Wednesday, December 28, 2005

WSOP: The Finale

The final 5 players (Kanter, Barch, Hachem, Black, Dannenmann) highlight the last hour of ESPN's coverage of the 2005 WSOP Main Event. Blinds are 80k-160k, and action is furious right away:

Early on, Black raises to 550k with A-x: we only see one of his cards! Kanter reraises to 1.5mm, with KK. Black calls.

flop: 5h3cKd Kanter comes out firing: 1mm! BET THE NUTS! the "Bet the Nuts" strategy shows its benefits: Black raises to 4mm. Kanter calls.

turn: 3h: both check

river: 8c. Kanter bets 2mm, Black calls, and Kanter wins a 15mm pot!

Dannenmann gets all in as a 3-1 dog with A-6 against Black's 9-T on a 5-9-6 flop, but spikes one of his outs on the river and doubles up.

In an unraised pot, Kanter clashes with Tex Barch:
Kanter has K-5, Barch: K-7 and Joe Hachem: J-9.

flop: 7s-K-Ts. Tex and Aaron check, and Joe bets his gutshot straight draw: 450k. Tex now check-raises to 1mm, and Aaron check-re-raises to 2mm! Joe folds, and Tex makes it 4.5mm to go! Kanter moves all-in, and Tex calls, winning a 21MM pot, as the Qh and Jd come on the turn and river (Joe would have filled his gutter on the turn!). Aaron Kanter probably could have gotten away from this pot when Tex raised to 4.5mm, as Tex hasn't exactly appeared to be splashing around thus far.

Black's table reign ends when he raises to 600k with TT, and is re-raised by Dannenmann (A-K I think, can't find it in my notes) to 2mm. Black moves all-in, and is called by Dannenmann.

flop: 2-3-8 turn: K rio: 9 and Black is out in 5th place with $1.75MM.

Chip counts: Barch: 23.2MM. Dannenmann: 22.2MM. Hachem: 6.5MM. Kanter: 4.2MM

Joe, with 7-8, raises to 500k, and Tex calls with A-Q. Kanter moves all-in (4.2mm) with A-7, and only Tex calls. Kanter continues his magic with a final board of 7-7-T-A-6, and doubles up.

Next, Joe limps on the button with Qd7d. Tex limps in the SB with A-4, and Kanter raises to 1mm from the BB with 9-9. Joe now limp-re-raises all in, and Aaron calls. Joe hits the Qh2h8c flop, and the Ah turn cannot save Aaron, nor can the 2c river. Aaron has Joe covered though, and admits "I probably deserved that," for all the beats he has issued.

Aaron's A-9 runs into Tex's J-J (Friday in Vegas!) soon thereafter, and he goes home in 4th place, with $2mm.

Chipcounts: Dannenmann: 23.5mm, Joe: 20.3mm, Tex: 12.7mm

Dannenmann raises to 750k with 77, and Joe calls with JJ. Tex moves all-in with A-6, and both players just call! They check it down, which drew some discussion amongst the cognoscenti: why would Joe be willing to let Dannenmann catch an overcard out if he had one? But Joe's JJ holds up, and Tex leaves in 3rd place with $2.5mm. I think Joe was probably content with the very real $2mm difference between 3rd and 2nd place, and also knew that Dannenmann would be playing predictably, thinking the same way.

The field of 5,619 players is now down to two: Steve Dannenmann, with 17.5mm in chips, and Joseph Hachem, with 38.7mm. It has been widely reported that before the heads up battle, Dannenmann predicted it would be very quick, and also quietly told Hachem "I hope you win," and that Hachem would represent the title better than Dannenmann could.

Things ended quickly: Dannenmann, with Ad3c, raised to 700k, and Joe called in the BB with 7c3s.

the flop came 4d5d6h: holy cow: to flop a straight heads up for the WSOP Main Event title... If Only...

Joe checks, Steve bets 700k, Joe raises to 1.7mm, and Steve calls.

Turn: As. Joe bets 2mm, and Steve raises to 5mm. Joe says "I thought we were being friendly?" Steve opens his mouth, searching for a witty reply, but Joe puts his hand up: "All right. Stop. I'm all-in." Dannenmann quickly takes the bait: "I'm all-in," and is drawing to a split pot.

The 4c on the river offers no help, and Joseph Hachem is the 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion, raking $7.5mm in first place prize money. Steve Dannenmann's always smiling demeanor landed him $4.25mm for 2nd place.

until next time,

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