PokerStars' Brett Favre advances in $1500 NL Shootout

Something about shootouts gives me an ulcer. Not a bad one. Just the kind that makes my stomach hurt a little and convinces me life isn't fair. At first, there is that sense of "I only have to make it through nine other players to make it into the money." Then comes the realization that you might as well be playing at a final table where only first place pays. In short, there is a certain talent to it that I'm sure I don't possess.

PokerStars player William "Brett Favre" Jensen has that talent. On a day when many of the big names in the poker world were winning their table, Jensen outlasted, outwitted, and outplayed his table to move on to the second round.


William "Brett Favre" Jensen eying his bounty after winning in round one

Many other PokerStars standouts ran unlucky today. One gentleman (who I came to know as a the very friendly John Greathouse) was heads up with Brett Jungblut and on two all-in hands lost to Jungblut. The match-up was A7 vs QJ both times. The QJ was victorious both times.

As I stood watching Noah "Exclusive" Boeken (European Poker Tour winner and Stars standout) in a marathon heads up battle with Mel Judah, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure winner John Gale came up to chat.


John Gale, three-handed with Mike Matusow and David "The Dragon" Pham

Gale has not been faring well in tournaments but has been killing in the cash games recently. Today, during three-handed play with Mike Matusow and David "The Dragon" Pham, Gale's queens lost to The Dragon's JT when Pham flopped two pair. Pham ended up taking the rest of Matusow's chips and eventually defeated Gale heads-up.

Gale was hungry. He hadn't eaten all day. Still, ever the good businessman, he was thinking about setting up a booth in the back of the tournament area where he would charge players $25 to listen to their bad beat stories. I could almost guarantee you he could pay for an entry into the Main Event after just a couple of days.

Today, Isabelle Mercier got seated and defeated at what Poker Pages Mike Paulle deemed the "Table of Death," featuring such names as Lindgren, Harman, Watkinson, Arieh, and Hilger.

WSOP champ Greg Raymer made it through half his table but was defeated out of the money as well.


Greg Raymer eyes his opponent

PokerStars' Tom McEvoy made it heads-up at his table but couldn't make it happen today, either. Anders "Donald" Berg played at the longest-lasting table today, as well, but finished midway through the field.


Tom McEvoy


Anders Berg

So, tonight, we pin our hopes on the Herculean William "Brett Favre" Jensen. He's a big man with a big night in front of him. I'll let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, I'm headed back to the tournament area to see if Gale has set up his Bad Beat Booth yet. If I can get a piece of the action, I just might be able to afford to play a little bit.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker