebell made a bet that Heimiller called with some reluctance.
Shebell's five-nine straight was good and Heimiller was knocked down to about 60,000 chips.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:44 PM Local Time
Stud is not traditionally a spectator sport - the nature of the game means that the casual observer can't really follow what's going on from behind the rail.
Nevertheless the presence of Dan Heimiller and Richard "Chufty" Ashby at the final table has drawn a few interested onlookers to the rail.
Ashby is currently being sweated by two-time bracelet winner Praz Bansi and fellow British circuit favorites Martins Adeniya and Karl Mahrenholz, as well as the sartorially daring Paul Parker in purple trousers, a paisley shirt and a rakish straw hat.
Heimiller has a few fans too - we don't recognize any of them ourselves, but they periodically shout out his name in an encouraging manner.
Also there is a man with a huge afro. We don't know whom he's railing, but we thought his 'fro worthy of mention.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:37 PM Local Time
Presumably all calls of nature have been returned or at least sent to voicemail; either way players are back at the table and cards are back in the air.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:31 PM Local Time
We know it's only been one level since dinner, but for some reason players are on a break again. We suspect someone heard the call of nature.
Not five minutes, mind. Just four. That should be plenty.
Saturday, June 12, 2010 8:25 PM Local Time
Richard Ashby: /
Dan Heimiller: /
Darren Shebell: /
The pot was limped on third street and checked on fourth street. On fifth, Darren Shebell bet out and Richard Ashby called all in for 9,000. Dan Heimiller called too.
The two live players checked on sixth street.
"Gimme a heart, dealer," said Heimiller.
"Give him a heart, dealer," agreed Shebell.
They both checked on seventh, and Ashby's straight was good to take the main pot, tripling him up to around 100,000 - still very much the short stack.
However, Ashby won the next two pots as well. They weren't biggies, but they were enough to bump him up to a considerably healthier 200,000 or so.