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2010 41st Annual World Series of Poker

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 to Saturday, June 19, 2010

Event #31: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.

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  • Buy-in: $1,500
  • Prizepool: $1,117,800
  • Entries: 828
  • Remaining: 0


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Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:33 AM Local Time

After another marathon Day 3 in the Amazon Room, Konstantin Puchkov has sent the spectators home for the night, winning the bracelet in Event #31 in one lonely corner of the otherwise empty room. This $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event began with a pack of 827 runners on Wednesday, and it finally culminated with a Russian victory tonight -- fittingly enough, by a man who drives horses with names like "Royal Fush" and "Freeroll" back home.

The final day of the tournament began with 24 players still with a shot at kissing the bracelet, but the early knockouts came fast. Jon "PearlJammer" Turner, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, Johannes Steindl, Allen Kessler, and Chip Jett were all deprived of a final table berth, and it took just a couple hours of action to set our final table of eight.

After that quick trip down to eight, the rest of the battle became arduous and tiring. It took about six hours to play down to a heads-up pairing between Puchkov and Al Barbieri, and another three and a half hours of heads-up dueling to crown a champion.

Barbieri and Puchkov exchanged body blows for round after round of poker, and Barbieri nearly had his first bracelet in his grips in the early stages of the fight. Puchkov hung tough, though, and, long after the clock had struck five, he finally took "Sugar Bear"'s final chip, ending the tournament as the last man standing.

So then, congratulations to Konstantin Puchkov and his Russian pals for their bracelet here tonight.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:29 AM Local Time

Stud 8/b

Puchkov:     /         /  

Barbieri:     /         /  

The end came swiftly and brutally for Al "Sugar Bear" Barbieri. Down to fewer than 600,000 chips, Barbieri had only one good hand left in his stack. In the stud split round still, Konstantin Puchkov caught the bring-in and decided to complete in his own right. Barbieri raised, and Puchkov made the call.

Fourth street paired Puchkov. He checked to Barbieri, who bet. Puchkov called and then checked again on fifth street. Barbieri bet, leaving himself 150,000 behind. Puchkov raised him all in, taking the players to their first all in after three-and-a-half hours of heads-up play. Barbieri saw that he was behind, a pair of fours up against sevens and deuces, but he had some chances to make something happen. All of those chances vanished on sixth street, where Barbieri bricked and Puchkov made deuces full of sevens. Barbieri, with no low draw, was drawing dead.

Barbieri played with pluck for three days. His reward is a runner-up finish and $158,647 in prize money.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:20 AM Local Time

Stud 8/b

Konstantin Puchkov brought it in with the   showing, and he called a completion from the   of Barbieri.

Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Puchkov had the lead the whole way, and he check-called bets on fourth, fifth, and sixth streets. On seventh, Puchkov finally led out with his own bet, and Barbieri called.

Puchkov exposed his down cards:      

"Queens up?" Barbieri asked. "It's good." With that, he sent his cards into the muck. That loss sets him all the way back under 600,000.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:11 AM Local Time


Konstantin Puchkov brought it in with the  , and he called the completion from Al Barbieri's  .

Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

On fourth street, Barbieri bet his lead, and Puchkov called. Puchkov checked when he pulled the ace on fifth street, and he called another Barbieri bet. Puchkov paired on sixth street, and he took a long look at Barbieri's board before leading out with a bet. Now it was Barbieri calling, and he was faced with one more bet on seventh street.

"Crying call," Barbieri said, splashing the call into the pot. When he saw Puchkov's       opened up, he said, "Good hand," and folded under.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:47 AM Local Time


When heads-up play first started, Al Barbieri turned the screws on Konstantin Puchkov in hold'em. He's repeating that early success now. The two biggest hands occurred back-to-back.

In the first, Barbieri raised the button and was called by Puchkov. Puchkov check-called bets on the       flop and the   turn. Both players checked the   river. Barbieri showed    , which was enough to win the pot.

The next hand it was Puchkov's button, but that didn't stop Barbieri from turning an inside straight with     on a board of          . Barbieri bet the river dark and was called. His straight was good.

The only two hands Barbieri lost in the recent hold'em round were two hands in which he gave Puchkov a walk. His stack is all the way back to about 1.5 million.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:35 AM Local Time

Stud 8/b

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Al Barbieri caught the bring in, then raised after Konstantin Puchkov completed. Puchkov called the raise, then either check-called or called every street until the river. At that point, Puchkov had the betting lead and fired a bet into Barbieri for the first time. Barbieri called, but had no low and couldn't beat the two pair, aces and fours, that Puchkov made with      .

"Brutal," said Barbieri, as he slipped to 400,000.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:31 AM Local Time

Stud 8/b

Puchkov: (X) (X) /      

Barbieri: (X) (X) /      

"I'm going to play this hand blind," said Al Barbieri. He took two pink chips off of his stack and put one over each of his eyes. When he caught the bring-in, he fumbled for his chips to get the correct amount into the pot. "Is that four?" he asked. Konstantin Puchkov just called.

Barbieri, without having looked at his cards, bet fourth street after Puchkov checked. At fifth street, he asked TD Bob Smith what Puchkov's board was. Upon hearing the answer, he said, "Jesus, I better look now," and he took the chips off his eyes to take a peek. He bet, then checked his own hole cards for the first time in the hand. Puchkov mulled things over for a bit before folding.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:21 AM Local Time


We're into the stud round now, with Al Barbieri trying to grind his way back to the lead. He took down a pot by completing third street and betting fourth and fifth streets with a board of       against Konstantin Puchkov's      .

The next hand, Barbieri won another pot on fifth street by betting all the way,       against Puchkov's      .

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:12 AM Local Time

Konstantin Puchkov has some Russian railbirds who hae been here sweating him most of the night. They've alo been talking in Russian during hands repeatedly and as the night gets later Barbieri is getting more and more irritated by it.

"I'll forefeit the tournment," said an irate Barbieri. He demanded that TD Bob Smith enfore the English-only rule. Smith had a few words with therailbirds and, for the moment, things seem to be under control.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:07 AM Local Time

Omaha 8/b

Al Barbieri and Konstantin Puchkov were both in for one bet each pre-flop. The flop was paired,      . Barbieri, the pre-flop raiser, continued after Puchkov checked. Puchkov then raised and was re-raised by Barbieri. Puchkov called to the   turn and check-called a bet. Both players checked the   river.

Barbieri opened first, tabling         for three nines. Puchkov was better, showing         for a ten-high straight.

Barbieri is down to 1,050,000.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:46 AM Local Time

The clock has been paused for a twenty-minute break.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:41 AM Local Time


Konstantin Puchkov limped in from the button, Al Barbieri raised, and Puchkov called the extra bet. Barbieri bet the whole way on a board of           with Puchkov calling bets on every street. At showdown, Barbieri's     were second best to Puchkov's    , and the pot goes to the Russian.

On the next hand, Al Barbieri raised to open the pot, and Konstantin Puchkov made the call. Puchkov check-called a bet on the       flop, and both players checked the   turn. On the river  , it was Barbieri who called a bet, but he mucked when Puchkov showed him the winning    .

Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:36 AM Local Time

Stud 8/b

Al Barbieri was the bring in with the  , and Konstantin Puchkov completed showing the  . Barbieri raised it right back, and Puchkov called.

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri had the betting lead the whole way, and Puchkov called his bets on fourth and sixth streets. Both players checked fifth and seventh.

Barbieri exposed his      , and his pair of tens was good enough to earn him the full pot.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:22 AM Local Time


Konstantin Puchkov brought it in with the   up, and Al Barbieri completed with the  . Puchkov called.

Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri fired bets on fourth, fifth, and sixth streets with Puchkov calling the whole way, though each time a little more slowly than the last. Both players checked seventh street, and Barbieri opened up his      . A pair of sixes is good enough to scoop up that pot, the largest for Barbieri in quite some time.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:19 AM Local Time


Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

As the pace of play has slow down, Konstantin Puchkov has started to win more than his share of pots. He played an unusual razz hand against Al Barbieri a few moments ago. Barbieri brought it in on third, then called Puchkov's completion. Puchkov bet the low board on fourth street and again Barbieri called.

On fifth street Puchkov made a strange check with a board that was leagues better than Barbieri's. Barbieri then bet, drawing 30 seconds of thought form Puchkov before he called.

Both players checked sixth street. Down the river, Puchkov finally fired and induced a fold from Barbieri.

With that pot, Puchkov climed to about 2.2 million in chips. He is the leader now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:17 AM Local Time


Al Barbieri brought it in with a five, and Konstantin Puchkov just called with a deuce up.

Barbieri: (X) (X) / 5-9-4-J

Puchkov: (X) (X) / 2-K-7-A

Barbier bet fourth street, and Puchkov quickly called. On fifth street, Barbieri fired again, and Puchkov again called. Sixth street saw Puchkov raise a Barbieri bet, and Sugar Bear tanked and opted to lay it down.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:58 AM Local Time

It's very pronounced now -- the pace of play has slowed. We thought that maybe it was just a function of the stud rounds, but with the game back to limit hold'em, nothing changed. It's a marked difference from the last round of limit hold'em, where Al Barbieri just banged away relentlessly at Konstantin Puchkov's chip stack. Losing that big razz pot a half hour ago when Barbieri had Puchkov on the ropes appears to have taken some of the wind out of Barbieri's sails.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:45 AM Local Time

Stud 8/b

Puchkov: (X) (X) /         / (X)

Barbieri: (X) (X) /         / (X)

The game has switched to Stud Hi/Lo now, which would typically mean a lot of chopped pots. But since the tournament is heads-up now, really anything goes. Al Barbieri had the betting lead on fifth street with a king on his board and fired a bet at Konstantin Puchkov. Puchkov called, prompting Barbieri to check sixth street. Puchkov bet and Barbieri called.

On the river the actin was the same. Puchkov showed just two eights in the hole, but that was enough to drag the whole pot.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:38 AM Local Time


Al Barbieri is a premier stud player, so it's been very odd during this round of stud to see him folding most pots on third or fourth street. He also seems to have toned down the aggression that he was showing in the flop games.

For his part, Konstantin Puchkov often seems unsure of himself when playing hands in this heads-up portion of the tournament.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:33 AM Local Time


Al Barbieri was the bring-in with a queen showing, and Konstantin Puchkov completed it. Barbieri called.

Barbieri: (X) (X) / Q-6-3-A

Puchkov: (X) (X) / A-K-7-A

Barbieri fired out a bet on fourth street when he pulled the six and Puchkov called. The action repeated on fifth street, and Barbieri fired again when Puchkov paired on sixth. Puchkov didn't like it, and he took his time to consider before folding his cards under and sending them back to the dealer.

He's back down around 700,000 now.