Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:40 AM Local Time
Today was supposed to be a story about two bubbles; the money bubble and the final table bubble. We can forget about the second bubble as that is still a distant dream to be worried about in the future, it's the first bubble that dominated today's play. It took around four hours of play to go from 19 players down to 18 players and the extremely unfortunate soul finishing in 19th was John Kabbaj. He got it in very good against chip leader John Racener but the latter has been running very good this year and that form continued.
Racener navigated the last level to remain in the lead with 276,000 chips. The chasing pack include Karl Mahrenholz (211,000) and 6-max finalist Willie Tann (154,000) and holding up the rear is Sean Dempsey (36,500). For a full list of counts please see the chip count tab.
It was many moons ago (or so it seems like) that 49 players returned for Day Two aiming to make the money and then on to the final table. Daniel Tafur was the first to leave and not long after him were Full Tilt Pros Vitaly Lunkin and Raul Paez. Other team members of theirs to fare better but also fail to cash include Ross Boatman, Roberto Romanello, Paul Zimbler and Scott Fischman. Other big names to leave without a payday were Hoyt Corkins, Frank Kassela, Chad Brown, Toby Lewis, Phil Laak and Barry Greenstein.
15 players made it through the day and they will all return at 3pm (BST) tomorrow where they will play all the way down to a winner who will receive a coveted gold and diamond bracelet, the second to be handed out at this year's WSOPE festival. The action is sure to be faster paced tomorrow so please join us back here then to see how it pans out. Our final words come from the wise mouth of Willie Tann: "It's been a hard day's night!"
Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:38 AM Local Time
The final final hand, while Miles was busy doubling behind me, Christopher Chau was busting in 16th, having held on to the shortest stack imaginable for an impressive length of time. I got the lowdown from a helpful John Racener: Lisandro had limped the button, Chau in the small blind and Schwartz checked his option. The flop saw a straight all in first up from Chau (but it was just 3k), a raise from Schwartz but a call anyway from button Lisandro. The turned saw Schwartz check-fold to Lisandro, who'd turned a little straight, while Chau tabled and just misses out on Day Three action.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:30 AM Local Time
Little action given or taken (apart from a Jeff Lisandro threebet of Michael Schwartz) as the day finally draws to a close - it looks like 16 players will be coming back tomorrow.
On the very final hand, however, Andrew Miles committed his 38,500 preflop against a raising Jeff Madsen, who gave another try to Knock Out the Short Stack with . Miles held which held as the final board of the night came down . Touch and go there for Miles for a while, but as he noted, a "timely" double up to keep him in the running for the third day's play.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:16 AM Local Time
The clock has been paused with 10 minutes remaining and each table will play four more hands before the players bag-up for the night.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:07 AM Local Time
Down to literally two chips to rub together, Justin Smith managed one little win vs. Willie Tann but was all in again the next hand with . Joe Serock in the small blind raised, getting rid of the big blind Felipe Ramos, and showed down which duly made the Royal on the board, just for a bit of spice. This even got a mini reaction from Serock, who usually looks so serene it's like he's watching clouds slowly drift across a summer sky rather than other poker players placing gaming tokens in piles and pushing them around.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 2:01 AM Local Time
The first money place goes to Yasuhiro Waki, who went out with the same sort of hand which busted the bubble (and seems to be dispatching all the medium stacks with gusto while the shorties remain): . This hand started with a Chris Bjorin raise to 6k, called by Karl Mahrenholz and Jeff Madsen, before Waki made it clear he was committing by raising to 33k. The only one prepared to put him in now was Mahrenholz, who tabled .
The board: which if you look closely makes J-9 a straight. Waki accepted this with good grace, 'good-game'd' everyone and left to collect his winnings.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:58 AM Local Time
Erik Friberg, Jeff Lisandro and Justin Smith all got their chips in pre-flop but none of them busted.
Friberg limped from mid-position, Lisandro potted it from the button and Smith moved all-in from the SB. Fridberg said "What the heck" and moved all-in too and he was almost beaten in to the pot by Lisandro. Showdown:
The board ran to see Lisandro's hand hold-up to put him up to 90,000. Friberg took the side pot for 75,000 and poor Smith was left with just 500 chips. He did manage a triple-up the very next hand but has a long road to recovery.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:50 AM Local Time
A weird back-to-back pair of hands, the first of which saw Erik Friberg find at the same time Jeff Lisandro picked up to double through. Straight away the newly-short Lisandro raised to 10,500 preflop and Friberg called, setting him in in return, almost, on the flop. Lisandro had the Kings again, but this time they held against the of Friberg and we're pretty much back where we started...
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:42 AM Local Time
Quite extraordinary, this day two. The stacks which were so deep in the danger zone you might worry they'd get the bends if they started rising have all gained at least double-throughs!
Most dramatically was Christopher Chau (pictured) whose three-way big pair matchup with Queens (vs. Kings and Aces) spiked a set to come back from 6k to 22!
