WSOP Main Event: Moneymaker's Quads

by Wil Wheaton

Update: The, uh, veracity of the following story has been called into question via Pokernews, who report that the tale of flopped aces full against flopped quads is, uh, less than accurate. We here on Team Blog would be shocked -- shocked -- if a poker player lied to us, but would also offer a bit of advice to all you hopeful players out there: if you're going to make up a poker story to a bunch of journalists, you'd better make sure that there's nobody around to write a contradictory account. We'd also like to be excessively polite, and point out that we'd never use a rhyme that includes the phrase, "pants on fire."

We now return you to your previously-written post:

When the players went on their dinner break, most of Team Blog headed out to the Tilted Kilt to eat, and to get a little break from poker. (Yes, we love poker as much as anyone does, but even we need to walk away from the tournament area from time to time.)

Shortly before our dinner arrived, Eric Van der Burg stopped by our table. Otis and Mad know him from the EPT, which is probably why he told us, "I just made the biggest laydown of my life, and it cost me ninety percent of my stack."

Now, we've been hearing stories like this for three weeks, but not from players of Eric's calibre.

"I have to hear the hand," Otis said.

"Yeah," I said, "Let us have it."

"Okay, I get aces under the gun -- finally -- so I decide to do a stupid thing and just min-raise. I do it on purpose, you know? Chris Moneymaker smooth calls me, and the blinds fold."

I wondered what the big blind could fold there, but then I remembered that I played like a donkey so I should keep my "insights" to myself.

"The flop comes ace, king, king, and it goes check and check. The turn is a brick, and now I want to suck him in, so I make a little bet, and he just calls. On the river, I make a big bet, and he starts talking crazy, saying things like 'I'm going to get busted before the break if you have ace king,' and things like that, and he's talking so much I realize that he had it. He goes all-in, and I say to him, 'I know you have pocket kings. I'm folding aces.'

"I folded them face up, and he showed me his quads."

Photo copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

We broke into spontaneous applause. CJ said, "Raise your hand if you go broke there." Seven hands went up around the table, and then the applause started up again.

"So I have just 1250 left," he said, with a shrug of his shoulders, as he vanished into the back of the Kilt, toward the pool tables.

I've wanted a Chris Moneymaker story all day long, but his table broke early today, and I tracking him down among the two thousand people in the Amazon Room is a monumental task that I have failed to achieve. But like I've said so many times before: you've got to work hard to not find a story here at the World Series of Poker. Lucky for me, the one I'd been looking for all day found me in an unlikely place.

According to Team Blog's Craig Cunningham, Chris is at 30,000, and is at table 9 (so now I know where he is! Yay!) In other Team PokerStars news, Victor Ramdin won a huge pot with a flush, and is now over 18K in chips. Otis and I just took a look at Isabelle Mercier, and she's short with just over 7000. We know how badly she wants to win this, so we decided that it was in everyone's best interest to quietly walk away and let her build it up.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker