2007 World Series: Shooting into the money

Isabelle Mercier had her opponent all-in when I walked up. The look on her face was one of pure stone. There was no smile, no victorious smirk, no fist-pumping, no tears of joy. The river card made no difference to her opponent's hand. He was done and headed for the rail. He was the last of the player's--save Isabelle--at the table. He likely didn't know what his elimination meant. He learned two seconds later.

Isabelle dropped to her knees in the middle of the floor and said, "My first cash of the World Series." She stayed there for a second before standing back up and turning to shake her opponent's hand. In fact, Isabelle has cashed before. She made a final table last year. This year, however, has been cold.

That's the thing about Isabelle. She always finds a path to success, even when it looks like she is at a dead end. I remember a time in Monte Carlo in 2005. She'd found the exit much too quickly in that year's EPT Grand Final. A day or so later, she entered a side event for 1,000 euros and won it outright.

This year was looking grim. Isabelle had played her heart out in a number of events, but seemed to come up short all the time. Today's hope rested on her being able to beat every member of her table in the $1,500 limit hold'em shootout. Otherwise, there would be no chance at a cash for more than a week and that would be in the minefield called the Main Event.

Now, though, she was back on her feet, slipping on her shoes, and walking over to sign up for Round 2 of the shootout. Now, there are 72 players remaining, all in the money, and all guaranteed $6,634. If Isabelle or any other of the players want to make any more money, they will have to beat their entire table once again.


A media friend looked at me and said, "PokerStars is well-represented here."

He couldn't have been more right. Isabelle is not the only PokerStars standout in the field late tonight. Noah Boeken, Bill Chen, Victor Ramdin, and Terrence Chan all won their tables as well. I'm not sure what it is, but there seems to be one big PokerStars push for a final table tonight.

Victor Ramdin

Noah Boeken

Bill Chen

Making it to that final table, though, is going to require more than solid play. There need be a lot of caffeine. Already after 11pm, Round 2 of this event is barely underway. One match in Round 1 took nine hours. If that should happen here, it could be 6am before a final table is set.

Either way, the above players have already made some money tonight. Now, it's time to see if they can put the icing on the cake.

Update: 2:18am PDT -- Well, as it turns out, play was halted at 2am--a reasonable decision, as I see it. All of the above players have held on for the first five hours of play at their tables. They will return tomorrow at 2pm to fight down to the final table.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in