Saturday, May 13, 2017 12:57 PM Local Time
Cash game grinder chases PLO8 event to New Orleans, snags $8,161 and a ring
When a WSOP Circuit event reaches a final table, the remaining players pause briefly to fill out information sheets. Most of the sheet is occupied by vital details — name, contact information, etc. — but the last question prompts the players to list any interesting tidbits about themselves.
That process was carried out during the Event #2 final table, as well, and most of the sheets that were returned were fairly straightforward and unremarkable. One player, however, took a little liberty with the last question and scrawled a message in capital letters: “I HATE TOURNAMENTS”. That certainly qualifies as an interesting tidbit.
A few hours later, that player was sitting alone at the table, posing for photos with a gold ring to mark his first live tournament victory of any significance.
Brian Grier is the winner of Event #2 at Harrah’s New Orleans. The tournament-averse cash game grinder outlasted a field of 85 entries in the $365 PLO8 event, collecting his first ring and the top prize of $8,161.
Grier is a 34-year-old small business operator from Pensacola, Florida. He grew up in the Sunshine State, and his friend Jamie introduced him to the online version of the game in 2004. “I never got into online poker,” he said, “but I started playing live and loved it. I love PLO, Big O, Hi-Lo…”
The two traveled to New Orleans together specifically for this event — and to splash around in the cash games surrounding the Circuit series here in the Big Easy, of course.
Grier’s run to the title was an impressive one, spurred on by one enormous hand at the final table. He entered nine-handed play with the chip lead, though he had slipped back into third place by the time the final six players bagged up at the end of Day 1.
On the very first hand of Day 2, though, Grier and chip leader Jermole Singleton went to war preflop, putting half the chips in play in the middle of the table. The two had similar hands: ace-ace-two-three against ace-ace-three-four with a suit, and both men had a flush draw with one card to come.
Grier was the one who made his flush, though, scooping the monster pot to vault back into the chip lead. “It’s probably one of the sickest things I’ve seen in poker,” he said in his postgame interview. “Just crazy.”
Once he had the lead again, Grier did not relinquish it. Just a couple hours later, it was all over, with Grier defeating Garrett Riley in a short heads-up match to seal the win. “I don’t really like tournaments,” he said again, in case there was any confusion. “I really just don’t play them. I don’t really care for them.”
Then, a moment later: “I’m telling you, I’m not a big fan.”
Friday, May 12, 2017 5:42 PM Local Time
On the last hand of the match, Garrett Riley limps the button for the minimum 12,000, Brian Grier (pictured above) raises to 37,000 in the big blind, and Riley moves all in for 108,000 total. Grier quickly calls to put his opponent at risk, and the cards are on their backs.
The flop provides plenty of drama, as Riley flops top set against Grier's massive wrap. The lands on the turn, and Grier takes a big lead with a seven-high straight to find himself one card from the title. Riley needs the board to pair to stay alive, but the on the river is a blank. Grier wins the pot and the tournament with a straight, collecting his first ring and the top prize of $8,161.
Riley (below) finishes as the runner-up, earning a $5,043 consolation prize.
Friday, May 12, 2017 4:40 PM Local Time
In a battle of the blinds, Garrett Riley and Gabriel Ramos are heads-up on a flop. Riley bets from the small blind, and Ramos calls all in for 59,000 in the big, putting himself at risk.
Riley: (wheel draw)
Ramos: (pair of deuces, flush draw, low draw)
The on the turn gives Riley a pair of tens and the lead for the high half, and the river gives him the nut low and the scoop. Ramos is eliminated in third place, while Riley enters heads-up play against Brian Grier.
Garrett Riley - 335,000 (28 bb)
Brian Grier - 515,000 (43 bb)
Gabriel Ramos - Eliminated
Friday, May 12, 2017 4:29 PM Local Time
Garrett Riley opens the button to 35,000, and Gabriel Ramos calls in the small blind.
The flop is . Ramos leads for 17,000, and Riley calls. The turn is the , and the action repeats with Riley calling a bet of 25,000. The river is the . Ramos pots for all-in effective, and Riley calls all in for his last 42,000 to put himself at risk.
Riley: (jacks full)
Ramos: (jacks up)
Riley doubles up with a runner-runner full house.
Garrett Riley - 250,000 (21 bb)
Gabriel Ramos - 105,000 (9 bb)
Friday, May 12, 2017 3:56 PM Local Time
Brian Grier opens the button to 35,000, Garrett Riley calls in the small blind, and Bradley Aldrich calls all in for 15,000 in the big blind to put himself at risk.
The two live players check through the turn of the board, and the river is the . Riley bets 25,000, and Grier calls.
Riley's wheel scoops the whole pot, eliminating Aldrich in fourth place.
Garrett Riley - 175,000 (18 bb)
Brian Grier - 540,000 (54 bb)
Bradley Aldrich - Eliminated
Friday, May 12, 2017 3:45 PM Local Time
In a battle of the blinds, Garrett Riley gets himself all in for 40,000 (4 bb) in the small against Bradley Aldrich in the big.
The flop is pretty bad news for Riley, giving Aldrich two pair and making a split pot unlikely. The on the turn is barely any help, either, though it does open up two additional outs for Riley. He needs to find a ten, nine, or seven to stay alive, but Ramos has already mentioned he folded the two other nines.
Sure enough, though, the river is the , and Riley runs down trip sevens to score the come-from-behind double-up.
