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The November 9

July 16th, 2009 1 comment

Surviving a field of 6,494 player, 9 players will reconvene at the final table in November for a shot at $8.5 Million and the most illustrious prize in Poker History, a Main Event Championship Bracelet. Here are the final 9 Players, their Chip Counts, and their World Series of Poker Experience:

Darvin Moon – (58,930,000) CHIP LEADER – The beneficiary of two gigantic pots late, Moon has soared to the chip lead. He busted Bill Kopp in 11th place by flopping a better flush with Qd-Jd to Kopp’s 5d-3d, and won a pot worth about 45k. Then, he eliminated Jordan Smith in 10th place with 88 vs AA by flopping a set of 8’s, and getting Smith all in on the flop. This is Moon’s first ever tournament cash at the WSOP, and he’s set himself up nicely to run very deep with almost twice as many chips as then closest player at the final table.

Eric Buchman – (34,800,000) – This makes double digit cashes for Eric Buchman as he has 9 previous WSOP Cashes, totaling $320,893 in tournament winnings. He also has 1 Circuit cash to the tune of $208,666. He is no stranger to final tables with 3 already under his belt (1 being that circuit event, the $5,000 buy in Atlantic City where he finished 2nd). He finished runner up in the 2006 WSOP in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event, and 6th in this year’s $2,500 buy in Omaha/Seven Card Stud HL/8 or better event. Eric is a professional poker player, and a force to be reckoned with as he sits 2nd in chips. He is very experienced.

Steven Begleiter – (29,885,000) – Another unknown in poker, Begleiter has also made this his first ever WSOP Cash. With just under 30 million chips, Steven is poised to make a very deep run.

Jeff Shulman – (19,580,000) – ‘Happy’ Shulman is another experienced player who is no stranger to the cash in the WSOP. With 15 career WSOP Tournament Cashes, and $289,551 in career earnings at the WSOP, Shulman is an experienced player. He was 4 other final table’s in the WSOP, but never finished better than 3rd. In 2000, he made only $500 in the Charity No Limit Hold’em event for that 3rd place finish. His biggest cash to date was that same year where he made the final table of the Main Event, but was eliminated in 7th place for $146,700. Things have changed at the main event since ‘Happy’ last took part in a final table, but look for him to use his prior experience to accumulate chips.

Joseph Cada – (13,215,000) – Cada had his first, second, and only cashes at this year’s WSOP. He placed 64th in Event 13 (the No Limit Hold’em $2,500 buy-in event) for $6,681, and he placed 17th in Event 34 (the $1,500 buy in No-Limit Hold’em) for $21,533. Joseph is being railed by the pro’s at Ultimate Bet, so expect names like Hellmuth, Duke, and Tiffany Michelle to be names along the rail if Joe is able to run deep.

Kevin Schaffel – (12,390,000) – This is Kevin’s second career WSOP cash, with the other coming in as a 324th place finish in last year’s Main Event. Schaffel picked up a payday of $32,166 for that performance.

Phil Ivey – (9,765,000) – The best player at this table is probably the best player in the world. Ivey is the 7 time bracelet winning monster that NO player at this table wants to get involved with. Despite the fact that he’s shorter on chips, the professional poker player is a regular to all high stakes games. He was the youngest player ever to attain 5 WSOP bracelets, and of his 7 previous victories, none have come in No Limit Hold’em. He has 35 WSOP Cashes, 22 of which came at Final Tables. Despite the fact that Ivey holds more than $3.4 million in career WSOP Tournament winnings, this will be his largest WSOP cash. Of the 6,494 players that entered the tournament, Ivey is considered one of the favorites by most, and at this final table, he has to be counted a favorite regardless of his chip size. Expect Ivey to use his experience to take some uncontested pots, simply because other players want to avoid him.

Antoine Saout – (9,500,000) – The Frenchman of the field is one of two non US players. Saout has made this final table his first WSOP cash, and hopes to make it the year that an international player takes it away from the Yanks. He’s got a long road to hoe if that’s the case as he’s sitting 8th of the 9 remaining players.

James Akenhead – (6,800,000) – The Brit comes into the Final Table with the fewest chips of the November 9, but is not without his WSOP final table experience. Akenhead has 2 other WSOP cashes to his credit, including a runner up in last year’s $1,500 buy in No Limit Hold’em Event #2. His 2nd place finish netted the Brit a sum of $520,219. Later that season at the WSOPE, James also placed 39th in the E1500 buy in event netting him 3075 Euro’s. Make no mistake, James is an excellent player, and very capable of doubling his stack to make this very competitive.

All 9 players are capable of putting together a run, and winning it all. It’s almost a shame that we have to wait till November to see who will be crowned the next champion. I’ll have a piece on each of the players with a little bit more bio information as we approach the main event. But for now, that’s all on the main event till November. Cheers, P

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3 Tables Left in the 2009 Main Event

July 15th, 2009 No comments

Yesterday, day 7 of Event #57 drew to a close, and the massive field of 6,494 that began with hopes, dreams, and aspirations of becoming the next world champion of the main event were dashed by every player but for these final 27 players. 26 players will walk away with large cash prizes, but only 1 will go down in poker history with the title ‘World Champion’.

Out chip leader for the moment is one, Darvin Moon; who in custom practice for the WSOP main event, has earned his first ever WSOP cash. He has no major tournament victories or cashes to speak of, and yet sits on a stack of more than 20 million, better than 4 million more than second place Billy Kopp.

But the real story of the 27 remaining players is that of the 11.7 Million of some guy named Phil Ivey. The 7 time bracelet winner is THRIVING in this years main event, and ask any player remaining, he is the player that you don’t want to tangle with. Ivey is in rare form even for his standards, dominating this Main Event field. He’s playing a different game this year than everyone else, and it has just been a higher level of poker than everyone.

The remaining 3 tables have two goals: First, to survive today’s carnage as 18 players will leave us, and we’ll be down to the final table. Make that table, and you’re guaranteed at least $1 million in cash earnings from the tournament, but sponsorships galore and poker infamy await the 9 players who will resume their play in November for the chance to become the next WSOP Main Event Champion. The second goal is to come out on top of that final table, and claim the ultimate prize of $8.5 million, and Champ.

Here is how the final 3 table’s will sit as we begin play today at noon.

(Table 1)
Jesse Haabak – 2,750,000
Ian Tavelli – 4,385,000
James Calderaro – 6,475,000
Jonathan Tamayo – 3,300,000
Warren Zackey – 5,485,000
Eric Buchman – 10,005,000
Leo Margets – 1,530,000 (the lone remaining female)
Tommy Vedes – 5,070,000
James Akenhead – 8,615,000

(Table 2)
Phil Ivey – 11,350,000
Jeff Shulman – 10,170,000
George Caragiorgas – 1,615,000
Nick Maimone – 1,545,000
Andrew Lichtenberger – 5,625,000
Marco Mattes – 5,285,000
Joseph Cada – 6,565,000
Darvin Moon – 20,160,000
Jordan Smith – 4,510,000

(Table 3)
Jamie Robbins – 9,795,000
Antonio Esfandiari – 4,470,000
Francois Balmigere – 1,440,000
Ludovic Lacay – 5,610,000
Steven Begleiter – 11,885,000
Ben Lamb – 9,410,000
Antoine Saout – 11,135,000
Kevin Schaffel – 11,245,000
Billy Kopp – 15,970,000

Later in the day, I will be sending out updates through twitter (http://www.twitter.com/pablosplace) from my @Pablosplace account. Feel free to follow the bust outs from there.

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The 2nd Annual Seven Deuce Day Tournament

July 13th, 2009 2 comments

There are 4 events that Team7Deuce makes a tradition, and the Seven Deuce Day Tournament is the only one that I would call a holiday. It was become tradition that every July 2nd, Team7Deuce don’s our team apparel and heads to a casino, to take our home game to the felt.

Last year’s tournament produced a single cash, as Andrew made a deep run and finished in the money. But this years Seven Deuce Day would produce two cashes, one a final table.

7 members of our group made it to the Bicycle Casino on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 for the 2nd Annual Seven Deuce Day tourney. Besides myself, Tim, Andrew, Jordan, Jay, Amber, and Chris were in attendance, and I think that we represented our group VERY well. The tournament started each player with 4,000 starting chips, and 20 minute levels, beginning at 25/25. 6 of us made it to the first break (which was 4 levels) with Jay making the first exit of our group slightly before the break.

And at the break, we actually were mostly just hanging in. Only Tim and Jordan were on the positive side of stacks, with Tim slightly over his starting stack, and Jordan chipping up to over 17k. I had played some really great poker in the first few levels to chip up to over 6k, but lost a big pot when I bluffed all in with 7-2os, and found one caller after the turn.

The hand played out (with 75-150 blinds) I raised from early position to 300, and found 3 callers. The flop came out 8-9-4 giving me a backdoor straight draw. I put my opponents on absolutely nothing having seen a few levels of play with each of them, and after the SB checked, I led out with 600. There was only one caller from the cutoff position, and we saw the turn of a rainbow T. I immediately moved my remaining 6k into the pot, and he made a quick call showing KJo. I praised him for his great read as the river fell blank with a 3, and he doubled his stack through me, as I dipped below 3k for the first time in the tournament. I had to question his logic by calling with K high, and a straight draw. He had said that he’d put me on AK, so I REALLY don’t get the call. But, he had the best hand. Although, I’d get the best of him in the end.

After the break, Chris would hit the rail quickly. I think I overheard him say that he was all in AT vs. AJ. That was enough to end his day about midway through the tournament. Amber would follow him shortly after that. My table broke with 8 tables remaining, and I was moved to seat 2 at Jordan’s table. I got lucky as my tournament life was spared and picked up some steam with an all in with 88 from early position. But I was called by KK and was in trouble. The Seven-Deuce magic kicked in though as an 8 hit the flop, and I sent my opponent to the rail while moving to around 10k by the time that I was pulled from that table to re-balance. With about 6 tables remaining, I saw that Jordan had hit the rail. He had just gone card dead, and the blinds and antes had just really eaten him alive.

Then, my big hand of the tournament came into play. I was playing very solid poker, and had chipped up to around 20k, when I woke up with AA in the SB. A middle position player (whom I’ve played with before and identified him as the most solid player at my table) limped in, and found a caller from the hi-jack seat. But the button looked down at his cards and immediately announced all in. I asked for a count, and it was just under 15k. I moved my 20k in, and the other two players folding (the one that I thought to be a good player showed A9os). When cards were turned up, the button seat showed Ks-Ts. I had him crushed with my Aces, until the flop came out K-T-K. The flopped boat was devastating because there was only 1 remaining Ace in the deck. But as fate would have it, Seven Deuce Day was going to be lucky as the turn was the last Ace in the deck, and my boat was better. The river was a J, and I moved to over 37k on that hand, and had a sizeable chip advantage at my table.

But things went south for me from that point, and I couldn’t catch any cards. I went card dead for about 90 minutes, until I busted. I was still healthy at the bubble with about 25k, and noticed that Andrew had gone out just before the bubble burst. He would hit the rail in 30th place, and only 27 players would get paid.

Things continued to head south for me as the blinds went to 2000-4000 with a 500 ante, and I had chipped down to about 14k. I was in the cutoff seat when I looked down at KQo and figured it was time to make a move. I pushed all in, and found a caller who tossed over AA, and my day was done in 15th place. I was very happy with the way that I’d played. I got unlucky once, and lucky once, and played great the remainder of the day. It was a good tournament.

The final player from our team still in the running was Tim, and he was also holding onto around 14k. He never really chipped up very big though, but somehow managed to survive a couple of all in’s shortstacked, and found his way to 1 table. With ten players remaining, about 1/3 of his stack was gone through when he went through the blinds without seeing a flop. Then he placed 2 of his remaining 3k into the ante from the button, and folded. It was a good thing too as it allowed him to move up one more spot. With 7 players remaining, Tim committed his last 1k chip into the ante as the Blinds were 5k-10k with a 2k ante. In a three way all in (Tim was one of them) two players were eliminated. Tim’s A6 would not hold, and he was eliminated in 7th place. This was Tim’s 3rd final table, and second in a row. A great performance by him.

I want to thank everyone on Team7Deuce that made the day so incredible. It was a very fun day of poker with some amazing representation by our group. I’m looking forward to the next event, and hopefully, the next tournament win.

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A month off of Blogging – Recap

July 13th, 2009 No comments

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away……I had a blog. Upon this blog, my intent was to share the home game results for Pablosplace and the games of Team7Deuce. That blog blossomed a little last year when I received some positive responses to my coverage of the WSOP. I also began including some items of my personal play for some additional content, and I would recap the play of the Twitter Poker Tour.

Then, I had a wedding, and a honeymoon, and then Traci had a hospital stay, and I made a Vegas run, and things just kept getting tossed by the wayside. All that to say that life has yet to resume to any form of normalcy until this morning, where I can once again write about life.

The week of the wedding was somewhat of a blur. There were so many little details to attend to, so many little items that needed personal attention, that I actually played very little poker. On Friday night, instead of playing poker, the guys and I left the rehearsal dinner and went to see ‘The Hangover.’ If you haven’t seen this movie yet, make plans now. It was one of the single most funny films I have ever seen. From the commercials, you would think that you’d seen it all. But in reality, it has so many unexpected plot twist, amazing lines, fantastic delivery, and a story that is completely and totally unique. All in all, it was one of the best films I’ve seen.

The morning of the wedding, Tim, Andrew, Brendan and I all headed down to the Pechanga Casino for their daily tournament, (A $20+5 buy in with a 1 time optional $3 add on). The tournament is somewhat of a donkament, and the structure is just completely insane. You start with 2500 chips, and the blinds double every 15 minutes, starting at 25/50. Within 60 minutes, the 25 chips are colored up. It’s really fast.

I would be the first of the group to go busto on the wedding day, on 300-600 blinds. I made a raise to 1800 after one limper had tossed chips in. Action folded back around to the guy who moved all in. I made the call with Ad-Qd and the tossed over K-To. He would flop a K and I’d be done as he just barely had me covered. An interesting play. I was out at about the midway point.
Andrew would follow me to the rail a few moments later. But Tim and Brendan decided to make deep runs, and both cashed in dramatic fashion. Andrew and I were sweating both of them as they were only a table apart, and Tim was growing very short stacked. From the big blind, Tim squeezed a 6-2os, and was nearly all in because of the blinds. The UTG player 3 bet, and the table folded. We encouraged Tim to play his 2 live cards, which turned out to be bad advice turned good. Tim made the call for the rest of his stack with his measly 6-2 and his opponent tossed over pocket tens. But as I said, we weren’t done, as the flop produced a deuce, and the turn another to give Tim’s set of deuces the win. We went beserk as did the casino, who I think was really pulling for Team7Deuce.

So much so, that the dealer informed Andrew and I that “your buddy is all in here, you want to come check it out?” And we headed over to see that Brendan had shoved with pocket 9’s and been called by the large stack who held pocket J’s. I made it to the table in time to quib “Oooh!! At least you still have 2 outs!!!” The dealer nearly lost his sides laughing so hard, as did the other players at the table. The flop came out with all overs, but didn’t improve either hand. The turn was a meaningless 6 giving Brendan one card. And wouldn’t you know, he hit his 2-outer on the river! The table exploded and cheered. Even the guy with J’s had to give Brendan a hand shake. The room just became electric as both our guys were getting closer to the money.

Tim would shortly after get involved in another big hand as a guy bluff raised with Jd-9d and Tim made the all in call with AQo. A third player went all in with 88 and the flop came out good for Tim as he’d flopped a Q, and took the 3-way pot. That gave him enough chips to cruise to the money. The bubble burst with Brendan very short stack, and Tim average stack. Brendan would finally leave the game in 17th, and Tim would make the Final Table, eventually going busto in 7th. It was an incredible start to an incredible day, as we made the 3 hour trek to Marina Del Rey to get me married. The party was incredible, and I was so happy about really every detail.
Traci and I left the following day for our honeymoon, a week long cruise to the Mexican Riviera. It was an unreal vacation, which included a little Parasailing in Cabo San Lucas, and much too much food throughout. A great trip from start to finish. However, when we returned, Traci had spiked a fever of 102, and had an elevated white cell count which indicated an infection of some kind, and was hospitalized. Between managing the kids and spending days at work, and nights at the hospital, blogging got tossed by the wayside. But with a week long stay and a healthy dose of antibiotics, the fever subsided, her stomach settled, and Traci came home.

This past weekend, Tim and I threw a shotgun bachelor party together for Robert, and we made a suicide run to Las Vegas. On our way, I was following the action through twitter as play had reached the money bubble at the main event. The bubble burst as we were traveling somewhere through Victorville, and we made the decision to start our party by railing at the main event at the Rio. The experience was one like no other I’d ever experience.

As we walked along the hallways, just outside of the Amazon room, I nudged Tim as we’d pass Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen. It suddenly became very real that we were at the World Series of Poker. Somehow, the giant banners didn’t kick that into gear for me. Seeing Men Nguyen meant that it was real. We walked into the Amazon room, and immediately saw that there was an all in and a call at the secondary Feature Table. Joe Hachem was had called a short stacked all in turning a straight, and his opponent tabled top pair to be eliminated. We watched this table for a little bit noticing that three seats to Joe’s right was reigning WSOP Main Event Champ Peter Eastgate, also with a good sized stack. We made our way around the room, just star struck. Mike Sexton (and sitting next to him was actor Lou Diamond Phillips), Kenny Tran, Joe Sebock, and then over to the Featured table where we saw Phil Ivey. We left that for a small bit and saw Phil Hellmuth standing up talking to a tournament official about something. It was unreal.

When we’d got there, play had about 5 minutes remaining on level 17 and the announcement came over the P.A. from Jack Effel that the players would finish that level, and be done for the day. So it turned out a good thing that we began our day there. We left with a couple minutes remaining in the level, and shortly after the announcement of the bust of Phil Hellmuth, who had moved all in on a board of J-T-X with AA, and two callers came along, on with J-T, and the other with 8-9. The 7 on the turn gave the player with the straight the large pot, and sent the Poker Brat to the rail, but having extended his personal record of the most cashes in WSOP history.

From there, we went to dinner at Stack in the Mirage. I had DM’d Lee Childs to see if he was interested in using our extra VIP pass to the VooDoo Lounge that evening, but he responded back that he was well chipped in the Deepstack event at the Venetian, and he likely wouldn’t be able to make it. So after dinner, we walked across the street to rail on Lee for a little. And when we did, we found that he wasn’t the only player there. There were about 90 or so players remaining, including WSOP Main Event Champions from 2002 Robert Varkonyi and 2006 Jamie Gold.

I went up to Lee while he wasn’t in the hand to say hello. He was amazing, and began recounting a hand he’d just been in where the his opponent check folded the flop to Lee’s aces.
I gave him my card and wished him well, telling him that I hoped that given his stack, he wouldn’t be able to join us. And it turned out, that he was still alive when play stopped for the evening at around 2AM. It was a remarkable trip.

I left out a few tournaments that I’d played in, notably Seven Deuce Day, as I actually wrote a specific blog just for that one while Traci was in the hospital. It was easy to do as she was sleeping most of the time. And a few TPT tournaments, including the last one on Thursday where I again bubbled the cash in 5th place in the first Deepstack Tournament in the new Season 4 format. I really like the new format. I also left out a few homegames, and my bachelor party tournament which was an amazing time at the Pechanga with the guys. I’d last the longest of our group that day, going out in about 40th.

From here out though, it looks like things will return to some form of normalcy, and I can again begin to blog with some regularity. Thanks for baring with me through my silence, and I look forward to updating you regularly going forward. Cheers, Paul

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