2007 World Series: Greenstein's gift and Raymer's exit

When waiting for three minutes for Bruno Fitoussi to make a call, there are little things you notice in the crowd surrounding the TV table of the $50,000 HORSE World Championship. For instance, 16 people are wearing baseball caps. Two men are wearing cowboy hats. One guy is sporting a do-rag. Two gentlemen--one of them in the caps--are wearing sunglasses on top of their head. Another dude off in the corner, despite the darkness, is wearing his shades over hie eyes.

Something else sticks out. It's something that I haven't see Barry Greenstein holding so far this year. It's a single poker chip sitting on the padded rail in front of him. In the past couple of hours, it's become an obsession of mine. Most people are tipping the servers wish cash and Barry hasn't been seen with a good luck charm that I know of. So, as usual, I'm clueless.

One thing I can't see is what's happening at Greg Raymer's table. Because of the swarming TV cameras and my lack of eyes in the back of my head, I'm forced to choose between one of the two final tables in his event. Because Greenstein is sitting on the table with a flop-cam, I choose his.

At 6:45, a rumor slips in that Greg Raymer has been eliminated. I knew he had been short, so it wouldn't have been a huge surprise. Still, I'm buoyed when a dealer pops in and corrects the rumor.

"It was Mr. Kotter," he said. Gabe Kaplan, not Greg Raymer.

Preferring to see things with my own eyes, I get up and head for the table. Raymer's seat is empty. His chips are gone. And, if I needed one definitive bit of proof, Greg is standing with his bag slung over his neck and shoulders. That's always a sign Greg is on the move. I learned later Greg had gotten a suited ace in against his favorite hand, pocket eights. Greg's departure in 14th place for $103,000 leaves this field void of a World Series Main Event champion. If depressing for me, it has to be good for Mr. Kotter's spirit that the rumors of his demise had been greatly exaggerated.

The only good news that comes out of Greg's bust-out is that I now no longer have to choose my focus. Team PokerStars has one player left in this event. Barry Greenstein doesn't look like he's ready to give up the ghost yet.

With thirteen players remaining, the game switched to Omaha-8. I picked up the action on a flop of 8s5hJc. In early position, Barry check-raised Dewey Tomko and David Singer. He got not one, but two callers. The Qd on the turn didn't slow Barry down. Once again, he bet out. Again, Tomko and Singer both called. The river, Th, killed any low draw made the straight an even better possibility. This time Barry checked. I wonder if he was as surprises as I was when both players checked behind and mucked when Barry showe his AJ for...second pair.

In the next couple of minutes, Tim Phan and Steve Wolff were eliminated. With an average of 1.3 million chips, Greenstein sat at 1.8 million. While that puts him near the top of the leader board, there are a lot of players within 100,000 chips of his stack. Eleven players remain with three left to lose before we break for tomorrow's final table.

And, so what of that single chip sitting in front of Barry Greenstein. As it turns out, Barry busted Chris Reslock in 15th place. Reslock, knowing Barry gives out a copy of his book "Ace on the River" to whoever busts him, pulled out a chip and gave it to Barry.

"This has been lucky for me."

How lucky? Well, just a few weeks ago, Reslock won the $5,000 Stud championship here at the World Series.

It's the little things, you know?

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in