WCP Heat #1--Scotland vs. Costa Rica

Terrence Chan (Team Costa Rica)

Don't get in Terrence Chan's way. That goes for the poker table and in Costa Rican dark streets at night. Not only is the professional poker player very good at his game (he's cashed in every big tournament he's ever played outside the United States), he's also been kickboxing for the past seven years. So, opponents would be smart to avoid Chan's check-raising and roundhouse kicks. Having quit two day jobs in the past five years to play poker, the Canadian native is now a fulltime card player in Costa Rica. He'll also admit to be exceptionally handsome, if you allow the caveat that it's hard to determine that because his face gets in the way.

Dave "Diamond Dave" Veitch (Team Scotland)

You may not think it just by looking at him, but Dave Veitch's middle name might as well be "rock and roll." While he's a family man and fulltime IT systems engineer, the Linlithgow Scotland resident is a closet rock and roller. A huge fan of the band Motorhead, Veitch also plays in a band called Jonestown Mind which sometimes doubles as an AC/DC tribute band. However, he keeps his rock and rolling a secret at the table and answers to the name "Diamond Dave."

In the first heat of the day, the players started out carefully. Each started with 150,000 in chips facing blinds that began at 1000/2000 and promised to go up every 15 minutes. In the first level, Chan established an early chip lead, picking up a few big playable hands and rounding out the difference with notable Costa Rican aggressiveness.

At the beginning of the second level, though, Veitch erased the difference and overtook Chan. Both players saw the flop on the cheap, with Veitch holding Q5o to Chan's Q4o. Chan bet out on the flop, 53J and both players saw the turn, a dangerous Q. Chan check-called. At first it seemed Chan might be setting up for a check-raise on the river. The river came down as a nine. Chan checked and Veich put out a substantial bet Chan, perhaps now afraid of a bigger hand, simply called and saw his top-pair was beat by Veich's two-pair.

It was then that Chan ramped up his aggressiveness. On the next hand, Chan missed his straight draw on the river but still bet out 22,000 in chips. The bet forced Veich to lay down his winner. The hand set a bit of a precedent.

On the next hand, Chan came in for a standard raise with 67o. Veich finally found a big, playable hand, a pair of jacks. Instead of reraising, Veich played his pair slow and just called. The flop was as dangerous as it gets: 485. Chan had flopped the stone cold nuts to Veich's overpair. Chan bet out, Veich raised, and Chan immediately moved all in. Veich went in the tank. While he had Chan covered, it wasn't by much. A loss would surely cripple him. After several minutes, Veich muttered "pass" and slid his cards into the muck.

The hand gave Chan the chip lead, 176,000 to Veich's 124,000.

Shortly, the blinds moved up to 3000/6000 and Veich again earned his title of King of the Laydown. With AJo, Veich raised to 18,000. Chan looked down to find AQo and made it 45,000 to go. Well behind, but not sure of it, Veich again went in the tank and again decided his hand wasn't worth the risk.

Chan now had a 2-1 chip lead and used it to his advantage. On the next hand, Veich turned top pair with his K8. Chan, chasing a straight draw, missed on the river and bet enough to put Veich all-in. The thing was, the river was an ace. Veich struggled with his decision and eventually laid down his winner, perhaps fearing the ace hit Chan.

The next big hand seemed to be the end. Chan found AK and bet out. Veich found K7s and moved all in. Chan insta-called and looked to win the hand. But the board came out 98J/9/T to give Veich the rivered straight and moved him back up to 118,000 in chips to Chan's 182,000.

Again, the blinds moved up, this time to 4000/8000. It would prove to be the last level. Finding KT of diamonds, Veich came in for a raise. His timing couldn't have been more unfortunate. Chan held a pair of aces and moved all in. His aces held up and Chan claimed the first heat for Team Costa Rica.

Costa Rica: 1, Scotland: 0

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Cup of Poker