Garrett Riley - 80,000 (8 bb)
Brad Aldrich - 30,000 (3 bb)
Friday, May 12, 2017 3:27 PM Local Time
Gabriel Ramos raises to 22,000 under the gun, Garrett Riley calls in the small blind, and Bradley Aldrich calls all in for 20,000 in the big blind to put himself at risk.
The flop is . Riley checks, Ramos continues for 22,000, and Riley folds to leave Aldrich heads-up for his tournament life. "I'm in really bad shape," Aldrich acknowledges.
Ramos: (pair of kings, straight/wheel draw)
Aldrich: (pair of tens)
"I need running diamonds or a ten," Aldrich identifies his outs. There's also a backdoor straight draw possibility in there, and the on the turn gives him plenty of outs with one card to come. The river is the timely , and Aldrich runs down a set of tens to triple up.
Bradley Aldrich - 60,000 (6 bb)
Gabriel Ramos - 160,000 (16 bb)
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:57 PM Local Time
Bradley Aldrich moves all in for 14,000 under the gun, Gabriel Ramos calls in the cutoff, Brian Grier calls on the button, Matthew Colvin calls all in for his last 6,000 in the small blind, and Garrett Riley calls the remainder in the big blind to create a family pot with two players at risk.
The board runs out , with the three live players checking it all the way down.
"I've got a set of kings," Aldrich is first to speak up. He shows to prove it, and nobody can beat it. Colvin flashes his on the way out the door, eliminated in fifth place, while Aldrich nearly quintuples up with three kings.
Bradley Aldrich - 62,000 (8 bb)
Matthew Colvin - Eliminated
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:50 PM Local Time
Brian Grier raises to 25,000 under the gun, and Garrett Riley three-bet shoves for 51,000 on the button. Grier calls the remainder to put his opponent at risk.
The board runs out , and Riley doubles up with deuces full.
Garrett Riley - 114,000 (14 bb)
Brian Grier - 504,000 (63 bb)
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:24 PM Local Time
Jermole Singleton pots to 21,000 from the cutoff, and Brian Grier calls in the small blind.
The flop is . Grier checks, Singleton pots for 48,000, Grier re-pots for all-in effective, and Singleton calls all in for about 160,000 to put himself at risk.
Singleton is in pretty bad shape at showdown, and he's unable to catch up. The turn and river complete the board safely for Grier, and he wins the pot with his ace-king playing. Singleton is eliminated in sixth place as the first casualty of Day 2.
Brian Grier - 550,000 (92 bb)
Jermole Singleton - Eliminated
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:15 PM Local Time
Jermole Singleton limps for 6,000 in middle position, and Brian Grier raises on the button. Singleton calls.
The flop is . Singleton checks, Grier continues for 20,000, and Singleton check-raises all in for 70,000 total. Grier calls the remainder to put Singleton at risk.
The turn and river complete the board, and Singleton scoops a double-up with a wheel.
Jermole Singleton - 189,000 (32 bb)
Brian Grier - 360,000 (60 bb)
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:06 PM Local Time
On the very first hand of the day, Jermole Singleton opens the button to 12,000, and he and big blind Brian Grier go to war. Grier ends up all in and at risk for his 201,000 chips, with he and Singleton turning over similar hands.
Both players have a flush draw by the time the turn card arrives on the board, and Grier is the one who gets there. The river is the , giving him a full double-up with an ace-high flush in spades. He's now the chip leader of this six-handed battle.
Brian Grier - 405,000 (68 bb)
Jermole Singleton - 85,000 (14 bb)
Friday, May 12, 2017 1:59 PM Local Time
The six finalists have taken their seats on the ballroom stage, and the cards are in the air once again.
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:09 AM Local Time
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:01 AM Local Time
The requisite 16 levels are complete, and the clock has run out on Day 1 with six players remaining. Here's the lineup:
Seat 1: Matthew Colvin - 53,000
Seat 2: Garrett Riley - 60,000
Seat 3: Bradley Aldrich - 42,000
Seat 4: Jermole Singleton - 286,000
Seat 5: Gabriel Ramos - 208,000
Seat 6: Brian Grier - 201,000
The finalists will return Friday to settle the score, with each of them guaranteed to earn at least $1,413. Blinds will be 3,000/6,000 when play resumes, putting the average stack just under 25 big blinds.
Day 2 begins at 2 p.m. and will continue until a winner is determined.
Friday, May 12, 2017 2:00 AM Local Time
Friday, May 12, 2017 1:05 AM Local Time
Friday, May 12, 2017 12:49 AM Local Time
Friday, May 12, 2017 12:43 AM Local Time
Near the start of Level 15, the field is reduced to nine players, and they're now in the money in Event #2. They're also at the final table, which is laid out like so:
Seat 1: Matthew Colvin - 15,000
Seat 2: Jeremy Tinsley - 115,000
Seat 3: Jeremy Privett - 65,000
Seat 4: John Lauve - 15,000
Seat 5: Garrett Riley - 64,000
Seat 6: Bradley Aldrich - 50,000
Seat 7: Jermole Singleton - 169,500
Seat 8: Gabriel Ramos - 145,500
Seat 9: Brian Grier - 208,500
Blinds are 2,000/4,000 in the current level, putting the average stack just under 25 big blinds. Play will continue tonight until the end of Level 16, just over an hour from now.
Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:16 PM Local Time
Registration is closed for Event #2, and the numbers are in. This $365 PLO8 event drew 85 entries, creating a pirzepool worth $25,500. That money will be shared by the final nine players, with the bottom payout worth $812. The top prize is a gold ring and $8,161 in cash.
Level 10 is under way with 600/1,200 blinds, and play is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 16.