2007 WSOP: Jan Von Halle scores final table finish

Yesterday afternoon, I walked up to Jan Von Halle and asked how he was doing.

"I'm stressed," he said. "I'm in wo tournaments at once."

Not only was he into the $1,000 re-buy event for $10,000. He also had a stack in the $2,000 no-limit hold'em event...which he was barely playing.

I suppose it's safe to say that he didn't really expect to be sitting at the final table of the $1,000 re-buy today. Yet, there he was, a pro poker player who, when he's not playing three tournaments at once, also runs the PokerStars German Blog.

Short-stacked to start the day, Jan didn't have any illusions about his situation. He said before he sat down that he felt like he was headed for an eighth, ninth...or third place finish.

"That's what I'm feeling," he said.

Regardless of what was going to happen, though, the $12,000 investment in the two tournaments was not going to be a bad one. Even if he were to bust out on the first hand of he final table, he was still guaranteed $34,196.

Jan's competition at the table was not the kind you'd find in a sandlot tussle. It was the kind of bare knuckle fighters you find behind a country bar on Saturday night.

Seat 1 - Michael Chu
Seat 2 - Shane Schleger
Seat 3 - Tommy Vu
Seat 4 - Dolph "Dolphin" Arnold
Seat 5 - Michael Gracz
Seat 6 - Robert Aron
Seat 7 - Jan Von Halle
Seat 8 - Barry Cales
Seat 9 - Amir Vahedi

Many of them were names you'd recognize. Among them were chip leader Amir Vahedi sporting a PokerStars hat (he plays on PokerStars, but that's a secret, so keep it to yourself). Two seats to Jan's right was PokerStars Supernova Dolph "Dolphin" Arnold, the veteran poker player. The retired casino marketer is from Houston and has been playing poker since the 1940s.

Regardless of how tough the competition was, Jan's stack was the equivalent of a noodle in a knife fight. He basically had two moves--push or fold. After folding for as long as he could, he finally tried to pick up some dead money. After one player limped, Jan jammed with 9d2h, sure his opponent would fold. It was a bad time for the big blind to wake up with AsKs. The Ac5c5d was almost as bad as it could've been for Jan. Although a three on turn gave him four outs, a ten fell on the river and Jan was out in ninth place for $34,196.

Congrats, Jan. You do us blogger types proud.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in