Monday, June 28, 2010 4:27 AM Local Time
Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a winner.
We came back today with a daunting 21 players, and after play was delayed for some time owing to Erik Seidel playing the Tournament of Champions, it was doubtful whether we'd make it at all and it was suggested for a while that we might have to come back tomorrow to play down to a winner.
Bearing all this in mind, it's actually been a remarkably speedy final.
The nine gentlemen who made it as far as the official final had an extraordinary 13 bracelets between them - three in the hands of Perry Green, eight for Erik Seidel and one apiece for Dave Ulliott and Rob Hollink - and that number has now been upped to 14. Chris Bell already had an impressive record before he reached this final table, including three WSOP final tables, but now he has achieved the fondest dream of every poker player - his first WSOP bracelet.
As the Rio cleaners vaccuum around us, it's a bunch of extremely happy railers who pose around their boy Chris Bell - particularly happy and proud is Gavin Smith, who of course won his own first bracelet last night. And indeed it's been a notably amicable, jovial and well-supported final. The chip lead changed hands many times over the course of the night and any of our finalists would have made a worthy champion. This one, however, belongs to Bell.
From Event #46, it's thank you and good night.
Monday, June 28, 2010 4:24 AM Local Time
One of those "big" PLO hands was bound to come up sooner or later in this heads-up math between Dan Shak and Chris Bell. It finally came in Level 28. Bell limped his button and Shak checked the big blind. Shak had first action on a flop of and checked over to Bell, who bet 100,000. Shak then raised pot, to 460,000 total.
Bell showed a penchant for taking his time to think through many of his decisions heads-up and this one was no different. After about 40 seconds he called, and once again the feature table set became very, very quiet. The turn paired the board and put three hearts out. Shak bet pot, Bell was all in and Shak called!
Shak: , the nut flush and a low draw
Bell: , a full house
With Bell having made a full house, Shak would need a 3, 4, 5 or 6 on the river in order to secure a low and chop the pot. The river fell to finally eliminate Dan Shak and secure the win for Chris Bell. Gavin Smith, who won a bracelet last night and has been sweating this final table most of the night, gave Bell a huge hug while Shak went to his railbirds for solace. He'll leave with $202,142 in prize money.
Monday, June 28, 2010 4:15 AM Local Time
Wow, we almost went a whole night at the final table with James "Flushy" Dempsey without hearing it, but in retrospect it was never really going to happen.
"He's a doctor!" came a lone chant from the rail - the theme tune to Dempsey's bracelet win. Some giggling ensued.
Monday, June 28, 2010 4:11 AM Local Time
We had an all-in! The final table area became a hive of activity as everyone scurried towards the table to see what the devil was going on. Chris Bell had limped in his button, then called a pot-sized raise to 240,000 from Dan Shak. The rest of the chips were in on a flop of . Shak showed down for a pair of treys, a low draw, and a flush draw. Bell showed for a straight draw and a bad flush draw. The two chopped the pot with the turn and river.
Monday, June 28, 2010 4:06 AM Local Time
The gentleman at the Shak rail who earlier had the questionable sense of balance just now attempted to order some pizza. He walked over to the Bell rail to ask them what they wanted.
"What are you doing?" cried another Shak railer, "They're the enemy!"
It's all love here, though, and orders were taken. "Please be open, please be open..." he prayed to the telephone gods as he called the one pizza delivery number he had, but to no avail. The rail shall remain hungry, as will the media and floor staff who were hoping to cadge some when it arrived.
If anyone knows of any all-night pizza emporia in Vegas that deliver, please get in touch.
Monday, June 28, 2010 4:01 AM Local Time
The room got suddenly tense after a raise pre-flop was called and our esteemed TD announced, "We've got a pot." Indeed we did. Each player was in for 240,000 pre-flop and checked a flop of . When the turn came , Dan Shak bet pot, 480,000. Chris Bell thought about it but ultimately gave up.
"I so wanted you to go for it," said Shak. He showed . Bell said he folded queens.
"Shak's a card rack," yelled out Gavin Smith.
"Oh stop it," Shak replied with a grin. "I know what you're doing. It's the anti-sweat."
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:55 AM Local Time
Play began, in silence. The rail was not impressed.
"Can we have some announcing please?" called over a gentleman whose name we understand is Michael.
Announcer Shawn obliged.
"Dan limps on the button, Chris checks his option, Michael annoys the announcer. Flop is five-jack-ace, Chris bets, Dan folds. Chris wins the pot."
