Episode 11: Morning of Seven
We aren’t wasting any time getting to Norman’s bets anymore; he promises to remarry his first wife and divorce her again after Mark Newhouse inevitably proves how wrong he has been all season. Even if I didn’t already know the future I would be certain Newhouse would make it based on how pompous Norman has been.
Let’s start with assuming that this episode will be about half the remaining July eliminations, which is the $287K payout range:
Dan Smith starts with pocket Queens, but Scott Palmer goes all-in for 685K with A-3 of diamonds. Billy Pappas has some huge towers of chips that justify calling with J-J.
98K of clubs flop. The turn is a 6, Smith bets and Pappas drops out. Palmer is rescued with a river Ace and stays afloat for a while longer.
Starting out slow
Lon takes a look at Brian Roberts with the lowest stack (1.3 million), but focus shifts to Kyle Keranen who is in a bit of danger himself with 4.4M.
Keranen tests the waters with K-Q. Felix Stephensen in the big blind and his 7-7 is the only taker. 47QJT completes Stephensen’s set and gives Keranen top pair. Stephensen nurtures the pot enough to drop Keranen to about three million chips.
Newhouse will pit 9-8 suited against Shawn Dempsey’s pocket Kings.
64Q5J, Newhouse hits the flush on the river. Dempsey bets a half million, Newhouse raises him all-in. Dempsey is our first elimination of the night.
Tom Sarra, Jr. loses a modicum of chips to Oscar Kemps when Kemps catches river trips, which sounds like a disease you get from swimming in dirty water.
Brian Roberts will go all-in with K-J off-suit. Eddy Sabat will call him with A-Q. Bruno Politano teases us with wired Tens but won’t go for it. 7AT7A, Roberts is also knocked out.
Sarra has A-T and wants to recoup his small loss against Andoni Larrabe and his 8-8. Larrabe isn’t in the mood to play around and raises 4.4M, which would put Sarra all-in. Sarra goes for it, the odds are nearly even. QTT46, Sarra and Larrabe trade chip positions.
Dan Sindelar’s 9-9 becomes a set on a 749 flop, disappointing Leif Force and his pocket Aces. Force bets anyway, and again after the Jack on the turn, and again with the 6 on the river. Sindelar just lets Force hand over money to him card after card, but scares his opponent off when he tries to push Force all-in. I feel I’m missing the opportunity for a Star Wars joke here.
Amateur versus Amateur
First timer Scott Mahin has K-J, first timer Billy Pappas has A-K. The flop is T8Q, Pappas has the advantage but Mahin can’t afford to back off so goes all-in. Pappas relents, so Mahin survives for now.
But Pappas will show more courage with J-J against William Tonking with A-A. After the 28T flop, Pappas puts Tonking all-in. A 6 and a 4 later, Tonking doubles up to over ten million chips. Pappas declines to just under ten million himself.
Bryan Devonshire goes all-in with pocket Tens, Max Senft thinks A-J suited is enough to call him. K2AQ6 and Devo heads home. Senft is in 11th place with 7.76M.
Politano bets on wired Kings, and Keranen tries to find an opening with K-Q. Keranen will go all-in, the Brazilian calls. It’s a 9 million chip pot. 6T73, Kyle Keranen will be leaving us.
With one of their most favored players exiting, ESPN will have to adjust coverage now. Reeling from this fact, they for some reason decide the eliminations of Yorane Kerignard and Iaron Lightbourne are not dramatic enough to show onscreen.
Still no Force puns
They do show us Leif Force going all-in with K-Q against the A-T of Chris “The Bassmaster” Greaves. It’s 9TT58, Force is gone. We are two eliminations from the next payout increase.
Stephensen will bet with A-T of diamonds. Sabat calls with J-J. Unexpectedly, big blind Martin Jacobson also stays in with 7-5 of hearts. We see 239. Stephensen bets, Sabat calls and Jacobson folds. The turn is a 7 and both check. Stephensen gets his Ace and ekes some more chips from Sabat, climbing to 10.8 for Gentleman Jack’s “Right Move” of the episode.
Dan Smith bets his A-K suited. Jorryt van Hoof raises with a pair of Fours. Smith re-raises up to 1.8 million. Van Hoof goes all-in for 6.45M. Smith calls. 238Q3, Dan Smith is suddenly out, to van Hoof’s benefit. That’s it for the tonight’s first episode.
Episode 12: The Home Stretch begins
Sarra is losing to Sindelar with nothing in his hand, but is willing to bluff for five million chips. Sindelar folds a superior hand but remains chip leader.
One more elimination and we’ll reshuffle to the final two tables.
Andrey Zaichenko feels like betting on A-5 of clubs. Newhouse with K-Q and Jacobson with 8-7 will both call. KQ8, Newhouse makes both pairs. Zaichenko bets exploratorily, Jacobson folds his low pair. Newhouse just patiently calls. Zaichenko bets another million after the 7 turn, Newhouse stays the course. With a 9 on the river Zaichenko finally checks. Newhouse bets big, Zaichenko scurries away.
