What to watch today at the WSOP – Mike Sexton looks for a repeat
Yesterday’s action at the WSOP had 6 events running simultaneously, which has become the norm these days in the Rio. One tournament wrapped up as the final table of Event #24, the $5,000 NLHE Shootout came to a close. A bracelet was awarded to Mark Radoja who collected 436,568 reasons to be happy. I collected a reason to yawn. It was a mostly uninteresting story about some guy who plays the WSOP every year since 2007, but had his biggest score ever in this thing, winning his first career bracelet, yadda yadda yadda. Last year, he finished 3rd in the $5k NLHE 6-max event for more than $200k, but he finally climbed the mountain to poker greatness. Again…yawn.
So here’s what’s going on and what I think is interesting in the events that will transpire today:
Event #25 – $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better
The event that has maybe the longest name, also has a story that is 22 years old. In 1989 a field of 174 entries ponied up the $1,500 to play the “Seven Card Split” (for the record, a much more efficient use of the name) and there was a guy by the name of Mike Sexton who took home the $104,400 first place prize. Fast forward to the 21st Century and “The Poker Ambassador” has a shot at doing it again….22 years later. So here’s the basic story line – If Sexton overcomes the more than 3 to 1 heads up chip deficit that he’s currently got going for him, this will be a great story. But if Chris Viox hangs on to win, then I snore my way through a congratulatory paragraph.
Event #26 – $2,500 NLHE (6-max)
22 players survived the day, and we could very well see a champion crowned in this event sometime after midnight (probably closer to 3am). It’ll depend on how fast these guys really want to play this thing. Here’s the story’s to watch:
1) Chris Moorman (aka “moorman1″) is 2nd in chips. There are 2 players over the 1 million chip mark and Moorman is one of them. The dude is an absolute online poker beast, and it turns out, he’s pretty damn good live too. I railed one of his wins in the first Multi-Entry $750k Guarantee event a few months back and his ship-a-ment was nothing short of awesome. The guy has “real deal” skills and has to be the odds on favorite to win career bracelet number one.
2) Will “The Thrill” still with chips. I like Will Failla. He’s one of those brash, New York personalities that just yammers it up in any casino. I first ran into him in last year’s WSOP and he left a positive impression on me as just a funny guy. Then I saw him again at the NAPT in Los Angles, and the WPT Los Angeles. As it turns out, he just goes everywhere the tournament circuit goes and he seems to cash just about everywhere too. There is just something about his personality that makes me want to root for the guy, and while he’s towards the bottom of the chip counts, he’ll grind like crazy because that’s just what he does. He’d be a good story if he could comeback and take this one down.
Event #27 – $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
Play ended last night in the money and with just 14 players remaining. You’ve got to be really good at limit hold’em to win this one as it’s a packed field, but there are really only 2 stories that I’d be super interested in seeing.
1) Barry Greenstein. – He’s got 215k chips, good for 8th overall, so he has an uphill battle in front of him should he look to secure his 4th WSOP bracelet. It’s hard to count out Bear though, as he’s usually getting his chip in good. In fact, in the times that I’ve been on his rail and watched him play, Bear is really a little better than everyone else at the table. He just hasn’t been luckier, and that’s led to a lot of his bustouts. He’ll have an “Ace on the River” signed and ready to go if he doesn’t take home the bracelet, I’m pretty sure of that. But I can guarantee that he’s hoping to hold onto it.
2) Justin “Boosted J” Smith – I’m still kind of peeved that Justin decided to blow off coming to the DeepStacks Live course in Turlock, but I’ll forgive the guy if he binks a bracelet here…because obviously he missed that event so that he could prepare himself for this one…………………..(ok, back now after that coughing fit). Honestly, I like J and wish him well. He’d also make a pretty good story even though this would be his first WSOP bracelet.
To wrap things up, Event #28 ($1,500 NLHE) started the day with 2,500 players and finished with 349. It doesn’t look all that hopeful with the remaining names, but we’ll get a clearer picture of what the tournament is going to look like after 10 levels of play today. And for Event #29 ($2,500 10-Game Mix – 6-max), there are some good names still around in the field that still has 162 players, but again…it’s still too early to tell anything.
Also kicking off today will be Event #30, the Seniors event, which will illicit the debate…”Does this event really deserve a bracelet?” Who knows? But they’re playing it anyway, as they do every year, and they’ll award one, as they do every year. Also the Event #31 which is a $3k PLO, where I’m hoping that “Durrrr” can finally run up a stack in this one. He’s been very quick to go bust in virtually every event this year, but there are a few people besides Dwan that I’ll have my eye on.