Monday, November 28, 2005


The final 27 WSOP Main Event combatants moved to historic Binions to duke it out old school where it all began.

Let's look at the bet dialogue from the first televised hand, Phil Ivey takes the 20k-40k blinds up to 140k with Kh5h "In case you didn't know, I'm Phil Fuckin' Ivey." Andrew Black re-raises to 420k with Ad2d "Oh yeah, well you're not just going to run over this table, Homey..." Ivey pauses before making it $920k to go. "No, seriously. This is my table. Sit the fuck down." Black comes back over the top all-in! "Wow - I really hope Ivey is just flexing his muscles, or I'm going home." Black shows the "bluff," probably not guessing that he'd been bluffing with the best hand. In any case, this was a very bold play for Black to make - staking his tournament on this hand essentially. The beauty of an Ace and a lot of aggression in NLHE is, even if your opponent has a hand as good as KK, you still have a fighting chance if you get caught.

Sharam "Sean" Sheikhan is clearly tilted by something, but we don't know what. After mucking a hand preflop and seeing one of his cards come on the flop, he slams the table loudly. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow tells him: "We're in a hand, you need to shut the fuck up," and Sheik goes ballistic, calling the floor. Both players get a 10 minute penalty: Mike for the F-bomb, and Sheik for, I guess, inappropriate behavior. Later in the broadcast ESPN shows a clip of Mouth and Sheik nearly coming to blows! They actually shove each other and then Mouth diffuses the situation by putting his fists up and dancing like a boxer.

Ivey gets beaten up some more when he raises to 140k with A-8 offsuit. Joe Hachem calls him with K-J, and when the flop comes J-J-6, Ivey checks to Joe, who bets it out! Yeah baby - common theme here: BET YOUR BIG HANDS! Ivey checkraises to 500k, and Joe comes back over the top all-in. Ivey has to fold. Joe's fan club rocks the "Aussie Aussie Aussie, OY OY OY," chant, and Ivey has a grin on his face that paints a very telling picture - it clearly says "You are such a bunch of douchebags."

Sheik is down to 240k, and moves all-in, where the Mouth calls him with 7-2, trying to drop the hammer, and send Sheik into a monthlong TILT-binge. Sheik's QQ holds up and he doubles up. gets the Douchebag of the Week award for the "most ridiculous abuse of get-rich-quick stupid poker ideas." You've got to be fucking kidding me. I really need to know how many douchebags pay $39.95 for this thing.

Andrew Black continues to show either good hand reading ability or big balls, or both: he raises to 150k with TT, and is re-raised to 400k by Fossilman's Q-J offsuit. When the flop comes 5s-3c-Ks, Black checks and Fossilman bets 500k. Black check-raises all-in! Wow. That is some kind of fucking play.

Sheik continues to steam out of control: he moves all-in, and Matusow touches the chips that Sheik put into the pot. "Don't touch my money, Mike," Sheik sternly admonishes him. "Sean, do you want action? Hellloooo? Sheiky?" Matusow needles him mercilessly. "If you say yes, I'll call."

"You'll call?" Sheik confirms, "I want action."
"I fold," Mike instamucks, laughing out loud.

Fossilman is crippled when he raises to 100k with KK and gets called by Aaron Kanter's QhJh. the flop comes 6c-3h-5d and Greg bets 150k. Kanter calls with only two overcards. When the turn brings the 7 of hearts, Greg bets 300k and Kanter makes it 900k with his flush draw. Greg moves in and is called. The river 2h completes Kanter's flush, and Greg is crippled, left with 400k.

Shortly thereafter, Fossilman gives us the Tactic of the Week on this hand: He calls a 200k raise holding A-9 from the BB, starting the hand with only about 400k in chips. Why? Because Greg is playing this hand for his whole stack, but he knows that if he moves in now, his opponent will have to call. On the other hand, if he moves the rest of his chips in on the flop, which he will do on ANY flop, he gives his opponent a chance to lay his hand down.

The flop comes K-K-7 and Greg moves all-in. Ayhan Alsancak calls him with 5-5, and the reigning World Champion's impossible repeat attempt has come to an end: out in 25th place.

Tim Phan gets the Kick in the Junk of the Week on his elimination hand: Black raises the 25k-50k blinds to 200k with AhQh. Phan comes over the top all in for about 1.5MM holding TT. Black calls, and the flop comes A-T-9. turn: Queen... river: Queen! and Phan is out in 24th place, taking home $304k.

Black gets the ESPN spotlight interview: blah blah blah blah "... and I realized I was a Buddhist" - yeah - and I realized you are a d-bag. Whatever. Go cry for Bing Wang.

In a potentially pivotal hand at the 25k-50k level, Hachem raises to 160k with AdKd. Steve Dannenmann calls with pocket nines. Joe must love the Td-9s-5d flop: two overcards and the nut flush draw. He checks, and Steve bets 150k. Joe check-raises to 1mm, and Dannenmann comes back all-in for several million more. Dannenmann makes the mistake of talking too much while Joe is trying to figure out the action, and Joe is able to make the easy read and get away from this difficult hand. Dannenmann shows him the flopped set.

Scott Lazar has the day's best shirt: a bright yellow t-shirt reading: "You played that crap?"

In the Hand of the Week, Andrew Black finally gets caught with his hand in the cookie, er, sugar jar. Joe makes it 150k to go with Ac6c, and Black bumps it to 550k with QQ. When the flop comes Qc-7c-9c, Joe checks and Andrew overbets the pot: All-in. Joe calls, stands up, and spikes his hand on the table before shouting the immortal phrase: "Pass the sugar!" He is none-too-happy to see that Black is as strong as top set, but Hachem's hand holds up as the Td and Kd come off on the turn and river.

Sheik continues to find big hands, doubling up again with KK against Matusow's A-J, and suddenly Sheik is back up to 2mm in chips! Kanter's KK busts Ivey's JJ, and Phil is out in 20th place, good for $304k.

until next time,

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