Dan Shak, at least, was amused.
"Can you say something else than 'Chris wins the pot'?"
"Guess not. Let it be said I still have a sense of humor."
Over at the rail, the gentleman who earlier fell over spectacularly did it again, we think on purpose this time.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:51 AM Local Time
It took a little while to find Chris Bell, but he has been located and both he and Dan Shak are back at the felt.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:35 AM Local Time
Here's hoping it's the last one of the night.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:35 AM Local Time
The flop read when all the chips went in, Dan Shak all in for his tournament life.
Bell was in the lead with his aces, and Shak needed to hit something serious to get a piece of the pot.
Shak stood up to leave.
Shak sat back down again as he made a low to get half the pot. They duly chopped it up, and headed off on break.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:30 AM Local Time
Both players limped and checked their way to the turn of a board when Chris Bell bet out 100,000. Dan Shak now raised pot. Back to Bell, who reraised to 960,000 with just 700,000 behind. Everyone crowded around the table.
But after Shak had spent a few moments pulling faces, he folded and the heads up continued.
Shak is down to 1.5 million after that Bell is up to 2.6 million.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:29 AM Local Time
What had been a fairly energetic, active Day 3 of this tournament has really ground down now that there are only wo players left. Dan Shak and Chris Brown are both taking an incredibly cautious, small-ball approach to trying to close out the match. Absent any coolers, we'll probably be here until the blinds become more prohibitively expensive.
The blinds are scheduled to go up momentarily.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:16 AM Local Time
Someone at the rail is now playing country music on their phone for entertainment or perhaps to help keep them awake at this late hour. Either way it is giving the otherwise deserted Amazon Room a surreal air of tinny jauntiness, like a truck stop around about dawn when you've been driving all night. Everyone who is still awake seems to be rather enjoying it.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:11 AM Local Time
Chris Bell raised his button, but Dan Shak reraised pot from the big blind. There were a few tense moments while Bell considered his options, but he eventually folded, looking slightly unwell.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:05 AM Local Time
Pre-flop raises have been rare since we started heads-up. Dan Shak did just raise his button to 180,000, with Chris Bell calling. Bell checked and called another 200,000 on a flop of . That call was enough to cause Shak to completely shut down. Both players checked the turn and the river. At showdown Bell showed three jacks, , to claim the pot.
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:04 AM Local Time
Dan Shak wandered over to chat to Nick Binger at the rail. Gavin Smith did not approve.
"Talk to Michael, Dan! Nick doesn't even know how to play this game!"
Monday, June 28, 2010 3:01 AM Local Time
Dan Shak limped in on the button and Chris Bell checked his option - no particular change there. They saw a flop.
Bell checked and Shak bet pot. Bell called after just a shortish pause.
Bell checked again and Shak bet pot once more - this time pot constituted 360,000. Bell tanked up for several minutes before he flat-called, leaving himself just 465,000 behind. Everyone held their breath.
Bell moved all in. Shak called, and then promptly announced, "Unbelievable," and walked away from the table.
Shak: for two pair on the flop
Bell: for a higher two pair on the river
When Shak returned to the table he paid up. "How'd you make that call?" he said. "Nice hand."
Said Bell, "You don't have to have the nuts every time."
A short discussion ensued about what various draws and outs they had both had, but the upshot was the same - the stacks are even once again and we could be here a long while yet.
Monday, June 28, 2010 2:45 AM Local Time
Dan Shak's lead is up to 3-to-1 now after a little trickery from the button. He limped his button (rather standard in this heads-up match) before Chris Bell raised to 160,000. Shak then re-raised pot to 480,000. Bell gave Shak a glance before calling the raise.
The flop came . Bell checked to Shak, who quickly bet pot, 960,000. "You win," said Bell. He folded and dropped in the counts to 1,030,000.
Monday, June 28, 2010 2:42 AM Local Time
Dan Shak raised pot and Chris Bell called - a promising start.
Both players reverted to checking on the flop, and Bell checked the turn as well. Shak, however, bet pot again, and Bell gave it up.
Monday, June 28, 2010 2:41 AM Local Time
As the action has slowed down, the rail are looking for ways to amuse themselves. One of Shak's rail was just now striding quite purposefully across the floor when he tripped on the carpet and fell over really very spectacularly. That kept the rail amused for some time - they're still talking about it now.