EPT Monte Carlo: Chips ahoy
Updated below with news on Greg Raymer.
As a whole, PokerStars has been well-represented here at the EPT Grand Final. More than 100 qualifiers and members of Team PokerStars began today. Many of them remain in the hunt as we near the 100 mark in remaining runners. Two of the more famous faces among them are Noah Boeken and Greg Raymer.
Boeken had been on a steady but slow climb most of the day, having worked himself up to around 75,000 in chips. I happened up on his table just as he got in a battle with Joe Beevers. Beevers was struggling on whether to call another 36,000--the rest of his chips.
"Pocket eights?" he asked Noah.
Noah chuckled a bit. "That's what you put me on? What? You have pocket nines?"
Beevers thought for a bit more and finally said, "Let's gamble." He called to see Noah's pocket jacks. Beever's was a decided dog, flipping over A9o. The flop came 235 rainbow, opening up four more outs for Beevers. The turn was another five. The river...an ace. Noah stood, threw his fist at nothing in particular, and then sat back down, incredulous.
"You called 36,000 more with A9?" he asked. If it was not a rhetorical question, it was treated as one. Noah is now on life support and looking for a quick double up.
Beevers, the happy recipient of Boeken's chips, then ran into a spot of bad luck himself to drop back down to 50,000 or so. He found the bullets and raised to 6,000, called by his opponent. The flop was 4-4-5 and the Hendon Mobster lead out with 9,000, re-raised by the minimum from his foe. Beevers pushed, was called and they turned over: A-A for the Londoner, K-K for his neighbour. All well, except the other guy pulled a runner, runner flush out of the bag. "I got lucky against Noah, but then that last hand just before the break was horrible," he said.
Raymer asked, also perhaps rhetorically, "Why am I so tight? People think I'm some loose-aggressive maniac."
It wasn't but a few hands later, play folded to his small blind and he made it 5400 to play. The big blind, Aussie Jason Melross, thought for a moment before making it another 10,000 to play. Raymer called.
The flop came out TT7 rainbow. Raymer didn't take but a second before anouncing 50,000. The bet was large...certainly larger than the pot. What's more, Raymer had just 10,000 behind. He was, in a word, committed.
Melross couldn't seem to figure out what he should do. To call, he would be putting all his chips in the middle. As he struggled to put Raymer on a hand, Raymer grabbed a fresh bottle of Evian and mixed it with a bright red drink mix.
What could that mean? If Greg were making himself a drink, did that mean he was sure Melross would fold? Or did it mean he didn't care whether Melross called, because he thought he had a sure winner. In the end, it didn't matter, Melross folded and Raymer re-positioned himself around 100,000.
"Cranberry," he said, holding up the bright bottle of red water.
At least it wasn't yellow like the last one.
Sadly, the cranberry seems to have been Greg's undoing. Actually, two bad beats and a chilly deck undid him more. In less than 30 minutes AQ lost to AJ, two pair lost to runner-runner straight, and pocket jacks couldn't outrun a shortstack's KK. Now, Greg's stack sits at 36,000. Should he make a comeback, as Greg puts it, "It'll be a better story."
Update: An even better story would've been Greg starting his comeback with his winning WSOP hand, pocket eights. He got them all in versus AK. A king on the river has sent FossilMan home.
Finally, how about a few words from Ed.
The Ed Report
Ross Boatman raises to 6K from mid position and dlopt re-raises to 29K total. Ross takes a time to fold and dlopt picks it up but is down at 60K. Apparently he got caught bluffing a couple of hands on the trot with a fellow PokerStars qualifier Palacedeano being the recipient of some of these. This may have explained the reluctance Ross seemed to have about folding.
"Schooled" by the Devilfish? Former Eastender Beppe DiMarco, less well known as his real life name of Michael Greco, raises to 6K and Devilfish makes it 23K to play. Michael folds and the both have a below average stack of 60K. For once Devilfish does not show his hand, so he may have had the goods.
Rkruok raises to 6K and is called by David Sykes, AmbientIII, dlopt on the button and Ross Boatman on the BB. The flop is 6c-7c-9s and David Sykes bets 15K at it. AmbientIII raises all in for about 85K total. There are some pretty much instantaneous folds back round to David who eventually calls. Top set for the AmbientIII against David’s nut flush draw and overs with AcQc. The turn is the Qh which does not help and David needs a club that does not come. 6s on the river and David is down to 40K.
The Beat has just eliminated a shortstack all in preflop with AJ vs 10-10. An ace hit the flop and the rest of the board blanked. The Beat is now at 190K
Johnathan Little who made the PCA final table has just doubled up. With 30K raising preflop he chucked in his remaining 55K which was called by the BB with 10-10. Johnathan turned over J-9 and looked to be in trouble until the flop came J-5-9. A 7 on the turn gave the BB some hope but a 5 on the river secured the double through. He is up to 140K.
There is a bit of rumor (or rumour, if you're reading from somewhere other than the U.S.) that we may not play a full seven levels as planned tonight. The field has been cut down by 2/3 already today. We were schedule to play seven levels today and tomorrow. At the going rate, the tournament may be finished by that point, and our final table isn't scheduled until Monday. It still remains to be seen what TD Thomas Kremser will decide. Regardless, things are moving pretty quickly here.
Update: Only 90 minutes more to play tonight. Thanks, Thomas!