WSOP Main Event: Greenstein Out, "boilingfish" Boils Fish, Brenes Dominates

by Wil Wheaton

Yesterday Barry Greenstein said to me, "The best time to play cash games is during the Main Event, because when people bust out they come over and tilt off all kinds of money. Last year, when I busted out of the Main Event, I blew three million in one session."

My heart stopped for a full minute when he said that, and I just said, "Uh, that sucks."

"It's okay," he said. "I eventually won it all back."

Barry was just eliminated when he pushed with K9 from the button, and the big blind woke up with ace ten. Barry only had 2800 after his pocket kings were cracked by pocket queens on a two outer, so he didn't have a whole lot of fold equity there. Still, I hope it doesn't cost him three million dollars, because, uh, I was standing right behind him when it happened.

Aside: We all call CJ "The Luckbox" because, well, he is. CJ just said to me, "If I'm the red giant of luck, you are the black hole." Barry was eliminated one hand before Anna Benson was moved to his table. Come to think of it, maybe it wasn't my incredible bad luck, as much as it was CJ's good luck that put Barry on the rail.

As we walked away from Barry's table, CJ and I passed Nate "Jimmytogni" Kelley, a founding member of CJ's PokerStars Five.

"I'm the short stack at my table," he said, "and I know I could have tripled up a minute ago. I limped with pocket fours, and folded them to a raise and a re-raise. The flop came K-4-x, and the other two guys went to war with ace king and pocket tens!"

"I think that was a solid fold," I said, "especially considering how much of your stack you had to risk after that action."

He rubbed his chin and said, "Yeah, I know. But still . . ."

His cards came out, and he had to go back to his hand.

Aside: Nate is a really good guy, and a very good player. I like him a lot, even though he crippled me at the PCA this year when I flopped trips and he flopped a full house. It turns out that I have as much trouble getting away from top trips as I do getting away from top pair.

Nate Kelley, right, sits next to Tom Parker Bowles (yes, THAT, Parker Bowles)

I paused near the center of the room on my way out, and a man in a PokerStars hat called out to me from the rail.

I walked over and he said, "would you write something on the blog about Steven Berryman?"

"Sure," I said. "What's his name on PokerStars?"

"Boilingfish," he said. "He's got a lot of college buddies back home who know him as 'Rob.' They're watching him really closely and want to know how he's doing."

"You bet, sir." I said. "I'll find out what I can, and report it for all of them. Oh, before I go are you . . ."

"Oh, I'm just his dad," he said.

Nobody is just a dad, when they are as proud of their son as you are," I thought. I tried to say it, but the words caught in my throat. I've been there with my own kids before, and seeing the love and pride in this man's eyes put me right back in the bleachers for too many basketball, soccer, and baseball games to count. Man, I miss my boys.

So for all of Rob's friends: He started the day with just over 28000, and he's currently sitting behind 43000. I think it's safe to say that he's kicking ass, and making you all proud.

Rob Berryman

I paused near Humberto's table as I neared the door, just in time to see him open raise from the cutoff. It was really cool: he turned to the dealer (Humberto is in the 9 seat), pointed his left thumb at the ceiling, and hoisted it skyward several times. "Raise it up," he said. The ESPN camera crew sprung into action.

He picked up two yellows and one black, and put them into the pot. The button quickly folded, and the small blind, who was right in front of me, peeked at his cards. He looked at Humberto. He looked at his cards. He looked at his chips. He looked at his cards. He looked back at Humberto. He looked at his cards. He looked at his cards. He looked at his cards.

"They haven't changed, sir," I thought.

"Maybe this is good for the camera," Humberto said with a broad smile. "You can get on TV if you call!"

The whole table -- well, nine tenths of the table -- laughed. I got the impression that Humberto had been simultaneously entertaining and running over his table for some time.

"Buena Suerte, Senor," Humberto said, and settled back into his chair. Now, I'm obviously not the best poker player in the world, but I really had no idea what Humberto had there. If I was that confused, without having anything at stake in the hand, I can only imagine that the guy in the small blind's range of playable hands had narrowed significantly.

He folded, and I could feel the spotlight turn to the big blind. Before he could even look at his cards, Humberto said to him, "Do you know where the best place to play online tournaments is?"

Again, I got the impression that this was not the first time this question had been posed to the table.

The Big Blind gave an answer that we will just call, "On another network."

Humberto slowly shook his head, and wagged his finger at him. "No, no, no. It is . . . " he spoke very slowly now, "Poker . . . Stars."

The Big Blind smiled, shook his head, and mucked his cards. I walked a little bit to the right, and confirmed that, indeed, he was wearing the other network's logo.

Humberto held his hands up to his face and said, "Boo! Boo!" This time, the entire table laughed with him, along with everyone at the rail.

CJ just told me that Humberto is sitting behind 85000 right now, and my friend April (who is writing for another network) confirmed that Humberto is completely running over his competition.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker