Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 6 - A Corvette for a Champ

The end of Day 6 brought us a championship, but no bracelets. In the Champions Invitational event, 1983 WSOP Main Event winner Tom McEvoy bested the most ceremonious field ever assembled, by outlasting the other 19 former world champs. He rode a very hot day 2 to win the very first ever “Binion Cup” and a vintage, fully restored, 1970 Corvette Stingray convertible. Very nice. It was an interesting tournament field from the standpoint that every time two players mixed it up, it was a battle between former world champs. It was definitely eye candy for the poker player. In the end though McEvoy emerged as the ceremony champ, so congratulations Tom.

There were 3 other events under way during day 6, each of which was designed to shrink the field, and no tournament did a better job of that than Event #5 – the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament. You kind of have to be an action junkie to play PLO, as the game is notorious for inducing “flopitis,” a common disease of PLO players whereby they are compelled to see a flop, any flop, regardless of their hand holdings, just to see if they hit something. Holding 4 hole cards instead of the 2 that Hold’em offers, gives gamblers more opportunities, and most find that all too tempting to waste throwing chips in the middle to see what they hit.

Well Day 6 certainly didn’t disappoint, as we moved things along to the money today. We began with 809 players competing for the coveted bracelet of Event #5, and the day finished with just 81 players after the final level, all of which are now in the money. Jason Mercier emerged from the carnage as the days chip lead, having amassed a large stack taking advantage of the tight play of his opponents at the bubble. It was brilliant tournament play by Mercier, and excellent strategy as he now has 227,000 chips, which is good for 88,000 more than 2nd place. It’s a big gap for the other players to over come. Play will resume today at 2PM in the PLO tourney and continue until a final table is reached. If it goes like yesterday, we may have that Final Table by the dinner break.

It was the 2nd day for Event #4, the No Limit Hold’em “Obama Stimulus” (as the players have dubbed it) $1,000 buy in event, and we narrowed the massive 6012 players down to the final 50. Play was fast and furious, and saw the exit of most of the notable names, including JC Tran. Tran got the rest of his chips in with a weak Ace, and it didn’t hold.

Of the 50 remaining players in the field, the chip leader is Danny Fuhs, who amassed a nice stack of 1,112,000, and is the only player over the million chip mark. Other notable players are Eric Mizrachi (75,000) whose brother is Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Full Tilt Pro Lee Watkinson (108,000), and Steve Sung (335,000). I’ve got to pull for all three of these guys, with Steve being my personal pick to take this one down. I love watching Steve play poker, and I think that he is one of the most unheralded players in the game. Steve has 3 WSOP Final tables under his belt, but has yet to take a bracelet home. In the 2007 WSOP, he cashed in 3rd in the 7-Card Stud $1,500 buy in for $51,222, and he also made the Final table of the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship that year. He was the first to exit that Final table however in 9th place, for $50,177. Last year, Steve just missed the final table of the Limit Hold’em Championship event, finishing 14th for $30,738, and he also made the final Table of the World Championship 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo event, finishing 7th for $46,001. I’m hoping that Event #4 will prove to deliver Steve’s first piece of WSOP jewelry.

The last event in play yesterday was the World Championship 7-Card Stud $10,000 buy in Event #6. As you’d expect a World Championship to deliver, the event featured a star-studded field that was chalked full of poker talent. The eight levels of play seemed to zoom by, and there were very few eliminations. In fact, the first bust didn't take place until just before the dinner break, after 4 full levels of play. But eventually players would start to see their chip stacks dwindle, and the play would present more regular casualties. 3 players of note reamining in the tournament are the chip leaders, 2006 $5,000 Seven-Card Stud champ Benjamin Lin, 2008 Double Final Tabelist (in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. and $10,000 Eight Game mix) Matthew Glantz, and David Oppenheim, who has made the Final table of this event the last two years. Each of these players is at or around the chip lead with around 100,000 chips each.

Today the remaining 102 players will play down to a final table of 8, which if play continues at this pace, won’t happen till the November 9 are assembled. Actually, I expect that things should pick up mightily as the blind levels increase.

That’s all from Day 6. Today we’ll have the above mentioned tournaments in action, as well as 2 more getting under way. Event #7 begins which is the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event, which is a 3-Day event. I think that this one will be very well participated in. But I expect a smallish field for Event #8, the Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball (No-Limit) event. It’s a $2,500 buy in, that I just don’t see being as popular as the $1000 less NLHE King. We’ll see later today, and I’ll update you tomorrow. Cheers!

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