WSOP Main Event on ESPN: Episodes 7 and 8

Posted on October 21, 2014

Day 6 of the 2014 WSOP Main Event. Big morning for Maria Ho, last female player in the tournament and the shortest stack: 435,000.

Day 6 begins with some thunder from Brazil


But first let’s see what Bruno Politano can do with a pair of Eights.
Max Senft has A-9 suited, and Jason Leifer holds 3-3. The flop is 83Q.

Leifer raises with his low trips, Senft backs out and Politano patiently calls. The turn is a 5. Politano makes another moderate raise. Leifer hesitates for dramatic effect, trying to bait a trap, before going all-in for 1.2 million. He is not expecting Politano’s instantaneous call, or the reveal of a better three-of-a-kind than his own. But there is one card left.

Unfortunately for Leifer it’s a King. But at least he made it to 79th, first elimination of the day but the payout is up to about $86 grand so that should take the edge off.

This also makes proud Brazilian Politano the chip leader with 7.385 million (after Mark Newhouse loses a small hand). He and Dan Smith discuss ethics and strategy.

WSOP Main Event Episode 7 leaderboard

Blink and you won’t know the chip leader

Speaking of Newhouse, he decides to bet a 10-5 hand, putting him up against the A-J held by first-timer Scott Mahin. 84558 gives Newhouse a full house, and he manages to nurture the pot up to 600K putting him back in front of Politano again as chip leader, with 7.625M. That was quick.

Maria Ho has gone all-in with J-8 of diamonds, hoping to somehow beat Zachary Hirst and his Q-Q.

5Q87A, Ho is going home in 77th place and ESPN has lost another audience favorite. Let’s see if they can create some new story tonight to compensate.

Gabe Paul has gone all-in with A-T, both hearts. Unfortunately for him Kyle Keranen has J-J and is wearing his determined face. 67457 will send Paul home, and enlarge Keranen’s already sizable stack. Perhaps the fact that he has more than ten million chips means the chip leader status will stop bouncing around for  a while.

Newhouse trades chips with Cole a few times

Over to the Feature Table: Newhouse bets with Q-7 suited.
Bill Cole bites with A-T.
Clayton Maguire also has A-T.
J4K. Maguire drops out but Cole completes a straight with the turn Q. He shoves all-in. Newhouse senses he should fold.

However a moment later the two will face off again, Newhouse with A-Q and Cole with suited A-K. This time Newhouse decides Cole should go all-in before the flop, so that happens.
75K38, Cole doubles his money to 3M. Newhouse takes a significant hit and this hand wasn’t his best decision, but he was far enough ahead it was a reasonable risk and he still has decent position, just shy of 5M.

Luis Velador manages to muscle some chips away from Matt Waxman and Kyle Keranen with a large pre-flop bet on an A-K.  Mark Newhouse similarly scares away Maguire and Cole with little more than the intention of a flush.

We’re seeing a lot of hands shifting chips, but it’s clear the pace of the tournament has changed as the player pool has shrunk and now all that remains are very strong players all hungry to make it to the end.

Big dramatic mistakes are giving way to strategic calculated gambles.

Newhouse again intimidates Cole and Christopher Greaves, his stack inching back to its previous size.

More of that bland filler

Four (usually professional) players are frantically stacking chips in this week’s Side Action Championship, giving Phil Hellmuth the lead in that silly episode-stretcher.

Bill Cole is having a good run taking several small hands in a short time, including putting pressure on Vitaly Lunkin to fold a superior hand which earns him Gentleman Jack’s “The Right Move” of the night.

Matthew Haugen will push all-in against Lunkin beating two pair with three Jacks and doubling his money. This will inspire him to immediately go all-in a second time, once again with a pocket pair against a suited A-K (only this time his pair is Queens, and the opponent is Bill Cole.)  The JT235 yields nothing, so Haugen continues his climb taking a huge chunk away from Cole and possibly killing the momentum Cole has had for a lot of this episode.

