WSOP Main Event on ESPN: Episode 15

Written By Ryan Ocello on November 12, 2014
The WSOP Main Event is down to three players, setting up for a great finale.

Episode 15: A Million Hours of Poker and Madness

After months of waiting, the November Nine sit down at the Final Table to determine this year’s poker champion.

Jorryt van Hoof starts the night out as chip leader, and don’t expect that to change for long during the next twelve hours.

Ryan Riess gives his approval, and we begin.

Let the Newhouse show commence

It should be no surprise that the first portion of the night is entirely centered around Mark Newhouse.

The first hand of the evening is Newhouse’s small loss to William Tonking’s two pair, Aces and Kings beating his Queen high, sets the tone for him.

Newhouse will lose a similar hand against two pair held by Bruno Politano a short while later, this Newhouse actually holds a pair of Fours with a Queen kicker but his play-style is a bit surprising so far. Newhouse is playing in his usual manner, but he’s made enough comments during the months off about not wanting to finish ninth a second time that one would have expected to play a lot more passively than usual at least at first.

Mark is down to 20.1 million when he is dealt pocket Jacks, and calls Politano’s 900K raise (the Brazilian is holding 8-7 suited.) Andoni Larrabe re-raises to 2.8M with A-Q. Politano folds but Newhouse calls.

Sadly for Politano, the flop is 873.  Newhouse checks, Larrabe bets 2.7M. Newhouse calls. 5 on the turn, and 2 on the river with both checking both times. Newhouse’s hand was not strong enough to bet bigger but the 13 million chips in the pot help put him back on track with almost 28 million. Larrabe drops from almost that same amount down to 22M.

First elimination

Jorryt van Hoof opens for a million and Newhouse calls with T-T. Small blind Tonking three-bets to 3.75 million, he has Q-Q. Jorryt loses interest but Newhouse wants this. J42 flop. Tonking bets 3.5M. Turn: 4. Another 4.5M bet. The river Jack puts two pair on the table. Tonking checks, and Newhouse feels the urge to take a chance here. He bluffs all-in. Tonking could easily believe Newhouse has a third Jack but he calls and Newhouse is out.

It’s a shame for Mark Newhouse to go home exactly how he didn’t want to, but his back-to-back finals are certainly historic no matter what.

With that saga done, there are eight players remaining. Most people expected the pace would speed up after the first elimination and play would become more aggressive. That is not what happens. Hope you brought a snack and a pillow.

Tonking is now briefly in the lead with 48.45 million to van Hoof’s 45.47.  By midnight on the east coast he’s up to 54M, but van Hoof quickly creeps back up over him again, taking pots off Billy Pappas and Larrabe. But at this point no one else is even close to touching Tonking or van Hoof.

Another hour passes with no earth-shaking hands

Politano and Pappas stay alive with a few all-ins that scare the sharks away, but both hover below ten million. Van Hoof passes 60M.

Felix Stephensen finally calls an all-in from Bruno Politano: Stephensen has a pair of Sevens, Politano only has Q-T.

632K9.  It’s been a dramatic run for Politano, a popular and likable favorite and the first Brazilian player to ever make the final table. He’s earned 947 thousand dollars. That guy in his section dressed as Scooby Doo will also be going home, I imagine.

And we have seven left. Tonking is breathing down van Hoof’s neck, 60.8M to Jorryt’s 61.5.

Hour 6: van Hoof has so many, many chips

Van Hoof has so many chips, in fact, that he can call Dan Sindelar’s all-in with A-3 suited. Sindelar has pocket Jacks.

72A3Q, a pair of Aces will say goodbye to Sindelar, who takes 7th place and over $1.2 million. Jorryt van Hoof now has a sizable lead over Tonking, 75M versus just under 60.

Billy Pappas still struggles in the short stack and drops under seven million. Martin Jacobson has Q-3 of diamonds, thinks he can muscle out Pappas and his K-J of spades. He raises Pappas all-in, but Billy calls. The flop is AQ2, giving Jacobson a pair, but Billy is one card from a flush. The 8 of diamonds on the turn means Jacobson also could river a flush.

A King is crowned, Billy Pappas will double his stack to 13.1M thanks to the river pair. Jacobson drops from 16 million to 9.1.

Van hoof losing a hand to Tonking, pulling his lead down to 4.5M.

Billy Pappas goes all-in again with wired Kings. Larrabe calls with K-Q. Then three Aces flop! Pappas doubles again knocking Larrabe down to second place narrowly ahead of Jacobson. The crowd is going nuts for Pappas and his 26 million chips.

Van Hoof eliminates another one

Van Hoof has more than seventy million, he can call Larrabe’s all-in with K-5 suited. Larrabe had J-T suited.

K838, Spain’s Larrabe is out in 6th with $1.62M. We’re almost at hour 8, van Hoof has 87 million chips.

Hour 30. People are considering going all-in just so they can go to bed.

There have been more than 150 hands. Jacobson determinedly climbs up to 26.2M. Stephensen is now short stack below 20 million (Pappas is not far ahead with under 22 million.) Van Hoof is closing in on 100M.

Nothing happens in the hour and a half after van Hoof takes command of more than half the chips. He has dominated the table and everyone else has scrambled for position beneath him. Everyone is tired.

Finally, Jacobson goes all-in with a pair of Fives against Billy Pappas with Ace-Jack.

Q657, Jacobson doubles with a set and Pappas is in trouble.

With only 50,000 chips left, Pappas is all-in. Meanwhile Stephensen bets over five million, and scurries away when van Hoof bumps that to 12. Pappas is simply hoping he can beat the odds and double up ten times in a row.

Pappas has Sevens against van Hoof’s pocket Jacks. Luck is not with foosball champion William Pappaconstantinou: AQ2Q6. Pappas has had an amazing run for his first tournament, taking 5th place out of more than 6,000 competitors and is leaving with more than two million dollars.

Day 47: Haven’t seen land in weeks. The Pequod is running low on water, and I fear we’ll need to resupply in an unfriendly port.

Tonking, after having spent a good portion of tonight near the top (and a brief stint as chip leader) struggles in the short stack. Van hoof lingers above and below 100,000,000.  Martin Jacobson, once nearly out, entrenches himself in 2nd.

At least until a big loss against Stephensen. Stephensen is betting on nothing at first but manages to scrape up trips from the turn and river,  and the win shoots him up to 57 million while knocking Jacobson down to the short stack under 15M.

Jacobson gets back on his feet taking a handful of chips off van Hoof after scaring him away with a river all-in, so he’s not in such a weak position when he faces off against William Tonking.

All-in preflop, Tonking has 2-2; Jacobson T-T.

J456Q, Tonking is eliminated in 4th place, earning $2.6 million.

With Tonking gone that’s the last of the American players, the question remains which European will take the bracelet.

Space Century 3420: the heat death of the universe draws near as the million year Poker Wars rage on.

We’re supposed to play tonight until only two are left, but I really don’t think that’s happening. Jacobson has crawled back up above Stephensen, but the chip counts are a lot closer now than before and no one is making any big mistakes.

Yep, they’re calling the evening. The players are going to get to go to bed, these guys have been playing for 12 hours and they need rest to finish the championship.

Final chip count of Day 8:

Jorryt van Hoof – 89,625,000

Martin Jacobson – 64,750,000

Felix Stephensen – 46,100,000

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