WSOP Main Event: Emad Tahtouh
by Ali Lightman
While many of the PokerStars players are trying to avoid getting involved too much early on, Emad Tahtouh, who's already got one final table finish under his belt for Team PokerStars Australia (7th in the $5 000 Pot Limit Hold'Em) has already felt the adrenalin rush in just the first two hours of play.
And that's in just three hands.
The 25 year old from Melbourne found pocket nines and and when the flop came 10 8 4 with two clubs, made it 350 to play. The turn brought the Ad, and both players checked. The river was As, and Emad bet 600. He was called, and when he showed his pocket pair the other guy mucked.
That took him up to 11, 000 but a chunk of that stack disappeared on the next hand.
"I bluffed with nothing and got called" he told me on his break moments ago.
The flop was J 7 4 with with two spades and the turn brought another spade, the 8.
"I check-raised" he said, "the other guy bet 150 and I made it 600".
The board paired when the river came Js, and with a four card flush down Emad bet 1100 and was called instantly.
"The other guy had AK with the Ace of spades."
That move left Emad around 8000 chips, but after sitting quietly for a few hands he decided to call a raise of 300 after finding 67o on the button.
The big blind also called and to Emad's joy, he flopped a low straight when the dealer turned over 8 9 T.
The original raiser checked, and the player on Emad's right made a move, betting 700. Emad raised it up to 1900 total, and it was folded to him.
So he went to his break with a sense of relief and about 13 000 to play with.
So what's his strategy for Day 1 of his first World Series of Poker Main Event?
"I'm just playing it like a series of 4 day tournaments right now, if you start thinking about it as a ten day event you'd just snap."
"The only problem so far is all the table talk, it's really irritating, even one of the dealers is getting in on it. I'm trying to ignore that and to pace myself, and not bluff off any more of my chips!"