NAPT Venetian: Day 2, levels 11 and 12 (1000-2000-200)

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6:13pm: Break time
Players are now on break. Further reports on the next levels can be found HERE.

6:02pm: Negreanu doubles
When Daniel Negreanu alerted the media via Twitter that he was down to 15K chips, we planted ourselves in the area to see the forthcoming action.

It didn't take long for him to push all-in for his last 14,700, but with no callers, he took the blinds and antes. On the very next hand, he did it again, and this time he found a caller. Negreanu turned over the one card he knew was an ace, then joked to his opponent that the other was likely an ace. But it wasn't. He flipped A♦ 2♣, but the other player showed a dominating A♥ Q♥. The board came 3♥ 2♦ 8♠ 3♦ 9♣, and the pair of deuces was good enough for the double-up.

"It's only 19,300!" Negreanu joked with his opponent, who couldn't help but crack a smile.

5:57pm: Nam Nam Nam
A player in middle position raised to 3,500, and got one caller in Nam Le from the small blind. The flop came 8♥K♣J♣ and both checked. The turn was the K♠, pairing the board. This time Le bet 5,000, and his opponent quickly called.

The river paired the board again with the J♦. Le pushed out 14,000, and his opponent let it go. Le has been gobbling up chips at a steady clip all day, and is currently challenging for the lead with about 395,000.

5:49pm: Chen churning along
Bill Chen has been quietly accumulating chips all day. He now sports a nice-looking stack of 240,000 or so.

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Bill Chen

5:44pm: Sudden Seth
Andy Seth began today as our chip leader. While he lost the lead over the course of the first few levels, he's continued to maintain a large stack and has stuck around the top of the leaderboard all afternoon. Just now he was involved in a blind-vs.-blind confrontation that after an innocuous start quickly developed into something big.

The hand began with the table folding around to the SB who raised, and Seth called behind. The flop came A♣K♥Q♦. The player in the small blind checked, Seth bet 8,500, and his opponent called. The turn brought the 2♣ and another check-call, this time for 21,500.

The river was the 7♥. Again Seth's opponent checked, and without much hesitation Seth pushed out 54,300. Once the bet amount was clarified, his opponent quickly called and Seth showed him the bad news. He'd flopped Broadway with [10h]J♠.

Seth is now up to 335,000.

5:30pm: Su-su-De Gilio
We were just counting chips. That's what we do. We were in the process of counting one-time chip-leader Phil Collins' stack and thought, "We'll just finish counting this after his re-steal is a success."

See, he and Mike De Gilio were doing that whole button raise (De Gilio), big blind re-raise (Collins) thing and for De Gilio to complete the action, he either had to get his chips all-in or fold. He chose the former, and it turned out to be a good decision. De Gilio held A♥K♦ to Collins' A♦9♣. The board ran out A♠5♦7♣8♥K♥. De Gilio doubled to more than 320,000. Meanwhile, Collins is down to around 100,000.

5:28pm: The Montel Williams show (of a card)
Montel Williams -- incidentally, now sitting to Orel Hershiser's left -- continues to nurse what has now become a below average stack. We just watched him win one hand and a small pot, then try to continue the momentum into the next. A preflop raise to 5,000 from a MP player caused the table to fold around to Williams who called from the big blind. The flop came J♥Q♥6♠, Williams checked, his opponent bet 11,600, and Williams called. The turn brought the 9♥, and both checked.

The river was the 3♠, and Williams tapped the felt. His opponent pushed out 10,000, and Williams folded, showing one card -- the [10h] -- as he did. Williams now sits with about 35,000.

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Williams and Orel Hershiser

5:21pm: Ladies are good to Miami John
"Miami" John Cernuto just had back-to-back hands that were too good not to share with us.

First hand, Cernuto doubled up with pocket queens versus A-Q. Nothing extraordinary about that, really.

