Monday, November 21, 2005

Catching Up With ESPN

I'm a few weeks behind on my ESPN WSOP recaps, so lets get right to it:

Day 4 featured Greg "Fossilman" Raymer as the start of day chipleader. Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, John Juanda and Farzad Bonyadi all had to assassinate each other at the same table! Yikes - that's a murderer's row, considering the number of player remaining (which, I'm sorry to say, I do not know, but I think it's 100+).

Early on we see an interesting hand featuring internet pro Dustin "Neverwin" Wolf, pro Andy Black, and Bart Rice. I don't want to pre-judge Bart from limited ESPN footage, but he appears to be a novice.

In this hand, Bart limps with A-7, and Neverwin limps on the button with 7-7. Black raises to 46k from the BB with TT, and both players call. Of course, we don't know what the blinds are, but let's continue:

The flop is 2-A-5 with 2 hearts, and both players check to Neverwin, who bets 70k. Now, Andrew Black starts talking out loud about how Neverwin MUST have hammered that flop hard. He rambles for 15 seconds and then mucks. The problem is, Bart Rice mucks too! Andrew should know better than to talk with another player in the hand, as I'm pretty fucking sure there is not a chance in hell Bart Rice is the kind of player who check-folds an ace there.

We get another focus on the Phil Ivey fan club: Pat & Mel Humphreys. It is revealed that Mel, who looks like TJ Cloutier, has cancer. Of course, all he wanted to know from his doctor was "Will I still be able to go to the WSOP to watch Phil Ivey play?" Now I love Phil Ivey as much as the next guy, but when I find out I have cancer, I'm sure as fuck NOT going to make watching him play into my top priority. I'd me more concerned with questions like, "Can my liver still digest a liter of vodka?" "Can my back handle 18 hours sitting in a NLHE cash game?" "Will lapdances make the cancer worse?" (only if Mrs. Dynamite has dumped me, of course).

Adam "There's no crying in poker" Friedman really thinks he's hot shit. He tells The Mouth "You just wish you were 1/2 as good as me at my age." Umm, no Adam, I think The Mouth was up to his eyeballs in blow and hookers at your age - I don't think he's worried that you think you are a better player than he was.

Big Joe Stillman annihilates Shane Barholomew with not one, but TWO river suckouts. When he finally gets eliminated, Joe bitches out his opponent, Michael Kessler, for making a "bad" preflop call. It's the you-missed-that-sarcasm-Moment-of-The-Week:

"Nice call," Joe tells him sarcastically. "Thanks," Kessler is honestly appreciative.
Then Joe is quoted on camera: "Those are the kinda people who are gonna win this tournament." If only he knew how fishily ESPN had portrayed him...

Mike the Mouth plays a pot against a Casper Christensen, at the 5k-10k blind level. Christensen raises to 40k with TT, and Mouth calls with K-Q. The flop is 2-A-J rainbow, and now Christensen checks and Mouth bets 50k. Christensen check-raises to 150k, and The Mouth comes over the top all-in! Christensen folds, and The Mouth tells him "The Kiddie Game is down the street," as he shows his fantastic play.

Steve Marx shows why it's sometimes best to Bet the Nuts! He finds K-J offsuit on the button (I think) of a 4-way unraised pot. When the flop comes K-K-J and everyone checks to him, Marx bets 70k. Matusow calls him. The turn is a 5 and both players check. When a nine hits the river and Matusow checks again, Marx comes right out with a healthy 200k! His bet looks so suspicious that Matusow calls him down - sorry, I have no idea what the Mouth had, but he couldn't beat a king or a jack. By making a nice, normal sized bet on the river, instead of a little piddly value bet, Marx was able to induce a call.

The second hour of the broadcast featured the final 58 players on day 5. Fossilman's glasses are looking a bit askew: I wonder if he sat on them??? Best "Summary of the situation in a single word" this week goes to James Butt. When Butt viciously overbets the pot on a 5-T-4 board by announcing "All-in," his opponent, Sharham "Sean" Sheikan replies: "call." Butt blurts out: "FUCK" and yes, he was fucked, drawing slim, and got eliminated.

Tiffany Williamson proves to be the most thoroughly annoying idiot thus far, made more annoying by the fact that she seems to have absolutely no fucking clue what she is doing, and yet eventually managed to take home $400k in 15th place!

Sheik opens a pot for 100k with A-A. Tiffany raises to 250k with KhJh. Sheik comes over the top all-in for about 2MM! Easy laydown right? Nope... Tiffany goes into the tank... for TEN FUCKING MINUTES! The best part of this scene, as they show several hands at other tables while she is thinking, is that Tiffany is spouting out random poker comments that may make sense in some other context, but make absolutely NO sense in this context: It's almost as if the ESPN producers were trying to give her smart things to say, only the things weren't smart, because they didn't apply! "I did this 2 days ago. I doubled up with this hand. Unless you have aces - I don't think you have aces." Ummm.. yeah... and I hope he doesn't have KK... or QQ... or JJ... or A-K... or A-J... I guess A-Q wouldn't be toooooo bad...

Tiffany walks away toward the crowd, and the stoic Sheik comes to life, "Yo, yo, I object - you can't do that lady!" I guess the producer fed her another asinine quote: "It's not the nuts, but I don't think you have the nuts either," which was the understatement of the week, but finally she fails to call when the clock is put on her, and her hand is mucked!

Shortly thereafter, Tom Sartori raises the pot in EP with 7-7, and Tiffany re-raises with A-J. Fossilman wakes up with KK, and comes all-in over the top, for a tremendous overbet. Tiffany inquires, "Count it please," and before Raymer's chips are even touched by the dealer, Sheik calls the clock on her! Tiffany objects that she has the right to know how big the bet is before the clock starts, and I think she's right, but she calls well within her alotted time anyway. Fossilman dodges a bullet, and now has a dominant stack, and appears poised to make a real run at the impossible back-to-back victories.

The oddest segment of the day is Andrew Black openly bawling at the table because another player, Bing Wang, was confused about the length of the break, and is being blinded off. Black wants the table to purposely slow down the pace of play, so that Wang won't be hurt as badly, but apparently they will not oblige. Norman Chad sums it up best, "I like Bing Wang as much as the next guy, but..." The best part is when Bing Wang returns to the table and really doesn't seem to care: he's just psyched to be deep into the money (he took home $274k)!

Sheik looks like a card rack as he catches hand after hand, but when his QQ is cracked by Tiff's A-7, he's on tilt. Joseph Hachem comes to the table and finds AA twice in rapid succession! So that's how it's done!

stay tuned for the rest of the action as the final 27 countdown - next time.



Anonymous said...

Neverwin had 77 not T7.

brett said...

Add Stillman and Friedman to the top of the jerkoff list.

An update: Dannemann's recent classification as "Person I'd Never Like to Hear Anything About Ever Again" is being reconsidered.

"Knowing that the telecast will air on Christmas Eve, Dannenmann presented Hellmuth with a colorfully wrapped holiday gift. Hellmuth was shocked. Encouraged to open the gift by the audience, Hellmuth unwrapped his box like a 4-year-old and pulled out a doll resembling a donkey."

That's funny.

Kid Dynamite said...

Oops.. 77 not T7 for Neverwin - correct, but my point is the same: there is no way Rice folds an ace there unless Black starts talking