More Norman bluster
Norman insists that Newhouse will not reach the final table in the next three thousand years. Lon takes the opportunity to start listing the stupid bets Norman has made so far, but Norman interrupts him to add one more: climbing the Eiffel Tower in a plaid toga while noshing on greasy fries. Norman goes further than his previous statements, now saying it has nothing to do with Newhouse: no one will succeed in back-to-back November Nine runs with more than six thousand players in the Main Event, it’s just too difficult.
Scott Palmer shoves with 2-2 and gets called by Greaves with Aces.
93433, one full house loses to a better full house. Palmer is the final player to make 287K, and we’ll redraw the tables just as soon as Luis Velador finishes his hand with Billy Pappas.
Pappas: 6-6. Velador: A-K of diamonds. The flop: 5J5. Velador bets. Turn: 3. River: 3. Pappas bets 700K, Velador calls despite having nothing. Pappas reaches 7th place.
Redraw: Good for Newhouse
Let’s see some new tables.
Half of these players are going to make it now. Half will be going home today.
Velador betting again, K-Q. This time he faces Newhouse, who bets with 8-6 suited.
84JT3. Newhouse takes a relatively small pot with his pair. Newhouse is in 5th place, Norman refuses to think about paying up.
Newhouse will also call with A-Q against Stephensen with K-Q. The flop is 5Q2. Stephensen bets, Newhouse calls. Jack. Stephensen checks, Newhouse gets aggressive. River is a 6. Newhouse bets more, Stephensen calls and loses to a better kicker. Newhouse is now in 4th with 17 million.
With two fairly satisfying hands in a row, Newhouse decides to bet with Q-3 of clubs. Velador with K-Q will call from the big blind. J9Q, once again two players have a pair of Queens on the flop but this time it’s Newhouse with the inferior kicker. Another King for Velador. After a river 9 Velador bets modestly, Newhouse senses he’s lost but the final bet is small enough it’s worth seeing.
Of course they’re doing the hat
Event #7 in the Side Action Championship is the inevitable “throw cards into a hat.” Hellmuth wins, I again fail to feign enthusiasm.
Zaichenko goes all-in with A-J unsuited with 2.6 million against Sindelar’s 8-8.
23Q of spades. Zaichenko is one spade short of a flush. Turn King, now there is also a possible straight. The 9 of spades saves Zaichenko, it’s only a minor injury to Daniel Sindelar.
Mahin bluffs a small pot away from Larrabe.
He’s still the short stack at his table, so next hand he’ll bet on A-K. Newhouse throws his weight around, raising him to a million chips pre-flop. Mahin goes all-in, Newhouse rewards him with a fold.
Newhouse bets with A-9 suited. Stephensen re-raises his A-K. Newhouse four-bets 5M, Stephensen goes all-in for seven million. Newhouse calls, no one knows why.
KQJ, very bad news for Newhouse. An 8 on the turn means his only hope is to both tie with broadway straights. But the final card is a 2, and the two players trade positions. A painful loss for Newhouse.
A graceful exit
Larrabe is in, he likes A-K of diamonds. The only taker is Mahin, and his T-8 is not confident. He shows no reaction to the 6T8 that appears and checks. Larrabe smells a flush draw and bets 550K; Mahin re-raises to 1.5. Larrabe puts Mahin all-in for 5M.
Larrabe is not pleased to see his Ace against two pair. That Ace becomes a pair on the turn, but the odds are still weak. But the 9 of diamonds completes Larrabe’s flush, and Scott Mahin is gone.
Some people would remember this as a bad beat, but the third of a million dollars clearly softens the blow. Kara Scott interviews Mahin on the way out, with tears in his eyes he just looks grateful at the opportunities that have opened for his family as a result of making it this far in his first tournament.
One last big hand
Zaichenko sits pretty happy with wired Aces, but for some reason Jorryt van Hoof calls with T-6. Amazingly he flops a straight, 987. Zaichenko has no reason to suspect, he calls van Hoof’s 550K bet. A 4 of diamonds means Zaichenko has no chance, Jorryt placidly calls to lure Zaichenko into betting a million chips. After a brief leading hesitation van Hoof raises 5.86 million, putting Zaichenko all-in. Zaichenko takes the bait. We see the pointless King, Zaichenko is knocked out in 17th place. Van Hoof is now in second place with almost 21 million chips, only a tiny bit behind chip leader Daniel Sindelar.
Amazing hand there, but the DraftKings “King of the Night” will be awarded to newcomer Scott Mahin for an amazing first-time run and for going out with class.
There are sixteen players left, we’ll get rid of seven more next week when we finally wrap up July and catch up to the present.