This leaves Cole needing to recoup, so he’ll bet a suited 9-8 against suited A-6 for Haugen and Maguire’s 7-7. Cole winds up with two pair after the K98 flop, but Haugen is one card from a flush. Cole will force the others to give up with a determined all-in, it doesn’t double him but it’s an improvement to try to get back on track.

Mahin recovers

Mahin is down to only 420K before he doubles his money against Sean Dempsey. Beating two pair with a full house but barely denting Dempsey’s stack.

After a break we see Mahin going all-in again, this time with 8-8 and facing a 7-7 held by Matt Waxman. KQ6JK, Mahin now has a stack of 1.74 million, more than quadruple what he had two hands ago and taking him from the brink to a serious chance to survive.

Waxman, however, will call another all-in, this time Jorryt van Hoof whose pocket Tens will defeat Waxman’s A-K. Waxman is now the short stack of his table with only 625,000 chips.

Meanwhile Bill Cole is trying to climb back by going all-in with 9-9. Robert Park has wired Aces, unfortunately. JT633 will send Cole away in 58th place. His performance in this episode will make him DraftKings.com “King of the Night.”

Another second episode that is less interesting than the first


Mark Newhouse continues to flourish, taking some chips from Andrey Zaichenko thanks to a river straight.

This will leave Zaichenko wanting to recoup with his suited A-5. But Clayton Hamm goes all-in for 715K with A-T (offsuit). Newhouse will raise to 1.5M with pocket Tens (scaring away Brian Roberts and his Q-Q). Zaichenko pulls out.

67K69: Newhouse sends Hamm packing.

Kyle Keranen puts J-J up against his friend Chris Johnson who is sitting on A-A. The pot grows to 2.4 million after the TQK flop. A 4 on the turn does nothing, so Keranen will force Johnson to fold with a million chip raise.

Waxman doubles to 1.4 million with a river flush.

Two players battling it out at the WSOP Main Event on ESPN

More awards

Luis Garla tries and fails to bluff Dong Guo with an Ace high; Guo takes the 5.76M pot with three-of-a-kind. This will also win Guo the Gentleman Jack “The Right Move” of the night.

Lon tortures Norman with some bad jokes.

Keranen calls an all-in from Chris Odle, beating Odle’s 7-7 with a full house. Odle exits, Keranen’s stack is over twelve million.

William Tonking, after snatching one pot from three players with a precision raise, will go all-in against Roberts, pocket Kings versus pocket Jacks. The table offers nothing, Roberts is serious trouble while Tonking is now in the top ten with 6.7 million.

What is this now? Are they actually doing a second Side Action Championship tonight? I will reiterate that these are grown men who normally are professional poker players. Right now they are staring at a pile of chips and guessing the total amount. Hellmuth is still in the lead; Lon promises that they are only doing three more of these.

Placey gets some attention

Martin Jacobson gets Vladimir Bozinovic to fold a sizeable pot, bringing Jacobson to second place with almost an eight digit stack. Keranen still leads, 13 million now.

We’re seeing more and more folds and medium size shifts without as many eliminations, so it’s time to watch Peter Placey raise Bozinovic to an all-in. Bozinovic has J-J with a third Jack on the table from the 59J flop, but Placey feels confident in his 26% chance to complete his club flush. The turn 6 is worthless, so Placey is elated when the 8 of clubs arrives on the river and it’s good-bye to Bozinovic.

The following hand is also good for Placey, two pair nets him more than another million and a half chips, rocketing him to 8 million and 5th place.

Final hand

The last hand of the night is at least interesting: Waxman goes all in for a million with wired Tens. Keranen calls with 9-9, but then Eddy Sabat turns out to have pocket Aces and also shoves all-in, for 2.5 million. Keranen’s lead is so large he can justify calling.

47JK7, Sabat more than doubles and Waxman will have to console himself with $186 thousand dollars (poor him).

Kyle Keranen is back down to third place after a long run at the top, Peter Placey is DraftKings.com “King of the Night” of the episode, and Martin Jacobson will be the chip leader with 10.8 million chips when we resume Day 6 next week and turn 44 players into 27.

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