2007 World Series: John Armbrust From the Felt

by Craigh Cunningham

John "texduke" Armbrust wasn't down to a chip and a chair yesterday, but he wasn't far from it. He was so low in chips that he started using them to form the letters "AA" as he pleaded with the dealer for any card. "Moving up a cash level is not the way I play, but I had just a horrible run of bad cards. Any time I was in position, I'd have a raise in front of me with rags." John asked another player to give him 5k chips from his 25k chips, and he spelled "ESPN" with the new chips.

Without Ryan Elson to one to his right, he wouldn't be alive. Elson gave him a walk twice in his big blind, and John had 5-3 and 4-3 for the two blinds. From there, it was a big evening. He almost tripled up then doubled up with pocket 7's. ESPN has named him the Kid that Can't be Killed, and he ended the night squarely in 18th with 2.6m.

His day today has been terrific. He sits on 7.0m with twenty-one players remaining. He made a big play against Scott Freeman. John raised to 100k, and Scott made it 550k to go. John re-raised another 850k, and after several minutes, Scott folded.

Down to twenty-seven players, John moved to a table with Alex Kravchenko, Bill Edler, chipleader Lee Childs, Roy "The Oracle" Winston, PokerStars Raymond Rahme, and Jerry Yang. John and Roy got involved in another big pre-flop hand. Bill Edler made it 250k to go, John called, and Roy made a 750k raise. After Edler folded, John moved all-in. It was a gutsy play, and Roy had a great deal to think about. He had A-K, and he didn't want to call off his chips. The 9s called the clock, and Roy let the clock run out to kill his hand. It put John up to 7.0m. Roy went out a few hands later in a coin flip with Jerry Yang, pocket queens vs Ac-Kd. Yang spiked an ace, and Roy was out in 26th place ($333,490).

Raymond Rahme has had an adventure this tournament. He and John have shared the same table before and after the redraw. The 62 year-old entrepreneur from Johannesburg, South Africa has only been playing NLH for two years, but he's been long time stud player for most of his life. He's stayed out of harm's way and sits on 5.0m in chips with twenty-one players remaining. Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman moved back to Raymond and John's table, and you knew fireworks would ensue.

John raised Raymond's blind, and he called. The flop came Kd-Jd-3d, and Raymond fired out 350k, John folding as the flop missed him bigtime. Two hands later, Scott raised in the small blind to 325k, and John re-raised to a million. In a syncopated beat, Scott moved all-in and John insta-called. It was Scott's pocket tens vs. A-K for John. As-Kh-3h-Qc kept it interesting, but the river 6c busted out one of the toughest players left, Scott Freeman (19th $333,490). That puts John up to 4th in chips as the redraw to the last two tables.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in