World Record Week: Ramdin Victorious in Team PokerStars Pro Championship Match
Every team needs a captain and why should Team PokerStars Pro be any different? The details are still under wraps about the PokerStars All-Star Weekend, a new online team competition debuting next year, but to settle the captain's job, Team PokerStars Pro decided to do it as only poker players know how--they played for it. All 29 members of the team were on hand Sunday afternoon to go for the title, with the added bonus of a $30,000 prize pool that would be divvied up among the top three finishers' favorite charities. This being a true pro's match, the 8-game format was used, the rotation encompassing 2-7 triple draw, limit hold'em, Omaha hi/lo, razz, stud, stud hi/lo, no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha.
The first hour saw five players exit including Greg Raymer, Tom McEvoy, Andre Akkari, Humberto Brenes and EPT creator John Duthie, who confessed to drinking "a bit too much mulled wine" as he railed the action. The table talk between the pros was lighthearted and often hilarious throughout the tournament, notably when Isabelle Mercier and Bill Chen attempted to recruit Victor Ramdin to the practice of Bikram yoga.
"What is bikram is that all u can eat buffet?" quipped Ramdin.
The field shrunk to 14 after the second hour and only thirty minutes later we arrived at our six-handed final table after Daniel Negreanu eliminated Alex Kravchenko in 7th place on a pot-limit Omaha hand. Here's how the chip counts looked as the final table got under way:
Seat 1: ChadBrownPRO (6,820 in chips)
Seat 2: RaiNKhAN (4,092 in chips)
Seat 3: Bill Chen (2,984 in chips)
Seat 4: Money800 (17,739 in chips)
Seat 5: VictorRamdin (19,500 in chips)
Seat 6: KidPoker (6,865 in chips)
Bill Chen was eliminated from the tournament on the first hand of final table play. In a hand of 2-7 triple draw vs. Chad Brown, Chen bricked on the third draw, ending up with A-8-7-5-2 against Brown's 8-7-6-3-2 to send him to the rail in 6th place. Next to fall was Brown himself, also on a triple draw hand. Brown was all in before the third draw against Victor Ramdin, who stood pat while Brown drew one. Ramdin's 7-6-5-4-2 crushed Brown's 9-8-7-4-2 and he was out in 5th place.
Triple draw would also spell the end of Hevad "Rain" Khan, who got in all in on the second draw against Victor Ramdin. Once again, Ramdin made a monster 7-6 low, besting Khan's T-9 and the "Bulldozer" drove off in 4th place. With Khan's elimination, Moneymaker, Ramdin and Negreanu were all in the money, guaranteed a payday for their charities.
Continuing on his rampage, Victor Ramdin also took out 3rd-place finisher Chris Moneymaker. Playing limit hold'em, Moneymaker called Ramdin's button raise from the big blind and they saw a flop of Kc-8s-5s. Both players checked to the turn, which fell the 6h. Moneymaker led out, Ramdin raised, Moneymaker moved in the last of his chips and Ramdin called, turning up As-Ks for top pair top kicker to Moneymaker's Kh-7d. The river was the 5h, not the four, seven or nine Moneymaker was hoping for and Ramdin took down the pot as Moneymaker hit the rail. The 2003 WSOP Champion's efforts today earned $5,000 for the charity of his choice.
Moneymaker's elimination left Victor Ramdin and Daniel Negreanu to duke it out to see who would become team captain. Here's what their chip counts looked like as they began heads-up play:
Seat 5: VictorRamdin (32,972 in chips)
Seat 6: KidPoker (25,028 in chips)
Negreanu put Ramdin on the ropes early, whittling his stack all the way down to 2,772 in chips at one point before Ramdin stormed back, winning or splitting 11 out of the next 12 pots and evening back out their chip counts. Their final hand came in stud hi, where Ramdin started off with buried eights and improved to queens up by the river after a raising war with Negreanu. Though Negreanu had made a pair of sevens on fifth street with running flush and straight possibilities as well, he couldn't improve and Ramdin's two pair held up to win him the Team PokerStars Pro Championship and $15,000 to his charity. For his stellar play, Negreanu earned $10,000 for his charity.
Congratulations to a very worthy champion and Team PokerStars Pro's new team captain, Victor Ramdin! And don't forget -- later this week, you will be able to watch the whole match on replay with all the players' hole cards exposed...stay tuned.