Second hand, Cernuto looked down at two queens again. He was in Seat 1 and believed that everyone had folded to him, so he began to show the hand to the table, even commenting that he was surprised to find the ladies again. But just as he was about to show, he realized that Seat 9 hadn't acted yet. Seat 9 made a raise, and Cernuto held on to his cards and called. The board came 9-10-J, and Cernuto still wasn't sure if the other player heard him comment on the queens, since they were on opposite sides of the dealer. Betting and calling took them to the 9 on the turn, and more of the same brought the Q on the river. It was then that Seat 9 moved all-in with pocket tens for the full house, but Cernuto called immediately with queens full.

Courtesy of the ladies, Cernuto now has a stack of 260K.

5:08pm: Negreanu, fighter, bluffer, winner
A bit earlier we wrote about a hand in which it was widely speculated Kid Poker Daniel Negreanu had run a bluff. Turns out, he did. Even better, he told us all about it.


Watch NAPT Venetian 2010: Daniel Negreanu

4:59pm: Men is the man
The latest survey of the room shows that Men "the Master" Nguyen has what appears to be the biggest stack around -- by a long shot. He currently has around 420,000.

4:57pm: Lawson lays down the law
Ted Lawson may be quiet at the tables, but he's been in the game long enough to deserve some respect. When a player at his table moved all-in with K-J, Lawson simply and calmly called and flipped over the A-K. The board came 7-K-8-5-Q, and another player was eliminated at the hands of the consummate pro.

4:52pm: Binger bringing' it
Preflop action created a pot of nearly 20,000 when the flop came 7♥A♣9♠. Michael Binger, playing from the blinds, checked, a player in middle position bet 9,000, and Binger called. Both checked the 9♣ turn. The river brought the A♠. Binger pushed out four pink 5,000 chips, and his opponent silently nudged his cards forward to fold.

Binger is up to 170,000.

4:48pm: Let's play some cards
Level 12 is underway. Blinds 1000-2000, ante 200.

4:30pm: End of Level 11
We've reached the end of Level 11. Expect a rush on the nearby food court during the next 15 minutes, with everyone having recently learned there will be no dinner break later.

4:28pm: One wrong move leads to mass confusion
It started with an out-of-turn bet from a player after the board was delivered as 4♣ 2♥ T♥ A♦ 5♣, though Justin Smith was supposed to be the first to act. A floor person was called to answer Smith's question as to what his options might be, and he was instructed to act before the floor could give a response.

Smith was confused as to why he couldn't get an answer before he acted, and other players shared his concern. Two more floor persons were called over to rule on the issue, and the final ruling was that Smith could check and the bet by the other player would be allowed. But if Smith bet more than 11,100, the other player would be allowed to take his chips back and decide on a new action. At that point, the other player in the hand became agitated at the decision of the floor to change the original ruling.

In the end, Smith folded his hand, but discussions continued as the floor staff left the table.

4:23pm: Big bite for LuckyChewy
A middle position player raised to 15,000, and Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger reraised all in from the cutoff. Then the BB pushed all in over the top, forcing the original raiser to fold his J♥J♠ face up.

Lichtenberger showed Q♥Q♦ and his opponent A♥K♥. The queens held, as the board ran out 9♣[10d]2♣3♥8♥, catapulting Lichtenberger up around 200,000.

4:12pm: Gone with the Nguyen
A short-stacked Scotty Nguyen was all in versus one opponent, with Dan Shak thinking at length over whether to join in as well. Finally Shak got out, Nyugen showed 2♠2♦, and his lone opponent 8♥8♣.

"Watch... jack-eight of spades wins the hand," said Shak, alluding to his now-abandoned cards. He was right, as the board went A♣7♣J♥Q♦6♣, but his lament was the least significant on this one. As we move toward the end of Level 11, Nguyen hits the rail.

There are currently 287 players remaining.

4:09pm: Blair Up, Dwyte Down
As the last level got underway, play seemed more aggressive at quite a few of the tables. Some of the short stacks seemed to be eyeing the potential dinner break and deciding to move it or lose it.

Blair Hinkle took at advantage of one opponent who pushed all-in from the small blind, and Hinkle (on the button) called with Q♣ J♣. That was good against the small blind's Q♥ 7♣, and the board didn't argue as it came A♥ 6♥ 3♣ 2♦ 6♣. Hinkle collected more chips, and the other player left with, well, memories.