Then Andrew Miles, too, the second most life-supported, doubled up with , his 16k being isolated by Samuel Stein preflop with his but holding up nicely on the board to give him 36k.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:32 AM Local Time
The decision has been made that this will be the last level we play today.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:32 AM Local Time
Seat 1. Steve Jelinek - 20000
Seat 2. Andrew Miles - 16000
Seat 3. Yasuhiro Waki - 43,000
Seat 4. Sean Dempsey - 44,000
Seat 5. Jeff Kimber - 80,000
Seat 6. Chris Bjorin - 170,000
Seat 7. Samuel Stein - 175,000
Seat 8. Karl Mahrenholz - 145,000
Seat 9. Jeff Madsen - 144,000
Seat 1. Willie Tann - 120,000
Seat 2. John Racener - 350,000
Seat 3. Erik Friberg - 48,000
Seat 4. Joe Serok - 72,000
Seat 5. Filipe Ramos - 124,000
Seat 6. Jeff Lisandro - 71,000
Seat 7. Justin Smith - 81,000
Seat 8. Christopher Chau - 7500
Seat 9. Michael Schwartz - 75
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:20 AM Local Time
After four hours plus, and some extraordinary hanging-on displays on his table, it's John Kabbaj, not a super short stack, who finishes 19th and gets no monetary reward for his hours of struggle at the poker tables over the last two days. He threebet habitual button raiser John Racener from the small blind (22k) and after a pause Racener re-raised - this was effectively all-in for Kabbaj and he made the call/small extra raise necessary to get the cards on their backs.
Racener with had picked the wrong time to test Kabbaj who wasn't going anywhere with . The board had other ideas, though:
and the baby flush is what kicked Kabbaj from the tournament in the cruellest spot. His reaction said it all - barely a flicker of irritation and a pensive stare and then a wander off almost with a shrug - he's been here before and he'll get here again.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 1:13 AM Local Time
Sean Dempsey, one of the shortest stacks, has doubled up to 58,000 through John Kabbaj. Dempsey raised to 6,000 from UTG and then moved all-in for 25,600 after Kabbaj three-bet to 19,200 from the BB. Kabbaj called to create a showdown:
The board ran Kabbaj flopped the nuts but lost out to a flush on the river.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 12:48 AM Local Time
John Racener has used his advantageous position as an already big stack on a table with three short ones (Andrew Miles, Christopher Chau and Sean Dempsey) to punish the bubble and raise his stack to the leading one. Raising all the time, Racener gives and takes small pots on his table, but mostly seems to take. Occasionally he gives one up - like when John Kabbaj called his button raise and proceeded to check-call him on the flop (8k) and check the turn before betting pot (30,400) on the river. This met with a long think from Racener, and a count out of the call which was a significantly smaller proportion of his stack than Kabbaj's. But in the end he decided against it, and bubble play, amazingly, continues.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 12:28 AM Local Time
It seems as if Jeff Madsen and Justin Smith have really enjoyed mixing it up with each other today. Since they were drawn together at the final 27 players stage they have played many high level, deep thinking pots against each other and are two of the players not afraid to commit chips during this endless bubble phase.
The last round of their bout went to Madsen. The flop was out reading and Smith bet 4,300 when checked to him in the hijack. Madsen was the only caller to the turn where he himself led for 8,700. Smith called as he did when faced with a 14,600 bet on the river.
Madsen tabled for a full-house and the pot as Smith mucked.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 12:00 AM Local Time
Willie Tann and Michael Schwartz are the dynamic duo on their table, battling in several small pots in the last 20 minutes. This was the largest, down to Tann check-raising a turn from 8,200 to 28k. Schwartz made the call and they both checked the river.
"Two pair," shrugged Tann, but Schwartz showed this one: (with ) and that took the pot down.
Friday, September 17, 2010 11:45 PM Local Time
We just witnessed the very end of a three-way hand where the board read X and the hands shown were trip tens (Jeff Kimber) and quad jacks (Felipe Ramos). A hugely superlatively massive pot, right?
There was barely more than three sets of blinds in the middle when Ramos picked it up.
"This is why the bubble is taking so long," chuckled Jeff Madsen.
Friday, September 17, 2010 11:36 PM Local Time
Jeff Madsen won a monster pot earlier on when he hit running nines to make a bigger full-house than what his opponent had flopped. The tables just reversed on him as he looked to eliminate Erik Friberg. The two got the chips in from the blinds with the Swede being the short-stack on 16,000. Showdown:
The flop came to propel Madsen into the lead but the turn and river put a full-house out there meaning Friberg's two jacks play. The table and the rail just laughed. When will this bubble burst?
Friday, September 17, 2010 11:32 PM Local Time
But can't pop it - he just repopped short stack Erik Friberg to 24,600 preflop (Friberg made it 7k out of a 35k stack) but Friberg declined to commit.
One hand later and amidst more whinging that the bubble would take hours with less pressure on the short stacks, Justin Smith tangled with Madsen (as he has so often) calling Madsen's 9k bet on the flop and checking the turn so the board stood ... . Now Smith checked again and Madsen bet 19,200. The full timebank probably already at a low ebb for Smith, he nevertheless counted out the call and weighed it up, in between shooting daggery looks at Madsen. Presumably it's easier to take your time when your stack is OK relative to static blinds. Either way his table waited patiently and eventually he passed. The bubble continues with Madsen probably on top of it.
Friday, September 17, 2010 11:22 PM Local Time
So returning to our deconstruction of the field into nice, simple numbers - the distribution of WSOP bracelets across the three tables is most uneven.
Table 1 - five bracelets (Lisandro and Tann)
Table 2 - five bracelets (Madsen, Bjorin and Jelinek)
Table 3 - one bracelet in the possession of John Kabbaj.
Poor show, Table 3!
However, Table 3 also boasts John Racener who will be returning to Vegas this November to play the final table of the Main Event. If he wins that, he will retrospectively become the second bracelet holder at his table; and seeing as a WSOP Main Event bracelet is worth, ooh, we reckon roughly four regular bracelets, then the bracelet distribution will become even in hindsight.
In further news, some of the players have given up on complaining to the TDs about the blinds being frozen and have come to complain to us at the bloggers' table. We regret that this is not our department.