Dwyte Pilgrim wasn't on that same side of the action. His table consisted of two short stacks ready to move. Seat 1 pushed with pocket aces, Seat 3 did it with pocket nines, and Pilgrim got in there with pocket jacks. The dealer gave them 7-4-K-8-A, and Pilgrim took a significant hit to his stack.

4:06pm: And now...no dinner break
Despite what you might have heard, what we might have heard, and what we reported earlier, the dinner break scheduled for tonight has been canceled. Fortunately, Daniel Negreanu wasn't recently seen eating a fairly tasty-looking vegan meal, so he should be in good shape to keep beating up on people.

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Not hungry, just texting


3:49pm: So it goes, and there goes Moneymaker
We'll resist another gastrointestinally-themed headline for this post. Not that we weren't tempted. Instead, we'll call it a "so it goes hand," also known as a "S.I.G.H."

You win a WSOP Main Event, you tend to elicit less pity for any further misfortune thereafter. Such is Chris Moneymaker's lot. But after that one-two punch recounted in our last couple of entries, it was hard not to wince a little at the following.

All in for his last 20,500, Moneymaker watched and waited as his lone remaining opponent contemplated what to do. At one point, the dealer prematurely announced a call, but the player clarified he was only inquiring how much would be needed to take on the champ. Finally, the call came, Moneymaker turned over Q♥Q♣, and his foe A♣Q♠. Moneymaker's posture, no doubt affected a bit by recent events, communicated something less than a confident feeling about what was to come.

Flop goes boom: K♦[10h]J♠. Moneymaker quickly straightened up, then stood as the turn 4♥ and river 9♠ put an end to the champ's day. Moneymaker bid the table adieu, stopped to sign an autograph at the rail, and moved along, that magnificent 200,000-plus chip stack with his day began having been disappointingly dispersed among the field.

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3:35pm: The decision: Vomit
In our very last post, we posed the question "to vomit or celebrate." The answer for Chris Moneymaker is now clear.

We picked up the hand on the turn when he was betting, 15,500 on a Q♦3♦6♥Q♥ board. It sure didn't look like his opponent wanted to call, but that's what happened. It was checked to Moneymaker again on the 7♣ river, so he put out 22,000. His opponent shrugged and called. Moneymaker mumbled and put his hand in the muck face-down. His opponent tried to do the same, but the dealer made him show the winner: J♥J♣.

Moneymaker's stack starting to look puny. Look for him to be doubling or walking soon.

3:25pm: To vomit or celebrate?
We picked up this hand on the flop with one player all-in and another checking to Chris Moneymaker. The board read K♦3♦2♠ and Moneymaker put out a bet of 20,000. His remaining opponent with chips thought for a second or two before announcing he was all-in. Moneymaker disgustedly folded pocket jacks face-up. That's when his foe showed A♥Q♦. Moneymaker looked as if he were going to throw up all over the table. It was only made worse when the first all-in player tabled pocket tens. Moneymaker was ahead of both players for what amounted to a monster pot. He restrained himself and only said, "No flippin' way."

That's when the dealer turned the Q♣. Moneymaker sighed. "There is a God," he said. The river was an irrelevant 7♦ and Moneymaker looked sadly at his 100,000-ish stack.

"It's been that kind of day," he said.

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One air sickness bag to The Venetian poker room


3:05pm: New level, new blinds, new bloggers
We're now up to level 11 and 800/1,600/200 blinds. By the way, you might notice some new bloggers on our roster here. Martin Harris and Jennifer Newell have long helped us out with our coverage of WCOOP, SCOOP, and the Sunday Million, but they are joining us for the first time at a live event. Welcome to the team, folks!

Oh, and here's a picture of Montel Williams. He's still rocking and rolling in Day 2.


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NAPT Venetian reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Martin Harris, Jennifer Newell, Brad Willis and photographer Joe Giron.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in North American Poker Tour